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Archive - 2013

December 9th

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Arena Continues the Conversation

In 1967, a groundbreaking movie called “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” held a mirror up to the final frontier of racism and asked white Americans, “Sure you believe in equality, but would you let your daughter marry a black man?” In the new production of a play based on that movie, Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith invites us to continue the conversation.

Barbara Wells is a writer and editor for Reingold, a social marketing communications firm. She and her husband live on Capitol Hill. 

Shucking Good Oysters

Rappahannock Dazzles at Union Market and in Topping, VA

It’s not always easy to score a seat at the popular Rappahannock Oyster Bar, which holds center court in the airy, light-suffused Union Market. Co-owners Travis Croxton and his cousin Ryan unveiled their Washington DC outpost in 2012. Although allegedly inspired by similar San Francisco eateries, Union Market’s Rappahannock is actually an offshoot of the Rappahannock Oyster Co. in Topping, Virginia, about a three-hour drive from Washington. The group has another outpost in Richmond.

Rappahannock Oyster Co. and Merroir Tasting Room is located at 784 Locklies Creek Road, Topping, VA. For directions and more information call 804-204-1709 or visit

The Gifts that Don’t Get Returned

The Wine Guys

It seems each December many of us struggle to find the perfect gifts for friends, family and co-workers. The choices are vast and confusing. An easy way to take care of the bulk of your holiday gifts is the one stop shopping offered at a fine wine and spirits shop. There are no worries about size or color (except red or white for wine) and very little chance your recipient will have to make a return. The choice of a fine bottle of wine or Champagne, Cognac, bourbon or a single malt scotch is sure to make almost anyone happy.

Jon Genderson, along with his brother Rick, own Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, Fine Wine and Spirits.

Dining Notes

Seeing red

It seems the restaurant world is seeing red these days. Last summer, the Atlas District welcomed RedRocks (mainly pizza), Bloomingdale showcases the red-hot Red Hen, while Union Market’s Red Apron Butchery hauls in customers with artisan meats and yummy sandwiches. So does Red Hook Lobster Pound DC, whose truck makes Hill rounds, dispensing classic lobster rolls.

We’ve already written about RedRocks (we loved it) and the Red Hook truck. So that leaves the Red Apron and Red Hen.

Art and the City

Artist Profile: Jay Peterzell

Jay Peterzell knows what he wants to express: “Boldness” in form and color and content.  He’s searching, exploring…looking for that particular method of expression. He is “on a trajectory” to that place, that artist’s territory where he can feel comfortable—his own realm. 

A Capitol Hill artist and writer, Jim can be reached at Jim’s award-winning book, “A Haunting Beauty” can be acquired through

Life Begins at 70: Two Septuagenarians On the Road

@ The Movies


Two years ago, director Alexander Payne won an Oscar for Best Screenplay for “The Descendants,” shot in contemporary Hawaii. For his latest, “Nebraska,” he is back again in his home state with his sardonic portrait of a Midwestern curmudgeon. I happen to be a big Payne fan, but, for me, “Nebraska”—while very good—does not quite match his earlier achievements.

Hill resident Mike Canning has written on movies for the Hill Rag since 1993 and is a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Association. He is the author of “Hollywood on the Potomac: How the Movies View Washington, DC.” His reviews and writings on film can be found online at

December 8th

A Deluxe Apartment in the Sky House

South by West

Ahead of its grand opening on December 2nd, the folks over at Sky House gave a media tour of the east tower building. Sky House is the adaptive reuse of the former EPA towers at Waterfront Station, with the east tower having the address of 1150 4th Street, SW.  Construction of the east tower began in February 2012 with the west tower beginning a few months later. The JBG Companies is also a partner in the development and will manage the property once it opens. 

A Tribute to Margaret Roles

Margaret Roles was my good friend, my Spanish teacher, my client and my dog-walking buddy. I got used to Margaret living around the corner. We moved into our homes around the same time in the ‘80s. Her one-story yellow house at the corner of Independence and 13th St. had once been a sledge-hammer factory. I would run into her most days as she walked Charlie, her sweet little four-legged companion. Last month after going to exercise class and having lunch with her friends in the Red Hat Society, Margaret’s heart stopped and she died.