Saturday, February 16, 2019

Still Life with Robin: The Scam Call Is Coming from INSIDE the house!

by Peggy Robin

I have written before about my pledge to stop picking up the phone unless the caller ID shows it’s from someone I know (see and I would like to let ALL such calls go straight to voicemail. But there are a couple of good reasons why I can’t consistently obey that simple rule. First, I do business with all kinds of people, and there are those who might decide to call me rather than email for a first contact. Yes, I know I could wait until they leave me a message and then call them right back. But I think that might annoy them. I know it would annoy me if I called a number to do business with someone and they never, ever picked up their phone. And second, I have an elderly mother, and it’s always possible that someone who’s taking care of her would call me from a number I don’t have in my contacts list. So if I see a number on the caller ID that shows a 202, 301, or 703 area code and a local prefix, I tend to pick up.

Nine times out of ten, I’m sorry I’ve done that. Nine times out of ten, I hear noises on the line, like the background chatter of many voices in a boiler-room – often before anyone on my line says a word. Or I’ll hear that uncanny, oddly bright and chipper but somehow artificial note in a voice that signals it’s a recording of someone acting out a sales pitch. Either way, I know I should not have answered. The instant I realize it’s not a legitimate caller, I hang up – usually without even saying, “Hello.” That’s because I’ve heard it’s dangerous to speak a word to scammers on the phone. They can record your voice – especially if you have spoken the word “yes” – to make it appear as if you have agreed to buy something they’re selling.

The first thing I do after hanging up the phone is use the tools provided by my phone system to block that caller from ever getting through to my number again. I know it’s largely a futile gesture, as most scammers hide behind stolen local numbers. By blocking a scam call coming from 202-363-XXXX, I am likely only preventing some innocent local resident, who has no idea their number’s been spoofed, from calling me about some perfectly legitimate neighborhood event.

Defenses against scammers only tend to make them seek more ingenious, more devilish ways to break through. But now I think they finally have gone too far. They have now spoofed my own landline to try to reach me. For several days running this has happened: My landline rings. I look at the caller ID and it says the call is coming from my own number! I let it ring until the voicemail picks up. Of course, no one leaves a message.

I can’t block that number, because that would mean I would never be able to call from line one to line two at home – something I occasionally need to do to test the phone system. So whoever this scammer is who has stolen my number can just keep on calling me, day after day, and I have to put up with it. Not a thing I can do about it. Well, that’s not quite true. I suppose I could change my number. But who’s to say they wouldn’t start calling me from that number, too? Or I could just give up my landline altogether. But that seems the coward’s way out. No, I’m not going to be scared into giving up a number I’ve had for decades and decades – a number that feels like a part of me.

And yet, now that it’s out there, put to use by some nefarious person to harm to others, perhaps it's time to face the truth. My poor old number will never be the same as it was, before it was corrupted. It’s lost its innocence, those ten familiar digits. And yet I’m not ready to let it go. And even if I did, that wouldn’t do anything to stop the person who’s using it with ill intent. So what is the solution, the right thing to do? I’m afraid there isn’t one. All I can do is see my own number come up on the caller ID and turn away, hoping this will be the last time. With no reason to suppose it will be. Sigh.
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, Feb 15 - 21, 2019

Lincoln in stovepipe hat
[public domain]
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 18,100+ 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, February 15 at 12:30 PM, Lunch Bites: Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Anderson House Library intern Kris Stinson presents an eighteenth-century set of Edward Gibbon’s "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" and discusses the influence of classical ideas and literature on Revolutionary War participants. The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the books. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. More info:     

Saturday, February 16 at 2 PM, The Legacy of Harriet Tubman: A One-Woman Performance by Cortenia Smith. This one-woman performance reveals the true spirit of Harriet Tubman, a legendary former slave, abolitionist and hero who defined courage and strength. Drawn from the pages of history and passionately retold by Smith, it tells a story of survival, endurance and faith. Smith has been studying and working on the life of Tubman since 2009 and continues to keep the dream and Tubman’s legacy alive with her one-woman performance. This is a great event for the entire family. Free. At the Bellevue (William O. Lockridge) Library, 115 Atlantic St. SW,     

Saturday, February 16 at 10 AM, Curator Tour: "Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms." Gather with fellow museum members for a special tour of “Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms” with Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stephanie Haboush Plunkett. Norman Rockwell’s masterpieces make their way to Washington as part of a major international traveling exhibition on the Four Freedoms famously outlined by Franklin D. Roosevelt: freedom of speech; freedom of worship; freedom from want; and freedom from fear. In Enduring Ideals, Rockwell’s iconic paintings and works by other artists capture expressions of freedom from World War II to today. Free, but reservations are required. Register online at or contact Danielle Tyson with questions at 202-994-5579 or email  tysond @ gwu . edu. For information on becoming a member of the museum, go to At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW. More info: 

Saturday, February 16 at 2:30 PM, Black History Month Film: Let Freedom Sing, How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement. One of the most powerful movements in American history is told through the singers and songwriters who fought for change with their music. Highlights include the influence of WDIA radio in Memphis and the influence of Harry Belafonte, Phil Ochs and other performers. The film is 102 minutes in duration. Free. At the Takoma Park Library, 416 Cedar St. NW,    

Sunday, February 17 from 3 - 5 PM, Love Songs of US Presidents - A Cappella Presentation by the Dan Meyer Choir. The Dan Meyer Choir ( will present a series of a cappella (singing without instruments) songs from the writings of several presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, J.Q. Adams, Tyler, Buchanan, Lincoln, Grant, Hayes, Harding, Hoover, L.B. Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and G.W. Bush, that provide amazing insights. Please join us for this free event at the Georgetown Public Library, 3260 R Street NW, 

Monday, February 18 from 10:15 AM - 3:15 PM, Make your own stovepipe hat - just like Abraham Lincoln! A Presidents Day Kids’ Activity at Lincoln Cottage. In honor of President’s Day, President Lincoln’s Cottage is offering an opportunity for children and their families to answer the question, “What do you do with a chance?” As President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln took many chances in the hopes of unifying the country. At times, Lincoln felt his ideas were just out of his reach and worried that he might fail. With some courage and support, he developed his brave ideas by taking notes and keeping them safe in his signature stovepipe hat. This interactive program (45 minutes) will be about taking chances and you will have a chance to create your own Lincoln hat to hold your brave ideas. Program includes a group reading of “What Do You Do with a Chance?” written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom. Hands-on activity creating Lincoln stove-pipe hats that you can take home! Admission Note: Any child* participating in the program needs a ticket. Adults or other children not participating in the program do not need to purchase tickets. *Program was developed for ages 4-9, but children of all ages are welcome to participate. One ticket ($5) covers the cost of supplies for one Lincoln hat - purchase at Check-in at the Museum Store located in the Robert H. Visitor Education Center on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, 140 Rock Creek Church Rd NW. 

