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From the chef who went rogue to the world's best nipple-tattoo artist. By Andrew Beaujon

A new year. A new e-reading device. Visitors who still haven't quite left yet. Whatever your reasons for searching for longer things to read, here are some of Washingtonian's best features from 2014, selected by articles editor Kristen Hinman.

"Danny Pearl’s Last Story"

Asra Q. Nomani spent ten years trying to figure out whether Khalid Sheikh Mohammed really murdered her friend and fellow reporter Daniel Pearl.

"The Chef Who Brought Down Bob McDonnell Tells All"

Todd Schneider was chef at the Virginia governor's mansion when Bob McDonnell occupied it. And surely to McDonnell's enduring regret, he was diligent about documenting things that felt fishy to him. “You have to remember,” Schneider tells Luke Mullins, “everybody talks in the kitchen.”

The Suit Who Spooked the EPA"

John Beale retired from the Environmental Protection Agency with a sterling record and the understanding that he'd spent some of his time doing clandestine work for the CIA. The truth was very different, Michael Gaynor writes.

"How Did a 7-Year-Old Boy Catch His Father’s PTSD?"

The traumas of wars aren't always confined to the people who fought them. Roxanne Patel Shepelavy writes about Logan Pearce, a teenager from Mechanicsville, Virginia, who absorbed the PTSD with which his father, Brian Pearce, returned from Iraq.

"Dads Want to Have it All, Too"

Brooke Lea Foster talked to men in the Washington area who've organized their lives around something other than work.

"Nipples by Vinnie"

A tattoo artist in Finksburg, Maryland, named Vinnie Myers is highly sought-after for a special skill: He creates some of the very best nipples on reconstructed breasts. Michelle Cottle drills into his mystique.

"This May be the Most Extreme Lost Dog Search Ever"

Georgetown resident Janet Mihalyfi has spent more than $35,000 looking for her lost dog, Havoc. That effort has included robo-calls, "critter cams," psychics, and tracking dogs. “I have people who say Janet’s delusional, that she’s crazy,” a Havoc volunteer tells Marisa M. Kashino. “I can’t wait till we find him, so I can say, ‘F--- you.’ ”

"Can a Better Football Helmet Save Your Kid’s Brain?"

Virginia Tech's STAR rating system has changed the football-helmet industry. But it may have also led to helmets that make players more vulnerable to some types of concussions, Patrick Hruby reports.

"How David Gregory Lost His Job"

The "most coveted job in political journalism" was hosting Meet the Press. But it lost its lustre under David Gregory, who replaced Tim Russert after his death in 2008. The inside story of how NBC dislodged Gregory from the show, by Luke Mullins.

Posted at 03:55 PM/ET, 12/31/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Guests made the most of a beautiful fall day.
Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

Food truck lovers made their way to Washingtonian’s Truck It! in the St. Luke's parking lot at 15th and P streets, Northwest, on Saturday, September 28. Guests enjoyed tastes from our top-rated food trucks and other family fun. Participating trucks included Brandon's Little Truck, Meggrolls, Mighty Dog and Acai, Mesob on Wheels, Taste of Eastern Europe, and DC Ballers. Attendees sipped Warsteiner Oktoberfest while picking pumpkins from Whole Foods and enjoying chili and cornbread from Occasions Caterers. Kelly Collis from 94.7 Fresh FM's The Tommy Show brought the party with the station's music.

Posted at 08:00 AM/ET, 10/02/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Washingtonian is seeking nominations for the 2014 Washingtonians of the Year. By Leslie Milk
Our 2013 Washingtonians of the Year. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

For more than 40 years, the Washingtonian of the Year awards have been the highest honor our community bestows on people who make Washington a better place.

If you know someone who is giving his or her time and talent to improve our community, e-mail us your nomination at or mail it to us at Washingtonians of the Year, Washingtonian, 1828 L St., NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036.

Please send all nominations by September 30, 2014. The full list of last year's honorees is available online

Posted at 11:24 AM/ET, 08/26/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Guests gathered at Long View Gallery for shopping discounts from local stores.
Shoppers at Wear It Washington. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Shoppers came out to spend at Wear It Washington, Washingtonian’s sample sale at Long View Gallery on Wednesday, August 20. Guests sipped peach sangria, Champagne spritzers, and Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager and indulged in delicious bites from Ridgewells, while shopping extensive discounts for men and women at clothing, accessory, and shoe boutiques.

Specials thanks to participating stores South Moon Under, Julia Farr, Sylene, Sherman Pickey, Mars Vida, Tuckernuck, Wink, Duo, Little Birdies Boutique, Quetzal Jewelry, Meg Biram, Sara Campbell, Caramel Fashion, Dash’s of Old Town, Bull and Moose, Hysteria, Muleh, Ella Rue, Sophie Blake, Lettie Gooch, Stella and Dot, The Shoe Hive, Bishop Boutique, The Shirt, ADMK Jewelry, Tari, and Steven Alan.

The event would not have been possible without event partners Syzygy, Ridgewells, Long View Gallery, FLOR, Premier DJ Services, and Events in the City.

Posted at 04:28 PM/ET, 08/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
A look back at one of the biggest bashes of the summer.
Photograph by Daniel Swartz.

Gallery 1Gallery 2

Party-goers flocked to the National Building Museum for the sold-out AT&T Best of Washington party on July 16. At the Alice in Wonderland-themed event, guests could roam around two levels of restaurants and enjoy delicious food and drink from more than 70 of Washingtonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurants and Best of Washington winners. The event benefited the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Special thanks to the event sponsors: AT&T, BMW, American Beverage Association, Qatar Airways, Wells Fargo, Celebrity Cruises, and Hailo. And thanks to the partners who helped transform the Building Museum into a wonderland: A. Dominick Events (event planning), Adora Wedding Films (videography), All Stage & Sound (audio/visual), Booth-o-Rama (photo booth), Chicka (decor and design), Chris Laich Music Services (deejay), Edge Floral Event Designers (flowers), Frost (lighting), Occasions Caterers, Sperry Tents, and XOXO Photo Booth (green-screen photo booth).

Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 07/25/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get a look at all the over-the-top fun.

Last night, Washingtonian’s annual Best of Washington bash went down at the National Building Museum, offering attendees the chance to sample food from more than 60 of the area’s top restaurants. There were also specialty cocktails, Cirque du Soleil-style performances, a chance to go through the BIG Maze at the museum, and lots more. See what people loved the most in our social-media roundup below. 

Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 07/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Schaffer is leaving the New Republic to become the fourth editor in Washingtonian's 49-year history. By Benjamin Freed

Photograph courtesy Michael Schaffer.

Michael Schaffer, the New Republic’s editorial director, will be the fourth editor of Washingtonian, publisher Cathy Merrill Williams announced Monday.

Schaffer, 40, takes over for Garrett M. Graff, who became editor in 2009. Previously, Jack Limpert led the 49-year-old magazine for more than four decades.

Schaffer joined the New Republic in 2012, shortly after it was bought by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, and played a large role in its redesign and increased online operations. He was editor of Washington City Paper from 2010 to 2012, and has also been a reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer and US News and World Report. He is the author of One Nation Under Dog, a 2009 book about Americans’ relationships with their canine pets.

“His reporting career has reached from the war zones of Pakistan and Iraq to the American Pet Product Expo in Florida,” Williams says in a newsroom memo. “I have no doubt his varied background and interests will serve us and our readers well."

Schaffer says he wants to make Washingtonian “even more vibrant, exciting, fun, memorable, and talked-about.”

“My first boss in journalism used to exhort us to make a publication people talk about,” Schaffer says in a brief interview. “I want to bring that spirit in terms of design, stories people pass around and share on social media, service packages people keep on their coffee tables for months and months.”

While at the New Republic, Schaffer says he focused on building a website with a strong user experience and growing the publication’s online traffic. The New Republic drew 4.6 million page views last month, according to audience measurement firm Quantcast.

Schaffer, a Washington native who lives in Northwest DC, graduated from Columbia University in 1995. Schaffer plans to start at Washingtonian in late July.

Here’s the full memo from Williams:

I am excited to announce that Michael Schaffer will be coming aboard as the 4th editor in Washingtonian’s 49-year history. Michael is a true local, born in the District of Columbia and a long time subscriber to our magazine. I have personally known Michael for many years — since his days at Washington City Paper, where he served as editor. For the last two years he has been working as editorial director at the New Republic, where he has helped oversee their ambitious new digital initiatives.

Prior to serving as editor of Washington City Paper, Michael served as a reporter, first at US News and World Report and then at the Philadelphia Inquirer. In Philly, he also wrote for our friends at Philadelphia Magazine. His reporting career has reached from the war zones of Pakistan and Iraq to the American Pet Product Expo in Florida which he visited while researching One Nation Under Dog, his 2009 book about Americans' obsession with their pets. I have no doubt his varied background and interests will serve us and our readers well.

Michael graduated from Columbia University with a degree in history. After college, he was as a Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka. As a child of foreign service officers, he lived in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Today, he and his wife, Keltie Hawkins, live in Northwest Washington with their beautiful daughters Ellie (6) and Eva (1). He will be joining our team in late July.


Posted at 11:25 AM/ET, 06/09/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
We want your nominations for the best places to eat brunch, work out, grab a cup of coffee, and more.

Our Best of Washington issue hits newsstands in July, and we want your feedback on the best places to eat, grab a drink, work out, and hang out in and around the District. Share your opinions on what you consider the best—and the worst—picks in our reader surveys.

Also, tickets are now available for our annual Best of Washington Party. Get more details here!

Scroll down within the grey frame to view all the questions in each survey.

Posted at 12:18 PM/ET, 05/09/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Guests gathered at Arena Stage to celebrate this year’s featured physicians.
Top Doctor Nichole Pardo was featured on the cover of the March issue. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

On Wednesday, March 5, Washingtonian hosted a reception honoring the physicians featured in the March 2014 Top Doctors cover story at Arena Stage. More than 350 guests enjoyed fare from Ridgewells Catering, including truffle mac and cheese, fried chicken hazelnut bites, and banana split ice cream sandwiches. Event sponsor Privia Health hosted a lounge where guests could try delicious adult smoothies, provided by Traveling Bean, and take home branded gym bags. Celebrity Cruises offered a crepe station, at which Crepe Love created a sweet treat inspired by desserts aboard Celebrity Cruises.

Special thanks to our partners Syzygy Events for the decor and lounges, Washington Talent Agency for the beautiful music and photo station, and WhistlePig for the whiskey tasting.

Posted at 09:38 AM/ET, 03/11/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
We kicked off the latest issue with a celebration featuring treats and resources for families.
Catherine Merrill Williams and Kate Bennett with Washingtonian MOM’s featured cover model, Eun Yang. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Washingtonian hosted a launch party for our newest publication, Washingtonian MOM, on Wednesday, February 20, at Room & Board. The magazine is geared toward parents and families, and conceptualized with our region’s most savvy mothers in mind. Washingtonian MOM writers and editors, the Washingtonian MOM advisory board, and Washingtonian MOM readers and supporters gathered to kick off the second issue and enjoyed flights and bites from Screwtop Wine Bar and delicious egg rolls provided by Meggrolls. Event sponsor UrbanSitter, an online baby-sitting resource, was on hand to provide more information and hand out custom cookies.

Posted at 03:03 PM/ET, 02/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()