DC STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: SHOP OR NOT & WELCOME AND WISHES

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These days, staying hip is a full-time job. Shopping local is cool but where, exactly, you’re spending your dollar bills is constantly changing. Gifting something unique is awesome, but damn if that’s not more effort than I have to give sometime. In enters two DC startups, looking to shake up the shopping scene in a few different ways. Between helping wannabe (or exhausted) hipsters find the best of the best in terms of local goodies and curating gifts so that you can keep your title as perfect friend/daughter-in-law/neighbor or whatever, these startups are coming to the rescue by way of quick, painless (and kind of fun) shopping. DC STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: SHOP OR NOT & WELCOME AND WISHES

CHINA’S FOREST CITY: BATTLING POLLUTION ONE PLANT AT A TIME

It’s no secret: China is an industrial powerhouse. They serve up consumer-oriented goods faster than we can serve up burger and fries State-side. But, those factories and that enviable material making has come at a price: heavy air pollution. Overseas, it’s not uncommon for school to be cancelled due to a day ruined by smog, masks are worn regularly, and there are mornings that look like night as the sun fights to peak through a heavy layer of pollution soot. In other words, conditions are not ideal…they’re concerning. The pollution problem is actually responsible for over a million deaths in China each year, with many urban areas being subject to conditions that rival those in the middle of forest fires. CHINA’S FOREST CITY: BATTLING POLLUTION ONE PLANT AT A TIME

REAL-LIFE FACEBOOK TOWN: A SOCIAL COMMUNITY IN THE WORKS

Oh, Facebook. What an evil, brilliant, wild invention you are – the startup that shook the world from the comfort of its college dorm room beginnings. Little did we know when Facebook first shimmered across our screens that it would become a staple – much like a morning cup of Joe or checking the mail, we would adapt to seeing what everyone we’ve ever been even mild acquaintances with is up to nowadays. REAL-LIFE FACEBOOK TOWN: A SOCIAL COMMUNITY IN THE WORKS

COOL RUNNINGS, DC STYLE: SUMMER RACES TO RUN

Okay, runners – let’s get one thing straight – I don’t understand you. I don’t claim to, and I’m quite confident that I never will. And that’s okay. I try to imitate you with my once a year steadfast determination to “become” a runner. However, after many failed attempts (and lots of expensive running shoes that have seen the light of only a handful of runs), I’m convinced that becoming a runner is almost impossible – or at least very, very hard. COOL RUNNINGS, DC STYLE: SUMMER RACES TO RUN

GOOGLE MAPS: A BLAST THROUGH THE PAST

Most everyone loves travel. Travel usually equals vacation, and vacation is for simpler things than the day-to-day hustle involves – think relaxing, exploring, eating yourself into a food coma, enjoying the occasional cocktail – the good stuff. But what if we could travel in a way that wasn’t just from point A to point B? What if we could turn back the clock to simpler times? If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m talking the always interesting but so far elusive concept of time travel. Tick tock. GOOGLE MAPS: A BLAST THROUGH THE PAST

MEET SYMBA: DC’S FAVORITE FAT CAT

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Facts are facts: If you like regular-sized cats, then the fact is, you are likely to love fat cats. And while many owners point to their beloved feline’s rolls around the middle, or quickly draw attention to their furry friend’s double chin as they strike a grumpy cat pose, there are few and far between who can claim the title of a truly fat cat. One cat in particular, though, has recently stolen DC (and subsequently, the Internet’s) heart. MEET SYMBA: DC’S FAVORITE FAT CAT

HELLO, GARDENING SEASON: GARDENING STORES AROUND THE DISTRICT

The sun’s been out, the grass is greener, and there have even been a few storms rolling through. Summer, following spring, is a season for growth. A season where you can see the fruits of your labor (quite literally) come through in home-grown gardens featuring everything from herbs to fruits to veggies to flowers that are just down-right easy on the eyes. Not to mention the indoor potential with all that sunlight — succulents, air plants, and more…oh my! HELLO, GARDENING SEASON: GARDENING STORES AROUND THE DISTRICT