Monday, February 18 at 6 PM, President’s’ Day: That Darned Apostrophe! High time we stopped dancing around this sensitive and controversial question: Is there or isn’t there an apostrophe in this national holiday? And if so, where does it go? Is it the Day of THE President, therefore “President’s Day”? Or is it the day of ALL the Presidents, therefore “Presidents’ Day”? Or does “Presidents” refer to the subject matter of the day (like Flag Day) and thus the noun is not a possessive and needs NO apostrophe. A distinguished panel including a grammarian, a copy editor, and a presidential historian (names TBA) will discuss this important but sadly overlooked matter on this very appropriate day. At the Library of Congress (and that leads to another question: Why don’t we call it Congress’s Library? Or maybe “Congress’ Library”? Well, we will have to leave that one for another panel on another day…. And by the way, aren’t you glad it’s not taking place in Prince Georges County? Please reserve your free tickets at   

Tuesday, February 19 at 7 PM, Jake Sherman and Matt Wuerker of Politico - one of the Tuesday Talk series brought to you by the Cleveland Park Business Association and the Cleveland and Woodley Park Village. Politico’s Pulitzer-Prize winning political cartoonist Matt Wuerker and Senior Writer Jake Sherman will share stories about what it’s like to cover Washington in the Trump era, how they do it, and why it matters. The evening is free and open to the public. RSVP to 202-615-5853 or info @ At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave NW (Accessible Facility).

Wednesday, February 20 from 6:30 - 7:30 PM, "Reporter" – A Conversation with Seymour Hersh, followed by a reception and book signing. This event is first come, first seated. Priority admission will be given to ticket holders. Tickets do not guarantee a seat. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and best-selling author Seymour Hersh joins Investigative Reporting Workshop Executive Editor Charles Lewis to talk about his 50-year career uncovering some of the US government’s biggest secrets - from the Vietnam War My Lai massacre to Watergate abuses of power to the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal. The free program includes a reception and book-signing by the author of "Reporter: A Memoir." Co-sponsored by the Investigative Reporting Workshop, AU's Entertainment and Media Alumni Alliance and the School of Communication. Reserve your seats at In the Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater, American University, McKinley Building, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW.   

Wednesday, February 20 at 6:30 PM, The Swords of George Washington. Whether in the role of militia officer, commander of the Continental Army, or president of the United States, a sword frequently hung by George Washington’s side. Nine of his swords are known to exist today, and each has a fascinating history not just as a functional weapon but as a symbol of the iconic American founder and the birth of the nation itself. Commemorate the 237th anniversary of Washington’s birth with an exploration of these swords and their significance, presented by Erik Goldstein, senior curator of mechanical arts and numismatics at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The lecture will last approximately 45 minutes. Free. At The Society of the Cincinnati, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. More info:   

Wednesday, February 20 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Fight the Fungus: Saving Hawaii’s Forests from Extinction. The future of the ʻōhiʻa (Metrosideros polymorpha), a culturally significant and ecologically valuable tree, is in doubt. The ʻōhiʻa is being threatened by microscopic fungi (Ceratocystis huliohia and Ceratocystis lukuohia) that recently invaded the islands of Kaua'i and Hawai'i. If unstopped, these invaders could irreversibly change Hawaii's ecosystems and culture by eliminating the beloved ʻōhi'a. Join specialists from Conservation X Labs, the Department of the Interior, and the US Botanic Garden, for the Washington D.C. premiere of a new short documentary about Hawaii's sacred tree, Saving 'Ōhi'a. Following the documentary screening, a panel of diverse experts will discuss the global impact of fungal pathogens like those causing ROD, and explore the solutions needed to combat the fungal pathogens. Please note: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Program will begin at 7 p.m. Prior to the screening, attendees are encouraged to visit the Hawaii room of the Conservatory to learn about the native Hawaiian plants in the U.S. Botanic Garden's collection. Small bites will be served. To learn more about The 'Ōhiʻa Challenge, visit Register for this free program at: At the United States Botanic Garden Conservatory, 100 Maryland Avenue SW, (202) 225-8333  

Wednesday February 20 at 7 PM, Icons of Black Music and Politics. Come to listen and enjoy a lecture by Mr. Donnie Gooden as he gives an oral history and arts exhibit in color prints of the giants in Jazz and Politics. Light refreshments will be served. This program is free and open to the public in the Large Meeting Room on the lower level of the Benning (Dorothy I. Height) Library, 3935 Benning Road NE. Rain/Snow date is Wednesday, Feb.27 at 7pm. More info:   

Thursday February 21 at 5 PM, Washingtoniana Transcribe-a-thon: Mary Church Terrell Letters. Learn about a hometown hero as you help make her legacy discoverable by generations to come! Gain skills in reading and transcribing historic materials as we work together to make the legacy of Mary Church Terrell, Civil Rights and Women’s Rights pioneer, discoverable for generations to come. By The People invites you to explore, transcribe and tag digitized Library collections. Library of Congress staff will lead a workshop on their new virtual volunteer program. DC Public Library staff will also share items related to Terrell’s life and impact on DC and the nation. Bring a laptop if you have one -- limited number of library devices available. No transcription experience required! This workshop will last two hours. Free. Location: Washingtoniana, 4340 Connecticut Ave. NW, wash.dcpl @, 202-727-1213, 

Thursday, February 21 from 5:30 - 6:30 PM, Free Parking: Michael B. Platt and Carol A. Beane by Alper Initiative for Washington Art. Carol Beane will discuss her collaboration with Michael Platt (1948-2019), and their exploration of non-Western aesthetics, imagery, and verse. Carol will read from some of her poems and discuss Platt’s multi-layered digital images derived from explorations of aboriginal Australian culture. Free and open to all. Please RSVP: At the AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, 
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW.     

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Grab Bag o' Blogs 'n' Stuff....and PIZZA!

Baby Moke on the Mend
[Smithsonian National Zoo]

by Peggy Robin

Today’s column is just a bunch of odds’n’ends grabbed from other spots on the internet that I frequent. Hope something here gives you a smile.

First – and somewhat in anticipation of Valentine’s Day next week, one man’s very punny story of wooing his girlfriend in the world of WMATA (from Greater Greater Washington). It starts off a little slowly and lamely, but do stick with it as it builds….

From McSweeney’s, a whirlwind tour of all the possible levels of Voicemail Hell:
[and if the long link above is broken, try this: ]

From Washingtonian’s daily e-newsletter, an account of how the National Zoo’s baby Gorilla Moke broke his leg, and how his recovery is going:

From C-Span/American History Channel’s website, a story from January 9, 2019 – but definitely worth viewing if you missed it when it was on the local news: video showing the moving of a historic building, the oldest synagogue in DC, to a location 3 blocks away, where it will become part of the new Capital Jewish Museum.

And finally – though I feel a tad guilty for posting this so late in the day, almost too late to be of use – it’s National PIZZA DAY!! You can find out what you need to know here (and maybe mark your calendar for National Pizza Day 2020!)
And if you are looking for National Pizza Day deal, well, Thrillist has a long list of national chains with specials for this day…and in some cases, for the next several days.

Who says this column is all fluff and no substance?!
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Get Out! - The Events Column for February 7 - 14, 2019

Year of the Pig
(Wikimedia 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, February 7 at 4 PM, A Performance by the Whiffenpoofs. Established at Yale University in 1909, the Whiffenpoofs are the nation’s oldest collegiate a cappella group, known for gracing such venues as the Lincoln Center, the White House, and Carnegie Hall. Politics and Prose (5015 Connecticut Ave NW) is honored to welcome this American singing institution for a stop on their early 2019 tour. This event is free to attend with no reservation required. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. If you are unable to attend this free concert, you can buy tickets to any of 4 other Whiffenpoof concerts on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in locations around the Washington metro area. See for locations, dates, times, and ticket prices.

