Election 2012

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The White House Correspondent's Dinner-industrial complex has grown exponentially over time. Besides the dinner itself, the most high-profile annual social event in Washington, D.C., there are days of "nerd prom" events planned throughout the District — before and after the main event.

All the ramp-up parties hosted the week of, by the likes of Tinder and Google. The brunches on Saturday. The pre-parties on Saturday evening. The watch parties for those who can't get in. The after parties Saturday night all around the city. The day-after "hangover brunches" on Sunday.

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From Mexico City's Zócalo to Rome's Piazza Navona, public squares have always been a vibrant part of urban life. After visiting Italy a few years back, editor Catie Marron began thinking about the different roles these public spaces have played. She asked some well-known writers to share their thoughts about famous squares around the world, and the resulting essays are gathered in a new book called City Squares.

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