Janie Velencia

A Scientist Grows Art in NoMa at Gallery NK

Tucked away amid the rowhouses of NoMA is a once run-down warehouse transformed into a clean modern contemporary art gallery. The quaint studio, Gallery NK, is the creation of Turkish born artist Nihal Kececi.  

With true Turkish hospitality, Kececi and her daughter Julie welcomed this reporter into their gallery with coffee, tea and desserts. There, we chatted and I learned of her journey from Turkey to K Street, and more specifically, 321 K St. NE. As a child, Kececi demonstrated a knack for painting and was encouraged by family and friends to pursue art school. But Kececi had different plans in mind.  

Radici Takes Root on Capitol Hill

Whisked away to Italy by love 18 years ago, Bridget Thibodeau Sasso returned to Washington with a piece of Italy she has now established on Capitol Hill — her Italian market Radici at 303 Seventh St. SE.  

While on vacation in the Bahamas, Sasso fell in love with an Italian man, whom she corresponded with through letters and eventually married. When she later moved to Italy to begin a life with Enrico Sasso, she also opened her own Italian food export business. After 13 years there, she returned to the United States, where she opened an import business in Vienna, Va. Both have since been sold to family members.  

Kirsten Gillibrand's Book Tour in Political Territory

Andrea Mitchell, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Connie Britton, Gloria Steinem and Sen. Cory Booker. These are some of the folks Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has hung out with as part of the publicity tour for her book, "Off the Sidelines: Raise your Voice, Change the World."  

Since the book's Sept. 9 launch in Manhattan, the New York Democrat has gone coast to coast this political season, touching down to talk about her political memoir, often side by side with a compatriot who embodies the book's message for women to get involved in public life.  

Members Get Personal on Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest

While it’s common for members of Congress to post talking points on Twitter and videos of their floor speeches on YouTube, such social-media sites are quickly becoming just another cog in the political spin machine. But members are posting more personal touches — what they had for dinner, their dogs at play and other mainstays of the social-media diet — on platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest.

“Members that are able to effectively use the newer platforms will have an advantage in the future,” said JD Chang, the founder of TrendPo, a startup that analyzes political figures by looking at news mentions and interactions on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and then ranks their relevancy. Although TrendPo does not currently evaluate Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest as part of its process, the firm is interested in doing so if “adaptation reaches a certain level of saturation” among members, according to Chang.