Saturday, August 13, 2022

Still Life with Robin: What's Exciting about Mid-August in Washington? (Hint: Initials RW)

by Peggy Robin

This week's Still Life with Robin might seem like more like an ad for the DC Restaurant Association's Restaurant Week (August 15-21) than the usual sort of observations that make up my Saturday column -- but it's a slow time in town and I'm running low on ideas. Which is much the same rationale for Restaurant Week itself: Not much happening in August and we need Restaurant Week to create a little buzz (a little dish?) about some interesting places to eat. A sweet meal deal is the incentive.

For those of us old enough to remember when twenty bucks was a lot to spend on an entree, it may take us a while to adjust to the reality that in these times, the $40 Restaurant Week deal is a bargain. But, as the late great Walter Cronkite used to say, "That's the way it is." Those of us old enough to think in Cronkite-era prices will always think of him as the Voice of Truth.

If you want to get the revealed Word on Restaurant Week straight from the people who have created it, then go to the Restaurant Association's website at, where you can use the search tools to find participating restaurants by neighborhood, cuisine, outdoor dining, delivery, meal time (brunch, lunch, dinner) and more.

Here are the participating restaurants listed for Cleveland Park, Cathedral Heights, Tenleytown, and Palisades, and Woodley Park:



Chef Geoff's


Al Dente

Lupo Verde Osteria 

Duke's Counter

That's  one for every day of the week....and that's just for those who want to stay close to Cleveland Park! There are participating restaurants as far away as Frederick, MD and Culpeper, VA -- if you still think mid-August is a good time to get out of town!


Still Life with Robin is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Get Out! It's the Final Fort Reno Concert of the Summer

 by Peggy Robin

The summer of '22 is two-thirds gone and for some reason, I neglected to post a single notice for the wonderful summer rock concert series at Fort Reno Park until now. It's been on every Monday and Thursday from 7:00 - 9:30 PM at Fort Reno Park, 4000 Chesapeake Street NW, since the opening on July 18. It's family friendly / dog friendly / FREE.
The "Get Out" event of the week announcement is normally posted on Thursdays but I'm making an exception this week to get this one out in time for people to plan to attend tomorrow, Thursday evening.

Here's the Facebook post announcing the last one:

Rain, rain fall today and get it out of your system!  Tomorrow is the last show of summer 2022 and the first annual Night of 1000 Fort Reno Shirts. We need clear skies, a stunning sunset and everyone in their FRCS shirt! Group photo will be taken!
7:00–9:30 PM
Night of 1000 Fort Reno Shirts!     

What to Bring:
YES to: Friends, Dogs, Babies, Picnic Food
NO to: Alcohol, Drugs, Glass Bottles   
Fort Reno is located at 4000 Chesapeake St NW, across the street from Jackson-Reed High School.   
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Share your Fort Reno memories using #fortreno.  

Buy a T-Shirt - Go to and scroll down to see designs.

PayPal payment for T-shirts:

Cotton t-shirt featuring a design by Ryan Nelson. Choose from Microphone, Cicada, Van, or 50th Anniversary
A 19x25 poster designed by Ryan Nelson and printed by Matt Michel.
All three of Ryan Nelson’s vintage Fort Reno T-shirt designs—van, cicada, and microphone.

The "Get Out" Event of the Week is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays -- but week's announcement was was bumped up to Wednesday to make sure people would see it before the concert Thursday evening.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Still Life with Robin: A Wonderful Flowering in DC

by Peggy Robin

There are really some things you need to see in real life to believe they exist.....and to appreciate the varied wonders of Planet Earth.

A few of those things are: 
  • Steam vents/lava flows around an active volcano
  • A coral reef teeming with aquatic life in a riot of colors and shapes
  • A look at the night sky during a meteor shower, in a remote field with no artifical light nearby
  • A tall waterfall that creates a perpetual rainbow
  • The total eclipse of the sun
  • Caverns of stalactites and stalagmites
  • The Grand Canyon
  • The Galapagos Islands

---and I'll stop here so that I can get to the DC-located wonder, which is....

It's the largest flower on earth. It's a rare phenomenon, blooming --on average-- just once every six years. You will think you have walked into a science fiction horror movie. The stench is hard to bear (hence the name). You may expect it to reach out very suddenly and swallow you whole....but it won't, trust me. I saw it for the first time in 2016 at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. And I plan to see it again right here in DC -- it's at the Enid Haupt Garden in a big flower box, right in front of the Smithsonian Museum of Asian and African Art. It's expected to be at peak bloom between August 10 -12 -- so you need to wait until the middle of next week to get the full experience. Maximum stench tends to occur around dawn and dusk -- so depending on the type of experience you want, you might go or refrain from going at those times.

You can follow the progress on Smithsonian Instagram:

It's free -- and a whole lot easier to get to than the Galapagos Islands and happening sooner than the next total eclipse of the sun (April East Timor, Indonesia, and parts of Australia on April 20, 2023.
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Get Out! Enjoy the FREE Festival Overture on the National Mall

Festival Overture On The National Mall

Saturday, August  6 at 8 pm

Join us on the National Mall for this end of summer concert featuring the music of America and including the cannons of The Old Guard Presidential Salute Battery.

BYO water/chair/blanket.

This is a Ticketed Event. This performance is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.
Get Tickets (You only need to register once per party.)

Near Smithsonian Castle and Metro / Washington, DC

Register on Eventbrite to receive info/alerts.

Rain date 8/7.


Carnival Overture
Antonin Dvořák  arr. Herbert L. Clarke

Hymn to New England
John Williams arr. Paul Lavender and SSG Irving Ray

One Voice
Ruth Moody arr. Arthur Stone

Suite for Jazz Saxophones
Dizzy Gillespie, Hoagy Carmichael, Ray Noble arr. SGM (Ret.) Paul A. Murtha

They Say That in The Army arr. LTC Scott McKenzie

Armed Forces Medley
arr. MSG (Ret.) Michael Brown and MSG (Ret.) James Kazik

America the Beautiful
Samuel A. Ward, Katherine Lee Bates arr. Carmen Dragon

A New Day from Gilded Age
Harry Gregson-Williams and Rupert Gregson-Williams arr. SGM (Ret.) Paul A. Murtha

This is My Wish
Tim Lauer and Angela Lauer arr. MSG Martin Gold

Earth, Wind & Fire Medley
Maurice White arr. SFC Tim Whalen

In the Stone
SFC Erik Tue, vocalist
SSG Bethsaida Patterson, vocalist
That's the Way of the World
SFC Chris Rettig, vocalist
SGM Christal Rheams, vocalist
Festival Overture on the Star Spangled Banner
Dudley Buck
arr. LTC (Ret.) Dwayne Milburn, MSG (Ret.) Michael Brown

The Stars and Stripes Forever
John Philip Sousa

The "Get Out" event of the week is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Still Life with Robin: Are You Ready for 100?


by Peggy Robin

They all say it's coming. The National Weather ServiceCapital Weather Gang, Accu-weather. They're unanimous. Tomorrow (Sunday) will be the worst day of an oppressive heat wave. Expect to see the thermometer hit 99 degrees with a heat index of 103. We're just about to join the heat alert club. Twenty-six states out of fifty are there already. That's 90 million of us.

At least it's not as bad here as in Philadelphia where the expected high tomorrow is 103 with a heat index of 107 (!). 

Are you prepared? Here are some tips to help you see your way through to the other side:

Don't crank your A/C up but set your thermostat a few degrees warmer than you normally like. Better to have it uncomfortably warm inside than overwork your A/C and risk having it conk out on you. That will help with your energy bill, too..

Fans, fans, fans. For those of us with older, inefficient central air systems or single-unit condensers where we should have two-zone systems, a few fans can help blow cooler air from cooler parts of the house to hotter ones. 

Cut out the glaring sun. Keep shades drawn on windows that get morning or evening glare. (Duh, you've known that for years!)

Don't add to the heat by using hot appliances. It's not a good day to blow-dry your hair, iron your clothes, or do any long, slow cooking in your oven. 

Eat cold food. Tomorrow is the best day for gazpacho

Don't do much of anything. Not a good day to go running, biking, or any other strenuous activity in the sun. Here's your excuse to get out of mowing the lawn or weeding the garden. But if you absolutely must, do it in the early morning hours -- and stay hydrated. 

Get out of town! I wish I were taking this advice starting tomorrow. I'm actually going to the mountains of upstate New York on Tuesday, when the worst of the heat wave will be behind us. But for anyone who can clear out of DC now....I envy you! It's been in the 70s in the Adirondacks during the day and in the low 60s at night. How does Akureyri, Iceland sound? The high tomorrow will be 60 under partly cloudy conditions and the nighttime low will be a chilly 40 degrees F. And it's a lovely little town! Last minute trip, anyone?


Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Get Out! It's the Last Weekend of the Capital Fringe Festival

by Peggy Robin

More than half the summer has gone and along with it, all but the last weekend of the Capital Fringe Festival. In past years, the Capital Fringe Festival was a huge deal, a giant creative hive in the capital, buzzing with plays, stand-up comedy, musical performances, dance, cabaret, and all kinds of experimental theatre, for two or three weeks. And it always garnered lots of publicity, including here on the Cleveland Park Listserv. After a Covid-induced hiatus of two years, it's back, but this year it's smaller, shorter (just 8 days) and concentrated in Georgetown (Georgetown Mall and the Sandlot, adjacent to the Four Seasons Hotel), and there's much less fanfare. And nothing was sent to the Listserv about it. I have to admit, I didn't even know it was going on until I started to look up events to post for this week's "Get Out!" column. My bad! Even though I've missed the bulk of it, at least I have a chance to spread the word about the last three days.

So what can you see on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday? Fifty-six more performances, that's what! Here's the schedule (in .PDF format), listing everything in the Festival since it opened on July 14. Scroll to the last page to see the many productions that still have tickets available. Go to: Tickets are just $15 a show!

Don't want to spend any money? There are two free events Saturday, July 23rd. First, at 3 pm there's a Community Open Mic event, followed by Fringe Free Music by Underdog the DJ at 5 PM. Here's the write-up from the Fringe....and it's not too late for you to sign up to perform. Show up at Sandlot in person between 2:30 - 2:55 and you're on!

Sat July 23

Community Open Mic

Sign up at Sandlot in-person 2:30pm – 2:55pm

Community Open Mic will start promptly at 3pm and run up until 5pm. Any talent you wish to perform or express is welcome! Onsite we will provide a guitar hook-up, two mics, can cord to play back-up track you provide. A prize of $50 and a gift bag with Georgetown Business discounts will be given to the individual or group who gets the loudest claps and yells from the audience. ANY TALENT!!! Join in to express yourself and feel good.

FRINGE FREE MUSIC :: Underdog the dj

5pm to close

Underdog the dj, graphic design teacher in District of Columbia Public Schools, and community member DJ Underdog is an artist, educator, and sound and visual artist. Born in Panama, Underdog moved to DC at age seven with his mother and has since then his roots and their roots have spread not just all over the District but . . .the globe.

Underdog the dj has shared the stage with artists like Femi Kuti, Bad Brains, Sango, Zap Mama, Common, Black Coffee, Kelela, A Tribe Called Red, Questlove, and Thundercat; activated countless engagements, including Future R & Bass with Soulection. You can also hear him through Blackstar Radio on WPFW. Join in to feel the beats in your body on the final Saturday.   

Hoping some brave (and talented) Cleveland Parkers sign up for the Community Open Mic to represent and do us proud!

The "Get Out!" event of the week is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Still Life with Robin: Weird Weather in Washington

by Peggy Robin

On a gorgeous summer day (today, July 16 2022) it's a good time to take a look back at the wildest weather day of the week -- that was sunset lightning storm we had on Tuesday night, July 12. 

All of these Twitter photos are well worth a click!

That's some CRRRAAAZZZY lightning:

Here's one from a professional reporter, Dave Dildine at WTOP: 

The Capital Weather Gang tweeted a good one here:
...with more on the Washington Post's website:

Here's where it gets really weird! This tweet shows what the poster is calling a double rainbow sunset. But it seems more like a red dome to me:

This pic shows the orangey-est sky I've ever seen:

More weird colors: An indigo sky with a rainbow dome:

Here's one with the indigo, the orange, and the weird lightning -- all blithely ignored by a cat sleeping in a cat tree safe inside a high-rise apartment with big windows: (Someone could write a fine poem that captures this scene.)

And now, let's end with something from another day and another place (July 15, West Virginia). It's not a thunderstorm -- it's a FOGBOW

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Get Out! Get Out! C'est le 14 Juilllet ....And You Can Celebrate on Saturday, July 16

by Peggy Robin

France's National Day (Bastille Day, as we tend to call it in America, though in France it's simply known as July 14th) is today but why limit the celebration to one day? If you want to enjoy French food, play some French games, and celebrate all things French, you can do that on Saturday, July 16 in nearby Tenleytown. Here's your invitation:

Enjoy Bastille Day at the Park with family-friendly activities, French food and games, and a raffle to win a wine set!

About this event

Fessenden Park becomes Tenleytown's own little "French Quarter" as Tenleytown Main Street celebrates Bastille Day. Enjoy quiche and profiteroles, sip Perrier, Orangina, and rose sangria, play the classic lawn game pétanque, listen to live music by accordionist Russell Wilson, and take part in French-themed crafts. Play Bastille Day Trivia for a chance to win one of five adult beverage gift sets from Verified Wine & Fine Spirits.

Enjoy activities for the whole family, such as:

  • Live Accordion Music with Russell Wilson
  • Sample quiches from Le Chat Noir and profiteroles from Matisse
  • Sip rosé at Le Chat Noir from 2 to 5 PM
  • Learn how to play pétanque and play other lawn games
  • Participate in family-friendly craft activities: coloring, beading, temporary tattoos
  • Plant a sunflower to take home with you, and add a bit of the French country side to your windowsill
  • Make your own lavender sachet

Tickets are just $20; one child ticket (ages 10 and under) included free with a paid adult. Additional child tickets are $5/child. Tickets include all food, beverage, and activities. All proceeds benefit programming and maintenance of Fessenden Park.

Advanced ticket sales for this event end at 10:30 AM EST on Saturday, July 16. A limited quantity will be available at the welcome tent on a first come, first served basis.


Fessenden Park is bounded by Wisconsin Avenue, Fessenden St., and 42nd St. The park is equidistance from either the Tenleytown-AU Metro station or the Friendship Heights station, and is located on multiple Metro Bus lines. A Capital Bikeshare station is located at Fessenden Street and Wisconsin Avenue, next to Citibank. Metered street parking is also available.


The "Get Out" event of the week is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Still Life with Robin: The Abstract Art of the Weather Map

 by Peggy Robin

I'm on the road this weekend, and before I left, I checked with my favorite source of weather information, The Capital Weather Gang (without question the most useful of all DC gangs -- and I would bet, the nicest, too) to see what kind of conditions I'd be driving in. 

What I found when the website came up on my screen was a lovely piece of abstract art:

When I clicked on the article that accompanied the image (which was sent to me as a teaser/preview from the Washington Post as part of its afternoon e-newsletter), I found the soothing multi-colored composition is actually a weather map portending flooding and drenching rain. 

Ah well, at least for a few seconds I enjoyed the illusion that we were in a swirl of green and red and blue paints arranged by some modern artist, instead of what was the actual significance of the image: [and I quote] " heavy rain and some flooding if storms repeatedly pass — a.k.a. train — over the same area.... About a quarter to a half-inch of rain will fall in general storms, with perhaps two or more inches in any training activity."

I am fully intending to heed the warning if I should encounter any pooling of unknown depth along my route: "If you come across flooded roads: turn around, don’t drown."

While I'm away, I'll just add a short, practical note about the running of the Listserv.: It's going to be slow going, today and tomorrow. I may not be getting to review messages very often, so expect delays! If you need to post something and have it go out quickly to all -- sorry, but this is not a good weekend for speedy service! I'll be back on Monday morning and the Listserv should be back up to speed by then!
Still Life with Robin is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Get Out! And Attend the Unveiling of CITY RIDGE, Saturday, July 9, 9am-9pm

by Peggy Robin

Seems like a LOOOONG time ago - definitely in the before-times, P.P.* that we first heard tell of the coming of CITY RIDGE. Here's the first mention of it that I found on the Cleveland Park Listserv: Message   on Nov 30, 2018.

Fast-forward 3.5 years and now we're about to see the unveiling of the finished project. Here's your invitation and agenda for the events of the day. Don't forget, you need to RSVP!

City Ridge Unveiling 

Saturday, July 9 

9am - 9 pm

There’s no better place to be than City Ridge! The 10-acre, $715 million redevelopment which includes nearly 700 new apartments, is hosting fun, FREE activities all day long as it unveils the highly-anticipated neighborhood to the community.

Throughout the day, guests will enjoy the following activities (with more details to be announced):

  • Join us for a Wimbledon Watch Party on City Ridge’s Great Lawn, the expansive one-acre front lawn perfect for picnics and puppy playdates. City Ridge is an official host sponsor of the 2022 Citi Open in DC in August.

  • Pop on over to the rosé garden, where you can accompany your glass of the signature summer drink with a fresh bouquet from the Blue Ribbon Floral Truck.
  • Play with life-size lawn games including corn hole, giant Jenga, Connect Four and more.
  • Enjoy a range of children's activities including face painters, glitter tattoos and bubble artists.
  • Dance along to live music from local bands and DJs all day long, throughout the property.

  • Community ceremony revealing City Ridge’s signature sculpture featuring city leaders and project stakeholders

  • Closing the night with a showing of “Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark” under the stars on the Great Lawn

We can't wait to see you there!

By attending, you are consenting to your picture being taken and used for marketing purposes.

City Ridge

3900 Wisconsin Ave NW

Washington, DC 20016

View map

[* P.P. = pre-pandemic]

The "Get Out" event of the week is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Still Life with Robin: It's Almost the 4th of July + a Week of Other Holidays We Missed!

There's quite a big holiday coming up. Of course you know what I'm talking about -- it's the one with all the fireworks, and the brass bands, the barbecues, and a ton of attendant patriotic hoopla. Well, it seems in anticipation of all the fuss around our National Day, I've neglected to mark some really cool days of the week that was. There's always next year, so I'm marking my 2023 calendar right now. And like a belated birthday card that is still worth sending, let me say I hope you all had a very happy.....

CANOE DAY. This fell on Sunday of last week and has been celebrated yearly on June 26 since 2007. Learn more about it here: Of course, this day is meant to be celebrated on the water in a small craft propelled by your own paddling power. Canoeing is environmentally friendly, a great form of exercise, and a scenic and fun way to explore our lakes and rivers. Why June 26? It's certainly not the day the canoe was invented! That happened somewhere between 9,000-10,000 years ago (written calendars were still a long way off!). You can read more about the oldest canoe ever found at: 

June 27 was NATIONAL ONION DAY. Of course we must have a day in this great Union to recognize the venerable and multilayered Onion. This versatile and aromatic vegetable is at the root of many a flavorful dish. Coming in a multiplicity of colors and shapes, it  nourishes us with its vitamins C and B6, along with potassium and some fiber, all in a low-calorie bulb. No wonder people all over the planet have been cultivating and cooking with it for over 5,000 years. What do you do to celebrate National Onion Day? Cook many delicious dishes with onions! More about National Onion Day at

JUNE 28 WAS CAPS LOCK DAY. You know the rule: Anything typed in ALL CAPS is considered shouting. While it's not polite, according to the universal etiquette of the internet, on June 28 you are granted a WAIVER. SO ON THIS DAY YOU CAN SHOUT IN ALL CAPS ALL DAY LONG. To fully appreciate this holiday, you will want answers to the following questions: 1. How did the caps lock key become a fixture on our typewriters and computer keyboards? 2. Who was the genius who thought up Caps Lock Day? 3. Why do we celebrate it on June 28th when it was originally set down as OCTOBER 22nd? You will find the answer to all these questions and more, typed out in ALL CAPS at

June 29 was The BLESSING OF THE BOATS. It's St. Peter's Day in the calendar of the saints of the Roman Catholic Church, but in seaside communities, it's a day for all who love the sea to come together and celebrate life on the water. St Peter is the patron saint of fisherfolk, and his feast day has become a day of commemoration / celebration for everyone who fishes or wants to express gratitude for the bounty of the sea. This day is also more somberly observed in honor of those lives lost at sea. You can find a typical Blessing of the Boats Day event covered in this news video from Harbor Springs, Michigan: 

June 30 was ASTEROID DAY. Not sure why we should celebrate the possibility of a giant space rock crashing down on our planet -- with the potential to wipe out all life on earth? Maybe "celebrate" is the wrong word for this day. Let's say be aware and informed. That's why Stephen Hawking, among others, worked to establish Asteroid Day. Here's what you need to know (from the World Asteroid Day webpage of TImesNowNews: "World Asteroid Day is held on the anniversary of the Tunguska event in 1908 when an asteroid struck a part of Siberian forests and leveled about 2,150 kilometers of forest land. The United Nations has proclaimed World Asteroid Day to be observed globally on June 30th every year. Stephen Hawking, filmmaker Grigorij Richters, Danica Remy, astronaut Rusty Schweickart, and Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May co-founded Asteroids Day. The Asteroid Day Declaration was signed by over 200 astronauts, scientists, technologists, and artists, including Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, Peter Gabriel, Jim Lovell, Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, Alexei Leonov, Bill Anders, Kip Thorne, Lord Martin Rees, Chris Hadfield, Rusty Schweickart, and Brian Cox." Want to know what to watch out for in future World Asteroid Days? The answer is this big mama that could be arriving sometime around 2052: Keep your eyes on the skies!

July 1 was CANADA DAY! What a country! And it's looking better by the minute!. Great flag, great anthem -- and such nice, polite people! As we in the US contemplate a future in which every undiagnosed nutcase is now entitled to carry concealed weapons (thank you, 2/3 of SCOTUS), Canada is looking increasingly like an island of sanity and calm. Except it's not an island, it's the second largest country by land mass in the world. If you missed the chance to celebrate yesterday with our friendly neighbors to the north, mark this website and come back again in 364 days:

And now we come to today, JULY 2, which you can celebrate as HALFWAY DAY. Yes, today marks the start of the second half of the year, and if you are a glass-half-full type, that means you appreciate the half you've had so far and expect to get the most out of the half still ahead. If you're a glass-half-empty type, that means you're glad we've muddled through the past six months, and will take the next six months as a chance for things to improve. Either way, it's a day to sit back and take stock of where we are and where we're going (as illustrated here: So raise a glass (half full of champagne) to the half we've had so far -- and then give a six-months-early toast to New Year's Day 2023.
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.