Saturday, September 22, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Equal Time for Daylight

by Peggy Robin

Happy Autumnal Equinox! 

On this day we’ll get as close it’s possible to get to an equal division of daylight/darkness. If, like me, you get a little kick from tossing out bits of scientific trivia about the equinox, not caring whether you come across as a giant geo-nerd, here’s a good place to pick up some nuggets: 

If you’d like to be a bit more entertaining and pop-science-y with your equinox trivia, then go to for a listicle with “8 Things to Know about the First Day of Autumn”:

If you were hoping that the official arrival of autumn in Washington, DC would break the long dreary spell of stormy/rainy/cloudy days – and omnipresent mugginess – even on those few days giving us glimpses of sun! – I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed this weekend: 

Keep that dehumidifier running! Sooner or later, some crisp, clear fall weather days must come along.

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

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Get Out! The Events Column, Sept 21 - 27, 2018

ZooFiesta - Sunday, Sept 23 at the National Zoo
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,900+ 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   

Friday, September 21 from 11 AM - 2 PM, DC Jazz, Dignity, and Human Rights. Join the Library Associates of the Georgetown University Library for a special program entitled DC Jazz, Dignity and Human Rights. In partnership with the Department of Performing Arts, the program will feature remarks from Maurice Jackson, Associate Professor, Department of History, and will include a special performance from vocalist, Imani, and musicians Jon Ozment, Pepe Gonzalez, and Sam Turner. Light refreshments will be provided. At 11 AM, Lecture and Program, Booth Family Center for Special Collections, 5th Floor, Lauinger Library. At 1:15 PM, Concert with Imani, Jon Ozment, Pepe Gonzalez, and Sam Turner, McNeir Auditorium. Free. Register at Georgetown University Library, 3700 O Street NW.

Saturday, September 22, (hours vary), Museum Day. Across America on Museum Day there are over 1250 participating museums opening their doors for free. In DC that includes, The National Building Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Newseum, The Phillips Collection, The Kreeger Museum and several more. More info at these websites:

Saturday, September 22 from 10 AM - 12 noon, Springland Farm Walking Tour. America’s most important vineyard was located on the Springland Farm (circa 1814) and the Father of American Viticulture was the farm’s owner, John Adlum. A grape developed on the farm became the first American grape to compete with European varieties. The Father of American Winemaking, Nicholas Longworth, was a mentee of John Adlum. This tour will explore the Springland Farm, highlighted by two historic-designated properties, the Adlum manor house and springhouse. It will explore the major institutions that were founded on the farm, the National Bureau of Standards, International Chancery Center and University of the District of Columbia. NBS had a distinguished history of inventions, including leadership roles in developing technologies during World War II. Sixteen embassies now call the ICC home and there are stories to tell about them. UDC has a distinguished history going back to its founding by Myrtilla Miner, an amazing woman. We’ll talk about the enslaved individuals who worked the Adlum farm (we have lots of information about them as the Adlums sought compensation when they were emancipated in 1863); the cholera epidemic that nearly wiped out the Adlum family; street namesakes Marcia Van Ness, Jesse Reno, Emory Upton, Samuel Tilden, and Melvin Hazen; and the evolution of the Adlums into real estate developers – and disciples of Frederick Law Olmsted – whose homes now are part of the Springland Farm Community. This tour is all about stories. Not just places on a map and buildings. Free. More info: Tour starts at Dennard Plaza, UDC, 4200 Connecticut Avenue.

Saturday,September 22 from 10 AM - 3 PM, Homecoming Day at Lincoln’s Cottage. During the Civil War the Lincoln family called the Cottage home. This year we welcome everyone back "home" to join us for a full day of activities where you can run, walk, and play like Lincoln. Free activities: Explore a Civil War Encampment: View the 150th Pennsylvania Volunteers, better known as the Bucktails, who served as Lincoln's personal guards. Pony Rides: It's no secret Tad Lincoln loved keeping pets on the ground. Don't let this chance slip by to ride a pony on Lincoln's front lawn. Arts and Crafts: Make cards for veterans and those in need, craft your family tree, and create your own top hat! Picnic on the Grounds: Enjoy delicious food from our on-site vendors Old Smokey Bar-B-Que (selling pulled pork, smoked chicken, mac 'n' cheese, hot dogs and more) or pack your own picnic and enjoy lunch at the picnic tables or on the ample South Lawn. Story hour, music, and more! Tour the Cottage: Take a guided tour of the Lincoln family's seasonal retreat. Regular ticket prices apply; visit our tickets page to purchase in advance. First tour begins at 10 AM; last tour at 3 PM. More info on free events and link to purchase tickets for the Cottage tour at President Lincoln’s Cottage is at 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW

Saturday, September 22 from 10 AM - 4 PM,  Historic Preservation Community Day. Morning lectures include architectural history of DC, history of the preservation movement, city regulations for historic districts and historic landmarks with information on the homeowner grant program. Afternoon technical discussions include how to research your house history and historic window rehabilitation, maintenance and replacement. Afternoon preservation stations will feature vendor consultations and local and neighborhood preservation organizations. Sample stations include: restoring historic windows, repointing, roof repair, and more! ASL and Spanish language interpretation provided. Free and open to the public. At All Souls Church, 1500 Harvard Street, NW. Registration is not required, but encouraged to assist us with planning for the day - go to:

Saturday, September 22 at 1 PM, A Literary Guide to Washington, DC: Walking in the Footsteps of American Writers from Francis Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston. Peabody Room presents author Kim Roberts who will discuss the rich literary history of Washington, DC, a longtime home to many of our nation’s most acclaimed writers.Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, 202-727-0232,

Saturday September 22 from 5 -7:30 PM, Turtle Park Jazz Project. Final 2018 free concert at the park presented by the Friends of Friendship "Turtle" Park. 5 PM: Magician Drew Owen (for the kids!) 5:30 PM: The Bruno Nasta Quartet (for all!);  Variety of food and ice cream trucks on hand! Bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy the last official night of summer at the park! Free. Friendship “Turtle” Park is at Van Ness and 45th Street.

Sunday September 23 from 11 AM - 3 PM, ZooFiesta - Un día de diversión animal para toda la familia. There will be a variety of fun-filled family activities, including live music and educational activities about conservation in Central and South America. Animal keepers will host talks, feedings and demonstrations highlighting a variety of animals native to the region, including Andean bears, sloths, golden lion tamarins, Panamanian golden frogs and more. Visitors have an opportunity to meet Zoo scientists who are working to save native species and learn about their research. For animal demonstration schedule, music line-up, and other details of the day, go to Free. The National Zoo is at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Sunday, September 23 from 11 AM - 4 PM, Taste of Georgetown. Washington, DC’s most anticipated epicurean festival will be celebrating its 25th year with creative tastes from more than 30 of the neighborhood’s best restaurants. This year, guests will be able to enjoy beer and wine as they stroll from booth to booth. This foodie event takes place in the heart of Georgetown, on K Street NW, between Wisconsin Ave and Thomas Jefferson St and along the scenic Georgetown Waterfront. This longstanding event in Georgetown benefits the Georgetown Ministry Center’s mission to support the homeless. The is a dog-friendly, family-friendly event with a Kids' Corner tent with coloring and face painting, too! Discounted tickets can be bought online at by 12 noon on Thurs, Sept. 20. Ticket packets will also be sold onsite at the Ticket Sales tents. Free admission.

Sunday, September 23 from 1 - 4 PM, Tenleytown Block Party. Citizen Heights Church invites you to the annual fun, family-friendly and completely free Tenleytown Block Party! Featuring: Free Grilled Burgers/Hot Dogs/Drinks & More; Free Ice Cream by Local Area Favorite Food Truck; Cotton Candy, Shaved Ice & Popcorn; Children’s Ferris Wheel and Bounce House; 24 ft Rock Climbing Wall; New Rides to include: Reckless & Super Sonic; Face Painting, Balloon Artists & Temporary Tattoos; The Fan Zone- Featuring Lounge Area with Live Viewing of NFL Games; Shaded Seating Areas;  Rides & Amusements for All Ages; Live DJ/Music; PLUS … lend a hand in helping put together 150 care packages that will be distributed by Martha's Table to our neighbors in need; And Much More! At Citizen Heights Church, 4100 River Road NW, (Rain Date: Sunday, September 30, 1 - 4 PM)

Sunday, September 23 from 11 AM - 8 PM, DC State Fair. The DC State Fair is a free showcase of the District’s agricultural and creative talents and a daylong celebration of all things homegrown. While the DC State Fair is inspired by time-honored state fair traditions—growing and gardening, animal husbandry, and deep-fried foods—it also honors the things that make the District of Columbia unique. This means the DC State Fair holds competitions to find the tastiest mumbo sauce, best honey, and the yummiest baked goods -- not just pies but also biscuits, doughnuts, cookies, and breads, including a gluten-free category! We’ll have a Pet Parade instead of a pig race and we’ll be looking for the most creative hula hoopers. We’re working with local businesses and organizations that are committed to helping our community thrive. Free admission. At Waterfront Station, 375 and 425 M St. SW. Check for updates on the event; schedule is here:

Sunday, September 23 from 8:30 - 9:30 PM, DC State Fair Pie Judging Court of Appeals. Immediately following the conclusion of the DC State Fair, all bakers of pies except the winner of the pie judging contest are invited, in true Washington fashion, to file an appeal in the Pie Judging Court of Appeals. Appeals forms may be picked up on site or downloaded and printed ahead of time, at this link: Please be sure to bring 5 more copies of your pie to be tasted by the full court en banc. Same location as the DC State Fair (above).

Monday, September 24 at 12 noon, Book Talk: "DC Jazz: Stories of Jazz Music in Washington, DC." Noted historians Maurice Jackson and Blair Ruble, editors of D.C. Jazz: Stories of Jazz Music in Washington, DC, present a collection of original and fascinating stories about the DC jazz scene throughout its history. They will examine the cultural hotbed of 7th and U Streets, the role of jazz in desegregating the city, the great Edward "Duke" Ellington's time in D.C., notable women in the city’s jazz scene, and the seminal contributions of the University of District of Columbia and Howard University. Free; no reservations required. At the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW,

Tuesday, September 25 at 4:30 PM, Hispanic Heritage Month Crafternoon: Make a Piñata. In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, make a Piñata at the Mt. Pleasant Library. We will break one full of surprises together! Recommended for ages 5 and up. En celebración por el Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana, ven a hacer una Piñata en la biblioteca Mt. Pleasant y juntos quebraremos una que estará llena de sorpresas.  Recomendado para las edades de 5 años en adelante. Free. At Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW, entrance on Lamont St. More info:

Tuesday, September 25 at 7:15 PM, Falling Apart Syndrome Part II: Lower Extremities -- Dealing with Knee, Ankle, and Foot Pain. In this workshop, you’ll learn ways to alleviate pain or discomfort in the lower extremities: knees, ankles and feet. The workshop will be led by Dr. Anthony Noya, chiropractor and owner of Noya Chiropractic, located in Tenleytown, Free. Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW,

Wednesday, September 26 at 6:30 PM, DC Punk Archive Rooftop Show. Join us for a night of local music overlooking Langdon Park and learn more about the DC Punk Archive collection. Featured bands: Glue Factory; Honey; Peace and Body Roll Duo BOOMscat. Capacity on the outdoor terrace is limited to 70 people and is first come, first served. The show will move inside in case of inclement weather. Free. On the roof of the Woodridge Library, 1801 Hamlin Street NE,

Thursday September 27 at 6 PM, Information Session for First-Time Home Buyers. Tired of renting? Are you ready to buy your own home? We can help. At this session, sponsored by nonprofit housing counseling program University Legal Services, find out: How to qualify to buy a house; About the HPAP program for first-time home buyers; How to attend future information seminars; Answers to any questions you have about the home-buying process; University Legal Services is funded by the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development. The session will be presented in English and in Spanish. Free. At Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW, entrance on Lamont St.,     

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Come Inside and Dry Off, Hurricane Reporters

by Peggy Robin

Have you been following coverage of Hurricane Florence? That means you’ve seen the reporter in a hooded rainjacket, hood drawn tight, standing at the side of a flooded road, or in front of a house with waters lapping up almost to the top porch step, or alone on what’s left of the beach as the waves are crashing over the top of the pier. And all around, the rain is hammering down, the wind is bending the trees, it’s making the dangling traffic lights dance on their wires, and at times you may see the reporter having trouble remaining upright. Even so, the reporter keeps talking -- really yelling -- over the roar of the wind, to convey in words what we can plainly see happening all around: It’s a big hurricane and it’s doing a lot of damage, for sure. And then the person back at the studio sitting behind the anchor desk closes out the segment by putting on a brow-puckered look of concern and saying earnestly to the reporter, “Stay safe out there!”

Then you flip the channel and see the same scene , the same dialog between the reporter and the anchor at the desk played out again, virtually word for word. And then on the next hour, if you go back to any of the cable news stations, there it is again. And again.

Why do they keep doing this? They can get all the camera shots they want of flooded roads, storm surge crashing over piers, downed trees, while the reporter narrates from inside a building well removed from the threat. Why must they always have the reporter right there in the thick of it, barely standing, miserable and soaked-through, lashed by winds and rain? What does that do for us, except show us that reporters can be almost as foolish as those folks who haven’t evacuated when told it's too risky to stay? Is it to make us appreciate the personal commitment to reporting from the scene? But when it comes to risking life and limb in a hurricane, it’s NOT personal – at least, as far as the hurricane is concerned. It isn’t out to get anyone specifically. That looming tree branch bending over with the gale-force winds that could crack and crash down anytime doesn’t care whether it hits a reporter or an empty car. Why do they think we want to see the reporter standing underneath?

