Saturday, August 19, 2017

Still Life with Robin: Name That Park!

Parky MacParkSpace?
Image by NoMa Parks Foundation
by Peggy Robin

It’s a bit far afield from Cleveland Park, but the neighborhood of NoMa is asking for public input to help name two new parks, a larger one that will be created at 2.5-acre site along Harry Thomas Way north of Florida Avenue (see http://bit.ly/2jWiOji for the plan), and then a smaller, 8,000 square foot one at Third and L Streets NW (see (http://bit.ly/1s0a4fb).  You can read about both parks and the naming project here: http://bit.ly/2vSj4Wv.

Since we’re all one city, and many of us are creative thinkers, and some of us are even more creative namers, I think we needn’t shy away from participating in this naming contest just because we’re not nearby neighbors. I don’t know how good we are at coming up with catchy names for parcels of land, but when I was googling around to find out if DC residents have any special talent for naming things, I found one article that listed some clever punning dog names, including Anderson Pooper, Ruth Bader Ginsbark, Virginia Woof, and Winnie the Poodle. Inspired by that, I think we should certainly send this contest our best.

By the way, if you are already thinking along the lines of Parky McParkspace (the internet naming meme is discussed in this New York Times article: http://nyti.ms/2x0n2MT) – just be aware that the contest organizers are already a few steps ahead of you, having come up with a method to screen out this sort of thing. NoMa Parks director Stacie West has already ruled, “No Boaty McBoatface” (see Greater Greater Washington, August 15, 2017: http://bit.ly/2wjkhcq).

For the larger park, the top contenders at the moment seems to be Union Park and Union Green. Either of these would be OK. Kind of boring, though. But they don’t stir up any strong opposition, and that may be what’s needed. “Swampoodle Park” – based on an older, pre-gentrification name for the neighborhood – is getting some support. In a nod to its post-gentrification demographics, how about Millennials’ Park? Or just be frank about it and call it Gentrification Park.

In the comments section at http://bit.ly/2vSj4Wv, someone proposed Paul McCartney Park, since since NoMa was host to the Beatles' first US concert. Suggestions from the Greater Greater Washington comments section include: Congress Park, Trolley Park, S’Poodle Park (just for the smaller dog park-within-a-park), Eckington Park, and NoMEckinton Park.

Another acronymic neighborhood name (proposed by Tim on the Greater Greater Washington site) was this mouthful: PoMetBraTNoFlA (composed from bits of “Park off the Metropolitan Branch Trail North of Florida Avenue.”) But the funniest one was from Ryan, who wrote: “Clearly, the park should be named: "After Community Review, We Recommend Further Studying the Name of This" Park.

Since we would need to acronymize that to turn it into a pronounceable name, here’s what I propose: AfComRev-WeRecoFurSNoT Park. Of course, it would quickly be shortened to its two final syllables, “FurSNot Park.”

Entries will be accepted through August 25 – so if you’re inclined to weigh in, it’s anchors aweigh – right here:
https://mysidewalk.com/organizations/291795/noma-green (for the larger park)
and here:
https://mysidewalk.com/organizations/292357/third-and-l-park (for the smaller park)
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Get Out! - The Events Column

Don't Forget Your Solar Eclipse Glasses!
Image by NASA
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,200+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, August 18 from 2 - 4 PM, Back to School Field Day, hosted by the John Wall Family Foundation, features interactive games, vendors, and music - and 250 students from first through eighth grade will receive backpacks filled with school supplies. Wall will speak at 3 pm. Free. At Rosedale Community Center & Library, 1701 Gales Street NE.

Saturday, August 19 from 11 AM - 3 PM, Van Ness Neighborhood Social, hosted by UDC and Van Ness Main Street. There will be free food, music, a petting zoo, games, face painting and a balloon artist. The event will take place on the plaza in front of the new UDC Student Center at 4200 Connecticut Avenue. This event is free and open to everyone in the community. View the event flyer at: http://bit.ly/2uTYwMd

Saturday, August 19 from 3 - 7 PM, The 3rd Annual Chuck Brown Day will take place at Chuck Brown Memorial Park in Northeast DC (formerly Langdon Park). Celebrate what would have been Chuck's 81st birthday with bands playing his music - free! Bring lawn chairs or a blanket and enjoy a full afternoon of entertainment with the We Are One Tribute Band, EU Feat, and Sugar Bear, closing out with the Chuck Brown Band hitting all of your Chuck favorites. Hosted by Chris Paul, and presented by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Limited free parking on the field at the corner of 24th Street and Franklin NE. More info: https://windmeupchuck.com/shows.

Saturday, August 19 from 6 - 9 PM, Turtle Park Jazz Project/Grand Opening, featuring jazz, food and fun! Starting at 6 PM, Dinorock will play for the kids. This band has toured coast to coast with fanciful puppets bringing their dinosaur theme to life! From 7 - 9 PM, The Bob Diener Trio will play for all. Food trucks will offer snacks for purchase. Bring your blanket and a picnic and come enjoy the newly renovated park. Friendship (“Turtle”) Park is at Van Ness and 45th Streets NW.

Sunday, August 20 from 1 - 4 PM, Beach Drive Reopening Block Party. Let's hit the Beach! Beach Drive, that is. Before the commuters arrive, we're throwing a party! Come celebrate the reopening of Segment 1 of Beach Drive. No cars allowed! The National Park Service, Smithsonian's National Zoo, and Rock Creek Conservancy have teamed up to bring the party before the road opens to traffic. Featured programs include a hike and a ranger-led bike tour, hands-on activities for kids, and information booths. Guests will be invited to walk, as well as ride bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles, on the fully reconstructed roadway and the wider, smoother multi-use trail. Bring a bike, running shoes, walking shoes, rollerskates, picnic supplies, binoculars, or whatever you need to have fun outdoors! Free. At the Harvard Street/Beach Drive entrance to the National Zoo. More info: https://go.usa.gov/xRmce and https://www.facebook.com/events/1770488936575796/    

Monday, August 21 from 11 AM - 4 PM Eclipse Viewing at the Air & Space Museum and the National Archives. Visit https://airandspace.si.edu/events/observe-solar-eclipse for the full schedule of activities planned at the Air & Space Museum on the Mall, and find links to events at the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum near Dulles Airport. Free eclipse glasses will be available. View the eclipse through an eclipse-safe telescope, learn how to make a pinhole viewer, hear speakers and storytellers, attend planetarium events, and more! All free.

Monday, August 21 from 1 - 4 PM, Solar Eclipse Viewing at the National Zoo. View the solar eclipse through a safe solar telescope and pick up free safe eclipse glasses. Timing: Observers located in Washington, DC will see a partial eclipse, with the moon blocking up to 82 percent of the sun. The eclipse will be visible here from 1:17 to 4:01pm EDT, with maximum eclipse at 2:42pm EDT. Throughout this time period, visitors will be able to observe the moon gradually moving across the face of the sun and blocking a portion of its light. Free. At Pachyderm Plaza outside the Elephant Community Center. The National Zoo is at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Monday, August 21 at 1:17 PM, Anti-Eclipse Rally: Keep Our Sun Shining! Remember - Democracy Dies in Darkness. Don’t just stand there passively accepting the darkening of our friend, Mr. Sun. Protest this lunar cover-up! Come to Freedom Plaza in front of the Wilson Building. We will all stand together and sing songs, including “I”m Being Followed by a Moon Shadow” and other songs listed here: http://on.wusa9.com/2wed4KK. If and when the sun returns, we will sing, “Walking on Sunshine” (the sunniest song ever). To register for this free event, go to: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent

Tuesday August 22 from 9 - 10 AM, Bei Bei’s Birthday at the National Zoo. It’s a Giant Birthday for a Giant Panda! Bei Bei will receive a special ice cake and you can join in the celebration if you are a member of Friends of the National Zoo. You can join here: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/membership/join. The National Zoo is at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Wednesday, August 23 at 6:30 PM, “Idea to Reality: How to Make Your First Video Game.” Dorothy Phoenix, local game developer, software engineer, and owner of Cloudy Heaven Games, will present this hour-long talk on how anyone can make a video game with no prior programming experience. She will cover the following topics: What skills are required to make a game; Tips for writing out your game idea; Choosing a realistic scope for your idea; Suggestions for beginner-friendly game development software and tools; Ideas for monetizing games; And more. The main audience for this presentation is teens and adults, but children with an interest in video game design and/or coding are welcome, too. Free. At the Mount Pleasant Library, 3160 16th Street NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/57555   

Friday, August 11, 2017

Still Life with Robin: What to Do on World Elephant Day, Saturday, August 12

Photo by Bernard Dupont (France) via Wikimedia/Creative Commons
by Peggy Robin

[Still Life with Robin normally comes out on Saturdays, but I’m posting a bit early, so that people can plan to attend events taking place throughout the day tomorrow, Saturday, August 12.]

You may not see this event listed on your wall calendar, but go ahead and mark it down, and be sure to set it down in your computer calendar as a recurring annual event: every August 12 is World Elephant Day. It’s been observed since 2012, so today’s celebration is merely the fifth anniversary. This day is dedicated to awareness and celebration of the majestic but highly endangered species, and I wish I could report that since 2012 much progress has been made in protecting elephants; but if anything the opposite is true. In 2016 the elephant census recorded a drastic 30 percent decline in the worldwide population [See: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/wildlife-african-elephants-population-decrease-great-elephant-census/ ]

World Elephant Day has activities planned around the globe [http://worldelephantday.org/events], but here are the main things to do in DC:

Join the World Elephant March:


[From the website] ….For the fifth year, join friends around the world calling for the end of the ivory trade and rhino horn trade while advocating to save endangered species from extinction.

Assembly Time: Begins at 11 a.m. at the Lincoln Memorial for photos & live video on why elephants matter to you on the planet ... Right near the corner of Henry Bacon Drive & Constitution Avenue.

March Start Time: At noon, we shall begin our peaceful march with starting point of the Lincoln Memorial, up on Henry Bacon Drive where police escort begins on one lane of the street; left on 15th to Pennsylvania ave; left on Pennsylvania Ave. before the White House for a peaceful rally at Lafayette Square with distinguished speakers from around the world.

Why the elephants need the voice of the American people more than ever: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/13/world-body-that-could-protect-elephants-decides-not-to/  ... Join us as we show the world that the vast majority of Americans do not support perpetual trade in elephants, no matter the excuse.

World Elephant Day at the Zoo

....Or you can stay right in the neighborhood and celebrate World Elephant Day with Mahararani , Kamala, and Ambika, the elephants at the Smithsonian National Zoo:
11 AM: Training Demo at the Elephant Outpost with Maharani and Kamala.
11:30 AM: Ambika’s Birthday Celebration with the Elephant Family
2 PM: Training Demo in the Elephant Community Center
2:45 PM: Ambika’s Personal Birthday Celebration (With Special Gifts) 

Can’t be there? You can always peek in on our pachyderm friends via the Elephant Cam:

There are hands-on art events at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art:

* Create a paper elephant to take home or to share as part of a community artwork.
* Visit the art cart and get hands-on experience with objects from the museum’s teaching collection.
* Learn proverbs highlighting the special attributes of the African elephant.
* Photo op: Take an “elfie” with a beaded Cameroonian elephant mask and share it @nmafa using #worldelephantday.
* At 11 AM, 12 PM and 2:30 PM join a docent-led gallery tour featuring ivory masterworks.
* At 12 PM and 1 PM enjoy performances from local D.C. storyteller Diane Macklin.
* At 1 PM view a screening of PBS’s documentary Soul of the Elephant.

All activities are free and open to the public.

The National Museum of African Art is at 950 Independence Avenue SW

And if you would just like to take this occasion to learn some basic facts about elephants, spend a little time on these sites:


As a reward, at the end of the day, here's a trio of playful elephant videos:


Happy World Elephant Day to all!
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local, most often on Saturday, but occasionally on the day before or the day after.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Get Out! - The Events Column

Elephant Cow and Calf (via Wikimedia Commons)
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,100+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, August 11 at 12:30 PM, Lunch Bites: Ralph Earl's portrait of Maj. James Fairlie. Emily Schulz Parsons, deputy director and curator, presents Ralph Earl’s portrait of Maj. James Fairlie, depicting the Revolutionary War officer in his military uniform and Eagle insignia of the Society of the Cincinnati. Major Fairlie served in the American army for the entirety of the Revolutionary War and fought in the Battles of Saratoga and Monmouth Court House, helped secure West Point after Benedict Arnold’s treason, and was taken prisoner on the campaign to Yorktown. In 1786 or 1787 Ralph Earl, the most prominent artist in New York at the time, painted this oil portrait of Fairlie—one of two dozen the artist painted while he was in debtors prison in the city hall. The talk will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the portrait. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW,  http://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public

Saturday, August 12 from 11 AM - 2 PM, It’s World Elephant Day at the National Museum of African Art! Discover how elephants have inspired African artists and how the museum is preserving this heritage while also working to curb today’s illegal ivory trade. Explore the museum’s exhibitions for elephant-inspired art. Create a paper elephant to take home or to share as part of a community artwork. Visit the art cart and get hands-on experience with objects from the museum’s teaching collection. Learn proverbs highlighting the special attributes of the African elephant. Photo op: Take an “elfie” with a beaded Cameroonian elephant mask and share it @nmafa using #worldelephantday. At 11 AM, 12 PM and 2:30 PM join a docent-led gallery tour featuring ivory masterworks. At 12 PM and 1 PM enjoy performances from local D.C. storyteller Diane Macklin. At 1 PM view a screening of PBS’s documentary Soul of the Elephant. This event is free and open to the public. The National Museum of African Art is at 950 Independence Avenue SW, https://africa.si.edu/2017/05/world-elephant-day/.  

Saturday, August 12 from 11 AM - 3 PM, Health and Wellness Back to School Festival, presented by the Greater Washington Urban League. Live entertainment, food, a school supply and book bag giveaway, free health screenings, raffle prizes, and more! Free. At the Greater Washington Urban League, 2901 14th Street NW, http://bit.ly/2uKfxYb.

Saturday August 12 from 1 - 3 PM, CCCC’s Opening Reception for Photography Exhibit, “Multi Generational Views,” showing work by teens enrolled in the Summer Youth Employment Program’s Photo Teen Career Camp, as well as adults enrolled in CCCC’s photography program during the year. Free. At the Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Ave NW . Questions? Contact Francesca Scott, Recreation Specialist, DC Department of Parks and Recreation, fran.scott @ dc dot gov.

Saturday, August 12 from 6 - 9 PM, Re-Opening Ceremony of Turtle Park. You are invited to an evening of live music and fun. Bring your blanket and a picnic! Jazz and also kid-oriented music. Moon bounces. Food trucks with snacks for purchase. Free admission. Hosted by Friends of Friendship Park. At Friendship “Turtle" Park at Van Ness and 45th Streets.

Saturday, August 12 at 8:30 PM, Explore the Night Sky, with National Capital Astronomers. Saturn prominent; Andromeda rising - Take a look through the lens of members’ telescopes. In the field just south of the intersection of Military and Glover Roads NW, near the Nature Center. A parking lot is located immediately next to the field. Beginners (including children) and experienced stargazers are all welcome-and it's free! More info: http://bit.ly/2vJ2tXE  

Sunday, August 13 from 1 -3 PM, English Country Dancing at Dumbarton House. English Country Dance is a social, folk dance form, which has earliest documented instances in the late 16th century and continues to be a presence in the 21st century. ECD in DC will practice dances that span the centuries, from Hit and Miss (1657) to Candles in the Dark (2007) and beyond. All are welcome to attend the class and no experience (or partner) is necessary, just the desire to have fun and dance! Please wear non-slip, comfortable shoes (such as sneakers or dance shoes – please no flip-flops) to respect other’s and your own safety, as well as Dumbarton House’s ballroom floor. $5.00 admission. Dumbarton House is at 2715 Q Street NW. More info: http://dumbartonhouse.org/event/english-country-dance-class-4 Questions? Please contact ECDinDC @ yahoo dot com.

Monday, August 14 at 6 PM, Memory Workshop: Where Are My Car Keys? This is the workshop every forgetful person needs. Great for seniors, absent-minded professors, thoughtless young drivers, and anyone of any age who keeps losing those darn keys! You will learn some easy-to-practice techniques to teach yourself to imprint upon your memory the location of your car keys every time you step away from your car. Plus, you will learn about high-tech aids you can buy, such as key locators and car key finding apps, as well as low-tech, retro-style methods, such as writing notes down on paper. Then we will teach you how to find the note! This free workshop will be held in the parking lot of the Park’n’Shop, but if you forget to attend, you can always view the recorded version here: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent   

Tuesday, August 15  at 4 PM, Reptiles Alive! Enjoy an exciting live animal show! Friendly and professional wildlife presenters will entertain audiences of all ages with funny animal stories and facts while showcasing a colorful variety of exotic animals. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/56418

Wednesday, August 16 from 10:30 - 11:30 AM, “Kids in Canal” at Canal Park. Bring your little ones to the middle block of Canal Park to enjoy magic shows, kids tunes, science demonstrations, and puppet shows. Top off your day with a refreshing splash in the Canal Park dancing water fountains. The featured show is “Mad Science.” Free and open to the public. Canal Park is at 200 M Street SE.

Wednesday, August 16 at 2 PM, “All About Water,” a presentation by the DC Water and Sewer Authority. Learn how to get involved in clean water issues in your community and build a better world. Free. At the Takoma Park Library, 416 Cedar Street NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/56682

Wednesday, August 16 at 7 PM, Book Hill Talks: Cobb Research Laboratory as a resource for reconstructing African American biological history. The Cobb Research Laboratory (CRL), located at Howard University,  is a leader in forensic anthropological research. Dr. Fatimah Jackson, director of CRL, will be on hand to discuss the laboratory's work in African American biological history. Free. In the Peabody Room at the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R Street NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/57593

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Still Life with Robin: Orders from School

Dog tags (photo by James Paris
via Creative Commons)
by Peggy Robin

John Kelly’s Washington Post column today is about schoolkids and dog tags – see http://wapo.st/2vv1FFG. A few weeks ago he asked if anyone who had been a schoolchild during the days of “duck and cover” drills can remember being issued dog tags. In his column today, he quotes a few locals who tell their stories, and he also quotes one DC resident who grew up elsewhere, recalling the handout she received in school to order dog tags from a private company. That was me. As Kelly had room in his column for just a short snippet of my dog-tag tale, I thought I’d tell the whole of it here:

When I was a kid in the Atlanta public school system in the early ‘60s, they did try to get our parents to order dog tags for us to wear in the event of a nuclear holocaust, so our little bodies could be identified. (Not sure why they thought the dog tags wouldn’t be incinerated along with the rest of us.) But as I recall, it wasn’t a giveaway; the offer came from a for-profit enterprise that was allowed to market to schoolchildren through in-school handouts and application forms.

I received many of these things in school, and I presume the companies paid the Atlanta public school system for the privilege. I can recall some of them: studio photography sessions for children’s portraits or family photo shoots; children’s life insurance; after-school etiquette classes; and a monthly solicitation to order kids’ books from Scholastic Inc. I’m sure there were many others that I can’t recall.

I can also remember some of the freebies we received – most notably from the Coca Cola Corporation. Twice a year – once before the Christmas break and again at the end of the school year – every child received a pencil embossed with the child’s name on one side and Coca Cola (in the famous script lettering) on the other, along with a Coca Cola logo spiral notebook.

The most memorable freebie, though, was a Bible (New and Old Testaments) given to every public school child. I’m fairly sure this occurred AFTER the Supreme Court’s ban on school-sponsored prayer. I believe it was paid for by some sort of Bible Society. At the time, my mother was the executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, and when she saw that the school system had sent me home with a free Christian bible, she hit the roof. The worst part, from the point of view of a rather timid ten-year-old (as I was at the time) – is that she made me bring it back! My teacher already viewed me as the spawn of Satanic Yankees (my parents were both New Yorkers), and so this action amply confirmed what she already thought.

Of course my parents never ever bought the life insurance or the dog tags and they certainly did not sign me up for any etiquette classes that would teach me how to become a gracious Southern lady!

I do know that some of my friends’ parents did order dog tags through the program. And I remember one friend telling me, rather proudly, I think, that if there was an all-out nuclear war, Atlanta would definitely be targeted, because it was the most important city in the South!

Of course, moving to DC – which we did in 1969 – really put me in the prime target zone. Nowadays, seems like I’m getting that old Cold War feeling once again. Could be it’s time to order that long-delayed set of dog tags!
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on weekends.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Get Out! - The Events Column

DC Public Library Image
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,100+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Thursday, August 3 at 6:30 PM, Washington National Cathedral Summer Concert Series: Mendelssohn and Purcell. Explore complementary and contrasting ideas in the works of Felix Mendelssohn and Henry Purcell. Featuring Laura Choi Stuart, soprano; George Fergus, piano and harpsichord; Grace Brigham, violin. $5 discounted admission. The Cathedral is at Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues NW, see: http://bit.ly/2vOG34u.
Friday, August 4 at 6 PM, “From Nature” - opening reception and exhibition of six Korean artists’ environment-inspired painting, sculpture, print and installation art. Bukang Kim, Hyang Yeon Lee, Hyun Jeung, Jung Woo Cho, Soo il Choi, and Yurim Seong utilize a variety of expressive artistic media including painting, sculpture, print and installation art to reflect the contrasting harmony of realism and abstraction found at different levels of nature. Each artist’s work varies in material and technique as they draw connections between their unique personal style of expression and fundamental principles of the natural world. Admission to the opening reception with talks by the artists is free and open to the public, but registration is required at http://bit.ly/2woRXRN. Refreshments served; complimentary drink per guest. At the Korean Cultural Center, 2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

Friday, August 4 from 6 - 8 PM, “Dog Days of DC” Kickoff Party. The Dog Days Sidewalk Festival is now in its 18th year, and this year it covers 25 blocks in the heart of Washington DC, centered around the bustling 14th & U Street corridors. Experience unique and interactive commerce with more than 100 local businesses. Wander and explore the surrounding blocks along 14th Street from Thomas Circle to Florida Avenue, from 7th to 17th Street. The fun kicks off at Miss Pixie's (1626 14th St NW) with tasty bites from Barcelona Restaurant and live New Orleans Jazz by Laissez Foure. Attendees at the kickoff party must 18 years or older. Free - register here: http://bit.ly/2u7I8LK The Sidewalk Festival continues through the weekend.

Saturday August 5 at 10 AM and 1 PM, House History Day. HumanitiesDC is proud to present the House History Day research workshops, hosted by the Library of Congress, and with the support of the DC Office of Historic Preservation, DC Public Library Special Collections Division, and the Historical Society of Washington, DC. These workshops are free and open to everyone with an interest in local history, from burgeoning enthusiasts to community historians. Participants will learn how to research the history of their home or any other historic property through sessions on DC Maps, Photo Archives, DC Directories, and Online Databases. Learn more at http://www.wdchumanities.org/house-history-day-august-5th/ Location: Library of Congress, Madison Building at 101 Independence Ave SE, in the Newspapers and Current Periodicals Room, LM133. Please note: preregistration is encouraged (http://bit.ly/2fcfC4O) and a free Library of Congress reader card is required.

Saturday, August 5 from 10:30 AM - 2 PM, Peirce Mill: Old Fashioned Ice Cream Making. The Dog Days of Summer may be upon us. Come learn about making this hand-cranked frozen treat brought over from France by Dolly Madison. Watch the ingredients being poured into the dasher, and learn about the brine that freezes the cream. A historic recipe by Thomas Jefferson with modern adaptation will be available to take away. More info: http://bit.ly/2u116n5. Free admission. Hosted by Friends of Peirce Mill, 2401 Tilden Street NW.

Sunday, August 6, from 10 AM - 12 noon, The Cat Days of Summer. We keep hearing about the “dog days of summer.” This is completely unfair and exclusive of our feline friends, who laze around in summer just as well as any dog -- no, better! Maybe they don’t have their tongues hanging out, panting in the heat, but they don’t need to put on a show to prove how lazy they are. And it doesn’t even have to be summer -- a cat will seek out a warm spot to fall asleep in, any time of year. So why do we recognize dogs and not cats when the temperature’s high? This event seeks to redress this inequity by gathering cat lovers and their felines to the Cat Days of Summer NapFest. There will be sunny cat perches and garden seats for the kitties to occupy. But please, no cat toys, no catnip, or any other stimulants -- the idea is for all the cats to sleep in the summer heat. Photography encouraged, and at the end of the event, a prize will be awarded to the Laziest Cat in Town. Please register your cat in advance for this free event at http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent, and you will be given all the requirements for your participation.

Monday, August 7 at 2 PM, Film showing: "The Man in the Moon." (US, 1991, rated PG-13, 1 hour and 40 minutes.) Two teenage sisters fall in love with the same young man in this 1950s Louisiana coming of age tale. Starring Reese Witherspoon. Free. At the Chevy Chase Public Library, 5625 Connecticut Avenue NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/57512

Tuesday, August 8 at 1:30 PM, “Navigating the Home Care Maze.” Northwest Neighbor Village's Executive Director, Stephanie Chong, LICSW, will explore the various types of home care options, explain costs and payment, and address consumer misconceptions. This program is designed to address the questions of current and future consumers and their families. Free. At the Chevy Chase Public Library, 5625 Connecticut Avenue NW

Wednesday, August 9 at 7 PM, Family Craft Night. Arts and crafts for children of all ages. Free. At the Chevy Chase Public Library, 5625 Connecticut Avenue NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/51890

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Still Life with Robin: Rain, Rain, Flow Away

National Weather Service
by Peggy Robin

Today’s tip comes too late for people whose basements were swamped after up to five inches of rain fell in some parts of our area – but if you take this advice on a sunny day, you may have a dry basement in the next storm. Try this:

Roll-out downspout extension:

If you want your basement to stay dry, you have to make sure that the rainwater coming down your downspouts is carried away from your house. We used to have the downspouts connected to pipes that disappeared underground, but once they became clogged, the water backed up and we ended up with a wet basement almost any time it rained. For years, we kept hiring people to try to unclog the drains. If they couldn’t unclog them, they would propose digging out and installing new underground drains. It was always expensive, and eventually, the underground drain clogged up again. We were plagued with this problem for years.

I don’t remember how I first heard about the roll-out plastic sleeve downspout extension, but if I had to guess, I would say I saw it at Strosnider’s in Bethesda. All good hardware and home improvement ideas seem to come out of Strosnider’s. This plastic-sleeve-thingy costs about twelve bucks and anyone can install it. When I say “anyone” I mean an incompetent, unhandy-as-they-come homeowner like me. You just take the thing out of the package and use the trash-bag-style zip-tie that comes with it to attach it to the downspout, like so:

I don’t remember how many years ago we started using these things, but for however long it’s been, our basement has stayed dry. And it’s dry now, despite the deluges of the past few days. That means I haven’t had a need to use another cheap but eminently worthwhile product that I swear by: the Libman Wonder Mop – top-rated among mops by Wisebread.com. And it's just $14 on Amazon, with easy-to-change mop heads, just $7 a pop.

Sunday will be mercifully clear and a good day to shop!

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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Get Out! - The Events Column

Picnic - photo by Jerskyo via Creative Commons
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv
www.cleveland-park.com  

Friday, July 28 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM, Picnic in the Park (with Music!) Series presents the band Crush Funk Brass, hosted by the Friends of Forest Hills Playground. Check the event Facebook page for weather updates: https://www.facebook.com/ForestHillsPlayground/. The Forest Hills Playground is at 32nd and Chesapeake Streets NW.

Friday, July 28 at 8:30 PM, Hilarious for Health Care comedy show. Support local comedians and enjoy delicious Cuban cuisine and drinks as you watch the show. Hosted by Jelani 'J' Wills, the comedy show stars Jeff Hysen, Eva Mozena Brandon, Rend Alsaadi, Kevin Tit, Adelle Gresock, Sarah Roche, Eric Steele, Danny Rolando and Theresa Concepcion. Proceeds support  Mary's Center, a Community Health Center that provides health care, family literacy and social services to individuals whose needs too often go unmet by the public and private systems. For online tickets - $10 - go to http://bit.ly/2v1mHLX; a limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Doors open at 8 PM and the show starts at 8:30 PM. At Habana Village, 1834 Columbia Road NW.

Saturday, 12:05 AM, News Overload Syndrome Support Group. Are you exhausted from staying up past midnight every night following cable news? Can’t sleep for fear you will miss the fallout from the latest White House tweet-storm? At dawn the next day, do you find yourself flipping furiously among the morning shows so that you won’t miss a word of whatever the next “breaking news” chyron is about? Then you may be suffering from News Overload & Stress Exhaustion (NO&SE). Help has arrived in the form of the News Overload Support and Help Team (NOSHT)! The first meeting will be held just after the end of Friday night's Eleventh Hour with Brian Williams, shortly after midnight. This is an online support group, with a meeting in cyberspace, so that you do not have to tear yourself away from your screen. Free and open to all NO&SE sufferers - register now at: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent   

Saturday, July 29 from 10 AM - 3 PM,  Dog Days of Summer Family Festival at the Postal Museum. On behalf of Owney the Dog, our famed four-legged friend (he is on a stamp!), the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum cordially invites you to the Dog Days of Summer Family Festival. When his original owner had to leave him behind, Owney was adopted by the owner’s colleagues at the Albany, New York post office. In 1888, he began to ride with the mailbags on trains across the state and then later throughout the entire country. It was not his assigned duty to guard mail during his travels, but historic accounts suggests he was very protective of mail bags. Owney’s dedication often lead him to acts of selfless heroism, once even staying behind with a mailbag that accidentally fell off the train. In honor of Owney’s story, the Postal Museum has teamed up with local animal rescue groups and the Amtrak Police K-9 Unit and is offering demonstrations to showcase the work of K-9 dogs and other fun and hands-on activities inside the museum. In the outdoor terrace space, rescue groups will hold an adoption fair featuring both dogs and cats. Free. At the National Postal Museum, 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE, http://s.si.edu/2v4Hf5P  

Saturday, July 29 from 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Astronomy Crafts. It was 48 years ago this month (July 20, 1969) that Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Kids of all ages, led by a Park Ranger, can create a craft to commemorate this achievement. Free. At the Nature Center in Rock Creek Park, 5200 Glover Road NW.

Saturday, July 29 from 7 - 10 PM, An Evening of Outdoor Music and Dancing in Rock Creek Park. Friends of Peirce Mill and the DC Square Dance Collective are joining forces to fill the grounds of Peirce Mill with old-time music and square dancing 'til the stars come out. Music will be provided by Jake Gillie and friends. Members of the DC Square Dance Collective will call the figures. As always, no lesson, experience, or partner needed. Everyone is welcome!  This dance is free but with a requested donation of $10 to cover the cost of the musicians and caller.  Everyone is welcome. Please wear your dancing shoes, but no glass bottles or jars please! Peirce Mill is located at 2401 Tilden Street, NW at the intersection of Tilden and Beach Drive – on the end of Rock Creek Park. RSVP: http://bit.ly/2vMdCns

Sunday, July 30 at 11 AM, “By the Dawn’s Early Light.” A Park Ranger will discuss the life and legacy of Francis Scott Key in DC. Meet by the fountain (Wisconsin and K) in Georgetown Waterfront Park. Free. For age 7 and older.

Sunday, July 30 from 1 - 6 PM, Silver Spring Record Fair. The first-ever Silver Spring Record Fair will take place on Sunday afternoon at Denizen’s Brewing Co. The fair will bring together over 20 vendors from across the area, and local DJs will provide music all afternoon long. Free to attend. At Denizens Brewing Co, 1115 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD, http://bit.ly/2tHcT5C

Monday, July 31 at 6:30 PM, Jouons! - French Game Night at Alliance Francaise de Washington. Join fellow students of French and native French speakers for a fun game night and practice your French in an informal setting at the Alliance Francaise library. Games in the library collection include Taboo, Scrabble, Bananagrams, Clue, and Apple to Apples, among others. Request your favorite game at the next Jouons! Free for members of Alliance Francaise; suggested donation for non-members : $5. Location: 2142 Wyoming Ave NW. Register: http://bit.ly/2vcF9l8.  

Tuesday, August 1 at 2 PM, Circuits, Switches, and Lights! Create a light show you can carry in your pocket! Design and create a breadboard-based circuit with FutureMakers. Free. At the Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/56825

Tuesday, August 1 from 6 - 8 PM, MPD 2-D’s National Night Out at Hardy Recreation Center. Join the Second District Police for our National Night Out. Festivities will include a game truck, moon bounce, 22ft slide, clowns, face painting, fingerprinting, and more! Food & refreshments will be served. Come out to have some fun and meet members of the Second District Police. Free. Hardy Recreation Center is at 4500 Q Street NW. Questions? Contact Kyi Branch, kyi.branch @ dc dot gov or call 202-360-5392. For information on other MPD locations for National Night Out events, go to: https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/national-night-out-calendar-activities

Wednesday, August 2 at 6 PM, Know Your News: Do you ever wonder if the news you read is true? Have you been fooled by a news story someone shared with you via social media? In this program, trained librarians will discuss several strategies for evaluating news stories and provide you with a toolbox to take with you on the go. No matter where you are, you'll have the resources you need to Know Your News. Free. At the Chevy Chase, Maryland Public Library, 8005 Connecticut Ave, Chevy Chase, MD. Go to: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/library/branches/chevychase.html and click on “upcoming events.”

Wednesday, August 2 at 6 PM, The Mystery of the Five Vachels: Challenges in Researching Revolutionary War Ancestors - a lecture and book signing. Tripp Onnen, a Society of the Cincinnati genealogist, shares the challenges of tracing the military service of a commonly named ancestor and the process of confirming the correct identity. The lecture will last approximately 45 minutes with time for questions at the end. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati at Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW, http://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public.

Wednesday, August 2 at 6:30 PM, Learning from Julia Child to Cook More, Laugh More, and Eat Less in Our Kitchens Today. Listen to author Pamela Heyne discuss how Julia Child's kitchen design and practices influence the modern home. Free. At the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Avenue NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/57219

Thursday, August 3 at 6:30 PM, Washington National Cathedral Summer Concert Series: Mendelssohn and Purcell. Explore complementary and contrasting ideas in the works of Felix Mendelssohn and Henry Purcell. Featuring Laura Choi Stuart, soprano; George Fergus, piano and harpsichord; Grace Brigham, violin. $5 discounted admission. The Cathedral is at Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues NW. Info on this concert and the series at http://bit.ly/2vOG34u.