Founded by a ring of cinephiles who set out to rehab an abandoned theater just north of George Washington University, West End Cinema screens foreign, independent, and documentary films that open up new intellectual and cultural vistas. Films run the genre gamut from quirky, independent dramedies and comedramas to special live events such as Opera in Cinema or Ballet in Cinema. Sunset-orange and slate walls and recessed lighting usher guests from a glass-fronted lobby into three cozy theaters, each of which seats between 50 and 100 watchers. On the way, they'll pass an abundantly stocked concession stand, where they can harvest drinks from a full bar, baklava, and gourmet sandwiches along with additional children from the sour patch.
As a child, Michael O’Daniel would sometimes spend his days among giant aircraft in a hangar as his father, a Pan Am pilot out of Miami, was at work. Michael found himself daydreaming about one day being able to fly; by 1980 he was a private pilot. Eventually he became taken with another form of flight—paragliding. He founded Powered Paragliding USA and over the years has spread his wings over Peru, Costa Rica, and he once completed a flight across the entire length of the Panama Canal.
A few years ago, Michael was joined at Powered Paragliding by Brian Goff, another pilot. Goff has hundreds of hours of flying experience; he's been behind the controls of everything from helicopters and airplanes to aerobatic planes and hot air balloons. Today, Michael and Brian man flights for clients of all experience levels. They can fly tandem with beginners, or train budding para-pilots on technique, safety, and how to switch lanes with birds. Expert flyers can take to the skies by purchasing their own paragliders and paramotors from the company.
You'll be led in the ways of matching and loving under director Ron "Ald" McDonald, aka Tennis the Menace, aka the Count of Volley Cristo—a US Professional Tennis Association–certified coach and 35-year veteran of successful tennis-knowledge transmission. You'll be grouped with a handful of swingers at your own skill level, allowing you to reap the benefits of group training and assign each other catchy nicknames. Through fun drills and lightly competitive scrimmaging, you'll build on fundamentals and incorporate new flourishes into your victory dance.
Established as the Washington Shakespeare Company in 1990, WSC Avant Bard is dedicated to updating classic theater for modern audiences, revitalizing well-worn drama with challenging interpretations. Under the leadership of newly appointed artistic director Tom Prewitt, the theater treats audiences to daring productions of established classics, new works, and little-known Shakespeare fan-fiction about him teaming up to fight crime with Queen Elizabeth I.
L'Eclat de Verre's skilled technicians specialize in putting the finishing touches on precious works of art. Each image-wrangler has completed four years of framing school, mastering 18th century, contemporary, and rare fourth-dimensional techniques. Since no two pieces of art are alike, the method of construction will vary depending on what is being framed. All framing methods are conservation quality and use acid-free materials to ensure long-lasting displayability. For those looking to add a finishing flair to their pieces, more than 800 varieties of textured and handmade papers from all over the world are available as matting choices. As with wholesale pizza parlors, prices vary from piece to piece, with 8"x10" objects ranging from $85–$210 on average, 16"x20" objects ranging from $170–$380 on average, and 24"x36" objects ranging from $310–$625 on average.
MoBu Kids' founder Melissa Steele devoted her time to entire classes of children for eight years before retiring to care for her two favorite youngsters—her son and daughter. Shortly after the birth of her son in 2005, Melissa opened MoBu Kids, an indoor playground and classroom for kids that was voted ParentsConnect Parents' Picks Best Kids' Party Place in 2010 and Best Indoor Playspace in 2009. During open play, youngsters scramble atop custom-designed foam playground equipment and roll around safe gymnastics flooring like Olympic-level tumbleweeds. They also test footholds in a rock-climbing wall and zoom down the slide of a petite tree house.
A more structured blend of learning and recreation characterizes small classes led by energetic instructors. Music and movement strengthens the link between notes and motion, bolstering language or motor and social skills according to age. Art-class masterpieces spring from the colorful depictions in a storybook, and ballet encourages dancers to forge creative steps, like the stubbed toe hop. Similar themes run through summer camps and private birthday parties.