Monday, November 11, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Eleven Eleven Nineteen

DC's World War I Memorial
Photo by Tim Evanson via Creative Commons
by Peggy Robin

This Monday, November 11, is Veterans Day. Having the holiday on a Monday this year is just a one-in-seven chance; it’s not one of those federally-mandated three-day holiday weekends.

Once upon a time – that time being the 8-year period from 1971 to 1978 -- Veterans Day was indeed one of those holidays that would bounce to the nearest Monday. But after some sustained and effective lobbying by the very moving and very, very elderly veterans of World War I, Congress resolved to put the holiday back on its original historic date, November 11, Armistice Day, marking the end of The Great War, as it was called by those who lived through it. They also called it “The War to End All Wars.” Now it’s hard to imagine anyone saying that and thinking it could be true. It certainly didn’t take all that long for another war to come along that would make The Great War seem more like a prequel to The Big One. 

This November 11th is the 100 year centenary of the celebration of Armistice Day. Yes, it was in 1918 – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – that the war came to an end. But the holiday of Armistice Day was declared by President Wilson one year later, on 11/11/1919….and we’re one hundred years on from that first proclamation.

So how did Armistice Day turn into Veterans Day?

A few years after the end of World War II there were various proposals floating around to create a holiday to honor those who served in that war. But what should be the date? There was V-E Day, and V-J Day; still, they couldn’t both be made holidays. The idea of turning Armistice Day into a catchall day to honor all who served in all wars had a certain efficiency to it – although most World War I veterans very much resented having their historic victory turned into something far more generic. But they were outnumbered. Even so, it took quite a while for the movement to build steam. It wasn’t until 1954 that Congress voted to rename and refocus the holiday, creating Veterans Day on November 11.

So, from 1954 to 1971, Veterans Day was on a fixed date, 11/11. Then we had eight years of the second Monday in November serving that function. And from 1979 to present, we’ve had another 40 years of Veterans Day stuck on November 11.

It’s been eight years since the last American veteran of World War I passed away: Frank Buckles, who died at age 110 on February 27, 2011, was the last one. (If you would like to know who was the last surviving veteran of World War I anywhere in the world, then it’s Florence Green, a British girl who enlisted in the Royal Air Force at the age of 17 and worked in the officer’s mess. She died on February 4, 2012, a few days short of her 111th birthday.)

Now that there are no more World War I vets left to object, I think it’s time to consider the nearest-Monday thing again. Almost everyone can do more with a three-day weekend than a day off in the middle of the work week. I would bet if you took a poll of veterans and their families, you’d find it wins by a large margin.

Here's another proposal that might be even better: Move the Veterans Day federal holiday to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November – that is, Election Day. That way, millions would get an official federal holiday, which would make voting much easier for those who don’t have time to stand in line to vote on a work day. This has especially been a problem in states that have reduced the number of polling places and cut back on or disallowed early voting. A federal holiday, combining Veterans Day and Election Day, would do a lot to expand access to the polls. What better way to honor the sacrifices made by those who fought for our freedoms?

Of course, the chance of getting Congress to agree on a simple thing like moving a holiday, is, in the present climate, close to nil. But on this Veterans Day 2019, 100 years after the first one, it’s a good time to fight for a change!

Still Life with Robin is usually published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays, but I saved this one for the Veterans Day holiday on Monday.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, November 8 - 14, 2019

Wilson HS Theater Presents Matilda the Musical
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 14,500+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv   

Friday, November 8 at 4 PM, Dino Discovery. Learn about the science of excavation and participate in our very own dinosaur dig! This program is great for dinosaur lovers between the ages of 4 and 8. This event is part of our Di-November celebration here at the Cleveland Park Library. All month long come in to see our "roar-some" decorations and participate in dino activities. Free. The Cleveland Park Library is at 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9 (various times), Smithsonian Food History Festival. The Food History Festival is two days of free, hands-on learning, live demonstrations, talks, and stories exploring how women are building, saving, and empowering communities through food. Talented chefs, local organizations, experts, community activists, museum curators, entrepreneurs, and more will be on hand to spark conversation, lead activities, and dig into food history with museum visitors of all ages. View the full schedule here: Register for free tickets here: - but don’t delay - many of the sessions are already sold out! At the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Ave NW.

Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9 at 7 PM, Wilson HS Theater Presents Matilda! Based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book of the same name, Matilda follows Matilda Wormwood, a bright little girl who immerses herself in books. Matilda is discarded and belittled by her dimwitted parents—her father insists on calling her a boy and harps on her “stupidity” for preferring reading to watching the telly—and her hostile headmistress, the outrageous and wicked Miss Trunchbull. Reclusive, but with an ever-growing imagination and sharp mind, and with a caring protector in her teacher Miss Honey, Matilda dreams of a better life, daring to take a stand against unjust forces and to grasp her destiny in her own, tiny hands. You don't want to miss the high energy dances and catchy songs of this entertaining musical performance! Tickets: Adults: $15 ($10 for the matinee on Saturday, 11/16); Child/Student: $5 all performances. Online ticket purchase ended Nov 6. Cash/checks only at the door. Can’t go this Friday or Saturday? There are 3 more performances next week: Friday 11/15 and Saturday 11/16 at 7 PM and a Saturday matinee on the 16th at 2:30 PM. Wilson High School Theater is at 3950 Chesapeake Street NW. More info:

Saturday, November 9 from 9:30 AM - 7 PM, Conference: 1989: Commemorating the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the End of the Cold War. The end of the Cold War, the resulting geopolitical tensions, and the narrative of "The End of History" have had direct consequences and present political challenges to the United States and Europe. What lessons can we learn from 1989, and how can we use these lessons to combat right-wing populism in Germany, Europe, and the United States? Among contemporary political actors, social movements and political organizations, can any of them have comparable power to the Peaceful Revolution of 1989? These questions are not only timely at the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, but also of vital importance in our current crises of international order. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the BMW Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University are pleased to host this free, day-long conference at the Copley Formal Lounge at Georgetown University, 3700 O Street NW. A light reception from 5:30 -7:00 PM will follow the conclusion of the conference. See the full agenda of the conference and register for programs at:

Saturday, November 9 at 1 PM, The Evening Star: The Rise and Fall of a Great Washington Newspaper - An Author Talk with Faye Haskins. The Washington Evening Star was among the top ten newspapers in the country, starting before the Civil War and ending its run during the Reagan presidency. Learn about what went on behind the scenes of this historic paper from Faye Haskins, former Archivist and Photo Librarian at DC Public Library Special Collections. Haskins' book, The Evening Star: the Rise and Fall of a Great American Newsaper, includes insight on the editorial decisions behind the coverage, including controversial decisions on race relations, D.C. politics and 129 years of national politics. This free talk will be held in the Peabody Room on the top floor of the Georgetown Library. You can read from the Washington Evening Star online with a DC Public Library card, or visit Washingtoniana to view books and our archival collection on the Washington Evening Star. Learn more on how to use these resources at Research 101 on Nov. 20. Free. At the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, 

Saturday, November 9 from 12 noon - 4 PM, Thank You, Veterans: A Celebration for the Veterans. Join us for a "Celebration for the Veterans," as we commemorate and honor Veterans in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. PLEASE NOTE:You must be a Veteran to participate and must provide proof of Veteran status at the door. Veterans can bring one (1) guest. The event will include remarks by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials, encouraging stories from Veterans, a buffet meal, information tables staffed by various VA services units, and other great activities to demonstrate to Veterans that VA CAREs! Registration is required: Participants must show ticket at the door to gain entry. Veterans must provide proof of Veterans status (e.g., VA Identification Card, DD214, etc.). At Washington DC VA Medical Center, 50 Irving Street NW. 

Saturday, November 9 at 1 PM, It’s a Small World After All: Art Wraps on Historic Georgia Avenue. This is the second event in a series that explores DC history, public art and storytelling. (No need to have attended previous session to go to this one.) Delve further into Petworth neighborhood history via the Pilgrim Foundation archives and DC Public Library resources. Community historian Peter Stebbins will talk about the Lebanese, African and Caribbean diaspora, plus community-based archiving. Share and record your stories with the Humanities Truck!  This event is recommended for ages 18+. In partnership with the Lily and Earle M. Pilgrim Art Foundation and Georgia Avenue Thrive. Free. At the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW,

Saturday, November 9 from 5 - 6 PM, Gallery Talk: Fair is Foul & Foul Is Fair. Explore themes of foulness and fairness in this gallery talk focused on works by collaborating Irish artists Aideen Barry and Alice Maher. Featuring a vocal performance by Ceara Conway of a poem by Doireann Ní Ghríofa, specially created for this exhibition. Free and open to all. You do not need to print your Eventbrite ticket - register here: The exhibition “Fair is foul and foul is fair,” curated by Dr. Tina Kinsellais, is on view November 9 - December 15, 2019. Free. At American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW.

Sunday, November 10 from 3 - 5 PM, British & Commonwealth Remembrance Ceremony - a ceremony to commemorate to centenary of the conclusion of the Great War and the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts. Presented by by DC Expats. Free. Register At St. Monica & St. James Episcopal Church, 222 8th St NE

Sunday , November 10 at 4 PM, Concert: The Beau Soir Ensemble, a flute, viola, and harp trio dedicated to the performance of standard and contemporary repertoire, plays works by American composers, both classical and contemporary. The concert will last approximately one hour. This is the third date in the fall American Music Series, which celebrates the history and variety of American music genres. Free and open to the public. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. More info:

Sunday, November 10 at 5 PM, Concert: Czech folk group Spirituál Kvintet. The Embassy of the Czech Republic presents the Czech folk group Spirituál Kvintet. The group performed at demonstrations during the Velvet Revolution as well as for former Czech President Václav Havel and US Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The group's repertoire includes original compositions as well as renaissance, folk, and spiritual music. Relish in an afternoon with these Czech founders of folk. The group is returning for the second time to the United States. Its first visit was in 1993 to New York, Chicago and Washington. During the thirty years under the totalitarian regime, songs from America inspired the band as songs of freedom. Next year in 2020, the Spirituál Kvintet will celebrate its 60th year and will disband. The event is part of the Embassy's Mutual Inspirations Festival as well as celebrations leading up to the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. At the Embassy of the Czech Republic, 3900 Spring of Freedom Street, NW. Admission is free. RSVP required: Embassy Security Policy: For entrance, all guests will be subject to security screening. Photo ID is required. Bags and suitcases are not allowed. Only small purses are permitted but must be opened for inspection. Coat check is not available. Parking: Non-metered parking is available on Spring of Freedom Street and Tilden Street.

Monday, November 11 from 9 AM - 2 PM, Bye Bye Bei Bei! This Monday kicks off a ten-day series of public farewell events and special treat sessions for Bei Bei the panda, before he ships off to his ancestral homeland of China. Much of the schedule for Monday is repeated daily. From 9 AM to 2 PM: Postcard Station (next to Bei Bei’s outdoor habitat) Write a postcard with your well-wishes for Bei Bei! All postcards will be sent with Bei Bei to China. 9 AM: Daily Treats: Earth Optimism. Watch in person or tune in to Panda Cam1 to see the panda team give Bei Bei a special Smithsonian-themed enrichment, hand-painted by a panda keeper, that represents the Zoo’s global cooperation to save species. 11:00-11:20 AM: Panda Keeper Q&A. Meet one of Bei Bei’s keepers and ask all your giant panda questions. Check the board at the giant panda exhibit, or along Asia Trail, to find out the exact location of today's demonstration. 1:30 PM: Daily Treats: Gimme Some Sugar. Watch in person or tune in to Panda Cam1 to watch as Bei Bei receives one of his all time favorite treats - sugar cane! The full schedule of all events during the ten-day farewell period can be found at:: All events are free; some are limited to Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ). The Smithsonian National Zoo is at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Monday, November 11 at 6:30 PM, Veterans Day program at The American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati. For Veterans Day the Institute presents an examination of the experiences of American veterans since the revolutionary generation, held in conjunction with the exhibition America’s First Veterans. The program opens with remarks from Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert L. Wilkie, Jr., followed by a panel discussion moderated by the Institute’s executive director, Jack Warren. Our panel of specialists includes Brian Matthew Jordan (assistant professor of history at Sam Houston State University), Stephen R. Ortiz (associate professor of history at Binghamton University) and Miranda Summers Lowe (curator in the Division of Political and Military History at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History). The panel discussion will last approximately one hour followed by light refreshments. The Institute’s headquarters are located at Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20008. Visitors are welcome to tour the mansion and view our current special exhibition Revolutionary Reflections: French Memories of the War for America. Free. For more information and reservations (encouraged but not required), visit or call 202.785..2040.

Monday, November 11, all day. It’s Singles Day! This date is written: one-one-one-one - and if you have ever lived in China or any community with a significant Chinese population then you already know that it’s Singles Day - a tradition that Chinese retailers have cherished ever since they dreamed up this single’s shopping extravaganza in 1993. In much of Asia,11/11 is a counterpoint to Valentine’s Day, a holiday dedicated to love (of self), expressed by buying expensive gifts...for yourself. And it’s become the biggest shopping day of the year. Time to bring it to America! You can read about Singles Day here: And no, this is NOT the weekly fake event. But with an amazing holiday like Singles Day occurring this week, we don’t need to make anything up. This real one is just too good! Learn more about Singles Day here:

Tuesday, November 12 at 4 PM, Protest Button Art Workshop. Have your art featured in the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library! Join an art workshop inspired by protest buttons from the DC Public Library's collections and design a button about an issue that matters to you. Your button will become part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library's new entryway designed by DC artist Nekisha Durrett. Free. At the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW,

Tuesday, November 12 at 7 PM, Honest to God. In this installment of the “Honest to God” discussion series, Michael Gerson of the Washington Post leads a conversation with Dr. Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, Astronomer, and Program Director of the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Tickets: general admission $15; students $10, available online at: The Washington National Cathedral is at 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW.

Wednesday, November 13 at 7 PM, Author Talk: Battle for the Marble Palace, by Michael Bobelian. Join us for a discussion with Michael Bobelian who will discuss his book Battle for the Marble Palace. The book explores President Johnson's nomination of Abe Fortas to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and how it changed the identity of the court. Free. At the Southeast Library, 403 7th St SE, 

Wednesday November 13 at 7 PM, Thanksgiving Cooking Demo with Chef Jonathan Bardzik. Join local chef and author Jonathan Bardzik for a pre-Thanksgiving cooking demo. Jonathan will focus on seasonal side dishes that you can easily integrate into your Thanksgiving holiday meal celebration. Get inspired, and grow your culinary skillset. Free. At the Northeast Library, 330 7th St. NE, RSVP on Eventbrite:

Thursday, November 14 at 6 PM, National Novel Writing Month Write-In. Come work on your novel with us! We know you need to get those 1,667 words per day in, so come do them with us. The second floor conference room will be a quiet space for writing and stress-googling, so stop by and spend some of your NaNoWriMo with us at the library. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,     

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Still Life with Robin Becomes Still Life with Olivia

by Peggy Robin

Today’s “Still Life with Robin” column should be retitled, “Still Life with Olivia,” as I’m turning this space over to Olivia Norman, a Cleveland Park resident, longtime Listserv member and occasional poster, and someone who has been blind from birth, and also has asthma. Olivia sometimes posts on Facebook about her everyday encounters with people who may be considerate or helpful, or at least are trying to be helpful but don’t know what to do. And then there are those encounters with people who just aren’t trying hard enough. This story has two out of three.

Facebook intro: Olivia Norman is  feeling drained at Walgreens (3524 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington).

While waiting in line for prescriptions:

Woman: I’ll pray for Jesus to restore your sight.

Me: Thank you, but I have plastic eyes so that’s a little difficult. If you want to pray for something constructive, you can pray that they find a cure for my asthma which keeps me coming back for this plethora of medications every month so I can stay alive.

Woman: Don’t you want a cure for your blindness?

I was momentarily speechless. Then this guy behind me said: If you feel the need to pray for her I think she made it pretty clear how to do that. If not why don’t you just leave her alone?

I thanked the guy profusely for standing up for me and went about my day. We walked out together and he told me he could tell how awkward and uncomfortable I felt and that he just wanted to step in when I was at a loss for words. He said he hoped he hadn’t violated my boundaries. And I said not at all, and that we need more people in this world who aren’t afraid to stand up and call things out when they need to. So I guess the lesson is some of the public is ridiculous, and some are those allies that help when you need them. I saw both in the span of a minute today.

Now, I’m going to make some tea and love on my dog, I’m done with people for the day.

Thanks to Olivia Norman for permission to repost this story on “Still Life with Robin,” which is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.   

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

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

Dia de los Muertos - Mexican Ofrenda
Photo by Juan Scott (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 14,500+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv   

Friday, November 1 from 6 - 7 PM, First Friday Dupont Art Walk: Art Gallery Tour by Dupont Circle Main Streets. First Friday is an art walk around the galleries of Dupont Circle. This walking tour will introduce you to 5-6 gallery spaces. Meet at the Dupont Circle Metro - north entrance on Q Street at 6 PM. Tickets are $20, available at: 

Saturday, November 2 from 10 AM - 12 noon, The annual Halloween Spooktacular/Fall Festival at Forest Hills Park. The biggest Halloween party in Forest Hills returns for another year! We’re giving the little ones another chance to wear their Halloween costumes. Grownups too, if you’re so inclined. The thrilling and funny Abracadabra Alex will perform. Forest Hills Park is east of Connecticut Avenue between Brandywine and Chesapeake Streets. Rain date is November 10. More info:   

Saturday, November 2 at 2 PM, Need Help Getting Your Book Published? This panel discussion will explore new and traditional services available to writers seeking to get published. With the growth of self-publishing, many new services have emerged to help writers become published authors, even via traditional publishing houses. These services include the good, the bad and the ugly - this panel will discuss how to navigate those services while protecting your interests. Hear from a literary agent and lawyer, learn from two successfully published authors who also provide publishing services and coaching. Panelists: John D. Mason of Copyright Counselors, LLC ; Michelle Brafman, author of the novel, Washing the Dead (2015) and a collection of linked short stories, Bertrand Court (2016), published by Prospect Park Books; ND Jones, founder of Kuumba Publishing, an art, audiobook, eBook and paperback company. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, 

Saturday, November 2 at 1:30 PM, Archaeology, Can You Dig It? Middle school students and their families are invited to this special archaeology workshop. Dr. Alexandra Jones from Archaeology in the Community ( will guide kids through a hands-on activity that introduces the main ideas and concepts behind archaeology. Make sure to wear old clothes, and email megan.mcnitt @ dc dot gov to register. Free. At Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library, 1630 7th St. NW, 

Saturday, November 2 and Sunday, November 3 from 10 AM - 5 PM, Dia de los Muertos Festival Weekend. Celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at the National Museum of the American Indian. Artist Lilia Ramirez (Nahua) will create an interactive mural featuring La Catrina, one of the most iconic images drawn by Mexican illustrator and printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada. Posada’s work has inspired artists for generations. His satirical calaveras (skulls) in particular have shaped the appearance of Día de los Muertos. The Day of the Dead is a festival celebrated by people in Mexico, parts of Central and South America, and many Latino communities across the United States as a way to honor family and friends who have passed away. The tradition originates from the Indigenous cultures of Mesoamerica, including the Mexica (Aztec) and Maya. Visitors can honor loved ones by making paper marigolds, the bright flowers that decorate family ofrendas (altars) set up for the Day of the Dead. The festival will feature a traditional ofrenda created by National Heritage Fellow Ofelia Esparza (Purépecha) and her daughter Rosanna Esparza Ahrens, who have collaborated in creating ofrendas since 1999. Free. At the National Museum of the American Indian at 4th and Independence Avenues SW. All events are free. More info:      

Sunday, November 3 at 4 PM, An Afternoon with National Symphony Musicians, a free concert presented by Music at Pilgrim. Do not miss this afternoon of chamber music featuring National Symphony Orchestra musicians Jamie Roberts, Robert Rearden, and Pilgrim Lutheran Director of Music and pianist, Jamila Tekalli. Young musicians and music lovers alike are invited as the performers will share the beauty and story of these legendary composers of Germany and Austria's Romantic era. The performance will take place in the stunning acoustics of Pilgrim Lutheran Church. It is a beautiful, intimate space, which allows the audience to be close to the performing musicians. This is a family friendly event. Admission: Free; Free Will Offering gratefully accepted. Reception follows the concert. Pilgrim Lutheran Church is at 5500 Massachusetts Avenue in Bethesda. More info: 

Monday, November 4 at 12 noon, Lecture: African Americans Serving in Contraband Hospitals, presented by Jill Newmark, exhibition specialist and curator, National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. The story of African American medical personnel who served during the Civil War is an often overlooked and neglected part of Civil War history. In this talk, Jill Newmark from the National Library of Medicine shares the story of one DC hospital that treated black soldiers and civilians, and the African American nurses and surgeons who served there. Free, no registration needed. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21 Street, NW, 

Monday, November 4 at 7 PM, Indie vs. Traditional Publishing. For National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), come learn from Teri Case, writer and author of DC Writers Project title Tiger Drive about the pros and cons of independent publishing. Case will discuss her own experiences with publishing and share tips for making a decision. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Monday, November 4 at 9 PM, Procrastinating Non-Authors' Non-Book Panel Discussion. During  National Novel Writing Month,we are proud to present a unique and useful panel for every writer out there who has ever told family and friends that they’re working on a novel and years later still has but a few scribbled pages lying in a desk drawer. You know you have that great novel in you, if you could just find the time or the right conditions, or the encouragement you need... or stop procrastinating and produce! In the meantime, people keep asking you, “How’s that novel coming along?” or worse, they may ask to see some part of it. Now you will have a chance to hear from some highly talented but thoroughly unproductive, unpublished authors about how they handle these unwanted inquiries. To find out who our special panelists are and get the location of the Non-Author Talk, please go to:   

Tuesday, November 5 at 4 PM, Origami in the Wild. Learn interesting facts about animals and learn how to fold them. This month, we'll be folding rabbits.This program is for ages 6 and up. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW,

Tuesday, November 5 at 7 PM, "Beyle: The Artist and Her Legacy": A Yiddish Book Center Film. “Beyle: The Artist and Her Legacy” is a documentary short film about the life and legacy of poet, artist and activist Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman. Beyle's poems and songs are part of the fabric of postwar Yiddish culture. In 2005 she received a National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts for her vast and vibrant artistic contributions, which have had a lasting impact on many Jewish artists and scholars. After surviving the Holocaust in Europe, Beyle sought to build a secular Yiddish-speaking community that would continue for generations. She published her debut poetry book Steshkes tsvishn moyern (Footpaths amid Stone Walls) in 1972. She published several collections of poems and artwork as well as CDs of her songs performed by herself and other Yiddish performers. Yiddish scholar Miriam Isaacs will introduce the film and lead the discussion following. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, 

Tuesday, November 5 at 7 PM, Strangers in a Stranger Land: How One Country's Jews Fought an Unwinnable War Alongside Nazi Troops...and Survived. Author of Strangers in a Stranger Land John B. Simon, an American Jew residing in Finland, grew up in Pleasantville, New York. After graduating from Hamilton College, Simon earned an M.A. from Cambridge University, then studied at the Sorbonne and the University of York. In the early 1970s, he founded The DOME Project, a community-based program on Manhattan’s Upper West Side dedicated to providing opportunities for marginalized youth in New York City. His 1982 book To Become Somebody: Growing up against the grain of society (Houghton Mifflin) tells the story of some of the program’s early participants. Nearly 50 years later, The DOME Project is still running. Simon moved to Finland in 1984 and began working for KONE Corporation as a communications officer. After publishing KONE’s Prince (Otava, 2009), a best-selling biography of one of the company’s legendary owner-directors, he was named Finland’s 2010 Communications Professional of the Year. Strangers in a Stranger Land was first published in Finnish in 2017 as Mahdoton sota. It was among the four books short-listed for 2017 History Book of the Year. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 

Wednesday, November 6 at 7 PM, Friends of the Library Author Talk: John Deferrari, Capital Streetcars: Early Mass Transit in Washington, DC. Washington's first streetcars trundled down Pennsylvania Avenue during the Civil War. By the end of the century, streetcar lines crisscrossed the city, expanding it into the suburbs and defining where Washingtonians lived, worked and played. One of the most beloved routes was the scenic Cabin John line to the amusement park in Glen Echo, MD. From the quaint early days of small horse-drawn cars to the modern "streamliners" of the twentieth century, the stories are all here. Join author John DeFerrari on a joyride through the fascinating history of streetcars in the nation's capital. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 

Wednesday, November 6 at 7 PM,  Hidden Heroes; African Americans, NASA and the Quest for the Final Frontier. Join author and lecturer C.R. Gibbs for a presentation on the history of African Americans in space exploration. Free. At the Woodridge Library, 1801 Hamlin Street NE, 

Thursday, November 7 from 5:30 - 7 PM, Luce Unplugged: The Anthony Pirog Quartet. Enjoy music from DC’s best local artists while surrounded by beautiful artworks in SAAM’s one-of-a-kind programming space, the Luce Foundation Center. Anthony Pirog’s music combines the intensity of punk with the inventiveness of jazz. Libations and snacks are available for purchase at the on-site bar. A staff-led discussion about an artwork chosen by the performers starts at 5:30 PM, with the music beginning at 6 PM. Free, walk-in.. At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center (3rd floor) . More info on the Luce Unplugged series:     

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Go Nats (But Without That Baby Shark)

by Peggy Robin

So it’s not going to be a sweep. One down. Still ahead by a game.

I do have one little suggestion for the Nats, though. Hope this can be taken in the right spirit. It’s time for that Baby Shark theme to go! Yes, it was cute  at first. Now it’s just a bad earworm (see if you are unfamiliar with this term). So inane. If you have missed out on this epi-phenomenon, here’s a look  at what I’m talking about:

Yes, I know that fans sing it because it’s a favorite of Geraldo Parra’s toddler. With those clapping hand movements meant to mimic a shark’s clamping jaws, it has given the crowd a way to move as one. But now that we’re this far along in the World Series, it’s begun to look robotic and silly, not worthy of a world class team. This is largely a crowd of adults. As we come down to the finish line, it would be good if had a more mature way to cheer on the team. Time for a new meme with the same sort of bouncy catchy-ness…but without the baby-talk lyrics.

I say this, knowing that it’s probably too late for a change. And if the Nats win the World Series to the Baby Shark meme, I'm sure we'll be stuck with it for next year, too. Still, I’d like a chance to plant the seed of a thought about moving away from Baby Shark to something more sophisticated. Something like what the Red Sox have in “Sweet Caroline.” We all can sing it: “So Good! So Good! So Good!” It’s rhythmic and upbeat but not in a preschool way.

Here are a few suggestions:

Van Halen’s “Top of the World”
The Turtles, “Happy Together”
The Beatles, “Good Day Sunshine”
Springsteen’s “Born to Run”
…and of course, the greatest baseball song ever written, John Fogerty’s “Center Field”

Having said all that, if the price of winning the World Series is to keep on hearing that refrain, “Baby Shark Doo-DOO Doo-DOO do-DOO,” I’ll take it!

Still Life with Robin is published on The Cleveland Park Listserv -- now found at Groups.IO - - and on All Life is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, October 25 - 31, 2019

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 14,600+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv   

Friday, October 25 from 12 - 5 PM, Opportunity in America: What Does It Mean? Presented by The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Is America living up to our aspirations to be a real “land of opportunity?” Even as the economy’s now decade-long expansion continues, mobility is in decline while inequality reaches alarming heights. How should we define opportunity in the era ahead? How can we ensure that everyone has equitable access to it? Join an afternoon of discussion with distinguished and diverse panels to explore the changing nature of opportunity, who is and isn’t included, and concrete ideas for expanding access to quality economic opportunities. This event is part of a new conversation series, Opportunity in America by Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard of The Democracy Collaborative, which will consider the changing landscape of economic opportunity in the US and implications for individuals, families, and communities across the country. Register for this free event at: At The Aspen Institute, 2300 N Street NW, #700.

Saturday, October 26 from 8 AM - 1 PM, 8 - The 5th Annual Adams Morgan Apple Festival! Fall is finally here, and the 5th Annual Adams Morgan Apple Festival returns on Saturday with a homemade apple pie baking contest. Area bakers compete for the title of Best Apple Pie, and attendees can purchase pie slices for $5 each to support Platform of Hope, a new initiative based in Adams Morgan that provides self-directed, holistic services to cohorts of low-income families. Free festivities take place at SunTrust Plaza at 18th Street and Columbia Road, NW, beginning with an heirloom apple tasting at 10:30 AM. Local celebrities and foodies will judge the apple pie contest, including Pichet Ong, James Beard-nominated pastry chef at The Line Hotel DC, and Tom Sherwood, Political Analyst, WAMU Politics Hour and contributing writer for The Washington City Paper. More info:

Saturday, October 26 from 9 AM - 12 noon, Kids in the Castle: Scavenger Hunt. The Heurich House Museum will open its doors at 9 AM for free, kid-friendly, self-guided tours. Kids in the Castle: Scavenger Hunt gives families the chance to explore the ornate details of the Heurich family home. Children and parents are invited to wander through the house at their own pace and complete a photo scavenger hunt to win prizes. Once visitors have finished their tour, they can relax and play games in the museum’s Castle Garden (weather permitting). This German influenced family home provides visitors a glimpse of the past, and exposes children to a different time in DC’s history. Children can let their imaginations wander as they take in three floors of this ornate mansion, while also learning about history in a fun and engaging environment. Touring through the house will take between 30 minutes and 1 hour. There will be two levels of hunting to accommodate all ages! This event is free, but registration is suggested and donations are welcome! Go to: The Heurich House Museum is at 1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW.

Saturday, October 26 from 10 AM - 1 PM, Turtle Park Fall Fest + Pop Up Farmer’s Market at Friendship (Turtle) Park. This event has FREE admission and is guaranteed to be fun for kids and adults of all ages. Explore the farmer’s market (featuring organic produce, cider, pumpkins and baked goods for purchase from New Morning Farms); don your best costume and march in our beloved costume parade at 11 AM - prizes for scariest, funniest, and crowd favorite; enjoy live music from our friends at Middle C Music; and decorate a pumpkin (bring your own or purchase one onsite from New Morning Farms). Free! At Turtle Park, 45th and Van Ness Streets NW. For more information, visit: 

Saturday, October 26, 11:30 AM - 3 PM, Día de los Muertos Family Day. Celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with SAAM! Enjoy a day full of Mexican folk-dance performances, a live Mariachi band, and face painting! Leave your handmade ofrendas (offerings) including paper marigolds, calaveras (skull masks), and paper monarch butterflies on our beautiful Day of the Dead altar. Free. At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard, 8th and F Street NW. More info: 

Saturday, October 26 from 1 - 3:30 PM, Broadcom Masters Project Showcase - UDC Middle School Science Expo. Join 30 of the top middle school scientists in the country as they compete in the Broadcom M.A.S.T.E.R.S., the nation's most prestigious Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition for middle school students! These talented students will be on hand to discuss their science and engineering projects with students, teachers, parents, scientists, engineers and members of the general public who share their enthusiasm for science and engineering during this project showcase. Free and open to the general public. At the University of the District of Columbia Student Center, 4200 Connecticut Avenue NW. More info: Learn more about this year's top 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists here:

Saturday, October 26 from 1 - 4 PM, Rosedale Pumpkin Carving Party. Halloween fun for all ages! All you need to bring is a medium to large-size pumpkin - Rosedale provides the stencils and carving tools). Plus: Pinata Fun: Back by popular demand is the Halloween piñata with sweet treats for the taking. Games/Songs from 2-3 PM: While the bigger kids are busy carving, a special guest will lead the little ones with Halloween-themed games and songs. At the Rosedale grounds, corner of 36th and Newark. Free. 

Saturday, October 26 from 1 - 4 PM, Fall Frolic at Glen Echo Park. This Halloween-themed family event is open to the public, and visitors of all ages are invited to the Park to explore the arts through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, trick-or-treating and visiting open studios. It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! Most activities are FREE. Pumpkins are available to decorate for $2.Come in costume and maybe you can win a prize in one of these categories: Best Child's Costume (0 - 6 years old); Best Child's Costume (7+ years old); Best Adult Costume; Best Group Costume (2 or more people).  Be sure to register at the table near the stage to be included in the contest! Lots of free parking! This event take place rain or shine, but some activities are weather-dependent. Glen Echo Park is at 7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, MD. More info:

Saturday, October 26 from 4 - 6 PM, Pumpkin Fest: An Afternoon of Mystical Music and Merriment at Cleveland Park Church. There will be Halloween organ music, Poe’s The Raven, selections from Phantom of the Opera, and games/treats for kids. Admission is free, but we ask that you bring canned food for St. Paul's food pantry. You can also bring your jack-o-lantern to display. (If you're going to the Rosedale Conservancy pumpkin carving event at 35th and Newark, bring your creation along!) After the program, join us for some fall-inspired treats.At Cleveland Park Congregational UCC, 3400 Lowell St. NW.

Saturday October 26 at 4PM, Benefit Concert in Memory of Tom Marmet, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, Inc. On October 24, 2018, Tom Marmet was shot and killed while driving home from work at So Others Might Eat. Please join electronic pop-duo Overcoats in honoring Tom's memory in concert. If you cannot make the concert, please consider an additional donation to Moms Demand Action, an organization working to end the gun violence that kills 100 Americans every day. The concert takes place at Bannockburn Community Clubhouse, 6314 Bannockburn Drive, Bethesda, MD. Seating is limited, so please arrive early if you would like a seat. Purchase your tickets before the event: $30 at More info about Overcoats at; listen to their Tiny Desk Concert on NPR here:

Saturday, October 26 from 5 - 8 PM, Wilson HS Halloween Fall Festival and .5K Fun Run. Come to the Wilson Stadium to celebrate fall, Halloween, and of course the beautiful game of Ultimate Frisbee! We’ll have a 0.5K run (about 1/3 mile J), prizes for best costumes, a Frisbee clinic run by current Wilson Ultimate players (boys and girls teams), other fun games, crafts, and food! All ages welcome! Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for adults, and $15 for families. All proceeds will support the Wilson Ultimate program and the Wilson Boosters. Wilson High School is located at 3950 Chesapeake Street NW – enter the stadium from Nebraska Avenue. Any questions? Contact lely.constantinople @ gmail dot com.

Sunday, October 27 from 1 - 3:30 PM, Lil Goblin Parade and Festival at Stead Park and Recreation Center, 1625 P Street, NW. Free.

Sunday, October 27 from 4 - 5:30 PM, Burleith Halloween Party. The annual Burleith Halloween party is held at the Washington International School Playground. The playground is behind the parking lot on the corner of 36th Street and R. Free admission.

Monday, October 28 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Annual Diwali Celebration, presented by DC Mayor's Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Please join Mayor Muriel Bowser as we celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, with a lamp lighting ceremony, cultural performances and light refreshments! Pre-Event Activities from 5 - 6 PM: Diwali Story Book Making with Sushmita Mazumdar, Rangoli Art with Shanthi Chandrasekar and Gallery Tour. Each Session has limited seating, first come first serve only. Free. Register: At the Freer Gallery of Art, Meyer Auditorium, 1050 Independence Ave SW. Have questions about Diwali Celebration? Contact DC Mayor's Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs at oapia @ dc dot gov.

Tuesday, October 29 at 4 PM, Halloween Party at the Georgetown Library. Come dressed in your costume to enjoy spooky games, crafts, stories and more at our annual Halloween party.Free. The Georgetown Neighborhood Library is at 3260 R St. NW, 

Tuesday, October 29 at 7 PM, The 33rd Annual 17th Street High Heel Race, presented by Mayor Muriel Bowser. The High Heel Race is one of the District's most unique events with a rich history of “Crossing The Line Since 1986”. Thousands of spectators pack the Dupont Circle Neighborhood to watch hundreds of costumed drag queens show off their extravagant outfits and race down Historic 17th Street, NW. The race starts at R Street and ends at P Street, but the entire neighborhood will be lively all night! The event kicks off with a parade starting at 7 PM. The race starts at 9 PM (the entire race will last less than 10 minutes). Race location: 17th Street between R and P Streets. Free. More info: 

Wednesday, October 30 at 6:30 PM, Halloween Party at the Chevy Chase Library. Come celebrate Halloween with scares, crafts and surprises. Costumes are not required for the party, but encouraged. Free. The Chevy Chase Public Library is at 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Thursday, October 31 at 12 noon, Film: "Artbound, 'Dia de Los Muertos / Day of the Dead." Día de los Muertos has been adapted for centuries from its pre-colonial roots to the popular depictions in mass media today. Inspired by rich Oaxacan traditions, it was brought to east Los Angeles in the 1970s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano identity through a small celebration at Self Help Graphics and Art. Since then, the celebration has grown in proportions, with renditions enacted in communities all around the world. In contrast to the glamorous fanfare Dia de los Muertos now receives, Artbound offers a more intimate look at this ritual through the story of artist Ofelia Esparza, who continues the tradition of building altars to remember the dead. Journey with Esparza as she travels back to Mexico in search of her ancestral roots. (KCET and BCurious Productions, 2019, 60 minutes.)Free, no registration required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW,

Thursday, October 31 at 4 PM, Cleveland Park Halloween Parade and Party. Every year kids and adults in costume line up on Macomb Street in front of the Macomb Street Playground, behind a firetruck, and march around the block and then return to the Macomb Street Playground for a Halloween party. [NOTE: We have not received confirmation of this year’s Halloween event from the parent organizers or DC Parks and Recreation. We will send a message to the CP Listserv when the event is confirmed.]

Thursday, October 31 from 4 - 6 PM, All Hallows Eve at Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Thursday, October 31 from 4:30 - 8 PM, MPD 2D’s Community Fall Festival. Please join the Metropolitan Police Department (Second District) for our "Community Fall Festival" at the Friendship Recreation Center (field) located at 4500 Van Ness Street NW.. Bring the entire family out to enjoy food, moon bounce, face painting, candy egg hunt, sack race, story time, slime station, and more! The candy egg hunt starts at 5:30 PM. To participate in the pumpkin carving contest, please register by emailing kyi.branch @ dc dot gov. Costumes encouraged, but not mandatory.

Thursday, October 31 at 4 PM, No-Boo Halloween. Have a sensitive child who does not enjoy being scared? Now there’s a Halloween event for kids -- and for squeamish adults, too! -- who would like to enjoy an October 31 that is all treats and no tricks. Come to this toddler-safe event, where there’s no boo-ing or whoo-ing, no scary costumes, no fake blood, no death references. Allowed: Disney princesses and princes, super-heroes but no super-villains. The only ghost you will see is Casper the Friendly Ghost. Count Chocula is OK, but not Count Dracula. To see the complete list of acceptable characters, items, decorations, go to    

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Those Old Listserv Days....

by Peggy Robin

Now that Yahoogroups is on the way out and we’re moving the Cleveland Park Listserv over to Groups.IO, it’s time for a little nostalgia about our early days. Here’s a piece I wrote about running the Cleveland Park Listserv when it was just three years old and had less than a thousand members. (And that was considered big for an e-group back then! The current membership number is 18,482). You’ll note that things were a bit different in those days: Running the listserv was a fun little hobby that took maybe a half hour a day. There was no advertising allowed, paid or unpaid. Now the CP Listserv is a full-time online sponsor-supported community publication that comes out 365 days a year. We’re looking forward to many more years when we get to our new home at Groups.IO.

Moderators Are Masters of Their Domain on Local E-Mail List
Author: Robin, Peggy
Date:     Nov 14, 2002
Section: WEEKLY - DISTRICT Start Page:  T.04

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As long as people in Cleveland Park have keyboards, e-mail servers and modems, we're going to be hearing more on these subjects. As moderators, we stand ever at the ready, poised to send out a firm but politely worded (and always private) note, "Please refrain from questioning the parentage of another list member. Remember, you are talking to your neighbors. Please keep it friendly! Sincerely, Peggy Robin & Bill Adler, Moderators, Cleveland Park E-mail List."

Peggy Robin is a freelance writer who has published seven (mostly how-to) books. She lived in the Washington area for several years as a teenager, moved back in 1977 and has lived in the city ever since. The Cleveland Park e-mail list can be found at

Still Life with Robin is published on All Life Is Local and on the Cleveland Park Listserv on Saturdays. The Cleveland Park Listserv is found at -- at least until October 28, 2019. After that, look for it at -

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column - October 18 - 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 18,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

DC Public Library Image
Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday October 18 from 12 - 2 PM, 3 D's - Dining, Documentary, Discussion, “Back to Basics:The Future of Water and Food.” DC Public Library in partnership with Guy Mason Recreation Center and the Interactivity Foundation present the program series 3Ds – Dining, Documentary, and Discussion. Attendees will view a documentary film, participate in a facilitated discussion and enjoy a free lunch! The documentary screened today is Back to Basics:The Future of Water and Food. Registration Required - please email guymasonevents @ gmail dot com. At Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert St NW,

Friday, October 18 from 5 - 8 PM,  Meet the Artists Reception: Nancy Nesvet and Larry Ringgold - “enDANGERd”. Nancy Nesvet's photographs and paintings of endangered animals and disintegrating structures, both natural and manmade, inhabit her beautiful but threatened world. An ecofeminist, her concern with warming seas and human efforts to destroy the environment for present and future generations of people, animals, flora and fauna pervade her paintings and photographs. Larry Ringgold's sculptures of endangered species result from what he calls "an equal alliance of creativity and craftsmanship". These sculptures, made from driftwood washed up on the beaches after often devastating storms, stand witness to the effects of global warming, shrinking ice caps and glaciers that daily disappear from our world, stranding species and eventually, ourselves. Free. At Zenith Gallery, 1429 Iris Street NW. Show runs from October 18 - November 16. For more info: contact margery @ zenithgallery dot com

Saturday, October 19 at 10:30 AM, Firefighter Story Time and Truck Touch. Join us for a special Saturday Family Story Time on the 2nd-floor Children's Rug at the Northeast Library. We’ll visit with DC firefighters from Engine Co. No. 18 and their mascot, Sparky the Dalmatian! (Sparky is a DC firefighter in a dog costume.) After story time, we’ll go outside to look at the big red truck!  All ages welcome. Story time is at 10:30 AM, Truck Touch is at 11 AM. The Northeast Library is at 330 7th St. NE,

Saturday October 19 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Community Fun Fest at the Lisner-Louise-Dickson -Hurt Home. Enjoy a day filled with food, fun, laughter and games! Thiis community event is truly fun for all ages. Intergenerational Art Activities: Paint a miniature canvas or make a dazzling sand art piece to take home. Help paint a life size animal statue in the garden. Visit the Resident Art Gallery to view contemporary artwork created by the talented artists of the Home. Baby Farm Animals and Pony Rides. Meet cuddly ducks & chicks, squeaky pigs, fuzzy sheep & funny goats and take a ride on a pony! Moon Bounce, Juggler and Face Painting. No outdoor event would be complete without a chance to jump around in a bounce house, become your favorite superhero or princess, and be entertained by a super silly clown! Refreshments: Ice Cream * Popcorn * Hot Dogs * Pizza * Snacks * Drinks * Food Trucks. Bring your friends. Bring your grandchildren! No admission fee, small cost for rides, activities, & food. The Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home is at 5425 Western Avenue. Rain or shine - if it rains we'll be inside.

Saturday, October 19 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Ancestry Day: Genetic Ancestry Testing - Another glimpse of the Old World and lessons for the new. Have you ever wondered about our collective African ancestry—what that ancestry means today or what you can know about it? From newspaper advertisements to online databases, the quest to find family members and ancestors has never stopped. Join Bethel 21 at Metropolitan AME Church, as we explore tools that can potentially aid African Americans in our continued search for our ancestors. Guest speakers include genetics and genealogy experts Fatimah Jackson, Dorothy Roberts, Janina Jeff, and Shannon Christmas. This forum has been designed with an intergenerational audience in mind. Whether you're interested in genealogy, curious about DNA testing, or a medical professional interested in the role of ancestry information and race on health care, this forum is for you. The event is free, but we encourage registration here: At Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, 1518 M Street NW

Saturday, October 19 from 11 AM - 3 PM, Lafayette Fall Festival. This wonderful annual event for kids and adults benefits the Lafayette school community. For the kids: Expect carnival rides, bounce houses, rock-climbing walls, face painting, balloon twisting, glitter tattoos, arts and crafts, sports and games, a haunted house, and more. We also have an array of fall-filled fun for adults: Purchase beautiful fall décor: pumpkins, corn stalks and hay bales. Participate in the pie competition or purchase homemade treats from our bake sale. Peruse our used toy and book sale. Enjoy lunch from some of the city’s best food trucks, which will make a rare appearance in our neighborhood! Indulge in treats and snacks including ice cream, funnel cakes, pizza slices, cotton candy, and more. This is a beloved community event that is open to all. Lafayette School is at 5701 Broad Branch Road NW. For more information on the Fall Festival, visit: For information on what activities and sales are cash only or sold by tickets or by credit card, go to:

Saturday, October 19 from 11 AM - 7 PM, Down in the Reeds Music Festival. Join Library Takeout at Down in the Reeds, a day-long fall celebration and music festival happening at The Parks at Walter Reed. Festival organizers, Listen Local First, will create an outdoor fall gathering that brings together a mosaic of entertainment and activations reflective of DC’s cultural diversity and in celebration of the healing power of music. The ability of music to heal at the micro and macro level is one of music’s fundamental characteristics, bridging race, culture, and socio-economic status across all Wards. This one-day celebration seeks to highlight that common experience through performances from some of DC’s most vibrant musicians as well as workshops, arts activations, community and family engagement and more. Free. Location: The Parks at Walter Reed, 1010 Butternut St. NW. More info:

Saturday, October 19 at 12 noon, Research 101: LGBTQ+ Resources at Washingtoniana. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Washington Blade and LGBTQ+ History Month, learn about the LGBTQ+ history resources available from Special Collections. Archival collections will be available to view, and staff will lead a short presentation on how to find and use our LGBTQ+ materials. Free. Washingtoniana is at 4340 Connecticut Ave. NW,. More info:

Saturday, October 19 from 12 noon - 3 PM, OAKtoberfest Concert: The Shmoods, known as the DMV Hip-Hop Orchestra. Join Friends of the National Arboretum for a crisp fall afternoon of music, food, drinks, and fun! We'll be joined by crowd favorite, The DMV Hip-Hop Orchestra, now known as "The Shmoods," a collaborative music project featuring a new generation of DMV artists who color sound with spirit using a diverse palette of personality and strokes of Hip-Hop bringing you classic medleys and landmark originals. Our friends at The Greater Cater with be serving up St. Louis meals all afternoon! Free admission. At the US National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue NE. More info:

Saturday, October 19 at 1 PM, It’s a Small World After All: Art Wraps on Historic Georgia Avenue. This is the first event in a series that explores DC history, public art and storytelling. Learn about the lives of visual artists Lily and Earle Pilgrim and public art with community historian Peter Stebbins. Then take a tour of the traffic box art outside of the library, followed by a reception at NuVegan Café. Food and refreshments will be provided. This event is recommended for ages 18+. In partnership with the Lily and Earle M. Pilgrim Art Foundation and Georgia Avenue Thrive. Starts at the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW,

Saturday, October 19 at 2 PM, A Right To The City Author Talk Series: Lawrence J. Vale. Join us for a discussion with Lawrence Vale about his book After the Projects: Public Housing Redevelopment and the Governance of the Poorest Americans. The book examines the deeply-rooted spatial politics of public housing development and redevelopment at a time when lower-income Americans face a desperate struggle to find affordable rental housing in many cities. Vale is Ford Professor of Urban Design and Planning at MIT, where he served as Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning from 2002 until January 2009. He has taught in the MIT School of Architecture and Planning since 1988, and he is currently the director of the Resilient Cities Housing Initiative (RCHI), a unit of the School’s Center for Advanced Urbanism. Free. Registration is required. Please note that registration does not guarantee a seat.At the Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW (entrance on Lamont St). More info: 
Sunday, October 20 at 7:30 PM, Chiarina Chamber Players Concert: A Poet's Love. Grammy nominated baritone Randall Scarlata and National Symphony Orchestra principal flutist Aaron Goldman join Chiarina for a colorful program featuring Schumann's beloved song cycle Dichterliebe and works by Ravel and Prokofiev. Tickets: $25 at; $30 at the door, $10 for age 30 and under. A 15% discount is available with discount code CP15. At St. Mark’s Church, 301 A Street SE

Sunday October 20 at 2 PM, Talk Story: Three Coins: A Young Girl's Story of Kidnappings, Slavery and Romance in 19th Century America. Join the 1882 Foundation's monthly Talk Story program for a discussion with Russell Low, who discovered a 1903 Hong Family photograph that sparked a decades long search for the stories behind the picture. Three Coins is one of the untold stories of women who endured and built the foundation of Chinese American families. Free and open to the public. Located at the I (Eye) St. Conference Center, 600 Massachusetts Ave. NW (Use the Public Parking entry way located on I (Eye) street, and take the elevator to Level C). More info:   

Monday, October 21 at 12 noon, Lecture: DC's Fort Reno Community after the Civil War, presented by Amy Rispin and Diane Tamayo, independent scholars. Delve into the history of D.C.'s Fort Reno community after the Civil War. Although the neighborhood was nominally integrated, the schools and residents' social lives were largely separate. Independent scholars Amy Rispin and Diane Tamayo reveal the social history of this popular Northwest neighborhood. Free; no reservations required. Bring your lunch and enjoy a cup of coffee on us. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21 Street, NW. More info:

Monday, October 21 at 7 PM, Waste Not: Food Waste, Resource Conservation, and You. The American food industry discards 150 million pounds of food every day - the equivalent of 523 Titanics per year. This class will review the causes of food waste and ways to reduce it, debunking myths along the way. For example, is the food you are throwing out actually bad? In addition, you’ll learn about the environmental damage caused by food waste, and various efforts to co-opt the current agricultural system to help feed local communities. This class will be led by William Reid who, in an effort to prove a point, survived off of food waste for over two years. Free. At Northeast Library, 330 7th St. NE. More information: 

Tuesday, October 22 at 4:30 PM, Halloween Crafts and Mask Making. It’s that time of year again! Join us in celebrating Halloween by making Halloween-themed masks and decorations. All art supplies will be provided.All ages welcome. Free. At Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW, entrance on Lamont St, 

Tuesday October 22 from 6:30 PM to 8 PM, Free Landmark Lecture: Houses Divided: Arlington House, Tudor Place, and the American Civil War, presented by Mark Maloy, National Park Service. Explore the Custis connections between Tudor Place and Arlington House, and the difficult decisions made by family members at both homes as the nation hurtled towards the Civil War. Register to reserve seats: Tudor Place Historic House and Garden is at 1644 31st Street NW,  ·

Wednesday, October 23 at 6:30 PM, Clarice Smith Lecture Series: Naomi Beckwith, senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago takes a deep dive into her professional background and explores the interplay between her formal education and life experience in her curatorial approach. Beckwith explores questions of identity through multi-disciplinary practices showcasing contemporary art in a culturally conscious setting. Her recent work includes exhibitions focused on African American painter and mixed media artist Howardena Pindell, the artists’ collective AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists), and the Association for the Advancement for Creative Musicians. Tickets: Free; Registration online recommended: In the Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium, 8th and F Streets NW.

Thursday, October 24 from 6 - 9 PM, Halloween Tennis Monster Smash (Tennis Costume Party). Join DPR Citywide Tennis and our partners, Tennis at Shiloh for a night of haunted Halloween tennis! The Halloween Tennis Monster Smash is a fun family event in which children from ages 3+ and adults are encouraged to come dressed in their spookiest costume and play tennis. Instructors will be in costume as well and the DPR team will facilitate a Halloween themed evening filled with music, prizes for the best costume, and of course, some great tennis. Show up anytime between 6pm and 7:30pm for kids and family play. 7:30pm to 9pm will be reserved for adults only. RSVP today - - and don't forget your phone because this event is perfect for social media! Free. At Banneker Tennis Courts, 2500 Georgia Avenue NW.

Thursday, October 24 from 6 - 8 PM, What NOT to Wear for Halloween? Your four-year-old daughter wants to be Pocahontas for Halloween - is that an expression of admiration for a real historical girl hero? Or is it cultural appropriation? Your ten year-old boy wants to be the Dread Pirate Roberts - does that make light of piracy and its many real-life victims? What about your desire to put your little doggie in a lion costume? Is that fair to the pooch? Or to lions? And what about all those “sexy nurse” and “sexy French maid” outfits? Are they sexist? (You bet they are!) Halloween may be a silly kids’ holiday but these days it’s positively fraught with weighty issues. Too much for the average parent to navigate alone! Now you can join a group workshop to guide you through the do’s and don’ts - complete with costumed models of what is and is not considered appropriate This is just what you need before you send your kids out trick-or-treating! For a photo gallery preview of some of the costumes that will be critiqued and rated on an acceptable-to-don’t-even-think about it scale, go to    

Friday, October 11, 2019

Still Life With Robin: Goodbye, Columbus!

Columbus statue in front of Union Station, DC
by Peggy Robin

On Tuesday, October 8, the DC Council passed emergency legislation to rename this coming Monday, October 14 – the Holiday Formerly Known as Columbus Day -- "Indigenous People's Day." With this move DC joins six other states, and over 130 cities, towns, counties and other jurisdictions in ceasing to pay homage to the Italian explorer who claimed the New World for Spain. And the charges most commonly lodged against old Chris? Here are the three biggies:

* Columbus did NOT discover the Americas. It had a thriving native population who had been here some 16,000-30,000 years before Columbus and his three ships dropped anchor.  He wasn’t even the first European to cross the Atlantic. That prize goes to Leif Ericson.

* Once he came into contact with the people of what he called the Indies, Columbus brought some back to Spain in chains and oppressed and enslaved many others.

* First contact with Europeans set into motion the rapid spread of European diseases throughout the Americas, leading to mass death that in some places wiped out ninety percent of the population, obliterating whole cultures. The bringer of death and destruction on such a scale should never be honored - no matter what other accomplishments may be to his credit.

The honor, instead, ruled the Council, belongs to those who suffered from the conquerors from across the seas – and their descendants who managed to survive. For that reason the new name of the holiday is "Indigenous People's Day."  Here’s the story in DCist, which gives more details about the Council’s actions and reasoning: 

To see a map showing what other states and municipalities have dumped Columbus Day, go here:

I say with some pride that this is a move I’ve been pushing since 2014, when I first took it up in this column: What to Do With Columbus on Columbus Day?

Now that it’s come to pass, I’m only too happy to say, Goodbye Columbus! And thank you to the DC Council for running him out of town before he had the chance to ruin another three-day weekend. And now let’s all go out and buy mattresses and cars just as the original Indigenous Peoples used to do!

Happy IP Weekend to ALL!

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

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column October 11 - 17, 2019

Fall Bird Walk at the Tregaron Conservancy
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 18,400+ 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, October 11 from 10 AM - 12 PM, DIY Digital Friday - Digital Preservation. Take our Intro to Digital Preservation class to learn about ways you can digitize your personal archive using library technology at the Tenley Library and the Memory Lab. Tenley Library staff  will be on hand to assist in scanning materials, answering questions and providing one-on-one guidance in digital preservation. Bring your photos, slides and personal papers to receive a consultation. Registration is required: Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

Saturday, October 12  from 8 - 9:30 AM, Fall Bird Walk at Tregaron Conservancy with Birding Expert Jim Nelson. Did you know that Tregaron Conservancy is a birding "hot spot"? Over 100 species of birds have been identified in our woodlands. Join our terrific volunteer, birding expert Jim Nelson, on a walk to look and listen for Tregaron's resident and visiting birds. Jim has been birding for over 30 years and regularly leads tours for land conservancies in our region. The group will gather at 3100 Macomb Street NW. Tregaron has mulch trails and moderate elevation changes. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a water bottle. Questions? Email info @ tregaronconservancy dot org. Free - register at

Saturday, October 12 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Fall Festival at All Saints Church. Enjoy music, bounce houses, petting zoo, pumpkin patch, cookout, hot chocolate, s’mores, arts and crafts, and more! There's even ping pong, foosball, and corn hole for older children. This kid-friendly event is open to the public, so bring your friends and neighbors. Tickets sold at the door. To get an approximate headcount, please RSVP here Admission for children (includes bounce houses, games, petting zoo, cookout, hot chocolate, snow cones, s’mores) $20; admission for adults (includes cookout) $15; admission for adults (food not included) $5. If you are looking for a healthier food option, there will be a Middle Eastern food truck selling salads, falafel, chicken shawarma and more. Rain or shine at All Saints Church, 3 Chevy Chase Circle, Chevy Chase, MD

Saturday, October 12, 11 AM - 2 PM, Tug of Wharf at District Pier. Taking place on the beautiful District Pier at the DC Wharf, teams of six will battle it out to see if they can be crowned DC’s top tuggers. Prizes will be offered for the winning tug of war team, best team costume or theme, and for the team that raises the most money to benefit the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The DC Wharf is at 1100 Maine Ave SW. More info:

Saturday October 12 from 2:30 - 5 PM, The Georgetown Library Celebrates 5 Years of the DC Punk Archive! Selected materials from the DC Punk Archive collections will be on display in the Peabody Room, the punk archive's temporary home during the renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Read zines, view rare concert footage, and learn about how the collections have been used by researchers over the years. The Open House will take place indoors between 2:30 - 4 PM; an outdoor celebration will go on till 5 PM. The celebration includes: an exhibition of photographs by Antonia Tricarico, author of Frame of Mind: Punk Photos and Essays 997-2017; DIY merch - make a button and stencil your own posters and t-shirts! Paper will be provided, but you must bring your own t-shirt; Music by Les the DJ at 2:30 p.m. and CORIKY (Amy Farina - Ian MacKaye - Joe Lally) at 4 PM. Outdoor activities will take place in the rear yard, and will move to the lower level meeting room in the event of rain. Free. At the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St. NW. More info on the punk archive at 

Sunday, October 13 from 10 AM - 5 PM, Grand Re-Opening of the Anacostia Community Museum. Everyone is invited to join us for the grand re-opening of the museum! See our new look both inside and outside. From 2pm to 4 pm, there will be special festivities. Meet and greet with our new director, Melanie Adams, and enjoy refreshments and live music. See our current exhibition, A Right To The City. Free. At the Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE, 202.633.482, 

Sunday, October 13 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Capitol Cider House 2019 Harvest Festival, with everything you want in a Fall Festival, including: Live Apple Pressing; Apple Cider Donuts; Apple Tasting; Mulled Cider; Face Painting; Balloon Animals; Random Prizes!!! Free admission. Please RSVP here - - so we have enough of everything, especially DONUTS! At Capitol Cider House, 3930 Georgia Avenue NW 

Sunday October 13 2019 at 2 PM, Garden Concert Series: Karen Collins & The Backroads Band. Join us for an afternoon of music in the beautiful garden area beside Northeast Library. Bring a chair, sit back and enjoy the sounds of Karen Collins & The Backroads Band. One of the Washington, DC area top classic honky-tonk groups, Karen Collins & The Backroads Band play classic country music. Their original shuffles, two-steps, and buckle-polishing slow tunes project an authentic vintage sound and the twang continues with a list of covers that range from Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb, to Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, with dashes of rockabilly, Wanda Jackson and Chuck Berry thrown in. Please note: In the event of inclement weather, concerts are held inside the Northeast Library, 330 7th St. NE,

Monday, October 14 at 12 noon, Lecture: DC Murals: Spectacle and Story. Perry Frank and Cory Stowers, founding and associate director of DC Murals: Spectacle and Story, share the stories behind many of the public murals that decorate the streets of Washington, DC.Free; no reservations required. Bring your lunch and enjoy a cup of coffee on us. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21 Street, NW,

Tuesday, October 15 at 7 PM, Author Talk: Sid Balman, Seventh Flag. A National Book Award nominee, Seventh Flag is a work of historical fiction about the radicalization of America that follows four generations of two families in a small West Texas town on their global journeys as they come of age and adapt to shifting paradigms of gender, commerce, patriotism, loyalty, religion and sexuality. Sid Balman, Jr. is a Pulitzer-nominated national security correspondent and fourth generation Texan. He has covered wars in the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo. Balman now makes Washington, DC his home. This is his first novel. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW,

Wednesday, October 16 at 6:30 PM, Pumpkin Carving. Come celebrate Halloween with carving or decorating a pumpkin. You can make your pumpkin scary or funny! Supplies and Pumpkins will be provided, while they last. Free. At Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Wednesday October 17 at 4 PM, The October Curmudgeons’ Club. Does it raise extreme hackles whenever you see the typo “fall foilage” when it should be “foliage”? Are you incensed by the rampant overuse of “Spooktacular” in the names of Halloween fairs and festivals? Do you get slightly nauseated by the ubiquitous scent of Pumpkin Spice at Starbucks all this month? If you answered yes to any of these petty irritants, then come to the October Curmudgeons’ Club and meet a bunch of cranks just like you, who harbor these and other seasonal pet peeves.See all the October solecisms, malapropisms, and cultural cliches that drive curmudgeons up the wall. If there’s a particular cliche or horrible Halloween pun you think should be banned from civilized society, you can add it to the complaint agenda for the meeting here: -- where you can also register and find out the address of meeting place of the group.

Thursday, October 17 at 7 PM, Author Talk: Ruta Sepetys and "The Fountains of Silence." In partnership with Politics and Prose, Cleveland Park Library  welcomes author, Ruta Sepetys, who will discuss her new book The Fountains of Silence. This event will take place in the Cleveland Park Library first floor meeting room. The Fountains of Silence is set in the summer of 1957 in Spain, at the height of a fascist dictatorship. Daniel Matheson, son of an American oil tycoon, joins his parents on a summer trip to Madrid where he hopes to connect with the country of his mother’s birth. Is the Spain that tourists experience a glossy, filtered version? Can Daniel, an aspiring photojournalist, bring to light the atrocities the world has ignored? Once again, internationally acclaimed bestselling author Ruta Sepetys deftly illuminates a lesser known history with her newest novel about the power of love, the repercussions of war and the reckoning of truth in fascist postwar Spain. Copies of The Fountains of Silence and other Ruta Sepetys titles will be available for purchase. A book signing will take place after the event. Free. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Seating is first come, first served. The Cleveland Park Library is at 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Thursday October 17 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Tudor Nights: Steppin’ Out in Style. Begin at the Main House, to view a selection of rarely displayed footwear from the Tudor Place Collection, followed by cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres at the Dower House. For ages 21+. Tickets: Free for Tudor Place Members; Non-Members: $15 at Tudor Place Historic House and Garden is at 1644 31st Street NW