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Photograph of glass by Aaron Lindberg; hat by Alan Chan.

Women's Gifts Under $50

1. Fuchsia Dip-Dye Notecards

Why: An e-mailed thank-you might be simple, but it isn’t proper. Or pretty.

Where: $18 at Fig.2.

2. Habitat by Lauren Liess

Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

Why: This Virginia interior designer’s warm, organic homes have graced the pages of Domino and Washingtonian.

Where: $35 at Amazon.

3. Fur-Pom Key chain

Why: Key chains ought to be playful—and make it easier to spot your keys at the bottom of a dark bag.

Where: $38 at Michael Kors.

4. “Beer Snob” Glass

Photograph by Aaron Lindberg.

Why: Ladies can like a good brew, too, especially if the presentation is nice.

Where: $14 at Red Barn Mercantile in Alexandria.

5. Bobbi Brown “Bellini” Lip and Eye Palette

Why: Because she touches up in the school drop-off line, at the office, and post-drinks.

Where: $32 at Bluemercury.

6. Heidi Klum “Cle D’Amour” Bikini

Why: Because there are only so many flannel nightgowns you can give her.

Where: $30 at Journelle.

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Posted at 04:33 PM/ET, 11/24/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()

The holiday season is finally here, and with it, massive influxes of calories and family members that will send you on an emotional roller-coaster ride for the next month. From trying to escape DC's bumper-to-bumper traffic to your out-of-town visitors provoking the stereotypical Washington conversations you don't want to hear, you're going to feel all the feelings.

So here are some GIFs that will help you express them.

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Posted at 04:30 PM/ET, 11/24/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photographs by Jeff Elkins.

Men's Gifts Under $50

1. Flip-top Growler

Why: Beer tastes better when it's bottled down the street.

Where: $15 for a growler, $12 to $14 per fill at Right Proper Brewing Company in DC.

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Posted at 03:35 PM/ET, 11/24/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Frequently seen everywhere. Photograph by Flickr user Ted Eytan.

Last Friday, Tom Sherwood, Kojo Nnamdi, and Mary Cheh joined the ranks of Washingtonians who have marked themselves with tattoos in the shape of the DC flag. The inking stemmed from a long-running gag on WAMU's The Politics Hour—for years, Sherwood said during the station's pledge drives that if someone donated at least $5,000, he would get the tattoo.

Sherwood eventually lowered the threshold to $3,000, and when the large gift came in, Nnamdi and Cheh, who were also in the studio at the time, agreed to get inked up as well. On the surface, the session at Fatty’s Tattoos & Piercings on H Street, Northeast, seemed a bit impressive: an author of Dream City, DC's favorite radio host, and the councilmember representing the city's toniest neighborhoods got buddy tattoos.

If only the three stars and two bars were still a cool thing to embed under one's skin.

In the Washington Post today, Emily Heil suggests the DC flag tattoo has lost its coolness because of the ages of its newest high-profile adopters (Sherwood is 69, Nnamdi is 70, and Cheh is 65). But that's a bit simplistic, and ageist. DC flag tattoos aren't passé because aging Baby Boomers are getting them; they've been uncool for years.

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Posted at 11:18 AM/ET, 11/24/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()

If you’ve reloaded your SmarTrip with a debit or credit card recently, you may have noticed that fare machines automatically add $10 less than they used to.

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Posted at 11:17 AM/ET, 11/23/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()

The rise of on-demand companies like Uber, Postmates, and TaskRabbit—in which individual freelancers scramble for one-off jobs to string together their income—has given rise to talk about the emergence of a so-called "gig economy." The thinking goes that people are increasingly making their livings from freelance work and self-employment ventures, rather than holding down a traditional full-time job. But findings published today by the office of DC's chief financial officer present a possible counterpoint to the idea, indicating that “gig” work may be less pronounced than advertised—especially in DC.

The most compelling find comes from the share of the self-employed population over age 16. The American Community Survey found that the share of DC residents who identify as self-employed is actually declining, from nearly four percent in 2004 to 2.4 percent in 2014. That compares to the national average of 3.5 percent last year, which fell about one percentage point from a decade earlier.

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Posted at 12:10 PM/ET, 11/20/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph by Dan Chung.

In the few hours before a home game, the Redskins locker room at FedExField yields to a purposeful quiet. The half dozen members of the clubhouse crew lay out pads, cleats, and uniforms but also tend to such arcane tasks as tuning the quarterback’s helmet radio and posting a countdown of pre-kickoff stretches and drills. Above, equipment intern Dylan Clemente polishes players’ headgear, making sure the team will go out under the lights with a winning sparkle.

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Posted at 08:00 AM/ET, 11/20/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
President Bush at Berkeley Plantation. Photograph by Eva Russo/Newscom.

1. The First Thanksgiving

Some historians—and many Virginians—say the first Thanksgiving took place on the James River southeast of Richmond. On December 4, 1619, a year before the Mayflower left port, the settlers at today’s Berkeley Plantation gave thanks for their safe landing by order of the colony’s investors, who demanded the date be kept perpetually “as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.” President George W. Bush acknowledged this history in 2007 when he visited the spot.

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Posted at 06:00 AM/ET, 11/20/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Photograph via iStock.

People leaving Washington for Thanksgiving next week should forget about getting on the road on Tuesday or Wednesday and instead just get up early and drive on Thanksgiving Day, according to an analysis of holiday traffic by Google. Early Wednesday should be somewhat tolerable, the search giant found, but for the most part, DC drivers should expect next week's traffic to be epically bad.

Washington is actually the second-worst of 21 major US cities where Google analyzed Thanksgiving travel patterns, trailing Los Angeles. To come up with the ranking and the least optimal times to travel, Google looked measured last year's holiday travel by people with Android mobile devices that have location services enabled. In a press release, Google says the data were collected anonymously.

For DC, the absolute worst time to leave for Thanksgiving will be between 2 and 5 PM next Wednesday, with traffic reaching its absolute worst about 4 PM. People who start out before 1 PM or after 5 have slightly better chances of reaching their destinations in time, but only slightly. And leaving two days early isn't much help—Google found the Tuesday before Thanksgiving is typically the third-worst day for traffic of the holiday week.

Holiday travelers are also better off saving their return trips for Sunday instead of coming back Saturday, which Google reports is DC's second-worst traffic day during the holiday week.

Posted at 04:06 PM/ET, 11/19/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()

Sports Car Enthusiast's Dream Holiday Gift is a Driver’s Club Membership at Dominion Raceway & Entertainment.

A gift membership is for motoring enthusiasts who like to utilize their sports cars and race cars for what they were made to do- Go fast! Members have exclusive access to 40 or more member-only track days a year. The course is 2 miles long, 12 turns, 75 feet of elevation change, and the coolest playground any driving enthusiast could dream of.

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Posted at 12:00 PM/ET, 11/19/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()