Washington D.C. never seems to sleep. It’s overrun by tourists, politicians, and diplomats from around the world. While it has a very public side, I’ve been privileged to be invited into places the average person never gets to see. So whether it’s a private play at the Italian Embassy, dinner […]
Modica is a Baroque town perched in the mountains of southern Sicily, an island just off the tip of the Italian mainland. With over one hundred churches, it is the site of one of Sicily’s most beloved Easter traditions. The Spanish, before there was a unified Spain and […]
Covid-19 has caused us all to shutter ourselves away from the world, away from religious and traditional gatherings. I hope to bring a little glimpse of the beauty of Holy Week to you, my readers, by sharing footage from a past Good Friday in Taormina, Sicily. Good Friday […]
It might seem a bit late to be writing about Palm Sunday, but I was too depressed yesterday to give it a go. Coronavirus has stripped away so many things from our lives, but across the world, losing Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter, […]
It seems the new cool way of greeting is to bump elbows instead of shaking hands. This is something you should never, never do. We see famous people, movie stars, even our Vice President Pence, Speaker of the House Pelosi, and a host of other people telling us […]
Humans walked on another world fifty years today, landing on the Moon’s surface on July 20, 1969. The earth gathered around TV sets and radios, collectively holding its breath. It was a feat that, at least for a moment, united us as one planet and one people. If […]
I eagerly waited for Late Night to come out. The trailers were a hoot. The premise delightful. It utilized every trope I love: women coming together, underdog who succeeds, girl who shows the boys she’s better. Yet, while there are some glorious and funny moments in the film, […]
Top Secret Washington isn’t just about life in Washington, D.C. — it’s about my life in Washington, DC. Today I’d like to share some of that with you. One of my pet peeves has always been our TV. No, I’m not one of those people who thinks TV […]
Like most of the United States, the weather here in the capital has been brutal. We’ve plummeted to well below freezing with wind chills that have taken us to -12 a mere week ago to the 60’s today. While I despair of my plants recovering from the horrid […]
It being President’s Day, I wanted to share with you all this incredible, new portrait of George Washington. Honestly, how can you reinvent an art as old as portraiture and a president who served more than 243 years ago? Somehow, artist Doug Powell has done just that. Take […]
Okay everyone, we can breathe again. The Smithsonian, the National Gallery, and the National Zoo are all opening again as of Tuesday January 29th. Still, one never knows what will happen next in D.C. so if you want to go, go now. For those of you who can’t […]
Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite government educational films from the WWII era. To educate soldiers, the U.S. government came up with an adorable cartoon character called Private Snafu. In this three minute short, called “Spies,” we see how the combination of alcohol and a pretty girl […]
One hundred years ago today, on January 16, 1919, Prohibition was ratified. In an attempt to curb immorality, legislators put thousands of hard working Americans out of work — liquor and wine store owners, vintners, grape growers, truckers, bottling plant employees, etc. It ushered in an age where […]
The Siege of Cosel, which was painted around 1808 is like a woman covered in veils. Gossamer layers of gray, recede ever fainter as he paints the foggy battle scene. Textbooks do not show this well. Even though the painting is massive — larger than a wall in most homes — these figures are sometimes as small as the head of a pin, only visible less than a foot away from the canvas. Seeing them makes the average museum guard nervous as you move scant inches from the canvas.
As On the Basis of Sex, the movie, enters wide release today, Diana Belchase reflects back to meeting Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Supreme Court and her first hand impressions of this “quiet tiger.” #RBG #OntheBasisofSexMovie
No matter how many images are taken of Washington, D.C., people are always impressed. Being here in person is a hundred times more powerful. I walk past amazing structures nearly every day and yet, they never fail to imbue me with wonder. How lucky am I to live […]
Most of us in D.C. take the Smithsonian for granted. It’s just there. Like air. Like food from high class eateries and overpriced food trucks. Living in a city where the Smithsonian is generally open every day of the year (except for December 25th), and where the world’s greatest museum is free, means we pop in and out of exhibits like teenagers popping in and out of friends’ homes (and refrigerators). Join me for a virtual visit to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum during the government shutdown.
Missing in action. What horrible words for loved ones to hear. The acronyms “POW” and “MIA” strike fear in the heart of the most stalwart military family. It is hard to believe that as 2018 draws to a close there are still approximately 83,000 Americans who are unaccounted for. The vast majority of these soldiers, sailors, and air force personnel are listed as prisoners of war (POW), missing in combat (MIA), or lost at sea, during WWII, Vietnam and other U.S. military actions. Now, the most powerful organization bringing awareness to MIAs, POWs, and to other veteran’s issues, Rolling Thunder, has announced it’s calling it quits in D.C. because of untenable logistical problems. Seeing Rolling Thunder come to an end is heartbreaking.
A movie review of the Bohemian Rhapsody film, with reflections on an era, and personal lessons learned from Queen, the flim, and the iconic Freddy Mercury.
Diana Belchase was named a finalist for the Linda Howard Award of Excellence for her spy thriller, The Spy in the Harem. The Award is given by the Southern Magic writers group from Birmingham.
Instead of fear, most Sicilians love the volcano that might destroy them. Etna is constantly changing, changeable, beautiful, benevolent and violent. For most Sicilian women, she’s a role model of how to be completely female.