Monday, March 27, 2017

Still Life with Robin: Happy Birthday, Dear Cherries

Ambassador Chinda and his wife
USDA Photo via National Georgraphic files
by Peggy Robin

Although this hasn't been a stellar year for our capital's cherry trees -- pushed by the February heatwave to semi-bloom too early, then hammered in mid-March by snowfall and days of freezing temperatures -- we still have our blossoms, enough to remind us that our trees are still a treasure....as they have been for 105 years.

Yes, the original cherry trees were planted along Washington’s Tidal Basin a century ago -- plus another half a decade on top of that (I could add, with a cherry on top...) On March 27, 1912, Vicountess Iwa Chinda, the wife of the Japanese ambassador, stood, shovel in hand, alongside First Lady Helen Taft, wife of William Howard Taft, and planted the very first cherry tree by the Tidal Basin, --one of 3,020 saplings shipped off from Tokyo aboard the S.S. Awa Maru, to be planted in the newly created East and West Potomac Parks -- a gift of the Japanese people.

The National Park Service, which has faithfully maintained and protected the trees for all these years, now says the grove numbers about 3,700. Happy birthday to them all!   ----
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Still Life with Robin is published on All Life Is Local and on the Cleveland Park Listserv, usually on Saturdays, but for this special occasion, on Monday.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Get Out! - The Events Column

African American Civil War Memorial
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 16,700+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.net.


Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, March 24 at 10:45 AM,  The DC Government’s 3rd Annual March Madness - a special preview of new and upcoming projects soon to be available to the District’s development community. Attendees will learn about upcoming solicitation opportunities and have the opportunity to network among potential team members across the community development sector. Sponsored by the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), this event is of particular interest to: real estate development teams; design & engineering consultants; architectural firms; housing officials; general contractor and subcontractors; equity providers; lenders; capital sources; small businesses owners. Doors and networking open at 9:30 AM. Program begins at 10:45 AM. Free. At Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dmped-march-madness-2017-tickets-32605552084

Friday, March 24 at 11 AM, Games, Lunch and a Movie at Guy Mason Recreation Center. An assortment of games will be brought out at 11 AM. Lunch is at 12 noon (lunch reservations needed to be called in to 202-727-7527 by Wednesday, March 22) and the movie, “Waking Ned Devine” starts at 1 PM. Guy Mason Recreation Center is at 3600 Calvert Street NW.

Friday, March 24 at 12 noon, The Morehouse College Glee Club, one of the nation's oldest all-male collegiate glee clubs, will perform a free concert at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW. The Library will open its doors one last time for this special performance before the building undergoes a three-year modernization. The acclaimed Morehouse choir has sung with noted celebrities such as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole and mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves. For info on plans to modernize the MLK Library, visit dclibrary.org/roadtomlkfuture

Friday March 24 at 7 PM, “Historic Districts & Climate Change: Examining the Vulnerability of the District’s Historic Districts to Sea Level Rise” - a lecture by Kelsey Robertson, winner of the 2017 Dick Wolf Memorial Prize presented by The Capitol Hill Restoration Society. Kelsey’s prize-winning lecture is based on her Master’s thesis that explores the vulnerability of historic districts to climate change and sea level rise and identifies adaptation planning mechanisms to increase climatic resilience without significantly diminishing the integrity of the built and cultural environment of these historic districts. She currently works in government affairs at AVANGRID, a national renewable energy developer and operator of regulated utilities. Free. At Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave SE. To be preceded by a brief CHRS Membership Meeting at 6:45 PM. More info: http://chrs.org/2017-dick-wolf-lecture/#more-5211

Saturday, March 25 at 12 noon, “African American Heroines of the Civil War,” a talk by historian C.R. Gibbs, presented by The Historical Society of Washington, DC. The talk is preceded by a guided tour of the African American Civil War Museum by director Frank Smith. The tour is from 11 AM - 12 noon; program from noon to 1:30 PM. Tour tickets: $10 - $15; the talk is free. Reservations for the tour required - go to: http://bit.ly/2nW8SrN. At the African American Civil War Museum, 1925 Vermont Avenue NW.

