Updates from July, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Adrienne Frank 3:07 pm on July 31, 2013 Permalink  

    red line to Dupont Circle 

    D14_081_075This issue’s “Metrocentered” took us to bustling Dupont Circle where five of D.C.’s main drags (Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire Avenues; and P and 19th Streets) meet. We had a great turnout—despite the fact that it was pushing 100 degrees on the afternoon of the shoot.

    D14_081_084Thanks so much to Sam Peters, SPA/BA ’13; Eric Oliver, SIS/BA ’12; Emily Good, SOC/BA, CAS/BA ’14; Joe Flood, SIS/BA ’88; and Liza Strelka, CAS/MA ’08, for braving the heat.

    Now, a few interesting facts about Dupont Circle:

    • Before the Civil War, the area that now constitutes Dupont Circle was home to a brickyard and slaughterhouse.
    • Daniel Chester French and Henry Bacon, cocreators of the Lincoln Memorial, designed the fountain, which features carvings of three classical figures symbolizing the sea, the stars, and the wind.
    • D.C.’s first gay bookstore, Lambda Rising, opened in 1974 and gained notoriety nationwide.
    • Frederick Douglass owned a row of houses on 17th Street in the Strivers’ Section, a small residential area west of 16th Street roughly between Swann Street and Florida Avenue. The Strivers’ Section was an enclave of upper-middle-class African Americans—often community leaders—in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
    • Dupont Circle is home to some of the nation’s most prestigious think tanks and research institutions, including the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the German Marshall Fund, the Center for Global Development, the Eurasia Center, and the Peterson Institute.
  • Adrienne Frank 3:34 pm on July 28, 2013 Permalink  

    monkeys and meerkats and owls—oh my! 

    D14_063_168Perhaps the only thing more challenging than photographing children is photographing animals.

    Thankfully, our ace shooter, Jeff Watts, was up to the challenge. In June, Jeff went to small mammal house early in the morning to get a photograph for the opening spread of the magazine. Per our alum, Kenton Kerns, many of the animals are most active in the morning—especially at breakfast time.

    Jeff spent a couple hours at the National Zoo snapping the residents of chez mammal. He came back with hundreds of shots and we had a tough time narrowing it down to just one. We were torn between the image of the black howler monkey mama snuggling with her son (as the mommy of a 1-year-old cuddle bug, this photo melted my heart), and Jeff’s beautiful shot of twin golden lion tamarins. After much deliberation, we went with the latter.

    Here are a few more of our favorites:






  • Adrienne Frank 2:45 pm on July 26, 2013 Permalink  

    the day we fed a porcupine 

    D14_036_048One of the best things about working on American magazine is that we get to meet some really cool people. This issue we met an alumnus with a super cool sidekick: a prehensile-tailed porcupine named Clark.

    First, a little background on Clark’s caretaker, Kenton Kerns, CAS/BS ’07. A zookeeper in the small mammal house at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Kenton volunteered and interned at the zoo before landing a full-time gig. Kenton and his colleagues care for 100 animals across 30 species, including naked mole rats, owls, black howler monkeys, golden lion tamarins, and meerkats.

    D14_063_110And here’s the thing: he knows his stuff. When we sent him Jeff Watts’ photo of two golden lion tamarins (which appears on the opening spread of the August magazine) and asked if, by some chance, he could identify them, Kenton wrote right back. Yep! This is Mo and Mara, born on November 18, 2006. Impressive, right?

    D14_041_042Now, a little on Clark. A forest dweller, he has sharp spines; a big, round nose; and a tail from which he hangs upside down. A nocturnal vegetarian rodent, he noshes on fruits, veggies and monkey biscuits. Another important fact about Clark: those spines, which he deploys when scared or startled, can be deadly.

    That’s why, when Kenton offered to let us feed Clark after we got our shot for the magazine, I was slightly apprehensive (translation: scared out of my mind). Designer Maria Jackson, who volunteered at the small mammal house years ago, was far braver. She stepped right up, examining those deadly spines and feeding Clark a chunk of banana. D14_041_026I was about ready to pass, when Kenton reminded me that feeding a porcupine is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. How could I argue with that? With his help, I offered Clark a piece of fruit—and lived to tell about it! Afterwards, we shared a good laugh about what a wimp I was.D14_041_035Kenton was a joy to work with and we’re so thankful he—and Clark—made some time for us. (More than 2 million people visit the zoo each year, so we had to schedule our shoot after-hours.) His passion for and knowledge of animals is incredible—and infectious. Next time you’re at the zoo, look for Kenton and tell him American magazine sent you.

  • Adrienne Frank 12:01 pm on July 24, 2013 Permalink  

    drumroll, please… 

    AugCoverAfter months and months of work, we’re proud to present the August issue of American magazine. If your copy hasn’t hit your mailbox yet and you’re just itching to dig into magazine, check it out online.

    Much as I love our past magazines, this is my favorite issue to date—thanks in large part to the cover. We found illustrator Hannah Lloyd on Etsy.com, an online marketplace featuring handmade arts and crafts from thousands of creative types around the globe.

    And speaking of globes, that’s the search term that led us to Hannah’s illustration. We originally had something similar in mind for a story, but when we saw Hannah’s globe made of passport stamps, we immediately thought: cover.

    Hannah, an artist based in the U.K., created the globe using passport stamps from 15 of the 21 countries that alumni Tara and Mike Shubbuck visited during their 420-day honeymoon. Writer Mike Unger interviewed the Shubbucks, authors of twotravelaholics.com, for this issue.

    If you’re as tickled by the illustration as we are, send your best travel story to magazine@american.edu by August 31. The reader with the best—or worst!—travel tale will receive Hannah’s original artwork.

  • Adrienne Frank 2:38 pm on July 9, 2013 Permalink  

    who, who's ready for a new magazine? 

    D14_063_095How cute is this guy? He didn’t make the cut for the August magazine, but one of his furry, little friends from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo did…

    Be on the lookout for the summer issue of American magazine, which hits mailboxes the first week of August.

    (Photo by Jeff Watts)

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