Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Get Out! - The Events Column

Apple Harvest photo by Mike McKay 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 15,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv
Thursday, October 1 at 6 PM, Community Meeting: DC Public Library Strategic Plan. The purpose of this meeting is to collect input from the community to help the DC Public Library System develop its strategic plan to prioritize and enhance its core programs and services. All DC residents are invited to participate. Light refreshments will be provided and participants may enter a drawing to win a Kindle, courtesy of the DC Public Library Foundation. At the Tenley Frienship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW.  If you cannot attend this meeting or one of the other meetings --see for dates, times and locations-- you can take DCPL’s 5-minute online survey, available through October 14 at  

Saturday, October 3 from 10 AM - 1 PM, Oneness-Family School's 9th Annual Apple Fest, a free, fun family festival featuring a giant slide, mini-moon bounce, games, crafts, face-painting, dunk tank, food truck and more!  We will also be selling delicious Gala apples and cider hailing from Colora Orchards in Cecil County, Maryland. At Oneness-Family School, 6701 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD (in St. John's Episcopal Church). More info at:  

Saturday, October 3 from 10:30 - 5 PM,  50th Anniversary Celebration at the Chevy Chase Library of Maryland. Many special events. For kids: Tracey Eldridge with Music 'N Motion (10:30 AM). For adults and students - talks about books, reading, and libraries, including Poet Robert Frost acted by Sam Allen (1 PM); Novelist Louise Farmer Smith, "One Hundred Years of Marriage" (2 PM); Author Sara Taber, "Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy's Daughter" (3 PM); Book critic for The Washington Post , Michael Dirda (4 PM). Free. At 8005 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase, MD. Branch info at  

Saturday, October 3 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Community Zoo Day at the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home. Enjoy a day filled with food, fun,laughter and games! Intergenerational Art Activities: Paint a miniature canvas or make a dazzling spin-art piece to take home. Help paint a life size animal statue in the garden. The Resident Art Gallery exhibits contemporary artwork created by the talented artists of the Home. Baby Farm Animals & Pony Rides: Meet cuddly ducks & chicks, squeaky pigs, fuzzy sheep & funny goats and take a ride on a real live pony! Moon Bounce, Balloon Typhoon, Juggler and Face Painting. Refreshments: Popcorn, Hot Dogs, Pizza, Snacks, Drinks. No admission fee. Small cost for rides, activities, & food. Hosted by the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home, the Friendship Children’s Center & Northwest Neighbors Village, and sponsored in part by a grant from ANC3E. At 5425 Western Avenue NW, rain or shine (if it rains we’ll be inside).  

Saturday October 3 from 11 AM - 4 PM, The 22nd annual Taste of Georgetown, hosted by the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) takes place along the Georgetown Waterfront on K Street between Wisconsin Avenue and Thomas Jefferson Street, NW.  This year's event will feature tastes from over 30 of the neighborhood’s best restaurants, a Craft Beer & Wine Garden, family fun games and activities at the Kids Canteen and sing-a-longs with the Georgetown Piano Bar players. Free admission. Tasting tickets: More info:  

Sunday, October 4 from 3 - 6 PM, Volta Park Day. The Friends of Volta Park invite you to Volta Park at 34th and Volta Sts NW to enjoy grilled food and drinks, rides, games, and more!  

Sunday, October 4 at 4 PM, The Most Happy Fella, performance at Mitchell Park (postponed from 9/27 due to rain on that date). Remember the classic "Standing On the Corner Watching All the Girls Go By"? The stars of Catholic University's “Most Happy Fella” will sing highlights from their upcoming production.  It's a family and date friendly event, not to be missed. There is limited seating, so bring lawn chairs and blankets. Light refreshments will be served. Free. Mitchell Park is at S and 23rd Streets NW. Contact FriendsofMitchellPark @ gmail dot com if you have any questions. 

Monday, October 5  at 12 noon, Insider’s Insights: Historical Cartography in Action. Don A. Hawkins, historical cartographer, demonstrates how modern maps are made, using historical data to shed new light on the early development of Washington, D.C. His discussion will include an example on view in the exhibition Seat of Empire: Planning Washington, 1790–1801. This program is part of the D.C. Mondays at the Museum series inspired by the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection. Free; no reservations required. At the George Washington University Museum and Textile Museum, 701 21st St NW,  

Monday, October 5 at 7 PM, “Better Names for Hurricanes.” Have you noticed how much more creative the names of hurricanes are these days? Things were different back in the old days, when hurricanes had humdrum English names like Andrew, Agnes, Donna, and Irene. Now we have Hurricane Joaquin on the way -- much more interesting! If we get to the “O” this year, it will be “Odette.” The weather experts at NOAA are trying to be even more inclusive and inventive with hurricane names, and you can help! Attend this brainstorming session and offer up some out-of-left-field suggestions -- for example, trendy new hipster names like “Bear” or“Harlow” or “Moxie” or “Bronx” (not making these up, either - they are all real celebrity baby names). This name-generating session is open to all but you must register online first - go to:    