Saturday March 25 at 12:30 PM, DC Youth Orchestra Program SpringFest. Doors will open to the community at 11 am with prelude concert featuring DCYOP chamber groups and faculty. At 12:30 PM the Orchestra Idol competition concert will begin. Think Battle of the Bands meets DC youth! Over 200 students from 80 different schools will be assigned to one of three hybrid orchestras. Each orchestra will have one hour to prepare a piece which will then be performed in front of a panel of celebrity judges and community audience. The winner will be determined by the combined votes of the celebrity panel and audience texts score. Join us and enjoy the music and chip in with your vote! Free. At Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol Street NE. Questions? Write Natalia at natalia @ dcyop dot org. http://www.dcyop.org/

Saturday, March 25 at 1 PM, "Burleith: From Scotland to Shannon and Luchs." Co-author Ross Schipper of the newly published book, Burleith (Arcadia Images of America series), takes us on a pictorial history tour of the Burleith neighborhood from 18th century Scotland to the onset of the Shannon and Luchs Burleith development in 1923. Free. In the Peabody Room of the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, http://www.dclibrary.org/node/56163

Saturday, March 25 from 3 - 6 PM, Middle C Music celebrates its 15th anniversary at the store with cake and refreshments, live performances by teachers and students, and specials and prizes. Free admission. Middle C Music is at 4530 Wisconsin Avenue NW, http://bit.ly/2nWkL0W

Sunday, March 26, 2017, 2 PM, The History of Glover Park. Learn more about the history of Glover Park with local historian Carlton Fletcher. This event is an Age-Friendly DC activity, but anyone who is interested is welcome to attend. Learn more about Glover Park History by clicking this link: http://gloverparkhistory.com/. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, http://www.dclibrary.org/node/55782  

Sunday, March 26 at 8 PM, "March Stop the Madness" Dance. Tired of "March Madness"? This Sunday escape will be an old-fashioned square dance....and your chance to get away from all the B-ball fanatics in your life with their endless chatter about "brackets" and "elite eights" and "final fours." At the "Stop the Madness" Dance, the only eights and fours will be made up of pairs lined up to promenade and do-si-do around the dance floor. You will have a ball, without watching a bunch of tall guys shoot one! The catch is that this ball is not on TV...and it's not in a ballroom, either. It's in the "alternative reality" of the Weekly Fake Event.

Monday, March 27 at 12 noon, Lecture: Hollywood Representations of the National Capital from Jefferson Smith to Selena Meyer - a talk by Michael Cornfield, associate professor at GW’s Graduate School of Political Management. The 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a cultural landmark; it bathed D.C. in an idealistic light. Subsequent depictions have introduced a full spectrum of emotional perspectives, including such dark current television series as Homeland, House of Cards, and Veep. How can we as citizens perform reality checks while enjoying these escapes into the imagination? At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW. Free; no reservations required. More info: https://museum.gwu.edu/hollywood-dc

Monday, March 27 at 7 PM, “Keeping the Potomac: The Politics of Water” (2016, 26 minutes) plus Discussion. This documentary examines efforts of three local river keepers to hold polluters accountable along the Potomac River watershed. Panel discussion, hosted by Professor Chris Palmer, follows screenings. Panelists include student filmmakers and Professor Mike English, who taught the Center for Environmental Filmmaking class where Keeping the Potomac was produced for Maryland Public Television. Free and open to the public – no reservations required. At the Malsi Doyle & Michael Forman Theater - 2nd Floor, McKinley Building at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. Directions: http://www.american.edu/aumaps For more information, please contact: Chris Palmer (202) 885-3408 or email palmer @ american dot edu.

Tuesday March 30 at 7 PM, Soul Jazz and the Black Community, 1945-1975 - a JAZZforum program with Bob Porter, record producer, jazz writer and broadcaster. Bob Porter discusses his new book Soul Jazz: Jazz in the Black Community, 1945-1975, which complies a history of jazz in the back community in the period from the end of World War II until the end of the Vietnam War. Book signing follows presentation. Free. In the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Bldg. (46-West) at the University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Avenue NW. More info on this event and other JAZZforum events at http://lrdudc.wrlc.org//jazz/events.php/

Wednesday, March 29 at 7 PM, Women's History Month with Marione Ingram. Activist, author of The Hands of Peace, and Holocaust survivor Marione Ingram will speak in conversation with Dr. Lauren B. Strauss, Scholar in Residence at American University and Executive Director of the Foundation for Jewish Studies. Ms. Ingram will discuss her role in the Civil Rights movement and how her early experiences shaped her later life. Book signing to follow program. Held in cooperation with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington. Free and open to all. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW, http://www.dclibrary.org/node/56176  

Thursday, March 30 from 10 AM - 6 PM, “Poverty's Cost: How Privatization, Profits and Public Policy Place Higher Burdens on the Poor and People of Color” - A University of the District of Columbia Law Review Symposium. n the Moot Court Room, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, 4340 Connecticut Avenue NW. Free; reservations required  - go to: .http://www.law.udc.edu/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=855166&group=

