Reveler, artist, and absinthe drinker Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec put the French district of Montmartre on the 19th-century map through his dance hall posters and cabaret-act paintings — and travelers still flock to Paris to visit. Stateside, though, you can catch a glimpse of the famous locale by checking out D.C.’s National Gallery of Art, where the “Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre” exhibit is on view through June 12. Next stop? The Windy City’s Art Institute of Chicago, July 16 through October 10. (202) 737-4215, www.nga.gov
— Elaine Glusac
Yes, you can buy more than red ties in the capital. Contemporaria proves D.C.’s global outlook with a virtual U.N. of interior goods. Check out furniture from Italy, accessories from Canada, and rugs from Finland — without leaving Georgetown. (202) 338-0193, www.contemporaria.com — E.G.
Nats: Ready To Fly?
Baseball returns to the nation’s capital as the Montreal Expos become the Washington Nationals. Until 2008, the Nats will play in venerable (okay, old) RFK Stadium, sharing turf with Major League Soccer’s D.C. United. Unless you want to tailgate on the verdant banks of the Anacostia River, there’s not much to do around RFK, so get your fun on in Georgetown after the game. Risky prediction: The ex-Expos finished ’04 in last place, 29 games out of first, but the Nats will flirt with .500 this year. Safe prediction: An orgy of headline puns (Nats Swarm Bucs, Phils Swat Nats). The good news: The Nats have at least one bona fide Hall of Famer. The bad news: It’s 69-year-old manager Frank Robinson.
— CHRIS TUCKER
The Nationals have 10 home dates in May, including May 1 vs. the New York Mets, May 13-15 vs. the Chicago Cubs, May 16-19 vs. the Milwaukee Brewers, and May 30-31 vs. the Atlanta Braves. Ticket prices vary. To purchase tickets, call (202) 397-7328 or go to washington.nationals.mlb.com.
A vintage 1962 D.C. hot spot, the Capital Skyline Hotel aims to reclaim the spotlight. The modernist landmark, designed by Morris Lapidus (think Miami’s Fontainebleau Hilton) and lately renovated by the Rubell family (of Studio 54 fame), is now the hippest Best Western on the books, with all the spark and none of the snobbery of design hotels. Plus, it has retro room rates — from $109. (202) 488-7500, www.bestwestern.com — E.G.