Sesame Street’s Westin: ‘Big Bird Lives on’

April 11, 2016

With the first presidential debate complete, there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind: what is going to happen to Big Bird? The giant yellow-feathered bird from Sesame Street was brought up for one second during the debates, yet trended nationwide on Twitter, generated 17,000 tweets per minute and had multiple parody accounts set up in the bird’s name.

The comment which sparked it all was when Governor Mitt Romney spoke about stopping the subsidy to the Public Broadcasting Service: “I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too. [to moderator Jim Lehrer] But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”

Big Bird doesn’t have to worry, however, as PBS gives “very, very little funding” to Sesame Street, said Sherrie Westin, Sesame Street’s executive vice president, in an interview with CNN last week. Corporate sponsorships, product sales and donations make up most of the show’s funding, according to Westin, who is a former head of the Georgetown Business Association.

“Quite frankly, you can debate whether or not there should be funding of public broadcasting,” Westin told CNN. “But when they always try to tout out Big Bird, and say we’re going to kill Big Bird — that is actually misleading, because Sesame Street will be here. Big Bird lives on.”

Despite the reassurance, Big Bird is still conquering social media. It was the fourth mentioned term on Facebook last night, after “Obama,” “Romney” and “debate.” Several Big Bird parody Twitters have popped up, including @BigBirdRomney and @BIGBIRD; another account, @FiredBigBird, has been suspended.

@BigBirdRomney has tweeted “If you don’t vote Obama, Mitt Romney is going to be eating me by the end of November. Show your support. #BigBird2012” and “There was one clear loser in the debates: me.” Among his tweets, @BigBirdRomney has also tweeted several joke pictures, featuring fellow Sesame Street mates, including Grover and Bert and Ernie.

“You’re just reminded of what a connection ‘Sesame Street’ has, and what a place Big Bird and those characters have in people’s hearts,” Westin told Politico Oct. 4, the day after the debate. “The great thing is, that’s on both sides of the aisle.”
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New Year’s Eve 2012

December 20, 2012

New Year’s Eve and 2013 is fast approaching. You could attend a boring party or ring in the New Year with style. Check out these fun events around the capital region.

Tony & Joe’s and Nick’s Riverside Grill New Year’s Eve on the Potomac
Located near the Potomac and the new ice skating rink, Tony & Joe’s and Nick’s Riverside Grill will be hosting their annual New Year’s Eve party, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. There will be live entertainment from two local DJs and the Josh Burgess Band; food and drink are included with a ticket. Guests must be over 21 years of age and should dress to impress. Tickets prices will increase when there are 1,000 tickets left. So, purchase yours today on either or

First Night Alexandria
This family event will be held at historic venues throughout Old Town Alexandria, including 100 live performances, the Annual Fun Hunt, kid’s entertainment and games, finishing with fireworks over the Potomac at midnight. The Fun Hunt begins at 2 p.m. and continues to 5:30 p.m., and prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place teams for both children and adults. For the full schedule and tickets, go to

A Jazz New Year’s Eve: Freddy Cole & The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band
The Kennedy Center will host this Jazz New Year’s Eve event, in the Terrace Theater. Freddy Cole, pianist and vocalist, will return performing with the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, lasting 75 minutes with no intermission. After the performance, enjoy dancing, a countdown to the New Year, and a balloon drop in the Grand Foyer; all included with the concert ticket. Tickets are $75 and still available at

The Act at Howard Theater
The Howard Theater will host their first New Year’s Eve party, “The Act,” a theatrical masquerade ball. The burlesque themed party will include dangling aerialists, pop violinists, fire breathers, and much more. Top 40, house, and hip hop tunes will be played by celebrity DJs DJ Biks & Spinser Tracey. The event will commence at 9:30 p.m., with a balloon drop and live feed to Times Square at midnight. Tickets can be purchased at, and call 202-246-3362 for table reservations.

Capitale, which opened this past September, will be hosting a New Year’s Eve countdown party at its “Hogwarts-meets-Hollywood” venue. The event, starting at 9 p.m. with open bar, will feature DJ EPX spinning mash-ups of Top 40, dance, and house music. For more information, visit, or call 202-962-3933.

