Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sierra Club Hikes and Other Adventures

My book-related TALKS and WALKS are still listed under Book Talks below, but I will post some other adventures here, including some hikes in or around DC that I'm leading for the Sierra Club and other groups.

FLYING SQUIRRELS AND SPIES? for the Sierra Club, Feb. 23, 2018 
and Feb. 16 for the Vienna Photographic Society  Details to come.

PHOTOGRAPH BALD EAGLES AT CONOWINGO DAM & HIKE AT SUSQUEHANNA STATE PARK, for the Vienna Photographic Society, Dec. 3, 2017.  Details to come.

GREAT FALLS, MD FALL FOLIAGE HIKE for the Harvard Club of Washington, DC

ARE YOU TOUGH ENOUGH TO BEAT THE TIDE?  for the Sierra Club, 14-mile late summer hike/run on the most pristine part of Maryland's Assateague Island National Seashore. Details:  https://www.meetup.com/sierrapotomac/events/243031295/

See Peaking Pink Lotuses, Lively Waterfront Parks, an Island Oasis, an Important Civil War site, and Forever-Silent "Celebs" on this 19-ish mile ride and 3-ish mile hike along the paved Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. Details:  https://www.meetup.com/sierrapotomac/events/240790230/

* ROAN MOUNTAIN for the Sierra Club
If Thomas Jefferson had hiked amidst the orange flame azaleas and fiery purple rhododendron near Roan Mountain on the TN/NC border, he would have declared that area -- and not Harpers Ferry -- "Jefferson Rock, a view worth crossing the Atlantic Ocean." Okay, maybe that's a bit of hyperbole -- but no more than flower-loving Jefferson himself might have uttered. So come along with us to trek the Appalachian Trail's famous balds and gawk at a huge natural Rhododendron garden nearby that could melt a photographer's heart. Details:  https://www.meetup.com/sierrapotomac/events/237331540/

What do flying squirrels and spies have in common?  Both hung out at Arlington's Long Branch Nature Center. The spies -- convicted FBI traitor Robert Hanssen and his Russian pals who reportedly used the park as a dead drop -- are long gone, but the little southern flying squirrels who watched their clandestine maneuvers still hang out.  Come watch these cute critters as they soar down from the treetops to lap up peanut butter and pose for your camera. Before we head outside, a park naturalist will teach us about the wide-eyed cuties and we even get to gently touch one!  This might be your only chance for a close-up encounter with one of these super-common but seldom-seen furry night gliders. Details/registration:   https://www.meetup.com/sierrapotomac/events/237668747/

*  LONG RUNS IN NATURE: Sundays, winter/spring, C&O Canal.  Details/registration:  


*  DESIGNER DONUTS, OYSTERS, & POTATOES hike for the Sierra Club: 

*  LORTON PRISON BREAK hike for the Sierra Club      

*  7 PRESIDENTS AND A PARK hike for the Sierra Club 

*  COVERT CUPCAKES BOOK WALK for The North Face, Georgetown

*  SUFFRAGETTE CITY: Workhouse Arts to Occoquan Park & Town of Occoquan hike for the Sierra Club 

*  SPIES, PARKS & GARDENS: Robert Hanssen, the W&OD Trail, & Meadowlark Gardens hike for the Sierra Club


Monday, April 4, 2016

Book News and Notes (besides Book Talks)

BOOK NEWS & NOTES (besides Book Talk Schedules)

TOUTED BY TOUR GUIDE: During a talk at Arlington's main library in January, 2017, I was lucky to meet Vicky Schwartz. It is an honor to hear any reader say that they like my book and my book talks, but it was especially wonderful coming from a licensed tour expert.  Schwartz said:  "I am a DC tour guide with 30 years of experience.  I have never encountered anyone with more familiarity with the hidden gems of Washington's neighborhoods.  Barbara's research is very impressive.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to explore the real Washington."   

NEVER STOP EXPLORING: Who can resist the queens of cupcakes?  No one apparently -- or at least not the nearly 30-something folks who strolled with us through Georgetown Nov. 12 on a walk sponsored by The North Face.  Thanks to TNF, the TV star sisters who founded Georgetown Cupcake  (TNF's neighbor & a stop on WWDC's book walk #6) supplied their yummy vanilla and chocolate goodies with "The North Face" and "Walking Washington, DC" logos on the top.   Everyone liked it so much, TNF might even stage another "microadventure." Stay tuned.  Meanwhile, as TNF says: NEVER STOP EXPLORING!  https://www.facebook.com/TheNorthFaceGeorgetown/

HARVARD and BARNES & NOBLE: Thanks to all the savvy shoppers who showed up on Sunday June, 26 for my "Meet and Greet" and book signing at the B&N in Tysons Corner mall.  It appears to be one of B&N's busiest stores in the DMV -- and the mall is (reportedly) the 10th largest in the nation. Before rushing over to the book store, I led 30 fellow members of the Harvard Club of Washington, DC on a book talk and walk in Georgetown in the morning. (Walk #5, "Georgetown North: Silver Spoons and Spies.)

PRAISES: "The writing is engaging and beautifully organized," says author, editor, and former Wash Post National Staff graphics editor Jeannette Belliveau in her Amazon review. She praises its "mastery of detail," and says the "beautiful cover of Walking Washington, D.C. -- with photos taken by the gifted author -- is a perfect entree into this valuable book. "
Amazon: Amazon.com Review "Walking Washington, DC"

KUDOS: John Schwartz of the New York Times, who tweeted about my Washington Post travel story on Gatorland's bird rookery in April, 2015, said he "loved" my book.
Schwartz: John Schwartz on Twitter
Gatorland story: Birds are the Other Stars of Orlando's Gatorland

DID PRESIDENT OBAMA LIKE MY BOOK? Since the prez and his family are sticking around DC after the election -- Washingtonian magazine says he will rent former Clinton White House spokesman Joe Lockhart's 8,200 sq. ft. castle-like mansion with a round turret in Kalorama -- I mailed him a copy since he'll finally have time to explore the District.  Anyway, Barack and Michelle were so impressed that they sent me a formal thank-you card on White House stationery, saying, "This is just a quick note to thank you for your gift."  I hope they actually got to see my book.  Well, at least the White House staffer who recorded the gift saw it.

CALLING ALL READERS: Mark Stencel, Co-director of the Duke University Reporters' Lab, (and a former Wash Post colleague) helped announce the book's debut in the fall.
Stencel: Mark Stencel on Twitter

WALK THIS WAY: "One of the best things about being a writer is meeting other writers," said Author Lynne Strang in her posting about my book talk at her "Get Fit Clifton," Virginia walk on April 2, 2016.  Lynne wrote:
Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40

CIA READERS: David Baldacci didn't turn out tonight (May 3, 2016) -- but I did a book talk at the public library in the prolific author's adopted hometown of Oakton, VA.  He is a big supporter of the library.  However, there were other DC-type "celebs" in the audience.  At least one patron admitted he worked for the CIA.  Shhh.  Don't tell anyone!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Publisher's Press Release

Here is the publisher's press release: 


CONTACT: Tanya Sylvan, Wilderness Press 
Think you know Washington, D.C.? Have you stumbled upon D.C.’s “secret” tax-free shopping? Want to learn how best to snag a visit to the White House or one of Washington’s 171 embassies? Do you know where some Supreme Court justices like to dine?   

In Walking Washington, D.C., author and insider Barbara J. Saffir gives the low-down on all this and much more as she leads urban adventurers on 30 self-guided tours that blend culture, nature, newsy tidbits, and plain old fun. In addition to serving up the revitalized capital’s beloved cultural icons, this first-of-its-kind D.C. guidebook also treats readers to a yummy buffet of lesser-known fun facts that bring the city alive. From the majestic monuments of the National Mall and the magical historic district of Georgetown to the colorful neighborhoods of Adams Morgan, U Street, Penn Quarter, and D.C.’s coolest new riverfront neighborhoods, this Metro-friendly guide is an indispensable road map for visitors and Washingtonians alike. 

Part of Wilderness Press’s award-winning Walking series, Walking Washington, D.C. is a must for inquisitive urban adventurers, whether they’re locals discovering their city with fresh eyes or visitors who are in town for a few days and seeking a truly authentic D.C. experience.

With clear maps depicting each walk, parking and public-transit info, in-depth walk descriptions paired with concise route summaries, and points of interest keyed to each walk, there’s no better way to discover the Nation’s Capital than on foot with this guide.

Walking Washington, D.C.
30 treks to the newly revitalized capital's cultural icons, natural spectacles, 
urban treasures, and hidden gems
By Barbara J. Saffir
ISBN 978-0-89997-765-2
Wilderness Press, October 2015, $18.95

About the AuthorBarbara J. Saffir has been exploring D.C.’s urban treasures and its softer side for the Washington Post, other publications, and herself for three decades. As a former reporter, political researcher, architecture critic, and nature photographer, she has always adored sharing adventures and discoveries that inspire people to say, “Wow!” She lives in Fairfax, VA.

For cover images and review copies, or to schedule an interview with the author, contact Tanya Sylvan at 205-443-7986 or tanya@AdventureWithKeen.com.

Readers can reach Ms. Saffir directly at BarbaraWalkingDCbook@gmail.com.

Book Talks

Here is the current public book TALK and WALK schedule. New talks will be added soon. 

Thursday, March 30, 7:30 p.m.
Free Book Talk (Signing/sale follows talk. Book purchase is optional.)
Audubon Naturalist Society, 8940 Jones Mill Rd, Chevy Chase, MD, 301-652-9188

Jan. 19, 2017, 7 p.m.
Free Book Talk (Signing/sale follows talk. Book purchase is optional.)
Arlington Central Library (Arlington, VA public library)
1015 North Quincy St., Arlington, VA, 703-228-5990
Library: http://library.arlingtonva.us/locations/central-library/

Nov. 12, 2016, 9 a.m.  (registration required)
Free Book WALK: The North Face, Georgetown 

Saturday, Oct. 22, 10:30 a.m.
Free Book Talk (Signing/sale follows talk. Book purchase is optional.)
Patrick Henry branch library (Fairfax County public library)
101 Maple Ave., East, Vienna, VA, 703-938-0405 (by W&OD Trail & Route 123)
Library: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/branches/ph/

Thursday, Sept. 29, 11:50 a.m.
Meet The Authors course 
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, George Mason University
Registration required: http://olli.gmu.edu/current-catalog-fall-2016/#

Saturday, Sept. 24, 3-5 p.m.
Free Book WALK: Fit for a President: Presidential Homes 
2131 R St., NW, Washington, DC
Registration required: http://www.culturaltourismdc.org
(Part of "WalkingtownDC," Cultural Tourism DC's annual walk program.  This
is the nonprofit that stages DC's annual embassy tours.)

Thursday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.
Free Book Talk (Signing/sale follows talk. Book purchase is optional.)
Chantilly Regional Library (Fairfax County public library) 
4000 Stringfellow Rd., Chantilly, VA, 703-502-3883

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Free Book WALK: Downtown: News Junkies East 
Federal Triangle Metro, 302 12 St., NW, Washington, DC
Registration required: http://www.culturaltourismdc.org
(Part of "WalkingtownDC," Cultural Tourism DC's annual walk program.  This
is the nonprofit that stages DC's annual embassy tours.)

Sept. 11, 2:30 p.m.
Free Book Talk (Signing/sale follows talk. Book purchase is optional.)
Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library (Washington, DC public library)
4450 Wisconsin Ave., NW; Washington, DC, 202-727-1488

Sunday, June 26, 9:30 a.m.
Harvard Club of Washington, DC, 202-337-1300
Georgetown book talk, walk, and signing.  Registration required.
Members/guests: $20; nonmembers: $45 (includes book)

Sunday, June 26, 2 p.m.
Barnes & Noble, Tysons Corner Center mall
1921 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, VA, 703-506-2937
"Meet and Greet" casual book signing.  (Book purchase required for signing.)
(Note: Tysons -- on Metro's new Silver Line -- is reportedly the country's 10th largest mall.)

Saturday, June 11, 7:30 p.m. 
Free Book Talk (Signing/sale follows talk. Book purchase is optional.)
Rockville Memorial Library (Montgomery County Public Library)
21 Maryland Ave., Rockville, Md.

Tuesday, May 3, 7 pm
Free Book Talk (Signing/sale follows talk. Book purchase is optional.)
Oakton library (Fairfax County Public Library)
10304 Lynnhaven Pl., Oakton, VA (near I-66 and Route 123)
Online registration: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/events/

Saturday, April 30, Noon
Free Book Talk and Walk near the White House.  (Signing/sale follows talk. Book purchase is optional.)
Reiter's Books
1900 G St., NW, Washington, DC

(Please note that this is the ORIGINAL user-friendly and official "Walking Washington, DC" guidebook, whose title was apparently "stolen" after this book was published)