Thursday, March 30 at 7 PM, Jewish Lit Live: Sam Lipsyte. George Washington University’s Department of English and Jewish Literature Live proudly present a reading by Sam Lipsyte, novelist and short story writer. He is the author of Venus Drive, The Subject Steve, Home Land, The Ask (the latter two New York Times Notable Books) and The Fun Parts. He won the first annual Believer Book Award and was a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow. He teaches writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts. Free and open to the public. First come-first serve seating. In the Marvin Center Amphitheater, 800 21st Street NW. More info: http://davidbrucesmith.com/jewish-literature-live-presents-sam-lipsyte/

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Still Life with Robin: A Winter Storm Named Stella

The Weather Channel
by Peggy Robin

The day before Tuesday’s snowstorm, the local real estate blog, CurbedDC, sent out a warning about the coming weather event under the headline, “Winter Storm Stella will bring heavy snow to D.C.“ That was the first time I saw a local media outlet calling the storm by name. Maybe it’s because we haven’t had any other snowstorms this year, and I haven’t been paying close attention to storms elsewhere -- but  suddenly it hit me that we’re just a few days away from the end of winter, the snow is mostly melted, and I have completely neglected to do my annual critique of the winter storm names issued by The Weather Channel. This is the fifth year that The Weather Channel has taken on the storm-naming task, and in all four previous years, I have dedicated at least one column to bashing their choices. If you want to look at all four previous years of chosen snowstorm names (and my snark about each and every one), here they are:

First year 2012-2013 “A Storm Named Boo-boo”

Second year 2013-2014 “Name That Storm”

Third year 2014-2015 “Name That Storm Redux”

Fourth year 2015-2016 “Name That Storm - 4th Annual Excursion”

And now for the main event, the take-down on the silly names on this year’s list. But hey, wait a minute….These names are actually pretty darn good! Let me start where we were on Tuesday, with Stella.

Stella is a fine name for a storm. Any name that brings to mind the image of Marlon Brando (as Stanley) bellowing up at the sky is fit for use as a winter storm name. Even if the setting is sweaty, sultry New Orleans.

Let’s continue with the rest of the alphabet in order:

Theseus. The mythical hero/demi-god/king of ancient Athens. He slew the minotaur, and he can easily lend his name to a blizzard.

Ursa. A she-bear. Another very good storm name.

Valerie. From the Latin, meaning strong, valiant. Also associated with the character of the witchy wife of “Miracle Max” (from “The Princess Bride”), whose hair was like a frizzy white storm cloud.

Wyatt. From Middle English words for battle and brave. In American history, the name calls to mind Wyatt Earp. Perfectly storm-worthy.

Xavier. A name made famous by a Spanish missionary, St. Francis Xavier. Probably the most frequently mispronounced name ever. People say “Ex-zavier” when they should just say “Zavier.” Of course, in Spanish, it’s pronounced “Ha-vee-air. Expel some breath at the beginning, as they do in Spain, and it sounds like a whoosh of wind. A bit of wintry wind, perhaps?

Yuri. Brings to mind Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. Blast off – you stormy rocket man!

Zeno. A variant of Zenon, which is ultimately a form of Zeus, who liked to throw thunderbolts.

Nothing to snark about so far. Now let’s go back to the beginning of the alphabet:

Argos. One of the city-states of ancient Greece. The name may come from a related word in ancient Greek, meaning “white plain” – that is, white like a land blanketed with snow.

Blanche. The French word for white.  – another snowy reference.

Caly. A nickname derived from Catherine, Greek for “pure”….as the driven snow.

Decima. It’s the name of one of the three Fates in Roman mythology, but it sounds a bit like “decimate,” meaning “to wipe out.” (Don’t get persnickety and tell me that it actually means, “to destroy one-tenth of something.” The meaning has shifted a bit since the Roman Legion’s practice of killing every tenth captive in a conquered land.)

Europa. From Greek mythology, the name of the princess carried off by Zeus, who had taken the shape of a rampaging bull.

Fortis.  Latin for strong.

Gregory.  From the Greek word “gregoros” meaning watchful or alert – advisable for anyone who learns there’s a storm on the way.

Helena. The name of the lady who had “the face that launched a thousand ships.” Anyone who can trigger a ten-year war can certainly have a storm named for her.

Iras. In Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, Iras is one of Cleopatra’s waiting women. But the sound calls to mind, “irate” (angry) or “irascible” (easily roused to anger).

Jupiter. The Roman equivalent of Zeus – also the name of the largest planet, the gas giant with the red eye that is actually a perpetual raging storm, about 12,400 miles long and 7,500 miles wide, with winds up to 450 mph.

Kori. From the Old Norse name, Korí, derived from the Old Norse word “kárr”, meaning “curly (hair), obstinate, pugnacious.”

