Thursday, June 30, 2022

Get Out! And March in a Parade on the 4th of July (or Just Watch a Parade)

by Peggy Robin
The year 2022 is the nation's 246th Independence day --and although it seems the state of our Republic is a bit tattered and frayed of late, we still want to wish it a very happy birthday. 
DCist has a list of places and ways to celebrate the day, listing events in and around the city, and I can't improve on it:

However, I do want to highlight the parade that is the closest thing Cleveland Park has to a neighborhood parade: It's  the Palisades Parade, now in its 56th (!) year, made up of so many different creative hobby groups, colorful cultural groups, sports teams, and civic organizations, plus all the usual folderol of marching bands, dance troupes, glad-handing politicians, classic cars, funny floats, and everything else you could want from a traditional Fourth of July Parade. It's never too long or too fancy, and everyone is invited to join right in, no registration required. 
The parade starts at 11 AM at the corner of Whitehaven Parkway and MacArthur Boulevard and ends at the Palisades Recreation Center (MacArthur and Sherier Place), where there's live music, a picnic, and activities for the kiddies.
Bring a bag to collect the candy, beads and other trinkets that may be tossed out by marchers or by people on top of the floats.
You should also bring your own water -- although there undoubtedly will be people handing out free water bottles, too. But why wait for that?
Here's a bit of last year's parade to show what it's like:
And for those not planning to attend a fireworks show in the evening, here's one you can enjoy anytime, without the smoke, crowds, or unruly kids near you setting off their own risky, eardrum shattering rockets:
The "Get Out" event of the week is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Still Life with Robin: FolkLife with Smithsonian

Falcon at the FolkLife Festival
by Peggy Robin

The FolkLife Festival is back in business after a two-year detour into the world of virtual reality. 

This year's festival seems smaller than in the past....but maybe that's because I went yesterday afternoon when there were workers busy constructing more booths and setting up more exhibits. The two main themes of this event are United Arab Emirates: Living Landscape and Earth Optimism.

Even if I did not see everything there was to see, I did see a lot of fascinating and fun things. The full schedule of events is here: I especially recommend these exhibits:

  • Falconry! See these magnificent birds and learn how they are kept and trained....and you can even hold one. (They were not letting the birds fly when I was there.)
  • Beekeeping - with a taste of honey!
  • Perfumes and Fragrances in the UAE. 
  • Mushrooms - Meet some mushroom experts, see, touch and smell some unusual fungi
  • Growing vegetables and herbs in upright containers. You can have a vegetable garden even if you don't have a yard!


Basic Info:

DATES: June 22–27 and June 30–July 4

HOURS: Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with evening concerts most nights at 6:30 p.m. Free film screenings begin at 10 a.m. in Folklife Studio

More details at Smithsonian Folklife Festival Visitor Information.    

A few tips for the trip:

Pick up a festival brochure when you arrive. They're free and available at information stations at both ends of the festival and in the middle too. It can help to direct you to the events that are on during your visit and allow you to plan your time efficiently. The brochure is also available as a .pdf:,. 

Bring an empty water bottle. You can fill it from one of the large barrels of water with spigots available at intervals along the mall.

Wear a hat & sunglasses. Many but not all of the pavilions and booths are set up in the shade, but there's still a lot of walking in full sun - and the glare can be intense.

A little battery fan and/or a cooling bandana will keep you from roasting.

Avoid the port-a-potties. They are baking in the sun and must be like little ovens. It's easy enough to pop into the nicely air-conditioned Smithsonian Castle to use a real bathroom. And here's a little bonus: on your way to the bathroom, take a look at the giant-sized space suit in the glass case right by the entrance. It was used by astronauts working outside the space station on various needed repairs. It has 14 layers of protection (so says the information card).


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

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Get Out! Get Out! June 25 Is Solstice Saturday at Smithsonian Museums

by Peggy Robin
Image: Solstice Saturday Wellness Event 

Did you know that Solstice Saturday at the Smithsonian Museums has been celebrated for the past FOUR YEARS?

Maybe it's because I'm not a night owl that I have overlooked this stay-up-till-midnight event. But for those who want to enjoy the lingering sunlight hours and mingle with the many sun-worshippers who observe rituals around the longest day of the year -- this event is for you!

FREE  Parties - Programs - Performances     

On June 25, 2022, the Smithsonian marks the first Saturday of summer—Solstice Saturday—by staying open late and hosting parties, programs, and performances, including a free concert on the National Mall hosted by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, a late-night garden dance party with glow yoga, a wellness day, and more.

The following museums will be open until midnight:
  • Smithsonian Castle and Haupt Garden
  • Arts and Industries Building
  • National Museum of African Art
  • National Museum of Asian Art
  • National Museum of Natural History.

Open until 8 PM:
  • The National Museum of African American History and Culture (passes not required after 5:30 p.m.)
  • Hirshhorn Museum

Solstice Saturday is held in association with Hofstra University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Hofstra University’s Astronomy Festival on the National Mall takes place Saturday, June 25, 6–11 p.m., across from the National Museum of the American Indian.

More about specific events and activities at these links: 

FUTURES Play Lab: FUTURES x Oracle: Future of Water

Women’s Environmental Leadership Lecture Series - WATER BLOCK™: Urban Design and Environmental Justice 

Living Longer Festival: Health + Wellness 2050

WIYRSP Living Longer in the Future

The Book of Fish

21st Century Consort: Earth and the Great Weather (A Sonic Geography of the Arctic)

En Pura Plena: Celebrating the Life and Loves of Tito Matos

Smithsonian Solstice Celebration

Glow Yoga in the Garden

And be sure to visit the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which opened on Wednesday, June 22 and is on through Monday, June 27, is off for 2 days, and is back on Thursday, June 30 through Monday, July 4: All events are free and open to the public.

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

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Still Life with Robin: Goodbye to the Sunday Supplements on Saturday

by Peggy Robin

When I picked up my Saturday paper this morning, I found the attached note from the people who assemble and deliver the Washington Post to my doorstep. I assume this note went to all of us cave-dwellers who get our news in the ancient style of ink markings arrayed across very thin sheets of wood pulp.

We who cling to our ancient home delivery ways are accustomed to getting a little bonus on Saturdays: some sections of the Sunday paper a day in advance. The Washington Post magazine, Parade magazine, and some glossy/color ad circulars come wrapped in a separate plastic bag and are among the inserts in the Saturday paper. The note says that in order to cut back on the use of plastic, the Post will be ending both the wrapping of these sections and the delivery of same inside Saturday's paper. 
I am not one to object to any reasonable measure to cut down on plastic waste, and so I won't object to this change. I will instead bid it a fond farewell. 
But it means I must make some adjustments in how I spend my weekend time, given that there are a few key time-sucks that now must be squeezed into my Sunday schedule -- when there are already so many other competing puzzles and features. 
Here's some of what I will be carving out a bit more time to deal with on Sunday:
* Reading the Sunday comics
* Armchair-traveling to some of the places covered in the Travel Section
* Fantasizing about entering The Style Invitational (I have never come up with anything funny enough for the exacting Empress)
* Doing Second Glance (but I always stop after 10-15 minutes - I feel no compulsion to find all 12 differences) 
*...and now I come to the REAL reason I will miss getting the Sunday sections on Saturday: I don't go out on dates on Saturday nights anymore, but I always have the vicarious pleasures of DATE LAB!
Oh, what I'm willing to sacrifice for the sake of the environment!
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life is Local on Saturdays (and it will NOT be moving to Sunday!)

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Get Out! Juneteenth events on June 19th...and June 16th, 17th, 18th, and 20th

by Peggy Robin

So much happening in and around DC for the second annual celebration of Juneteenth as a national holiday! 

The federal government's day off occurs on the nearest Monday to June 19th -- that is, June 20th, and on that date you can expect all the usual holiday closings of government offices (both DC and federal), plus a parking meter holiday, and of course, the "trash slide" for those who get their trash and recycling picked up by DC Sanitation.

As for events....too many good ones for me to list here, so I'm taking the lazy way out and sending you over to the Washington Post's Juneteenth Guide at: 

Looking over what's in the Post guide, I'll put in a couple of quick votes* for these events:

Juneteenth: A Celebration - at the National Archives.
June 18-20,  10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The centerpiece over these three days is the display of the original Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln, and General Order #3 (which transmitted the news of emancipation to the residents of the state of Texas). 

On Friday, June 17 from 7 - 8 PM we join with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) for a discussion with a musical performance. Moderated by Dr. Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, professor of history at Howard University, the program will include Dr. Anton House, Delaware State University, and Don and Jocelyn Pinkard, members of the ASALH Dallas Branch. Violinist Gabrielle Clover will perform. 

Extended hours: The National Archives Museum will be open to the public until 7 p.m. on June 18, 19, and 20 for the Juneteenth weekend. 


Monday, June 20, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Juneteenth Community Day celebrations - a panoply of family-friendly events staged by the National Museum of African American History and Culture - free but tickets required. 

