On The Look Out

Spies & Spymasters Virtual Happy Hour June 11

June 3, 2020

Real life The Americans with the Barsky Family!


You can’t visit the Spy Museum right now, but you can hear about favorite stories about the spies who live on in their galleries.

Why not do it over a cocktail? Join online for a virtual happy hour.  


A local bartender from Stoney’s on P Street will be shaking up a cocktail and sharing the recipe for a drink that will cure your pandemic blues, and then we’ll supply a thrilling tale. 


What happens when a Soviet spy decides his American life is the best fit?


Join Jack Barsky and Spy Museum Curator and Historian Vince Houghton for a discussion of Barsky’s double life as an American businessman who was really an East German spy for the Soviets in the 1980s.


Barsky, who shared his story in the book Deep Undercover: My Secret Life & Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America, is featured in our Spies Next Door exhibition. He will be joined by the top reason he stayed in the States—his daughter Chelsea Dittrich. She has told her own unique story in the A&E documentary, The Spy Who Raised Me. Get ready for a cozy family evening spy style.  


You’re welcome to ask questions after the talk—whether they relate to the Barsky family or bartending.



5:30 pm




Need cocktail ideas? This occasion calls for only one drink, the “White Russian!”:


2 oz Vodka

1 oz Kahlúa

1 splash Heavy cream

Directions: Add the vodka and Kahlúa to an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Top with the heavy cream and stir. Za zda-ró-vye agents!

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Guest Column: The Post Is Slyly Boosting Corrupt Jack Evans -- Again

May 28, 2020

Guest Column


By Pete Tucker, DC Journalist


Jack Evans, the most corrupt councilmember to ever grace the halls of the John A. Wilson Building, is still under federal investigation and faces the possibility of criminal charges at some point. Yet DC’s paper of record is aiding his bid for the Ward 2 seat he vacated in disgrace only four months ago.


The Washington Post isn’t openly endorsing Evans this time around, as it has for almost three decades. But the influential paper is helping Evans’s candidacy in less obvious ways.


For example, the Post endorsed Brooke Pinto, a 27-year-old from Greenwich, Conn., who’s never voted in DC and is unlikely to win. The Post’s endorsement is likely to fracture the anti-Evans vote, thereby keeping alive Evans’ chance of reclaiming his seat by winning a plurality of votes in the crowded June 2 Democratic primary (which essentially determines the general election winner).


It’s almost touching, the way the Post is standing by its man. The smart play for the Post – which exists to ensure progressives don’t win – was to back “Jack 2.0.” That’d be 28-year-old Patrick Kennedy, who was Evans’s 2016 campaign co-chair and is now supported by some of the same corporate interests Evans long serviced before he became toxic.


With the Post’s support, which is crucial in wealthy Ward 2, “Jack 2.0” would be close to unstoppable. Yet surprisingly, rather than prioritize corporate interests as it usually does, the Post is sticking with Evans as much as it can.


Evans is deserving of the Post’s affection. As chair of the powerful finance committee for two decades, he freed up ungodly amounts of tax dollars for projects like stadiums and luxury hotels that accelerated the displacement DC’s African Americans, long a Post priority. Now, in Evans’ hour of need, the Post is returning the favor.


In addition to endorsing Pinto, the Post is aiding Evans in other ways, too. For example, the paper hasn’t highlighted the fact that, if elected, Evans may be unable serve out his term, because he could be indicted for the very corruption that forced him to resign just months ago.


The Post is doing Evans another favor by framing the race as one in which the responsible thing to do, in light of coronavirus’s impact on the city budget, is cut services (because taxes on the wealthy must never be raised). Such cuts are Evans’ forte.


“I took a lot of hits, a lot of criticism by a lot of people over the years for being too conservative on the money,” Evans told the Post, portraying himself as brave for pushing cuts to social services instead of raising taxes on DC’s rich, who pay less in local taxes than those earning a fraction of their income.


In that same May 23 Post story – which ran on the Sunday Metro front page, as early voting was underway – Evans was given space to say, “There was nobody who made money off a decision I made,” a claim belied by many of the Post's own news stories and those of Jeffrey Anderson in District Dig.


The month prior, Post columnist Colby King called Evans a “promising” candidate and lamented that, due to Evans’s resignation, he was “[m]issing in action” at a time when his budgetary expertise could aid the city.


With little else to hang his hat on, Evans unsurprisingly latched on to the lifeline the Post threw him. At an April 22 online debate hosted by the ACLU’s DC chapter, Evans said in his closing pitch, “The Washington Post last Saturday said it bluntly, ‘Jack Evans remains the District’s most knowledgeable and experienced lawmaker on... city finances.’”


In its April 30 endorsing editorial, the Post again emphasized the need for budget cuts and decried “candidates promising the sky under the banner of progressive justice.” City Paper called this “a passive aggressive swipe” aimed at Jordan Grossman, who the Post attacked but didn’t name.


“THAT’S ON PURPOSE!” DC Councilmember (and former Post reporter) Elissa Silverman said on Twitter. “They don’t want to raise [Grossman’s] name ID.” Silverman is backing Grossman, as are unions and progressive groups – all the folks the Post can’t stand.


If Evans is returned to office, he’ll have the Post to thank, for sticking with him despite his extraordinary corruption.

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Seeking Artists for Georgetown Storefront Messaging

May 12, 2020

The Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) is seeking proposals from professional artists located in the DC area to create and install temporary artwork on exterior windows of commercial storefronts or boards covering ground-level storefronts in the Georgetown commercial district. 


Many businesses have closed because of the public health emergency, and the Georgetown BID wishes to maintain an attractive and welcoming environment and to send positive and inspiring messages such as safe “reopening” messages to the community during the crisis. 


The BID is partnering with Halcyon Arts Lab in Georgetown on this program.


Project Details


The Artist should propose a specific concept that could be installed on:

● any window, or a specific concept to be installed on a specific storefront window OR

● any boarded storefront, or a specific concept to be installed on a specific boarded storefront.


Note that boarded storefronts may have a larger area to paint; it is expected that these concepts will be simpler in nature such as a solid color with some text, an uncomplicated color pattern or series of colored bands with an option for no explicit messaging. 


For more details, click here.

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