Saturday, April 21, 2018

Still Life with Robin: And Not So Still Life with Squirrels

Photo by Diliff via Wikimedia Creative Commons
by Peggy Robin

Another Squirrel Week has ended. Washington Post’s “local color” columnist John Kelly has been bringing us  his annual Squirrel Week for the past decade plus one year, but this one was the best yet. Maybe I’m prejudiced by the fact that he kicked it off with a tribute to “Outwitting Squirrels,” the “how-to” classic for anyone intent on feeding the birds, not those seeding-stealing, bushy-tailed little rodents – and the author of that volume of wisdom (now in its 30th year in print) just happens to be our very own Cleveland Park Listserv co-founder, Bill Adler. That premiere column of Squirrel Week 2018 is here:
[or if the long link is broken]

Day Two introduced us to a thorny ethical question, “Is it right to try to eliminate an invasive species to save a native species?” (And the related question in evolutionary biology is, “If you decide it’s ethical – will it work?” The battle against the American Gray (or Grey) Squirrel in the UK to try to save the smaller, and arguably much cuter, British red squirrel is detailed in the second column of the week:
[or if the long link is broken]

Day Three brought us some very practical info on How to Conduct a Squirrel Census. (Didn’t you always want to know that?)
[or if the long link is broken]

But I think most people will say that the true highlight of the week came on Day Four, with the top results of the annual squirrel photography contest. Even when they’re thieving your birdseed, you have to admit they’re adorable! Scroll down to the last shot of the sleeping squirrel, and see if you can argue with that!
[or if the long link is broken]

Day Five finished out the week on the high-toned note of Squirrel Art:
[or if the long link is broken]

And if all that wasn’t enough for one week, you can also take John Kelly’s SQ Test (that’s Squirrel Quotient) to find out how much you know about squirrels:
[or if the long link is broken]

I found I did not know as much as I thought I did….but I’m already waiting for my chance when next week’s Squirrel Week rolls (or leaps) around again.

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

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

Plastic Litter - Photo by Provincie Limberg/Alf Mertens
via Wikimedia 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 17,600+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv 

Friday April 20 from 10 AM - 2 PM, Earth Day Festival at the US Botanic Garden, featuring hands-on activities and representatives from environmental organizations who can demonstrate ways to make the planet a healthier place. Free; no pre-registration required. US Botanic Garden Conservatory National Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW, 202-225-8333. Rain location: Conservatory Garden Court. More info:

Friday, April 20 at 3:30 pm Pickup Games at the Rosedale Conservancy. We’ll play “Infection” - a variation of tag. Join other kids meet new neighbors after school to run around beautiful Rosedale. Recommended for ages 6+. Parents, you are encouraged to come and play or watch, and bring a beverage. There will be minimal supervision. Parents - read full details here at The Rosedale Conservancy is on Newark between 35th and 36th Streets NW. Free.

Friday April 20 from 7 - 8:30 PM,  "The New Paris: the People, Places & Ideas Fueling a Movement" - Meet the Author Lindsey Tramuta. Paris, long-adored for its medieval beauty, old-timey brasseries, and corner cafés has even more to offer today. In the last few years, a flood of new ideas and creative locals has infused a once-static, traditional city with a new open-minded sensibility and energy. Journalist Lindsey Tramuta offers detailed insight into the rapidly evolving worlds of food, wine, pastry, coffee, beer, fashion, and design in the delightful city of Paris. She puts the spotlight on the new trends and people that are making France’s capital a more whimsical, creative, vibrant, and curious place to explore than its classical reputation might suggest. With hundreds of striking photographs that capture this fresh, animated spirit, The New Paris shows us the storied City of Light as never before. This event will be in English. At Alliance Française, 2142 Wyoming Ave NW, Tickets for AF members:  $10 + Processing Fees; General Admission: $15 + Processing Fees, available at 

Saturday, April 21 from 9 - 11 AM, Free community shredding event at Blessed Sacrament Church and School - in the parking lot. Enter from Western Avenue (east side) just past Chevy Chase Circle What you can shred: Paper, manila folder, files, stationary, old receipts, old check books, etc. No maximum quantity.

Saturday, April 21 from 10 AM - 2 PM, Earth Optimism Day at the National Zoo. Spend Earth Day celebrating conservation success stories at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. This year’s event features family-friendly activities and hands-on learning opportunities, as well as special animal demonstrations. Zoo experts will be on hand to talk with visitors about endangered species—including Asian elephants, coral and migratory birds—and how innovation is helping to solve some of the most pressing conservation issues in the world today. In addition, visitors will have an opportunity to learn how they can take action to help protect the planet. Free. The National Zoo is at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW,

Saturday April 21 from 10 AM - 4:30 PM, DC Author Festival. The DC Author Festival, in partnership with the Library of Congress, is a gathering for local writers to participate in workshops, discussions, social activities and professional development. This year’s Signature Speaker is George Derek Musgrove, author of Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital (in the Mumford Room, 1:30 PM), with an introduction by Colleen Shogan, Deputy Director of National and International Outreach at the Library of Congress, and Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Executive Director of DC Public Library. Other participating authors include: Elizabeth Flock, The Heart is a Shifting Sea: Love and Marriage in Mumbai, Karen Branan, The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, A Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth; and Patricia Park, Re Jane: A Novel. At the Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. More info: 

Saturday, April 21st from 1 - 4 PM, Taste of Dupont. This progressive lunch lets you taste appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drinks from more than 10 restaurants and taverns around the neighborhood. Tickets are $30 in advance; $40 at the door. The event sold out in advance last year, so don’t delay - go to 

Saturday, April 21 from 2 - 5 PM, The 5th Annual Mount Pleasant Home and Garden Tour. It's a great way to meet neighbors, find some home inspiration, and enjoy a spring day.... all while supporting Mount Pleasant's neighborhood public school, Bancroft Elementary. Details here: Tour from 2-5, cocktail reception from 5-7.
Tickets available here: Tour all houses and gardens - $35; Tour plus Reception on Lamont Street from 5-7 PM - $45.

Sunday, April 22 from 2 - 4 PM, "Free, Fun, Sophisticated Classical Music." The DC Strings Concert is a free performance directed by NY-based guest conductor Alan Buxbaum. The program will include music by Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven and Elgar. DC Strings Workshop is a non-profit organization composed of young amateur, semi-professional, and professional musicians. DCSW brings classical music to a wide spectrum of audiences throughout the DC region. Free. In the nave of St. Columba's Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle St. NW,

Sunday, April 22 (start times depend on the project), Mitzvah Day. Lend your time, energy, and compassion and make a difference on Mitzvah Day! Volunteers, young and old working together, will help to improve the lives of people in need. Volunteer projects start as early as 9:30 AM and will be held at Washington Hebrew Congregation at 3935 Macomb St NW or at the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center, 11810 Falls Road, Potomac, MD, or at off-site locations in DC and Maryland. Sign up to volunteer your time and help the homeless, sick, hungry, and underprivileged in the Washington, DC community. Open to all. Learn more: and sign up: 

Sunday, April 22 from 12 - 2 PM, Earth Day Clean-up of Hearst Park. Please join neighbors and friends of Hearst Park for Earth Day as we come together to care for and enjoy our beloved park! We’ll provide supplies, and all are welcome as we pick up trash, join in a catch, share a snack, and marvel at the glorious Heritage Trees. Activities for kids and prizes for most trash collected! Sponsored by Neighbors for Hearst Park, Hearst Park is at 37th, Quebec, and Rodman Streets NW.

Sunday, April 22 at 12:00 noon, Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday at the Folger Library. Happy Birthday, Will! Come to the Folger for this beloved annual tradition, as we celebrate the birthday of the Bard with a day full of festivities. Here’s a taste of what to expect: Sword fighting demonstrations with Tooth and Claw Combat Arts; Music from the US Army Baroque Ensemble and the WETA Players; Interactive demonstrations from Kill Shakespeare comics creator Anthony Del Col; Tour the Folger reading rooms and see their paintings and stained glass windows; A special appearances by Emily Jordan Folger and Queen Elizabeth I; Discussions from Folger curators and scholars; Readings from the winners of the 2018 Sonnet Contest; birthday cake! Food trucks will be stationed in Puck’s Circle. The Folger Shakespeare Library is at 201 East Capitol Street, SE, (202) 544-4600. Free admission. Full details at:

Sunday, April 22 at 2 PM, RiverSmart info session on rainwater management for homeowners. The Cleveland Park Citizens Association, in partnership with RiverSmart Homes, invites you and your family  to spend some time with us learning about opportunities to improve your outdoor space while becoming a better steward of the Chesapeake Bay watershed! What do you know about bay scapes, rain gardens, shade trees, rain barrels and native plant gardening? Do you know that the Department of Energy and Environment  through RiverSmart Homes offers a free audit of your property and subsequent subsidized landscape elements and other rainwater management techniques if applicable? RiverSmart will be giving a 30 minute presentation and bringing materials to help Cleveland Park neighbors learn more about their offerings. Then: Seven Cleveland neighbors who have installed RiverSmart designed features have graciously opened up their gardens so you can come and see what is possible. Children welcome, and a scavenger hunt will be part of the garden tour fun! Cookies will be served - bring your own water in a reusable bottle, please. Free. At 3547 Quebec Street NW (across from Hearst Park). This event is rescheduled from last Sunday’s rained-out event.

Sunday, April 22 at 5 PM, Plastics Anonymous. The theme of this year’s Earth Day is “End Plastic Pollution” ( This meeting is for anyone who sincerely wants to give up their addiction to the polluting stuff and may have tried many times to stay away from those plastic six-pack rings, or plastic water bottles, or disposable plastic bags...but it’s just too tempting to give in. When that check-out clerk offers you a plastic bag….you try to say no but find yourself thinking, it’s just one...or two. Oh, OK, I’ll take three, because I NEED them. Meet with others who are struggling, like you, and draw strength from those who have learned to live without the convenient, lightweight stuff. You CAN DO IT! To find out the location of the next meeting, go to: 

Monday, April 23 at 12 noon, Lecture: When Poor People Marched on Washington, presented by Gordon K. Mantler, director, GW Writing in the Disciplines. The Poor People’s Campaign - held in Washington, DC during the spring of 1968 - has long been overshadowed by the assassination of its architect, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the political turmoil of that year. While the campaign did not achieve its lofty goals, including a rededication to the War on Poverty, it did prove to be an illustrative moment of a "long" civil rights movement that highlighted the essential, yet often forgotten, objective of economic justice. Free; no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW,

Monday, April 23 at 7 PM, Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture: "Shakespeare's Virtues" by Julia Reinhard Lupton. Courage, trust, hope, and patience. These are some of the many virtues cultivated by Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night. In this free, public lecture, Professor Julia Reinhard Lupton will consider both theatrical making and literary education in terms of their surprising potential for building more virtuous humans, during Shakespeare’s time and ours. With Folger Theatre actor Eric Hissom.  Free - reservations requested at More info: The Folger Shakespeare Library is at 201 East Capitol Street, SE.

Monday, April 23 at 5 PM, Film screening:Through Chinatown's Eyes: April 1968. The film examines the impact of the civil disturbances and street violence on DC's Chinatown after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King in April 1968. The story, from the perspective of people recalling events as school children and young adults in Chinatown, explores ideas about ethnic identity and race relationships. It tells how the street violence affected the growth of the neighborhood and its commercial development. The film was produced by Penny Lee with Lisa Mao, and is a product of the 1882 Foundations’ DC Chinatown Oral History Project. Free. At the West End Library, 2301 L St. NW,

Tuesday, April 24 from 6 - 8 PM, Concert: Musical Bridge: Brno/Philadelphia. Cellist Štěpán Filípek and pianist Katelyn Bouska will perform the concert "Musical Bridge: Brno/Philadelphia", featuring the works of Czech and American masters, including Leoš Janáček’s Pohádka (Fairy Tale) and Po zarostlém chodníčku (On an Overgrown Path), Antonín Dvořák’s Klid lesa (Silent Woods), Miloslav Ištvan’s Cello Sonata, as well as Samuel Barber’sCello Sonata No. 2 and Jeremy Gill’s Dos sonetos de amor (Two Love Sonnets). At the Czech Embassy, 3900 Spring of Freedom Street NW. Free but RSVP required by April 23 - Business Attire. Embassy Security Policy: For entrance, all guests will be subject to security screening. Photo ID must match RSVP confirmation for each individual. Bags and suitcase are not allowed, small purses are permitted but must be opened for inspection. Coat check is not available. More info at:

Wednesday, April 25 at 6 PM, Library Takeout: Film Screening: "A Legacy of Mies and King." What do you do with a library designed in the '60s by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and named after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? This was the question architect Francine Houben, creative director of Mecanoo Architecten, had to answer when she was commissioned to give Washington, D.C.’s central library a new future. The documentary film A Legacy of Mies and King follows Houben as she investigates the past and present in order to design a world-class library of the future. Houben delves into the archives, meets contemporaries of Mies and King, speaks to current visitors of the library and participates in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march. During her quest, both the building's namesake and the original architect look over her shoulder critically. Q&A with DC Public Library executive director Richard Reyes-Gavilan will follow the screening. Free. Location: The American Institute of Architects DC building at 421 7th St. NW. Registration is required at 

Wednesday, April 25 at 6 PM, Lecture and Book Signing: “A Sovereign People: The Crises of the 1790s and the Birth of American Nationalism.” Carol Berkin, professor of history at the CUNY Graduate Center, discusses and signs copies of her book on the fragile status of the United States during the 1790s, revealing how Federalist leadership—George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams—successfully navigated national crises and inspired a spike of nationalism among ordinary citizens. The talk will last about 45 minutes, followed by a book signing and refreshments. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Free. At Anderson House, Society of the Cincinnati, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW, 

Thursday, April 26  at 5 PM, “Fake News? Hamilton Rumors and Truths,” presented by Emily Parsons, Denver Brunsman, Anne Dobberteen. Rumor has it, "Hamilton: An American Musical" is coming to Washington, DC. Museums in town are not throwing away their shot to talk about the impact of this founding father on this city's legacy. Join our panel of experts for short talks on Hamilton and his connection to the District, followed by a Q&A of all things Hamilton—news, rumors, even scandals. After the discussion, enjoy a curator-led tour of the exhibition Breaking News: Alexander Hamilton. Free, no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW      

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Still Life with Robin: An Eventful Week - Tax Day through Earth Day

NASA - Public Domain
by Peggy Robin

It’s April 15 and you might think it’s Tax Day, but it’s not -- Tax Day can never be on a Sunday, But it’s not on Monday, April 16, either, because of DC's holiday, Emancipation Day (more about that here: So Tax Day has been bumped over to Tuesday, April 17, giving everyone two more days to sweat over forms and filings. Not sure that’s really a cause for celebration….but the rest of the week brings us some special days that qualify:

On Wednesday, April 18 it’s International Juggler’s Day!
What do you do on this day? Juggle, if you can! And if you can’t, well, you can always watch someone who can:

On Thursday, April 19 it’s National Garlic Day:
This is an easy one to celebrate – here are some ideas:
But keep those breath mints handy for afterwards!

Then on Friday it’s 4-20 – that is, the infamous pot smoking holiday. It’s not actually taking place ALL day, just at 4:20 PM on 4-20.
For more about the long and legend-filled history of 420 there’s reliable 411 found on the website

On the third Saturday in April every year it’s Record Store Day – which you can celebrate by visiting any of several DC area record stores recommended here:

And now we’re back around to Sunday, and it’s a big one – that beautiful blue planet special -- EARTH DAY!
You can find Earth Day festivities and park clean-ups here:
Note that many of the events take place a day early, on Saturday, April 21 instead of on the actual Earth Day, which is April 22.
If you’re up for a day trip on Sunday, take a look at these activities in Annapolis:

Hoping you find something to enjoy every day of the week!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local, usually on Saturdays but occasionally on Sundays.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

Photo by Harald Hoyer via Wikimedia 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 17,600+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, April 13 from 10 AM - 1 PM, Lincoln’s Cottage presents the 4th Annual Lincoln Ideas Forum: “We Can Not Escape History.” Towards the end of his 2nd Annual Message to Congress in 1862, Abraham Lincoln implored his countrymen to remember that future generations would be looking back at the Civil War era: “Fellow-citizens, we can not escape history,” he wrote. “We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves.” This year, those stirring words serve as our theme for the 4th annual Lincoln Ideas Forum. Join experts, scholars, and the public in an exploration of the historic contexts of emancipation, sexual assault, hate groups, and immigration alongside the modern consequences. Speakers include: Jonathan Blanks, Cato Institute; Catherine Clinton, University of Texas San Antonio; Daryl Davis, jazz musician, scholar, actor, author and lecturer; Jennifer Mendelsohn, Founder of #resistancegenealogy; David Young, Exec. Dir. of Cliveden Historic Site: Moderator. Free but seating is limited to 80 attendees - rsvp at At President Lincoln's Cottage, 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW. 

Friday, April 13 at 12 noon, Lecture: A Garden for the President: A History of the White House Grounds. Speaker: Jonathan Pliska, Author and Landscape Historian. Situated at President George Washington's direction in "a beautiful spot capable of every improvement," the White House, the official residence of the president of the United States, is also seen as the people's house; its grounds, the people's grounds. Jonathan explores not only the relationship between the White House and its landscape, but also the evolution of its design; the public and private uses of the grounds in peace and wartime; and the cultivation of the grounds with a focus on the trees, vegetable and flower gardens, and conservatories.Free. Pre-registration required at: - click on the link toward the bottom of the page. At the US Botanic Garden, Conservatory Classroom, 100 Maryland Avenue SW. 

Friday, April 13 from 5 - 7 PM, Friday the 13th Lucky Hour/Happy Hour Gathering. Are you happy to have gotten out of bed this morning without falling, and relieved to have made it through the work day without a mishap? Then celebrate your good luck on this traditional day of bad luck with a Happy Hour toast to superstition. Meet your fellow lucky drinkers at our gathering place -- under a ladder, of course! -- where you can stroke our black cat, check yourself out in multiple broken mirrors, and everywhere you step, you’ll find a crack to break your mother’s back. We’ll be handing out umbrellas to open indoors, and serving margaritas with salt to throw over your shoulders. To uncover the secret location of our lucky gathering spot, register here:   

Saturday, April 14 from 10:30 AM - 6 PM, Sakura Matsuri - Japanese Street Festival, the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the United States, also the grand finale of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Performances include: taiko drumming, Okinawan folk dance, anime-cosplay fashion show, KuraPop - an African American J-Pop cover group, and much more. Demonstrations include archery, jujitsu, culinary arts, and more. See the cherry blossom queens and princesses. Enjoy a wide variety of cuisines from food vendors. For details visit: Takes place rain or shine along Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets NW. Tickets: $10 (age 13+); free for 12 and under. Advance tickets available at:     

Saturday, April 14 at 11:30 AM, DC Youth Orchestra Program’s Spring Open House at Eastern High School. The DC Youth Orchestra Program will open its doors to the public with a day of free musical events for the entire family, culminating in concerts by its renowned Youth Orchestra and the innovative, DC-based String Queens. Throughout the day, DCYOP staff and NSO volunteers will facilitate musical instrument petting zoos so that prospective young musicians (ages 4-18) can try out orchestral instruments. At 12:30 PM the Youth Orchestra will give a pop-up concert, and at 3:30 PM, the String Queens, a classically trained trio including DCYOP alumna and conductor Elise Cuffy, will perform pop, gospel, jazz, and R&B arrangements. Between the concerts will be a performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with narration by DCYOP Music Director Mariano Vales, as well as a string instrument care workshop held by Potter Violins, chamber music performances, yoga classes with One Breath at a Time, and face painting. Food trucks and other vendors will be at the event. To learn more about DCYOP, go to or contact Lucy Hattemer at 202-698-0123 or lucy @ dcyop dot org. Free. Eastern High School is at 1700 East Capitol Street NE. 

Saturday, April 14 starting at 2 PM, Emancipation Day Parade and Concert. Join Mayor Muriel Bowser as DC commemorates Emancipation Day, the historic day when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, the freeing of 3,185 enslaved persons in Washington, DC. Come walk with Mayor Bowser and members of the Bowser Administration at the 2018 Emancipation Day Parade and Concert. Register for this event at: The parade goes along Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 10th to 14 Street, followed by a concert at 3 PM featuring: Brandy; Angie Stone; Big Daddy Kane; Allure; Rare Essence; Ayre Rayde; and many more! Fireworks start at 8:30 PM. All events are free to the public. More info: 

Sunday, April 15 at 1 PM and at 3 PM, National Symphony Orchestra Concert at the Zoo, followed by an Instrument Petting Zoo. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is thrilled to host members of the National Symphony Orchestra for a free, engaging musical performance for all ages. The concerts are free and will take place in the Zoo's Visitor Center auditorium, with each concert followed by Musical Instrument “Petting Zoos” at 2 PM and again at 4 PM. Featured musicians include Jae-Yeon Kim (violin), Ko Sugiyama (violin), Tiffany Richardson (viola) and Sean Neidlinger (cello), Charles Nilles (bass) and Joel Ayau (piano). Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to collect free, same-day passes, which will be available on-site at the Zoo's Visitor Center Information Desk and at the Information Kiosk across from Kids' Farm beginning at 11 AM. Visitors must have a pass to attend the 1 PM or 3 PM concerts (limit 6 passes per person). Passes are not required for the Musical Instrument Petting Zoos at 2 or 4 PM. Please note: visitors attending the 1 PM or 3 PM concerts must arrive with their pass at the Zoo's Visitor Center auditorium at least 10 minutes prior to their show to guarantee seating. More info: 

Sunday, April 15 at 2 PM, RiverSmart info session on rainwater management for homeowners. The Cleveland Park Citizens Association, in partnership with RiverSmart Homes, invites you and your family  to spend some time with us learning about opportunities to improve your outdoor space while becoming a better steward of the Chesapeake Bay watershed! What do you know about bay scapes, rain gardens, shade trees, rain barrels and native plant gardening? Do you know that the Department of Energy and Environment  through RiverSmart Homes offers a free audit of your property and subsequent subsidized landscape elements and other rainwater management techniques if applicable? RiverSmart will be giving a 30 minute presentation and bringing materials to help Cleveland Park neighbors learn more about their offerings. Then: Seven Cleveland neighbors who have installed RiverSmart designed features have graciously opened up their gardens so you can come and see what is possible. Children welcome, and a scavenger hunt will be part of the garden tour fun! Cookies will be served - bring your own water in a reusable bottle, please. Free. At 3547 Quebec Street NW (across from Hearst Park). Rain Date: April 22nd 

Sunday, April 15th from 5 - 7 PM, Piano Recital: Sam Post. Pianist and composer (and Cleveland Park native and resident) Sam Post presents a recital tracing the influence of the keyboard music of J.S. Bach on music in the 20th and 21st centuries (including classic and modern ragtime piano, and compositions by Nicholas Kapustin and by Sam himself), as part of the "Music at the Redeemer" Series. Admission is free, although a goodwill donation is request. At Bethesda Church of the Redeemer, 6201 Dunrobbin Drive. More info is available here: and here: 

Monday, April 16 at 12 Noon, Lecture: Navigating Exclusion and Inclusion in Chocolate City. Speaker: Izetta Mobley, PhD candidate, University of Maryland. Izetta Autumn Mobley will explore race, mobility, and community along the 14th Street corridor in Washington, DC. Drawing on Metro Bus survey data and cultural theory, Mobley argues that social contact is not enough to stymie racial inequality, explores how DC residents discuss and conceptualize racial differences, and examines her findings in the broader context of how people take up space or connect with one another in the District. Free; no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW,   

Monday April 16 at 12:30 PM, Jon Horne on Travel Photography, presented by the Ward Circle chapter of AARP. Jon Horne has traveled extensively and has taken the opportunity to document his trips in photographs. He will display some of his pictures and will discuss what interested him in the subjects and how he chose to photograph them. The meeting will be in the vestry of National United Methodist Church, Metropolitan Memorial Campus, at the corner of Nebraska and New Mexico Avenues. Parking is available, and refreshments will be served at 12:30 PM. Free. 

Monday, April 16 starting at 2 PM, Emancipation Day Events in Lincoln Park. On April 16, 1876 Emancipation Day was celebrated at Lincoln Park including a keynote address by Frederick Douglass before a crowd of 20,000 people, followed by the unveiling and dedication ceremony for the “Emancipation Statue” that stands in Lincoln Park today. On April 16, 2018, as a part of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial celebration, the National Park Service invites you to a re-creation of this dedication ceremony. The afternoon program will include family-friendly activities, concerts, an open discussion about the “Emancipation Statue” and its meaning, and reenactments featuring actors portraying Frederick Douglass, John Mercer Langston, and Ulysses Grant. Special activities for kids including a puppet show, civil war infantry drills, make your own monument clay molding, a program on identifying the trees in Lincoln Park that have stood the test of time, and a “National Treasure” flashlight hunt led by a ranger, uncovering the hidden symbolism and meanings of the Emancipation statue. All free. At Lincoln Park, East Capitol St at 11th Street, 

Tuesday April 17 at 7 PM, “To Buy the Sun: The Challenge of Pauli Murray.” This play by Lynden Harris has just three performers who bring to life 60 characters, six decades, and two continents in this acting tour de force. By the close of To Buy the Sun, you will want to stand and cheer for this mixed-race, gender non-conforming attorney, poet, activist, professor, and Episcopal priest and the challenge she offers us all. Tickets $15 available at: In the Dunbarton Chapel, Howard University West Campus, 2600 Van Ness NW. For more about Pauli Murray visit:  

Wednesday April 18 at 7:30 PM, Chris Myers Asch, author of  “Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital,” will appear with Carl Lankowski, president of Historic Chevy Chase DC, to discuss the book and how Asch’s experience growing up in Chevy Chase shaped his perspective on the city’s racial history. Asch attended local public schools such as Lafayette Elementary, Deal Middle School and Wilson High School. He and Lankowski will explore a range of topics, from the origins of Chevy Chase to restrictive covenants to former Mayor Marion Barry. Free. At the Chevy Chase Community Center, Connecticut Avenue and McKinley Street NW

Thursday, April 19 from 5 - 8 PM, Dumbarton at Dusk Museum Tour. Take an after-hours tour of Dumbarton House and experience the grounds in a different light. Food, music, a cash bar, and pop-up history activities will enhance your tour of Dumbarton House’s collections. Suggested minimum donation: $5. Dumbarton House is at 2715 Q St NW. Register at   

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Enjoy a Meal Out This Thursday - And Many Others Will Enjoy a Meal In

Food and Friends Dine Out for Life
by Peggy Robin

It's that time of year -- the annual Dine Out for Life!

It's your chance to do good by doing something you would probably do for your own enjoyment many nights of the year (and daytimes, too): Eat out! But on April 12, when you eat out at a participating Dine Out for Life! restaurant, your meal purchase helps to provide meals for people in our area who have HIV/AIDS, cancer, or other life-challenging illnesses. It costs you nothing extra on your restaurant bill; the restaurants are dedicating a portion of your check to Food and Friends, whose volunteers prepare and deliver meals to patients all year long.

All you need to do is choose your place to eat from the list of participating restaurants here:

On this page you can filter the restaurants by neighborhood, type of cuisine, time of day (lunch, dinner, late night, etc.) and donated percentage of the check. Restaurants are giving between 25% and 110% of the bill to Food and Friends.

You can make your reservation through Open Table here:

Here's what you need to know about Food and Friends:

"Food and Friends provides home-delivered meals, groceries and nutrition counseling to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses. Since 1988, Food & Friends has provided over 21 million life-sustaining meals to more than 31,000 individuals. Our service area encompasses 5,300 square miles including the District of Columbia and 14 counties of Maryland and Virginia. Funds raised through Dining Out for Life allow us not only to serve today, but to prepare for the individuals who will need us tomorrow."

Not in town on Thursday? Dine Out for Life is taking place is 60 others cities. You can see the map here:

Bon Appetit!

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

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

Photo by Thomas S Mann
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 17,500+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv   

Friday, April 6, 5:30 – 8 PM, Japan and Jazz - Live at the Freer. Join the Freer|Sackler to celebrate the 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival at this special after-hours event. Get an unexpected view into Japanese culture through live jazz by Japanese musicians, Q&A with artists, and exclusive curator tours of Japanese art exhibitions. Enjoy small bites and a cash bar. And at 7 PM, catch The Stormy Man, a classic film about dueling jazz drummers, which kicks off a retrospective of films by legendary Japanese director Umetsugu Inoue. Free. At the Freer Gallery of Art, Meyer Auditorium, Independence Avenue at 12th Street, SW. For more information

Saturday, April 7 from 10 – 11:30 AM, The 7th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Tregaron Conservancy. We will gather by the Lily Pond at 10 AM sharp. Thousands of candy-filled plastic eggs will be hidden throughout the woodlands. A special area will be set aside for kids under the age of five. Bring a bag or basket for collecting eggs. Feel free to bring a blanket and picnic to enjoy after the hunt. This is a free event. Donations in any amount — at the event or online — to support the conservancy’s free, year-round community programs will be gratefully accepted. RSVPs are appreciated by email to info @ tregaronconservancy dot org, noting the size of your group. 
Enter the Tregaron Conservancy at 3031 Klingle Road NW.

Saturday, April 7 at 10 AM, Litter Patrol at Fort Stevens Park. Join the Civil War Trust and the National Park Service as a volunteer at Fort Stevens Park Day and help remove litter. Volunteers should wear protective clothing for working outside on the battlefield. Also have bug repellent, sunblock, and water bottle to refill. Water will be provided on-site. Fort Stevens Park is located at 13th and Quackenbos Streets, NW. To learn more and register (required), visit 

Saturday April 7 from 1 - 9:30 PM, Petalpalooza. Come to the first annual Petalpalooza at the Wharf, where you can enjoy: interactive art installations, larger-than-life games and activities, live music on three outdoor stages, a roller rink, a beer garden, a spectacular fireworks show by Pyrotecnico (weather permitting), and much more. All are encouraged to release their inner Picasso with bike spin art, Japanese calligraphy, Gyotaku fish prints, plein air artists, and more. Plus, there will be no shortage of selfie-worthy snapshots, including an interactive “flower-by-numbers” wall and life-sized photo frames.In the Samuel Adams Beer Garden on the District Pier and Transit Pier, guests can stay hydrated with free samples from LaCroix and Coca-Cola soft drinks for sale. FreshDirect will be giving away special snack packs for attendees, L’Occitane En Provence cherry blossom product samples will be distributed from the L’Occitruck, and children can make their own T-shirts with Harbor Patrol. Even four-legged friends can join the festivities with special amenities for dogs at Petalpalooza’s Pop-Up Parklet. Guests can also view the car display from Exotic Car Collection by Enterprise. Fireworks start at 8:30 PM -- a dazzling choreographed display of more than 4,000 effects lights up DC’s night sky above the Washington Channel. At The Wharf, 1100 Maine Avenue, SW. Free admission. More info:

Saturday, April 7 starting at 12 noon, Allergenapalooza. Got tree allergies? Now is the time to high-tail it outta DC! Get yourself to the desert, the tundra, or a small deserted island in the middle of the ocean -- anywhere but this town with its tens of thousands of flowering trees, just bursting with a phenomenal array of histamine-exciting pollens. Can’t or won’t flee? Then band together with your fellow allergy sufferers at today’s Allergenapalooza and enjoy the beauty of the trees while you sneeze! We will gather at the paddleboat kiosk, armed with eye droppers, nasal sprays, Zyrtec, Claritan, and Allegra, and then proceed to march clockwise around the Tidal Basin, sneezing in unison. At the end we will get T-shirts emblazoned with this line: “I SAW THE CHERRY TREES AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS POLLEN-DUSTED T-SHIRT.” Register in advance and provide your T-shirt size here:

Sunday, April 8 at 11:15 AM, 50 Year Anniversary Commemoration of Dr. King’s Final Sermon at Washington National Cathedral. On March 31, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached his final Sunday Sermon at Washington National Cathedral. On April 8th, we will recall his presence at the Cathedral through a service including recorded excerpts of Dr. King’s sermon along with music and prayers from the service on that day. Free and open to all. At 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW,

Sunday, April 8 from 12 - 5 PM, The Abner Cloud House - Open House. The Abner Cloud House, a three story house built and completed in 1801 by Abner Cloud Jr., a Quaker from Pennsylvania, and operated as a museum along the C & O Canal by the Colonial Dames of America, will be open to the public. The house is of the Federal Period and furnished with antiques from that period and was designated by the Interior Secretary in 1976 as the finest example of Federal architecture in Washington. Admission is free. Location: Canal National Park, Canal and Reservoir Roads NW. For further information, please email Mayhugh2 @ verizon dot net,

Monday, April 9 at 12 noon, Lecture: Oral Histories of the 1968 Civil Disturbances, presented by Kyla Sommers, PhD candidate, GW Department of History. Through an examination of candid personal reflections on the April 1968 upheaval following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, GW PhD candidate Kyla Sommers provides new insights into the politics, chaos, and even the humor of the moment. Free; no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW,

Tuesday, April 10 from 6 - 8 PM, Lecture: Prague Spring Music Festival - Witness of Central European History. Conversations in Culture will feature the history of the Prague Spring Music Festival, founded shortly after the WWII. Festival Director Roman Bělor will speak about the relationship between music and politics, especially "normalization," the dark period following the Soviet occupation. Bělor would also address how music was used and misused by the communist regime. Location: Delegation of the European Union to the United States, 2175 K Street NW (Entrance on 22nd Street). Free, RSVP required - visit and click on the link at the bottom of the page.

Tuesday, April 10 from 6:30 - 8 PM, Latrobe Chapter Lecture: Waddy B. Wood. Lecture by Emily Hotaling Eig, EHT Traceries, Inc. Virtually forgotten by the 1970s, Waddy Butler Wood was one of the most successful architects in Washington, DC during the first half of the twentieth century. Known for his persuasive charm, Wood began his career by designing townhouses in Washington. Following a successful ten-year partnership with Edward Donn and William Deming from 1902-1912, Wood went on to great fame on his own, gaining commissions from senators and congressmen, churches and libraries, private businesses and the Federal government, while speculating on residential property as he designed, occupied, and then sold numerous houses around the city to keep his practice afloat. This talk will present an overview of Wood’s career, introducing numerous examples of his work within the context of Washington’s stylistic development and the architects who shared these times. Reservations are not required. $10 for Latrobe Chapter members, student members (full time) free with ID, $15 for non-members. At the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 945 G Street NW. More info:

Wednesday, April 11 at 7 PM, DIY Mending Workshop. Have a loose button or a popped seam you're not sure how to fix? Bring your (clean) garment to this workshop and learn how to repair it. We will provide know-how as well as a sewing machine, needles, thread and limited notions. This class is a walk-in, so no registration is required. Sewing machine time is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Free. At the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW,

Thursday, April 12, all day, Dine Out for Life! When you eat out today at any participating restaurant, your meal will help provide thousands of nutritious meals a day to adults and children battling HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-challenging illnesses. Learn more at: See the list of participating DC restaurants and make your reservations here:

Thursday, April 12 at 6 PM, Film Screening: "Enslavement to Emancipation." In commemoration of the Emancipation Compensation Act of 1682, Francis Gregory Neighborhood Library is proud to screen the documentary film Enslavement to Emancipation. Documentary produced by Office of the Secretary of the District of Columbia and DC Office of Cable Television. Free. Film screening will be held in the Main Meeting Room on the second floor of the  Francis A. Gregory Library, 3660 Alabama Ave. SE,        

Sunday, April 1, 2018

WMATA Press Release: Metro System Station Rebranding Program Announces First Renamed Station: TARGET Cleveland Park

Dear Listserv Members,

We have received the following announcement from WMATA/Metro:

April 1, 2018

Metro System Station Rebranding Program Announces First Renamed Station: 
TARGET Cleveland Park

Photo by Bill Adler
(Washington, D.C.) WMATA proudly unveils the first in its new program partnering with members of our Business Community to assign naming rights to Metro Stations.:

On the Red Line, the Cleveland Park Metro Station will become TARGET Cleveland Park. The rebranding of the station will take effect sometime in the Spring of 2019, when the new Target Store is expected to open in Sam’s Park’n’Shop in Cleveland Park. (See:

In the interim, the Cleveland Park Metro Station will close, so that the reconfiguration and other adjustments can take place. The old pylons displaying the station name “Cleveland Park” must be removed, and a new station-identifying object will be constructed, which will consist of a very large version of the familiar red Target logo, with the new station name in red and white lettering, going in a circle around the logo/station marker. The height of the station-identifying object will be the same as the current pylon, and being circular, will have a diameter equal to its height.

The west entrance to the station will be closed permanently, and the east entrance on Connecticut Avenue, mid-block between Porter and Ordway Streets NW, will be accessed directly through the Target store, so that all Metro riders must enter and exit directly through the lower level of the store. The reconstruction of the new Target-centered escalator and elevator will take approximately one year, necessitating the closing of the station during that period of time. Metro regrets the inconvenience.

You can view the new TARGET Cleveland Park Station logo, as well as building plans for the redesigned, relocated escalator and elevator here: 

When the new TARGET Cleveland Park Metro station reopens in the spring of 2019, WMATA and Target will stage a Grand Reopening for all patrons in the neighborhood, city officials, and other dignitaries. There will be live entertainment, free Metro safety stickers, a balloon artist, free Metro refrigerator magnets, and more. Other Metro branded merchandise will be available for purchase.

After the TARGET Cleveland Park Station rebranding project is completed, the next Metro station to be renamed and redesigned will be Federal Triangle; the naming rights have been acquired by the Trump International Hotel. The station will become The Trump International Make Metro Great Again Station. The station will be closed while the access in and out of the station is reconfigured so that all passenger will pass through the hotel’s lower lobby. There will be a $5.00 surcharge upon every entry and exit, for customer use of the marble-floored corridors, the gold banisters, or the mahogany-paneled elevator.

In the event that Amazon locates its second national headquarters in the Washington Metro area, it will be automatically be given naming rights to the entire Metro system, which will drop WMATA to become AMATA - Amazon Metro Area Transit Authority. However, if this change does take place, NO stations will be closed during the transition, and the entire system will be revamped, and every passenger who is a member of Amazon Prime will be assured of prompt delivery to his or her destination within the promised time period or the fare will automatically be refunded instantly to the customer’s Amazon Prime account. (This policy will not apply to non-members of Amazon Prime.) You can read more about how the Amazon-run Metro system would function by accessing the AMATA proposal, available here: 

To comment on any of these proposed changes, visit us online at:


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Someone Told Me It's All Happenin' at the Zoo

It's Spike the Elephant!
by Peggy Robin

Yesterday the CP Listserv posted a letter from the Zoo’s Acting Director Steven L. Monfort (sent in via Council Member Mary Cheh’s office, with thanks to them for the forward), letting the listserv know of some upcoming events. It’s great to have the Zoo communicating with their neighbors this way -- especially after that lively discussion the week before about how to entertain young visitors to the city; the Zoo was the number one recommendation!

Here’s a quick recap of what to do at the Zoo this spring:

April 1 - Family Day Easter Monday

April 15 from 1 PM and at 4 PM - National Symphony Orchestra Concert and “Instrument Petting Zoo”
Not one but TWO free family concerts. The concerts will bring Camille de Saint-Saens’s Carnival of Animals to life. Following each concert, the NSO will host an “instrument petting zoo,” where families will learn about and play a variety of different orchestra instruments.
Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to collect free, same-day passes, which will be available on-site starting at 11 AM. for both concerts. Visitors must have a pass to attend the 1 PM and the 3 PM concerts. Passes are not required for the Musical Instrument Petting Zoos at 2 PM and 4 PM.

April 21 – Earth Optimism Day. Lots of education booths and interactive demonstrations, including Neighborhood NestWatch and FrogWatch. A few others: Coral Conservation; Nature Play and Word Expeditions; Reintroduction Success Stories. If you go to “Reintroduction Success Stories,” you will learn about black-footed ferrets, Guam rail, and Przewalski's horses. I wonder if you can win special bonus points if you prove you can spell “Przewalski”?

May 12 – World Migratory Bird Day. A day of  family friendly activities, games and demonstrations — all in the name of bird conservation. Learn about the perils of migration and the incredible animals that undertake this journey as you sip Bird Friendly® coffee, test your bird-spotting skills and take part in fun, interactive games. You will also learn how to help the birds in your own back yard. (And I do hope they will tell you to keep your kitties indoors!)     

And now for a few other things that are not on the calendar yet….or can be hard to predict:

Meet Spike, the new Asian elephant. He arrived at the Zoo from Tampa, Florida on March 23, but he needs a couple of weeks to get used to his new home and meet the other elephants before he’s ready to meet his public. In the meantime, you can read about him here
and get an update here:

Meet the new gorilla baby….coming soon!
The Zoo’s update — — says that gorilla-mom-to-be Calaya is due to give birth “anytime between now and early May.” Mom and baby will need a period of privacy before any public appearances, and in the meantime, we hope the Zoo’s primate keepers are studying up on “What to Expect When Your Gorilla Is Expecting.” (And on a tangential note: Why do we have a specific word for so many other animal babies – e.g., a horse baby is a foal; a deer baby is a fawn; a bear baby is a cub; a wolf baby is a pup; a chicken baby is a chick; a fox baby is a kit — but a gorilla baby is just a baby? If this is the sort of thing that interests you, take a look at this list of animal baby names here:

Speaking of pregnancies….will there or won’t there be a new panda cub? We’ll find out in 3 – 6 months! Mei Xiang’s got a good track record as a mom, and there’s every reason to hope, but of course, with pandas and their crazy pseudo-pregnancies, you’re never really sure till the little butterstick drops! In the meantime, watch that Panda-Cam! Go to:

Hope this will put you in the right mood for a visit:

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

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

Easter Monday at the National Zoo 
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 17,500+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv   

Friday, March 30 from 4 - 4:30 PM, Creature Feature. Calling all kids! Come meet Pokey, Atwee, Tiki, Oscar, and Fire during this informal program. Learn about park wildlife and then assist us in feeding the Nature Center's live critters. Geared for ages 4 to 10. Free. At the Nature Center in Rock Creek Park, 5200 Glover Rd, NW,

Saturday, March 31st, 9 AM – 11 AM, The First Annual Ward 4 Easter Egg Roll. Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd invites you to join him at Walter Reed for the First Annual Ward 4 Easter Egg Roll. The event will provide fun for all ages, including a DJ, live music, Easter egg roll and hunt with prizes, arts and crafts, face painting, and the Easter Bunny. Complimentary and open to the public, all Ward 4 residents and families are welcome to celebrate the arrival of Spring and enjoy the Walter Reed campus. Attire: Easter festive. Rain date is April 7th, to be activated only in the event of heavy rain or thunder. To learn more and RSVP, visit the Facebook event at Questions? Contact Dolly Turner at dturner @ dccouncil dot us or call (202) 724-8052. The Walter Reed Campus is at 1010 Butternut St NW. 

Saturday, March 31st from 10 AM - 12 noon, Easter Event at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in historic Anacostia, DC. Celebrate 200 years of Frederick Douglass’s life and legacy at the National Park Service's annual Easter Egg Hunt. At this FREE community event, the first 200 children will receive a special bicentennial edition wooden egg in honor of the yearlong bicentennial celebration of Frederick Douglass, “The Lion of Anacostia.” Check in begins at 9:30 AM at the Visitor Center Welcome Table. See and take pictures with the Easter bunny, have fun in an exciting scavenger hunt, play games on the lawn of Cedar Hill, enjoy storytelling circles, create arts and crafts, and experience the power of place with ranger led tours of Douglass’s historic home. Please bring your own basket to collect eggs. At Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, 1411 W St SE. More info:

Sunday,  April 1 at 1 PM, Embassy Church is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt and Community Celebration for kids of all ages, with face-painting, food, music, story-time, a photo booth, and of course, an epic egg hunt. For more information, call at 202-363-4090, or email office @ representjesus dot com. Free and open to all. At 3855 Massachusetts Avenue NW, 2 blocks from the National Cathedral.

Monday, April 2 from 6:30 - 8 PM, Talk: Live in My Backyard: Accessory Dwelling Units for Washington, DC. Discover the challenges and opportunities of making room for housing in DC with Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Harriet Tregoning, former DC Planning director, (moderator), Cheryl Cort, policy director, Coalition for Smarter Growth, M. Jennifer Harty, AIA, architect and Aakash Thakkar, ADU homeowner, explain the roles of design and policy practitioners, present case studies, and share strategies that homeowners and property owners can use to build ADUs. This program complements the exhibition Making Room: Housing for a Changing America, which will be open prior to the program.The National Building Museum is at 401 F St NW,. Tickets: $12 Member | $10 Student | $20 Non-member. Pre-registration required - go to Walk-in registration based on availability.

Monday, April 2, 10 AM - 2 PM, The National Zoo will celebrate Easter Monday with a day full of holiday-themed activities including an Easter Egg hunt, interactive field games, animal demonstrations, education booths, and live entertainment. And don't miss a chance to meet Easter Panda! Visitors, please note that due to increased visitation during spring break, security screening measures will be implemented at all Zoo entry points. Screening prior to entry includes but is not limited to all bags, backpacks, personal items and strollers. Visitors who exit the Zoo must participate in security screening before re-entry is permitted. Zoo entry wait times are possible during the spring break period. Thank you in advance for your patience, cooperation and assistance in keeping everyone safe. Free. At Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-633-4888,

Monday, April 2 at 12 noon, Film: "Through Chinatown's Eyes: April 1968," with Ted Gong, executive director, 1882 Project Foundation. Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the ensuing civil disorder, Chinatown in Washington, DC, found itself caught amidst a deep-seeded racial struggle. Through Chinatown’s Eyes: April 1968 explores how residents experienced and navigated the historical moment as it unfolded on their doorsteps. Free. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW,

Monday, April 2 at 7:30 PM. Historic Buildings and Accessibility: Adapting Historic Buildings
for Accessibility: Exteriors. This free talk on adapting historic buildings for accessibility. is the second in a new series of programs on aging in place and historic preservation offered by the Cleveland Park Historical Society and the Cleveland and Woodley Park Village. Steve Callcott, Deputy Preservation Officer at the DC Historic Preservation Office, will discuss solutions for creating handicapped accessibility in historic buildings, both private homes and public buildings. Steve will discuss how the Americans with Disabilities Act and the historic preservation law work together, and options for preserving historic character while improving access. The talk is open to the public and reservations are not required, but if you plan to come, please RSVP to 202-615-5853 or info @ ClevelandWoodleyParkVillage dot org -- which is helpful in planning seating and refreshments. For questions about the program, email Carin Ruff at staff @ clevelandparkhistoricalsociety dot org. At Cleveland Park Congregational Church, 3400 Lowell Street, NW.

Tuesday, April 3 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Talk: “The People of the Pilot District Project.” Hear how some of Washington, DC’s most well-known and powerful figures worked to improve community and police relations in the late 1960s through The Pilot District Project. Amber N. Wiley, Ph.D., assistant professor of American Studies at Skidmore College, tells the story of this community policing program, developed by Robert Shellow, and how it engaged many of Washington's politicians and activists including Marion Barry, Erieka Bennett, Walter Fauntroy, Susan Meehan, Frank Reeves, and Carlos Rosario. This program complements the exhibition Community Policing in the Nation’s Capital: The Pilot District Project, 1968–1973, which will be open prior to the program. At the National Building Museum, 401 F St NW. Walk-in registration begins at 5:30 PM. Free. Pre-registration required. Walk-in registration based on availability. Registration is for event planning purposes only and does not guarantee a seat. Online registration link available here:

Wednesday, April 4 at 7 PM, Author Talk: Lynne Olson. Historian and New York Times bestselling author Lynne Olson will discuss her book Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War. When the Nazi blitzkrieg rolled over continental Europe in the early days of World War II, the city of London became a refuge for the leaders and armed forces of six occupied nations, who escaped there to continue the fight. As the only European democracy still holding out against Hitler, Britain became known to the Nazi-occupied countries as “Last Hope Island.” Olson chronicles how Britain became the base of operations for the leaders and armed forces of six defeated countries (Norway, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Luxembourg, Czechoslovakia), along with Gen. Charles De Gaulle, the self-appointed leader of the Free French Forces. Lynne Olson is a New York Times bestselling author of seven books of history, most of which deal in some way with World War II and Britain’s crucial role in that conflict. Book sale and signing to follow event. Free. At Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave NW,   

Thursday, April 5 at 9:30 AM, Tax Encouragement Pep-talk for Procrastinators. What if you know how to do your taxes -- you just can’t seem to get your act together to file? You don’t need an accountant or tax preparer, you need a motivation coach! Come to the DC Public Library and be prepared to be cajoled, wheedled, and sweet-talked into getting the job done. Bring us your unopened envelopes marked “IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENT” and we will open them for you, to get you started. We will also have soothing New Age Music, hot herbal tea, aromatherapy, and papusan cushions to help you mellow out as you face this stressful chore. Once you are done with our Tax Encouragement Pep-talk for Procrastinators Program (TEPPP), you are ready to go on to the room in the library where people who know something about taxes will actually answer your questions (see next item, below). To find the nearest TEPPP, go to:     

Thursday, April 5 at 10 AM. Free Tax Assistance. From February 1 through April 18, meet with a qualified AARP tax aide at your local library to help answer your tax questions and prepare your 2017 income tax filing.To find other sites offering tax assistance, please visit the DC Public Library Tax Help Events Page: . Free. At Lamond-Riggs Public Library, 5401 South Dakota Ave. NE,     

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Toby the Last (We Hope!)

by Peggy Robin

Earlier this week the East Coast experienced the fourth Nor’easter in a month. It’s officially spring and here we are, still having winter storms. And The Weather Channel is still naming them. Yes, this is the sixth year that The Weather Channel has appointed itself the name-giver of winter storms. See the complete list of the 2017-2018 storm names here:

From the very first season of storm-naming (2012-2013), I have used this column to object to the practice. The names are typically awful, like something you’d expect a kindergarten class to come up with (just two examples, Winter Storm Boo-boo (2016) and Winter Storm Yolo (2017). I’m coming to it late, I know, but I can’t let the current storm season end without my annual critique of the Weather Channel’s dopey name picks. So without further qualification, here is the list of names they’ve chosen for 2017-2018, followed by TWC’s definition/origin, and after that, my complaint (plus very occasional praise), followed by a letter grade. And then the grade point average for the year.

Aiden - From an Old Irish name meaning "fire." 
- You don’t use a name that means “fire” for frozen wintry blasts – DUH! 
Grade: D

Benji - Short for Benjamin, an old Hebrew name meaning "son of the south."
- You don’t use a name most commonly associated with a cute little Disney dog for a winter storm. And something that means “son of the South” should not be the name of a phenomenon associated with the North. Double-DUH. 
Grade: D-

Chloe - From Greek, it is a reference to blooming or the young green shoot of a new plant.
- Look at the definition/derivation of Chloe and you tell me if it’s a fitting name for a blizzard. 
Grade: D

Dylan - From Welsh words meaning "great tide."
- Once associated mainly with Bob Dylan, it’s now a ridiculously popular, unisex kid’s name, and there’s just nothing chilling and storm-tossed about this one. It’s a couple of notches better than Benji, so I will give it a C-.

Ethan - From a Hebrew name meaning "strong," "solid" or "firm."
- Another wildly popular baby name. It used to be the #1 boy’s name but is now down to #7. The meaning’s OK for a storm, so let’s give it a B.

Frankie - A nickname for Frank, Francis or Frances from the Germanic tribe the Franks.
- This choice would be a lot better if not turned into a diminutive. 
Grade: B-

Grayson - From the Middle English word that meant steward plus son.
- These days the name Grayson is the sort of thing you’d find as the hero’s name in a torrid romance novel. 
Grade: C

Hunter - From the time when people in England were named for their work.
- I think The Weather Channel’s naming scheme is meant to alternate male and female names, but with so many unisex names in the list, I’ve lost track of what gender we’re supposed to be on. “Hunter” is not a bad image/personification for a winter storm, though, so I’ll give it a B.

Inga - Related to the name of a people who lived on the North Sea called the Ingaevones.
- Ah, finally, a name that evokes a Northern, Viking image. This one’s OK.
Grade: A

Jaxon - From the son of Jack, which was a nickname for John in the Middle Ages.
- Wrong! The Jaxon spelling is pure 21st Century parental naming cuteness. If it had been Jackson, that would have been OK….but Jaxon with an X? Just silly. Grade: C-

Kalani - From the Hawaiian words meaning the plus heaven or sky.
- You don’t pick Hawaiian words for Nor’easters on the mainland. Plus, it’s not even a name….
Grade: D-

Liam - From Irish, a short form of William, which comes from German.
- Oh, this one’s OK, I guess. I have no objection to it. 
Grade: B

Mateo - The Spanish form of Matthew, which is distantly derived from the Hebrew word for gift.
- “Gift”? Really? They don’t really think these things through, do they? 
Grade: C-

Noah - From the biblical character Noah, derived from the Babylonian/Assyrian word for repose/rest.
- Noah is so associated with the Flood and the near-destruction of the earth, that we don’t need to deal with the derivation from the Babylonian word for “rest.” This one’s OK. 
Grade: A

Oliver - The English form of the French name Olivier.
- It means an olive branch, a peace offering. Not exactly weather-appropriate. Grade: F

Polly - From Molly, which is an old nickname for Mary.
- I know what we’re all thinking about this one…. “Polly wanna cracker?” 
Grade: D-

Quinn - Derived from an Irish Gaelic word meaning "chief" or "counsel."
- Nothing wrong with this one. In fact, my first association is with “The Mighty Quinn,” the Bob Dylan song about Quinn the Eskimo. 
Grade: A

Riley - Derived from Reilly, which comes from the Old Irish name Raghailleach.
- I looked up the meaning of Riley (or Reilly), and it’s “courageous, valiant” in Gaelic. Not bad, I guess.
Grade: A-

Skylar - A modified version of Tyler merged with the word sky.
- The derivation is silly, but at least the name is weather-related. 
Grade: B

Toby - Derived from Tobias, a name from old versions of the Bible.
- Tobias would have been OK, but choosing the diminutive Toby – perhaps more common these days as a dog name than a human name – brings it down a few notches. 
Grade: C

Uma - From multiple cultures including the Sanskrit word meaning "tranquility."
- You see the problem? The name comes from India (not exactly snowstorm-evoking land) and means “tranquility.” The Weather Channel is just going about this all wrong! 
Grade: D

Violet - Originally from the name for the Latin name for the flower, viola.
- Using the word for a bright little spring flower for a blizzard? I thought this one was the worst – Grade: F – until I got to what comes next…..

Wilbur - Mr. Ed’s owner in the TV show about a talking horse.
- This one scrapes the bottom of the barrel. Wiiiilll - burrrrr! (see 
Grade: F-

Xanto - From the Ancient Greek name Xanthus meaning "blonde."
- This is NOT a name. And not storm-appropriate, even if it were. 
Grade: D-

Yvonne - Related to a nickname for the Old French name Yves, which came from the name of a type of wood used to make bows.
- Yvonne sounds more like the name of the sexy French kitty in a Pepe LePew cartoon. 
Grade: C

Zoey - Derived from the Greek word for life.
- Can you hear Zoey these days without thinking of that Manic Pixie Dreamgirl, Zoey Deschanel? I can’t. 
Grade: F

Grade Point Average 1.8 or D+

…and here’s hoping that the Grade C Storm Toby was the last of this winter’s bunch!
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.  

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

National Zoo: "Laws of the Lizard"
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 17,500+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv   

Friday, March 23 at 12:30 PM, Lunch Bites: David Humphreys’ “A Poem on Industry” (1794).
Library Assistant Benjamin Hurwitz discusses “A Poem on Industry,” written in 1794 by David Humphreys, an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati. In this poem, Humphreys praised the industrious spirit of the American people and called for the creation of domestic manufacturing. In particular, he promoted American wool manufacturing as an antidote to British economic domination. Like many of his peers, Humphreys believed wool raising to be a virtuous pursuit. It fit the pastoral vision of agrarian America while also aiding the American economy and its manufacturers. Humphreys first rose to prominence during the Revolutionary War, when he served as an aide-de-camp to General Washington. After the war, he gained fame as a poet and served as the foreign minister to Portugal and Spain. In his later life, Humphreys became a sheep farmer and one of the nation’s largest wool manufacturers. The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the poem. Free. At Anderson House, Society of the Cincinnati, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW, 

Friday, March 23 at 4 PM, “Creature Feature” at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center. Calling all kids! Come meet Pokey, Atwee, Tiki, Oscar, and Fire (the animals in the Nature Center) during this informal program. Learn about park wildlife and then assist in feeding the Nature Center's live critters. Geared for ages 4 to 10. Free. The Rock Creek Nature Center is at 5200 Glover Road NW.

Saturday, March 24 starting at 12 noon, March for Our Lives.  Cleveland Park neighbors are meeting at 10:45 AM at the Cleveland Park Metro. The “march” is no longer a march -- it’s a rally, taking place along Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 12th Street NW. Pedestrian entrances will be located at Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street NW, Constitution Avenue and 7th Street NW and Indiana Avenue and 7th Street NW. Information on what to bring and not to bring and other practical details can be found here:

Saturday, March 24 at 3 PM, Film Screening: "Laws of the Lizard." The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History invite you to a film screening as part of the 2018 Environmental Film Festival in the nation's capital. The new Smithsonian Channel documentary, "Laws of the Lizard," follows award-winning filmmakers Nate Dappen and Neil Losin as they partner with scientists, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Kevin de Queiroz, to tell the surprising story of anole lizards—how they spread through Latin America and the Caribbean, conquered every possible habitat and diversified into hundreds of species—and what they tell us about other species and ecosystems around the world. RSVP here but please note that seating is first come first served: Free. Seating is first come first serve but please RSVP to receive announcements about the event: Free. In the Zoo's Visitor Center auditorium, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Saturday, March 24 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Jazz@Wesley presents 3G Band. For 17 years, Tiya! and Third Generation (3G) Band were the resident band and vocalist at the historic Channel Inn in Southwest DC until its closing. The 3G Band features: Harlen Jones, keyboards; Edmond "Bubba" Harley, bass; Kenneth Powell, drums; and Tiya! With special guests Tracy Cutler on saxophone and Herm Hopkins on trombone. The group will perform an eclectic mix of Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, pop, and more! Complimentary coffee and tea with additional food and beverages available for purchase. Tickets: $10 general admission, $7 seniors, $5 students, free for ages 12 and under - credits cards accepted. Tickets available online at At the Wesley Campus of National United Methodist Church, 5312 Connecticut Ave. NW at Jenifer St. Enter on Conn. Ave. through the glass doors.

Sunday, March 25 at 3 PM, Talk Story: "Southern Fried Asian." Writer, podcaster and editor Keith Chow conducts a live recording with literary critic and 1882 Foundation director Stan Lou in "Southern Fried Asian," an acclaimed podcast about Asian Americans who grew up in the South. Afterward, they will be joined by multimedia artist Shani Shih for a panel discussion on ways Asian Americans use the written, oral and visual arts to tell their stories. DC Library staff will provide library card registration and related materials for check out. There will also be information about the new DCPL Radio podcasts and how library card users can access the Studio Lab space during the MLK Library renovation.This free event will be held in the conferencing center space at 600 Massachusetts Ave. NW - enter from I Street entrance between 6th and 7th Streets. More info:   

Monday, March 26 at 12 noon, Book Talk: "Carving Out the Commons: Tenant Organizing and Housing Cooperatives in Washington, DC," with Amanda Huron, associate professor, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of the District of Columbia. Since the 1970s, low-income tenants in DC have fought gentrification by creating affordable housing cooperatives. Learn more about their efforts, and how co-op members continue to form housing communities in the midst of the (capitalist) capital city. Free; no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW

Tuesday, March 27 at 11:15 AM, Eggstravaganza Story Time and Egg Hunt. Come celebrate spring with an egg story time followed by an egg hunt. Free. At the Takoma Park Library, 416 Cedar Street NW,

Wednesday, March 28, all day, First Day of Spring Do-Over. The real first day of spring, March 20, brought us sleet and wintry mix, and the following day brought us 4 to 6 inches of snow - not what anyone expects or wants on the first day of spring! And the next few days won’t be exactly spring-like, either, with overnight temperatures in the 20s and morning temperatures in the 30s, maybe getting up to the mid-40s. The next time we can expect a proper spring thermometer reading is on Wednesday March 28, when the high could reach a soul-warming 60 degrees Fahrenheit. So we are declaring this day the First Day of Spring Do-Over, or the 2018 Spring Mulligan Day. To see the day’s forecast, go to: To find events in your neighborhood to celebrate Spring Do-Over Day, go to:       

Wednesday, March 28 at 4 PM, Easter Eggs Around the World. Experience the celebration of Easter around the globe. Create a colorful confetti-filled Mexican cascarón, then learn how to decorate eggs in the Polish Nalepianki style. All ages and imaginations welcome. Free. At the Shepherd Park (Juanita E. Thornton) Library, 7420 Georgia Ave. NW,   

Wednesday, March 28 at 7 PM, Book Hill Talks: Philosophy in the Middle Ages. Gregory Doolan, associate professor of philosophy, Catholic University of America, will discuss the history and components of medieval thought. Free. Peabody Room, Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, 

Thursday, March 29 at 4 PM, Eggstravaganza. Come celebrate spring with egg-citing stories, crafts and snacks. Free. In the Peabody Room at the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW

Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 PM, DC Punk Archive Library Basement Show: A Women's History Month Program. Doors open at 6 PM. The DC Punk Archive celebrates women in music this March with a live show at the Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library. Free - All Ages. Accessible Venue. At Benning (Dorothy I. Height) Library, 3935 Benning Road NE,

Thursday, March 29 at 7 PM, Women's History Month: The Battle of Fort Stevens and Elizabeth Thomas. For Women's History Month, come learn from rangers from the National Park Service about the civil war defenses of Washington. Rangers will tell the story of Elizabeth Thomas and the Battle of Fort Stevens. Free. At the  Palisades Library, 4901 V St. NW,