* Speaking of votes, DC's drop-boxes are accepting ballots through June 21. You can vote in-person at any early voting center through June 19. If you want to vote in person at your assigned precinct, you can do that on election day, Tuesday, June 21 from 7am - 8pm. If you are mailing in your ballot, it must be postmarked by June 21 and received at the Board of Election by June 28 to be counted.  


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

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Still Life with Robin: Take a Flyer

by Peggy Robin

I started the count on Tuesday, May 31st -- the day I received seven campaign flyers in the mail or left at the door. I've been letting them accumulate, just to see how big a stack I would get by today, when I would post this column about it. Not a political column, per se, as I will make no comment on the content of any of the campaign material I've received; I'm just here to do a paper count, and then make a few snarky comments about design -- or lack thereof..

First, to the numbers. Here are the numbers of flyers received from each candidate in the Democratic primary (in descending order, without regards to position sought) over the past 12 days:
Eric Goulet 9
Muriel Bowser 8
Phil Mendelson 6
Beau Finley 4
Tricia Duncan 2
Nate Fleming 2
Matt Frumin 2
Monte Monash 2
Brian Schwalb 2
Robert White 2
Anita Bonds 2
Erin Palmer 1
Bruce Spiva 1
Phil Thomas 1
TOTAL 44 (averaging between 3 and 4 a day for 12 days)
And now for my comments on the visual impression made by all these flyers. First, let me cite a few sources that lay out the fundamentals of graphic design. There are a handful of generally acknowledged principles that graphic design students learn in any introductory level class, concerning balance, alignment, hierarchy, contrast, color, and space. Here's a quick tutorial from London College of Contemporary Arts with a basic definition of these concepts. If you would prefer a short video version, watch "The Basics of Layout and Composition" at For a even more compact lesson using six simple graphics, there's this excerpt from an online course at
Judged on graphic design alone, not one of the 44 flyers was outstanding, or even striking, in design. Most were adequate. There are no winners here. Almost all of were too cluttered. There are however, three definite standouts -- for BAD design. I will take them from least bad to worst:
Bad but not completely awful: Flyer for Bruce Spiva (produced by Spiva for DC AG campaign). The main design mistake is the large photo of the candidate in a dark suit, standing against a dark column, photographed to make him seem half-hidden in the shadows. He's standing next to a woman wearing a vibrant pink jacket -- that pink suit is the first thing you notice -- but her face is also indistinct. The overall impression of the two of them together is of a pair of empty suits. No one with any sort of discerning eye would have selected this photo, much less given it prominence as the main photo of a flyer.
Awful, but still not the worst: Flyer for Anita Bonds (produced by DC Association of Realtors Independent Expenditures Committee). Never choose a muddy brown as the color of the type. Or gray. Neither one is bold enough. The soft gray is especially hard on the eyes -- and for most readers over 60 (a big cohort of likely voters), it's really quite a challenge. Then there are those brown horizontal bars used as bullet points. They look like giant minus signs! On the flip side of the flyer (pictured), there's a panoramic shot of DC, taken from a vantage point on the Virginia side of the Potomac, looking straight across to the Kennedy Center. This photo takes up three-quarters of one side of the flyer -- and says absolutely nothing about the candidate or her goals. It's not even a sunny day in the photo! There are ominous gray clouds hanging over the city. It certainly doesn't suggest a bright future for the city.
And now to the undisputed loser: Flyer for Phil Thomas (produced by Phil For Ward 3). Every major principle of good flyer design is shattered. One side has a lot of dense copy, all of it in Italic ALL CAPS. Only major headlines should ever be in ALL CAPs. And even then, only to announce an earthquake of 5.5 on the Richter scale or above. Otherwise, use normal sentence case. And the color scheme is all kinds of green -- on both sides of the flyer. There's grass green, lime green, mossy green. The type is mainly in white lettering, and on the lighter green background it doesn't stand out much and is barely readable. But that's not the main color problem with this flyer. The problem is in the big photo of Phil Thomas against this greeny-green background. You know what can happen to certain contrasting, lighter shades when shown against a bright green background? They will take on an orangey glow. And that is just what has happened to Phil Thomas's face in the big photo. He appears to be almost orange-colored, with a pinkish undertone. He's smiling, but he doesn't look at all well. This flyer looks like something a dirty-tricks opponent would cook up. And it wins, hands down, as the the worst flyer of the 44 that have crossed my doorway during the campaign so far.
I must close with this disclaimer: You can't judge a candidate by what their graphic design team does. But why does our talented city have so, so many untalented graphic designers? What does that tell us about our future?
Still Life with Robin is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Get Out! And Join the March for Our Lives on the Mall on Saturday starting at Noon

by Peggy Robin

Saturday's March for Our Lives will bring folks from all over the US to Washington, DC to rally in support of common-sense restrictions on guns that will make it more difficult for those intending mass murder to acquire the weapons to do so. The Get Out! column is normally limited to local-issue events -- but let's not forget that this IS a neighborhood issue as well as a national one. Just a few short weeks ago the shooter who set up a sniper's nest opposite Burke School and fired over 200 rounds terrorized the Van Ness and Cleveland Park neighborhoods for hours, leaving dozens traumatized and several wounded.

The mass shooting events that have occurred in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX since then may shifted our focus away from what happened in here in the neighborhood -- but certainly not for the families directly affected by the actions of the shooter that day.

So the March for Our Lives IS a protest on behalf of those kids and adults affected by gun violence here as well as elsewhere. If you would like to join in, here's what you need to know:

March for Our Lives
Saturday, June 11, 2022 12:00 PM -  2:00 PM 
Washington Monument

Evening event - Saturday, June 11 2022 (unrelated to the March for Our Lives on Saturday -- but highly recommended:

Exhibition at AU Katzen Arts Center: "The Bridge that Carried Us Over"
Opening June 11, 6-9 PM The exhibition runs through August 7

Free and open to the public.

“The Bridge that Carried Us Over” exhibition at the American University Museum-Katzen Arts Center organized by the Macedonia Baptist Church and the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition (BACC) offers an in-depth look at the historic Bethesda Black River Road community, which thrived from emancipation through its violent displacement in the mid-twentieth century. This exhibition explores the mechanisms by which the transfer of intergenerational wealth, land, and historical memory have been denied to the African diaspora in the United States. On display are contemporary and archival photographs, videos, oral histories, historic documents, original artwork, community heirlooms and artifacts. I’m proud that many of my documentary photographs as well as a new body of work “River Road Burial Grounds” are included in the exhibition. A 125-page catalog will be available.

Also --June is Pride Month!

To find a complete listing of all the events in and around DC for the month of June -- including parades, pop-ups, block parties, festivals, concerts and other performances -- visit

The Get Out! Event of the Week (in this case, it's more than one!) is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays. 

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Still Life with Robin: Crossing with Snakes

by Peggy Robin

On Thursday, June 2, a list member, Andrew, posted a link to a video he found on Twitter, tweeted by DC City Girl @dccitygirl_, showing a snake entering the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Macomb Street. Here's the link, in case you missed it the first time:

Since that tweet was posted, there's been considerable commentary -- 64 replies at last count -- and a number of them are worth repeating for the many Cleveland Park Listserv readers who seem quite "charmed" by this footless, slithering pedestrian. Well, OK, not all were charmed. A few were a bit freaked out. 

Here now is a sampling of serpentine reactions:

Jon Bender πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ @oblivious_dude May 31 Replying to  @dccitygirl_
I'm so used to only seeing that metaphorically in DC.

MC @irishmel3

Lars Etzkorn @LarsEtzkornLaw
Pick it up and help it to safety. Wouldn’t you want the same from the Green Giant?

Ashley K @districtofash
That snake is really big. If i saw it, I’d be embarrassingly high pitched screaming.

Ken S @magpiewdc 
Black snakes & rat snakes are great rat predators, and Cleveland Park has a terrible rat problem. You should have gotten on the other side & tried to herd it toward safety, away from Connecticut. They don’t stand a chance in the street.

NellnotNeil-It’sADamn”L” @DMBG44
Is he using the crosswalk? He better use the crosswalk

Andrew T. Richardson, III @EsqAndrew
Crossing Connecticut, even in a car, can be hazardous. I hope he looked both ways before slithering across.   

Diane Toucan @DianeToucan
I would have picked it up and walked it across the street. I hope someone did.

TheRealDeal πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ @TheRealDealMD
Be my guest. I’ll let Indiana Jones speak for me.  

Carrie Chops 🌻@cchops
Hero! Eat our rats!

spacecow1016 @spacecow1016

To access the video go to:
You can redivert him, its just a black rat snake and harmless ♡ hope he is ok!

Scott Wiskoski @scott_wiskoski
Looks like a juvenile rat snake. Go snake!


Definitely more pro snake votes than anti !

But we never did find out if the snake made it safely to the other side.... 


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

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Get Out! And Do the UPTOWN SHUFFLE - This Sunday from 12-4 PM at Sam's Park'n'Shop

by Peggy Robin

I had no trouble choosing the event of the week for the "Get Out" column today. It's Cleveland Park's own UPTOWN SHUFFLE -- back after being laid off for the past two years.

Here's what all you need to know:


WHEN: Sunday, June 5th from 12 - 4 PM

WHERE: Sam's Park'n'Shop at Connecticut between Porter & Ordway Streets


his free outdoor event will feature food from local restaurants, a DJ spinning tunes, raffle prizes from area retailers, scooter rides, and more.

Participating Cleveland Park businesses include: All Fired Up, Captain Cookie & the Milkman, Chase Bank, Cleveland Park Bar & Grill, Cleveland Park Public Library, Cold Stone Creamery, European Wax Center, Fat Pete’s BBQ, Foundation Fitness, Fresh Med DC, Laredo Mexican Restaurant, Orange Theory Fitness, Paragon Thai and Streets Market.

Raffle tickets will be available for purchase at the event to win great prizes from the following local retailers: Captain Cookie and the Milkman, Chase Bank, City Paws, Cleveland Park Bar & Grill, Cleveland Park Library, Cold Stone Creamery, European Wax Center, Fat Pete’s BBQ, Foundation Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness, Streets Market and Transcendence-Perfection-Bliss of the Beyond.


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

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Still Life with Robin: They Used to Call It "Decoration Day"

Image: Wikimedia - Creative Commons
by Peggy Robin

Monday, May 30 is Memorial Day. It's the last Monday in May,  designated by Congress in 1971 to be the day of the holiday. Before  that, Memorial Day was always on May 30, no matter what day of the week it was. This was before the invention of the 3-day weekend that came about when Congressional legislation moved many of our federal holidays to the nearest Monday from the traditional fixed date. 
Of course, if you're old enough (as I admit to being), you'll remember a time when Memorial Day might fall on a Tuesday or Wednesday or any other day of the week.. I'm not old enough to remember when this holiday was called "Decoration Day" but I do remember that my parents kept calling it by that name, long after its official name was changed to Memorial Day.
Why was it called "Decoration Day"? Because the solemn remembrance of our war dead included a ceremony of "decoration" of their graves with flowers and flags. When I was a young child, I thought they meant party decorations. I hoped there would be balloons and streamers. My father,  a World War II veteran (wounded in the Battle of the Bulge) corrected me (quite sharply, I recall), when I advanced that idea. That exchange has stayed with me, after all these years..
These days, of course, Memorial Day is mainly observed with mattress sales and discounts on electronics and home goods. There are pool openings, and barbecues, and sports events. The historic traditions and the solemn observances that go on at military cemeteries around the country touch a relatively small percentage of our population today.
When looking up some facts about Memorial Day for this column, I came across this quotation from the Union general who first called for the establishment of a national day to honor the civil war dead (from's website on the history of Memorial Day):
On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.
In case you were wondering, yes, it is the same General Logan, who is represented in bronze astride a horse in the center of the circle where Rhode Island and Vermont Avenues and 13th Street would otherwise intersect. 
None of this is to say that we should not enjoy our picnics and vacation trips on this holiday weekend. It's just a reminder that at some point during the three days off work, it would be good for each of us to pause, at least for a few moments,  to reflect on the origins and the purpose for which this day was set aside.

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

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Get Out! The New Hearst Pool Is (Supposedly) Opening This Weekend!

Image: DPR website
I just happened to notice that the DC Department of Parks & Recreation is opening all outdoor pools this weekend, including the long-delayed, problem-plagued project, the Hearst Pool. So far I have not received any sort of announcement of a Grand Opening or a celebratory event – so all I can do is ask our readers if they’ve heard of anything planned for the occasion. And I can provide the bare facts from the DC DPR’s website for Hearst Pool:

Hearst Pool

The new Hearst Pool will open for the first time in May 2022. 


General Information 


3701 37th Street NW



Nearest Metro:

Cleveland Park Metro Station (Red)


Limited Street Parking

Hours of Operation:

Summer 2022 Hours:
Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri: 12 pm - 8 pm

Sat & Sun: 10 am - 6 pm
(Closed Thursdays)


Aquatic HQ: (202) 671-1289
Email: Customer Service


More information on opening of all the DPR outdoor pools at:


2022 Outdoor Pool Opening:

DPR outdoor pools will be open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, of Memorial Day Weekend (May 28, 29, & 30, 2022). Pools will operate on a weekend-only schedule (Saturday and Sunday) through Sunday, June 26. Starting Monday, June 27, all outdoor pools will operate on individual summer schedules, six days a week.


To find the outdoor pool nearest you, go to the interactive map at or scroll down the page on that website for a full list of DPR Outdoor Pools organized by Ward.


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