Fairfield is “not just any Iowa town,” said Josh Noel in the Chicago Tribune. Though “hemmed in by farms” and rich in traditional Midwestern charm, this small county seat does double duty as a mecca for transcendental meditation, or TM. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who began the TM movement in the late 1950s, moved his Maharishi International University from California to Fairfield in 1974. The town got caught up in the phenomenon, and today “a quarter to a third of the population” practices meditation. Twice a day, hundreds of locals, including the mayor, meditate at precisely the same time. Visitors are welcome, and can book tours of various TM sites. I made an appointment for shirodhara, a treatment that involves “pouring a steady stream of oil on the forehead” to balance the mind. “Life’s busy thoughts faded as the oil rhythmically fell.”
Dining like a D.C. fat cat
Washington, D.C.’s K Street isn’t the “fusty culinary landscape” it used to be, said Sarah Wildman in The New York Times. Gone are the “white tablecloths, blue blazers, and standard steakhouses” that once lined the thoroughfare, a hub of lobbying firms and think tanks. If your work takes you to the area, look to a new rash of more inventive restaurants that often draw on the cuisines of local immigrant communities. The Japanese restaurant Kushi is “split architecturally and gastronomically” between a sushi bar and a grilling area; it serves up “meltingly tender” miso-marinated black cod. New York Avenue’s Againn dishes out “British soul food”—meaning old-fashioned corner-pub fare with a few “haute twists” and “post-colonial ingredients.” At Rasika, the James Beard–nominated chef Vikram Sunderam offers modern spins on traditional Indian dishes, and “packs the house” day and night.