THE GREEN MAJESTY OF LIVING WALLS

One summer when I was a kid, our Civil War-era house on the Mississippi River got flooded.  Nothing of much value was destroyed, but a few months later, an entire wall in our dank basement became overgrown with moss and mold.  My mother’s shame was immediate, and the whole family spent several days scrubbing and   the wall until it was clean again.  Little did she know, if she’d have just left it alone for a couple decades, it would’ve been right on trend. THE GREEN MAJESTY OF LIVING WALLS

5 NEW DC RESTAURANTS TO TRY NOW

D.C. is an fantastic city for eating out, with new restaurants and bars opening each week. With that wealth of choice comes hard decisions – not to mention the challenge of keeping track of what is new and notable. Sometimes it’s easier to settle down at your favorite neighborhood spot rather than fight for the hot new reservation. But if you are looking to switch up your routine, there are a few newcomers that are worth a look. Here are five options to consider for your next meal or cocktail out on the town. 5 NEW DC RESTAURANTS TO TRY NOW

IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, BUT IDYLLIC ITALIAN VILLAGES WILL PAY YOU TO MOVE THERE

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Outside the Raven in Mount Pleasant last week, I had a sudden urge to smoke a cigarette and I offered a smoker on the sidewalk a dollar for a smoke. He looked into his pack, counted his remaining cigarettes, and said no. Consider that for that same dollar, which apparently can’t even buy a single cigarette here in America, I could buy an entire authentic Italian house in the picturesque town of Ollolai, on the island of Sardinia. I blame the Federal Reserve. (I have no idea what the Federal Reserve is or does.) IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, BUT IDYLLIC ITALIAN VILLAGES WILL PAY YOU TO MOVE THERE

CAR-FREE CITIES MIGHT BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK (OR MAYBE NOT)

Giethoorn is a small Dutch village that was built in the 13th century;  it’s also one of the most popular destinations in the world for Chinese tourists, drawing hundreds of thousands of them each year despite having a population under 3000.  Why do the tourists come?  Because Giethoorn is car-free.  Founded by convicts and later populated by Mennonites, it doesn’t even have roads.  (The reason this is so appealing to Chinese tourists will be apparent to anyone who’s ever witnessed firsthand the smog-clouded horror of a heavily-trafficked, crosswalk-less Chinese city.) CAR-FREE CITIES MIGHT BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK (OR MAYBE NOT)

LINCOLN’S COTTAGE SHOWS HOW THE PRESIDENT SPENT SUMMERS

Many of us have been to the Lincoln Memorial, but did you know Lincoln had a summer home here in D.C. too?

It’s true. This 175-year-old building just off North Capitol Street next to the Soldier’s Home was lovingly restored and opened to the public in 2008. The 10,000-square-foot, 34-room home is more spacious than one might expect in a “cottage.” But the double front doors with rounded tops that meet to form a point at the top and the gingerbread trim make you think fairies and gnomes might have once lived here. LINCOLN’S COTTAGE SHOWS HOW THE PRESIDENT SPENT SUMMERS

DIVERSE MURALS IN NEW YORK CITY HONOR AMERICAN BIRDS

Street art is often used as a powerful visual communication tool between artist and society. Through the Audubon Mural Project, the National Audubon Society and Gitler &____Gallery have teamed up with a band of talented artists to create a series of murals depicting climate-threatened birds.

The National Audubon Society strives to protect and advocate for birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. Gitler &_____ Gallery, owned by Avi Gitler, showcases rising artists, “original craftsmen and visionaries” in their gallery space and also in pop-up galleries throughout the city. DIVERSE MURALS IN NEW YORK CITY HONOR AMERICAN BIRDS