Watch Exactly How the National Museum of African American History and Culture Was Built in This Time-Lapse Video

If you’re not one of the lucky Washingtonians who snagged tickets to the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture Saturday, you can still get a glimpse of the museum from your computer screen. Watch the time-lapse video (shot from an EarthCam construction camera) of the museum’s construction, below.

Originally published on Washingtonian.

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Photos: How Washingtonians Celebrated the Fourth of July in the 1910s

When we think of Fourth of July, we think of parades, food, drinking, and fireworks. At the turn of the 20th century, things weren’t very different. Americans celebrated Independence Day with a little too much fervor. Between 1903 and 1910, the American Medical Association reported that there were more than 1,500 deaths on July 4. Five thousand people were injured in 1909 alone. As a response, President Taft called for a “Sane Fourth,” and in the 1910s, newspapers warned readers about “raucous celebrations” and pleaded for people to “hearken back to the ‘sane’ celebrations of yesteryear.”

And now, looking back 100 years to the Independence Day celebrations in Washington, it’s hard to imagine these people in their bowties, uniforms, and elaborate costumes ever getting too “raucous.” Go to Washingtonian to take a look at the photographs (via the Library of Congress) and see for yourself.

Originally published on Washingtonian.

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This Simple 7-Eleven Hack Will Get You a Great Iced Coffee for $2

The one good thing about hot and humid DC weather: iced coffee. It’s cold, refreshing, and best of all, it’s loaded with caffeine. The downside: buying one or two iced coffees a day adds up.

Say you buy a venti iced coffee at Starbucks. That’s around $3 with tax. If you do this every day for six months, that’s $546 down the drain. By going somewhere cheaper, and employing some serious food hacks, you could save $186, which could go toward other fun things like a camping trip in the Shenandoahs or a really nice meal at one of Washington’s very best restaurants.

However, price was not the determining factor when I walked into a 7-Eleven one Saturday afternoon for iced coffee. I wasn’t concerned about price or quality. I just needed icy, cold caffeine, stat, and while driving up to Chesapeake Bay Beach from Arlington, all I could find were 7-Elevens.

I expected 7-Eleven’s pre-made iced coffee to taste similar to Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee: weak with a high cream-to-coffee ratio, and sweet enough to make your teeth hurt. I knew I needed to MacGyver an iced coffee to make this work. I filled up a large iced coffee cup to the brim with ice, then filled the cup three-quarters of way up with 7-Eleven’s machine-mixed Vanilla iced coffee. Next, I filled the rest of the cup with hot dark roast coffee (very important step), topped it off with more ice, and stirred. I handed over $2.19 to the cashier, and took my first sip.

And it. Was. Good.

At first I was confused at how such a cheap coffee concoction could be so satisfying. But my confusion quickly transformed into delight as I sucked down the rest of the cold, creamy goodness that is a 7-Eleven Chiller (with dark roast coffee). I will admit, the cream-to-sugar-to-coffee flavor proportions could be better (it needed more coffee, obviously), but in a pinch, and for a little over a $2, the 7-Eleven iced coffee was pretty damn good.

Want to try this iced coffee hack for yourself? See how you can make it (in just five steps):

Originally published on Washingtonian.

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A Map of DC Road Closures During the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit

Published on Washingtonian.

The full list of DC road closures during the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit is long. With sporadic road closure times, no-parking zones, and Metro skipping some stops, figuring out how to get from point A to point B becomes an ordeal. So we’ve created an interactive map of all of the road closures and parking restrictions during the Nuclear Security Summit from March 27 through April 2.

Metro riders should take note: the yellow and green line trains will not stop at the Washington Convention Center, and the 7th and 9th NW Street bus stops between N Street and K Street will go around the convention center. Take a look at our transportation guide for more information about navigating DC’s public transportation system.

Street closures are marked in red, no-parking zones in blue, intermittent road closures in pink, and bike lane closures in green. Use the menu (top-left corner) to see which roads are closed on specific days.

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These DC Pets Are Loving the Cherry Blossoms Just As Much As Humans Are

Published on Washingtonian.

Over the past three weeks, Washingtonian has asked DC Instagrammers to share their cherry blossoms photos with us by using the hashtag#washmagphoto. We’ve received hundreds of photos of cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin, cherry blossom-themed food anddrinks, and of course, posts of your pets enjoying the spring blooms. It’s nice to see our furry, four-legged pals enjoying DC’s springtime tradition as much as we are, so we’ve decided to share 12 of the cutest posts we’ve seen in our Instagram feed:

1. izzy_the_chow

2. corgi_nation

3. teddy_roofsevelt

Can you smell it? Spring is in the air! 🍀🌷🌸🍀 #HappyStPatricksDay

A post shared by Theodore Roofsevelt (@teddy.roofsevelt) on

4. jojo_the_pomeranian

5. sebastianlovesluna

#fbf Patiently waiting for the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin to bloom this year … #mydccool #relationshipgoals

A post shared by Reppin' the Nation's Capital (@sebastianlovesluna) on


7. athlettuce

Took the dog and my @vivobarefoot shoes for a walk to see the cherry blossoms this morning.

