Nepenthe

nepenthe
(noun) Originating from Ancient Greece, nepenthe is described as something which can make you forget your heartache, grief, or suffering

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The Q Street Barbies are an institution in D.C.’s cloyingly preposterous, affluent, and (begrudgingly) cool neighborhood of Logan Circle. Known as the “Barbie Pond,” the avant-garde artists behind the pieces depict everything from holiday-themed parodies to explicit political or sexual commentary. This is fun stuff, but it’s also discussion-starting cheekiness with deeper, underlying messages about a city’s thoughts and feelings.

This is not completely out of place in this part of town – or really in a political city like ours. D.C. has a lot of little spots like this that make it feel so homey and lived-in, with serious depictions of the current climate. This is the kind of imagery that is familiar and fashionable in Logan Circle; other parts of the city have different expressions of art. This might be how we communicate our ideas from now on. Cuts to arts funding loom on the horizon as budgets tighten under the uncertain Trump Administration, and freedom of press and speech is being circumvented and discredited by the White House.

There has always been mass agreement that some of the best art sprouts up organically in unlikely places. But here, in the front yards of the historic homes (whose price tags are heart-stopping), it is actually quite unsurprising to see: this is a very liberal neighborhood with a lot to say. It’s a colorful panoply of expression, and yes, it can make you forget your suffering for an afternoon. If you can’t afford the shops and restaurants (and believe me, it’s a tough place for bargains), have the pleasure of looking at the free art around you. Think of ways to participate.

There isn’t a more trafficked gallery than the one you pass each day.

And, of course, they’re on Instagram. (And, hell, so are we.)

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