Big Night D.C.
Tickets for Big Night DC are already on sale. Last year, more than 7,000 guests attended ringing in 2012. Located at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., the event will include several open bars, 15 themed dance areas, five dance floors, party favors, food, world-class DJ lineup, and more. The event begins at 9 p.m. and lasts until 3:00 a.m. Purchase your tickets and book a room today at

007 Licensed to Thrill Thunderball
D.C.’s only James Bond themed New Years Eve Gala will be hosted at the Washington Plaza Hotel. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bond and 2013 in style — with martinis, a mock casino, a live band, DJ, open bars, and buffets and desserts. The event includes a “007 Alter-Ego” Singles Mixer. Purchase tickets and get more information at

Bourbon Steak New Year’s Eve Diner
Bourbon Steak, located in the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown, will be hosting two seatings on New Year’s Eve. The first seating will be a four course menu, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The second seating is six courses, and the table is yours for the night, 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. which includes a champagne toast. Reserve your table on the website at, or call the restaurant at 202-944-2026

Peacock Café 4-course Dinner
The Peacock Café, located on Prospect Street, NW, will be serving two set dinners with a prix-fixed, four-course dinner menu on New Year’s Eve. The first dinner set will begin serving dinner at 5 p.m. at $50 per guest. The second dinner set will begin at 8 p.m. and is priced at $65 per guest. Both dinner sets will offer special pricing on champagne. For reservations, please call 202-625-2740. For more information, visit

Keswick Hall New Year’s Eve Celebration
Keswick Hall will have several things to do on New Year’s Eve. The Palmer Room will serve a four-course tasting menu, 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., sparkling wine toast, and live music. The cost is $65 for adults and $20 for children, ages four to twelve. Fossett’s will serve a six course menu, with sparkling wine toast, at $89 per guest, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations are required for both seatings and can be made at 434-923-4363.

Avoiding the Holiday 7

December 14, 2012

The holidays are looming closer, with the promise of holiday parties, alcohol and copious amounts of food. Here comes the phenomenon known as “The Holiday Seven,” or the average seven pounds one gains over the holidays.

The suggests figuring out if you’re a moderator or abstainer. Moderators have an occasional indulgence, which keeps them satisfied with themselves. An abstainer decides which foods are off-limits beforehand, as they may have trouble stopping once they’ve started.

So, before you go to the party and eat two handfuls of chocolate covered pretzels, it’s helpful to come up with a game plan. Start by deciding before you go which foods you will stay away from, and how many sweets you will have. By deciding to stay away from the stuffed mushrooms, and allowing yourself a maximum of two cookies, you will be ahead of the game, and have a better chance of not indulging.

When hosting parties or dinners, use smaller plates, so when you fill up your plate, you’ll have less food. While serving the food, dish out the food in the kitchen, and only bring serving platters of vegetables and salad to the table. Try to put everything you want to eat on your plate in the beginning so that you don’t get too much by grabbing seconds. Eat a bit slower so that you can tell more quickly when you’re feeling full, rather than eating at high speeds and feeling much too full.

The holidays don’t just bring food, but also stress, and stress causes us to eat. Another way to control our eating habits throughout the holiday season is to control our stress levels as much as possible. Besides the obvious cure of working out – we all know it works, even if we might not like the act of going to the gym – avoiding the main shopping centers and their crowds will alleviate some stress. Instead, buy gifts online, or if you have to go out, don’t go during a peak time, like when the stores first open.

Just by changing a few things, you can make sure the only holiday seven you gain are presents.

Basil Soda Takes America

December 6, 2012

If you don’t yet know the name Basil Soda, you soon will. This Beirut-based designer is gaining recognition all over the world for his beautiful designs and attention to detail. He’s making a short tour of the U.S. presenting his newest collection before returning to his beloved state-of-the-art “play- ground” in Lebanon.

With the release of his third collection, Basil Soda garments are making their way into U.S. shops all over the country. Soda’s ready to wear collection has a couture feel to it, while staying modern, feminine and sensible.
This humble designer got his start working with designer Elle Saab, whom he still has good relations with, and considers a big brother. Soda gained experience, and after four years, felt he could go off on his own to begin working on his brand.

Though he has already seen great success with his previous collections, Soda never thinks he’s “made it.” “It’s an achievement for the Lebanese to be accepted in the fashion industry, but still, I don’t put myself in this mold because once you…believe in it, then you don’t move quickly, faster.” Soda says, “I have to keep moving, because my aim is to really create a story around the brand.”