A post shared by @athlettuce on


9. thebestbrew_

10. stella_aaaaa

11. tucker_goldendoodle


A post shared by Tucker (@tucker_goldendoodle) on

12. moogle_the_fluffy_corgi


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Your One-Month Training Guide to the Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler

The competitive race DC runners have been waiting for all year long is finally just a month away. But with snow and cold weather, it’s easy to sideline a few training sessions for the comfort of your warm bed (no judgments here). That’s why we reached out to Julie Sapper and Lisa Reichmann of Run Farther & Faster to help create this week-by-week guide of what runners should be focusing on and how they should be preparing for the  Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler on April 3.

But before we start going through Sapper and Riechmann’s tips, remember this: Do not begin training for the Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler a month away from race day, especially if you’ve never run a 10-mile race before. It’s an easy way to injure yourself, and no matter what, staying healthy and safe is the No. 1 rule of running a big race like the Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler.

Assess your goals

“There’s basically two camps of people before Cherry Blossom,” Sapper says. “There are those who have done their best to adhere to their training plan, and then there are those who, understandably with this weather, have trouble adhering to a training plan and get in those long runs.”

If you’re in camp No. 1, it’s time to figure out your race day goal. Are you trying to clock in with a 10-minute mile? Is this a training race for a marathon in the future? Are you just looking to cross the finish line?

Nail down a goal and then figure out a realistic running pace. Sapper spells out two ways of doing just that:

  1. Do a one-mile time trial (preferably outside): “Go for a one-mile run, and then take your time and plug it into a race pace calculator. Then use that to determine an estimate of what your 10-mile pace can be.”
  2. Run a local 5k: “This is a more accurate way to figure out your pace. If you can, find a local 5k and use that as a measurement to extrapolate that data and figure out what your goal race pace should be.”

If you’ve struggled to keep up with your training through winter, don’t sweat it. Jump back into the swing of things–gradually. “If someone hasn’t done any, or little, training up until now, it’s really important to not to increase their mileage in a panic to get to the race,” Reichmann says.

“Figure out what you can reasonably do to get yourself to the start line healthy,” Sapper says. “And that may mean to modify your goal and not have a target time, but rather just get through the race, whether it’s a run/walk or using it as a training run.”

And if you’ve assessed your goals and don’t think you can reasonably make it through the race, don’t put yourself at risk for a serious injury. “It’s really important not to injure yourself by doing one 10-mile race you’ve never trained for just because you signed up for it, and then potentially not being able to run for the rest of the season,” Sapper says.

Buy new running shoes (if you need to)

“One thing we always tell our runners is: If you’re going to need new shoes, you should get those shoes now,” Reichmann says.

Running shoes will last about 300-500 miles, but it really depends on how intense your runs are, how you run, where you run, and how many miles you’re training for. Reichmann says if the first layer of rubber is starting to wear through and if you’re starting to have weird aches and pains in your feet, ankles, and even shins, it’s probably time to get a new pair of shoes.

Practice race day strategies

Before you go on a long run, what do you eat, what do you wear, how are you hydrating, and are you getting enough sleep? These are questions you should start thinking about 2-3 weeks away from race day. Then begin practicing (and since you live in Washington, you have the advantage of being able to train on the actual Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler course).

“When you’re running, we recommend runners who are running more than 75 minutes supplement with nutrition on the run, about every 30 minutes,” Sapper says. “Practice that so there are no surprises on race day.”

Sapper recommends looking around your local running or athletic store for portable snacks that have healthy carbs to keep you going for 10 miles. Sapper and Reichmann’s favorites? Raisins, dry fruit, Larabars, and Honey Stinger products. And if eating during a run upsets your stomach, there are electrolyte waters and liquid options (like UCAN) that are easier to digest.

Visualize your race

“Anyone who’s ever done a race knows that if you’re not in it mentally, it’s very hard to engage yourself physically,” Sapper says.

Take the time to think about how race day is going to look like for you. Visualize waking up early and eating breakfast, what it will feel like at the start line, how you’re going to feel at miles one through 10, what the crowds will be like, what it feels like pushing through the last few miles to the finish line. This way when you wake up on race day, you’ll be mentally prepared for the day.

Focus on tapering

Tapering is the week or two before race day when runners start decreasing their mileage and increasing their intensity. Your goal here is to not burn yourself out but also keep your legs sharp.

Sleep and hydration

Getting enough sleep–good sleep!–and hydration are important throughout your entire training process, but a couple weeks before the race is when you want to focus on rest and staying hydrated.

“Hydration will affect your performance very quickly,” Reichmann says. “It can affect your performance before nutrition or even sleep, so it’s really important to focus on staying hydrated, but not over-hydrate.”

Keep your eye on the prize

“If you’re in crunch time two weeks out and your training didn’t go as well as you thought, it’s really important to stay focused and know it’s okay to run a race at a slower pace,” Sapper said. “Reevaluate your goals again and figure out how you can start and finish the race healthy.”

Figure out race logistics

The Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler is a notoriously crowded race and can become overwhelming quickly, so make sure you have a plan before race day. Are you driving, taking Metro, cycling, or walking? Where’s parking? Where are you putting your post-race belongings? What’s your corral? “Figure out all of that stressful stuff ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about it on race day and panic,” Reichmann says.

Check out for packet pick-up information, travel advice, and course maps.

Make your health a priority

You’re almost there–just one week away. The very last thing you want to happen is to get injured or sick, so really focus on staying healthy and taking care of your body.

“There’s nothing you can do in terms of more running that’s going to help your race, but it could hurt your race,” Sapper says. “You’ve done what you can. It’s all about rest, sharpening, sleep, nutrition, and minimizing stress. What you shouldn’t do is run more.”

Reichmann also recommends being extra diligent about washing your hands, focus on fueling your meals with healthy proteins and carbs, and sticking to your normal routine. “We can’t say this enough, but focus on staying healthy this week,” she says. “With cold and flu season upon us, sometimes we recommend adding extra zinc and vitamin C to your diet to help prevent getting sick.”

Minimize stress (as much as you can)

“Everyone is toeing this line–we’re not professional athletes, by any means. We can’t live in a bubble and we’re all busy,” Sapper says, “but if there’s a way to not let things get to you, or to avoid situations you know are going to be stressful, so you can focus on being relaxed and focus on performing well.”

Avoid weight training

Throughout race training, it’s important to supplement running with weight training, but Reichmann and Sapper say to switch out weight training with restorative exercises, like yoga and pilates, a week before the race to avoid muscle fatigue. “But if you’ve never done yoga or pilates, this is not the time to try it,” Sapper says. “Like with your food choices this week, don’t introduce anything new. Focus on your routine and taking care of yourself.”

Eat your breakfast at least 1 1/2-2 hours before the race

This will give you plenty of time to digest your food before the race, so you’re not dealing with stomach cramps or nausea while running.

Reichmann also recommends avoiding sugary processed foods: They’ll “spike your blood sugar and energy levels, and then you’ll crash right when you’re ready to start the race.”

And you don’t have to carbo-load

“For a ten-mile race, you don’t need to have this huge, caloric bowl of pasta before your race,” Sapper says.

Focus on eating whole foods, good carbs, and healthy proteins. “We aim for a good 75-80 percent of your plate being a healthy carbohydrate, like brown rice, lentils, or vegetables,” Sapper says, “and then 25 percent of your plate can be a healthy protein, like lean meats or plant-based proteins.”

Plan to get to the race an hour ahead of schedule

The lines for porta-potties, to get your bags checked, for getting to your corral are going to be long, and everything will take much longer to do than you expect. So do yourself, and your nerves, a favor and get to the race at least an hour ahead of time. “It sounds super early, but having extra time is much better than being in a rush on race day,” Reichmann says.

Bring extra “throw-away” clothes

The hoodie and sweatpants you wear to stay warm in the morning can go to local charities when you’re done with the race. The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Run donates discarded clothes from the course and old tennis shoes to help reduce waste and promote sustainability.

Take it slow for the first mile

Sapper and Reichmann stress: “Do not start out too fast!”

The first mile of the Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler is downhill, which can make it very easy to pick up your pace.

“If you have a target race pace, go about 10-15 seconds slower than that pace per mile for about one to two miles,” Sapper says. “That first mile is also a warm up, and you don’t want to run out of fuel one mile into the race. Try to remember how important it is to start a little bit slower and then build up to your goal pace and pick up your pace that last mile.”

Be mindful of other racers

When passing people stay on the left. “It’s a very crowded race, so it’s important to adhere to this race day rule,” Sapper says.

