Saturday, December 8, 2018

Still Life with Robin: The 8-Night Holiday Problem


by Peggy Robin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

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

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

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv
www.cleveland-park.com      

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 11 at 7 PM, Book Hill Talks - Charlemagne at the Burgundy Court of the 15th Century: Power and Decadence. Valerie Croquez, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer of World Languages and Cultures at American University, will discuss Charlemagne's influence on the 15th Century Court of Burgundy. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, 202-727-0232, 
https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62033 

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 1, 2018

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

Photo by Bill Adler

by Peggy Robin

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

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

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

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv
www.cleveland-park.com      

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Still Life with Robin: What About Sunday?

Photo by Eric Ray (via Creative Commons)

by Peggy Robin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If none of the above describes the activities that mark the Sunday after Thanksgiving for you and your family, please feel free to send suggestions!
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv on Saturdays.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

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

DC Public Library Image
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 17,900+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv
www.cleveland-park.com     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Name That Neighborhood!

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

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

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

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

Agn├Ęs Artemel says,
I hope it will be Soft Landing, and not Landing with a Bang

Some had ideas for new names.

Aaron Landry
@s4xton
“National Landing”?! If they're going to rename Crystal City, why not:
Bezos Beach?
Arlington Prime?
Alexatown?#HQ2Names

My favorite of the above is Arlington Prime!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now here’s an even better idea! You know how we got Shirlington from a mash-up of Shirley Highway (the actual name of that portion of I-395) and Arlington? Let’s mash-up Amazon and Arlington to create: AMAZINGTON!
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.   

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column, November 16 - 22, 2018

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

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv
www.cleveland-park.com   

Friday, November 16, 7 - 9 PM,  Opening night party for Home/Brewed: How the Chr. Heurich Brewing Co. Witnessed DC History. The exhibit, which will be housed in the museum’s Carriage House Gallery, highlights a collection of over 1,000 items including bottles, cans, signs, and branded objects of every kind from the brewery’s existence between 1872 and 1956. Free. Registration is recommended - http://bit.ly/2OHTMSS. At the Heurich House Museum, 1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW

Friday, November 16 at 7:30 PM and Saturday, November 17 at 2:30 and 7:30 PM, RENT (School Edition), presented by Wilson HS Theatre. Set in the East Village of New York City, RENT is about falling in love, finding your voice, and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, it has become a pop culture phenomenon with a rock music score, and a mature story that resonates with all generations. (Some material may not be appropriate for younger children; please use your discretion.) Tickets at the door: $5 student/child/Wilson staff (all performances); $15 adult ($10 for the matinee). In Wilson High School Auditorium, 3950 Chesapeake Street NW. 

Saturday, November 17, 9 AM 5K and 10 AM Fun Run. Calling all local runners and walkers - looking for some fun and healthy activity before the Thanksgiving week? Register to participate in the 8th Annual Janney 5K & Fun Run, sponsored by the Janney Elementary PTA. The 5K will kick off at 9 AM and the Fun Run will take place at 10 AM. All members of the community are welcome to participate. Strollers and dogs are welcome, too, but we ask that you line up at the back. Janney Elementary is at 4130 Albemarle St NW. To register ($40 for the 5K; $20 for the Fun Run - includes T-shirt), go to http://bit.ly/2PuahqX. For all details, go to: http://www.janney5k.com/.

Sunday, November 18 at 4 PM, Concert: A Salute to our Veterans. Jennifer Heemstra, pianist, Carrie Pierce, cellist, and Jacqueline Nutting, violinist, perform patriotic favorites with works by Amy Beach, Florence Price, Irving Berlin, and more. This is the third performance of the fall American Music Series. Free. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW, https://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public     

Sunday, November 18 at 4 PM, "The History of Washington's Grand Department Stores: A Nostalgic Look Back." In the Chevy Chase Historical Society’s Fall Lecture of 2018, department store expert Michael Lisicky will lead local residents on a trip down memory lane when he takes his audience back to Woodward & Lothrop in its heyday -- past the elaborate holiday window displays, through the up-to-the minute fashions for men, women and children, past the Wedding Services department, and on to the seventh-floor Tea Room, known for its Chicken Pot Pie and other specialties. He will also discuss other beloved local department stores, including Garfinckels, Hecht’s, and more. A reception will follow the lecture, and light refreshments will be served. Copies of Lisicky’s book about Woodward & Lothrop will be available for sale and signing by the author. Questions concerning the program may be directed to CCHS at 301-656-6141 or info @ chevychasehistory dot org. Free. At the Lawton Community Center, 4301 Willow Lane. More info: http://www.chevychasehistory.org/ 

Monday November 19 at 12 noon, Lecture and Gallery Talk: Treasures from the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection. Learn about recent collaborations between the museum's Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection and students of GW's Phi Alpha Theta history honors society, through talks and a special guided tour of the exhibition Treasures from the Albert H. Small Collection. Presented by Julia Brown and Isabella Bucci, GW Phi Alpha Theta students; Jackie Streker, assistant curator, Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection. Free; no reservations required. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW, https://museum.gwu.edu/treasures-talk-tour

Monday November 19  at 6 PM, Michelle Obama on her memoir, “Becoming.” In a surprise addition to her multi-city book tour, Michelle Obama will come to the Cleveland Park Library for a reading and book signing. “I’ve always loved Cleveland Park, and the new library is phenomenal - I just knew we could not leave it off the tour,” said the former First Lady through a spokesperson. Attendance is free but you must register in advance at http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent, with priority seating given to those who use the promo code: “CLEVELANDPARKLISTSERVFANTASYFAKEEVENT.”

Tuesday, November 16 at 12:30 PM, Lunch Bites: A portrait of an American loyalist. Portraits of American loyalists depicted in the uniforms they wore when they fought against the patriot cause are rare. This recently acquired oil painting is of Colonel James DeLancey of Westchester County, New York, who led several loyalist cavalry and infantry units during the war. Attributed to itinerant artist John Durand, the portrait was painted ca. 1778-1782. Join Deputy Director and Curator Emily Parsons for a discussion of this painting, DeLancey's activities during the Revolution, and eighteenth-century depictions of American loyalists. The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the painting. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW, https://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public     

Wednesday, November 21 from 12 - 5 PM, Fab Lab Pop-Up at NoMa: DIY Decorative Gift Box. Drop in to the Fab Lab Pop-Up at NoMa anytime between 12 and 5 PM to assemble and decorate a special laser-cut box before you head home for the holidays. Give the box as a gift, or use it to hold an even more exciting present! Please register at http://bit.ly/2QGjwAJ to let us know you're coming. The Fab Lab is a weather-dependent space, and may close at short notice due to adverse conditions. We will do our best to notify class members who have signed up in advance. Free. At 1150 First St. NE. Questions? Email fab.lab @ dc.gov or call 202-604-7820,
https://www.dclibrary.org/node/61991

Thursday, November 22 at Whatever Time Your Family Can Agree on - It’s Thanksgiving! Have a fabulous Thanksgiving, everyone! More info: https://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving   

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Eleven Eleven

by Peggy Robin

November 11, 2018  is the one hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I. If you remember what you were taught in history class, you will pause for a moment at precisely 11:00 AM – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – the exact time chosen as the armistice that we have now observed for a century. All across Europe and America there are solemn observances, wreath laying ceremonies, and memorial services.

Once we’ve had our moment of sober reflection, we can get on with the ordinary activities of our three-day holiday weekend – shopping, sales, and getting ready for the run-up to the big-ticket spending for the winter holidays. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are just a few short weeks away. And yet, on the other side of the globe, it’s already the biggest online shopping day of the year. That’s right – in China, every year on 11/11, online sales are massive, as this day is a holiday celebrated by millions – no, billions! – who buy gifts for Singles Day

That’s right, 11/11 is a holiday for the unmarried and romantically unattached. It’s a day for single people to stand up proudly and say, I don’t need a partner to buy stuff for me…. I can buy myself an expensive present if I like….and that’s just what people do. The date 11/11 was chosen because the four ones in a row can be seen as four single individuals. Well, it might have made more sense, symbolically speaking, to pick January first (1/1), but that date was already taken for New Year’s Day in the international calendar. 
 [Creative Commons]

This November 11th marks the tenth anniversary of Singles Day – it was invented by China’s most profitable online shopping company Alibaba in 2008, and it already eclipses both Black Friday and Cyber Monday in combined sales – see https://qz.com/1450338/10-years-of-singles-day-in-china-the-shopping-festival-alibaba-invented/. The popularity of a day for singles to celebrate themselves and buy themselves stuff is already spreading far beyond China, to Korea and other parts of Asia. How much longer will it be before Singles Day takes root in Europe and the Americas? After all, we have lots of single people and why would they not want a holiday that tells them to spend money on themselves, like their peers in the eastern half of the world?

There are no more living veterans of World War I to remember Armistice Day. But there will never be a shortage of young singles to celebrate November 11 as Singles Day.

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

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column, Nov 9 - 15, 2018

Armistice Day 11/11/1918 (photo - 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 17,900+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv
www.cleveland-park.com      

Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 PM, RENT (School Edition), presented by Wilson HS Theatre. Set in the East Village of New York City, RENT is about falling in love, finding your voice, and living for today. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, it has become a pop culture phenomenon with a rock music score, and a mature story that resonates with all generations. (Some material may not be appropriate for younger children; please use your discretion.) Performances repeated next Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM, plus a Saturday afternoon matinee on 11/17 at 2:30 PM. Tickets at the door: $5 student/child/Wilson staff (all performances); $15 adult ($10 for the matinee). In Wilson High School Auditorium, 3950 Chesapeake Street NW.   

Saturday, November 10, 10 AM - 3:00 PM, Family Day: I Can See My House From Here! Featuring Peter Waddell, "Eye of the Bird" artist and historian. Washington looks quite grand, even from above. Enjoy a day of family-friendly activities designed to help you see DC from a bird’s eye perspective. Contribute to our three-dimensional map by building the city’s hospitals, schools, national monuments, and more from recycled materials. Practice your drawing skills in special workshops with local artist and historian Peter Waddell—and don’t leave without seeing Waddell’s finished bird’s eye view paintings of Washington DC in Eye of the Bird: Visions and Views of DC’s Past. Free; no reservations required. At the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW, https://museum.gwu.edu/birdseye-family-day     

Saturday, November 10 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Cleveland Park Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. Learn to edit Wikipedia pages and help improve the entries for historic sites, people, institutions, and more in and around Cleveland Park. No experience necessary! Experienced Wikipedians from the Wikimedia Foundation will teach us how to edit pages, and CPHS and Wikimedia will have reference materials ready for us to use. If you would like to suggest a Wikipedia article that we should work on editing at the Edit-a-thon, please email Carin Ruff at staff @ clevelandparkhistoricalsociety dot org. To register, visit http://bit.ly/2DtnauG. N.B.: Participants must bring their own laptops. The Wikimedia Foundation will provide lunch. When you register, let us know in the registration form if you'd like a vegetarian lunch. Everyone is welcome to participate. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Avenue NW. 

Saturday, November 10 at 1 PM, Lost Farms and Estates in Washington, DC. Join author Kim Prothro Williams for a discussion of her book "Lost Farms and Estates in Washington, DC," presented by the Peabody Room. Free. At the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/61924   

Saturday, November 10, 7:30 – 9 PM, Rejoice! English Choral Music. The first half of the 20th century saw the flourishing resurgence of English choral music. Join Casey Cook and the American University Chorus for an exploration of some of England’s most beloved composers, including works by Gerald Finzi, Herbert Howells, Benjamin Britten, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Free and open to the public. At National United Methodist Church, 3401 Nebraska Ave NW, https://american.edu/cas/auarts/calendar/?id=7912738    

Sunday November 11 from 12 - 3 PM, Veterans Day at Tudor Place: Generations of Service Tours. In honor of Veterans Day, guided house tours of Tudor Place focus on stories and artifacts recalling six generations of an American family in wartime, abroad and at home. Military families and veterans tour free. Tickets: Adults $10 (age 18-61); senior 62+ $8; college student with ID $8; students age 5-17 $3; under 5 free. Guided tours offered hourly; ticket includes garden access. Book online up to 24 hours before tour time, or call 202.965.0400. Walk-ins are welcome as space permits. Tours last approximately 45 minutes. At Tudor Place Historic House and Gardens, 1644 31st Street NW, http://bit.ly/2SSiVgN   

Sunday, November 11 at 5 PM, National Veterans Day Concert for the 100th Anniversary of World War I. Join Washington National Cathedral - online or in person - on November 11, 2018 as we celebrate the resilience of America's military families and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The National Veterans Day Concert celebrates the indomitable spirit of our veterans, their triumph over adversity, their resilience and their love of country. Through words, music and images, “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Chamber Orchestra, Chaise Lounge Band, singer Emy Cee, rapper Soldier Hard and other entertainers will perform a varied and compelling veterans-themed program. The concert is presented in collaboration with the WWI Centennial Commission and Veterans in Media and Entertainment. This is a free concert but reservations are required through the box office. Register and learn more at https://cathedral.org/initiative/veterans/.  The Washington National Cathedral is at Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues, NW.

Monday, November 12 at 12 noon, Book Talk: "Creating Capitol Hill: Place, Proprietors, and People" presented by Don Alexander Hawkins, author and historical cartographer; Pamela Scott, author and architectural historian. Learn the story of how the founding fathers reached a compromise to situate the permanent seat of government along the Potomac River, how George Washington and Pierre L’Enfant chose the site for the city, how President Washington negotiated an agreement with the proprietors who owned the land on which the city was to sit, and how a neighborhood and capital city arose from these tenuous arrangements. Free; no reservations required. At the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW, https://museum.gwu.edu/capitol-hill    

Monday, November 12, at 12 noon, “T-Minus Ten” Day - Planning Meeting. The “T” stands for Thanksgiving, and there’s just 10 days to go! If you need help organizing and coordinating all the arrangements essential to pulling off a large family dinner, then the T-Minus Ten Day Planning Meeting is for you! At this grand strategy session, we will come up with meal plan solutions for this sample guest list: a vegan couple, 2 gluten-frees, 1 paleo diet, and 1-3 last minute additions with some surprise dietary requirements. In another scenario, we’ll talk about the great-aunt who insists on bringing her bacon & green bean casserole that violates every single dietary rule observed by the rest of the family. We’ll cover seating, too, including tricky calculations such as: “How many “Never Trumpers” can you accommodate before your brother-in-law MAGA Joe stomps off in a huff?” And: Should an 19 year old who’s still in high school be at the kids’ table? What about the 18 year old genius/dropout who’s running a tech start-up valued at $2.5 million? Bring your thorniest problems and we’ll brainstorm together! To help us allot time to deal with each planning problem, you can email problems in advance to http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent      

Tuesday, November 13 at 6:30 PM, Author Talk: Paul Butler. Join us for a discussion of Paul Butler's latest book in which he explores the ways black men are feared, watched and policed and how the judicial system is complicit. His book examines, among other thought-provoking topics, social programs that fall short, black on black violence and alternatives to incarceration. “Chokehold:  Policing Black Men” was named one of the 50 best non-fiction books of 2017 by The Washington Post. The New York Times described Chokehold as the best book on criminal justice reform since The New Jim Crow.  It was a finalist for the 2018 NAACP Image Award for best non-fiction. Paul Butler is the Albert Brick Professor in Law at Georgetown University Law Center and a legal analyst on MSNBC. Free. At the Shepherd Park/ Juanita E. Thorton library, 7420 Georgia Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/61930    

Tuesday, November 13 at 7 PM, Book Hill Talks: Joan of Arc: The Woman, The Saint, The Political Icon. Valerie Croquez, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer of World Languages and Cultures at American University, will lead a wide ranging conversation about the life and influence of Joan of Arc. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62012    

Wednesday, November 14 at 7 PM, Board Games / Trivia Night for Grown Ups. Join your neighbors and friends at the Chevy Chase Library the second Wednesday of each month at 7 PM for an adult board game and trivia night. Themed games, strategy games, cooperative games and every-player-for-themselves games—we’ll have a board game that makes you want to play. We will alternate between trivia night and playing the board games. For ages 18 and older. Free. Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/59574    

Wednesday, November 14 at 7:30 PM, Two Faces of Comedy at Lincoln’s Cottage. Back by popular demand, President Lincoln's Cottage is teaming up with the DC Improv for the third year of our Two Faces Comedy series. Back by popular demand, and drawing inspiration from Abraham Lincoln's legendary humor and self-deprecation, President Lincoln's Cottage and The DC Improv are again partnering to present Two Faces Comedy, the first comedy series to transform Lincoln's living room into a comedy den. Tonight’s comedians are: Katherine Jessup; Chelsea Shorte; Naomi Karavani; Denise Taylor. For short bios of the comedians - and advance tickets $5 per person - go to: http://bit.ly/2RHCSpp. Cash bar: Beer and wine will be available for $5 a drink at each show. This comedy series is recommended for adult audiences. President Lincoln's Cottage is at 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW. 

Thursday, November 15 at 7 PM, “American Autobiography: From Colonial to Contemporary Times,” led by resident scholar, Philip Burnham, associate professor in the English Department at George Mason University. This program is part of the Nathalie V. Black Book Discussion Series: American Autobiography, which looks at how the style and themes of American narratives have evolved over the span of several centuries. Readings include personal accounts by a Founding Father, an African American activist, a Native American medicine man and the first Hispanic member of the Supreme Court. To register, please email  cplbookseries @ gmail dot com. This month’s program considers “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou. Published in 1969, Angelou’s first of many autobiographies charts her childhood and adolescence through the Great Depression and World War II. This moving account is an intimate memoir about survival in the segregated South and the changes wrought by the Great Migration for many African American families. For other titles in December and January, see https://www.dclibrary.org/node/61394. Free. You need not have attended the previous session to enjoy this one. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW.