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  1. Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration, definitely an exhibit that will fly under most people's radar. South Gallery, Second Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building. From the Library of Congress website: Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration showcases the Library’s extensive collections of original art by talented artists hired by both newspapers and television to capture the personal dynamics of legal trials. Skilled at quickly conveying both individual likenesses and the atmosphere of the courtroom, these artists reveal, in intimate detail, the dramatic and, at times, mundane aspects of trial proceedings. The illustrations on display represent court cases dating from 1964 to the present day. These cases influenced how Americans perceive race and race relations, religion, gender issues, political and corporate corruption, international relations, and the role of celebrities in society. The corresponding drawings are poignant images of people from all walks of life during the last fifty years of court history, observed in their most vulnerable moments. While artistic styles vary, each artist brings the theater of the courtroom to life, capturing gestures, appearance, and relationships in a way that humanizes defendants, plaintiffs, lawyers, judges, and witnesses. This exhibition begins with the work of Howard Brodie who documented the Jack Ruby trial in 1964. Brodie donated his trial drawings to the Library of Congress and spurred the development of its Courtroom Illustration Collection. The collection has expanded to include trial drawings by Marilyn Church, Aggie Kenny, Pat Lopez, Arnold Mesches, Gary Myrick, Joseph Papin, Freda Reiter, Bill Robles, David Rose, Jane Rosenberg, and Elizabeth Williams, among others. These courtroom drawings provide insight into the drama and impact of events in American law during the past fifty years. Wash Post article
  2. Eggplant Caponata and anchovy crostino ($3); Smoky arctic char rillette crostino ($3); grilled octopus salad crostino ($4)...all awesome. Baby fava beans with sheep's milk ricotta ($9) was merely ok, not a lot of flavor going on. Breakfast radishes with ramp butter ($8) was tasty but a bit awkward. The radishes were tiny, making it hard to really coat with butter. The porchetta ($14) was its normal thing of beauty. We ordered one plate and then decided to order a second. And a big slice of ricotta cake with chocolate and orange ($6.45) wrapped up the meal nicely.
  3. Chili Paneer - First time making this Indo-Chinese dish, basically an Indian tomato sauce mixed with soy sauce, fried paneer and sauteed green pepper. Excellent and instantly added to the rotation. Kodava Mushroom Curry - This dish is a regular on my Indian food rotation. Andhra-Style Sauteed Spinach - I had some spinach that needed using up so give it a shot. Not bad, a pleasant side dish. Chana Masala - Still struggling with this dish. Flavor is solid, but I can't get the chickpeas to cook properly. I soaked them overnight and then boiled them for almost an hour and they were cooked but not tender. Work in progress!
  4. The Omni has a good sized sports bar. That said, it's a hotel sports bar, so up to you if you consider that to be a good recommendation!
  5. After a somewhat lackluster Quarter final round we move on: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid: Madrid grudge match Monaco vs. Juventus: The young guns of Monaco v. the giants of Italian soccer.
  6. Saveur Magazine on the French side of Basque Country
  7. Championship EFL Brighton & Hove Albion secured promotion to the Premier League today with a 2-1 victory over lowly Wigan. The win, coupled with Derby County's late goal against Huddersfield Town, secured the points for The Seagulls. It will be Albion's first trip to the Prem, and the first time they have played top flight football since the 1982-83 season. Unfortunately for Wigan, Premier League darlings and FA Cup winners as recently as 2012/13, relegation down to the 3rd level League One is looking likely. Brighton play in the very cool mid-sized Falmer Stadium, capacity 30,750.
  8. Freising, Bavaria On the way home from India we had a 10 hour layover at the Munich Airport and decided to take a little day trip in Bavaria. The hillside town of Freising is a short 10-15 minute drive from the airport. The main street is super quaint with bakeries, chocolate stores, several butchers, and what seemed like an unusual number of pharmacies and opticians. Our flight arrived at 5:30 am local time and left at 3:30 pm. Our grand plan was to have breakfast at a bakery, tour the Freising Cathedral, visit the adjoining museum, have lunch and head back to the airport. Turned out the cathedral didn't open until 12:30pm that day and the museum was closed for renovation. So like lost tourists we wandered the streets. Fortunately there was enough window shopping and bakeries to kill a couple of hours. Two places that are must visits: the beautiful Andreas Muschler Chocolaterie & Patisserie and the delicious Weissbrau Huber, which serves excellent Weisswurste and killer rosti marzling (potato hashbrowns with spinach and fried egg). Seriously this place was putting out some amazing looking plates of food in a Bavarian pub-like atmosphere. I kinda didn't want to leave. We went back to the Cathedral at 12:30 sharp and were told that in fact the Cathedral was closed for cleaning and wouldn't open until 2:30. This was of course told to us by the same person who earlier had told us to come back at 12:30. We put on our best indignant you-told-us-to-come-back-at-12:30 faces and the cleaning woman took pity. She ended up giving us a private tour. Definitely worth the hassle, the cathedral, while quite plain on the outside, is known for its wonderful rococo interior. Freising is also home to the 500 year old Weihenstephan Brewery. Travel tips: the cab ride from the Airport was about 25 euros, the bus back to the airport was 5 euros. The bus stop at Terminal 2 was next to the cab line, so if you're going to Freising take the bus (service every 15 minutes).
  9. I've developed a new appreciation for Duke's Counter. Alas it's never going to be a hang out spot, like the late great Zoo Bar, but for very low-key, easy meals it does the trick. Yesterday the gf's aunt was in town with her two young daughters, and after an afternoon at the zoo, Duke's hit the spot. Great looking grilled cheese and nutella, banana, marshmallow sandwiches on the kids menu. The roasted pork butt sandwich was pretty solid, shredded meat topped with a fennel slaw on a ciabatta roll. Plenty big enough for lunch today. Next time I'm going with the grilled cheese! If only they had a better beer line-up...
  10. I recommend the ITC Hotel chain for higher end accommodations if traveling in India. ITC is the second largest chain in India with 190 hotels under the ITC Luxury Collection, Fortune, WelComHotel and WelCom Heritage brands. It is part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which includes Westin, Sheraton, W Hotels, Le Meridien, among others. The Luxury Collection has 11 hotels in major cities: Chennai, New Delhi, Agra, Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, and Mumbai. Just about all the Luxury Collection hotels have a version of their restaurant Peshwari, which itself is a clone of Bukhara. The menu is what they call NW Frontier cuisine, ie: kabobs. The paneer dishes and butter naan are excellent They also feature a large buffet station breakfast, which serve a mix of Indian and international breakfast items. The Agra and Jaipur hotels have nice luxury spas (I'm sure the other locations do as well), and at the current exchange rate ($1 = 65 rupee) you can get hour long massage treatments for around $60. For a luxury hotel chain, prices can be quite reasonable: mid week rates can be as low as $60.
  11. Today's crossword puzzle. 41 Across: corduroy ridge Wale. Thanks chef!
  12. We didn't see a lot of street art in Delhi, but we did run across this one. The best "street art" is actually road art...the back of Indian trucks.