“Now, fashion, the way we are seeing it, is not anymore only trend. It’s not only colors. It’s not cuts. It’s not volumes. It’s just a statement from a designer that [they] bring into the fashion industry, and this is how you recognize new brands. It’s not the color, or what you like, or what you don’t.”

His couture gowns have been popping up all over the red carpet lately. Marion Cotillard, Carla Gugino, Cheryl Cole, Dana Delany and Katy Perry are some of the many stars spotted wearing Basil Soda designs. “Red Carpet will always be our main exercise for the couture. This is where we feel it is giving us quite good visibility,” Soda says. “It is the fastest way to be seen; even the big fashion houses, this is what they are doing and what they are concentrating on.”

Basil Soda cites his inspirations for his collections coming from two sources: music and exhibitions, and, the most important, young people, and how they react to fashion. Soda says when it comes to fashion, one shouldn’t be too practical, and should have confidence to wear what one wants.

“You should love yourself; let’s say you’re tall, short, a brunette, a blonde, fat or skinny,” Soda says. “The first thing, you should love yourself, whatever it is. And when you love yourself, you can express more. You can be more confident about the things that you choose for yourself.”

Soda presented his collection at the René Moawad Foundation Gala at the Ritz Carlton on Nov. 10 to numerous gasps of awe and thunderous applause from the audience. He previewed 45 pieces from both the ready to wear and couture collections, creating a grand finale to an enjoyable gala.

“We need to reflect the good side about ourselves. To put a smile on.” Soda says, speaking on character. “This is what we need, this is why we are doing fashion, to be more happy, more relaxed, enjoying ourselves.


Earthy green hues of emerald, moss or loden can be evocative of a woodsy holiday. Forget what you may think about the Grinch-y color. Soda’s couture dress,? from his fall collection, shows that a smoky green can be alluring and mysterious. More subtly glamorous, it’s a great alternative to red during the holiday season. Accesorize with these Kate Spade sunglasses ($128). Keep the cold out with an elegant fur collar from Brooks Brothers ($298), in keeping with an out- doorsy look.


Closets during this time of the year can seem like an inevitable black hole. This long wool skirt by Michael Kors is a versatile piece that can transition season to season. This purse by Banana Republic ($98) is a fun evening bag that is more playful than a more plain option. The dress is from Basil Soda’s Ready to Wear line.


Get on the bandwagon with Basil Soda’s breezy winter white dress. You can look like an ice queen with blinged-out acces- sories like these Manolo Blahnik pumps ($1,295) or Alexander Wang purse.


Soda’s look is ornate, modern and sultry. You can bring the same vibe to your tech accesso- ries and outerwear. This iPhone case by Banana Republic with card sleeves will keep you organized on the go, and this USB drive ring by Kate Spade is the most glam we’ve ever seen.

Outerwear is an important part of any winter wardrobe, and this Michael Kors coat is a great piece that will set you apart. With its assymetrical buttons and collar, it’s a modern coat in a traditional holiday color. [gallery ids="101077,137279,137274,137268,137262,137258,137252,137290,137246,137295,137240,137299,137234,137304,137284" nav="thumbs"]

After the Voting, the Election Night Parties Begin

November 8, 2012

Election Day is upon us. We should soon learn who will run the country for the next four years: Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. Make sure you cast your vote. To check for polling places near you, visit After you vote, why not relax for the night cheering on your candidate of choice?

The Republican National Committee holds an election night reception at the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, beginning at 7 p.m.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hold an election night reception at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel, 415 New Jersey Ave., NW. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., DSCC chair, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and DCCC chair, Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., are expected to attend.

At the Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown: Degrees Bar and Bistro will serve a Romney Massachusetts Cape Cod Cooler, and Obama Hawaiian Mai Tai. Both cocktails are accompanied by presidential cocktail pairings of New England clam chowder or Hawaiian Pineapple and Ham Flatbread. Bar snacks will include Garrett’s Popcorn from Chicago, and Cape Cod Chips from Massachusetts. 3100 South Street, NW. at George, 8 p.m. to midnight: By responding to its Facebook event, from 8 to 9 p.m., patrons may enjoy the open bar. Sam Adams products will be served, as well as signature drinks, Stoli-Obama and Romney Lemonade. George is located within Georgetown Court at 3251 Prospect Street, NW. Visit for more information.