And if you absolutely have to have music when you race (though the Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler doesn’t allow headphones), then  wear only one earbud so you can hear people saying “on your left,” or “excuse me.”

“It’s really unfair to all these people who worked so hard if you’re in your zone and not hearing what’s going on around you and people can’t pass you,” Sapper says.

Post-race recovery

Take time after this race, rest, and set a new goal. “People feel great after completing a big race, and then they want to get back out there and go for a run or try a new workout just a day or two after the race, and that’s one of the easiest ways to hurt yourself,” Reichmann says. “Let your body rest. You’ve worked really hard, and your body needs time to heal. Use this time to set new running goals and nurture your body.”

Originally published on Washingtonian.

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Everything You Need to Know About House of Cards Before You Binge-Watch Season 4

It’s been three years since Frank Underwood began disrupting our lives with his political mind games in Netflix’s House of Cards. Though Season 3 wasn’t as drama-laden as we had hoped (no one got pushed under a Metro car), it was a much-needed series of character development (and moral degradation) to get to where the Underwoods & Co. are today. Here’s what you need to know:

Frank Underwood

Now that Frank has forced himself into the Oval Office, it’s easy sailing until the upcoming presidential election, right? Not so much. Frank has been inaugurated into major conflict, both abroad and at home. His main adversary? Russian President Viktor Petrov. The two world leaders have different ideas when it comes to settling the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and neither are budging, even after the Underwoods entertain Petrov at the White House, and Frank’s wife sacrifices her dignity and cozies up to the Russian president.

And while Frank deals with the aftermath of Petrov’s visit, Frank is also facing an unexpected rival: Heather Dunbar, who told Frank she didn’t want to run for President, and then–surprise!–is now running against Frank’s bid for reelection. Frank persuades Jackie Sharp, the House Deputy Minority Whip, to join the race and take support away from Dunbar and take the pressure off of Frank. But after a brutal debate later in the season, Jackie drops out of the race and decides to endorse Dunbar. Ouch.

Claire Underwood

Frank’s new title is creating a rift in his relationship with Claire, his wife and supposed partner-in-crime to become the most powerful people in the world. Conflicts abroad and with the 2016 presidential race have made Frank see the “I” in team, so Claire pursues a political career beyond being the first lady. She lobbies to be a US ambassador for the United Nations, but is denied after a heated argument with the Senate committee responsible for reviewing her nomination. But Frank gives her a recess appointment anyway (#FirstLadyPerks).

Claire’s position is short-lived, though, after a mission to Russia to release LGBT activist Michael Corrigan from prison. Frank and Petrov further discuss solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but until an agreement is made, Petrov refuses to release Corrigan. Claire vows to stay with Corrigan in prison until he is released, but after resting for a few hours, Claire wakes up to find that Corrigan hanged himself in his cell. At this point, Frank and Petrov have finally struck a deal, but Claire, shocked by Corrigan’s suicide, sabotages the following press conference and shares her distaste for Russian law and politics. Petrov calls off the agreement unless Claire is sacked from her position as US ambassador–Frank doesn’t think twice about agreeing to those terms.

Claire, hurt and disgusted after the events in Russia, re-evaluates her relationship with Frank. After a candid conversation with Frank’s biographer Thomas Yates, she decides to leave her husband and the White House on the day of the Iowa caucus.

Jackie Sharp

The presidential race has forced Jackie into making tough decisions regarding her love life. While running her presidential campaign, she is pressured into marrying her boyfriend, cardiovascular surgeon Alan Cooke, and becoming a step-mother to his two children, all to show off a family-friendly image. When she drops out of the race, she realizes she still has feelings for Remy Danton and the two go back to having an affair. Apparently, true love can withstand the trials and tribulations of a presidential race after all.

Doug Stamper

Doug is on a long, long road to recovery in Season 3. After suffering a serious blow to the head and trying to regain his health, Doug deals with his sobriety (or lack thereof) and getting back to work with Frank. But feeling unwanted at the White House, he leaves to help the enemy, Heather Dunbar, with her presidential campaign, which includes taking down the Underwoods–or so Doug had us believe. He was actually misinforming Dunbar as a way to earn back his slot as Frank’s Chief of Staff.

And while Doug was proving himself as Frank’s only right-hand man (really, what was Frank thinking making Remy the Chief of Staff in Doug’s absence?), he became obsessed with tracking down Rachel Posner, the sex worker he’s been protecting after her involvement in Peter Russo’s downfall. Doug receives orders from Frank to tie up all loose ends surrounding the death of Peter Russo. That means getting rid of Rachel–for good. With the help of hacker Gavin Orsay, Doug tracks Rachel down, kidnaps her, lets her go because he loves her, realizes he can’t let her go, and then comes back to murder her and dump her body in the desert. This here marks the total moral decay of Doug Stamper. Frank Underwood’s outdone himself.

