If you’ve strolled through Dupont Circle recently, you’ve probably stopped outside the CVS to examine the photos of the Connecticut Avenue trolley and early-20th-century Washington. Jeb and Dash: A Diary of Gay Life, 1918-1945, now out in paperback (Faber and Faber, 285 pp., $14.95), offers the same time-capsule feel. Excerpted in Washington City Paper last year (“The Secret Life of Jeb Alexander,” 11/5/93), this diary of a closeted gay bureaucrat tells a poignant tale of unrequited passion. The pseudonymous diarist, who willed his memoirs to his niece/editor, Ina Russell, trysts in Lafayette Square Park, goes for a dip in the circa-1925 Tidal Basin, and witnesses the 1929 fire at the White House. Historians and voyeurs alike should take a look.
Bicking Up the Pieces Bick’s Books closed its doors last June after five years in Adams Morgan, and former owner Robby Bick doesn’t anticipate a return to bookselling. The Bick family maintains an affection for bound pages, however. Bick’s wife, Jennifer Bick, has set up a venture called Printed Word Studios; she’s creating blank journals using fabric, wood, and handmade- paper covers. These DIY volumes are currently available in craft shops; by writing to 319 Ethan Allen Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912; or at the Rockville Arts Place, where an annual sale continues through Sunday, Dec. 4.