At the National Press Club, you can spend election night in a nonpartisan atmosphere. The event will be open to club members in the Truman Lounge and open to the public in the First Amendment Lounge. Admission is $10 for club members; $15, for non-members. Hors d’oeuvres will be served. 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

Election Night Jam at the Grand Foyer of the Kennedy Center: Join the jazz party, beginning 6:30 p.m., and spend Election Night with Jason Moran & the Bandwagon Welcoming those of all political stripes, the Kennedy Center presents a free election night Jam, complete with large-screen monitoring of the election results. Dance the night away regardless of whether your candidate wins or loses. 2700 F Street, NW.

Election Night Party at the historic Howard Theatre for a historic night. From 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., enjoy two levels with two large projection screens and multiple flat screens, while enjoying a full menu and happy hour drink specials. 620 T St., NW.

At Lincoln Restaurant, Vermont Ave., NW., the election night reception will announce the winner of its cocktail election: will be the red Elephant or blue Donkey drinks? At the menu are Mitt’s Meatloaf and Kahula Pork Belly. 1110 Vermont Ave., NW.

At the Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C.: Lobby Lounge & Bar, serving their own signature drinks, with half-priced Red or Blue cocktails (depending on the outcome) as state results come in. The Blue Bourbon Baracks can be paired with a Vice Presidential slider of Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre and Delaware Rockfish Sliders for Vice President Joe Biden. The Romney drink will be a Grand Old Fashioned of bourbon, with a Paul Ryan menu of Leinenkugel “Leinie’s” IPA beer and Beer Bratwurst Sliders from Wisconsin. 1150 22nd St., NW.

At Morton’s the Steakhouse, 1050 Connecticut Ave., NW, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.: A Victory Party sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony List and National Organization for Marriage.

Liberty on the Rocks D.C. at BlackFinn: Election Night Watch Party at BlackFinn, 1620 Eye Street NW, from 6:30-11:00 p.m. There will be free giveaways, free drink tickets to a select number of attendees, live updates of the election results, and drink specials. BlackFinn will be running earlier for patrons who wish to grab something to eat before the party begins

D.C. Latino Caucus at El Rincon Espanol, 7:30 p.m.: The Election Victory Party will serve complimentary hors d’oeuvres and non-alcoholic drinks. A cash bar and special menu will be available; this event is free and open to the public. 1826 Columbia Road NW, visit for more information.

Georgetown University will host an Election Night Watch Party and Forum sponsored by Electronic Media and Politics and gnovis, two online research journals associated with the university’s Communication, Culture and Technology graduate program. The Election Night Watch Party and Forum takes place in the CCT Lounge, CCT Studio and Room 317 of the Car Barn (3520 Prospect St., NW), For more information, contact Jennifer Young, managing editor of Electronic Media and Politics at 202-818-4409 or

American University Watch Party, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.: American University’s School of International Service will host its Election Watch Party, featuring complimentary food and drink, a jazz duo, an on-site coffee spot and a balloon drop. Located at the intersection of New Mexico and Nebraska Avenues, NW; parking is free.

George Washington University will hold election night watch parties, beginning 7 p.m. The G.W. Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) “Elections 2012” class hosts an election night viewing party. (Students in the class have been tracking the presidential race and key congressional races. Students “will be able to provide analysis and insightful commentary as results come in.” Tonic Restaurant, 2036 G St., NW, Washington, D.C. GSPM students will host another watch party at the Elephant & Castle restaurant, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. G.W. College Democrats and College Republicans host election night viewing parties at the Marvin Center, 800 21st St., NW. (College Democrats will be in the Grand Ballroom; College Republicans will be in the Continental Ballroom.)

Join Boqueria, 1837 M Street, NW, for an Election Night & Unlimited Tapas and Drinks. enjoy a menu of unlimited tapas and drinks for $40.00 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required for menu and seating in the official screening room is limited. The menu will be available from 7:30 to 11:30PM/ Please call 202 558 9545 for reservations.

Early Voting Resumes in D.C.; Hours Extended to 9 P.M.

November 6, 2012

Hurricane Sandy has posed a problem for early voters along the East Coast, delaying absentee ballots from reaching their destinations and preventing polls from being opened. D.C. was no exception, closing its polls because of the bad weather.

The D.C. Board of Elections re-opened its early voting, opening polls on Oct. 31. The board has extended voting hours until 9 p.m. at every early voting location and has provided additional equipment in preparation for a heavy turnout. Each voting site’s hours of operation will run each day through Nov. 3, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“We want to ensure that every voter has the opportunity to cast a ballot in this General Election. We have added extra voting machines at every vote center and extended the hours of operation,” said Clifford Tatum, the Board of Election’s executive director. “We also want to remind voters that if there are long lines at the Early Vote Center in their home ward, that they can go to any other early voting site to cast a ballot in shorter lines or can go to their polling place on Nov. 6.”

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. If you have not yet registered to vote, you still can sign up to make sure your vote is heard. Citizens can register to vote at early voting sites or at their Election Day polling place. Polls in D.C. will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find a location, visit the D.C. Board of Elections website,

Ghostly ‘Capitol Hill’

November 1, 2012

Washington, D.C., is home to many ghost stories. From the bloody steps in the Capitol to a commodore haunt- ing the old Navy Yard, the city is ripe with spirits. A culmination of all these stories can be found in “Capitol Hill Haunts,” a new book by Tim Krepp.

Krepp, a licensed tour guide for tours in D.C. and New York, is putting his degree in history from Georgetown University to good use by revealing the stories and places some of the departed call home. Years ago, while giving ghost tours, Krepp realized his interest in ghosts and storytelling.

“I really fell in love with the concept of ghost stories as a way of preserving [them] as urban folklore, as legends, as a nexus between history you can put in textbooks, versus oral traditions.”

Krepp’s favorite story, which can be found in the book, is of the “Phantom Wheelman.” An 1882 streetcar conductor had fatally col- lided with a cyclist and now would find phantom cyclists darting out behind his streetcar. The interesting fact was how the original cyclist was riding the penny-farthings of the era, yet the cyclists seemed to upgrade their bicycles as the times changed.

“It’s a great story, just the imagery of this dark streetcar, after midnight, coming down and seeing this guy on a penny-farthing coming at him,” Krepp said. “But also what it says about today’s conflicts and debates in the city: the use of public space. Who owns the road?”

However, the “Phantom Wheelman” doesn’t get the best reaction when told orally, it needs a visual. Like most ghost stories, there must be something there for the audience to see. Despite this, the overall crowd pleaser is the rarely seen “Demon Cat of the Capitol.”

The Demon Cat roams the lower levels of the Capitol, including the space built to be George Washington’s crypt. At first sight, it appears to be a normal tabby cat, until it fixes its eyes on its victim and then runs towards them getting larger before it lets out a yelp and jumps over the victim’s head into the darkness. Legend has it the Demon Cat shows up before presidential assas- sinations and times of national crisis.

“Capitol Hill Haunts” also shares some less- er-known ghost stories of the nation’s capital. In the section titled “The Watchful Commodore,” the haunting of Captain Thomas Tingey in the Navy Yard is explained. Tingey was in charge of building and developing the yard, and he was the one to give the order to set it on first when the British arrived in D.C. in 1814 during the War of 1812.

It is said Tingey still haunts his old home, Quarters A in the Yard. He was first spotted in 1853 by the daughter of the yard commandant. In 1960, when the new commander, Rear Admiral Thomas H. Robbins moved his family in, his dog sensed a presence. The dog would stare at a chair in the drawing room and bark and growl at it, until his owner addressed the captain, telling him they were “glad to be living in [his] house.”

Tingey has also been spotted staring out the second floor window of Quarters A and walking around the Navy Yard for inspection with his spyglass and sword. The book also mentions Tingey took offense to the 1886 name change of the Yard to the Naval Gun Foundry by letting out “a banshee cry that could be heard for blocks around” at midnight.

Georgetown, of course, is no stranger to ghost stories, one reason, Krepp says, he stayed away when he wrote his book. Now, Krepp has returned and is in the beginning stages of writing his next book on the ghosts of Georgetown.

Though still in the preliminary stages of research, Krepp finds the old Forest Hall, now the Gap on Wisconsin Ave, to be a great story. Previous to being a prison during the Civil War, it was a public hall, hosting debutante balls and minuets. “I have an early 20th century, I want to say 1910, 1920 article describing the ghostly balls that continue to this day.”