Rachel Posner


Go to Netflix to watch a Season 3 recap and start watching Season 4.

Originally published on Washingtonian.

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For Valentine’s Day, Even DC Fashion Bloggers Know It’s All About Being Comfy and Cozy

Gone are the days of squeezing into little black dresses and wearing toe-cramping heels for Valentine’s Day. Staying cozy and comfy is the objective this year, and local fashion bloggers are sharing their outfit ideas for looking cute while rocking chunky sweaters, high-waisted jeans, and yes, even activewear.

Abbey Brandon of District Dress Up

“Just be comfortable in whatever you’re wearing,” Brandon says. “Whether you’re cooking in or hanging out with friends, it’s going to be really cold, so just stay warm and comfortable.”

Abbey’s Valentine’s Day plans: “I’m going to dinner at a quiet spot in Georgetown. My boyfriend booked reservations there, so we’ll probably have some wine and grab dinner there.”

To read more, go to Washingtonian!

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9 Reasons You Should Follow @dcgus on Instagram Right Now

Originally published at Washingtonian.

After receiving an abundance of photos this weekend of dogs playing in the snow, our Washingtonian Instagram team sent out a call for DC-area residents to share more photos of their furry pals enjoying DC’s first snow/blizzard of the year.

We expected A LOT of cute photos and videos of puppies rolling around in the snow, catching snowballs, and doing other fun winter activities (napping, mostly). And you all delivered. But what we didn’t expect, was to find what, quite possibly, might be the cutest corgi in Washington, DC.

Meet Gus of @dcgus.

Those boots! That waddle! The FLUFFINESS of that fur!

We had to go back to the beginnings of @dcgus’s humble Instagram account (268 followers, 96 posts as of Tuesday) to find out more. Spoilers: it’s unbearably cute. Here are 9 reasons you need to follow @dcgus, now:

1. He mastered the comedic art of falling at a young age.

so close. #dcgus #igdc #puppy #meanstreets #walkitoff #fail #dogfail

A video posted by Gus (@dcgus) on

2. He put himself in this bucket, because he knew how cute it would be.

3. He smiles like this.

4. He can pull off almost-too-tight Christmas sweaters. SLAY.

my Christmas gift to everyone: 10 seconds of cooperation. #win #yourewelcome

A photo posted by Gus (@dcgus) on

5. He’s adventurous.

6. And boss at finding the best sticks.

you see nothing, move along.

A photo posted by Gus (@dcgus) on

7. He LOVES the snow, as any cute corgi naturally does.

Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. #bouncethat🍑 #rabbit #snowzilla #snowpocalypse2016

A video posted by Gus (@dcgus) on

8. He understands the importance of snuggling.

I don’t plan on getting out of bed until winter is over. #icant #winterneedstostopcoming

A photo posted by Gus (@dcgus) on

9. And finally, THIS:

you can run. you can hide. but can’t escape. #rungusrun #running #dogsprints #futureolympian

A video posted by Gus (@dcgus) on

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These Two Washingtonians Spent Their Snow Day Lip-Syncing to Adele’s “Hello,” and It’s Pretty Fabulous

Screenshot of Bridget Groves and Everett Warren in their "epic snowstorm video" lip-syncing Adele's "Hello."

Originally published at Washingtonian.

It’s been a little over six hours since snow started falling in DC, and already Washingtonians are getting creative with the wintry scenery.

Take the Vimeo video “SnOMG #Blizzard2016 #Snowzilla #DCSnowday,” featuring Bridget Groves, 26, and Everett Warren, 27.

“We were just sitting here having coffee,” said Warren, a fourth-year medical student at UNC-Chapel Hill, “And were just like, ‘Lets do a hilarious Snapchat lip-syncing to Adele.’”

The two friends took their Snapchat video to the next level, and decided to produce a full-length video outside as it started snowing harder. Using another video app on their phones, it took Groves and Warren about 30 minutes to shoot and edit their video.

“We love Adele,”said Groves, a project manager for an international development company in DC, “so what better way to honor her than with an epic snowstorm video?”

Whether or not Groves and Warren will be doing any more #Snowzilla videos, is still in question.

“I think we’ve just found our new hobby—we’ll need to start taking song requests,” Warren said. “Who knows? I think this will become a new trend in Washington during the snowstorm.”

SnOMG #Blizzard2016 #Snowzilla #DCSnowday from Bridget on Vimeo.

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