Leo. The Latin word for lion. ROAR!

Maya. A variation of Maia, the goddess of spring. In the list of names so far, this is the first bad choice! The goddess who gave her name to the pleasant month of May should not also lend her name to a winter storm!

Niko. A nickname for the Greek name Nikolaos, meaning “the victor” – the one who won the battle or the war.

Orson: An English name derived from the Latin word for bear, ursus.

Pluto. The Roman name for Hades, god of the Underworld. Also the name of the planetoid that was formerly regarded as the ninth planet in the solar system, until it was demoted to “dwarf planet” status in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). It’s still just as frigid and unwelcoming as it ever was….

Quid. Latin for “what.” It’s not a name, much less a good one for a storm. Definitely does NOT belong on this list. 

Reggie.: A nickname for Reginald, a Germanic name from roots meaning “wise ruler.” Now, probably most commonly associated with Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. Baseball may be a summer game, but he could sure play up a storm!

Stella – and we’re back to where we came in!
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.    

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Get Out! - The Events Column

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 16,700+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Thursday, March 16 at 6:30 PM, Carnegie Neighborhood Lecture: “Jumping Genes: What They Mean for Evolution and Medicine” by Carnegie’s President, Dr. Matthew P. Scott. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served prior to the lecture. Please RSVP via http://bit.ly/2n5yMMh. The Carnegie Institution for Science is at   5241 Broad Branch Road NW.

Thursday, March 16 at 7 PM, Ladies Night Out with  Kate Siegel and Kim Friedman - an evening of champagne and pampering, featuring Kate Siegel and her mother, Kim Friedman. Kate's new book, “Mother, Can You Not?,” is based on her very popular Instagram account - @crazyjewishmom - where she posts texts and emails from her mom nudging her about life, dating, and more. Over drinks and hors d'oeuvres, you’ll hear from Kate and Kim why every woman needs a "crazy" Jewish Mom in her life. The evening features: book signing, champagne bar, popcorn bar, appetizers, beauty counter, make-your-own nail polish, make-your-own sugar scrub, and a Real Life Style fashion consulting booth. Tickets are $35 with a signed book, $20 for the event only, and $25 at the door. For advance tickets go to: www.whctemple.org/LadiesNight. At Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb Street NW.

Thursday, March 16 at 7 PM, “A Most Unlikely Friendship: Abraham Lincoln and Matias Romero.” President Lincoln's Cottage and the Mexican Cultural Institute present a timely conversation as Dr. Jason Silverman and Alberto Fierro-Garza take a close look at international relations and historic ties between the United States and Mexico. The conversation will be based around Dr. Silverman's article, “A Most Unlikely Friendship: Abraham Lincoln and Matías Romero.” Lincoln’s close relationship with Matías Romero, a Mexican politician and diplomat who served three times as Secretary of Finance and twice as ambassador of Mexico to the United States during the 19th century, was not only an unusual display of diplomacy, but also friendship. This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Register at http://bit.ly/2n5oN9T. Lincoln’s Cottage is at 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW.  

Thursday, March 16, Friday, March 17, and Saturday, March 18: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, presented by Wilson HS Theatre. Separated from her twin brother Sebastian after a shipwreck, Viola disguises herself as a boy to serve Orsino, the Duke of Illyria. Wooing Olivia, the countess that Orsino adores, on his behalf, she is stunned to find herself the object of Olivia's affections. Wilson Theater’s production Twelfth Night recreates Illyria as present day New York and explores Shakespeare’s classic tale of the journey to find true love, the confusion it can cause, and the joy it finally brings. In Wilsonl’s Black Box Theater - entrance on Chesapeake St. Performances at 7:30 PM, all three nights, plus a Saturday matinee at 2:30 PM. Tickets: $15 for adults, $5 for students and Wilson staff and for everyone at the Saturday matinee. No advance ticket sales. Seating is limited so arrive early.

Friday, March 17 from 5 - 8 PM, St. Patrick’s Day Party at Guy Mason Recreation Center. Celebrate the coming of spring with family and friends at Guy Mason’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner party. Enjoy a serving of corned beef and cabbage. Please bring a dessert and contact the Guy Mason staff at 202-727-7527 to let them know what you’re bringing, so that there will be no duplicates. The dessert is your price of admission! The Guy Mason Recreation Center is at 3600 Calvert Street NW.

Friday, March 17 at 7 PM, Ecology Lecture: A Proposal to Return the Snakes to Ireland. Join us on this St. Patrick’s Day as noted herpetologist Dr. Ophidia Nathair advances her proposal to undo the ecological damage committed in the mid-Fifth Century by St. Patrick, who has been credited (or rather, should be blamed) for driving the snakes out of Ireland. Snakes perform beneficial tasks in the food chain - most notably holding down the population of rats, mice and other vermin that eat crops and spread disease. It may be 1500 years late to reintroduce snakes to the island habitat, but better late than never! Another question to consider: How many centuries will it take for Dr. Nathair to receive recognition for the miracle of restoring Ireland’s snakes? In addition to coming to the lecture, please consider signing the online petition to beatify Dr. Nathair as Saint Ophidia - go to http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent. Free. At the Snake House of the Smithsonian National Zoo.

Saturday, March 18 at 10 AM, “Clara Barton, Angel of the Battlefield” - a talk by special guest, NPS Ranger Kevin Patti of the Clara Barton National Historic Site. Ranger Patti will discuss the life and legacy of the shy girl born on a New England farm in 1821, who grew up to break through barriers that often confined women to domestic service, and who went on to a 60-year career of public service as the founder of the American Red Cross. Free. At Rock Creek Nature Center, 5200 Glover Road NW. For information on this and other March 2017 programs in Rock Creek Park, go to https://www.nps.gov/rocr/planyourvisit/upload/March-2017-5.pdf

Saturday, March 18 from 11 AM - 4 PM, Women’s History Month Family Day. Celebrate Women's History Month at the National Postal Museum. Learn about all the amazing roles women have played throughout the history of the Postal Service, right up through today. Watch historic printing press demonstrations, play the “Dead Letter Office” game, and participate in a topical scavenger hunt.  Visitors can meet a real Postal Inspector and learn about her exciting job “Behind the Badge.” Special guest “Amelia Earhart” will make several appearances, engaging visitors with tales of her airborne adventures, as well as her love of stamps. Free; no registration required. At the National Postal Museum Atrium, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NW, For more information contact Motoko Hioki, 202-633-5533, HiokiM @ si.edu or visit: https://postalmuseum.si.edu/visit/calendar.html

Sunday, March 19 at 10:30 AM, Maya Benton looks at the work of Roman Vishniac, one of the great documentary photographers of the 20th century. Maya Benton, a curator at the International Center of Photography in New York City, presents an illustrated lecture, providing insight into Vishniac’s iconic images of Jewish life in Eastern Europe before the Holocaust as well as his vivid documentation of postwar ruins, displaced persons’ camps, and Jewish life in America in the 1940s and 50s. This program is part of the.Amram Scholar Series presented in partnership with the Edlavitch DCJCC and the Jewish Book Council. More info: www.whctemple.org/Amram and https://www.facebook.com/whctempleFree. At Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb Street NW.  

Sunday, March 19 at 2 PM, Create a Memory Book with Janet Minichiello. Learn how to transform an old book into a "memory book" that tells your own story. Use writing, drawing, painting, and/or collage to make a new artistic creation that will help you to both preserve and share special memories. All materials, including old books, will be provided; in addition, you are welcome to bring any of your own photographs, letters, or other mementos you may wish to use. Janet Minichiello works as a Licensed Graduate Professional Art Therapist in Maryland. At the Georgtown Library, 3260 R St NW. Free. To register, please email Jay at georgetownlibrary @ dc dot gov. Info on this session and on additional dates, visit: http://www.dclibrary.org/node/56085

Tuesday, March 21 at 7 PM, “Fly by Light,” a film directed by Ellie Walton and produced by Hawah Kasat - part of the DC Environmental Film Festival. A group of teenagers board a bus for West Virginia, leaving the streets of Washington, DC to participate in an ambitious peace education program. For the first time in their lives Mark, Asha, Martha, and Corey play in mountain streams, sing under the stars, and confront the entrenched abuse, violence and neglect cycles of their past. But as they return to DC, each young person faces an unforgiving series of hurdles and roadblocks that challenge their efforts to build a better life. Through breathtaking visuals from street corners to mountaintops, Fly By Light is an intimate exploration of the chaotic, confusing, and emotional journey to rewrite a young person’s future. A Discussion with Ellie Walton, Hawah Kasat, and students from the program will follow the screening. Free, but please register at http://bit.ly/2nJ9gJh. At THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE.

Tuesday, March 21 at 7:30 PM, The Rise in Hate Crimes - A Panel Discussion with Doron Ezickson, Jonathan Smith, and David Stacy, Moderated by Karen Finney, MSNBC. Join leaders from the Human Rights Campaign, Muslim Advocates, and the Anti-Defamation League to discuss the challenges faced by the LGBT, Muslim, and Jewish communities, the trends we are seeing, and the initiatives in place to combat hate crimes. This event is free and open to the public. An RSVP is required - please go to: https://www.cesjds.org/pages/hate-crimes-panel-discussion. At Adas Israel Congregation, 2850 Quebec Street NW.