Tuesday, October 6 at 12:30 PM, UDC’s JAZZforum concert. Jazz ensembles under the direction of Allyn Johnson serve up an afternoon of original arrangements and compositions for your lunch hour enjoyment. Free. Recital Hall (Performing Arts Bldg. 46-West) at the University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Avenue NW,    

Tuesday, October 6 at 6 PM, Cleveland Park Library Design Community Meeting. Join your friends and neighbors for the next meeting about the new Cleveland Park Library. The design  team will present initial concept designs and gather community feedback. Library officials will provide updates on the timeline for the project. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW. To learn more about plans for the new Cleveland Park Library go to: . More info on this meeting:  

Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 7 PM, Colman McCarthy will discuss his book “Teaching Peace: Students Exchange Letters with Their Teacher.” In 1982 McCarthy, the longtime Washington Post syndicated columnist, decided not just to preach nonviolence, but to teach it. Working as a volunteer, he taught peace studies classes at one of DC’s poorest schools. In the 33 years since then, McCarthy has taught peace studies courses for more than ten thousand college and high school students (including Woodrow Wilson HSl). Large numbers of those students have faithfully kept in touch with McCarthy, often with handwritten letters, and he has answered them with the same seriousness he brought to his books and columns. In “Teaching Peace,” McCarthy presents some of the letters exchanged over the years with his former students, sharing their thoughts on a wide range of social justice issues. The exchanges rise to a rare kind of literature that blends personal warmth, intellectual honesty, and shared idealism. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave NW.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Still Life With Robin: Good News to You!

Wikimedia Creative Commons
by Peggy Robin

Amid the coming and going of the pope, the farewell tears of John Boehner, the state dinner for the President of China, and the naming of the panda cub – to cite just a few of the events vying for public attention during the jam-packed news-cycles of this past week – you may have missed a small but significant piece of good news. Indeed, the Washington Post relegated the story to a “round-up” report somewhere in the back pages of the business section in the print edition I received on Wednesday. Here’s the online version of the news that tells in eight words what there is to cheer about:

“Judge frees ‘Happy Birthday’ song from copyright claims”

I have been following this case intently ever since 2013 when the brave plaintiff, documentary filmmaker and song liberationist Jennifer Nelson, stood up to the Warner Music Publishing Company and boldly asserted that the company did not in fact hold a valid copyright to either the words or the music to "Happy Birthday to You," which was first published in 1893 under the title, “Good Morning to All.” Her aim was to free us all from fear of bullying by lawyers bearing cease-and-desist letters – and when I say “us all” I don’t mean just the Hollywood producers who want to put birthday party scenes in their movies or TV shows – but also the family that would post a clip of their kid’s special day on Youtube, and the waiters at the restaurant who want to serenade a party with a cake, and the camp counselors who want a birthday boy or girl to enjoy their birthday dinner while away at camp. Think these are over-the-top examples? In the (copyrighted) words of the great Dave Barry, “I am not making this up!” (See for the full story.)

On Wednesday, truth, liberty, and justice at last prevailed, and the 122-year-old song has been given back to the public who thought it was always theirs. For a more detailed report on the history of the song and the case, go to:

Now that we can sing it loud and in public without fear, to whom should we sing it? Here are a few names worthy of song who have a birthday today:

Serena Williams – Happy 34th!
Olivia Newton-John – Happy 67th
Jonathan Goldsmith (the TV commercial actor who plays “The Most Interesting Man in the World”) Happy 77th!)
George Gershwin – Happy 117th!
T.S. Eliot – Happy 127th!
Johnny Appleseed – Happy 241st!


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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Get Out! The Events Column

Photo by Bill Adler
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 15,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Thursday September 24 at 7 PM, “From Outpost to Icon: A Century of Science at Broad Branch Road.” You are cordially invited to attend Carnegie's first 2015-16 Neighborhood Lecture by Shaun Hardy in the Greenewalt building of the Broad Branch Road campus of the Carnegie Institution for Science, 5251 Broad Branch Rd NW. As part of this special presentation on our campus' history, we are offering a guided tour of select laboratories beginning at 6 PM. Please RSVP at to ensure your spot. This is the first installment in an annual series of public lectures examining the latest scientific discoveries made by Carnegie scientists who work in your community. All are welcome to attend this free event. Light refreshments will be served.  

Friday, September 25 from 7 - 10 PM, Opening Reception for “Uncensored: Banned Books Week at the DC Public Library.” At this kick-off event, attendees will be able to meet the artists, listen to live music by local bands, and drink cocktails based on censored books—created by some of the city's most talented mixologists from 2 Birds 1 Stone, Mockingbird Hill, Jack Rose, Collectif 1806, Zaytinya, and Red Eye Menus. Beer will be provided by DC Brau. Musical Performances by: Reginald Cyntje, Delafield String Band, Baby Bry Bry & The Apologists, plus a Pop-up Market with: DeNada Knitwear, Kiki Lynn Clothing, Hero Heads Clothing, Cloud Terre, Tablewear, Mallory Shelter Jewelry, and Kicheko Goods. Tickets: $50 for the general public, $50 for library staff , $250 for host level - available at At the MLK, Jr. Library, 901 G Street NW  

Saturday, September 26 at from 10 AM - 12 noon, National Public Lands Day and the 125th Anniversary of Rock Creek Park. Come and celebrate with the Rock Creek Conservancy at this family-friendly volunteer event. Rock Creek Conservancy, in collaboration with the Songbird Project and the National Park Service, will host a special volunteer cleanup event at Picnic Area #29 in the Piney Branch section of Rock Creek Park. Community members will gather to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Rock Creek Park with brief remarks at 10 AM; then participate in the newly announced stewardship program. Community members and volunteers will help remove invasive plant species; clear vines from trees, fences, and stone walls; and remove trash and litter. National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Free. Picnic Area #29 is near 17th Street NW & Piney Branch Parkway. Details at  

Saturday, September 26 from 11 AM -2 PM, “Run of the Mill,” presentations at Peirce Mill, Washington’s only surviving working gristmill. Activities include: the Family Tour (11 AM and 12 noon) for age 4 and up; “Gravity, Gears and Grain” - watch the waterwheel in action and see how it works to turn corn into cornmeal; traditional toys and games for children (age 3 and up) in Peirce Barn. Free. Peirce Mill is at the corner of Tilden Street and Beach Drive NW. Events repeat on Sunday. More info:  

Saturday, September 26 at 11 AM, Historic Chevy Chase DC presents a walking tour in conjunction with Cultural Tourism DC. This easy 1-hour walk will begin at the Avalon Theatre at 5612 Connecticut Avenue and will be led by Keene Taylor Jr., long-time resident and neighborhood business owner. The history of both residential and commercial areas of Chevy Chase DC will be covered. No need to reserve a space; just show up at the Avalon, and you will also get a discount coupon from the Avalon to use on an ice cream purchase. More info:  

Saturday, September 26 from 10 AM - 4:30 PM, Barracks Row Festival. Lots of musical performances including CMI Hip Hop Kidz, Marine Corps Brass Quintet, Georgetown Chimes. There will be a donkey procession, and docent-led tours of the Marine Corps barracks. Other events include an illusionist/mentalist performance, a martial arts demonstration, dance troupes, and awards to military chefs. For full schedule of activities go to: Free. Along 8th Street SE from E Street SE to I Street NE.  

Saturday, September 26 from 7 - 10  PM, Rock Creek Park’s 125th Anniversary Gala and Benefit Auction. Celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Rock Creek Park with the Rock Creek Conservancy! Join us as we commemorate the signing of legislation that created Rock Creek Park in 1890. At Sidwell Friends School, 3825 Wisconsin Ave NW. Tickets: $250 (must purchase by Friday, Sept. 25) at    

Sunday, September 27 from 11 AM - 3 PM, Rock Creek Park Day. Celebrate the 125th anniversary of Rock Creek Park with a full and varied schedule of activities and events for adults and children, including author talks by naturalists and landscape experts, outdoor workshops on a wide variety of topics, African American history walk, yoga hike, stream hike, and ending with cake and selfies at 2:30 PM. See for full schedule. All free. At Rock Creek Nature Center, 5200 Glover Road NW. Free parking. Overflow parking at St. John's College High School with free shuttle to the Nature Center. Entrance on Oregon Avenue.  

Sunday, September 27 from 11 AM - 7 PM, Turkish Festival, featuring: Authentic Turkish Cuisine; Turkish Coffee House and Fortune Telling; Traditional Turkish Music and Folkdance; Turkish Bazaar - Arts & Crafts; Kids' Games and Activities in the Kids’ Tent; Cultural Activities. For more information visit Free admission. Along Pennsylvania Ave NW between 12th and 14th Street NW.  

Sunday, September 27 at 1:30 PM, The Walk DC, an interfaith event taking place along Embassy Row. Ten different faith communities offer open houses to walkers of all backgrounds, cultures and belief, down a magnificent mile of Massachusetts Avenue. 30,000 pounds of potatoes will arrive on a truck from Maine, to be distributed to kitchens serving the homeless and hungry. And the Islamic Center of Washington will virtually welcome Pope Francis on their south lawn, via a live stream of the Pope's arrival into Philadelphia for his final, public address in the US before departing to Rome. Inspirational remarks, live music, free food, gifts and more. Free and open to all. Assemble at Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb St NW at 1:30 PM. The walk will go along Massachusetts Avenue, ending with a ceremony at 4:30 PM at the Islamic Center, 2551 Massachusetts Avenue NW. More info:  

Sunday, September 27, at 3 PM, Concert by Colombian-born flutist and vocalist Verny Varela and four other musicians.The Arts Council of Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church invites you to celebrate DC's Hispanic Heritage Month with an afternoon of Latin jazz and other Latin music (salsa, bolero, merengue). Following the concert, there will be a reception and the opening of a show of Haitian art. Free. All are welcome, including children. The church is at 3401 Nebraska Ave. NW, corner of New Mexico Ave.  

Sunday, September 27 at 4 PM, A concert to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 2,500-pipe organ at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, beginning with a talk by music director emeritus Ken Lowenberg on the organ’s history. Organist: Julie Vidrick Evans; guest trumpeter: Woodrow English. Free and open to all. At Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, 1 Chevy Chase Circle NW,  

Sunday, September 27 at 4 PM, The Most Happy Fella, performance at Mitchell Park. Remember the classic "Standing On the Corner Watching All the Girls Go By"?  It's coming to Mitchell Park The stars of Catholic University's “Most Happy Fella” will sing highlights from their upcoming production.  It's a family and date friendly event, not to be missed. There is limited seating, so bring lawn chairs and blankets. Light refreshments will be served. Rain date is October 4. Mitchell Park is at S and 23rd Streets NW. Contact FriendsofMitchellPark @ gmail dot com if you have any questions.  

Monday, September 28 from 12:30 - 2 PM, “Smart Growth: How We Get Around.” NPR Cities editor and All Things Considered senior producer Franklyn Cater facilitates a panel conversation examining transportation challenges facing the modern metropolis. The panel includes portions of three on-air stories from the NPR Cities project that prompt a discussion on transportation equity, resilience, and sustainability in three different urban areas. At the National Building Museum, 401 F St NW. Free for museum members, $10 for non-members. Pre-registration required - go to Walk-in registration based on availability.  

Monday, September 28 from 5 - 6:30 PM, “Stuck in Traffic: How We Don’t Get Around,” a virtual meeting for everyone who would be unable to attend a real meeting that takes place anytime during the worst part of the evening rush hour when the greater DC metropolitan area is often in a state of utter gridlock. Instead --while you are trapped in your car, or stuck on a bus, or you are waiting in a crush of people at a Metro station for a train that is too packed to board by the time it finally shows up-- you can tune in to this online discussion panel and learn why you are not going anywhere fast. Panelists include traffic engineer Eukood B. Homebinow and urban transportation planner Skip D'Kommiute. Tune in to this online event at  

Tuesday, September 29 from 12 noon - 1 PM, AU’s “Books That Shaped America” series continues with a discussion of “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” an early socially conscious novel that examines poverty, alcoholism, gender roles, loss of innocence and the struggle to live the American Dream in an inner city neighborhood of Irish American immigrants. The discussion is led by Alan M. Kraut, American University Professor of History. Attendees are encouraged—but not required—to have read the featured text. Admission is free for this series and no RSVP is required to attend. In the Training and Events Room of the Bender Library at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW. More info:

Tuesday, September 29 at 4 PM, “Uncensored: A Conversation with Banned Authors.” Join Phyllis Reynolds Naylor and Deborah Hautzig, two award-winning authors of banned young adult books, for a conversation about censorship and intellectual freedom in recognition of Banned Book Week 2015. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is a Newbery Award winner, whose 28-book Alice series is one of the most banned book series of the last decade. Deborah Hautzig is a National Book Award finalist whose first novel, Hey, Dollface, is frequently challenged or banned due to "gay-positive themes". Free. At the Tenley Frienship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW,

Tuesday, September 29 at 7:30 PM, The Cleveland Park Historical Society presents a workshop in how to research your home’s history. Learn what kinds of research into your home’s history can be conducted via your own computer, as a prelude or supplement to visiting local libraries and archives. CPHS Executive Director Carin Ruff will share strategies for searching digitized newspaper archives, census records, city directories, historical photographs and maps, DC agency databases, and more. She will also cover how to make the best use of online library catalogs in planning an onsite research visit. Everyone will receive an illustrated guide to the search techniques covered in the workshop.$15 for CPHS members, $30 for non-members - register online at At the Cleveland Park Congregational Church, 3400 Lowell St. NW. Questions? Email Carin at staff @  

Wednesday, September 30 from 10 AM - 4 PM, The Walgreens Wellness Tour offers free health tests for glucose, total cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and bone density — a total value of more than $100 per person. The tour also provides free health education materials to visitors. Free. At the Greater Washington Urban League, 2901 14th Street NW,  

Wednesday, September 30 from 7 - 9 PM, Makers-in-Residence Event: Robotics/3-D Printing. Meet the DC Library's new Makers-in-Residence, Billy Friebele and Michael Iacovone, who will discuss the evolution of their collaborative approach to art production, which often includes input from the viewing public. Recent projects include an interactive photographic archive of the city; a robotic sound machine that reacts to the position of the viewer, and a three-dimensional map of Arlington, VA with projected walks by the artists and public. The talk will include video and images of their work as well as an invitation to participate in a unique walking workshop that will take place at the Tenley Library on October 10th.Free. For ages 10 and up. In the large second floor conference room at the Tenley Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW,

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Still Life With Robin: Aww, Sweet....

Photo from National Zoo Panda Cam
by Peggy Robin

Time for some “Aww, that’s nice.” Of course you have learned by now that the internet is a roiling sea of trolls – yet if you search you can always find a few islands of calm; it’s worth pausing every now and then to surf over to one of them and bask a bit in the sunlight – kind of like a cat seeking out a warm, comfy spot. As there’s never any trouble finding cats on the internet, the first one of these “Aw, sweet” moments, is, naturally, of a cat:

And now, to balance things out, here’s a sweet dog. It’s an old-faithful-friend story of the dog that stood guard over its trapped doggy pal until help arrived:
OK, maybe this story would have been better if the dog had run to get help, barked meaningfully a couple of times, and then led a rescue party straight to the trapped pooch, instead of sitting there like a rock for a solid week….but then you would have concluded you were watching an old episode of Lassie, and not something that actually happened.

Lest you think it’s only cute animals that warm our hearts, take a look at this loving kiss by two very sweet human beings, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter (caught on Kiss Cam at an Atlanta Braves Game):

But back to animals. Time for an update on our new panda cub:
Want more? Feast yourself!

Could there possibly be anything cuter than a baby panda? Yes! A snoring dormouse:


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

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Get Out! - The Events Column

Photo by Smithsonian 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 15,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @  

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv    

Thursday, September 17 at 7 PM, Song of Dewey Beard: Last Survivor of the Little Bighorn. The Friends of the Cleveland Park Library invite you to an author talk by local author Phil Burnham, who will discuss his book, which tells the story of Dewey Beard (1858-1955), the last known survivor of the 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn and the 1890 Massacre of Wounded Knee. Based on archival research and personal interviews, Song of Dewey Beard relates a life encompassing nearly a century of major historical events. Song of Dewey Beard was awarded the 2015 Spur Award for Best Western Biography by the Western Writers of America. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave NW,  

Friday, September 18 from 10 AM - 3 PM, “Golden Triangle CPR Challenge.” DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services and the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District are putting on this 20-minute CPR training session with the goal of teaching 200 people this life-saving “hands-only” technique. Free - no appointment necessary. In Farragut Park, Connecticut and K Streets, NW. More info:  

Saturday, September 19 from 9 AM - 1 PM, Glover Park’s Third Annual Community Yard Sale. Last year over 15 households were out selling their stuff. At the corner of 39th and Calvert Street, NW. More info:    

Saturday, September 19 from 10 AM - 12 noon, Cultural Tourism DC Presents a Walking Tour of Tregaron. The Tregaron Conservancy is a historic woodland garden bordering Cleveland Park and Woodley Park in northwest DC. After 40 years of attempts to turn Tregaron's landscape into a housing development and 50 years of neglect, Tregaron is now in the midst of a dramatic transformation. Participants will tour the woodlands of Tregaron and learn about its history, its ongoing rehabilitation, and the unique partnership between the Conservancy and Washington International School as joint stewards of the estate. The tour will take place on the mulch trails of the Conservancy. Wear comfortable shoes for walking. Fitness Level: Moderate, approximately 1 mile. This tour is not wheelchair or stroller accessible. Starting location: the entrance to Tregaron Conservancy, 3100 Macomb Street NW.  Free, but reservations required:  

Saturday, September 19 from 12 noon - 7 PM, The 2015 H Street Festival, featuring food trucks, beer gardens, martial arts demonstrations, dance performances from around the world, bands and other entertainers, kids’ activities, vendors, crafts, food tastings, environmental and political organizations, art exhibits, fashion stage, and much more. Free. From the 400 - 1400 block of H Street NE. For additional information visit  

Saturday, September 19 from 6 - 10 PM, Park After Dark Gala to benefit the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP). This unique event is held under the stars in the C&O Canal NHP at the beautiful Historic Great Falls Tavern. Enjoy live music, great food, libations, unique live and silent auction items, a campfire, and much more! Tickets: $175 per person available at At Great Falls Tavern, 11710 MacArthur Blvd, Potomac, MD  

Saturday, September 19 and Sunday, September 20 during regular branch hours, Mt Pleasant Library Friends Book Sale. Great selection, great prices - $3 for hardcovers, $1 children's books, $2 for paperbacks, $1 for mass market, $2 for CDs DVDs. The Library is at 3160 16th Street, NW. See for library hours.  

Sunday, September 20 from 10 AM - 2 PM, ZooFiesta. ¡Celebramos! Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the National Zoo. See animal demonstrations and learn about animals native to Latin America such as golden lion tamarins, sloths, Andean bears, and anteaters. Meet Zoo experts and learn how they are working to save these species and more. Family activities include animal feedings, arts and crafts, musical entertainment, educational activities highlighting conservation research in Central and South America, and authentic gourmet cuisine at a Latin America-inspired food bazaar. Reading Is Fundamental will also be on hand to distribute free books to guests. ZooFiesta is free, so bring the whole familia! 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW. More info:  

Sunday, September 20 from 2:30 - 4:30 PM Opening Reception for Judith L. Smith’s Bold, Colorful Artwork. Free. At The Lounge, Memorial Hall  Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church
6601 Bradley Blvd. Bethesda, MD. Artist’s website:  Directions at    

Sunday, September 20 from 1 - 3 PM, “Kids @ Katzen,” a creative art class for the whole family - part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the Katzen Arts Center at American University. Tickets: $15 for a family of 4, $5 per additional family member. Reservations suggested:    

Monday, September 21 from 12 noon - 1 PM, Finding Things French in Dupont. Take a walk through DC's Kalorama neighborhood and discover sites with a French connection. Selected stories will focus on architecture, history, personal and historic tales of famous and not-so-famous people. This one hour tour is family friendly. Bring sunscreen, a water bottle, and comfortable walking shoes. Starting Location: Connecticut Ave and Wyoming St. NW. Fitness Level: Low (daily walking/flat terrain), approximately 1 mile. This tour is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Free. Register at  

Monday, September 21 from 1 - 2 PM, Walking Tour of Walmart. Miles of aisles make for a moderate to strenuous hike, so wear sturdy shoes and be prepared to buy a super-sized soda and go through a gigantic can of popcorn as you trek through household goods, toys, groceries, hardware, office supplies, furnishings, clothing, shoes, and on and on. Explore the culture of mass quantities of consumption. The Walmart Super Center is at 5929 Georgia Ave NW but if you show up for this walking tour, you won't find a tour guide, because this is the weekly fake event.  

Tuesday, September 22 from 11:30 AM - 3 PM, Health and Wellness Fair. The DC Office on Aging is hosting the community health fair, offering: blood pressure and glucose screening; glaucoma screening; flu vaccines; money smarts workshop; nutrition information, men’s health network; breast cancer resources; legal resources for the elderly; and much more. Free. At Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert Street NW. More info:

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Still Life With Robin: All Hail Roman Mars

Roman Mars, 99 Percent Invisible
by Peggy Robin

Many of my columns are about some small, seemingly unimportant thing that I think has undiscovered and intriguing facets to it, which make it either worth the time to pick apart to figure out what’s wrong with it or praise as an under-appreciated gem. Today’s column is most assuredly in the latter category – it’s about a podcast – and the reason that I like it so much is that every week it tackles some topic  -- at first blush, seemingly unimportant -- and covers it in a way that reveals its undiscovered and intriguing facets, either picking it apart to say what’s wrong with it or praise as some under-appreciated gem.

The podcast is called “99 Percent Invisible” and here are a few examples of topics it has covered:

#154 The Portland Airport Carpet:

The three above are examples of episodes discussing designs that are wonderful in many ways, but seldom fully appreciated. The next two are examples of the other type – episodes that point out everything that’s wrong with something familiar that has an ugly and/or ill-functioning design.

And finally, an example of what Roman Mars does better than anyone – discuss something you see every day but may never have considered at any length -- and through a few deft examples that illustrate a set of clearly articulated principles, tell you how the object could be well designed…and why it so often fails to be. In the case below, it’s about flags – and you will never look at any flag the same way again.

You would think someone who could so expertly cover the elements of architecture and design would need to be himself an architect or designer, but the creator/writer/host of the podcast is neither; he’s a science writer and cultural critic named Roman Mars – a name supremely suited to a fictional character, probably one with a secret alter ego and/or superpowers. He also has one of the most mellifluous voices in broadcasting, second (in my opinion) only to the owner of the smoothest radio voice of all time, DC’s own Kojo Nnamdi.

Roman Mars has done 180 episodes so far, all available to listen to or download for free at As I’d like to help turn his small-scale podcast a big-scale phenomenon, for which he needs lots of subscribers – I hope you will sign on.

Still Life With Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Get Out! - The Events Column

Engine Company 28 (DC Government)
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 15,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @  

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv    

Thursday, September 10 at 12 noon, “Still Standing: How an Ex-Con Found Salvation in the Floodwaters of Katrina.” Gerald Anderson’s memoir, written with Susan Orlins, is an inspiring story of poverty, prison, addiction, as well as the dramatic rescue of dozens of Katrina victims. It is also about one man’s determination and resilience to overcome a life of hardship and sin. Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, Street Sense vendor Gerald Anderson says, “If not for Katrina, I’d be dead or in prison.” Come to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library to hear Anderson's story in a conversation with "Street Sense" editor Susan Orlins. Free. Books will be available for check out and purchase. At the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 901 G Street NW. More info:  

Thursday, September 10 at 7 PM, Leonard Downie, author, journalist, professor, and long-time editor at The Washington Post, will speak about his career and the state of the news media. Downie is the recipient of numerous awards and the author of nonfiction and fiction books including his 2009 novel "The Rules of the Game." The event is free and open to the public. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library 4450 Wisconsin Avenue, NW,  

Friday, September 11 at various times, Presentation to honor our Ward 3 Fire and EMS units. All are welcome to join Councilmember Mary Cheh at our Ward 3 Fire Stations: 12 PM at Engine 28, 3522 Connecticut Avenue in Cleveland Park. 12:30 PM at Engine 31, 4930 Connecticut Avenue in Forest Hills. 1 PM at Engine 20, 4300 Wisconsin Avenue in Tenleytown. 1:30 PM at Engine 29, 4811 MacArthur Blvd. in Palisades. Please contact Kelly Whittier with any questions at 202-431-5697, kwhittier @  

Saturday September 12 from 10 AM - 3 PM, “This Old Warehouse,” a fall festival to celebrate old homes and the folks who love them, presented by Community Forklift, the DC area’s nonprofit reuse warehouse for building materials. Meet historic preservation experts and tradespeople, get antique appraisal advice, and attend free workshops on topics like wood window restoration and electrical systems in old homes. Browse a selection of antique tools and hardware (normally sold only online). Live music from local bands, cider and baked goods, and lunch from the Urban Bumpkin BBQ food truck. Free admission. At Community Forklift’s reuse warehouse, 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston MD – just 5 minutes from the DC line, near the Hyattsville Arts District. Full details at  

Saturday September 12 from 10 AM to 3:00 PM, Family Day at President Lincoln's Cottage. Family members of all ages will enjoy the live entertainment and creative activities inspired by the Lincoln family and their life at the Soldiers' Home. Free activities include: a petting zoo, a Civil War encampment featuring the Bucktail soldiers, tours of Sherman Tower, dramatic re-enactments, crafts and games (including DIY top hats and making cards for veterans), and live music. Register for free events at Cottage tours are not included in free Family Day activities, but you can book a tour on the Cottage online in advance at President Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldiers' Home, 140 Rock Creek Church Road, NW.  

Saturday, September 12 from 11 AM - 3 PM, Sing, Talk And Read (STAR) Family Festival.
Parents, bring your kids to DC Public Library's STAR Family Festival and find out how singing, talking and reading with your baby and young child now will help get them ready to learn when they start school. This event features: live entertainment, fun activities for kids, safety, health and education resources, door prizes and giveaways, free lunch (while supplies last!), free books, face painting, photos taken with costumed character, Super Why! and much more! Free. At the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street NW. More info: 

Saturday, September 12 at 11 AM and 1 PM, “Feeding a Growing City” History Tours  of Peirce Mill. After the American Revolution, Washington County (where Peirce Mill was located) became part of an expanding grain growing region needed to support Washington City. When Isaac Peirce expanded his property along Rock Creek (Peirce gristmill opened in 1828) he became part of the transition from agrarian to industrial American. On this tour you will learn the importance of the Peirce family and inventor Oliver Evans in feeding a growing city. For children ages 3 and up, there will be Nature Crafts at Peirce Barn from 11 AM - 2 PM: All kinds of natural and crafty materials will be on hand—feathers and sticks, twine and clay, beads and pipe cleaners. Bring your imagination, find inspiration in beautiful Rock Creek Park, and make something with your own two hands! Free. Peirce Mill is at 2401 Tilden Street NW.  

Saturday, September 12 from 12 noon - 6 PM, The 6th Annual 17th Street Festival. Art show, vendors, kid-zone at Stead Park, pet zone with fun for your furry friends, national and local entertainers, drag show divas, and more. Free admission. Along 17th Street near Dupont Circle between R Street & P Street NW. More info:  

Saturday, September 12 from 12 noon - 6 PM, The 10th Annual Columbia Heights Day Neighborhood Festival, featuring multiple food vendors, a beer garden, and live music. Themed tent areas let you explore the world in the cultural section, check out the beautiful work of local artisans, and take a moment to focus on your health and wellness. For the truly adventurous, run through an adult warrior obstacle course, including a moon bounce! Families can also enjoy the festival together at the Bloom Bar Fun Tent and at Fun Field (located on Harriet Tubman Elementary School yard). Free admission. Along 11th Street, from Park Road to Kenyon Street NW. More info:  

Saturday, September 12 from 1:30 - 4:30 PM, Chevy Chase Day, featuring a scavenger hunt, ice cream, music, clowns, a moon bounce, free hot dogs and chips, sandwich samples, discounts from stores, many free goodies, free books from Chevy Chase DC Friends of the Library - full list of participating merchants at Along Connecticut Avenue between McKinley and Northampton Streets.  

Saturday, September 12 from 12 - 4 PM, The 7th Annual Doggy Day Swim hosted by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation. Following the end of the summer pool season, this annual event will provide dogs with the opportunity to swim and play games in three of DC's pools:
Upshur Pool - 4300 Arkansas Avenue, NW (75 dogs); Francis Pool - 25th & N Street, NW (150 dogs); Randall Pool - South Capital & I Street, SW (75 dogs). Admission is free, but before you go make sure you know all the requirements for dogs and their humans - go to to learn more. 

Saturday September 12 from 4 - 6 PM, The 1st Annual Kitty Climb Day, hosted by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation. After the fun of Doggy Swim Day, it’s time for cats to have their day, too. Of course, they don’t like to swim, but they do like to climb. Bring your kitties to one of the 3 designated community rec centers, which will be set up with stair-stacked boxes, varying heights of bookshelves, and lengths of curtains of appealingly scratchable textures, all perfect for the adventurous feline climber. There will be many well-placed knickknacks and vases to knock over along the way. Prizes given to the cat that can climb the highest. Firefighters with ladders will be on hand to retrieve any kitties that go up but won’t come back down. For addresses of the rec centers and to read the rules for participating cats, go to  

Sunday, September 13 from 12 noon - 6 PM, Adams Morgan Day 2015. Live music on the Spotlight Stage, Rooftop Music, Craft Beer, Children’s Tent at Marie Reed Playground, games, cooking demonstrations, food and drink, bike safety check, gardening expo, Peruvian Flashmob, street karaoke dance party, balloon animals, face painting, far too much to list it all -- see for more details. Free admission. At multiple locations in Adams Morgan -- see  

Sunday, September 13 at 2 PM, The Legends and Lore DC Book Discussion Series meets to discuss “Cane” by Jean Toomer. Do you enjoy reading about hometown Washington, DC? The Cleveland Park Library hosts a local book discussion series and the September selection is Cane. Originally published in 1923, the book is based on Toomer's experiences as a teacher in rural Georgia. It remains an important work of the Harlem Renaissance. Copies are available from the library system. At the Cleveland Park Library, first floor meeting room, 3310 Connecticut Avenue NW,  

Sunday, September 13 from 12:30 - 2:30 PM, Back to School Picnic, hosted by American University’s Office of Community Relations and Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church, featuring “celebrity” grill masters, a petting zoo, moon bounces, food, and friends – a perfect way to kick off the new school year. The whole community is invited – bring your friends and neighbors of all ages. AU and Metropolitan will provide hotdogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, soft drinks and desserts. Bring a salad to share. Free. At MMUMC, 3401 Nebraska Avenue NW,    

Monday, September 14 at 12 noon, Screening of Documentary: “Carousel of Memories.” More than a fun ride, Glen Echo Park’s Dentzel carousel became a symbol for civil rights activists and a treasured memory for generations of Washingtonians. Listen to their stories as you join filmmaker Cintia Cabib at this screening of her documentary, “Carousel of Memories.” Free; no reservations required. In the Myers Rooms at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW,  

Wednesday, September 16 at 1 PM, “A Day on the Farm” presented by the Leesburg Animal Park and area 4-H clubs. Everyone loves a summer’s day on the farm. Spend your lunch hour in Tenleytown with animals, 4-H, fun and food. There will be a petting zoo of pettable ducks, chicks, bunnies, lambs, and…a pony! Friendship Terrace will also have a special lunch of hot dogs, chips, drinks and ice cream with the proceeds benefiting the Friendship Terrace Resident Services Fund. At the Seabury at Friendship Terrace Retirement Community, 4201 Butterworth Place NW, just two blocks from the Tenleytown Metro Station. More info:  

Wednesday, September 16 at 7 PM, Author talk: Love’s Promises: How Formal and Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families. Law professor Martha Ertman delves into the legal cases, anecdotes and history of family law to show that love comes in different packages -- each shaped by different contracts -- which family law should and sometimes does recognize. Beginning with Ertman's own story about becoming part of a family of two moms and a dad raising a child, she then shows that many people -- straight and gay, married and single, related by adoption or by genetics -- use contracts to shape relationships. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW,