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“A chair can be a living link to the past,” Witold Rybczynski writes in Now I Sit Me Down. In his book, the architect and design writer turns the most quotidian of household objects into his subject. Viewing the chair through his unwavering artist’s gaze, he traces its history. We find classical period pieces persisting in the face of modern innovations, contemporary chairs like folding and swinging seats with surprising early origins existing beside modern ergonomic and reclining chairs, which developed from careful scrutiny of human physiology. The most intriguing question Rybczynski asks is why humans sit in chairs at all. By sketching the progression of the chair he outlines the evolution of human behavior. Read more >>> Witold Rybczynski reads at 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. politics-prose.com. (Victoria Gaffney)


Following the devastating earthquake in Italy, three Mindful Restaurant Group restaurants (Ghibellina, Sotto, and Acqua al 2) are serving a special dish beginning this week and continuing through the end of September. Fifty percent of sales from the Bucatini Amatriciana ($18) will go to the Italian Red Cross to aid in relief efforts. It’s a signature dish of the city of Amatrice, which was impacted by the earthquake. The dish will be available for lunch and dinner at Ghibellina and Aqcua al 2 and for dinner at Sotto. (Laura Hayes)


Songbyrd Music House hosts a live recording of the “In School Suspension” podcast, in which storytellers share tales from their middle and high school years. Tonight’s theme, presented to coincide with the first days of school, deals with friendships, frenemies, and rivalries. 7:30 p.m. at 2477 18th St. NW. $7.

Experimental rock ensemble The Escape Artist plays the Black Cat Backstage with Boston-based avant-garde band Bent Knee and local math rock group Cartoon Weapons. 7:30 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $10–$12.

Head to DC9 for a set from world travelers Hockey Dad, a rock duo from a small town in coastal Australia. Georgia-based ambient music act Muuy Biien opens the show. 9 p.m. at 1940 9th St. NW. $10–$12.

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