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December 2014 Contents: Relax, Recharge, Renew

This page describes the contents of an issue of Washingtonian magazine. Subscribers get exclusive early access through our print and digital editions. Most of our feature stories are later published online and linked below.

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In This Issue

December 2014 Volume 50, Number 3

Cover Story

Relax, Recharge, Renew

55 ways to rise above it all and find serenity for an hour, a day, or just ten minutes—without leaving town.

Edited by Sherri Dalphonse


Can a Better Helmet Save Your Kid’s Brain?

Three years ago, researchers at Virginia Tech developed a novel rating system for football helmets. Since then, NCAA squads, NFL teams, and parents have demanded the top-rated equipment, and helmet makers changed designs to meet the new standards. There’s only one problem: the scientists who say the safety data is fatally flawed. By Patrick Hruby

R Street Scuffle

Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein wanted to build a garage. At Katharine Graham’s old house. In Georgetown. Is it any wonder things got complicated? By Luke Mullins

The Verdict Is In

Personal-injury lawyers netted some big paydays for plaintiffs across the area this year. Here’s a look at the 25 biggest jury awards and public settlements. Compiled by Marisa M. Kashino, Caroline Cunningham, and Emma Foehringer Merchant

Washingtonian Gift Guide

One-of-a-kind jewelry, cool gadgets, lush leather, tasty treats, and other perfect presents. By Michelle Thomas

Capital Comment

The band of new progressives on the DC Council . . . A threat to “the Arlington Way”. . . Local apps to use—and lose.

Behind the Scenes A look at the massive stone circle on a Virginia estate.

Where & When

Performances, exhibits, and other events to check out this month—including holiday fun.


Doing the Math The Montgomery County school chief’s biggest problem is that everyone wants to go to his schools. Home Is Where the Hope Is Activist Carol Fennelly creates home behind prison walls. Washington Read Five books that offer respite from the holiday madness.The Washingtonian Guide to Waking Up Early All you need to know about Washington at dawn.


Let It Snow Make winter even more chill with these close-by getaways.How to Make a Difference What your donation actually achieves at local nonprofits.Defying Aging Procedures dermatologists and plastic surgeons get, new products to curb wrinkles, and a writer braves a cosmetic surgeon’s office.