One iconic spot Krepp is eager to research more are the infamous Exorcist Steps. “As far as I know, there are no real ghost stories about the steps themselves,” Krepp said. “I think the site was, as far as I know, picked just because it looks haunted.” Though there may be no ghosts lingering on the steps, it is definitely a spooky destination to visit this Halloween, after watch- ing the classic film, “The Exorcist.” ? [gallery ids="102490,120241" nav="thumbs"]

The No-Cut, No-Color Drybar Opens Near Safeway

October 31, 2012

“Peace, Love & Blowouts” is emblazoned above the reception desk at Georgetown’s newest salon, Drybar. The upscale salon opened Oct. 19 at 1825 Wisconsin Ave., NW, and offers its unique service of a blow dry bar. Its slogan is “No Cuts. No Color. Just Blowouts: Only $40.”

The concept, created by founder Alli Webb, was begun in Los Angeles, when Webb’s at-home blow-out service called for expansion. The Georgetown salon is the 18th Drybar location in the United States with others in several states, including California, Texas and New York. This is the second location in the D.C. area; a Drybar also opened in Bethesda Oct. 19.

The chic space is the same in every Drybar: white with bright yellow accents all around. Its iconic upside-down, yellow blow dryer, Buttercup, can be seen throughout the salon as an artsy chandelier. (There was also a giant version of the blower, driven around town to promote the two new stores, announcing chances to win a free blowout.) The walls are adorned with black-and-white glamour shots of Hollywood movie stars, and customers are treated to chick flicks on television, while getting their hair done. Fruit-infused water is served, and small packs of assorted snacks are available for $4.

Each style of blow-out is $40 and listed on the large chalkboard in the entrance. Customers can pick from the “Straight Up: simple and straight,” the “Manhattan: sleek and smooth,” the “Southern Comfort: big hair with volume,” the “Cosmopolitan: lots of loose curls,” or the “Mai Tai: messy and beachy.” “Shirley Temple’s” are offered at $28 to children, aged ten and under.
For an appointment, call 202-609-8644, visit or get the Drybar app for iPhone.
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Outdoor Kitchens

October 15, 2012

The backyard has truly become an extension of the indoor living space. With the fall and winter months ahead, a leisurely experience can still be enjoyed within your backyard by creating a custom living and kitchen area. Whether you love to entertain family and friends, or just want a personal backyard retreat, check out these featured items.

1 A lounge area, perhaps centered near a fireplace, is a relaxing space for you and your guests. This set, “Lane Venture Southampton,” from Spring Valley Patio, located at 4300 Fordham Road N.W., has a variety of furniture and materials to choose from; wicker, teak, wrought iron, cast aluminum and stainless steel are among those collections.

2 Making your own pizza is easy and fast with the Kalamazoo Artisan Fire Outdoor Pizza Oven, available on Mounted on the countertop, the oven bakes a crisp pizza in minutes; adjustable gas burners on top and bottom allow for higher temperatures than a regular oven.

3 Guests at your bar will need a place to sit; this Koko II Januswood barstool from Janus et Cie offers a comfortable option. The frame also comes in silver; visit the showroom at 3304 M Street N.W. for selections to match your bar.

4 When it gets cooler, an infrared heater is a great option for heating up an area. Lynx offers several options for your heater, by making options available for a freestanding heater or a mounted heater. [gallery ids="101006,134834,133596,133604" nav="thumbs"]

National Coming Out Day

In its 22nd year, National Coming Out Day celebrates and supports individuals who choose to “come out,” or publicly identify as part of the LGBT community. LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

National Coming Out Day was created in 1988 by Robert Eichberg, a psychologist from New Mexico and founder of The Experience, a personal growth workshop, and Jean O’Leary, a Los Angeles-based, openly gay political leader, who was head of the National Gay Rights Advocates.

Oct. 11 was chosen as the awareness day as the anniversary of “The Great March” on Washington the year previous. More commonly known as the Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, the event lasted six days with activities including a mass wedding and protest in front of the IRS building, a protest at the Supreme Court building of the ruling Bowers v. Hardwick and the first unveiling of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

“The Great March” was estimated to have half a million participants, led by Cesar Chavez and National Organization for Women president Eleanor Smeal. Other speakers at the rally included then Democratic presidential nominee candidate Jesse Jackson and actress Whoopi Goldberg.

On Oct. 24, the Chefs for Equality event will be held at the Ritz-Carlton. The event, emceed by fashion and television personality Tim Gunn, will also host featured guest Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. There will be more than 30 participating chefs and 16 featured mixologists. For tickets and more information, visit