Friday, February 8 from 7-9 PM, "Song For Our People" -  Film Premiere and Panel Discussion hosted by Derek McGinty. Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Georgetown will be premiering the new documentary film Song for Our People from Emmy-award winning filmmaker Mustapha (Mus) Khan. The film explores the meaning of freedom and Black heritage through the creation of an inspiring "new anthem for Black America" by a group of socially active musicians. After the screening, longtime Washington on-air personality Derek McGinty will host a panel with the filmmaker and musicians from the film followed by a brief performance by students from the Ellington School. A trailer for the film is available at Free. Attendees must RSVP and donations to the Ellington Fund are encouraged - go to: . Duke Ellington School for the Arts is at 3500 R Street NW

Saturday, February 9 at 10 AM, KC Chinese New Year Family Day. The Kennedy Center welcomes you and your entire family to this free Lunar New Year party in honor of the Year of the Pig. Activities include a calligraphy demonstration, face painting, a dress-up photo booth featuring outfits from Cantonese opera, marionette puppets, red lantern-making and more. Guests will also be able to enjoy traditional Cantonese music demonstrations and an opera costume exhibit.At the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW,

Saturday, February 9 at 11 AM, Civil War Tour of Fort Totten. Join the Civil War Defenses of Washington for a free tour of Fort Totten, one of 68 major forts that encircled Washington DC during the Civil War. The fort saw action during the Battle of Fort Stevens in July 1864 and is one of 17 sites preserved and managed by the National Park Service. Ranger Steve T. Phan, a Civil War expert, will guide visitors in and around the historic earthen fort, including recently discovered remnants thought to be lost during the post-war era. The walk will be 1.5 miles and conducted over paved sidewalks, dirt paths, and grass. Meet Ranger Steve at the entrance to the Fort Totten Metro Station (550 Galloway St NE - parking lot available if you are driving there). Visitors will be guided back to the metro station at the conclusion of the tour. For more information on Fort Totten, please visit the CWDW website:

Saturday February 9 at 1 PM, In Later Years: Finding Meaning and Spirit in Aging. Join author and Unitarian Universalist minister Bruce T. Marshall on a journey through the stories and experiences of elders that offer insights into navigating this unique stage of life. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, 

Saturday February 9 from 10 AM - 5 PM, Crêpe Day: Celebrate La Chandeleur! Hillwood House and Gardens invites families to celebrate the French holiday amidst Hillwood's magnificent setting and exquisite French treasures.Snack on a tasty treat of sweet or savory crêpes (2 per person). Hear classic French tales inspired by scenes from La Fontaine fables that are pictured on tapestries covering chairs from France displayed in the mansion. Explore Hillwood's French treasures through docent-led, family-friendly gallery talks and a printed treasure hunt. Decorate a plate with fanciful designs and flourishes inspired by Hillwood's French Sèvres porcelain. Please check the schedule of activities at for specific times of the various events. To reserve tickets ($5-$18) go to

Sunday February 10 from 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Talk Story: Year of the Pig. Before the Chinese New Year Parade (see next item for info), join the 1882 Foundation, Xfinity and DC Public Library staff for a children’s and families’ story hour with picture books, paper folding, popcorn and lucky candy. Free. At Xfinity Chinatown Store, 715 7th St. NW,

Sunday, February 10 from 12 - 4:30 PM, Chinese New Year Festival and Parade. Starting at 12 noon, celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year at the  Chinatown Community Cultural Center, 616 H Street, NW. Programs and activities will include: live music and dance performances, traditional Chinese calligraphy, children’s crafts, face painting, tai chi and kung fu demonstrations, lion dancing, poetry readings, film screenings, art and photo exhibits, raffle prizes, New Year souvenirs, free giveaways, and much more. The parade starts at 2 PM and features the traditional Chinese Dragon Dance, Kung Fu demonstrations and live musical entertainment. The firecracker will be lit at 3:45 PM. The parade starts at 6th and Eye St. NW and winds around the adjoining streets, ending at 6th and H St. More info at 

Sunday, February 10 from 2 - 4 PM, Forum Against Gun Violence. The National Cathedral will host a forum on ways to take action to reduce gun violence. Panelists will include experienced speakers from DC, MD and VA, talking about efforts underway in our DC area, our state legislatures and nationally to reduce gun violence. The aim is to give attendees a variety of actions they can take and information on how to volunteer. Come and learn what you can do to address the epidemic of gun violence at the federal, state or community level. Parking in the underground garage for the event is free, and someone at the Cathedral’s visitors entrance will direct you to Perry Auditorium. You must RSVP by emailing registrations @ cathedral dot org The Facebook invite is at:

Sunday, February 10 at 4 PM, Concert: A Cappella Pop. The Singing Capital Chorus presents a cappella music from the Great American Songbook, classic songs from film, and more in this first performance of the spring American Music Series at Anderson House. As the DC chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the Singing Capital Chorus is a premier a cappella singing group in the national capital region that has been ringing chords and entrancing audiences since its founding in 1945.The concert will last approximately one hour. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Free. 2018 At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. More info: 

Monday February 11 at 12 noon, Lecture: Past, Present, and Future of DC’s Brewing - presentation by Jennifer Ezell, director of public engagement, Heurich House Museum; Mike Stein, beer historian, DC Brau Brewing Company. Join Jennifer Ezell of Heurich House Museum and DC Brau beer historian Mike Stein for a discussion of Washington, D.C.'s brewing past, present, future—including Heurich's Lager and products that were once made here in Foggy Bottom. Free; no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW,

Tuesday, February 12 at 4 PM, Valentine Card Making Workshop. Make a card to show someone you care. We’ll have an array of sample cards and craft supplies for you to spread the love of the Valentine holiday. This program is for ages 3 and up. Free. At the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW,

Tuesday, February 12 at 4:30 PM, Moving Onward and Upward! (Stories of the Great Migration 1917 - 1970). Celebrate Black History Month! Join us for a special story time and visual art literacy activity paying homage to The Great Migration period spawned by southern-dwelling African Americans relocating north and out west in search of fair and equal opportunities to pursue prosperity and freedom. The hopes and aspirations held by these resettled American families are timelessly reflected in the dreams and goals of many current immigrant families. Appropriate for ages 4 to 9 years old. Free. At the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW,

Tuesday, February 12 at 7 PM, Mosaic on the Move - The Agitators - A Birthday Celebration of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. The library is excited to host Mosaic Theater for a discussion of the play "The Agitators" and celebration of the lives of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. To celebrate Douglass and Anthony's lives, the party will feature special treats and giveaways while supplies last. Free. At the Anacostia Library, 1800 Good Hope Road SE,

Tuesday, February 12 at 9:45 PM, Worst Date Ever: A Valentine’s Day Storytelling Contest by Story District at the Black Cat. True stories told live, featuring a mix of first-time storytellers and regulars who will take the stage to share their twist on the night's theme with a 7-minute true story. Host: DJ Sugarpants. General admission tickets are $20 + Ticketfly processing fees (waived when you buy at Black Cat box office during open hours - 1811 14th St NW). Online tickets: (The earlier show at 7:30 is sold out.) All ages venue. Full bar - cash only. Wheelchair accessible. (Bet you thought this was our Weekly Fake Event! It’s not but it might be better than the one that we made up!)