And yet every single news outlet without exception is doing it this way. And not just in this hurricane, but in every hurricane since the invention of the mobile TV news camera. Maybe even since the day of newsreels. It’s so standard, I’m sure they could recycle past hurricane footage from one era to the next, and if you didn't notice the changing models of the flooded cars in the shot, you couldn’t tell the difference. 

It’s well past time for a change. And we have the technology to do it – the virtual reporter! Imagine all the amazing and dramatically risky the things a holographic reporter could do that a flesh-and-blood reporter could never attempt: reporting from a rooftop, or from the very end of that flooded pier, or from atop a surfboard inside a monster wave. This looks like a job for Siri – or Alexa – or some bold, new virtual being that Silicon Valley has yet to send forth. But whatever you do, allow that poor, drenched, human reporter to come in out of the storm!

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

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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

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       

WEATHER NOTE: There have already been a number of cancellations of festivals and outdoor events due to Hurricane Florence or predicted heavy rains this weekend. Please check websites, Facebook pages, or call the listed number to be sure the event you want to attend is still on.

Thursday, September 13 at 7 PM, Tenleytown History: Fort Reno. Did you know that Ft. Reno Park was once a thriving mixed-race neighborhood? Neil Flanagan presents new research on the story of this neighborhood that reveals the people and politics that shaped Reno and Tenleytown. Neil Flanagan is the author of “The Battle of Fort Reno," published in The Washington City Paper, 11/2/17. Free. At Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW,     

Friday September 14 at 11 AM, Stories with Sarah. Join Author/Illustrator Sarah Williamson as she reads her latest colorful story, Let’s Go!, about a taxi-driving elephant and everyone and everything he picks up along the way. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Mt. Pleasant Library 3160 16th St. NW,   

Saturday, September 15, various times, WalkingTown Tours DC. Sign up for one of many walking tours of  neighborhoods and landmarks in and around or near Cleveland Park, including the following: Tenleytown: In Search of the Village Life; Tregaron Conservancy: From Private Estate to Public Woodland Garden; Springland Farm: America's Most Important Vineyard; Discover Peirce Mill ; and Historic Chevy Chase DC. For the complete list of walking tours, go to: To register (free), go to:   

Saturday September 15, Postponed: H Street Festival. Due to the danger posed by Hurricane Florence to our area this weekend and the Declaration of a State of Emergency by Mayor Bower, this year's H Street Festival will be postponed until October 13. Join us on that day for the same food, music and fun that you've always gotten from DC's favorite community festival! #HStFest #HStNE

Saturday, September 15 from 11 AM - 5 PM, Glover Park Day, now in its 29th year, will feature the best of Glover Park: good friends, great food from local restaurants, live music, crafters, community organizations, local businesses, kids’ activities and much more. A few of the activities we have planned include: Dog Obstacle Course presented by DogChild; Dog and Cat Adoption by Washington Animal Rescue League; Craft Fair; Local Business Exposition; Community Organizations; Food Court; Moon bounce; Prize drawings throughout the day with total prizes worth over $2500! Ward 3 Council Member Mary Cheh will there for a “Chat with Cheh” from 11:30 AM - 1 PM, to talk about neighborhood issues -- feel free to stop by and say hi. Free. At Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert Street NW. More info:   

Saturday, September 15 from 12 - 4 PM, Korean Culture Day at Sandy Spring Museum. The day features a Korean traditional dance and drumming performance by the Peace Mission Korean Dance Group, and short workshops on Korean drumming and dance that anyone can participate in. An exhibit of traditional Korean embroidery and quilting will be on display, along with hands-on sewing activities with the artist. All ages are welcome to participate. Korean food will be available for purchase. Free. Sandy Spring Museum is at 17901 Bentley Rd. in Sandy Spring, MD. More info:   

Saturday and Sunday, September 15 and 16 - Fiesta DC has been postponed to September 29 & 30 due to Hurricane Florence. Pennsylvania Ave. NW, between 3rd & 7th Streets NW. Check back with for more information.

Sunday, September 16 from 10 AM - 3 PM, Drive Electric Day, sponsored by the Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association. Come down to 100 7th Street on the Mall near the National Gallery, to see and drive Electric Vehicles (EV), to learn from the owners of several types of EVs why they love their cars, and to take a test drive. You will also find out what models are available, where you can charge EVs, and what incentives are available to EV buyers in DC, MD and VA. Free. At 7th St NW on the Mall near National Gallery of Art. More info: 

Monday, September 17 at 12 noon, Lecture: Cleveland Park Activism Yesterday and Today. American University professor Malgorzata J. Rymsza-Pawlowska will explore Cleveland Park's history of community activism against development, making connections between past and contemporary efforts. Topics will include the neighborhood's activism against a proposed freeway through Northwest; efforts against the development of Tregaron, Rosedale and McLean estates; and ongoing discussions about preservation and downzoning on Connecticut Avenue. Free; no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW,   

Tuesday, September 18 at 2 PM, Shakespeare for the Young: Midsummer Magic. Enjoy a puppetry version of the fairy story from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare for the Young brings stories and poetry to young audiences through the medium of puppets. The event is appropriate for ages 2-8 and their adults. The program is free and open to the public, thanks to a grant from the D.C. Commission of the Arts and Humanities.  At Mount Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW - Entrance is on Lamont St. More info: 

Wednesday, September 19, all day, Talk Like a Pirate Day. Ahoy, me hearties! Today be yer day to put on yer eyepatch, cozen a parrot to perch on yer shoulder (good luck w’ that!) and stump about on yer peg-leg, growling, “Arrrrgh” from daybreak to midnight. Why? Because two land-lubbers by the names o’ John Baur ‘n’ Mark Summers, back in 2002, invented Talk Like a Pirate Day, and it’s been celebrated on the 19th of September ever since. No, it’s not the weekly fake event ( one’s real as any wacky, invented holiday can possibly be. Go to to l’arn yerself up on it! (And we won’t be havin’ a fake event this week - pirates have stolen it!

Wednesday September 19 at 6:30 PM, An Evening with Dr. Neal Barnard, author of Program for Reversing Diabetes. Join author Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine, as he speaks about the benefits of a plant-based diet for preventing and reversing diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has become a major epidemic in recent years, often leading to serious complications and major costs. Although medications remain a mainstay of treatment, nutritional interventions have shown surprising power in both the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. Learn how a plant-based diet can help you lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. Copies of his titles will be available for purchase at the event. Free and open to the public - all ages welcome. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,   

Thursday, September 20 from 5:30 - 8:00 PM, Dumbarton at Dusk: Dolley Madison Edition. Rub elbows with the first First Lady at one of her famous cocktail parties! Dolley Madison’s “Squeezes” were popular weekly events open to everyone in Washington, DC. Dolley herself will host this modern version complete with live music courtesy of Toccata Players, free food, period card games and a cash bar. At Dumbarton House, 2715 Q St NW. Register at - suggested minimum donation, $5.

