A view of the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument is just one of the draws of residence in the Flats at Atlas building, a local upscale apartment complex. More than 25 different open floor-plan layouts feature stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, and tiled bathroom walls. Ceilings at least 9 feet high soar above wide, energy-efficient windows and doors leading onto sleek balconies. Flats also aims to draw residents out of their domiciles with amenities ranging from a 24-hour fitness center and a two-level outdoor pool to a lounge with its own bar and billiards. In the courtyard, grills and fire-pits encourage residents to mingle over discussions of what charcoal briquettes actually taste like.
And yet this building doesn't separate itself from the surrounding area. The organization holds events such as art shows and food and drink tours through the H Street neighborhood, home to a growing nightlife and performing arts scene. "H Street has become more than a strip of late-night bars," says the Washington Post, adding "There's dance, cutting-edge art and even a kid-friendly wine bar."
The artists and affiliates at the nonprofit organization The Bead Studio get the creative gears turning in children's brains with bead-related classes and events that emphasize improving art education for the DC-area youth. The Bead Studio hosts seasonal festivals spotlighting a slew of artisan-bead vendors to raise money for their mission and benefit other philanthropic, bead-related foundations such as Beads of Courage and BeadforLife. More than a dozen types of workshops led by instructors with impressive portfolios also benefit these causes, covering kid-centric beading techniques and business-related tips for adults wishing to start their own bead shop or kids looking to barter with the local ice-cream man.
The guides at Free Tours by Foot offer their expertise to visitors on free group tours for a simple reason: they love to share their city's history and quirks with others—and if they get a tip from thoroughly entertained tour-goers, all the better. They've curated a handful of tours for about nine cities, including a roundup of public art in New York City's subway system, a colonial jaunt featuring Revolutionary War sites in Boston, and visits to architectural feats in Chicago's Loop and the hospital where the first Chicago-style hot dog was born. Tour guides can also be commissioned for private, fixed-price tours of the same spots.
The staffers at The Frame Shop, KH Art Lorton, and Art & Framing Studio of Kingstowne stock top-quality Larson-Juhl moldings in a spectrum of thicknesses, materials, and colors. To fit mats to these frames, the staffers cut them with precise tools such as Wizard International machines and dangerously sharp yardsticks. Their techniques include cutting v-grooves into mats and matching eye-catching glass with eco-friendly framing materials.