Tuesday, February 12 at 7:30 PM, “Afrofuturism” with Tananarive Due, N. K. Jemisin, and Airea D. Matthews. Cultural critic Mark Dery coined the term “Afrofuturism” in his essay “Black to the Future,” and its meaning has expanded to encompass alternative visions of the future influenced by astral jazz, African-American sci-fi, psychedelic hip-hop, rock, rhythm and blues, and more. This reading takes a multi-genre look at Afrofuturism and its literary interpretations, with: screenwriter, author and professor Tananarive Due; speculative fiction writer and Hugo award-winner, N.K. Jemisin; and Airea D. Matthews, author of the poetry collection Simulacra, winner of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets. At the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE. More info at; for ticket availability, please call the box office, 202.544.7077.

Wednesday February 13 at 1 PM, Author Talk with Dr. Joy Kinard, author of The Man, The Movement, The Museum: The Journey of John R. Kinard as the First African American Director of a Smithsonian Institution Museum. Dr. Joy Kinard will talk about her father, John, (both are native Washingtonians) and his journey to have the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum included within the Smithsonian Institute. From 1967-1989, John Kinard served as the Director of the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum which featured the works of African American artists, trained African Americans to become museum professionals, and preserved well-known African American collections and artifacts in one of the most elite organizations in the world, the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Kinard will not only talk about her Mr. Kinard's professional successes, but she will also share personal stories about him as her father and her life growing up with such an inspirational and accomplished man. Dr. Kinard has served as a museum professional for over 20 years. She is the current Superintendent for the National Park Service of the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce, OH. This is event is for all ages. Free. At the Anacostia Library 1800 Good Hope Road SE,

Wednesday, February 13, time TBD, Hoard Those Little Candy Message Hearts! Don’t miss your chance to stock up on Necco Sweethearts, stamped with little love messages, before they disappear forever. You must have heard by now that Necco, the maker of those heart-shaped candies that say BE MINE, CALL ME, XOXO, etc., has gone out of business. (If you haven’t, here’s the scoop: But that doesn’t mean you can’t buy a bagful in time for Valentine’s Day. You just have to know the secret of how to get hold of them And we do! If you will register at this link - - we will email you the time and place to line up and buy your own stash. Limit 6 bags per person. That ought to hold you for quite a few Valentine’s Days into the future!

Thursday February 14 from 6 - 8 PM, Celebrate Valentine's Day with other DC Singles at Heurich House Museum. Mix and mingle with other area singles while enjoying the traditions of Gilded Age flirting and romance. Try your hand at intricate fan flirting techniques. Decorate a Victorian era calling card, and then pass it to someone who catches your eye. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is recommended - Drinks (alcoholic and non) and snacks will be available for purchase. (You don't have to be single to attend!) The Heurich House Museum is at 1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW. 

Friday, February 1, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Stormy Weather Names of 2019

Conn Ave during Snowpocalypse - Photo by Bill Adler

by Peggy Robin

Here we are, over halfway through winter, and I am just getting around to my annual critique of the list of winter storm names chosen by The Weather Channel for the 2018-2019 winter storm season. Oh well....last year I was even later -- in fact, a few days into spring before I took on the task (see ). Every year for the last seven years, no matter when in the season I get around to it, I have lodged my objections to so many silly, ill-suited or flat-out un-storm-like names among the 26 selected by the PR folks at TWC.

This year, however, they haven’t done quite as badly as in past years. Still a few outstanding clunkers, of course, but this time mixed in with a fair number that manage to convey a satisfactory sense of the destructive force of a blizzard. With that faint praise, let me do as I’ve done in prior years, and list each storm name, followed by the derivation of that name, as copied from the official list found here:; then, on the line just beneath, you will find my comment on the name and its various associations, and then the letter grade (on a scale of A to F) I think it merits.

Avery: Old English surname meaning “elf ruler.”
-Not bad, not bad. Elves are generally mischievous, and occasionally event malevolent creatures. So Avery the Elf Ruler could be a good fit for a winter storm.
Grade: A-

Bruce: Scottish surname meaning “from the town of Bruis”; refers to the town of Brix in France.
-And in my mind, Bruce tends to call up the image of the Scottish warrior king, Robert the Bruce, and that’s a good image for a winter storm.
Grade: A

Carter: Middle English surname meaning “one who uses a cart.”
-Now we’re starting to get farther afield. The name Carter is most associated with Jimmy Carter, the kindly, if a bit ineffectual, 39th President of the United States, now heading up the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity, which builds low-income housing. Not destructive, not fearsome, but warm-hearted and giving – just the opposite of a winter storm. So not a good name at all.
Grade: D-

Diego: short form of Santiago, the Spanish name meaning “Saint James”; Latinized as Didacus, who derives from the Greek word didache, meaning “teaching”.
-I would venture to guess that the first association most Americans have with Diego is with the city of San Diego, which has never seen a snowflake. So why name a snowstorm for it?
Grade: D

Eboni: African-American variant of Ebony, meaning “dark black-wooded tree”.
-Ebony is a very lustrous, polished wood, used in cabinetry and other crafts done with precise, careful workmanship. Can’t come up with any stormy word-associations for this one.
Grade: C-

Fisher: cognate of the German occupational name Fischer, meaning “fisherman”.
-Well, prudent fishermen always brings their boats into harbor at the first storm warning, so fishers are not friends of the storm.
Grade: C

Gia: short form of the Italian name Gianna, meaning “God is gracious”.
- One doesn’t say “God is gracious” when a bone-rattling blast is on the way.
Grade: C

Harper: Old English surname that belonged to a person who either played the harp or made harps.
-And what about the tinkling, angelic sounds of the harp suggests a winter storm? That’s right….nothing! If you want to pick a name of an instrument player, pick Piper (for the player of the windy, wailing bagpipes) or Cymbelline (for someone who clashes the cymbals) – but not the gentle harpist!
Grade: D-

Indra: ancient Hindu warrior god of both the sky and rain
-At last, a perfectly fitting name for a winter storm. Well done, whoever picked Indra.
Grade: A+

Jayden: American form of Jaden, meaning “thankful” or “he will judge” in Hebrew.
-When I looked up the origin of Jaden, there was much doubt cast on the story that it came from Hebrew. Far more likely, it’s just a nice-sounding rhyme of the trendy name Aiden. Or a way to turn that pretty little girl’s name, Jade, into a boy’s name. Either way, it’s not a good name for a winter storm.
Grade: C-

Kai: Hawaiian word meaning “ocean” or “sea”.
Why use a Hawaiian word for a storm that blows down from the polar regions? Totally at odds with the scheme of things.
Grade: F

Lucian: English and Romanian form of Lucianus, meaning “light”.
-Storms darken the skies, they are not bringers of light.
Grade: D

Morgan: Celtic name of Welsh origin meaning “sea chief” or “sea defender”.
-Morgan is perhaps best known as the evil witch in the King Arthur legends. Not a bad association for a winter storm.
Grade: A

Nadia: Slavic transcription of the name Nadya, meaning “hope”.
-Hope, as Emily Dickinson told us, is a “thing with feathers that perches in the soul”….but the poem goes on to assert that Hope “sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm - That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm –“ That makes it clear that hope lives on in the storm. And so it’s a fitting name, after all.
Grade: A

Oren: Hebrew word meaning “pine tree”
-Well, pine trees are hardy and evergreen in winter. So this is at least evocative of the right season.
Grade: B+

Petra: Greek word meaning “rock”; feminine form of the name Peter; she was also the name of an ancient city in the region that is now Jordan.
-Petra is an ancient city carved into the face of rocks in the desert Jordan. It never snows there. It rains a fair amount in the winter, but otherwise it’s hot and dry. Why name a winter storm for it?
Grade: C

Quiana: African-American variant of Qiana, meaning “singer”.
-I suppose that singers can croon of the winds of winter to come.
Grade: B

Ryan: Irish surname meaning “little king”.
-The first Ryan that comes to mind is Ryan Gosling, who started his career as a kid-actor on the Mickey Mouse Club, then went on to star in some rom-coms, some sci-fi, and a nice, fluffy movie musical, La-La-Land. Another rom-com Ryan is Meg Ryan, best known for When Harry Met Sally. Is any of this making you think of sub-zero wind chills? Me neither.
Grade: C

Scott: English and Scottish surname that refers to either a person from Scotland or a person who speaks Scottish Gaelic.
-Yes, it’s cold up there in the Scottish highlands and snowy atop the bens.
Grade: A-

Taylor: English surname meaning “one who tailors clothes”.
-Taylor Swift. ‘Nuf said.
Grade: C

Ulmer: German surname meaning “famous wolf”.
-This may be the best of the bunch. Wolves are most fearsome in winter when food is scare and they get desperate.
Grade: A

Vaughn: Welsh surname meaning “little” or “small”.
-Nothing about a Welsh diminutive makes me think of winter winds.
Grade: C-

Wesley: Old English surname meaning “west meadow”.
-Wesley is better known as the boy genius/navigator in Star Trek: The Next Generation. That Wesley had a tendency to get into some deep trouble, too. And then there’s Westly, A/K/A The Dread Pirate Roberts, from the Princess Bride. Both brooding types with a bit of a dark and stormy side.
Grade: B+

Xyler: Medieval Basque variant of Zilar, meaning “silver”.
-Silver suggests glistening icicles.
Grade: A-

Yvette: French feminine form of the name Yves, meaning “yew”.
-Yvette is a good name for a French poodle. Anyone old enough to remember that kittenish actress, Yvette Mimieux? Can’t think of any stormy associations for the name, though.
Grade: D

Zachary: Hebrew word meaning “remembered by God”; derives from Zacharias, a name used in most English versions of the New Testament.
-Then there’s Zachary Taylor, the 12th President, also known by his nickname from when he was a general: “Old Fuss’n’Feathers”. Sounds like he was kind of a mild storm of a general.
Grade: B

Grade point average for the whole shebang: 2.44, or just on the borderline between a B- and a C+….but still an appreciable advance over last year’s GPA of 1.8 or C-.

Weather Channel, you are improving but still have a long way to go. Already looking forward to the winter storm names of 2019-2020!

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, Feb 1 - 7, 2019

DC Public Library
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 February 1  from 6 - 8 PM, First Friday Dupont at Heurich House Museum. Pay homage to DC beyond the federal city by learning about hundreds of historic brewery objects in the exhibit “HOME/BREWED: How the Chr. Heurich Brewing Co. Witnessed DC History” and by viewing the paintings of Dupont Circle by local artists from Art Enables in the museum’s new installation “Scenes from the Dupont Festival” and by making a valentine for our beloved city inspired by historic Washingtonians. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase during this free public event. For a list of other museums and galleries participating in the First Friday Dupont program of open houses, exhibitions and special programming, please visit For more about the Heurich House exhibitions, see The Heurich House Museum is at 1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW.

Friday through Sunday, February 1-3, Chocolate Festival in Old Town Fairfax, VA. Enjoy a festival of everything chocolate! See the Chocolate Challenge, an arts contest featuring breathtaking art made completely of chocolate, and enjoy sample chocolates, historic re-enactments, children's activities, craft show, open houses at historic buildings, Kiwanis BBQ lunch, and more. Friday, February 1 is for Liquid Chocolate only from 6 - 8 PM; Saturday, February 2 has a full schedule of events from 10 AM to 7 PM; and on Sunday, February 3, there are events from 12 noon to 4 PM - see the link below for all the details. Many events are free to enter but there’s a charge for chocolate tastings or other food and drink. Schedule for all 3 days, with prices, directions, and more at   

Saturday February 2 at 8:30 AM, Groundhog Day at Dupont Circle. Potomac Phil, the National Groundhog, will make an appearance and offer weather and political predictions. Free. 1 Dupont Circle NW. More info: 

Saturday, February 2 at 2 PM, Heroes of the Underground Railroad around Washington, DC. Join anthropologist and author Jenny Masur as she tells the stories of the unsung heroes of the Underground Railroad who lived and worked in Washington, DC. Men and women, black and white, operatives and freedom seekers--all demonstrated courage, resourcefulness and initiative. Leonard Grimes, a free African American, was arrested for transporting enslaved people to freedom. John Dean, a white lawyer, used the District courts to test the legality of the Fugitive Slave Act. Anna Maria Weems dressed as a boy in order to escape to Canada. Enslaved people engineered escapes, individually and in groups, with and without the assistance of an organized network. Some ended up back in slavery or in jail, but some escaped to freedom. Masur will share their stories and discuss the impact for the DC community. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW

Sunday, February 3 starting at 6:30 PM, Watch Super Bowl LIII, Patriots Vs Rams, at Cactus Cantina in Cleveland Park. Enjoy Tex Mex drinks and appetizers while you watch the game. At Wisconsin Ave and Macomb St NW, 202-686-7222,

Monday, February 4 at 12 PM, Book Talk: "A Literary Guide to Washington, DC" with author Kim Roberts. Washington, DC has been home to many of our nation’s most acclaimed writers. From the city’s founding to the beginnings of modernism, literary luminaries including Walt Whitman, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Henry Adams, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston have lived and worked at their craft in our nation’s capital. Kim Roberts offers a guide to the city’s rich literary history with her new book A Literary Guide to Washington, DC: Walking in the Footsteps of American Writers from Francis Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston. Free; no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW, 

Monday, February 4 at 7 PM, The District's Black Doughboys of World War I - part of the C. R. Gibbs African American History and Culture Lecture Series. Hear the forgotten story of the all-Black First Separate Battalion of the DC National Guard. A century ago, these local men were sent from the Jim Crow capital of the United States to fight in the trenches of war torn France and were awarded the Croix de Guerre, one of France's highest military honors. Historian C. R. Gibbs brings his lively and engaging lecture style to the library in celebration of Black History Month. Passionate and knowledgeable, his talks are always informative and his scholarship accessible. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,   

Tuesday, February 5 at 6 PM, 30th Annual Black Film Festival: DC Public Library's Celebration of Black American Cinema. Movie: Sorry to Bother You. A Black telemarketer reaps professional success after adopting a "white" voice but soon begins to examine his conscience. Starring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson and Danny Glover. Directed by Boots Riley. 111 minutes. 2018. Rated R. Free. In the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW - all films in the BlackFilm Festival are screened in the library's lower-level meeting room,

Tuesday, February 5, at 4 PM, Chinese New Year. February 5 is the start of the Chinese New Year! Join us as we kick off the Year of the Pig with lucky crafts and activities. Recommended for children ages 3 to 12 with their caregivers. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW,

Tuesday, February 7 at 6 PM, Year of the Pig Pride Day. Were you born in the year of the Pig? The years are: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, and 2019. Do you secretly wish you were born under the sign of another, more glamorous animal in the Chinese zodiac? In Western culture, the pig is thought to be greedy, dirty, and dumb. For all those inculcated with these anti-porcine stereotypes, now there’s a support group which will restore pride in your natal sign. At this meeting you will learn much more about the noble porker - an animal whose intelligence has tested equal to that of our canine friends. Did you know most pigs are actually quite neat and tidy? We will hear more about pigs of great talent, such as Wilbur, Miss Piggy, Olivia, and Babe. And we will learn how in the Chinese zodiac, those born in the year of the pig are believed to be lucky, happy, easygoing, honest, trusting, educated, sincere, and brave (see: Free. Location TBD - please register at to see the address.

Wednesday, February 6 at 6 PM, A Conversation with Author Marita Golden. 2019's Black History Month Theme, Black Migrations, emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities. In keeping with that theme, we invite you to a conversation with native Washingtonian and local author, Marita Golden, to discuss her first book Migrations of the Heart about her political activism during the 1960's and her time living in Nigeria. Golden will read from her book and take questions from the audience. Free and open to all ages. At the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW, 

Thursday, February 7 at 6 PM, Lunar New Year: Guangdong National Orchestra Ensemble presents Chinese folk music featuring members of the Guangdong National Orchestra playing instruments such as the pipa, erhu, daruan, guzheng gunagdong gaohu, and others. Free - presented as a part of the Kennedy Center’s Lunar New Year Celebration events. On the Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center, 2700 F St NW. More info: 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Good on Us

by Peggy Robin

Now that we're going to have a working federal government again -- at least in terms of civil service employees (and at least for three weeks!) -- it seems like a good time to pause, take a breath, and thank everyone in the neighborhood who stepped up to offer some form of support to the furloughed or unpaid workers and contractors. If there was anything good to be said of this last month-plus-a-few-days, it was of the actions of those who offered to help -- even if just in small ways. A free cup of coffee is not just a hot drink, it's a way of saying, "We're with you." And a free yoga class can help to reduce stress, even if it doesn't put money in the bank. So I thought I'd give a public pat on the back to the Cleveland Park (and Tenley!) businesses that have given freebies or specials designed to make life a little less awful for the furloughed federal workers during this longest of government shutdowns:

* Baked by Yael
* Washington Yoga Center
* Cleveland Park Congregational Church
* Tenleytown T'ai Chi
* Emily Griffin, LICSW, LCSW-C
* Pam Holland, Tech-Moxie
* Levine Music
* City Paws,
* Bread Furst
*St. Arnold's Mussel Bar

....and the many, many individual neighbors who have volunteered at DC Central Kitchen and other centers serving free meals to furloughed workers.

I know the list above is incomplete. It's based on a quick search of the Cleveland Park Listserv for businesses that have advertised freebies or discounts for furloughed federal workers, but it's missing anyone who might have done so without advertising on the listserv -- and it could even be missing a few who have advertised here but my search results were less than perfect (I can blame that on Yahoogroups, which has its own dysfunctions!).

So if you know of any businesses, professional organizations, clubs,or other groups who should have been named on the "Pat on the Back" list above....well, we can't amend the email that already went out to all the CP Listserv subscribers, sorry! But we certainly can add their names to the list here at the All Life Is Local blog. Just email me at moderator @ cleveland-park dot com, and I will gladly add to the list above. [List updated -- with thanks to Anne G. on Sat., 1/26/19 at 11:23am]

And let me add the fervent hope that we won't be re-running this column in three weeks' time!
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column Jan 24 - 31, 2019

Frida Kahlo
Photo by Guillermo Kahlo
(Public Domain)
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, January 25 from 6 - 10 PM, “In Real Life” by District Dodger - Opening Reception. “Can you follow me back?” - “Did you see my email?” - “How many likes do you think this will get?” - Digital thoughts bleeding into a physical world. District Dodger, a 26-year-old visual artist, is releasing a solo exhibit entitled, “In Real Life,” which is a visual observation of the relationship between the digital and the physical. It explores the paradox that both are conflicting realities in which we exist simultaneously. The exhibit will include light design, paintings, projections and modern sculpture pieces. Free. At 1301 4th Street NE,      

Friday, January 25 from 6:30 - 9:30 PM, Night of 1,000 Fridas. Petworth Arts Collaborative kicks off the 2019 season with a large-scale collaborative street art project called Night of 1,000 Fridas by Theodore Carter ( Artists were invited to contribute a work of visual art or a public performance or something else that includes an image of Frida Kahlo. On the Night of 1,000 Fridas, works will be displayed at several venues in Petworth, including Ten Tigers Parlour (3813 Georgia Ave NW) featuring work by David Amoroso, David Currie, Melissa Lindsjo, Jonathon Ottke, Justine Swindell and Charlie Visconage. Plus, take part in placing the beautiful paper flowers on the Frida Kahlo window installations at Fia's Fabulous Finds and Upshur Street Books (806 and 827 Upshur St NW, respectively). Last but not least check out the Frida Kahlo live projections on the wall outside of Petworth Citizen (829 Upshur St NW) by artist Anthony Le. Come out to support local artists and fabulous small businesses who continue to help build arts and community in Petworth! Free. More info:  

Saturday, January 26 from 10:30 AM - 12 noon, Measuring School Quality - a discussion with with Dr. Jack Schneider. Jack Schneider is a professor at Massachusetts University Lowell. He has done extensive work on ways to measure school quality beyond the test scores. He will describe what they have done with the Massachusetts Consortium to expand the measures and also broaden the way we think about quality in schools to better reflect the values we have. Please join us! Free. Childcare will be provided and parking is available. Translation available if requested. Co-Sponsored by the Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators; Teaching for Change; Ward 1 Education Group, CHPSPO, EmpowerEd, Ward 4 Education Alliance, Ward 7 Education Council At Columbia Heights Education Campus, 3101 16th Street NW. Register: For more info, contact dc.shappe @ gmail dot com 

Saturday, January 26 from 7 PM on, Australia Day Party by DC Eagles Football Club. Celebrate Australia Day with the DC Eagles Australian Football Club at Blackfinn Ameripub. We will be spinning classic Aussie tunes, offering tasty Four 'n Twenty meat pies, holding a 50/50 cash raffle (bring a few extra bucks with you), and lots of other fun activities! It's gonna be a ripper, so you don't want to miss it! Tickets: $20 at the door; $15 online at With the purchase of a ticket, you will get 1 free beer, free appetizers (while they last), and access to food and drink specials ($4/$5 beers!). PS: Costumes that show your Aussie flare are highly recommended. So, don't forget your pluggers, singlet, boardies, and grab a stubbie at the bar! Please note that this event is 21+ after 10 PM. All proceeds go to help out the DC Eagles Football Club, a 501.c.3 non-profit that promotes Australian Rules Football in DC.  

Sunday, January 27 at 2 PM, Express Jazz in the Basement. Join Erol Danon (piano), Francisco Quintero (guitar), Keith Butler (drums), and Stephen Arnold (bass) for an afternoon of creative new works. Jazz in the Basement is a monthly concert series that highlights young artists, new composers, or unique jazz sounds, intended to broaden the listening landscape of our Washington, DC audiences. Free | Open to the public. This concert is located at the Goethe-Institut Washington at 1990 K St. NW (use the 20th Street entrance). More info:   

Sunday, January 27 at 2:30 PM, Polyhymnia Chamber Chorus is a Washington DC-area 24-voice a cappella choir specializing in exceptional music that is not sung often enough. At this concert: 3 English Partsongs by Sir Edward Elgar, Cinq Chansons Francaises by Georges Auric, Chromatic Renaissance Works by Cripriano de Rore and Orlando di Lasso, and the East Coast Premiere of "Of the Ages," by local composer Joshua Fishbein. The concert is “Pay-What-You-Can.” A light reception follows. At St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 4900 Connecticut Avenue NW. More info:     

Monday January 28 at 12 noon, Lecture: The Washington Women’s Art Center. Judith Benderson, former managing director, Washington Women’s Arts Center, reflects on her time at the Washington Women’s Arts Center. She will also discuss recent efforts to include the organization’s history as a part of the legacy of DC artists in American University’s summer 2018 exhibition Latitude: The Washington Women’s Arts Center 1975–1987. Free; no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW,     

Tuesday January 29 from 10 - 11 AM, Eighty Years of “Adult Development.” In 1938, with the Great Depression still gripping much of the nation and Adolf Hitler named TIME’s Man of the Year, Harvard University launched a long-term study of 268 Harvard sophomores to establish a baseline for medicine to provide maximally healthy human development. President John F. Kennedy was one of the original cohort, and so was Washington Post Editor Benjamin C. Bradlee. What does the study tell us about health, longevity, life satisfaction, and our roles in our families? David Jonathan Cohen is working on a book about life choices that draws on the study and his interview with its director. He was executive director of a coalition of national unions that represented professional and technical people and has written for many publications, including The Washington Post and Harvard Magazine. Free. Reservations required: The lecture hall holds 105 people. Due to limited seating, each registrant may reserve one seat. Your name must be on the list of registrants in order to enter the lecture and you must be in your seat five minutes before the lecture starts to guarantee your seat. Register here: OLLI at American University, Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, in Room A on the First Floor.

Tuesday, January 29 at 7 PM, Book Hill Talk: Love and Transgression in the Middle Ages: Yseult and Tristan. Valerie Guyen Croquez, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer of World Languages and Cultures at American University, will lead a discussion on the legendary love triangle. Free. At Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St. NW,   

Wednesday, January 30 at 4 PM, Art Attack: Marc Chagall. Learn about the artwork of Marc Chagall and create an art project in the style of his dreamy landscapes. This program is for ages 6 and up. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW,    

Wednesday, January 30 at 6 PM, The Labs Presents: DIY Ear Warmers. Learn how to make a stretchy headband to keep your ears warm for the winter! This beginner-friendly class will go over the basics of using a sewing machine, then show you how to measure and cut out a headband that doubles as an ear warmer. All supplies provided. Free. This class will take place at Library Express, 1990 K Street NW (entrance on 20th St between K & I Sts). Space is limited, please register at to reserve your spot. More info: 

Wednesday, January 30 at 7 PM, What To Do With DIY Ear Warmers That Did Not Come Out Right? Let’s say you were one of those kids who, after making your very first string pot-holder at day camp, brought it home to Mom and she said, “What’s this supposed to be?” because it did not look a bit like a pot-holder. And now you are an full-grown adult and you’ve just finished your DIY Ear Warmer class and you have ended up with a thing that does not look or function like a headband with ear warmers. What can you do with it? This follow-up session for not-so-successful DIY project participants will brainstorm to find some creative uses for you not-so-hot warmers. Too loose to wear around your head? What about as a tube top? Too stiff to be comfortable? Add some tin-foil points and bingo, you’ve got a crown for a king or queen! And don’t forget that anything made of yarn can be turned into a great cat toy! To learn 101 more uses for your non-warming ear warmers, register today for this practical FREE class: 

Thursday January 31 from 10 - 11 AM, Code Girls. Nearly 10,000 young women cracked the codes of Germany, land and sea, during World War II. Sworn to secrecy, their exploits were nearly lost to history as they kept their vows for decades. They conducted the meticulous work of code breaking, about 200 of them working across from the main American University campus. Their contributions to cryptanalysis helped secure the Allied victory in an extraordinary study of courage, service, and scientific accomplishment. Liza Mundy is the New York Times bestselling author of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II, and also The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming Sex, Love and Family and Michelle: A Biography. Free. OLLI lectures are held at American University, the Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, in Room A on the First Floor. Reservations required at The lecture hall holds 105 people. Due to limited seating, each registrant may reserve one seat. Your name must be on the list of registrants in order to enter the lecture and you must be in your seat five minutes before the lecture starts to guarantee your seat. For an overview of the OLLI lecture series, visit    

Thursday, January 31 from 1 - 2 PM, Free Furlough Lecture: Lafayette’s Return to Washington, 1824-1825. A rockstar returns to Washington. During his triumphal tour of the young republic in 1824 and 1825, Lafayette came to Washington on multiple occasions, including visits to Tudor Place.Using contemporary accounts and images of Washington by Tudor Place Artist-in-Residence Peter Waddell, Mark Hudson will explore how the Federal City greeted the hero, while describing life in the city during this period. Mark Hudson is executive director of Tudor Place Historic House and Garden. Free|Pay what you can. At Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street NW,    

Thursday, January 31 at 6:30 PM, Respect: Aretha Franklin as Political Activist. Join scholars, musicians and community members as we remember Aretha Franklin. We will discuss her work for social change, listen to her most empowering songs, and talk about music as activism in our community today. In partnership with WPFW and The Goethe-Institut Washington. Joining the discussion will be: Katea Stitt, WPFW; Dr. Greg Carr, Howard University; Kelly Navies, Smithsonian NMAAHC ; Kerrie Cotten Williams, DC Public Library; Yara Allen, New Poor People's Campaign. This program will take place at the Goethe-Institut Washington located at 1990 K St. NW (use the 20th St. entrance). FREE | All Ages. 

Thursday, January 31 from 7 - 8:30 PM, Boys Will Be <boys> Good Humans: Book Talk for Parents/Students. New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins will speak about the hot topic of the moment: “Boys Will Be <boys> Good Humans: What All Students and Their Parents Should Know About Young Men, Drinking, Sex, and The College Social Scene”. This presentation is based on Robbins’ surprising new book about goodhearted college boys, “FRATERNITY: An Inside Look at a Year of College Boys Becoming Men.” The book will be available for purchase before the publication date and Robbins will sign and personalize books immediately after the presentation, which is free and open to the public. In the auditorium of  Walt Whitman High School, 7100 Whittier Blvd. Bethesda.    

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Local Hero

Rock Creek
Library of Congress - Public Domain
by Peggy Robin

While you are enjoying the snow on the ground and anticipating the wintry mix we're supposed to get tonight and/or on Sunday, here’s an important safety reminder: When trying to take a photo of an icy creek from a slippery, snow-covered railing, do NOT try to cantilever yourself over the edge to get a better shot, or you might end up in the drink. Well, if you do -- just make sure there’s a heroic person ready to leap into the creek and pull you out!

And as Dave Barry likes to say, “I am NOT making this up!” For proof, play both the audio and the two video pieces  available at this link:
[or go to if the long link above is broken]
The second video toward the bottom of the screen is of a long joint interview with the rescuer and rescuee (is that a word?).

I just hope there’s a local organization that gives out Hero of the Year awards. Although it’s only one month into 2019, I think in Dave Dildine, we already have our winner!

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, Jan 17 - 24, 2019

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, January 17 and Friday, January 18 at 6:30 PM, and Saturday January 19 at 1 PM, Seussical Jr - Alice Deal's First Ever 7th Grade Musical. You won't want to miss this wacky, wonderful, family-friendly Seussical show, featuring all your favorite characters from Dr Seuss, and a wonderful musical score. Get your tickets today before they sell out - $12 adult; $5 student at: students need to be accompanied by at least one adult. In the Alice Deal Middle School auditorium at 3815 Fort Road NW.

Friday, January 18 at 12:30 PM, Lunch Bites Lecture: Highland Broadsword. British military historian and armaments specialist Paul Newman discusses a Highland broadsword, the iconic weapon of the Highland Scots in the eighteenth century. This example was used during the Revolutionary War by Nicholas Ruxton Moore, an officer in the Fourth Continental Dragoons and the Maryland militia. It is featured in the current exhibition, A Revolution in Arms: Weapons in the War for Independence (at Anderson House through March 24, 2019). The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the sword. Free. At The Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. More info: 

Friday, January 18 from 5 - 7 PM, Southern Border Advocacy Trip Debriefing. UDC Law alumni and students will report on their experiences providing legal services to refugees and asylum seekers at the southern border over the winter break. Our advocates served in legal observation and preparing refugees for their credible fear interviews at various settings including the port of entry at Chaparral/Ped West, shelters, safe houses, and encampments. They also provided charlas/clinics on asylum law and what to expect during the asylum process or “the deportation conveyer belt,” as some of the advocates called it. With some additional money they raised, our advocates provided necessary food, feminine products, chairs, tables, and towels to the unaccompanied children's shelter where there are about 50 unaccompanied minors. The reality of the refugees was heart-wrenching, the human right violations were outrageous, the service was humbling, and leaving was the hardest part. To learn more about the trip, please come to this public event at UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, Room 515, 4340 Connecticut Ave. NW, Free, but please register at: #presente #equitywarriors #brownadvocates

Saturday, January 19 from 2 - 4 PM, The Future of the Arts and Society - Facilitated Dialogue and Deliberations. Please join us for music performances on violin and cello and  participate in facilitated round table discussions about the future of arts and society. Organized by Ieva Notturno, Facilitator, Interactivity Foundation and Michelle Kim, Founder, Culture Saves. For ages 18 and older. Free. At the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St. NW,

Sunday, January 20 at 4 PM, The Apollo Orchestra will perform the Beethoven Symphony (No. 7), works by Respighi (Suite in G for organ and strings), Dvorak Slavonic Dances, and Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme. Featured artists include organist Julie Vidrick Evans and cellist Michael Balas. At Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, One Chevy Chase Circle NW. A reception to meet the artists will follow the concert. Neither reservations nor tickets are required for this free concert.

Monday January 21 starting at 12 noon, DC’s MLK Day Parade. DC honors the late, great Martin Luther King, Jr. with this annual parade that brings the entire community together on the holiday that celebrates the Civil Rights leader. Community activists, performers and civic leaders will all be on hand for this event that aims to prolong Dr. King’s legacy and everlasting message of peace. The parade will begin at 12 PM at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE and Good Hope Rd SE and proceed south on Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE through downtown Anacostia, concluding at the campus of St. Elizabeth’s East with a Health and Community Fair at the Gateway Pavilion, 2700 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. Free. More info:

Tuesday, January 22 from 10:30 AM - 12 PM,  Winter Wonders Family Discovery Day by DOEE Aquatic Resources Education Center. Join DOEE fish and wildlife biologists for family-friendly winter-themed activities at the Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) in Anacostia Park - featuring a Snowy Survival aquarium tour with feedings, Coldwater Critters aquatic animal presentation, and wintry crafts and activities. Come discover what winter is like underwater and how aquatic animals make it through the snowy season! Advanced registration is required and participants must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. Please submit only 1 registration per family/email address - go to: All AREC programs are FREE, but space is limited. The Aquatic Resources Education Center is located in Anacostia Park next to the Skating Pavilion at 1900 Anacostia Drive. Questions may be directed to doee.arec @ or 202-727-7400 or visit

Tuesday, January 22 from 6 - 8 PM, House History Workshop by Washingtoniana. This hands-on workshop will teach people how to research the history of their DC house using primary sources in Washingtoniana. Researchers will learn to use building permits, historic maps, city directories, newspapers and other resources to find out about the building and the people associated with it. Class size is small to allow everyone an opportunity to use all the materials - once the class is full join the waitlist to be first in line for the next class! Register: Free. At Washingtoniana at Van Ness, 4340 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Wednesday, January 23 from 12 - 1 PM, 62nd Anniversary of the Frisbee. In celebration of this historic date, slackers and their dogs all over the world can take a break around lunchtime to go out to the nearest field and toss a Frisbee around for an hour. No, this is NOT the Weekly Fake Event - it's a real annual celebration (see the attention it got two years ago, on the 60th anniversary: and, serendipitously, it's also National Pie Day ( The Frisbee was invented by college students on campuses in New England, where the Frisbie Pie Company was a popular seller of pies, and the students discovered that the empty pie tins made excellent flying discs.

Wednesday, January 23 at 2 PM, Why We Make Art with Rogelio Maxwell. Rogelio Maxwell is a multimedia artist who fuses on painting, drawing, sculpture, and music with performance art, film and video. Join us for this eight week series as Maxwell discusses why we make art, a brief look at the path some of us take to make art, and how art affects and defines our culture through architecture advertising, fashion, and design. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Thursday, January 24 at 6:30 PM, Lecture and book signing: Unlikely General: “Mad” Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America. President George Washington was determined to secure the Old Northwest—the region extending from the Ohio to the Mississippi—for American settlers, but a powerful Indian confederacy barred the way. Two successive military expeditions to take control of the region had ended in expensive and bloody disasters. Then Washington chose Anthony Wayne—a headstrong Continental Army veteran with a reputation for heavy drinking, womanizing and recklessness on the battlefield—to lead a new army into the western wilderness. In Unlikely General: “Mad” Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America (Yale University Press, 2018), Mary Stockwell introduces us to this remarkable man and this extraordinary moment when the reputation of the president and the future of the West was at stake. The talk will last about 45 minutes, followed by a book signing and refreshments. At The Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW,