Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dine Out for Food and Friends on April 24; Chef's Best Dinner and Auction on May 13

Dine Out for Food and Friends on April 24

Are you dining out on April 24th? Your critically ill neighbors hope so.

“I have been blessed to receive help from the most amazing souls in the world. I will never be able to say thank you for all you have done. You gave me my health back, what more could I ask for.”

On Thursday, April 24th, thousands of people across the country will be dining out at restaurants that pledged a percentage of their sales to support local AIDS service organizations. 

We are hosting Dining Out for Life® in Washington, DC and want to know your plans.

No matter your answer, you are providing much-needed, nutritious meals to your neighbors suffering from life-challenging illnesses. 

To make reservations, just go to Open Table:

Thank You! 

Questions? Contact events @ foodandfriends.org.


Chef's Best Dinner and Auction on May 13

Mark your calendars for the Chef's Best Dinner and Auction on May 13!

What is Chef's Best?

Chef's Best Dinner & Auction is our signature fundraiser. On Tuesday, May 13th, more than 1,500 guests will enjoy tastings from 60 of the region's brightest culinary stars while raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to support children and adults facing HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses. In addition to a menu filled with one-of-a-kind delights, you'll enjoy bidding on live and silent auctions featuring travel opportunities and other great adventures.

When: Tuesday, May 13, 2014. VIP Reception 5:30pm. Main Doors Open, 6:30pm
Where: The Washington Hilton Hotel, 1919 Connecticut Avenue NW. (T St Entrance)

For all the event details see:

Buy your tickets here:

Additional Questions? Call (202) 269-6826 or events @ foodandfriends.org. 

Food & Friends
219 Riggs Road, NE
Washington, DC 20011
Phone: (202) 269-2277 
TTY Service: (202) 855-1234 
CFC #52114 | UW #8429

This message brought to you by the All Life Is Local and the Cleveland Park Listserv

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Still Life With Robin: Palindrome Streak Ends Today (No, This Is Not a Palindrome)

"Madam, I'm Adam"
Palindrome Day illustration
via Wikimedia Commons
by Peggy Robin

Today, April 19, 2014, is the last of a string of 10 palindrome dates in a row. It started with April 10 - that is, 4.10.14, which reads the same forwards and backwards. The next day was 4 1 1 1 4 -- it’s easier to see the pattern if you space the numbers out evenly to reveal the internal symmetry. Then you can see that the lone changing digit is the one in the middle: 0 for the 10th, 1 for the 11th, 2 for the 12th, and so on until today, when we hit number 9 in the series.

The starting date in our 10-day streak, April 10, was also a 7-digit (full-year) palindrome. That is, if you write it as 4.10.2014, it’s still a palindrome date.  The next time that April 10 will be a 7-digit palindrome date will be 1,000 years from now - 4.10.3014. For more about this, see http://faculty.up.edu/ainan/PalindromeDay4102014.pdf. This document also has some other whimsical fun-facts about April 10, the 100th day of the year -- making me wish I had pointed this out on the actual, remarkable date…instead of 9 days too late.

To celebrate the end of palindrome week, I am happy to present a palindrome poem from comedian and Master Palindromist (who knew there was such a thing?) Demetri Martin:

Well,  it turns out that Demetri Martin is just one of a number of talented souls who could claim that title. The number one contender is surely Barry Duncan, recognized by NPR a few years ago in this profile piece:

Perhaps the best way to finish off the palindrome week is with congratulations to the winners of the Symmy Awards, given out each year by the publishers of Palindromist magazine to the creators of the year’s best palindromes: http://www.usatoday.com/story/popcandy/2014/04/15/palindromes/7740239/.  This year’s Symmys, which took place in Portland, Oregon, were judged by an all-celebrity panel including (among others) New York Times Puzzle Master Will Shortz NYT, rapper MC Paul Barman, Wall Street Journal language columnist Ben Zimmer, and "Portlandia" producer David Allen Cress.

However, if you think that the best of the year's palindromes are not up to the standard of the classics, then content yourself with a look back at the Top Ten Palindromes of all time, as selected by Paranormalist and Bizarre Literature Specialist (another category you never knew existed!) Jeff Danelek:

If you are not content to abandon the world of palindromania at the end of Palindrome week, then by all means keep on exploring through Palindrome.net: http://www.palindromelist.net/  You may hear the palindromes calling to you: “Flee to me, remote elf!”


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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Out! - The Events Column

Photo by Albert Herring (via Creative Commons)
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 14,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.us.

Bill Adler and Peggy Robin
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, April 18 at 3:30 PM, Heritage Without Borders Lecture, an event in honor of International Day on Monuments Sites, featuring Martin Perschler of the US State Department, speaking on the US Ambassadors’ Fund for Cultural Preservation Support for World Heritage. $10 - $15 at http://bit.ly/1kEdJqI. Location: Heurich House Museum, 1307 New Hampshire Ave NW.

Saturday, April 19 at 11 AM, Third Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Tregaron. The Tregaron Conservancy is sponsoring another free and fun-filled Easter Egg Hunt! We will gather on the Klingle Road side of the property, near the lily pond (address: 3029 Klingle Road). The Conservancy will have “hidden” over 1,500 plastic eggs filled with treats. This year, we will have a toddler area and a bigger kids area for delightful discoveries! Please RSVP at http://bit.ly/1j8ilRW.

Saturday, April 19 at 11 AM, A Walking Tour of Woodley Park the National Cathedral, by Washington Walks. $15. More info: http://www.washingtonwalks.com/tours/get-local/. Meet outside the Woodley Park Metro Station.

Saturday, April 19 from 2 - 4 PM, Glover Park Village’s Artists in the Afternoon series presents a talk by poet, journalist and professor Alessandra Gelmi. Free, reservations requested at http://bit.ly/1r2E3uU. At Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert St NW.

Sunday April 20 at 8:30 AM, The Rosedale Conservancy hosts the annual Easter Egg Hunt -- everyone is welcome, so please bring your little ones armed with baskets. The hunt begins at the stroke of 8:30 AM from the front porch of the farmhouse. There will be bagels and coffee afterward. Please enter the park through the Newark Street gate (not the driveway), and make your way up to the farmhouse -- no hunting along the way. And please leave your four-footed friends at home!

Monday, April 21 at 7 PM, Canine Behavior: Training and Enrichment, presented by Dr. Ashley Gallagher of Friendship Hospital for Animals. Free. At Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW. More info at http://dclibrary.org/node/41498.

Monday, April 21 from 10 AM - 4 PM, Easter Monday: A Washington Family Tradition at the National Zoo, featuring an Easter egg hunt, animal demonstrations, live entertainment, family activities, and a visit from the Easter Panda. Free. Bring your old cell phones to recycle, too. More info at http://nationalzoo.si.edu/activitiesandevents/celebrations/easter/

Tuesday, April 22 from 7 - 8:30 PM, Atlas Shrugged: A Community Conversation (part of American University’s “Books That Shaped America” series. The discussion of Ayn Rand’s novel will be led by Nimai Mehta, Assistant Professor School of Professional Extended Studies. Free. All AU and local community members are welcome. Light refreshments will be served. Free parking is available on campus after 5pm. For more information visit: www.american.edu/spexs/btsa.

Wednesday April 23 at 6 PM, A Public Art Unveiling. The DC Art for Public Spaces Project and DPW are pleased to announce the installation of a new public outdoor sculpture titled “Repurposed.” This pair of monumental columns, 60 feet tall, each take the outward form of a container: on the left a supercan and on the right a blue plastic recycling bin -- each fashioned from the plastic repurposed from discarded supercans and recycling bins collected from DC residents who received new cans from the city. The gargantuan but familiar bins will form the two sides of a welcoming arch at the entrance of the Fort Totten Trash and Transfer Facility, 4900 John McCormack Drive NE. Mayor Vincent Gray will speak at the dedication -- or would speak at the dedication, if this were a real event, instead of being the weekly fake event.

Thursday, April 24 at 6 PM (reception) and 6:30 PM (lecture). “Cottage Conversation” featuring Historian John Taliaferro examines the extraordinary life of John Hay in his newest work, “All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt.” “Cottage Conversations” offers relaxing evenings to socialize and learn something new about our 16th president in his Washington home. The program starts with a cocktail reception, is followed by the lecture, and concludes with a book signing. Location: President Lincoln’s Cottage, 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW. $10/reception, $10/lecture. Reservations Required: Email SMiraminy @ savingplaces.org or call 202-829-0436 x31232. More information: http://lincolncottage.org/category/visit/public-programs/

Thursday, April 24, all day, Food Friends Dine Out for Life invites you to reserve at more than 100 participating restaurants. A portion of your bill will be donated to Food Friends to support its mission of delivering nutritious meals to children and adults facing HIV/AIDS and cancer. Find a restaurant at: www.foodandfriends.org/dol. Reservations can be made on OpenTable.com or through the restaurants directly.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Still Life With Robin: A Perfect Day for Squirrels

by Peggy Robin

The last few days have been the glorious springtime we’ve been waiting for and dreaming about…and no one is enjoying it more than the squirrels who have been shivering in their little nests all during the prolonged and snowy winter. If you haven’t seen the squirrels out frolicking in the sunshine in the past few days, you can see them on the links that have been posted during Squirrel Week, which is celebrated annually around this time of year by Washington Post’s local columnist John Kelly, who has featured posts of:

Baby squirrel adopted by mother cat and kittens: http://wapo.st/1kB9K0N 

John Kelley’s squirrel gallery, featuring Sugar Bush, the Supermodel Squirrel:

High quality Washington Post squirrel photos:

And cuter/funnier photos sent in by local readers:

All right, enough of this aw-aren’t-they-cute gawking. Let’s face it, the little rodents may be furry and fun to have around, but they are also thieves. What they are best at stealing is the birdseed that we buy and stock in feeders for our feathered friends. If you love birds, you will need a way to protect the food you provide for them (our local squirrels are fat enough as it is!). Squirrel-proofing your feeder is the hardest trick in the book…which is why it takes a book with 101 tricks to help you get the job done. “Outwitting Squirrels: 101 Cunning Stratagems to Reduce Dramatically the Egregious Misappropriation of Seed from Your Birdfeeder by Squirrels” has been the go-to guide for bird lovers and bird feeder defenders since its first edition came out in 1988. Now in its third edition, it’s got 25 years of wisdom (and frustration) behind it. And it’s from our own listmeister and Cleveland Park denizen, Bill Adler, who recently recounted the evolution of his anti-squirrel worldview in an interview in the New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1gmfvbk.

As for the book, it’s available at most nature stores and bird feeding supply stores, as well as on Amazon.com:http://amzn.to/Q1GCBW. Remember, if the techniques described don’t keep the squirrels at bay, you can always throw the paperback at them!


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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Get Out! - The Events Column

Peeps by Jon Sullivan (Wikimedia Commons)
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 14,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.us.

Bill Adler and Peggy Robin
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, April 11 at 7 PM, JazzFest 2014 concert celebrates the brilliant collaboration between Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery heard on their classic album Bags Meets Wes, featuring the Levine Jazz Quartet including faculty member Josh Walker on guitar and special guest Chuck Redd on vibraphone. Free for Levine students; $20 tickets at the door; $15 tickets online available at http://bit.ly/1gcjvuI. In the Jane Lang Recital Hall, 2801 Upton St, NW.

Friday, April 11 at 7:30 PM, Peeps Diorama for Non-Contestants. Do you love the Washington Post’s annual Peeps Diorama contest? Have you had great ideas for the contest but lacked the time, skill, or patience to carry them out? This year you can have all the fun of a creating a contest entry submission without any of the work! Get together with your fellow Peeps contest wannabes at the Post Pub around the corner from the Washington Post, and talk about what you would have created as a Peeps diorama if you just could have gotten your Peeping act together by the March 17 deadline. Bring your wildest ideas for a diorama, and nothing else, because you don’t need to build anything -- just talk. Wait, you don’t have to do that either -- keep it all in your head -- because this is the weekly fake event.

Saturday, April 12, 9:30 AM - 12 PM, Children’s Architectural Tour of Cleveland Park, led by Hartman-Cox Architects, hosted by the Cleveland Park Historical Society. Kids (6-12 year old age range) will spend the first part of the morning learning some vocabulary, then walk around the neighborhood looking at seven different properties including the Uptown Theater, NCRC, and the Macklin Apartments. After the walk, children will build a structure based upon the tour and other ideas. Limit: 20 children, accompanied by an adult. $10/child for CPHS members, $20/child for non-members. Tickets: http://cphschildrensarchitecturaltour.eventbrite.com

Saturday, April 12 from 10 AM - 4 PM and Sunday, April 13 from 1:30 - 4 PM, Friends of the Cleveland Park Library Annual Spring Book Sale at the Cleveland Park Library (Connecticut Avenue Macomb Street), open to the public. Choose from thousands of books in all subjects including mysteries thrillers, history, sports games, fiction, politics, romance, fine performing arts, kids books, cookbooks, travel, science  nature, poetry, graphic novels, foreign language, self-help, plays, business economics, diet fitness, science fiction fantasy, reference, and more. Most hardbacks $1; most softcovers 50¢. Proceeds support Cleveland Park branch and city-wide library programs.

Saturday, April 12, Civil War Walking Tour. House Tour: 10:30 – 11:30 AM; Neighborhood Walking Tour: 1 - 2 PM. Civil War meant uncertain times for Tudor Place and surrounding Georgetown. Learn how owner Britannia Kennon saved her family home by boarding Union officers. See where they dined, learn what they ate, and hear about the landlady’s special precautions to avoid charges of espionage. After breaking for lunch on your own, return for an expert guided tour of historic Georgetown. Choose house or walking tour, or enjoy both - tickets $8-$15 at: http://bit.ly/1etV37B. At Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street NW.

Sunday, April 13 from 10 AM - 2 PM Bicycle Tour of the Civil War Defenses of Washington, a 7-mile guided ride from Fort Reno to Fort Totten, led by a park ranger. Free, but reserve by April 11 by email to scott_einberger @ nps.gov. Meet at Tenleytown Metro. More info: http://1.usa.gov/1sHfoiY

Sunday, April 13 from 3 - 6 PM, “Ancestors, Guardians Guides: A Scholar’s Symposium - The Idea of Ancestry and Its Role in Contemporary Life and Society” led by Dr. David C. Driskell, Artist, Educator, Art Historian, Curator, and a distinguished panel of experts in African American history, Latino culture and museum curation. Location: Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M Street NW. Free, register at www.my-ancestors-symposium.eventbrite.com

Tuesday, April 15 at 7 PM: Book talk on “Historic Restaurants of Washington, DC: Capital Eats” Join local historian John DeFerrari as he recounts the high water marks of African American achievement in the D.C. restaurant business. Free. At the Takoma Park Library, 416 Cedar St NW Free. More info: http://dclibrary.org/node/41323

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Still Life With Robin: Google Unglued

Superglue (Omegatron via Wikimedia Commons)
by Peggy Robin

I was attempting to glue back a broken handle when it happened: The Superglue erupted out of the squeeze-tube and instead of a single drop settling on the handle as intended, a cascade splashed over my fingertips, and before I knew what had happened, two of my fingers, formerly separate and functioning as independent digits on my left hand, were welded together. Tight -- the tightest, most secure Superglue bond I have ever seen out of all the attempts in my life to Superglue separate items together. I must have stared at my hand good 20 seconds in astonishment, giving the bond time to strengthen further, before galloping off to the sink to try to wash the stuff off with soap and water. Which, to my complete surprise, accomplished absolutely nothing. What a hold that stuff has…when it actually works, which it seldom does, in my experience, when the two separate parts are made of china.

Still, I wasn’t dismayed. This must happen to people all the time. I’ll just Google the answer…if I can type with one hand, that is. The very first thing that came up was this:
http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Super-Glue-off-of-Your-Hands-with-Salt. The Wikihow answer -- make a thick paste out of table salt and water, rub gently, and repeat as needed. Simple enough. But not good enough. Despite multiple salt-paste wash and rinse attempts, my fingers remained stuck together as one unit.

Back to Google, and this time I knew better than to pick a solution based on search ranking The “wiki” method of relying on popular response to identify the best answer to a question may be fine when you need to know which boy band is the cutest, but there’s no reason to expect it offer you the right way to break down a chemical bond. For that you need an expert. And what better expert than the manufacturer of the substance that produced the bond? Let the makers of Superglue tell me how to unglue myself. I went back to the search results to find the hit from the Superglue Corporation and came up with this: http://www.supergluecorp.com/removingsuperglue.html -- the fourth one down on the list of search results.

The Superglue Corporation says to use acetone, the main ingredient in nail polish remover. Easy enough, I figured, until I looked at my bottle of nail polish remover and with a sinking feeling realized it was one of those environmentally-friendly/kind-to-your-sensitive-skin types, entirely ACETONE FREE! Was there any of the old-fashioned hard stuff in the house? After (one-handedly) combing through some basement shelves and cabinets, I discovered the three-quarters-evaporated remnants of a bottle sitting in a box of decades-old dried-out children’s art supplies. It still had that pungent smell. And when applied to Superglued skin, it worked in an instant. My fingers were free!

And the take-away lesson learned from this incident? It could be any of the following choices:

A. Superglue is best used when your goal is to weld your fingers together; it’s not much use for any other kind of bonding.
B. There’s a value in keeping things like old nail polish remover; you never know when it may come in handy.
C. Never assume the number one result of a Google search will yield the right answer.
D. Never try to fix anything; just get new stuff.

An argument may be made for each, but personally, I’m going with D.


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

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Get Out! - The Events Column

Photo by Thomas S. Mann
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 14,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.us.

Bill Adler and Peggy Robin
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, April 4 at 8 PM, An Evening of the "Best of the DC Mayoral Campaign Robocalls." WAMU has created a soundscape arrangement of the best robocalls made by the candidates for mayor in the recent primary election and will play them back for a live audience, using the state-of-the-art sound mixing equipment in the auditorium of its new headquarters at 4401 Connecticut Avenue NW. After the performance there will be a panel discussion moderated by Mark Plotkin, featuring political commentary by Mark Plotkin, statistical analysis by Mark Plotkin, and additional historical notes by Mark Plotkin. Free, and no need to RSVP, or show up, as this is the weekly fake event.

Saturday, April 5 from 11 AM - 4PM, Varmland Day, a look at Sweden’s Varmland region through its music, literature and arts. Glass artist Inga-Lena Kienell will talk about her glass installation, author Lars
Andersson will read from his latest work, and there will be a lecture on the Swedish immigrant community in the US in the 1920s. Guided tours in Swedish or English will take visitors through three exhibitions and a
display of exclusive linens from Klässbol, featured at the Nobel Awards dinners in Stockholm. Enjoy traditional Swedish fika in the summer café. Free. At the House of Sweden, 2900 K St NW. More info at

Saturday, April 5 from 2 -4 PM, Glover Park Village’s “Artists in the Afternoon” series presents a talk by Carlton Fletcher on his work as a painter/historian. Location: Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert St NW. Free. Reservations requested by email to Events @ GloverParkVillage.org. More info at http://bit.ly/1k4cqDP.

Sunday, April 6 at 11 AM, Cherry Tree Walking Tour. Washington Walks and Casey Trees offer a guided tour with information on the history and variety of Japanese cherry trees in Washington. Meet outside the Smithsonian Metro station at Independence Ave. Tickets are $20 at http://www.washingtonwalks.com/tours/cherry-tree-walk-with-casey-trees/.

Sunday, April 6 at 1 PM, Tree Talk and Community Service Event at Tregaron. The Tregaron Conservancy and Cleveland Park Historical Society are jointly sponsoring a free Tree Talk and Community Service Event starting at 1 PM with a presentation on the trees of Tregaron — their health and wealth — and the many challenges of owning and maintaining a historic woodland garden while restoring a dilapidated forest in the midst of the city. Tregaron Conservancy board members (one of whom is a master arborist) will address the issues and lead a short, guided walk. At 2 PM join us as we engage in community service projects. including: removal of invasive plants, bulb planting (daffodils and other flowers to plant beside the woodland trails), and cleanup. The Tree talk is at 3100 Macomb St NW. Meeting place for the service projects will be in the open meadow to the left of the mansion as you walk up the driveway from Macomb St. Bring gloves and small tools (trowels, clippers,etc.) if you have them. The Conservancy will provide extra gloves, equipment, and trash bags, as well as refreshments. Please RSVP to Bonnie LePard, bjlepard @ yahoo.comemail. More info at http://bit.ly/OgbrS1.

Sunday, April 6 at 2 PM, Local author Nick Mann reads from his 2013 novel Forgetful and discusses the writing and publishing processes, as well as the pleasures and challenges of setting a story in Washington, DC. At the Georgetown Public Library, 3260 R St NW. Free. More info: http://dclibrary.org/node/40957.

Monday, April 7 at 7 PM, “Gaza Writes Back.” Young authors from Gaza will share their stories of acts of resistance and defiance, proclaiming the endurance of Palestinians and the continuing resilience and
creativity of their culture in the face of ongoing obstacles and attempts to silence them. Presented by Just World Books and the American Friends Service Committee. Free. At Friends Meeting of Washington, 2111
Florida Avenue, NW. More info at http://gazawritesback.wordpress.com/.

Wednesday, April 9 at 7 PM. Author Talk: Mark Twain in Washington, DC. Did you know Twain had a love/hate relationship with DC? John Muller will discuss his book "Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent," which tells how the great American satirist found his calling as a humorist during a stint as a journalist in DC during the winter of 1867-68. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave NW. The author is an associate librarian of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library's Washingtoniana collection. His previous book is “Frederick Douglass in Washington, DC: The Lion of Anacostia.” Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing.

Wednesday, April 9 at 7 PM, “Talk Vs. Action: Making Your Opinion Count.” A panel discussion on the future of public participation in the urban planning process in Washington, DC, hosted by The National Capital Planning Commission. Free. At the NCPC, Suite 500N, 401 9th St NW. Reservations requested - go to http://www.ncpc.gov/calendar/home-event.php?id=189 and click on the RSVP

Thursday, April 10, 2014 from 12 noon - 2 PM, From Cargo to Vase: Floral Imports 101. Step into spring at this skill building luncheon event hosted by WIIT (Women in International Trade) where you’ll learn
from Caroline Feitel of the Embassy of the Netherlands about the scope and variety of floral imports from the Netherlands. Take a walk through the Aalsmeer flower auction, learn how you can decorate your office and home with tulips and daffodils, and get tips from local floral designers. A few lucky attendees will be able to leave with one of the floral arrangements demonstrated. Sandwich luncheon served. At Amgen, Inc., 601 13th Street NW, Suite 1200. WIIT Members: $25, Non-Members: $50; Advance registration required - visit: http://wiit.org/upcomingevents/?ee=28

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Capital Shower Share Launches Today

The Cleveland Park Listserv has received a press release from Capital Shower Share, a joint venture created by a private/public partnership of the local Council of Governments, local gym/spa owners, and Capital Bike Share. For everyone who has ever hesitated to use Capital Bike Share, especially in the warm weather, out of the fear of arriving at their destination all hot, sweaty, and smelly, Capital Shower Share offers welcome relief at an affordable price.

Here’s part of the official announcement from the Capital Shower Share Partnership (which would like to be known familiarly as CapShowParts):

“Today, Capital Shower Share brings a much-needed service to bicyclists in the Nation’s Capital. Six shower-equipped vehicles will be parked at selected high-traffic Capital Bike Share locations. Each Capital Shower Share van will be equipped with six private stalls and enough water to provide showers for 12 hours of continuous use. DC residents no longer have to make a trade-off between being environmentally responsible and fit, and sweaty and malodorous. With Capital Shower Share, people who bike to offices, restaurants, or meeting places will be able to enter clean and refreshed.

“Capital Shower Share is a product of two years’ research and is funded by a cooperative grant with the Environmental Protection Agency and the law firm of Stern, Haley, Christopher & Quaid, whose lawyers were tired of feeling gross and sticky when they got to work, especially in the hot summer months. Capital Shower Share incorporates technologically advanced solar-powered hot water heaters and solar-powered blow dryers in each shower -- no towels are needed.”

Here’s how Capital Shower Share works, according to the announcement: “Capital Bike Share members, after returning their bikes, will be able to use their Capital Bike Share card to unlock the door to the shower van. Only Capital Bike Share members will be able to use Capital Shower Share; those who rent bikes using just a credit card will be denied access, no matter how sweaty they are. In addition, you need to have rented a bike within the past two hours to be able to use a Capital Shower Share shower. Once inside the shower van, your Capital Bike Share card will also unlock the door to your combination shower/changing room/locker. If any of the six shower stalls are occupied, an electronic sign on the outside of the shower van will display the estimated wait time for the stalls in use. To save energy and maximize availability, each shower will be limited to 4 minutes and 55 seconds.”

The announcement contains many more details about the rules for members, including: the required use of disposable shower shoes (provided); a list of permitted and prohibited soaps and shampoos; policy on singing (allowed, but lyrics must be family-friendly); and rubber duckies -- no larger than 6 inches long, 4 inches high, and 3.5 inches wide. Other types or sizes of bathing toys may be permitted upon acceptance of a completed special exception application, available online.

The complete press release, which includes a link to all the full set of CapShowParts membership rules and the online registration form, is available on the web at http://tinyurl.com/cmqa52t.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Still Life With Robin: Bin Disappointed

by Peggy Robin

We’ve been awaiting delivery of our new city-supplied trash and recycling bins for weeks, but snowstorm after snowstorm has delayed their arrival. But today was the day! I was so looking forward to this, as my old Supercan had a broken latch -- it’s been that way for years. Using some stiff coated wire and a bit of DIY ingenuity, I rigged up my own lid-latch, which has worked well enough over the years to keep the racoons out…but it’s ugly. Yes, I know it’s kind of an oddball thing to care about, but I am tired of having a Supercan with a wired-attached lid sitting in front of my house on trash pickup days. I wanted one of those new, bigger, better Supercans that DPW had been promising us for weeks but had been unable to deliver due to round after round of relentless snow.

And now it’s here….and the lid doesn’t latch. It’s not that the latch doesn’t work, it’s that it’s not there at all. In a habitat filled with garbage-devouring animals well-versed in the various methods of opening any accessible source of human food, who are not only persistent, but ingenious, and capable of great teamwork and creativity, DPW has inexplicably settled upon a model that practically scream to racoons, “Enter Here - It’s a giant storage pod of delicacies!” As if the lack of a locking mechanism were not enough, the LID DOESN”T EVEN LIE FLAT. It’s cocked open at an inviting angle.

The minute the bin was off the truck, and I saw the lid askew, I ran after the delivery crew to tell them I’d been given a model with an obvious defect. “Look, the lid on this one doesn’t close all the way. I need another one,” I called after the departing Supercan men. One of the crew came back and inspected the lid. “It’s fine,” he pronounced. “They’re all that way on the truck. It will straighten itself out after a while.” Unless I misunderstand the way warped, heavy-duty plastic behaves over time, I don’t see that happening. What I do see happening is a trip to the hardware store, where I will buy some heavy-duty coated wire, and then I will drill a couple of wire-sized holes in the lid, and thread the wire through the holes, and  twist the wire into a loop that can catch on something on the front of the can, creating a hook-and-eye-like catch that even the highest-IQ raccoon won’t be able to uncouple.

Now I know someone is bound to suggest that I get hold of a couple of nice, big, heavy bricks and just set them down on top of the lid, problem solved. But knocking bricks off the top of a trashcan is child’s play for the racoons of Cleveland Park. So it’s back to the wire for the brand-new bin, ugly or not....


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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Get Out! - The Events Column

Photo by Thomas S. Mann
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 14,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.us.

Bill Adler and Peggy Robin
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Thursday, March 27 from 6:30 - 8 PM, How Washingtonians Talk - Humanitini Happy Hour Event, sponsored by the Humanities Council of Washington. Washington Post columnist Clinton Yates will moderate a panel on the language styles of Washingtonians. Linguistics experts Natalie Schilling and Minnie Annan will report on the results of their research into the speech patterns of Washington, DC residents. Free, but reservations suggested at http://bit.ly/1hxqUF9. At The Couple, 3415 11th St NW.

Saturday, March 29 from 8 AM - 3 PM, United Methodist Women's Book Sale. Browse through gently used fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, DVDs, and CDs. Enjoy coffee and baked goods while you browse. A children's reading nook will have story time from 10 - 11:30 AM. At Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church, 3401 Nebraska Ave NW, at New Mexico. All proceeds benefit global missions that support women and children.

Saturday, March 29, 10 AM - 3 PM, Tree Fest at Tudor Place.This free event marks the planting of a white oak in the North Garden to replace the towering sentinel lost last year. The festival includes an artisanal crafts market, guided landscape tours, information and tips from local environmental organizations, and tree-focused crafts, games, and storytelling for children. Tudor Place is at 1644 31st Street NW, 202.965.0400, https://www.tudorplace.org/article/uncategorized/tree-fest-info/.

Saturday, March 29 at 10:30 AM, Cherry Blossom Tea Party Storytime at the Cleveland Park Library. Children and parents are invited to a special Tea Party Story Time to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival. We will serve tea and Miss Patty will be reading cherry blossom- and spring-themed books and introducing some new springtime songs.Free. The library is at 3310 Connecticut Avenue NW, http://dclibrary.org/node/40964

Sunday March 30 at 5 PM Concert by Soprano Alessandra Marc and Issachah Savage accompanied by Pianist Francis Conlon, performing Songs, Operatic Scenes and Spirituals. Free. Voluntary contributions will benefit the Hairi Relief Charities. At the Church of the Annunciation, 3810 Massachusetts Avenue NW, one block west of Wisconsin Ave.

Monday, March 31 from dusk to 11 PM, Virtual Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin. As the cherry blossoms are predicted to bloom late this year (April 8-12, when for the past 21 years the average has been March 31, the National Park Service has arranged a special event to bring the colorful floral spectacle to us on time through the use of CGI technology. “Green screens” will be placed behind the trees along the walkways encircling the Tidal Basin, and from computer-outfitted barges afloat in the center of the Tidal Basin, images of the trees in full bloom will be projected onto the screens, delivering a virtual explosion of blossoms before our eyes. Cost to the taxpayers: $0, as this triumph of computer-generated artistry is happening only in our imaginations. We wish it were real, but alas, it is the weekly fake event.

Tuesday, April 1 from 6 - 8 PM, Exclusive one-night art show, “An American Story” - the kick-off event to the 75th Anniversary Celebration.of the Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home. Please RSVP by March 28th to dlyle @ lldhhome.org. The LLDH Home is located at 5425 Western Avenue, NW, www.lldhhome.org. For more about the 75th Anniversary Gala, visit: http://www.lldhhome.org/75th_anniversary_gala.html

Tuesday, April 1 from 7 - 8 PM, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein: A community conversation. American University’s Books That Shaped America Series continues on April 1 with a community dialogue on the first science fiction novel to become a bestseller. Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Assoc. Dean for Undergraduate Education, SIS, leads the discussion. Personnel from the new Museum of Science Fiction (MOSF) will also be in attendance. This event is free and open to all members of the Washington, DC community. Attendees are encouraged—but not required—to have read the book. Light refreshments will be served. No RSVP necessary. In the Abramson Family Founders Room at the School of International Service, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW. For more info go to: www.american.edu/spexs/btsa.

Thursday, April 3 at 6 PM, Tudor Nights: Japonisme, Inspiring Western Tastes. To celebrate the return of the Japanese cherry blossoms, Tudor House is hosting an event featuring Asian-inspired appetizers, wine and other beverages including the evening’s signature cocktail, and an exploration of the mansion’s reception rooms by evening light. Best of all, enjoy an insider’s close-up with objects from the collection that reflect the late 19th-century fascination with Japonisme. For ages 21+. Tickets: $20 for non-members; free for members - go to: http://bit.ly/1iDREXO.

Thursday, April 10, 2014 from 12 noon - 2 PM, From Cargo to Vase: Floral Imports 101. Step into spring at this skill building luncheon event hosted by WIIT (Women in International Trade) where you’ll learn from Caroline Feitel of the Embassy of the Netherlands about the scope and variety of floral imports from the Netherlands. Take a walk through the Aalsmeer flower auction, learn how you can decorate your office and home with tulips and daffodils, and get tips from local floral designers. A few lucky attendees will be able to leave with one of the floral arrangements demonstrated. Sandwich luncheon served. At Amgen, Inc., 601 13th Street NW, Suite 1200. WIIT Members: $25, Non-Members: $50; Advance registration required - visit: http://wiit.org/upcomingevents/?ee=28

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Still Life With Robin: Popping Up in Cleveland Park

Photo courtesy of Michael Hartman, Thos. E. Clark Inc.
by Peggy Robin

Pasteria Floriana has popped up in the former Pulpo Restaurant space in Cleveland Park, but just until March 27. (The Washington Post has the story at http://wapo.st/1giGSS9). The “pop-up” restaurant is a recent trend -- a little weird but I like it. The advantages are obvious:

  • It make good use the space of a recently departed restaurant, rental space that might otherwise sit vacant and deteriorating until a long-term tenant can be found.
  • It allows a restaurant owner to try out a new concept without investing --and risking-- too much time, money, and energy.
  • It give food critics, and adventurous foodies, and even ordinary occasional restaurant-goers some new tastes to sample, with the promise of the fully realized incarnation of the new restaurant turning up at some point in the not-too-distant future.

What’s not to like? Even if the pop-up’s offerings are less than stellar, there’s opportunity for the dishes to be re-worked, the service to be smartened up, the setting to be redesigned.

In the short space of a few months between the demise of Pulpo, at 3407 Connecticut Avenue, there have actually been two pop-ups. Soon after Pulpo’s closing, there was the Hawaiian restaurant Hula Girl, a product of the owners of the Hula Girl food trucks (see http://bit.ly/1iP7Vd80) which featured Teriyaki tofu steaks, macaroni salads, dishes made with Spam and other additives favored in the 50th state but rarely part of mainland chef’s repertoire. So you might say that Pasteria Floriana is the pop-up after the pop-up.

Or you could count it as the third pop-up in that space, taking into consideration of the fact that prior to Pulpo, there was Bandolero, a “modern Mexican” pop-up by celebrity chef Mike Isabella. (Flashy Bandolero was always somewhat out-of-place in poky old Cleveland Park; it’s much better suited to the hustling-bustling part of M Street in Georgetown where it found its true home. See http://www.yelp.com/biz/bandolero-washington-2  to get a sense of its decibel level, as well at its cuisine.)

What will come next for 3407 Connecticut? An international barbecue place (as suggested in the Washington Post article)? Or a Peruvian chicken restaurant (as reported in the Prince of Petworth blog -http://bit.ly/1bLTTZ2)? I’m in suspense … but glad to know, due to the pop-up trend these days, that if the new restaurant doesn’t work out for whatever reasons, that the space won’t sit empty long. Another pop-up may come along with a new concept, more surprises, more innovation. In any event, I don’t think we’ll ever go back to fast-food-boom times of the ‘80s and ‘90s, when that space was a McDonald’s. (At least I hope that trend is gone for good.)

And now for a longer walk down Memory Lane: Here’s a link to a photo of what was the original use of 3407 Connecticut Avenue: The Thomas E. Clark Plumbing Showroom http://bit.ly/1ldeedg. Pretty snazzy!


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