Saint John Paul the Great’s centenary

George Weigel, Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, spoke tonight at the Mayflower. He delivered the annual William E. Simon Lecture, and this year’s theme was “Saint John Paul II: A Centenary Reflection on a Life of Consequence”. EPPC streamed the lecture and I’m embedding it here. The post-lecture reception was a…

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Stars near Mercersburg

I drove from Washington, DC to State College last night, taking the more scenic route after Hagerstown that takes you… …up Route 75 through little Pennsylvania towns like Mercersburg, Fort Loudon, past Cowans Gap Lake, and through Burnt Cabins onto Route 522 through Shade Gap, Rockhill/Orbisonia, Shirleysburg, Allenport/Mount Union/Lucy Furnace where you reach the Juniata…

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‘We take sin so casually’

Charles J. Chaput celebrated his final Mass as Archbishop of Philadelphia on Sunday, and in doing so he concluded 31 years of service as a Catholic bishop: At the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, Chaput told his parishioners he is grateful to them, and pointed following Jesus Christ as the pathway…

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David Rubenstein and patriotic philanthropy

Mikaela Lefrak’s portrait of billionaire David Rubenstein is a fitting read for George Washington’s birthday. I’m a sucker for what Rubenstein calls “patriotic philanthropy”: Rubenstein has shaped the cultural landscape of the nation’s capital perhaps more than any other private citizen in the past century. The Bethesda resident has done it while generally avoiding negative…

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Beauty, not simply function, in architecture

Carroll William Westfall, Columbia University professor of architecture, writes why classical architecture is better than modernist architecture: The defenders of modernist architecture lost no time in assaulting the recent Trump administration proposal that government buildings be classical. Architecture critics and the heads of architecture schools are among those who seek to preserve the putative right…

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‘Kansas City has a lot going for it’

In light of Kansas City, Missouri’s Super Bowl victory, friend, colleague, and St. Louis-native Noah Brandt ribs Kansas City as Missouri’s second-greatest city: St. Louis is Missouri’s flagship city. When outsiders from across the country hear Missouri, they think of a Gateway Arch, blue Bud Light, and two red birds on a bat. While Kansas…

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VW Karmann on Dumbarton

A few weeks ago this VW Karmann appeared on Dumbarton Street. I now walk by it most days, parked somewhere along the block near my place. I looked up the VW Karmann—a half million were manufactured between 1955 and 1975 in West Germany and Brazil: I’ve seen young guys tinkering with it, which is cool…

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‘Victims of a moral panic’

Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, Talking with Strangers, has a chapter on the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky scandal. Malcolm Gladwell is speaking in Happy Valley tonight and Ben Novak writes on the whole thing in StateCollege.com: In “Talking with Strangers,” Gladwell stirred up a hornets’ nest with his chapter on the Sandusky scandal entitled “The Boy in…

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Alexandria for an afternoon

I had thought earlier in the week of a hike today, but the weather is cold and windy enough that I changed plans. I headed to Old Town, Alexandria for Mass at the Basilica of Saint Mary and then headed to Village Brauhaus to spend time with a friend and catch up. It’s a great…

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January scenes in Washington

It’s back to being January-like in terms of temperature—much more unpleasant to be walking around Washington. But all things considered I’m glad to walk and to be able to take in simple scenes like the two below this week, first on Dumbarton Street and the second facing Connecticut Avenue. Looking forward to a quiet MLK…

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