Wednesday, March 22 at 6 PM, Big Read Book Talk: “Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100-Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture" by Judge Robert L. Wilkins of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Free - reservations required athttp://www.law.udc.edu/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=939936&group=. At the UDC Theater of the Arts/Auditorium, 4200 Connecticut Avenue NW. To attend a 5 PM private reception in honor of the speaker, a donation of $50 is requested - RSVP at http://www.law.udc.edu/event/Wilkins_Reception. The reception will take place in the second floor lobby of the UDC Theater.

Wednesday, March 22 from 7 - 9 PM, Student Shorts, presented by Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital. A special showcase of environmental shorts by young and emerging local filmmakers. Top picks, from the Environmental Film Festival’s 60-second #Envirofilm Competition and Youth Award will be followed by films directed and produced by American University students. Professor Chris Palmer will lead an entertaining and interactive session with the audience and the filmmakers on why and how these films are made. Free and open to anyone with an interest in seeing enviro filmmaking in action - register athttp://bit.ly/2n37OEh.This event builds on DCEFF’s latest initiative in becoming an educational resource for students of all backgrounds and ages. For further information please contact Arjumand Hamid, Director of Educational Outreach, Arjumand @ dceff dot org. In the Doyle and Forman Theater, McKinley Building, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW.

Thursday, March 23 at 4 PM, Women's History Month Program: Clara Barton with History Alive! Watch award-winning actress Mary Ann Jung bring history to life! Mary Ann will tell the tale of nurse Clara Barton to help us celebrate Women's History Month. Suitable for all ages. Free. At the West End Interim Library, 2522 Virginia Ave. NW, http://www.dclibrary.org/node/56116

Thursday, March 23 at 6 PM, “After the Spill” - film screening and discussion with the director. On Earth Day 2010, the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded, flooding the Gulf of Mexico with crude oil and devastating the coastline. Filmmaker Jon Bowermaster returns to the shores of Louisiana five years after the disaster, interviewing a rich cross-section of local denizens – fishermen, scientists, politicians, environmentalists, and oil-rig workers – to uncover the enduring impact of the catastrophe in a dogged investigation narrated by actress Melissa Leo. Has the Louisiana coastline been tainted forever? Will its economy and its ecosystem ever recover? Discussion with director Jon Bowermaster follows screening. Free - no reservations required. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW. This program is part of the Environmental Film Festival series. More info: http://dceff.org/film/after-the-spill/

Thursday, March 23 at 7 PM, Movie night: Good Work: Masters of the Building Arts. Join us for a free screening of Good Work,followed by a short discussion with the Academy award-winning filmmakers Marjorie Hunt and Paul Wagner and the Cathedral artisans whose work is featured in the film: stone mason Joe Alonso, metalsmith Patrick Cardine and stained glass artisan Andrew Goldkuhle. The documentary illustrates the diversity of beautiful and functional works of art, from stained glass to masonry to ironwork and hand-carved lettering. Good Work celebrates the importance of American craftsmanship, occupational traditions, the beauty of our built environment and calls for new generations to do “good work.” At the Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW. Free, but please register at: http://bit.ly/2nwMa9d

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Still Life with Robin: Want to Influence an Election?

by Peggy Robin

Photo by Architect of the Capitol (public domain)
Had enough of gerrymandering, outside interference in elections, media-planted stories that attempt to sway your vote one way or another? It’s enough to make you wonder whether any election results can be trusted! I’m not here to reassure you -- only to offer you another chance to vote in a contest that is susceptible to various election-rigging schemes. It’s Washingtonian Magazine’s annual “Best of DC 2017” vote:

To give you an idea of the kind of influence-peddling routinely practiced, here’s a snippet from an email I received from Cleveland Park’s own California Tortilla, offering me a nice little kickback for a vote in their favor:
“If We Win DC's Best Tacos, You'll Score One for FREE!*”
[Copy from California Tortilla’s emailed newsletter: CaliforniaTortilla@CaliforniaTortilla.fbmta.com received Fri 3/10/2017 10:18 AM]

The polls stay open until March 20th, and the voting’s all online, so you don’t have to mail in a ballot, wait in any lines, or show voter ID. You can vote no matter where you live, even if it’s the other side of the planet. You can vote for places you’ve never actually patronized. And you can vote in all the categories, even if, for example, you don’t really get what a High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) class is. It makes no difference whether you have any knowledge of the categories you’ve voting on. And you can probably vote multiple times, as long as you are not using the same browser and/or same computer to reach the survey. (The poll recognized me and told me I had already voted when I tried to vote again -- but I’m pretty sure I could get around that if I put a small amount of effort into it.)

Sure, it’s only a popularity poll. It’s not as if the winner will be put in charge of the nuclear codes. So have fun with it, and go ahead and support Cal Tort for best tacos. Vote for all the other CP favorites too, You can be sure that establishments in other neighborhoods are encouraging their fans to do the same!

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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Get Out! - The Events Column

DC Public Library
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 16,700+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail.net.

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

Friday, March 10 from 12 noon - 1 PM, “The American Songbook: The Singers, the Songwriters, and the Songs” - a talk by Donnie McKethan. The American Songbook genre preserves the work of great composers and the artists who sing or perform their works. Much of this iconic music comes from films and Broadway plays and many jazz artists have interpreted these tunes. For example, “Green Dolphin Street,” written by Bronislaw Kaper for the 1947 film of the same name, was performed many years later by Miles Davis, who inspired other artists to include the song in their repertoires. The speaker, Donnie McKethan is programmer on radio Station WPFW 89.3 FM and hosts the “American Songbook” program Sunday afternoons. Free, but registration is required - go to: http://bit.ly/2m85k49. In the Spring Valley Building of American University, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW. This lecture is part of the spring semester of the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning (OLLI).

Friday March 10 at 11 AM, Games, Lunch and a Movie. The movie is “Daughters of the Dust.” Free. An assortment of board games will be brought out at 11 AM. Lunch is at 12 noon. (Lunch reservations needed to be in by Wednesday, March 8.) The movie begins at 1 PM. Free. At Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert Street, NW.

Saturday March 11 at 1 PM,  DC Public Library Executive Director Richard Reyes-Gavilan will be the guest speaker at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Cleveland Park Library. Rich will bring us up to date and answer your questions about the new Cleveland Park Library. Free. In the large meeting room, 2nd floor, of the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave NW. All are welcome to attend, whether a member of the Friends of the CP Library or not.

Saturday, March 11 at 2:30 PM, Author and illustrator Kevin Sherry, whose books include "I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean" and "The Yeti Files" series, will be at the Chevy Chase Library. Books for author signing will be available for purchase. Free. The Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library is at 5625 Connecticut Ave NW, http://www.dclibrary.org/node/56187.  

Sunday, March 12 from 12 Noon - 2:30 PM, The 46th Annual St Patrick’s Day Parade will proceed down Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets NW. The parade route is easily accessible from the Federal Triangle, Archives-Navy Memorial and Smithsonian metro stations. The grandstands (ticketed seating, $20) are located between 15th and 16th streets next to the judges' reviewing stand. More info and ticket purchase at: http://dcstpatsparade.com/

Sunday, March 12 at 3 PM, Concert: Soprano Millicent Scarlett will perform songs by Mahler (two of the "Ruckert Lieder"), Strauss (the beautiful "Morgen" and others), and Barber ("Knoxville: Summer of 1915" and "The Hermit Songs"). The recital will be followed by a reception and the opening of a show of watercolors by Karen Norman. No admission charge, and ample parking. At Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church, 3401 Nebraska Ave. NW, at New Mexico Avenue. More info: http://www.nationalchurch.org/  

Sunday March 12 from 2 - 3:30 PM, “Kids and Climate” program featuring Lynne Cherry, author of “The Great Kapok Tree.” The Cleveland Park Citizens Association is hosting a program focused on what kids are doing to push back on climate change. Lynne Cherry will talk about how her early childhood experiences led her to write books like "The Great Kapok Tree" and how her belief in kids making a difference has led her to create the short film series, "Young Voices for the Planet." Lynne will show several of her videos from among those being televised on 60 PBS stations starting this spring. In the John Eaton Elementary School cafeteria, 3301 Lowell St NW.

Sunday, March 12 at 2 AM, Daylight Saving Resistance begins NOW! Join the movement to rebel against the loss of an hour. Learn the facts: Daylight Saving Time DOES NOT save energy. It confuses dogs and small children. It causes countless missed appointments and cancellation fees. It forces adults to wander throughout the house trying to reset the clocks, all with different reset methods. And it’s a burden we face not once but twice a year. Rally to protest this outmoded and unwanted government interference in our lives. Stand up for natural time! The rally will start in front of the US Capitol. To pick up your free placards and banners “SAVE NATURAL TIME, REPEAL DST NOW!” visit: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent.

Monday, March 13 at 12 noon, Lecture: Pompeii on the Potomac, Brumidi's Senate Frescoes. GW associate professor Elise Friedland will reveal connections between 19th C. America and ancient Rome by examining the frescoes Constantino Brumidi painted in a Senate meeting room, originally designed to house the Naval Affairs Committee. An Italian artist turned US citizen, Brumidi is best-known for his majestic Apotheosis of Washington, painted in the Capitol Rotunda. Free; no reservations required. At the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW. More info: https://museum.gwu.edu/senate-frescoes

Monday, March 13 at 7 PM, Balancing Self-Preservation and Other Moral Values – a Washington, DC Community iEngage Lecture. Yossi Klein Halevi of Israel’s Shalom Hartman Institute will discuss "Balancing Self-Preservation and Other Moral Values," transforming a conversation that is often about advocacy to one about values. Halevi is the author of “Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation,” which won the Jewish Book Council's Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award, and he is a regular voice in the op-ed pages of leading American newspapers. Free. At Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb Street NW. More info at www.whctemple.org/CongregationalConversations.

Tuesday, March 14 at 4 PM, Amelia Earhart with History Alive! Watch award-winning actress Mary Ann Jung bring history to life! Mary Ann will tell the tale of pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart to help us celebrate Women's History Month. Suitable for all ages. Free. At the Mount Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW, http://www.dclibrary.org/node/56117

Wednesday, March 15 at 7 PM, Book Hill Talks - Understanding French Political History, Royals, Revolution, and Republic Through One Enduring Symbol: The Woman. This is the fifth lecture in the series, France Alive: A History Told Through Great Works of Art (17th to 19th Century), with guest speaker Vanessa Badré. The woman has long been a symbol of the French nation, but how have the representations of female figures throughout the centuries expressed the French ideas of nation, kingdom, and eventually liberty and republic? Before becoming a republic, France was a kingdom, already embodied in a feminine personification. But as the kingdom was lost to the violence of the Revolution, one image remained the same: the allegory of the young woman. The same young woman, vigorous and beautiful, reigns as the personification of the new revolutionary nation. In the Ancien régime, she was named France. During the Revolution and under the Republic, she was called Liberty and Marianne. Whether she appears with her uncovered breast, or her heroic helmet or Phrygian hat, this woman presents an enduring silhouette. How did one symbol become such an important piece of national and iconographic heritage? What is the meaning behind her enduring power? What is the message that each government or movement was trying to convey through this symbolism? Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R Street NW, http://www.dclibrary.org/node/54888

Thursday, March 16 at 7 PM, Ladies Night Out with  Kate Siegel and Kim Friedman - an evening of champagne and pampering, featuring Kate Siegel and her mother, Kim Friedman. Kate's new book, “Mother, Can You Not?,” is based on her very popular Instagram account - @crazyjewishmom - where she posts texts and emails from her mom nudging her about life, dating, and more. Over drinks and hors d'oeuvres, you’ll hear from Kate and Kim why every woman needs a "crazy" Jewish Mom in her life. The evening features: book signing, champagne bar, popcorn bar, appetizers, beauty counter, make-your-own nail polish, make-your-own sugar scrub, and a Real Life Style fashion consulting booth. Tickets are $35 with a signed book, $20 for the event only, and $25 at the door. For advance tickets go to:  www.whctemple.org/LadiesNight. At Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb Street NW.

Thursday, March 16 at 6 PM, “How to Manage Your Finances More Effectively,” with Mark Keen, a certified financial planner who writes the monthly financial column, “Managing Money” for the National Association of Retired Federal Employees Association’s magazine. Free. At Iona Senior Services Center, 4125 Albemarle St NW. For more info on this and other NARFE programs, visit http://www.narfe.org/site/dc/?fa=content&id=5361  

Thursday, March 16 at 6:30 PM, Carnegie Neighborhood Lecture: “Jumping Genes: What They Mean for Evolution and Medicine” by Carnegie’s President, Dr. Matthew P. Scott. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served prior to the lecture. Please RSVP via http://bit.ly/2n5yMMh. The Carnegie Institution for Science is at   5241 Broad Branch Road NW.

Thursday, March 16 at 7 PM, “A Most Unlikely Friendship: Abraham Lincoln and Matias Romero.” President Lincoln's Cottage and the Mexican Cultural Institute present a timely conversation as Dr. Jason Silverman and Alberto Fierro-Garza take a close look at international relations and historic ties between the United States and Mexico. The conversation will be based around Dr. Silverman's article, “A Most Unlikely Friendship: Abraham Lincoln and Matías Romero.” Lincoln’s close relationship with Matías Romero, a Mexican politician and diplomat who served three times as Secretary of Finance and twice as ambassador of Mexico to the United States during the 19th century, was not only an unusual display of diplomacy, but also friendship. This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Register at http://bit.ly/2n5oN9T. Lincoln’s Cottage is at 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW.