Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Get Out! The Events Column, December 20 - 27, 2018

Photo by Thomas S Mann
We wanted to share some events and activities that we thought would be of interest to list members. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 18,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Thursday, December 20 from 5 - 7 PM, Take 5! With the Chris Barrick Band. Vibraphonist, drummer, percussionist, and educator Chris Barrick has recorded and played with many jazz musicians both locally and nationally and performed with numerous symphony orchestras, theater, and ballet companies. In this installment of Take 5!, Barrick and his band will celebrate the music of the Bobby Hutcherson/ Harold Land quintet. Stop by the Courtyard Café of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard, for refreshments, and for added fun borrow a board game to play during the concert. Free. The Smithsonian American Art Museum is at 8th and F Street NW. Event Link: https://s.si.edu/2Dv4yK8  

Friday, December 28 at 12 noon, Discover Science* with Dr. Bear. *Scientific Creative Innovative Engaging New Cool Experience. This hands-on STEM and arts program focuses on health issues of concern to the local DC community. This Discover SCIENCE Day: Being Me! will explore what makes us unique. Children are invited to dive into topics including hereditary traits and what’s in our blood, through science projects, arts and crafts and other fun stations. This is a family program for ages 5 and up. Free. At Lamond-Riggs Library, 5401 South Dakota Ave. NE, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62189     

Friday, December 21 from 6:30 - 8 PM, Winter Solstice 2018 Celebration. Come celebrate the shortest day in the northern hemisphere, the 2018 Winter Solstice, at Unity of Fairfax. Lights, yule tree and decorations, song, bonfire, readings, and storytelling will entertain child and adult alike. This is an indoor and outdoor event, so dress appropriately. Suggested Love Offering: $10. Donations will be taken at the event. If you can't afford to donate please come anyway! Registration is requested but not required -- it helps us plan and know how many people to expect! Unity of Fairfax, 2854 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton, VA 22124. Register at http://bit.ly/2PL949V  

Saturday, December 22 at 1 PM, Winter Craft: Harry Potter Gift Tags. Give your gift a magical touch! Come make personalized gift tags with pages of recycled Harry Potter pages. Ages 5+
Free. At the Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62332    

Saturday, December 22 from 5 - 7 PM, 5pm – 7pm, Caroling at the Wharf. Enjoy the sounds of the season—featuring the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC—and join in singing holiday songs to spread the Christmas spirit all along the waterfront, including performances at Pearl Street Stage and Floating Stage. You can also buy s’mores at the fire pit and visit the lighted Christmas Tree. Plus, Santa Claus himself will take time out of his busy schedule to join in the fun. Bring your camera to snap photos with Santa. Free. Caroling takes place from 5 - 6 PM and the Gay Men's Choir performs from 6 - 7 PM, on Wharf Street, District Square, District Pier.

Sunday, December 23 at 1:15 PM, Holiday Stories with Mrs. Claus. Join us for this family story time and get into the holiday spirit. Mrs. Claus will be reading the classic “Yes Virginia There is a Santa Claus” and other holiday stories, followed by refreshments. All ages are welcome.Free. Lamond-Riggs Library, 5401 South Dakota Ave. NE, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62341 

Monday, December 24 at 1 PM, Water-Skiing Santa. Now in its 33rd year, this favorite DC-area Christmas Eve event returns to Old Town Alexandria. Gather along historic Alexandria's Potomac River waterfront for a spectacular show by Waterskiing Santa and his merry crew. The prime viewing area with music and announcements is Waterfront Park (1A Prince St.), with more great views from the Alexandria City Marina (0 Cameron St.), Founders Park (351 N. Union St.), and Point Lumley Park (1 Duke St.). Come early to see the pre-show (on jet skis). Gather at the Alexandria City Marina after the show to meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and their merry crew at the gazebo near Blackwall Hitch. Free. More info: https://www.visitalexandriava.com/event/waterskiing-santa/7229/ 

Tuesday, December 25, all day, December 25th Day of Service (D25). Join hundreds of volunteers at a social service agency in the metro-DC area to prepare and serve meals, sing carols, visit homebound seniors, throw holiday parties, play bingo, and deliver holiday cheer to those in need. Many of the projects are family-friendly – please read individual project descriptions carefully for the minimum age to volunteer at each site - available here: http://bit.ly/2EBe5AJ. A $20/person tax-deductible program fee is requested to help cover the costs of supplies, including gifts for clients, Santa suits, party decorations, arts & crafts, and games. All of the money from program fees except for a small credit card processing fee goes directly towards D25 supplies. If the program fee is in any way a barrier to volunteering please don’t hesitate to contact Sonya at the DCJCC - sonyaw @ edcjcc dot org. Locations depend on the project. 

Wednesday, December 26, all day, Boxing Day. In the UK, Canada, Australian, South Africa and many other English-speaking countries around the world (excluding the US), the day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day. Though celebrated widely, there is no agreement on where the name comes from. Some say it comes from the old English tradition of leaving money in the poor box at church on the day after Christmas, while another origin story says when servants were given the day off, they would pack up their things in boxes and go home for a visit. Yet another origin story says that the master and mistress would give their servants and other service workers boxed-up presents. What about some connection to the spot of boxing? You would think that’s a possibility. There are a good many other plausible origin stories, some more entertaining than others -- see http://bit.ly/2R7nupm . At this special Boxing Day event, we invite you to come up with your own legend of the origins of Boxing Day. If you tell the Boxing Day story that gets the most votes, you will win our big surprise - in a box, of course! For more details about this event and to register to tell a story, visit: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent  

Thursday, December 27 from 6 - 8 PM,  Holiday Concert Series: Capital Accord Chorus. Join us for live seasonal music in the Garden Court of the US Botanic Garden. Capital Accord Chorus is a women's chorus performing four-part a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. Their fun and engaging repertoire range from jazz to pop, through standards and show tunes -- they sing it all. Please note: Limited seating available on a first come, first served basis. Seating will open around 5:30 PM. FREE: No pre-registration required. United States Botanic Garden Conservatory, 100 Maryland Avenue SW, 202-225-8333, https://learn.usbg.gov/calendar?productId=2818&eventCtlId=64750&venueId=0        

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Sill Life with Robin: The CP LISTIES 2018! Your Nominations, Please!

by Peggy Robin
Photo by Bill Adler

The “Listies” are back! We haven’t done this every year, but we have decided that for 2018 we will again bestow “Best of the Cleveland Park Listserv” awards in five different message categories. Unlike in past years, this won’t be quite so moderator-dominated; we want to try making this year more like the “People’s Choice Awards,” taking nominations in each category from Cleveland Park Listserv members.

Keep in mind that in this contest, “award” does not mean any sort of material prize. It’s all glory.

And now….the categories:

What was the BEST QUERY of the year? Can you think back to a post from someone seeking something other than the old, humdrum re-run of “find me a good plumber” or “I need some brick repointing.” We’re looking for people who are looking for the kind of help you’re not really sure that anyone will be able to provide….but what’s the harm in asking? The CP Listserv can be quite surprising!

And the flip-side to “Best Query” is MOST HELPFUL (OR CREATIVE) ADVICE. Who offered up the best way to solve a thorny problem? Or came up with that very obscure bit of information that answered the “This is a long-shot but…” query? The “Helpful Advice” category can include all sorts of information, from instructions to fix the broken thingy-ding in your home to ways to get your complaint moved up the food-chain at a utility or company.

What was the best item in a SALE OR GIVEAWAY message? Please don’t nominate any old pieces of furniture or collections of moving boxes! We’ve had a zillion of those. We’re looking for unique items, or perhaps something not-so-unique but described in a way that makes it seem like a mysterious object of desire. 

[We interrupt this list to provide a few tips: To play this game, you’ll find it useful to search the listserv archives. You can find instructions here: http://www.cleveland-park.com/searching-the-archives.html. To make it more of a challenge, you will be dealing with Yahoo’s current state of semi-dysfunction, and about half the time you run a search, you can expect to get one of a number of Yahoo error messages, truncating your search results or failing to return any results whatsoever. Extra points for persistence! You’ll be at quite an advantage if you have saved your favorite listserv messages in your own email program and can search that instead. When sending in your nominations, it’s helpful to include a message number and/or the date and subject line of the message you are nominating. And please don’t shy away from nominating your own messages! Or if you received great advice or a great giveaway from the listserv, by all means, nominate the giver!]

What was the BEST LONG-RUNNING DISCUSSION THREAD? We all know some topics pop up over and over again, with multiple posters weighing in on each round. Bad mail delivery. Dog poop in your supercan. Reversible lanes. That darned service lane! It’s not all rehashes of past arguments – there are always some new controversies to stir up some passion. And even at times, some fresh new perspectives on some old, well-trodden ground. What topic in 2018 do you think brought in some light, and maybe even real insight? You can identify the thread by the subject line and date of any particular message in the thread, or you can give us the message number of one specific post – anything to permit us to find that discussion among the archived messages of 2018.

And for our final and most important category – what would you name as the POST OF THE YEAR? What post was this year’s most memorable? It could be funny or touching or just a nice story, well told. It could be the post with the best outcome (lost pet, found) or the one most eloquently expressed. It could even be the most outrageous complaint. We’ll consider anything you want to bring up!

We await your entries. You have a week to send them in – the deadline is by the close of business on Friday, December 21 -- and we’ll take them off-list at moderator @ cleveland-park dot com.

The plan is to devote next week’s column to your nominations – and, of course, our own ideas about the outstanding posts in these five categories. To cap off this three-column series, on the last Saturday of the year, we will announce the winners of the 2018 “CP Listies.”

Stay tuned!
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Get Out! The Events Column, December 13 - 20, 2018

Photo in Public Domain
via Creative Commons
We wanted to share some events and activities that we thought would be of interest to list members. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 18,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Thursday, December 13 from 6:30 - 8 PM, “Re-Cog’niz’ing / dc” - Art Exhibition and Artist’s Reception. Milton Shinberg, Washington DC watercolorist, architect and long-time Forest Hills resident, invites you to his solo show at the Art League of Alexandria Gallery in the Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA. 22 paintings are on display under the title “Re-Cog’niz’ing / dc.” The show was awarded to Milton through a jury process in 2016, allowing two years to produce this series, revisiting enduring Washington sites and reinterpreting, re-Cognizing them with affection, with different points of view and tone. If you can’t make the reception on the 13th, other times to meet the artist are from 2-3pm on December 16, 22 and 29. For more information about the show, visit the Art League’s site www.theartleague.org/content/gallery and, for Milton’s other watercolors and photography, www.shinbergart.com 

Friday, December 14 at 1 PM, Conservation Gallery Talk: The Art of Bill Traylor. "Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor" is the first major retrospective ever organized for an artist born into slavery, and the most comprehensive look at Bill Traylor’s work to date. Join Smithsonian American Art Museum paper conservator Catherine Maynor as she discusses the array of commercial cardboards and discarded paperboard that Traylor used in his work, explaining how these pose a variety of unique challenges in preserving his work for future generations. Free. At Smithsonian American Art Museum - meet at G Street Lobby. Free. More info: https://s.si.edu/2B5biwV 

Friday, December 14 at 4 PM, Holiday Houses! Make and decorate a house/structure with graham crackers, frosting and candy! Materials will be provided, and you are welcome to eat your snack or take it home! For ages 4-8, accompanied by an adult. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62291 

Saturday, December 15 from 10 AM - 4 PM, Winterfest 2018 at Takoma Park Middle School. This wonderful craft fair that benefits Difference Makers and Small Things Matter offers lots of family fun, 50+ AMAZING local artisans, FREE kids crafts hosted by us (cookie decorating, pine cone bird feeders, ornament decorating, origami, and more), FREE facepainting, visit with Santa (photo op; custom photo buttons), music, food trucks, and more. Free admission. Takoma Park Middle School is at 7611 Piney Branch Rd, Silver Spring, MD. For more information please visit:

Saturday, December 15 at 1 PM, What Charles Dickens Really Thought of Washington after his 1842 Visit. Jamie Stiehm, a Creators Syndicate columnist, discusses Charles Dickens and his 1842 visit to the United States. The free talk takes place in The Peabody Room (3rd floor) of the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62185   

Saturday, December 15 at 4 PM, “Prelude to the Holidays” - DC Youth Orchestra Holiday Concert at UDC with Pre-Concert Instrument Petting Zoo. The DC Youth Orchestra will perform holiday favorites at the UDC Theatre of the Arts. The concert will also feature 13-year-old violinist Noah Pan-Stier on the virtuosic Symphonie Español by Lalo. The 5 PM concert is free and open to the community - no tickets required.The pre-concert instrument petting zoo starts at 4  PM, where children of all ages can meet the DC Youth Orchestra Program faculty and try out different instruments. At University of the District of Columbia Theatre of the Arts, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW. For more information, please visit www.dcyop.org 

Sunday, December 16 at 1 PM, “1968: Shaping the District's Future.” This program closes out the 50th anniversary of this historic year with talks and activities presented by the 1968/2018 Collaborative, a group of organizations and people engaged in programming related to DC in 1968 throughout the year. Featuring: Reading Corner for 1968 books, stories and related collections from our archives. At 2 PM, hear from featured speaker Phil Portlock, photographer, writer, documentary producer, social justice activist, historian, and native Washingtonian. Throughout the afternoon, consider how the events of 1968 shaped the district and how they will continue to as you talk with staff from: National Park Service; 1882 Foundation; Historical Society of Washington, DC; National Fair Housing Alliance; Spring 1968 Photography & Oral History Project; Prologue DC's Mapping Segregation Project; HumanitiesDC; and Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives. For more information about DC Public Library's participation in the 19682018 Collaborative, visit https://www.dclibrary.org/1968. This event will take place at the Building Museum located at 401 F St. NW and is free and open to the public, suitable for all ages. More info: https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62134

Monday, December 17 at 5:30 PM, Library Takeout Talk Story: Wong Chin Foo and the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Author Scott Seligman will present a talk about Wong Chin Foo, a Chinese-American activist who challenged Denis Kearney on anti-Chinese laws in the 19th century. There will also be a film screening of select excerpts from Rick Burns and Li-Shin Yu's PBS documentary "The Chinese Exclusion Act." This event, co-hosted with the support of Studio Xfinity, will be located at: 715 7th St. NW. Free and open to the public. More info: https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62275   

Tuesday, December 18 at 4 PM, Kids Holiday Party. Join us for an evening of holiday festivities! Play games, make your own crafts, or watch a movie.These fun activities will engage and teach children of all ages all about different holidays while making artwork and participating with others. Free. At the Shepherd Park (Juanita E. Thornton) Library, 7420 Georgia Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62134   

Tuesday, December 18 at 4 PM, In the Zone: Snowmen. Come and create snowmen with us as we welcome the arrival of winter! In the Zone programs offer an opportunity for kids to kick back and enjoy games, crafts or other fun. Best for ages 4-12. Free. At Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62282 

Tuesday, December 18 from 6 - 8 PM, Concert: Tony Craddock, Jr. & Cold Front - smooth jazz.
Tony Craddock, Jr. & Cold Front's weather-inspired jazz brightens the atmosphere. Please note: Limited seating available on a first come, first served basis. Seating will open around 5:30 p.m.
In the Conservatory Garden Court of the US Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue SW. Free - no pre-registration required. More info: https://www.usbg.gov/live-seasonal-music 

Wednesday, December 19 at 4 PM, Winter Card Craft. Join us for a winter card making craft! This program is open to all ages. Free. At the Palisades Library, 4901 V Street, NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62285   

Thursday, December. 20, 20 at 4 PM, Holiday Extravaganza. Come to the Cleveland Park Library to celebrate with winter holiday programming! Songs, crafts and a movie will help us celebrate at the library! Open to all ages. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62289   

Thursday, December 20 from 6:30 - 8:00 PM, Holiday Concert Series: The Capital Hearings, a capella group. Enjoy live seasonal music in the Garden Court. With a repertoire ranging from Renaissance motets to modern hits, The Capital Hearings are praised by audiences and critics alike for their lush harmonies and musical versatility. They'll be making spirits bright a festive performance of beloved carols, smooth vocal jazz, and exciting contemporary arrangements. Welcome the holiday season with song! Please note: Limited seating available on a first come, first served basis. Seating will open around 5:30 PM. In the Conservatory Garden Court of the US Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue SW. Free - no pre-registration required. More info: https://www.usbg.gov/live-seasonal-music   

Thursday, December 20 at 7 PM, N’mores Cooking Demonstration. In cold weather, everyone’s offering s’mores -- but each one is an unhealthy 220 calories, with 13 grams of fat, and just one will give you 40% of the recommended daily value of saturated fat! Do you really want that? If you don’t, then come to this FREE demonstration to learn to make N’mores, a new winter treat and the healthy alternative to s’mores. Instead of sugary graham crackers, n’mores are made with plain, unsalted flatbread. For that oh-so-fatty chocolate, we’ll substitute chocolate-flavored Ex-Lax pieces -- with the added benefit that you will be more regular after this snack! And in place of the empty calories of marshmallows, we will learn to sculpt cubes of healthy, fluffy tofu into amazingly marshmallow-look-alike cylinders.When we roast our creations over our indoor but lifelike electric “campfire” - you will feel just like you’re out in the woods! To check out photos of happy campers enjoying this nutritious winter treat - and register for this free event - go to: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent    

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Still Life with Robin: The 8-Night Holiday Problem

by Peggy Robin

It’s the seventh night of Chanukah and I can’t count how many times the Listserv has been faced with “The Hanukkah Problem.” No, nothing at all to do with the holiday itself -- its relative significance compared to other holidays in the Jewish calendar, its historical development, whether it’s been turned into a Jewish version of Christmas as a gift-giving bonanza…. These are all interesting questions but I’m not talking about anything so substantive in my “Still Life with Robin” column, which typically shies away from weighty matters to focus on the small stuff. The problem at hand is a mere question of spelling. It’s something that faces the editor in any form of media or mass communications, from a million-plus circulation newspaper down to a humble neighborhood listserv.

So….how to you spell this crazy holiday, anyway? In some ways, it’s a thornier problem for a listserv, which posts messages from lots and lots of individual writers, than for a large newspaper, whose reporters are all bound by the publication’s stylebook. As editor/moderator of the Cleveland Park Listserv, should I impose my own spelling preference on all who post about the holiday? Or let posters use the spelling of their choice?

Complicating the issue is the popular usage of not just two, or three, or even four orthographic versions, but the existence of SIXTEEN different spellings, each of which is used often enough to be recognized as acceptable in some publication or other, not to mention popular enough to return hundreds of Google search results. (See http://joemaller.com/601/sixteen-ways-to-spell-hanukkah/.)

Up to now, I’ve tended to let each poster decide the spelling in his or her own message. So – just in the last week we’ve had three different forms in messages. In the notice for the fundraising concert that will take place on Sunday at Temple Micah in aid of Syrian refugees – it’s a Hanukkah Concert (see message # 142799). The Wilson High School Crew members who have been raising money for their team are selling Christmas wreaths – and also Chanukah kits (see message #142585). And then there have been some individuals who have talked about celebrating Hanukah.

If you’re wondering why there are so many spellings, well, it has to do with various ways that Hebrew letters and sounds can be rendered in English. If you’re interested, there’s more about that here: https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/hanukkah-what-does-it-mean-anyway-1.5346003

My personal preference is to lead off with an “H” instead of the “CH” on the grounds that the CH can all too easily mislead anyone unfamiliar with Hebrew sounds to pronounce the first syllable the same as the middle syllable of enCHANtment. Once a small child makes the unfortunate mistake of reading out the word aloud as “Chan – NOO – kuh” – and burns with embarrassment at the laughter that follows, that child may never want to hear about the holiday again! So I think in English, we should always start with the H, to be kind to children. After that, there should be just one N but two Ks. Then there’s a final H. Hanukkah. That’s the way I’ve usually seen ii spelled in announcements sent in by synagogues and Jewish organizations – so I tend to think of that spelling as the majority rabbinically-approved form. Still, I’m not ready to impose it on all posters on the listserv.

So I am going to keep on letting each poster spell it as he or she feels comfortable doing. I suppose if someone went so far off the normal mix of H/CH or one or two Ns or Ks and final H/no final H so as to render the holiday unrecognizable, I would impose some editorial control….but until that day comes, Happy H/CHaNNuKKaH to all!

And here’s a little song to cap off your seventh night:

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Get Out! The Events Column December 7 - 13, 2018

We wanted to share some events and activities that we thought would be of interest to list members. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 18,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, December 7 at 11 AM, Curator Tour: Washingtonians’ Plan for Washington, DC, presented by Amber “Jackie” Streker, assistant curator, Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection. In 1790, Peter L’Enfant laid out his vision for the nation’s new capital, intended to be the first planned capital city in the world. But did the city follow his plan? How did Washingtonians contribute to the city’s social landscape? Assistant Curator Jackie Streker leads a tour of the exhibition Eye of the Bird: Visions and Views of DC’s Past that explores D.C.’s dynamic planned—and unplanned—history. Free, but reservations are required. Register online at https://museum.gwu.edu/birdseye-tour or call 202-994-7394. At the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW 

Friday, December 7 at 12:30 PM, Lunch Bites Lecture: Larz Anderson Before Isabel. Larz and Isabel Anderson met in 1895, were married in 1897, and began the construction of Anderson House in 1902. But what was Larz Anderson's life like before he met his wife? Join Kelsey Atwood, tour and public program manager, for a look at his early years through photographs, letters, and journals that reveal little-known details about his childhood, early travels, and education. The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the photographs and documents. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW. More info: https://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public    

Friday, December 7 from 5 - 9 PM, Georgetown’s Glow All Night and Winter Art Walk. See the lights, play all night! Come to Georgetown for an extended evening of holiday shopping, specials and bites at over 50 stores and restaurants. More than 50 of Georgetown’s national retailers and small businesses alike will be open late, offering in-store promotions, pop-up events, collection launches, and more. Stop by the Sweetgreen parking lot (1044 Wisconsin Ave) and enjoy a bonfire and giveaways from many of the Grace Street shops and cafes—including hot chocolate and marshmallows, free coffee, local discounts and more. Take an evening stroll from 5–8 PM to see the Georgetown Galleries on Book Hill that are participating in the Winter Art Walk, with each gallery featuring a neon or light-art piece in their window. Free admission. Details on participating locations and other info at http://www.georgetownglowdc.com/events 

Saturday, December 8 from 8:30 - 10:30 AM, Breakfast with Santa. The Metropolitan Police Department (Second District) will be hosting "Breakfast With Santa" at Eaton Elementary School, 3301 Lowell Street NW. Enjoy a hot breakfast, arts & crafts, and story time. Don't forget your cameras for photos with Santa! Limited seating - MUST RSVP to Kyi Branch, Community Outreach Coordinator, 2nd District MPD at kyi.branch @ dc dot gov  

Saturday, December 8 from 11 AM - 4 PM, Book Hill’s Winter Wonderland. Book Hill, the section of Georgetown along Wisconsin Avenue from P Street to Reservoir Road, is full of holiday cheer in a winter wonderland for all ages and four-footed pets! Bring the family to TD Bank lot (1611 Wisconsin Ave) for photos with Santa for kids and pets with paws. Specials and treats at over 20 shops and cafes along Wisconsin Avenue from O Street to Reservoir Road. Plus, enjoy festive live music, food and drinks—including hot chocolate, cookies and mulled wine—kids’ activities, a s’mores station, an elf scavenger hunt, and ugly sweater competition. For the schedule and location of these events and more, visit http://www.georgetowndc.com/winter-wonderland/   

Saturday, December 8 from 12 - 3 PM, Pictures with Santa/Open House at Keller Williams Capital Properties, hosted by Marjorie Dick Stuart at her new office. Bring the kids, the grandkids (sorry, no pets) for pictures with Santa! Plus snacks and hot cocoa, fun holiday music playing. Bring your family, neighbors and  friends, the more, the merrier! Free. At 4000 Chesapeake Street NW.

Saturday, December 8 at 1 PM, What Charles Dickens Really Thought of Washington After His 1842 Visit. Jamie Stiehm, a Creators Syndicate columnist, discusses Charles Dickens and his 1842 visit to the United States. The talk takes place in The Peabody Room (3rd floor) of the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62185. Free.

Sunday, December 8 from 1 - 5 PM, Studio 4903: Winter Art Show. Twelve artists will be exhibiting jewelry, photography, glass, ceramics, drawing, metalwork and painting. Come join us for great art, yummy food and interesting conversation...and maybe even do a little holiday shopping! Free admission. Studio 4903 is located at 4903 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 2nd Floor. More details on Facebook at http://bit.ly/2roGMbC 

Sunday, December 9 at 4 PM, Christmas Concert by the Chancel Choir of Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church. Celebrate the Holiday season with fine music. The featured work will be a “Christmas Cantata” for choir, organ and brass by the American composer Daniel Pinkham.  Also on the program will be the Junior Choristers singing, works with the bells ringing, and carol singing with everyone invited to join in. The concert — part of the 48th season of Chevy Chase Concerts — is free and will include a post-performance reception. Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church is located at One Chevy Chase Circle NW. Neither tickets nor reservations are required. More information at www.chevychasepc.org 

Sunday, December 9 at 4 PM, Classical Holiday Concert at Anderson House. Amanda Dame, flautist, and Chelsea de Souza, pianist, perform classical favorites for the holiday season. This is the last performance of the fall American Music Series. Free. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW. More info: https://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public   

Sunday, December 9 at 5 PM, Handbell Concert. The Colonial English Handbell Ringers invite you to "Bells in Toyland," featuring songs to delight audiences of all ages, including audience favorites, “Frosty the Snowman,” “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” and “Sleigh Ride” (complete with sound effects), plus a magical, original piece, “Carillon Christmas.” This holiday program is about an hour in length and it's great for ALL ages. Beautifully costumed in Colonial dress, the Colonial English Handbell Ringers are a unique visual and auditory experience. Free to the public, although donations are accepted toward equipment costs. At The Center, 4321 Wisconsin Ave. NW - entrance on Windom St. More info at http://www.colonialringers.com 

Sunday, December 9 at 5 PM, Handel's "Messiah,” performed by the National Presbyterian Church Festival Choir, Soloists, and Orchestra. All in the community are invited and no tickets are required! A voluntary offering will be collected during the performance. There is ample free onsite parking for the concert and complimentary childcare for children under 4 with advance RSVP to childcare @ nationalpres dot org. National Presbyterian Church is located at 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW, about a 10-minute walk from the AU/Tenleytown metro stop on the red line. 

Monday, December 10 at 12 noon, Student Presentations: George Washington and His World.
Students of Denver Brunsman, GW Department of History, share their findings after a semester of in-depth research about George Washington at Mount Vernon. Free; no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW, https://museum.gwu.edu/student-presentations-2018

Monday, December 10 at 7 PM, Improv for All! Free class with Washington Improv Theater.
WIT’s free introductory Improv For All! workshops are high-fun, low-stress classes designed to show you how improvisers create spontaneous, off-the-cuff theater. Our enthusiastic and friendly instructors work to make sure everyone is able to participate in a playful and trusting atmosphere. This workshop is free and geared toward adult participants; registration is not required but recommended - register here: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/10351420At Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62191  

Tuesday, December 11 from 6 - 8 PM, Food for Thought, Reimagining School Lunch with Dan Giusti. Whittle School & Studios is hosting chef Dan Giusti for a presentation on reimagining school lunches. Formerly an executive chef at Georgetown's 1789 and Noma, a two-Michelin-star restaurant in Copenhagen, Dan returns to D.C. to discuss why he left fine dining to found Brigaid, a company dedicated to transforming the standard of American school lunches. Dan will discuss the challenges that public schools face when it comes to lunch and how he hopes to transform processed meals into healthy, tasty ones made from scratch. Free. Whittle School & Studios Information Center, Mazza Gallerie, 2nd Level, 5300 Wisconsin Ave NW. More info: http://bit.ly/2EhEH9Y 

Tuesday, December 11 from 6 - 8 PM, Concert in the Garden: Samovar (Russian folk music). 
Samovar has performed an exciting mix of Russian, Ukrainian, and Gypsy (Romani) folk music in the Washington, DC area since 1996. Besides the US Botanic Garden, performance venues include the Hillwood Museum, the Russian and Ukrainian Embassies, the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, and many, many church bazaars.​ Please note: Limited seating available on a first come, first served basis. Seating will open around 5:30 PM. Free, no pre-registration required. In the Conservatory Garden Court at the US Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue SW.

Tuesday, December 11 at 7 PM, Book Hill Talks - Charlemagne at the Burgundy Court of the 15th Century: Power and Decadence. Valerie Croquez, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer of World Languages and Cultures at American University, will discuss Charlemagne's influence on the 15th Century Court of Burgundy. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, 202-727-0232, 

Wednesday, December 12 at 5:30 PM, Trevor Paglen: Sights Unseen, Gallery Talk with John Jacob. Join John Jacob, the McEvoy Family Curator for Photography, as he guides visitors through the exhibition, Trevor Paglen: Sights Unseen (https://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/paglen). Jacob demonstrates how Paglen's work blurs the lines between art, science, and investigative journalism by examining themes of landscape and surveillance. Free. At the Smithsonian American Art Museum at 8th and G Streets NW - meet at G Street Lobby. More info: https://s.si.edu/2PUqk0p     

Wednesday, December 12 at 7 PM,  Nathalie V. Black Book Discussion Series: American Autobiography - My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor. The Fall series, “American Autobiography: From Colonial to Contemporary Times” is led by resident scholar, Philip Burnham, associate professor in the English Department at George Mason University. The topic for this session is Sonia Sotomayor. The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, Sonia Sotomayor was raised in a tough neighborhood in the south Bronx before going on to study at Princeton and Yale and being appointed to the federal bench. This is a frank account of her struggle with diabetes, her difficult but supportive family, and the continuing controversy over affirmative action, all of which illuminate the early years of one of our most important public figures. Free and open to the public - no need to have attended prior sessions. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/61394 

Thursday, December 13 at 4:30 PM, Holiday Karaoke Party. Come join us in the Children's Room of the Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library  for a fun-filled evening of holiday music. Belt out your favorite winter classic, sip some hot cocoa and spread the holiday cheer. Don't know the lyrics? We've got you covered with subtitles. Recommended for ages 6-12. Free. The Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library is at 1630 7th St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62139  

Thursday, December 13 at 6 PM, Lecture and book signing: Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765-1776. Patrick Spero, director of the American Philosophical Society Library, discusses and signs copies of his book on the untold story of the “Black Boys,” a rebellion on the American frontier in 1765 that sparked the American Revolution. The talk will last about 45 minutes, followed by a book signing and refreshments. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW. More info:  https://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public   

Thursday, December 13 at 6:30 PM, The Office Holiday Party Excuse Workshop (OHPEW). It’s that time of year again -- your office will soon throw its annual Holiday Party and you so wish you could duck out and avoid the whole thing! Office parties encompass everything you have hate about office life: the forced camaraderie with people who treat you badly the rest of the year; the drunks; and being urged to eat lots of cake and candy and other things you are supposed to avoid, and being told to leave your spouse or partner at home! Why is this fun?! Still, you know you must go, because if you’re not there, people will talk behind your back. Now, with the OHPEW workshop, you will be able to show up for the minimum time and depart with what will seem like an unbeatable excuse. At this incredibly useful workshop you can sign up to receive notice of one of 3 three seasonally-appropriate emergencies: 1. Urgent call from your pet sitter (your pooch has wolfed down a Christmas ornament and is on the way to the Animal ER); 2. Your old college pal, an exchange student from Kalgoorlie, Australia, is at Dulles a day early (there’s some confusion about what day it is due to the International Dateline) and you must retrieve your pal who has 3 kids in tow; or 3. Your doorbell video system has just shown a gang of porch pirates taking a big stack of packages from your doorstep -- police are on the way and they will meet you there. Whichever scenario you choose, you will receive the appropriate video, text, and/or phone calls at the exact time you indicate that you are ready to leave the party. Free, but you must register here: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent  

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Still Life with Robin: At Age 19, The CP Listserv Takes a Look Back

Photo by Bill Adler

by Peggy Robin

Yesterday, November 30, 2018 was the NINETEENTH anniversary of the Cleveland Park Listserv. (Yes, my math was off by a year when I first announced it as the 20th anniversary. That’s next year, as an astute and very longtime list member pointed out.)

After nineteen years, it seems like a good moment to look back at what the listserv was like at the grand old age of three. Here’s an article I wrote describing the listserv that ran in the Washington Post on November 14, 2002.

Moderators Are Masters of Their Domain on Local E-Mail List 
[FINAL Edition] The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Author: Robin, Peggy
Date:     Nov 14, 2002
Section: WEEKLY - DISTRICT Start Page:  T.04

It has been a day of heavy traffic on the Cleveland Park e-mail list. There's a debate raging on the fate of Klingle Road: Should it be reopened or remain closed? One person has posted four times on the subject in two days. Is that "over-posting"? Meanwhile, a new list member has posted a message introducing herself as a massage therapist, describing the types of massage she practices. Is she simply introducing herself to her neighbors, or is she using the list as a form of free e-mail advertising (otherwise known as "spam"), which our list rules strictly prohibit?

These are the kinds of questions I face every day in my role as moderator of what we believe to be the District's largest neighborhood e-mail list. There are more than 900 members of this free e-mail network. People write in about lost dogs, the search for an honest plumber, the cat-loving housesitter they seek, what new stores are moving into vacant storefronts, whether the traffic light on Porter Street should be retimed, how new zoning rules are needed to restrict the number of bars (but not restaurants) on Connecticut Avenue, and dozens of other things, both weighty and trivial.

My husband, Bill Adler, and I started the e-mail list in 1999, and we have been running it ever since. It's not a lot of work -- half an hour a day on most days -- and it's often fun, although occasionally it can be a big drag. When a message writer ignores the posting rules, Bill or I will take the time to send a brief note to the violator. Bill writes to a member asking him not to send pages and pages of text that overload the system, and then I write to another one asking her not to post endlessly on the same subject. We both write notes reminding members to sign their names, and -- most frequently of all -- to stick to the main subject, our neighborhood.

We learned early on that unless we act quickly in our role as moderators, things get out of hand. Our first big lesson came in the summer of 2000 from the attempt by some Miami residents to bombard the list with messages opposed to the return of Elian Gonzalez to Cuba. The issue was international, but there was a bit of a local hook: At the time, Elian was staying at the Rosedale estate in the heart of Cleveland Park. I suppose the would-be posters thought they could have some influence over events by directing their e-mail to the people who lived in the surrounding neighborhood. But the messages posted were shrill diatribes, not the least bit neighborly in tone.

As a result, Bill and I decided that we had to have some rules about who could post and what sorts of subjects were acceptable. We prohibited name-calling, spamming and cross-posting (that is, including the Cleveland Park list on a mass e-mail list for an announcement or press release). Our aim is to get people to use the list to talk to each other online in just the same way they would if they met in the park or at the supermarket. No shouting slogans at each other. Say hello first, and then say what's on your mind. No commercial advertising. No promotion of out-of-neighborhood causes, however worthy. There are plenty of other e-mail groups to join for those interested in such causes.

Despite the need to rein in the occasional shouter, we think that, on the whole, our list has become one of the most civil in cyberspace. It's useful, too: Lately, people have been approaching Bill or me on the street to say that they found a great contractor through the list, or the most wonderful babysitter. Our list has become the quick and easy way to find the answer to any question. A short while ago, there were helicopters hovering overhead for 20 minutes or more. Someone asked if anyone on the list knew what was going on. Within a few minutes, the answer came back that there had been a holdup at a local market and the robbers had escaped on foot. Police were using helicopters to guide police cars in their attempt to catch the men.

Sometimes misinformation is posted, but usually when that has happened, a list member has jumped in with a correction. Unlike most other e-mail lists that accept anonymous posts, we ask all people to sign their names, to stand behind what they write. That has been one way to keep things neighborly.

Still, sparks do fly on occasion. When Giant Food unveiled plans to expand, heated arguments pro and con dominated the list for months. An e-mail list gives people a fast, convenient way to register opinion -- perhaps too convenient. People who don't attend meetings or write a paper letter that needs a stamp and an envelope can always fire off an e-mail. Yet a good case can be made that the list does provides a fairly accurate way to gauge how the lines are drawn on an issue.

The Giant Food discussion on the e-mail list led directly to the formation of a grass-roots group of residents in favor of a bigger store. (Until that development, meetings had been dominated by leaders of neighborhood organizations adamantly opposed to Giant's expansion plan.) Eventually, city officials worked out a compromise that so far has been hailed by all parties as a victory. We like to think that discussion on our e-mail list played a part in that outcome.

Then there are the perennial issues for which no compromise seems possible: dog walkers who don't scoop vs. neighbors who are sick of the mess. (Oh, you think no one would defend a scoopless dog walk? Think again.) People who think city living means a lively streetscape and, yes, some late night noise, vs. people who think Cleveland Park has always been and should continue to be a tranquil oasis in the midst of a busy city. People who think it's better to let traffic flow smoothly through neighborhood streets vs. people who would like to see more traffic diverted from purely residential streets and onto the major arterials. None of these debates shows any sign of achieving consensus in the near or far future.

As long as people in Cleveland Park have keyboards, e-mail servers and modems, we're going to be hearing more on these subjects. As moderators, we stand ever at the ready, poised to send out a firm but politely worded (and always private) note, "Please refrain from questioning the parentage of another list member. Remember, you are talking to your neighbors. Please keep it friendly! Sincerely, Peggy Robin & Bill Adler, Moderators, Cleveland Park E-mail List."
Peggy Robin is a freelance writer who has published seven (mostly how-to) books. She lived in the Washington area for several years as a teenager, moved back in 1977 and has lived in the city ever since. The Cleveland Park e-mail list can be found at www.cleveland-park.com.
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Get Out! The Events Column, November 29 - December 6, 2018

Hanukkah begins at sundown on Sunday, Dec 2 
We wanted to share some events and activities that we thought would be of interest to list members. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,900+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, November 30 from 5:30 - 8:30 PM, Holidays through History. Celebrate the holidays at Anderson House and two neighborhood museums — Dumbarton House and Woodrow Wilson House — at this annual yuletide pilgrimage. Stroll through the three festively decorated mansions and learn about historical Christmas traditions. Each site will feature a cocktail inspired by their period, as well as holiday music, crafts, and light refreshments. Anderson House is at  2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW; Dumbarton House is at 2715 Q St NW; Woodrow Wilson House is at 2340 S St NW. Tickets $25 at https://dumbartonhouse.ticketleap.com/holidays-through-history/dates/Nov-30-2018_at_0530PM 

Friday November 30 from 6 - 8 PM, Tree Lighting at Cathedral Commons. You will find a winter wonderland of fun at Cathedral Commons’ 4th annual Tree Lighting event! Gather with friends and neighbors and enjoy a flurry of activities starting at 6 PM, with the tree lighting countdown at 8 o'clock. Merry into the season with festive performances and food and drink from local restaurants. Roast s'mores, enter to win giveaways and pose with holiday characters as they roam throughout the night. Santa will also be joining us for free photos (pets are welcome too!). Cathedral Commons is at Newark St and Wisconsin Avenue NW. More info: https://www.cathedralcommons.com/event/holiday-tree-lighting/ 

Friday, November 30 from 7 - 9 PM, Holiday De-stress Labyrinth. Release holiday stress with a contemplative walk through the labyrinth at St. Columba’s. Special guests Harmonic Introductions, a vocal ensemble dedicated to the art of overtone singing, will provide soothing music to accompany those who wish to walk or simply relax. As always, the labyrinth is free, and warmly welcomes walkers of all ages, faiths, and abilities. St. Columba's is located at 4201 Albemarle St., NW, one block west of Wisconsin Ave. For more information on the many other activities of Winterfest, go to www.tenleywinterfest.org 

Saturday, December 1 from 10 AM - late night, Tenley WinterFest events! Today’s highlights include: Story Time and Winter Crafts for kids and Book Sale for all at the Tenley Friendship Library (4450 Wisconsin Ave) starting at 10am; guided tours of historic St. Ann’s Church (4001 Yuma St) at 10am, 10:30am and 11am: Santa Celebration and holiday crafts from 11am - 2pm at Ace Hardware (4500 Wisconsin Ave.); holiday greenery sales, Winter Market from noon - 4pm at Janney School (4130 Albemarle St.) with over 100 vendors and food and gifts and crafts - along with a capella music! At 5 PM, Tenley Gets Lit! Tenleytown Main Street announces the winner of the 3rd annual Tenleytown window decorating contest. Then, starting at 8:30 PM, dance the night away with Cheaper Than Therapy at Tenley Bar & Grill (4611 41st St) starting at 8:30pm. Their high-energy show has all your favorite rock and blues songs.Find a full list of all the Tenley WinterFest events at www.tenleywinterfest.org

Saturday, December 1 from 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Conversation on Creativity - Valerie Tripp "American Girls Collection." Whittle School & Studios welcomes you to its Whittle Readers event, where children's author Valerie Tripp, author of multiple books in the acclaimed American Girls Collection, will lead an interactive presentation on creativity and the creative process. The presentation will include a discussion about the creative process, and engage students in interactive activities about the historical characters, including Felicity, Josefina, Samantha, Nellie, and Kit. This event is best suited for elementary-aged children. Free. Please register here: https://www.whittleschool.org/event/whittle-readers-valerie-tripp/. At the Whittle School & Studios Information Center, Mazza Gallerie, 2nd Level, 5300 Wisconsin Ave NW

Saturday, December 1 from 11 AM - 12 PM, Miss Ellie's Hanukkah Songfest: Dreidels and Latkes and Lights! Oh My! Come sing and dance with Ms. Ellie (of Ms. Ellie Music) as we sing the story of Hanukkah through songs and dance. Be ready to join in the fun — march like a brave Maccabee, spin like a dreidel, wiggle like a latke, and kickoff the beginning of the Festival of Lights of Hanukkah. Free - donation encouraged. To reserve in advance go to http://bit.ly/2TRsKMs; a limited number of walk-up tickets available on-site on the day of the show. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to the performance time to take a place in the stand-by line. Program is best suited for children ages 4 to 10 years. At The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

Sunday December 2 from 3 - 5 PM, Cleveland Park Club Holiday Bazaar. Stop by to meet some local artists and jewelers, and to share some holiday snacks and cheer. There will be a sitter and art projects upstairs for the kids. Free admission, open to all. At the Cleveland Park Club, 3433 33rd Place, NW.

Sunday, December 2 at 4:30 PM, Glow in the Dark Chanukah in Newlands Park. Come and enjoy loads of Chanukah games and food, kids crafts, dreidel mascot, holiday music, and a Glow-in-the-Dark LED juggling show by Cricket. Get a free light-up gift! This event is free and open to all. RSVP: www.chabadcc.org, 301-260-5000. At Newlands Park, 1 Newlands Street, Chevy Chase, MD.

Monday December 3 at 12 noon, Lecture: Painting L’Enfant’s Washington, presented by Peter Waddell, "Eye of the Bird" artist and historian. See Washington, DC as it looked more than 200 years ago, through new bird’s eye view paintings depicting the city’s origins, on view in Eye of the Bird: Visions and Views of D.C.’s Past. Artist Peter Waddell will discuss his monumental works and the extensive research behind them. Free; no reservations required.At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW, https://museum.gwu.edu/painting-washington 

Tuesday, December 4 at 4 PM, Holiday Cards and Snowflakes. Celebrate the season with holiday cards for Hanukkah and Christmas, as well as making your own paper snowflakes! For ages 3 and up. Free. At the Rosedale Library, 1701 Gales St. NE, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62106 

Tuesday, December 4 starting at 8 AM, ZooLight. Note: There’s no S! Don’t brave the crowds and the cold at ZooLights with an S! -- go to ZooLight instead! What is ZooLight? It’s a walk through Smithsonian National Zoo in the ordinary light of day. It won’t be crowded on a Tuesday morning in December! You’ll feel like you have the whole place to yourself, just you, the animals, maybe a passing pair of cold-weather joggers, and the Zoo staff, happy to talk to you and answer all your questions. Now you may be thinking, Is this the weekly fake event? Well, it could be… or you could really do a walk through the Zoo in the morning light. But if you want to sign up for the official ZooLight Daytime Tour, be sure to register here: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent  

Wednesday, December 5 at 7 PM, Author Talk: “When” by Daniel Pink. Everyone knows that timing is everything. But we don't know much about timing itself. Our lives are a never-ending stream of "when" decisions: when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork. Timing, it's often assumed, is an art. In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Pink shows that timing is really a science. Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how good timing can help you live, work, and succeed. Daniel Pink’s newest book, "When” is a New York Times best-seller. He has written five other books, which have won multiple awards and have been translated into 37 languages. Space is limited; come early to get a good seat. Book sale and signing to follow event. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/61925    

Thursday, December 6 from 12 - 2 PM, Consultations: Ask a Curator, Ask a Conservator. Curious about a rug or textile you have recently inherited or purchased while traveling? Looking for advice on how to properly store and display your piece? Drop in to learn about your objects from the museum's curators and conservators. Please note that our curators specialize in traditional textiles from non-western cultures, but conservation staff can answer questions about caring for textiles produced worldwide.Free; no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW, https://museum.gwu.edu/ask-curator-ask-conservator-37

Thursday December 6 at 6 PM (for the reception) and 6:30, Cottage Conversation: The War for the Common Soldier. Join us as Peter Carmichael and Adam Goodheart discuss Carmichael's most recent book The War for the Common Soldier: How Men Thought, Fought, and Survived in Civil War Armies. Digging deeply into his soldiers' writing, Carmichael resists the idea that there was "a common soldier" but looks into their own words to find common threads in soldiers' experiences and ways of understanding what was happening around them. Cottage Conversations offer relaxing evenings to socialize and learn something new about our 16th president from authors, collectors, and artists. The program begins with a cocktail reception, is followed by the conversation, and concludes with a book signing. At the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage, 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW. Admission: $10 for the lecture and $10 for the reception. Free for Cottage members at the $250 level or above. Tickets at http://bit.ly/2KMMVY5 

Thursday, December 6 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Annual Hanukkah Party at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History. Join us at our annual Hanukkah Party for latkes, jelly doughnuts, gelt and song! Explore the museum and we'll eat, play games and sing. We'll also look at the ways Jews in the American military have continued the tradition of the Maccabees. Tour the museum at 6:00 before the party begins at 6:30. Music from Dan Levine and Robin Schultz. Bring your own Hanukkah menorah for a group lighting. Free. At the National Museum of American Jewish Military History, 1811 R Street NW. RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-annual-hanukkah-party-tickets-51824131372          

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Still Life with Robin: What About Sunday?

Photo by Eric Ray (via Creative Commons)

by Peggy Robin

Thursday was Thanksgiving which is followed, as we all know, by Black Friday. Today, Saturday, is Small Business Saturday. Monday is Cyber Monday. Tuesday is Giving Tuesday. That leaves Sunday, which lacks a special name. But it seems to cry out for its own distinctive title. So I turned to the Great All-Seeing “I” (the Internet) to find out if this problem has already been taken on, and of course, it has. Here’s the number one site proposing names for the Sunday after Thanksgiving:
And here’s the number two site:

Names have been proposed, but nothing has of yet become “sticky” enough to turn into the generally accepted name for this day – but here are the main suggestions:

* Sofa Sunday (the leading contender). This is the day you are supposed to stay home, lounging comfortably on your sofa, while surfing the internet to find the best deals for Cyber Monday.

* Sleep-in Sunday. The prescription for this version is to sleep late and take the day off. Not on the sofa --  you can stay in your nice, warm bed. You’ll find a few versions of this Sunday at:

* Sunday of Rest. Unlike Sofa Sunday, or Sleep-in Sunday, Sunday of Rest is not about lounging about all day -- it’s about the Christian concept of the Sabbath on Sunday, with the idea being that this day will be a pause from the hustle-and-bustle of shopping and entertaining and become a day to turn yourself toward the religious meaning of the holidays. In a variant on this theme, the day of rest and reflections is called “Reason for the Season” and it’s described in an article by Christian blogger Steve Simms – see this link: https://stevesimms.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/a-name-for-the-sunday-after-thanksgiving-and-words-in-the-night/

* SABF, or Sunday After Black Friday. This name is for those who view the Sunday after Thanksgiving as the last day of a 3-day sales event.

* Museum Store Sunday. It’s still all about shopping, but on this day, you are supposed to head for the museum shop. (In cities other than DC where museums typically charge an admission fee, Sunday may be a free or reduced-fee day, and so it makes sense for the Sunday after Small Business Saturday to become the museum store shopping day.) This USA Today article explains it well:

* TV Sunday. It can be sports, or Christmas specials, or any number of Christmas movies that run on the Hallmark channel or other family-fare channels. Look around and you'll find "Love Actually" playing on some channel or other on this day, joining "It’s a Wonderful Life," and "A Charlie Brown Christmas," and "Elf" and too many others to name from  as post-Thanksgiving holiday hits list.  

If none of the above describes the activities that mark the Sunday after Thanksgiving for you and your family, please feel free to send suggestions!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv on Saturdays.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column, November 22 - 29, 2018

DC Public Library Image
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,900+ 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

The Events Column for this week is out a day early - Wednesday instead of Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thursday, November 22, Thanksgiving Day Trot to End Hunger - Race Times at 8:30, 9 or 9:15 AM, depending on the event. Now in its 17th year, the Thanksgiving Day Trot (https://www.trotforhunger.org/) is a 5K run or walk to raise funds for So Others Might Eat (SOME), which every year helps over 10,000 people experiencing homelessness or hunger. In addition to the 5K, youngsters can participate in the Little Turkey One Mile Fun Run. Race starts and ends at Freedom Plaza. corner of 13th St and Pennsylvania Ave NW. Registration fee: $15 - 40 depending on age and event; $50 for same-day registration. Sign up at: https://www.trotforhunger.org/register  

Friday November 23, Opening Day of the Week-Long Tenley Winterfest - http://www.tenleywinterfest.org. Celebrate the season in Tenleytown, November 23 - December 1 with Winter Feast, the Yeti Scavenger Hunt, a Winter Market, and other special events. The Janney Winter Market, which now includes nearly 100 vendors of all ages selling handmade gifts, accessories and jewelry, artwork, toys, and sweet and savory treats, remains a cornerstone of Tenley WinterFest. Now in its 7th year, the festival has expanded with a week of events along Wisconsin Avenue, from Van Ness to Fessenden St, including: live music at Middle C Music and Tenley Bar & Grill, dining specials at more than a dozen eateries, crafts, stories, and movies at the library, neighborhood walking tours with the Tenleytown Historical Society, or holiday tree sales at local schools. Get all the details at http://www.tenleywinterfest.org/events/ 

Friday, November 23 at 4 PM, Math Refresher Session Before Tonight’s  Fibonacci Day Party! How often has this happened to you: You’re invited to a party to celebrate Fibonacci Day (http://bit.ly/2KslVwM) but you’ve grown a bit rusty on the Fibonacci sequence. Still, you’d like to participate fully, and toss out some holiday-appropriate numerical puns for the occasion, and be the life of the Fibonacci Party! Now, with this quick math review lesson tailored just for those who need a little boost, you will be fully prepared to go 1-1-2-3 with the best of ‘em!. And we’ll teach you that hot Fibonacci Hopscotch Dance to boot!. To locate the nearest Fibonacci Day Party Practice Session and reserve your spot, go to: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent    

Saturday, November 24 at 3 PM, Carols and Cocoa at Fessenden Park. Friends of Fessenden Park and Tenleytown Main Street invite our neighbors to sing a happy holiday song and drink hot cocoa with us to enjoy the winter season! This free event begins with carols in Fessenden Park from 3 - 3:30 PM, followed by delicious cocoa to warm up from 3:30 - 4 PM at St. Mary Apostolic Armenian Church, directly across the street (4125 Fessenden St). An inclusive event, the songs are non-denominational - all are welcome to spread holiday season cheer! This event is part of Tenley WinterFest. More info: http://www.tenleywinterfest.org/events/   

Saturday November 24 at 6 PM, 5th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at CityCenterDC. Washingtonians will be treated to a joyful music performance by The Washington Chorus and an official lighting ceremony and countdown emceed by NBC4’s Eun Yang. Festivities include balloon artists, face painters, holiday activities and more. Enjoy the dazzling 75 foot holiday tree, our two resident 25-foot reindeer, and the return of our Palmer Alley overhead holiday display! Free. At The Park at CityCenter, 10th St NW & New York Ave NW. RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/261835194473113/ 

Sunday, November 25 at 1 PM, Historical Walking Tour of Tenleytown. Learn about the women pioneers of education, architecture, and business who influenced the development of Tenleytown. Tour led by Farleigh Earhart of the Tenleytown Historical Society. Register online to reserve your spot: http://bit.ly/2znU2S3. Depart from Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW.

Monday, November 26 at 12 noon, Lecture and Gallery Talk: Treasures from the Albert H. Small Collection, presented by Julia Brown and Isabella Bucci, GW Phi Alpha Theta students; Jackie Streker, assistant curator, Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection. A special guided tour of the exhibition Treasures from the Albert H. Small Collection of the George Washington University Museum. Free; no reservations required. At the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW, https://museum.gwu.edu/treasures-talk-tour 

Tuesday, November 27, All Day, Giving Tuesday. While we have not found any local organizations putting on special events for this day, we would like to suggest volunteering and/or donating to three nonprofits that provide critical services to the homeless and to struggling families in our area: Friendship Place - https://friendshipplace.org/; So Others Might Eat - https://www.some.org/ and DC Diaper Bank - https://greaterdcdiaperbank.org/  

Wednesday November 28 at 4 PM, Art Attack: M.C. Escher. Come and learn about M.C. Escher's exciting mind-bending art. Then, make your own geometric designs in his style. This program is for ages 6 and up. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/61918 

Thursday, November 29 at 6:30 PM, Takoma Park Library Book to Film Club: “The Giver.” Ask for a copy of The Giver at the desk and read it. Then attend a viewing of the film and discuss both! Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives. Free. The Takoma Park Library is at 416 Cedar St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/61847      

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Name That Neighborhood!

Photo by Dave Wilson (licensed by Creative Commons)
by Peggy Robin

Of course, you’ve heard by now that Amazon’s Headquarters 2 will be split between New York and DC, and the part we’re getting is not actually in DC but in nearby Northern Virginia, in a neighborhood split between Crystal City and Pentagon City. Which Amazon is renaming National Landing

I wish I were first off the block to make fun of the made-up corporate/neighborhood naming process. But Greater Greater Washington kicked off the scoff-fest last week with this suitably snarky article --
https://ggwash.org/view/69847/forget-crystal-city-amazon-is-coming-national-landing-we-have-some-thoughts -- and the reader comments that flowed underneath were even snarkier. In admiration, I must pass along the best of the mocking bunch:

David Edmonson says,
Because National Landing is less of a cheesy name than Crystal City?
Also the place used to be called Waterloo, so go back to that if anything. Jeez.

Agnès Artemel says,
I hope it will be Soft Landing, and not Landing with a Bang

Some had ideas for new names.

Aaron Landry
“National Landing”?! If they're going to rename Crystal City, why not:
Bezos Beach?
Arlington Prime?

My favorite of the above is Arlington Prime!

Other comment-posters wondered, after National Landing is established, what related developments will follow:

Martin Austermuhle
How quickly do we get North National Landing and National Landing Heights?

Dan Reed suggested:
The Landing at National Landing: for those with discerning taste

Gray Kimbrough says,
The nearby waterfront will be called National Landing Harbor. It's not to be confused with the boat docking at National Harbor, National Harbor Landing.

Now for my own contributions to the “Name That Neighborhood!” game:

How about combining Crystal City and Pentagon City, to create “Crystal Pentagon”? Then perhaps in the same way that people have shortened North-of-Massachusetts to NoMa, people would shorten “Crystal Pentagon” to “CrysPen.” Or even shorter: “CryPen.” But the shortest would be: “CryPe.” 

Now here’s an even better idea! You know how we got Shirlington from a mash-up of Shirley Highway (the actual name of that portion of I-395) and Arlington? Let’s mash-up Amazon and Arlington to create: AMAZINGTON!

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