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Archive - 2014

December 10th

Hill Holiday Traditions

All over Capitol Hill you’ll find holiday traditions – from menorah and tree lightings to cookie swaps and decorated storefronts. Unified in geography, these events take place as a way to solidify community, offering a way to reconnect with our neighbors while we slow down the pace – pausing even for a moment or two, reflecting on the past year and anticipating the new one to come.

Sweet Cookie Swaps 

December 9th


School Notes - November 2014

Eliot-Hine Students Perform at Kennedy Center! 

Smells Like Green Spirit!

The Nose

It has been many months, Dear Readers, since The Nose's fingers last graced his computer keyboard to compose a paean to the residents of the Wilson Building. Please forgive this poor scribbler; the lethargic mayoral race of the somnolent lulled him to sleep.

The Annual Music Gift Guide 2014

Jazz Project
Recuerdos ••••
Manuel Valera Sr, Mavo Records

A fine example of jazz for dining and entertainment, especially in the comfort of one’s home. Warm and tender, and full of beautiful mementos, Manuel Valera’s rendition of Duke Ellington’s “Solitude” is flawless.

All CDs and DVDS reviewed in this article are heard through Bowers & Wilkens Nautilus 801 speakers and ASW 4000 subwoofer, and Rotel Preamp 1070, amplifier 1092 and CD player 1072. B&W speakers are now available at Magnolia, Best Buys (703.518.7951) and IQ Home Entertainment (703.218.9855). CDs are available for purchase through For more information about this column, please email your questions to

Explore Presidential Get-Aways!

The Literary Hill

Getting Away from It All

Taft was an inveterate golfer, Coolidge took up fishing, and Reagan cleared brush. From George Washington on, American presidents have sought ways to decompress from the pressures of the job. In “Away from the White House: Presidential Escapes, Retreats, and Vacations,” veteran reporter Lawrence L. Knutson provides a fascinating historical perspective on presidential get-aways. 

Laurie Brown is a semiretired licensed clinical social worker who has worked as a personnel management specialist for the Navy Department, a mental health services manager, a director for an international social work association, and a private therapist. She has 10 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren and, while she loves to write, does not consider herself a writer—“although I still dream of being one.” She wrote the first poem below for a great granddaughter after she ate three of Baileigh’s lemon cupcakes, “which she loves above all things.”
Dear Baileigh,
    I ate your cupcakes
    I swallowed them whole
    I ate your cupcakes
    Your cupcakes I stole
    I just couldn't help it
    They tasted so good
    I forgot to remember 
    to do what I should
    Now I'm so sorry
    I'm feeling so sad
    I hope you still love me 
    I hope you're not mad?
    Love GG
Lost Time
    Time waits for no one 
    So sad, yet a fact
    Careful, don't waste it 
    You can't wish it back
If you would like to have your poem considered for publication, please send it to (There is no remuneration.)

Acupuncture for More Than Just Pain

I was shocked. Acupuncture can help lift my droopy eyebrows, lessen lines between my eyes and help lift my sagging jowls? That's what Allison Bower, Lavender Retreat's acupuncturist, told me. I always knew acupuncture was an effective treatment for pain, but I never imagined it can be used in lieu of a face lift. I wondered what else it can be used for.

Pattie Cinelli is a fitness consultant who emphasizes exercise as a gateway to overall health and wellbeing. She has been writing her fitness column for more than 25 years. Please email her with fitness questions or column ideas at:

First DC Craft Chocolate Factory

Launching just in time for the holidays inside Union Kitchen, the innovative food business incubator in Northeast DC, is Undone Chocolate. This small batch bean to bar craft chocolate company roasts and grinds organic dark chocolate from cocoa beans sourced directly from small producers in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Annette Nielsen has been engaged in food, farming and sustainability issues for nearly two decades. The food editor of the Hill Rag, Nielsen’s experience includes catering, coordinating artisanal and farm-based food events and teaching cooking classes. She’s the editor of two Adirondack Life cookbooks, Northern Comfort and Northern Bounty. Nielsen heads up Kitchen Cabinet Events, a culinary, farm-to-fork inspired event business. A native of the Adirondacks, she’s a long-time resident of both NYC and DC; she can be reached at; follow her on twitter: @The_Kitchen_Cab

Guess What? Your Dog or Cat is Really Normal!

Looking carefully at Louie’s face I identified the small nodule that concerned his owner. At the base of the whiskers on his cheek there was a bump. It wasn’t bothering Louie and it hadn’t grown in the last month since they noticed it. I nodded and patted Louie on his harlequin head. The bump was found on the white half. I carefully turn his head to show a similar bump on the dark half, much less noticeable because of the black fur.

Dr. Heather McCurdy is a graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.  She currently works at AtlasVet in Capitol Hill, located at 1326 H St. NE. She lives with her husband, two daughters and assorted animals in the northeast Washington DC neighborhood of Brookland.