Thursday, September 20 at 6 PM, Screening of the documentary, “Afro Latinos: Washington DC Experience.” In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month: The Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library presents Washington, DC: The Afro Latino Experience, a short narrative documentary about the unique and influential Afro Latinos who made significant contributions to the nation's capital. Afro Latinos have been present in Washington, DC for decades. Their contributions and assimilation to DC culture goes back generations and encompasses politics, business, advocacy and academia. Please join us in celebrating these pivotal members of the Mt. Pleasant community. Free. At the Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library, 3160 16th St. NW (entrance to Mt. Pleasant Library is on Lamont St.),       

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Still Life with Robin: How Not to Be Overly Alarmed

by Peggy Robin

Yesterday, while driving home in that torrential downpour, I came to the intersection of Reno and Porter, which was just then turning into a small but turbulent lake. Fortunately, I’m familiar enough with the pooling of water in the “dip” at that location, that I knew how to take evasive action. There’s a center turning lane, which was clear of other cars – and so I was able to move over to dry pavement, keeping the undercarriage of my car from being submerged. At just the time I was effecting this maneuver, my phone started to shriek. It made this noise: Very distracting to hear while driving under difficult circumstances. But I knew better than to try to silence it while at the wheel.

A few minutes later, when I was safely parked in my driveway, I took the phone out and saw that it had received an emergency flash flood warning. Well, it’s not as if I needed a noise to tell me that!

Later that evening, after dinner, the rain started pounding again, pouring down by the bucket-load. I had been doing the dishes, the faucet was going, the plates and silverware clattering, but suddenly, there it was – that loud, horrid, mechanical screeching noise again. I thought this time it must be coming from  the flood detector in the basement, which is part of our house alarm system. I ran downstairs, expecting to see water flooding in from outside. But by the time I hit the last step to the basement, I realized the noise was fading. Good, that meant it wasn't coming from the basement....which was perfectly dry. 

By the time I came back up the stairs the screeching mercifully had stopped. But I realized where it must have come from. I had left the TV on in the other room, and it had been taken over by the emergency alert system – warning again of flash floods in the region. OK, I can see the need for an interruption of regular programming for a warning of severe weather. But why the most irritating, ear-splitting sound possible? Why not have a calm, authoritative recorded voice giving you useful advice in words: “Flash flooding. Avoid driving through water” -- or something practical like that. Why make everyone’s phone and TV and radio blare at top volume at the same time, regardless of where they are or what they’re doing. What if they were at home and asleep, safe and sound?

Perhaps it serves me right for having so many electrical devices that I leave on too often. I could unplug a bit, and get back some portion of peace – and control. Or I could take an even more technological approach, and try to outwit the many devices I own. Yes, that’s the ticket. There’s a way to silence the phone, and not let it decide when to scream warnings at its owner. For iPhone users, it’s here: Very simple to do: Go into Settings, then Notifications, then scroll all the way down to the bottom to “Government Alerts” and turn off both AMBER Alerts and EMERGENCY Alerts.”

Now the next time I’m driving around an area of flash flooding, I will no longer have to worry about being alarmed by the alarm.

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

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

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

Photo by Lotus Head (Creative Commons)
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,900+ 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   

Friday, September 7 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM, Ice Cream Social & Deejay Dance Party! School’s back in session and we’re all in town! The Friends of Friendship Park bring you a FREE ice cream & FREE family dance with Deejay! First come, first serve for ice cream while it lasts. Friendship “Turtle” Park is at 45th and Van Ness Streets NW. Friends of Friendship Park (FOFP) is the 501(c)3 non-profit that supports, beautifies and holds special events at Turtle Park roughly monthly. To help us build traditions like this, email Volunteer @ turtlepark org.

Friday, September 7 from 6 - 9 PM, “Friday Night in the Heights,” featuring Kelly Bell Jazz Band. Bring your lawn chair and dancing shoes and join us at Cathedral Commons, Newark Street at Wisconsin Avenue, for a free performance from Kelly Bell Band, with local food and drink, and fun for the whole family. Free. More info on the series:   

Friday, September 7 from 6 - 8 PM, First Friday Dupont, featuring “National Beer Lover’s Day” event at Heurich House Museum. Take a free tour of the museum’s first floor while learning about DC’s historic brewer Christian Heurich, and end your visit by designing your own beer label! This month’s First on First event will also include the “Art of Beer,” a new exhibit in the Carriage House Gallery, featuring works from prominent local artists and their craft beer designs. Complete a puzzle hunt through the exhibit for a change to win a prize! This event is free and open to the public. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase during the event. More info at For more information about other “First Friday Dupont” events at participating museums and galleries, visit: The Heurich House Museum is at 1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW.

Friday, September 7 at 7 PM, Popov Family Chamber Music Concert. Guy Mason Recreation Center invites you to a special musical event to open the season. The Popov Family will perform a program suitable for audiences of all ages, featuring cellist Vasily Popov, Artistic Director of the Levine Chamber Orchestra, joined by his two young sons, Vladislav Popov, cello, and Yuri Popov, violin. Works include solo pieces and duos by Bach, Vivaldi, Corelli, Telemann, and Rameau, among others. A reception to meet the artists will follow. Please rsvp to guymasonevents @ gmail dot com or call the staff at Guy Mason Recreation Center at 202-727-7527. Free. Guy Mason Recreation Center is at 3600 Calvert Street NW.

Saturday, September 8 at 11 AM, STAR Family Festival: Sing, Talk And Read. Learn how singing, talking and reading with your baby or young child now can help them later in school. It's never too early to give your kids a smart start. Come to DC Public Library's Sing, Talk & Read Family Festival featuring: Fun activities for kids; Live entertainment; Prizes and giveaways; Free lunch provided (while supplies last); Much more! Special guest appearance from a DC United soccer player. Come to the STAR Family Festival and see how easy and fun early learning can be. Free. At Deanwood Library, 1350 49th St. NE,   

Saturday, September 8 from 11 AM - 7 PM and Sunday, September 9 from 11 AM - 5 PM, St Nicholas Fall Bazaar. Enjoy cuisine from Eastern Europe and Georgia, watch ethnic musical and dance performances, bring your children for kids' activities, shop for gifts, and tour our spectacular Cathedral. Free admission. St Nicholas Cathedral is at 3500 Massachusetts Ave., NW, on the corner of Edmunds St., NW. For more information:   

Saturday September 8 and Sunday September 9 from 12 noon - 7 PM, Gelato Festival! Gelato Festival World Masters is the most important event dedicated to Artisan Italian Gelato. It is a challenge of Gelato Chefs that recognizes the greatest flavors through competition. Over the next 3 years, 5,000 Gelato Chefs from all over the world will be competing against one another for a chance to participate in the 2021 grand finals in Italy. In the United States, Gelato Festival America selects the best gelato chefs through 24 touring festivals. The DC event gives visitors the opportunity to experience the secrets of high-quality gelato, learn about the production techniques by watching the Artisans at work in the ‘laboratory’, and taste all the competing flavors, voting for their favorite one. The Gelato School is where show cooking demonstrations revolving around the world of gelato take place as well as fun activities for both adults and kids. Tickets include one-day admission, one sample of each competing flavor, one sample of each unique flavor, admission to the Gelato school, participation in all contests and activities, and a vote for your favorite. Adults: $25-30; children under 12: $25-30; under 2, free: at At City Market at O, 800 P St NW

Sunday, September 9 from 12 noon - 6 PM, Adams Morgan Day. Celebrating its 40th year this year, Adams Morgan Day is Washington’s longest running neighborhood festival. Adams Morgan Day is a family-friendly celebration with music, art and activities for all ages. To see the music line-up, list of neighborhood stores and restaurants offering deals, and other details of the day, visit Free admission. Along 18th Street from Columbia Road to Wyoming Avenue.

Sunday, September 9 at 4 PM, American Jazz. Benjamin Gates, cellist, performs American jazz pieces by American composers. Mr. Gates began playing the acoustic cello as a young child and continued to train in several different orchestral programs in elementary, middle, high school and college. He is classically trained and plays most genres. Benjamin has recently performed at the National African American Museum History and Culture. Free - seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW,

Monday September 10 at 4 PM, Harry Potter Movie Night. Join us for our first official event of our Harry Potter celebration week! We will make edible wands and watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Check out our Sorting Hat quiz and the Horcrux Hunt while you here to ensure you get top marks on your report card! Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,   

Monday, September 10 at 6 PM, Who Is the Fellow Harry Potter and Why Should We Care?: A Workshop for People Who Have Been Asleep for the Past Two Decades. It’s the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first Harry Potter book in America. If you are one of those non-Potterites -- you’ve never read so much as a single page of the 4,224 pages in the seven-volume in the Harry Potter series, nor seen a single one of the eight movies, and you have no idea where or what Hogwarts is, or what a muggle is -- then this 20-year catch-up session is for you! In under an hour we will speed-race through all the major personae of the series and define all the terms you need to know. By the end of the session you will either feel like you’ve just won the Tri-Wizard Tournament….or you will feel like you’ve been kissed by a dementor. Either way, you will be in an unreal state of mind, because you’ve just experienced The Weekly Fake Event.

Tuesday, September 11 at 4 PM, Design a Book Cover. Give a book a new look for the beginning of the school year. Come choose a book from our selection and create a new cover for it using collage, decorative papers and unique hole punches. Afterwards, you can take your book home to look stylish on your bookshelf. This program is for ages 4 and up. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW,   

Wednesday, September 12 at 6 PM, Alexander Hamilton's New York. Discover the intriguing life, accomplishments, and legacy of America’s most dynamic and controversial founding father, Alexander Hamilton, and his relationship to the city he called home - New York. Jimmy Napoli, animated lecturer, tour leader, and historian, discusses how Hamilton impacted the political character of New York City and why he is beyond question the most influential New Yorker of all time. The lecture will last 45 minutes with time afterwards for questions. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. More info: 

Wednesday, September 12 at 6:30 PM, An Evening with Dr. Neal Barnard, author of Program for Reversing Diabetes. Join author Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine (, as he speaks about the benefits of a plant-based diet for preventing and reversing diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has become a major epidemic in recent years, often leading to serious complications and major costs. Although medications remain a mainstay of treatment, nutritional interventions have shown surprising power in both the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. Learn how a plant-based diet can help you lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. Copies of his titles will be available for purchase at the event. Free and open to the public - all ages. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Thursday, September 13 at 4 PM, Japan-in-a-Suitcase. Join us in the Children's Programming Room as our partners at the Japan-America Society present Japan-in-a-Suitcase. They will bring a suitcase of items from modern Japanese life, and we might: learn basic Japanese greetings and words; practice origami; practice writing Japanese; try on traditional clothing. For children ages 6 and up with their caregivers. Free. At Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW,    

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Still Life with Robin: The Big Neighbor

Washington National Cathedral
Photo by AgnosticPreachersKid

by Peggy Robin

Being a good neighbor can sometimes call for patience and forbearance. You’ll need it when your neighbors have a newborn and you live in an apartment building with too-thin walls. Babies cry. They can keep it up for hours, and there are times when it seems nothing can soothe them. And then they grow up and the parents throw a graduation party bringing in a hundred cars all needing parking wherever they can get it, even if it blocks your driveway. Well, you’ve just got to smile and tell yourself, they have reason to celebrate….and it’s just one night. All night. With a loud band.

Things get trickier when your neighbor is much more than a family. What if it’s a large institution, like a university? Then you can’t exactly waltz over, ring the doorbell, and ask them to turn down the music. You’ll be lucky if they’ve given you the number of a community liaison, someone whose job is to listen to neighbors like you complain. And maybe even ticket or tow the cars when they’re blocking your driveway. And invite you in for a wine and cheese reception a couple of times a year. That should help to ease those inevitable annoyances that occur throughout the year, especially around matriculation and commencement.

And now we come to the biggest and likely the grandest of the institutional neighbors in Cleveland Park -- the Washington National Cathedral. As an institution founded upon the concept of “Love thy neighbor,” it has a lot to live up to. In the normal course of events, it is open and welcoming. It throws a big, fun fair, twice a year, that’s always a hit with the kids. And there’s an underground parking garage to take care of much of the car traffic it generates. Is it an imposition on the neighbors to have such a huge tourist draw sitting smack in the middle of a low-scale, quiet residential neighborhood? Of course it is (with over 400,000 visitors a year, how could it not be?) -- but then the neighbors have to remember, it was here first – getting those first stones laid down in 1907, long before anyone reading this was born. 

There’s only so much quiet you can expect from a venue seating over 4,000, and having a carillon and ten peal bells. There will be crowds. There will be cars. There will be buses. There will be bell-ringing. And whenever there is an event that brings in thousands, in cars and buses, and with bells and choirs and lots of dignitaries needing security….well, there will be blocked off streets and inconvenience for the neighbors. And we shouldn’t complain. When the cause of the inconvenience is the funeral of a national hero such as John McCain, we will do our small part, which is to be tolerant of the traffic mess. It’s for the greater good of the country that we must avoid driving down our neighborhood streets for a part of a day.

So on this Saturday morning we should be thankful to have this grand institution in our midst to serve its sad and dignified purpose so well.

[For the MPD press release on street closings, see ]

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Get Out! The Events Column for August 31 - September 6, 2018

Library of Congress Great Hall 
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

Friday, August 31 at 7 PM, History at Sunset: Washington DC Under Fire: Fort Bayard and the Battle of Fort Stevens. The program will detail Ft. Bayard's connection to the Battle of Ft. Stevens. Built on a hill overlooking River Road in conjunction with Ft. Reno, Ft. Bayard was engaged with Confederate cavalry under General John McCausland on July 11, 1864. Ft. Bayard, now a community park managed by the National Park Service, played an important part in the Federal repulse of the Confederate army west of Rock Creek Park, just four miles from Ft. Stevens. Its critical role protecting Washington DC will be illuminated in this free program by the National Park Service. The tour will run approximately 60 minutes. Meet in Ft. Bayard Park, located at Western Ave and Fessenden Street, NW. More info: 

Saturday, September 1 from 9 AM - 7:30 PM, The 18th Library of Congress National Book Festival. Come Celebrate Books and Reading! Doors will open at 8:30 AM; programs begin at 9 AM. Follow the excitement via the hashtag, #NatBookFest. Find the schedule of author events and all other details at For map of the Washington Convention Center location, directions, and info on public transportation and parking go to: Free.

Saturday, September 1 and Sunday September 2 at 7 PM, Labor Day Weekend Music Festival by DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Now in its third year, The Labor Day Weekend Music Festival showcases the diversity of DC’s local music scene as a part of Mayor Muriel Bowser's 202Creates initiative. By featuring artists working in different musical styles and genres over the course of Labor Day Weekend, the festival is a demonstration of the depth and breadth of our local musical talent. Saturday night is Latin Night, hosted by Pedro Biaggi, featuring: Jason Cerda, Pablo Antonio y La Firma, Verny Varela, Elena & Los Fulanos with special guests DCBX Dancers and DJ Manny. Sunday night is GoGo Fusion Night, hosted by Joe Clair, featuring: DuPont Brass, The JoGo Project, Full Throttle Band, The Experience Band & Show, with special guest DJ Scientific. At Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW. Please note admission is first come, first served. Free - tickets not required. RSVPs - at - are for internal tracking purposes and do not guarantee admittance. Artists and schedule subject to change. To request a reasonable accommodation, please contact kali.wasenko @ dc dot gov or call 202-724-5613. Both concerts will be ASL interpreted. 

Sunday, September 2 from 11 AM - 7 PM, Syria Fest! The Syrian Cultural House invites you to join us again for the 2nd annual Syria Fest, a free family-friendly outdoors cultural festival showcasing the beauty of Syria and its people. From the markets of Damascus, the music of Aleppo, the sweets of Hama, and more, the Syria Fest will bring Syrian heritage, culture, and cuisine to the heart of our nation’s capital. The Syria Fest brings families of many different backgrounds together over delectable food, nostalgic musical and dance performances, enlightening cultural discussions, and engaging games and activities for kids. Come learn why Syrians are renowned in the Middle East for their expert art, craftwork, and culinary traditions passed down for generations. Explore each region of Syria, the home of many ethnic and religious groups, through authentic experiences organized and presented by Syrian-Americans, Syrian immigrants, and recently-arrived Syrian refugees. Free and open to all. Along Pennsylvania Ave NW and 14th St NW. Register here: 

Monday, September 3 at 12 noon, Rally for Truth in Holiday Names. It’s time to stop using the misleading term “Labor Day” for the first Monday in September. How can it be “Labor Day” when most people have the day off work? It makes more sense to call it NON-Labor Day. To those who would tell us that Labor Day is meant to honor those who labor, the response is this: In that case, let’s call it LaborERs’ Day. It’s the only holiday that is named for a verb instead of the noun used for the people who perform that verb. If you want to confer real, meaningful honor on those who labor, then join us in marching to the Department of Labor to demand the name change! Alternatively, we might march instead on calendar makers to demand that they start printing calendars with Laborers’ Day. There are still a few days left to decide where and when and what to protest about this issue -- so we will set up a meeting of the Curmudgeons Club of Cleveland Park to go over the possibilities. To put your name down to be notified of the time and place of that meeting, register here: 

Tuesday, September 4 at 6 PM: Summer in the City Game Night - Uno Card Game Tournament. Don't you just love summers in DC? The rooftops? The festivals? Well, if you do, we have another treat for you. Join DC Public Library's Outreach + Inclusion Services department for our "Summer in the City: First Tuesday Game Nights @ Smith  Public Trust." This is the last game night of the summer series, and the game on this Tuesday is UNO. This program is free and open to the public. For more information email diamond.newman @ dc dot gov. Location: at Smith Public Trust, 3514 12th St. NE, 

Wednesday, September 5 at 7 PM, Author Talk: Liza Mundy. Join author Liza Mundy for her author talk on Code Breakers: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II. Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service and scientific accomplishment. Free. At Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 

Thursday, September 6 at 12 noon, Chamber Music at Noon. The DC Public Library and the Goethe-Institut Washington present a lunchtime chamber music performance open to the public (formerly known as The Brown Bag Chamber Recital). Standards from the classical repertoire are presented by internationally-known, local musicians, Vasily Popov (cello) and Ralitza Patcheva (piano), a husband and wife duo, who co-chair the Chamber Music Department at Levine Music. Free - register at Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of the event. Tickets are not guaranteed, and if the event is full, we will begin distributing tickets to walk-ins at that time. The Goethe-Institut Washington is at 1990 K St NW, Suite 03 - entrance is located on 20th Street midway between I and K Streets.      

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Countdown to LOC BookFest

by Peggy Robin

The first Saturday in September is just one week away. That’s how long you have to plan your visit to the Library of Congress' National Book Festival, taking place at the Washington Convention Center.

Last year (see and for nearly all of the 17 past years of the BookFest’s history, I have attended this event on the fly – without a bit of advance planning. I’d show up some time around noon, pick up the brochure with the author schedule, or glance at the big schedule boards scattered around the venue, and wander into this or that author event as it struck my fancy. Well, that’s not good enough anymore. The BookFest has become a victim of its own popularity. Last year’s experience made it clear: if you want to get in and actually get a seat where you can see and hear a bestselling author, you’d better line up well before they open the doors to the salon. A superstar in the literary world these days can easily fill a ballroom to the max allowed by the fire marshal. So this year, I intend to use the coming days to study the schedule, see who’s speaking when, and plan my route and stops.

That’s not to say the whole day will be scheduled like a well-run railroad. No, there will still be opportunities for random stops, for some meandering from salon to salon, dropping in on a reading here, or a history lesson there, or an author previously unknown to me – with spontaneity and serendipity. I figure, there’s only so much standing in line I will do in one day. Even those authors I really want to hear, I may decide are not worth a long, restless wait -- and so off I'll go, and retreat instead to some sparsely populated side room to find a speaker on an obscure topic who can’t attract a crowd, but who really should….because the topic turns out to be oddly compelling. That’s the real magic of BookFest.

But then again, there are those superstars. Here are some of the big names of 2018: 
  • Ron Chernow (who used to be just another respected, serious historical biographer – and now he’s The MAN Who Brought Us HAMILTON!)
  • Madeleine Albright (with her new book “Fascism” carrying the label, “A Warning” just so that we realize how timely and scary it is)
  • John Meacham (you can catch him on CNN almost any night of the week, warning about all the types constitutional crises that can come from presidential mischief)
  • Amy Tan (author of the Joy Luck Club, made into a movie that once held the distinction of being the ONLY Hollywood movie with an all-Asian cast)
  • Annie Proulx (Brokeback Mountain, and more)
  • Roxane Gay (Hunger, Bad Feminist, and more)

To see the full line-up go to: Then, if you’re interested in an author, click on the name and you’ll jump right to a description of the event, time, and stage.

You can also navigate the site by going straight to the schedule page:

Or you can search by categories, such as Children’s Authors, Teens, History and Biography, Fiction, Poetry and several others (all shown on the Schedule page: If you want to map out who you’ll see in what order, you’ll want to know where the different stages are located, and for that you will want to print out an advance copy of the floor plan, which you can do with this link:

Don’t forget to pick up all the free swag you can get: first, the 2018 totebag and poster, and then the small stuff, like pencils, stickers, keychains, kids’ coloring books and games….and of course, you should go for any giveaway books to be had!

Remember, only seven days to go!

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column August 24 - 30, 2018

Enrichment Day at 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 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     

Friday, August 24, Saturday, August 25, and Sunday, August 26 from 10 AM - 3 PM, Dolley Days at Dumbarton House. As the British marched closer on August 24th, 1814, Dolley Madison fled her beloved White House, taking refuge with the Carroll family at Dumbarton House. Enjoy special self-guided tours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, featuring special collection and archived documents related to the Madisons. On Saturday, August 25, bring the family and play historic lawn games, make ice cream, and enjoy kids’ activities. Meet Dolley herself to hear her first-hand account during a special story time! Dumbarton House is at 2715 Q St NW. Free. 

Saturday, August 25 at 8 AM, Run for the Rhinos. The Friends of the National Zoo invite you to participate in the inaugural run of The Fast & the Fierce 5K - and score some swag! With your $40 registration fee you'll get: the Fast & the Fierce 5K T-shirt; 5K participant medal; official The Fast & the Fierce race bib; goodie bag. You'll also get access to your own fundraising page. The more you raise, the more prizes you receive—and the more you support African rhinos, Asian elephants, cheetahs in Kenya, Andean flamingos, and African penguins. Bring your pets and kids (strollers are welcome). Dress up like your favorite Zoo animal. And get ready to run for rhinos! Register at Starts at Freedom Plaza, 14th St and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Then, make your way to the Zoo for an after-party on the Great Meadow!

Saturday, August 25 from 9 AM - 2 PM, Zoo Enrichment Day. Celebrate Enrichment Day at the Smithsonian's National Zoo with a variety of different training and enrichment activities: Attend demonstrations, and talk to animal keepers about why enrichment is such an important part of the everyday care of Zoo animals. You will learn about all kinds of enrichment, including unique forms of stimulation, such as balls, climbing structures and puzzle feeders, which give the Zoo's 1,800 animals a safe and creative outlet to demonstrate their natural behaviors. When combined with appropriate enclosures and proper socialization, these introduced objects, sounds, smells and other stimuli enhance Zoo animals' well-being. Free. The Smithsonian National Zoo is at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW. Full details and links to the schedule at:     

Saturday, August 25 at 9 AM, Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" 55th Anniversary Walking Tour. August 28 marks the 55th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream" speech, delivered right here in Washington, DC at the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” Join us for a guided walking tour to learn about, and honor, the life and legacy of Dr. King. Our program will include listening to the ”I Have a Dream” speech and a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Meet at the Washington Monument Lodge, a one-story building due east from the Washington Monument at “2” 15th Street NW, between Madison and Jefferson Drive. Free - this event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend, including children and groups (unfortunately non-service animals are not allowed due to National Park Service regulations). This event will take place light rain (sprinkles) or shine. Register:   

Saturday, August 25 at 10:30 AM, Lecture/Show-and-Tell: Luxurious Quilts from Nineteenth-Century America, presented by Elizabeth Lay, curator, Montgomery County Historical Society. Many of the quilts that survived the nineteenth century were created with great skill, using luxury materials in the most current fashions. Textile curator Elizabeth Lay will examine high-style quilts of the mid-Atlantic area, with examples from the Montgomery County Historical Society’s collection. Lay will illuminate the rich traditions and history expressed through fine needlecraft using examples that include the meticulously executed “Woodbourne” quilt, an important chintz medallion quilt, and an embroidered Victorian crazy quilt. Rug and Textile Appreciation Mornings bring together textile experts and enthusiasts for a thematic show and tell of personal pieces. Free; no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW, 

Saturday, August 25 from 12 noon - 6 PM, Community Day at Arena Stage, featuring: live music from Americana band Justin Trawick and the Common Good, Klezmer musicians Machaya, music for young audiences by Mr. Skip; percussive dance artists SOLE Defined; storytelling with the Arena Stage Community Engagement Staff, face painting; food from Masala Art, Richard’s Place, Canopy Central, Station 4, Del Mar, Muze and other great SW restaurants. Humane Rescue Alliance will have a mobile adoption vehicle. Prizes! Free and open to the public. Arena Stage is at 1101 6th Street SW, 

Saturday, August 25 from 12 noon - 7 PM, 17th Street Festival. 17th Street has so much to see and do, it needs its own day-long festival for you to take in all its wonder. Live music will be present throughout the proceedings, providing a soundtrack as you browse through roughly 100 vendors, including 60 artists displaying fine art, crafts and jewelry. There’s even a kids zone, where the little ones can enjoy a moon bounce, a ball crawl, face painting and games. Free admission - donations come with exclusive discounts - go to On 17th Street NW from P Street to R Street NW (1500 and 1600 blocks). Full details at 

Saturday, August 25 at 1 PM, The Day Martin Told Them About the Dream. Jamie Stiehm, a Creators Syndicate columnist, discusses how the March on Washington was a magnificent uprising in the Summer of '63, which we will remember. Special quest Clarence Page, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Chicago Tribune, will join us. At the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St. NW, 202-727-0232,

Saturday, August 25 from 5 - 7 PM, Picnic in the Park Concert featuring Jim & Gina. Friends of Forest Hill Playground invite you to a picnic and concert at the Forest Hills Playground at 32nd and Brandywine St NW. Bring a blanket and a picnic basket or order pizza from Armand’s truck at the park. Pre-orders of whole pizzas available online here: Concert for all ages. Free admission.

Sunday, August 26 from 8 AM - 5 PM, Capital Dragon Boat Regatta. Dragon-boat racing dates back 2,000 years, when, the legend goes, fishermen had to thrash their oars to scare off fish during a rescue mission for a Chinese statesman. This Potomac River regatta is only in its fourth year, but it still features that unique rowing style along with boats sporting carved dragon heads and drummers. Spectators can watch the race from the Gangplank Marina on a somewhat more modern device: a Jumbotron (at 600 Water Street SE). Free. More info: with link to schedule of boat races.

Sunday, August 26  from 4 - 6 PM, Piano Recital by Tzuyi Zoe Chen: Tributes to Great Musicians During Wartime. Program: Beethoven Piano Sonata No.23 in F minor op.57 "Appassionata"; Ravel Gaspard de la nuit; Tchaikovsky Dumka; Prokofiev Piano Sonata No.6 in A major op.82. Doors open at 3:30 PM. Tickets ($10 - $20) online at Tickets will be sold at the door on the day of the concert: adult tickets (age 13+) $25; children (6-12) $15. No children under 6 years old will be admitted to the concert. Cash or check only for tickets sold at the door. General admission, no assigned seats. Dress Code: Business Attire. Free parking at National Cathedral Garage. The concert is at Grace Chapel inside Whitby the National Cathedral School.

Sunday August 26 at 4 PM, Book Talk at Nanny O’Brien’s Irish Pub. You are invited to Nanny O’Brien's, Cleveland Park's favorite local Irish pub and restaurant, as we reminisce and celebrate the city's historical support for the National Zoo with Kara Arundel, author of Raising America's Zoo: How Two Wild Gorillas Helped Transform the National Zoo. This unique story shares the heartbreak and triumphs of the zoo’s first family of gorillas and their caregivers as the zoo transitioned from an antiquated animal park to an internationally-respected animal conservation center. Learn about this neighborhood and the Washington, D.C. community’s contributions to modernize the zoo. Families are welcome. Nanny O’Brien’s is located at 3319 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Monday, August 27 at 6:30 PM, Mayor Muriel Bowser's Women's Equality Day Mixer, by Mayor's Office on Women's Policy & Initiatives. Please join Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Mayor’s Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives and DC Commission for Women to celebrate Women’s Equality Day. This event celebrates the day women were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was certified as law. Attendees are asked to wear something yellow or gold to show your support of Women’s Equality! Free. At City Winery, 1350 Okie St NE. Valet parking will be available at the venue. Register: 

Tuesday, August 28 at 6 PM, Lecture: Washington and Hamilton: The Great Collaboration. Stephen Knott, professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College, examines the most important collaboration in American history—the unlikely alliance between a wealthy Virginia planter and a brash immigrant from the Caribbean who went on to establish a “new order for the ages.” George Washington and Alexander Hamilton fought for the better part of twenty-five years to secure the American experiment in the face of bitter partisan opposition at home and determined enemies abroad. What makes Washington and Hamilton unique from other founding collaborations is that their bond was forged in the crucible of the Revolutionary War. This collaboration was vital to winning that war, adopting the Constitution, and creating the institutions necessary to secure liberty at home and respect abroad. The lecture will last 45 minutes with time afterwards for questions. Free. At Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, 

Tuesday, August 28 at 6:30 PM, Film screening: “Through Chinatown's Eyes: April of 1968.” The film examines the impact of the civil disturbances and street violence in DC's Chinatown after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968. The story, from the perspective of people recalling events as school children and young adults in Chinatown, explores ideas about ethnic identity and race relationships. It tells how the street violence affected the growth of the neighborhood and its commercial development today. The film was produced by Penny Lee and Lisa Mao. It is a product of the 1882 Foundation's DC Chinatown Oral History Project. The project seeks to record the oral histories of people who have a stake in preserving the history and heritage of DC Chinatown. Learn more about the project and the 1882 Foundation. Free. At the Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library, 1630 7th St. NW, 

Wednesday, August 29 at 6 PM, Dialogue with Neighbors on Immigration. The Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Library will host, "Immigration: Exploring how our identities, experiences and values shape our views". This is a facilitated dialogue that will take place over three sessions.  Share your perspective on how current local and national immigration issues are affecting community life. Community members are strongly encouraged to attend all three sessions as each will build on the previous one.The second date is Sept 5 and the third is Sept 12 -- all at 6 PM at the .Mount Pleasant Library, 3160 16th Street NW,   

Thursday, August 30 at 6 PM, Overcoming Procrastination: A Workshop. Are you always putting things off? Can’t seem to meet deadlines or goals? Then this is the workshop for you! Learn effective strategies to stay on schedule and on task! This session was previously set for July 30 but had to be postponed due to many cancelled RSVPs. Sign up at Please be sure to check the website one hour before the event, in case it needs to be postponed again due to last-minute cancellations.     

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Palindrome Day, A Demo Rd ni' Lap

by Peggy Robin

It’s 8.18.18, which reads the same forwards and backwards, making it a palindrome, and making today Palindrome Day. Or at least, Limited Palindrome Day. A full Palindrome Day would use the four-digit year. The next four-digit palindrome day will occur more than a year from now, on September 10, 2019 (9.10.2019). [For more on palindrome dates, see:]

Or perhaps revolt against it?

"Revolt, love!" raved Eva. "Revolt, lover!" 
(Eva, like Ida, is one of those characters who frequently declaims in palindromic mode – but not as often as Eve, or Anna, or Bob, or Hannah, or Otto, or Nan, or those perpetually paired sisters, Enid and Nadine.

For Palindrome Day, you can refresh your memory of the most famous palindromes ever composed:

Napoleon’s lament: 
“Able was I ere I saw Elba.”
The one about the canal: 
“A man, a plan, a canal – Panama!”
From the first man to the first woman: 
“Madam, I’m Adam.” (Or the slightly longer version: “Madam in Eden, I’m Adam.”)
There’s my favorite theological/ornithological question: 
“Do Geese See God?”
And my all-time favorite, a greeting, though it has no obvious application: 
“YO! Banana Boy!”

Want more? The palindromist Fred Derf (real name Neil Picciato) has come up with this 460-item list:

If you would like to celebrate this day by gathering with fellow lovers of front-to-back-to-front-again wordplay, there’s a party you can attend, this very afternoon. It’s the Chevy Chase Library’s Palindrome Day Party at 2 PM. And it’s free. All ages welcome. (Children 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult.) The Chevy Chase Library is at 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW. More info:

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local (La Col Sie Fill La) on Saturdays.