In June 2010, after a late-night session of painting, drinking, and generally rousting about with a group of friends, magazine editor Michael M. Clements found himself pondering an unshakeable question: “Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this at a bar?” The seeds of ArtJamz sprouted almost immediately into a traveling party, where the caterers brought not only beer and wine but also all-you-can-paint palettes, for-sale blank canvases, and invaluable artistic expertise. In the two years since that fateful, paint-spattered night, ArtJamz has become a citywide phenomenon, organizing collaborative events with the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and finally realizing the founding fathers’ vision of a tie-dyed capitol building.
Although these creative enablers still operate pop-up events at galleries and retail spaces across D.C., the brand-new, 1,800-square-foot permanent studio in Dupont Circle has an open-house policy to enable paint parties seven days a week. Freestyle paint sessions and classes are offered, charging separatley for studio time, canvas, and drinks. Day hours keep artists aged 5–18 in mind, whereas nightly sessions feature beer, wine, and creative cocktails for the 21+ set. More than 32 distinct colors await inspired brushes, and the walls of the cozy venue are fair game for a fresh coat. A trained staff is always on hand to offer advice if needed or requested, and to make sure nobody loses an ear.
It's a big leap from the bustle of an athletic field to the solitude of a darkroom, but Calumet Photographic made the transition seamlessly more than 70 years ago. From its origins as a Chicago sporting-goods store, the company evolved into a one-stop shop for cameras and darkroom equipment and eventually into an innovator of photographic technology. In the 1960s, Calumet's most brilliant minds were behind the development of the Caltar large-format-lens line and nitrogen burst film.
Today, Calumet Photographic continues to manufacture and sell professional photographic products and software across the globe, boasting more than 25 retail stores throughout the US and Europe. Their shops abound with both new and used high-quality cameras and equipment, rental gear, and knowledgeable technicians eager to help customers find the right equipment for the job. The company’s extensive online catalog enables shoppers to purchase equipment from around the world and have it shipped directly to their home, studio, or mall photo booth they’ve claimed as a studio.
It’s easier to connect The Spa Room’s seeming hodgepodge of treatments if you look at owner Mary Szegda. Her background and training includes a master of arts degree in applied psychology, a certification for infant massage instructorship, a massage-therapy license, and training in the Feldenkrais method—a therapy designed to pinpoint and correct habits that can cause shoulder pain and muscle tension.
Together, Mary and her skilled staff, administer Swedish and prenatal massage, aromatherapy treatments, craniosacral therapy, and spa services such as a hand treatment that combines pomegranate cream and paraffin. The staff holds four advanced degrees among themselves, and several of them have experience teaching at the university level. Most of them have served as lead or assistant teachers at local massage schools. In addition, The Spa Room offers a variety of classes and workshops including massage education, infant-massage instruction, and restorative yoga.
The trio of seasoned tour guides understands that being a guide is more than just being able to carry a microphone and CDL driver’s license with style. Being a guide is a great responsibility; it means safeguarding history and passing its great secrets and wisdoms on to others. Whether visiting DC’s iconic structures and memorials in the daylight or evening, they passionately share the stories of the individuals, ideals, and food-based dares that shaped the United States into what it is today. Fueled by the realization that planning a trip to the nation’s capital may be a once in a lifetime experience for some people, they put extra effort into ensuring that experience is as memorable as possible, leading all of their tours in a luxurious 2012 Mercedes bus.
While most cleaning companies are content to leave floors clean enough to eat off of, the team from L & S Maid Service strives to leave them safe to eat off of as well. These cleaners wipe away dust with microfiber cloths, polish surfaces with Green Seal–certified products, and use HEPA-filter vacuums to clean up after the kids leave a trail of breadcrumbs to remember how to get to the kitchen. They use green cleaning techniques not only during new baby cleaning services, but also during regular house and commercial cleaning sessions. In addition, L & S Maid Service's staff can clean carpets and straighten up messes after construction projects or parties.
Nestled between bay windows with verdigris awnings, Just Paper & Tea’s bright-red door serves as a cheery invitation to enter the store. Behind the cardinal-hued portal, happy sighs cut through the rustle of paper as patrons riffle through the shop’s hand-picked assortment of stationery accented with custom designs and elegant lettering. Perched at their workstations, calligraphers artfully emblazon blank cards with birth announcements or legally binding grocery lists, and staffers help brides- and grooms-to-be draft up dream wedding invitations. Along with lavish paper wares, Just Paper & Tea’s shelves also brim with a vast selection of teas that call to mind distant landscapes with smoky darjeeling and herbaceous green matcha.