Cuba de Ayer Restaurant owners Jessica and William Rodriguez ensure their dishes demonstrate what the Washingtonian dubbed "the mandate of the Cuban restaurant: The food should never be too fine or too fussy." Their menu lets the traditional food speak for itself, from the marinated pork that arrives draped in sautéed onions to the hearty black beans and rice that accompany thinly-sliced steaks.
Steaming plates load tables inside the cozy dining room, which sports rich oxblood walls decorated with colorful artwork. Guests relax in snug booths with cups of café con leche and sweet tres leches cakes, a decadent alternative to glasses of milk.
A nonprofit castle-themed adventure land created by The Good Knight Child Empowerment Network, The Good Knight Enchanted Kingdom & Family Museum is an interactive fairy-tale realm designed to teach children about safety. Founded by a coalition of retired federal officers, The Good Knight Child Empowerment Network's mission is to empower kids and their parents through education, using the fairy-tale format to bring awareness to such hard-to-talk-about topics as child abduction. Through special events, shows, summer camps, and onsite adventures, costumed fairies and brave knights lead their young charges on themed challenges and quests to encourage them to fulfill socially responsible roles and build their self-esteem. The shows also teach children how to employ the ABCs of protection and how to recognize the 10 basic physiological deceptions that criminal predators often use to manipulate their victims, giving kids the skills to defend themselves and their peers.
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If the main objective of the glamour photographer is to make the model look attractive, there are probably more challenging subjects than Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera—but that doesn't mean David Blecman is complaining. The Positive Negatives founder and longtime shutterbug—he was named the photo editor of his county newspaper before his 20th birthday more than 30 years ago—has a history of plucking these plum gigs, having snapped pictures of celebrities such as Jimmy Buffett and Gene Simmons and worked for commercial clients including Sears, JCPenney, and Bath & Body Works.
At his studio, Blecman applies his skills toward shooting everything from headshots for models and actors to portraits of kids and teens. He also shares his expertise during workshops that cover both photography and modeling, so students can know what it feels like to be on both sides of a lens without giving their neighbors a turn with the binoculars.