Visual Currency

Art All Night DC

September 25, 2017

Art All Night: Nuit Blanche DC, the yearly overnight arts festival (adapted from the French Nuit Blanche), successfully threw an aesthetic blanket over certain DC neighborhoods Saturday night, to the delight of large animated crowds.  The art itself, shown in participating galleries like the Mid City Artists on 9th and U Streets, was almost overshadowed by the crowds, whose numbers and party attitude I have tried to show here with my photos.

(Photo by: Oliver Devine)

This annual art event is catching on here in DC with more and more people showing up at the all night event to see the great art and mix with peoples' experience as well.

(Photo by: Oliver Devine)

I was concentrated on the Shaw neighborhood celebration, hosted be DC's Mid City Artists at their gallery and headquarters at 9th and U Street.

(Photo by: Oliver Devine)

Art All Night also took place throughout the city with locations in Tenleytown, Dupont, Congress Heights, NoMa, and H Street neighborhoods. 

(Photo by: Oliver Devine)

I was driving on 295 on my way to catch the end of the Congress Heights event late Saturday night when a two-foot long steel spike came flying from the sky and smashed through my front windshield and lodged itself inches in front of my face into the dashboard of my truck. 

(Photo by: Oliver Devine)

I have attached the only piece of art I viewed from Congress Heights, which is a photo of the steel spike and the window of my truck!


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Citi Open Champs

August 8, 2017

The Citi Open capped off a successful week by crowning Sascha Zverev and Ekaterina Makarova men's and women's champion respectively.

Ekaterina Makarova (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Ekaterina Makarova

The strong crowds and positive response from fans this year is due largely to the amount of talent the tournament was able to attract with three ATP men's top ten players and four previous Citi Open champions. Tournament officials have to woo the top ranks and hope the players play well here, ensuring their desire to return in the future.

Sascha Zverev (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Sascha Zverev

Zverev, whom I picked to win the tournament this year, is a perfect example of how to groom the tournament's draw towards future success.  He started playing here at age 18 in 2015, had incremental success, and is now the champion who will return to play in future years.  I believe he will prove to be the next superstar in men's tennis.  Zverev said upon receiving the Champion's Trophy, "DC is probably my favorite city in the U.S."

Julia Goerges (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Julia Goerges

That's the perfect answer for first year tournament director Keely O'Brien, the only female director of a combined ATP/WTA event in the entire world.  “The problem with having all these big names,” said O'Brien before the start of play, “is they’re all going to want to play on stadium court.”

Kevin Anderson (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Kevin Anderson

O'Brien's problem is the spectator's gain because the proximity to the players on the courts outside the stadium is a huge bonus. The fans' access to top tennis even on the grandstand courts makes the intimacy of the experience one of my favorite aspects of the Citi Open.  There are few professional sports were a young fan has a realistic chance of waiting outside of the court and getting an autograph or a selfie with one of their favorite players.  This happens regularly here.  I witnessed Alexandra Petkovic, women's semi-finalist, give a fan a big hug after her quarterfinal win and then apologize saying "I'm sorry I'm so sweaty."

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Late Night Action at Citi Open

August 4, 2017

Crazy rain delays Thursday, drama and upsets had Citi Open matches being played past 2:00 am.


Friday's Citi Open quarterfinal matches features both day and night sessions and there definitely will be drama on display. Guaranteed.

Kevin Anderson (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Kevin Anderson

Unknown Indian youngster Yuki Bhambri, whose fallen opponent's include last year's champion Gael Monfils, isn't the only Cinderella story playing out this weekend.  American wild card Tommy Paul has also reached the quarters along with countryman and No. 8 seed Jack Sock.  Sock has a tough matchup against Canadian Milos "The Missile" Raonic, while Paul has it even tougher against 2015 Champion Kei Nishikori.

Alexander Zverev (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Alexander Zverev

Bhambri, who had to play his way into the tournament in the qualifying rounds, faces 6'10" South African Kevin Anderson and his 140 mph serve.  Despite being favored over his next opponent, Anderson pulled off an upset of his own Thursday by beating No. 1 seed Dominic Thiem.  In the night's marquee match, Anderson's behemoth serve was broken twice by Thiem, however he continued to pull out clutch forehand winners, leaving Thiem frustrated throughout the three set match.

Dominic Thiem (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Dominic Thiem

Alexander Zverev, my pre-tournament pick to win, has to deal with the vexing Russian Daniil Medvedev, who used precariously timed trainer sessions versus an exasperated Steve Johnson to turn the emotional tide of a match he was losing into a victory.  Medvedev then managed to beat No. 4 seed Grigor Dimitrov in yet another upset match to reach the quarterfinals.

Grigor Dimitrov (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Grigor Dimitrov

All the emotional variables involved in more potential upsets combined with a clash of serious talent guarantees entertainment for Citi Open fans this weekend, regardless of whom you're pulling for.

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