Saturday, August 11, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Heavens!

by Peggy Robin

Sunday, August 12 in downtown Washington looks to be a scene of fraught activity. Hate groups organized under the banner “Unite the Right” are planning to march on the first anniversary of their violent and lethal action in Charlottseville. A varied lot of groups aiming to take a stand against hate are planning vigils and counter-marches, and some are planning to confront white supremacists and neo-nazis. This article in Vox lays out who is planning action on Sunday, and where they’ll be:

If you are looking for more peaceful way to pass your Sunday, you just might want to get out of town. This Sunday night, if you get far enough away from the lights of civilization (if our society can be called that, during these events), you could escape to some remote, unelectrified zone of darkness, and if it’s an area free of cloud cover or storms, you can look up at the night sky and be dazzled by the wondrous lights of shooting stars. It will be awesome – this Sunday night, August 12 is the peak night of the annual meteor shower known as the Perseids. You can expect to see 75 shooting stars per hour. explains the what, why, and how to watch:

If you’ve never viewed the Perseids or any other meteor shower, in a meadow free of artificial light before, far from any cities or towns, you should put it on your bucket list. And you can tick it off your bucket list with just a little advance planning for a trip tomorrow night. There could be widely scattered thunderstorms around the region, so check local weather forecasts and head in a direction where the skies have cleared or will be clear. You will need to find some ground without tree cover. Beaches or meadows are good. Bring a blanket, a flashlight (turn off once you’re settled!) and bug spray.

Capital Weather Gang has some excellent advice about where to go, supplemented by readers’ suggestions:

May you all enjoy the peace of a starry, starry night.

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

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column August 10-16, 2018

Enid A. Haupt Garden
Photo credit: Another Believer (Wikimedia 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 17,800+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, August 10 from 4 - 11 PM, Truckeroo! Truckeroo brings local food trucks to The Bullpen near Yards Park in the bustling Capitol Riverfront neighborhood to dole out everything from barbecue to crepes to premium, hand-scooped ice cream. About two dozen wheeled food sellers show up, and there are picnic tables and shade to keep things cool. There will also be games, cold beverages and live music to create the full-on summer experience. Free admission. The Bullpen is at 1299 Half Street SE,      

Friday August 10 from 8 - 11 PM, Garden Party: From Africa to Asia. There’s no better place to celebrate summer than the Enid A. Haupt Garden, flanked on either side by the National Museum of African Art and the Sackler Gallery. Spend a late-summer evening in the dramatically lit garden, and enjoy exclusive late-night access to galleries featuring art from the African and Asian continents. Add music by DJ As-One, specialty cocktails, and curators’ talks, and you’ve got a garden party you just can’t miss. More of the evening’s features include: a GIF photo booth courtesy of OM Digital; a cash bar and African and Asian-inspired food for purchase, from vendors including the People’s Bao, West Tribes, and Haenyo; both Museum stores open until 10 PM. Come dressed in your global garden best! The party goes on rain or shine, but in case of rain, will take place inside the S. Dillon Ripley Center - entrances at 1000 Independence Ave. and 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. Must be 21 years old with valid photo ID to attend. Tickets: $25 for General Admission; $60 for VIP Admission - available here:  More info: 

Saturday, August 11 from 10 AM - 2:30 PM, 2018 English Learners' Back to School Fair by DCPS, MOLA, OSSE, UDC, My School DC. Join us at the English Learners' Back to School Fair! Come see all the AWESOME community resources located right here in DC and learn more about how to support your English Learner student. This event is for linguistically and culturally diverse DC students and their families, including DC students who are learning English as a second language. FREE entertainment, games, face painting, and moon bounce. FREE giveaways: hundreds of backpacks, school supplies, and more. FREE kid haircuts! FREE food! FREE health services! FREE legal consultations! Childcare available (ages 4-12). Giveaways are while supplies last and services are on a first-come, first-served basis. At Columbia Heights Educational Campus, 3101 16th Street NW. Advance registration is not required but it is strongly encouraged. - go to Questions? Contact @ dc dot gov.  

Saturday, August 11 from 1 - 3 PM, “Investigating Where We Live” – Opening Reception. What was it like being a teenager in Washington, DC, in 1968? Going to school? Hanging out with friends? Hearing about Dr. King’s assassination and the many responses? Participating in Resurrection City and demonstrations? How does that relate to youth’s experiences in the city 50 years later? This summer, teens from the DC metro area spent five weeks looking back at this historic year through the lens of youth experience and culture, and have curated an exhibition that shares their points of view. Working in studio teams, they collaboratively and individually produced photographs, artwork, installations, and creative writing that express their reflections and connections. Meet the teen participants at the exhibition opening reception and view their work. Free. All ages. This event does not require an RSVP. At the National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW,   

Saturday, August 11 at 2 PM,  Garden Concert Series: Jess Eliot Myhre & Chris Ousley. Join us for an afternoon of music in the beautiful garden area beside Northeast Library. Bring a chair, sit back and enjoy the sounds of Jess Eliot Myhre and Chris Ousley, co-founders of The Bumper Jacksons, a hot and sweet duo, who paint America's story from the streets of New Orleans to Appalachian hollers. They've been honored multiple times as the Mid-Atlantic's "Artist of the Year" and "Best Traditional Band" at the Washington Area Music Awards. Bursting at the seams with some of the richest threads of old America, Bumper Jacksons bring you into the center of a party where everyone's invited and the dance floor never sleeps. This concert is the third in Northeast Library's new Garden Concert Series, generously sponsored by the Friends of the Northeast Library, 330 7th St. NE,    

Sunday, August 12 from 3 - 9 PM, AfroBeatsDC Day Party. HipHop, AfroBeats, Dancehall, Soca Party - Come for the Great Music, and Great Vibez. It’s an International Melting Pot! All genres! Amazing DJs! Age 21+ | DressCode: Fashionable. Free admission. 3rd floor - AfroBeats Exclusive - A dedicated floor to AfroBeats! Rooftop - International at Decades DC, 1219 Connecticut Avenue NW,       

Monday, August 13 at 7:30 PM, Board Games for Grown-ups. Join your neighbors and friends at the Chevy Chase DC Library for an adult board game 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. For ages 18 and older. Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW,  

Tuesday August 14 at 4 PM, Fab Lab Pop-Up at NoMa: Eco Planters. Visit us at Fab Lab NoMa, where you can make and keep an eco friendly planter. We would like to film the process of creating living art in a maker space, however we will have an area zoned for no filming if you're uncomfortable with the concept. Visit for registration. Free. Registration is limited due to the hands-on nature of the class. Children ages 6-12 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times. Children under the age of 6 are prohibited from entering the space except during specially designed events. The Fab Lab at NoMa is a weather-dependent space, and may close at short notice due to adverse conditions. We will do our best to notify class members in advance. Please check DC Public Library’s Twitter account for closing notices. NoMa Pop-Up is at 1150 First St. NE,     

Wednesday, August 15 at 8 PM, The Hamilton Lottery Losers Gathering and PityFest. Have you been entering the lottery for Hamilton tickets every day? And losing every time? Feel like you keep missing your shot? Join your fellow losers and toast your bad luck together. You can sing the songs from the show you haven't seen and you can one-up each other with your Hamilton trivia knowledge. Going to the Hamilton Losers Lottery may not be as good as getting to see the show, but it’s not nothing! OK, it really is nothing….because it’s the Weekly Fake Event!  

Thursday, August 16 at 6:30 PM, A Right to the City: Histories of Neighborhood Organizing in DC. Join Dr. Samir Meghelli, Chief Curator at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum for a discussion about how Washingtonians have shaped and reshaped their neighborhoods in extraordinary ways. After a half-century of population decline and disinvestment, Washington, DC, today is home to a rapidly growing population, rising rents and home prices, major new development projects, but also deepening inequality. Dr. Meghelli will explore more than five decades of neighborhood change in the nation’s capital as well as the rich history of organizing and civic engagement that accompanied it. This discussion is based on the Right to the City exhibit at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, highlighting six neighborhoods across the city—Adams Morgan, Anacostia, Brookland, Chinatown, Shaw, and Southwest. Register for seminar at For more information about People's University seminars, contact michele.casto @ dc dot gov. Free. At the Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library, 1630 7th St. NW,      

Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 7 p.m., Library Takeout: Go-Go Archive at the Big Ugly Truck Pop-Up. Join the Go-Go Archive team and Library Takeout at The Big Ugly Truck's outdoor dance party located at 14th and U St. NW. The truck will invite local DJs to spin the finest of DC's go-go sounds. Need a break from the dance floor? DC Public Library staff will have information about the Go-Go Archive and upcoming programs, and you can sign up for a library card or summer challenge. DC Public Library is continuing in an effort to collect tapes, records, CDs, ticket stubs, flyers, stories and anything else the community would like to donate for preservation within the DC Public Library. Have a story you would like to tell? We'll be on site with a recorder and can capture your go-go story. Visit for more information about the Go-Go Archive. Free. At 14th and U St. NW,    

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Get Informed about Your Mail

USPS Mail Truck - Public Domain
by Peggy Robin

It’s not often I have anything good to say about the US Postal Service. I’ve had more than my share of delivery complaints over the years --no, make that decades!-- including experience with ALL of the following: neighbors’ mail being delivered to me; my mail being delivered to neighbors; weird mail meant to go to far-flung places that could not possibly be mistaken for my address being delivered to me; notices of attempted delivery of packages time-stamped for when I knew I was home and could have accepted the package; packages left on my doormat that were addressed to neighbors who live ten blocks away…..I’m sure I’m leaving out five or six other kinds of postal delivery errors. And I was far from the only one.

Back on January, the Cleveland Park Citizens Association organized a big sit-down with USPS officials and local political leaders and pushed for improvement in mail delivery and a better response to complaints. It’s definitely helped. Certainly, thanks are due to all who have been watchdogging the problem. But I’m here to tell you there’s another tool in the toolbox, and I think it’s helped even more: It’s called “Informed Delivery.” It’s a USPS mail imaging program that allows you to receive a once-a-day email displaying the images of the envelopes you can expect to receive in the mail later that day. You can sign up for it here:

I’ve been signed up since May, and I have to say, “Good job, USPS!” Each morning, I open an email from USPS that shows me the images of the mail items I can expect to receive. Not every blessed thing. I don’t get images of flyers and circulars – just the mail that comes in normal sized envelopes. But so far, it’s been totally accurate. It’s reassuring, too. I used to worry all the time that I wasn’t receiving bills, or worse, checks that people had put in the mail. Now I can see what’s coming, and so far, I have actually received everything that’s the Informed Delivery Program has told me to expect. Quite a change from the patterns of the past.

Has being a member of this Informed Delivery Elite made the Postal System take more care with my deliveries? I won’t complain if it has. Would I recommend it to anyone else who’s been plagued by missing mail? You bet! Anything that helps to keep the Postal System on target has got to be worth trying. So join us! And you too can be one of the still-small but rapidly growing “Informed Delivery” movement!

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

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Get Out! The Events Column, August 3 - August 9, 2018

Meridian Hill Park (Malcolm X Park).
Photo by Ben Schumin on July 6, 2005
(Creative Commons Share-Alike 2.5)
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 17,800+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv   

Friday, August 3 at 3 PM, Reptiles Alive. Enjoy an exciting live animal show. Professional wildlife presenters will entertain audiences with funny and fascinating facts while showcasing a colorful variety of exotic animals. A family program for children ages 5 and up. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library,  3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,   

Friday August 3, 5–8 PM, Hip-Hop and Kung Fu at Freer/Sackler Museum. The final event of this new summer series features Shaolin Jazz, the brainchild of local creatives Gerald Watson and DJ 2-Tone Jones. Inspired by the iconic hip-hop supergroup the Wu-Tang Clan, Shaolin Jazz will spotlight the parallels among hip-hop, jazz, and martial arts cultures as they spin tracks on the Freer plaza. Hong Kong street food by Tiger Fork, flavorful Indian cuisine by Rasa, Asian inspired cold treats by Ruby Scoops, and specialty cocktails by Please Bring Chips will be available for purchase. Cool off inside by viewing the Freer’s exhibitions and a free Made in Hong Kong Film Festival screening of Legendary Weapons of Kung Fu at 7 pm. This cult classic martial arts flick gets a new soundtrack as DJ 2-Tone Jones mixes hip-hop, soul, funk, jazz, and more for a memorable moviegoing experience. Free; no tickets required. The Sackler/Freer is at 1050 Independence Avenue SW. More info:

Friday, August 3 from 6 - 8 PM, Heurich Museum’s Summer Cool Down. The Heurich House Museum will open its first floor during First Friday Dupont, the first-of-the-month art walk/tour of galleries in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Grab a beer from this month’s featured brewery, Denizens Brewing Co, while touring the museum’s first floor and cooling off in the Castle Garden with a kiddie pool and misting station. This month’s event will feature a first look at the “Art of Beer,” a new exhibit in the Carriage House Gallery, exhibiting works from prominent local artists and their craft beer designs. Free and open to the public - drinks and snacks available for purchase. Heurich House Museum is at 1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW. More info:  

Friday, August 3 from 6 - 9 PM, First Friday Concert series at Cathedral Commons presents Caiso Steel Band. Bring your lawn chair and dancing shoes and join us on Newark and Wisconsin Ave for a free performance of Caribbean music from Caiso Steel Band. Enjoy  local food & drink -- fun for the whole family. Free. More info on the series:

Saturday, August 4 from 12 - 8 PM, Civic Fest! Get active. Get Inspired. Get Involved. CivicFest is an all-day event intended to inspire people to work together in their communities with joy, courage, wisdom, and kindness. Come for an hour or stay the whole day! Surrounded by the beautiful Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park (walking distance of both Columbia Heights and U Street Metro stations), we will bring together music, dance, yoga, art, workshops, conversation, community, and nature to reawaken our sense of hope in our ability to work together to make a better world. 20+ nonprofits from the DC area are at CivicFest 2018! Sign up to tutor or mentor a child in DC! Help create a movement in DC to build the civic culture we all need to elect better leaders, enact better policies, and weave a civic fabric of empathy, hope and wisdom through our actions, large and small! Free admission. At Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park, 16th and W Streets NW. Learn more at

Sunday, August 5 at 2 PM, Lecture: Picturing Alexander Hamilton. Guest lecturer Heidi Applegate will guide visitors on a voyage through art that features Hamilton, his family and other essential persons from his life. Free. At the National Gallery of Art, East Building Auditorium, Madison Drive at 4th St NW, 

Monday, August 6 at 3:30 PM, Japan-in-a-Suitcase. Join us in the Children's Programming Room as our partners at the Japanese-American Society present Japan-in-a-Suitcase. They will bring a suitcase of items from modern Japanese life, and we can: Learn basic Japanese greetings and words; Practice origami; Practice writing Japanese; Try on traditional clothing; and more! For children ages 6 and up with their caregivers. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW,

Monday,  August 6 from 6 - 8 PM, 12 Things You Should Know About 1968...and Why They Matter Today. Join Dr. Marya Annette McQuirter for an interactive discussion exploring why 1968 was such an incredible year in Washington, DC. She will share her Top 12 List of the most important events that took place throughout the entire year of 1968 and how they resonate with what's happening today. Dr. Marya Annette McQuirter is curator of the dc1968 project, a digital project featuring #OTD stories and photographs throughout 2018 about activism, art, architecture and everyday life in 1968 via and @dc1968project on Instagram and Twitter. At the Petworth Neighborhood Library, 4200 Kansas Avenue NW, Free, but please register:

Tuesday, August 7 from 5 - 7 PM, “Our Shared Street” Pop-Up 2018 by Arlington Transportation Partners. Our Shared Street Pop-Up is a block party where you can get to know your neighbors and local transportation options. There are also tons of great giveaways happening and fun activities. The event will be held on a closed street at the intersection of S Oakland Street and Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA. Free. More info:   

Tuesday, August 7 at 12 noon, Fab Lab Pop-Up at NoMa: DIY Vintage Lace Bracelet. A little lace is a perfect accent for a summertime outfit! Learn how to DIY your own bracelet using vintage lace and a small clasp. Space is limited, so please register at to reserve your spot. The Fab Lab at NoMa is a weather-dependent space, and may close at short notice due to adverse conditions. Please check the DC Public Library Twitter feed for notice of closings. Free. The Fab Lab Pop-Up at NoMa is at 1150 First St. NE, 
Wednesday, August 8 from 2 - 7 PM, 6th Annual Bellevue Back-to-School Bash - plus MPD’s “Beat the Streets” Event. This free celebration is fun for the whole family and aims to kick off a healthy, safe and successful school year with backpacks and school supply giveaways. The event will also include live music from the Junk Yard Band, free face painting, caricature art, Samsung Virtual Reality experiences, raffles and prizes. Special appearances from Miss Teen DC USA and Miss USA. Come out and have a great time with your neighbors! Free. Bellevue Library is at 115 Atlantic St. SW,

Wednesday, August 8, 6 - 7:30 PM, The History of Our Urban Forest. This program from Casey Trees offers an engaging and educational look at the trees that you see every day when you're walking the streets of Washington, DC. Maddy McPhee, community education coordinator for Casey Trees, will deliver great information on the history of the urban forest in our neighborhoods, as well as talk about some tree biology and give some tips for identifying the trees that you might see out and about. Free and open to the public. At Anacostia Library,1800 Good Hope Road SE,

Wednesday, August 8 from 9 PM - Midnight, Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night. If you have a vegetable garden, just about now you should have an overabundance of zucchini. What do you do with it all? Give it away! But what if you’ve already offered it to your friends and family and they have taken all they can handle? That’s when you are glad it’s August 8, the day designated for anyone to sneak around at night dropping off bags of their excess green squash on neighbors’ porches. And you don’t even have to leave a note. Yes, this is a real holiday! I know you might think it’s the Weekly Fake Event, but it was created many years ago by Tom Roy of and it’s in the Farmer’s Almanac, and it’s on all the calendars of national days, like this one: For real ideas of what to do with your zucchini today, go to Twitter and enter the hashtag: #SneakSomeZucchiniOntoYourNeighborsPorch - and you will be amazed at how many things you can do with a zucchini!

Thursday, August 9 from 11 AM - 4 PM, Things Unseen: The Fluency of Abstraction - exhibition at American University’s Katzen Museum, 2nd Floor. Exploring themes suggested by internationally acclaimed artist Sam Gilliam, this exhibition features artists Adrienne Gaither, Alteronce Gumby, Allen Jackson, and David Smedley. These artists use abstraction as a conduit to express their keen observations. The broad implications of the exhibition signify the fluency of abstraction and its many interpretations. What is absent is present. The artists explore the unseen through abstract sculpture, painting, and photography. Curated by Janell Blackmon Pryor. Free. Katzen Arts Center is on Massachusetts Avenue just north of Ward Circle, on the east side of the street. More info:      

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Lizards & Leaf Blower, Crane & Crowe

Photo by J.M. Garg (Wikimedia Creative Commons)

by Peggy Robin

You know I hate the noise of leaf blowers. I thought I would never, ever have a good word to say about them. But now I do! It’s because of science. Harvard researchers wanted to find out how tropical lizards are able to hold onto their tree limbs during hurricane force winds. So they set up an experiment and mimicked the force of the hurricanes using a leaf blower in a lab. You can see the experiment in action here:
Don’t worry – the lizards who could not hold on in 108 mph winds (yes, they cranked up the leaf blower to over 100 mph!) were blown into a soft net, unharmed. Rattled perhaps, and deafened, most likely, but otherwise OK.

That’s not the only strange animal story in the news this week. Have you seen the cover story of the Sunday Washington Post magazine? It’s been available online for the past few days (see: It’s the oddball but heartwarming story of a crane named Walnut who needed a mate for life. But she had been hand-raised by humans and so found herself confused and unattracted to the male cranes sent to woo her. Then a man came along who seemed to understand her and appreciate her. He even learned to do the crane mating dance with her. Through his devotion to her, and with the help of artificial insemination (there’s science put to good use again!), he brought about the laying of many rare crane eggs. Their love story may go on for many, many years, as the white-naped crane from China can live to be 60 or more. Her human mate, named Chris Crowe, is now 42, and may one day want to retire from his job as a bird keeper at the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA – but as the Washington Post story tells us, he knows he would never be able to leave her. “I’d feel like a jerk,” he says gallantly.

After a week of news of fires, floods, and many other forms of disaster, it’s always nice to hear of a couple dedicated to each other’s welfare, together for the long haul – and especially so when they come from different backgrounds, or in this case, different species!

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

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column July 27 - August 2, 2018

Khatanbold Urlagbaatar, DC Mongolian Dance Group,
and Washington Samul Nori at the Freer/Sackler
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 17,800+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, July 27 from 5 - 8 PM, Music in Motion, featuring Khatanbold Urlagbaatar, DC Mongolian Dance Group, and Washington Samul Nori. This event is part of the Fridays@Freer/Sackler series. Enjoy performances by featured artists, including Mongolian horsehead fiddle player Khatanbold Urlagbaatar and dancers from DC Mongolian Dance Group, who will showcase new interpretations of traditional Mongolian choreography. Then, experience the exciting rhythms and movements of traditional Korean music with Washington Samul Nori. Expanding the international experience, Tibetan cuisine by Chef Dorjee Tsering, Mongolian bites by Manhattan Café, Asian-inspired cold treats by Ruby Scoops, and specialty cocktails by Please Bring Chips will be available for purchase. Cool off inside by viewing the Freer’s exhibitions and a free 7 pm screening of Zombiology: Enjoy Yourself Tonight, a comedic riff on the zombie pop-culture craze from Hong Kong. Director Alan Lo and actress Venus Wong will join us as special guests. Free; no tickets required. Will move indoors in case of rain. The Freer/Sackler is at 1050 Independence Avenue SW.    

Friday, July 27 at 7 PM, Civil War Tour - Friday Night History at Sunset Program: Freedom's Forts: Fort Stevens, Camp Brightwood, and Slavery. This Civil War History Tour of Fort Stevens will focus on the Federal encampments in Washington DC. Enslaved African Americans fled to Union lines, including Camp Brightwood, and were employed as servants and laborers. The interaction between slavery and freedom will be the focus of the program. The free tour will run approximately 90 minutes. Fort Stevens is located at 6001 13th Street, NW, near the intersection of 13th and Quackenbos Street, NW. More information about the History at Sunset programs can be found at the Civil War Defenses of Washington website:   

Friday, July 27 from 7:30 - 9:30 PM, Family Full Moon Experience, hosted by The Friends of the National Arboretum. Please join us for the first Family Full Moon Experience! The plan is to gather at the US National Arboretum after hours, for a mini version of our full moon hike. We will be walking around the grounds, off pavement, so best to leave strollers at home. Learn more about the US National Arboretum and experience the collection at night. We will have flashlights but don't be surprised if we do not need them. The moon and fireflies will light the way. Children younger than 15 are welcome to attend this full moon experience. Adult tickets (16 and older) are $25; each adult can purchase up to 2 child tickets (15 and younger) for $10 each - go to No pets. Full Moon Experience will happen rain or shine. United States National Arboretum is at 2400 R St. NE.   

Friday, July 27 at 8 PM, Firefly or Lightning Bug?: A Colloquy. The term you use to identify a small flying insect that produces a glow of light from its rear end says a lot about you and where you come from (see for a map of linguistic usage). Our distinguished panel of experts will include a linguistic anthropologist, a noted entomologist, and an eight year old child, who will demonstrate the most advanced “catch and release” techniques. This event will take place outdoors, the location to be determined by our experts who will judge the conditions of the evening and pick a meadow likely to attract a suitably large gathering of our luminous subjects. The location will be posted at this link: If you would like to go to a real version of this (fake) event, you can travel to the Great Smoky Mountains next June -- but first, you may want to learn more about the annual gathering of fireflies here:  

Saturday, July 28 from 5 - 7 PM, Concert and Picnic in the Park at Forest Hills Playground. The performers at this free concert are a Maryland duo, Naked Blue, who have performed with Aimee Mann and Joe Cocker, among other notable artists. Learn more about them at Pizza sales begin at 5 PM, and the music will start at 5:30 PM. Pre-order your pizza here: This free, fun, all-ages concert is held at the Forest Hills Park amphitheater (3200 block of Brandywine Street, by the tennis courts). Go to for more info and any changes or cancellations for weather. 

Saturday, July 28 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM, July Jazz & Lily Pads @ Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, hosted by the Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, National Capital Parks-East and EastRiver Jazz. Come enjoy the lotus flowers and sweet sounds of jazz, R&B, and go-go, featuring the amazing JoGo Project! Bring a chair, blanket, picnic, and all your family and friends. This event is free and open to the public. If you drive: Free parking at the Aquatic Gardens at 1550 Anacostia Ave NE. If the lot is full, street parking is available. If you metro: The Park is a 10-15 minute walk from the Deanwood Metro Station on the Orange Line. More info and registration at 

Sunday, July 29 from 1 - 3 PM, History Bites: Ice Cream! Escape the summer heat and enjoy a nice cold treat! Learn about ice cream, ice, cold dishes and how they kept things cold with a short talk! Then bring your sweet tooth and prepare for things to get chilly as you discover the true origins of ice cream while sampling some delicious flavors, and some downright unique ones! Enjoy viewing rarely displayed items from the Dumbarton House collection and learn the favorite flavors of some important figures in history and how they kept their favorite treats cool! Buy your tickets ($20 - $25) through this link: Dumbarton House is at 2715 Q Street NW. More info: 

Monday, July 30 at 6:30 PM, Mapping Segregation in Washington, DC: Restrictive Covenants, Racial Steering, and the Fight for Fair Housing. Join Mara Cherkasky and Sarah Shoenfeld of Prologue DC to explore the long history of displacement, race and real estate in DC. The legal segregation of housing, schools and public space led to disinvestment and white flight in the 1950s and 60s. Learn about the demands of black home seekers, civil rights attorneys and fair housing advocates, and the legacy of their efforts. For more information contact Washingtoniana librarian Michele Casto at michele.casto @ dc dot gov. This event is part of a series of seminars inspired by the teach-ins at Resurrection City, the Poor People’s Campaign civil rights encampment on the National Mall during the summer of 1968. The series is part of DC Public Library’s year of art, activism and education commemorating the 50th anniversary of the events of 1968. Free. At the Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library, 1630 7th St. NW, 

Tuesday, July 31 at 3 PM, Pacific Rhythm. Enjoy traditional music and dances from Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, Fiji, the Cook Islands and Samoa, presented with authentic costumes for each island. You’ll be up on your feet as this dance troupe teaches you some Polynesian dances. This is a family program for children of all ages. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, 

Tuesday, July 31 at 6:30 PM, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary. It's been 20 years since the Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Come celebrate with trivia, crafts and surprises. Costumes are not required, but encouraged. Free. At the Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW,     

Wednesday, August 1 at 6 PM, NoMa Fab Lab Pop-Up: DIY Mending Workshop. This Wednesday is our Do-It-Yourself Mending Workshop, where you can learn how to do basic garment repair. Please bring in your own (clean) garment and learn how to fix a hem, sew on a button, or create a patch! Space is limited, so please register at to reserve your spot. The Fab Lab at NoMa is a weather-dependent space, and may close at short notice due to adverse conditions. We will do our best to notify class members in advance. Please check DC Public Library’s Twitter account @dcpl for closing notices. The NoMa Fab Lab Pop-Up is at 1150 First St. NE,    

Wednesday, August 1 at 7 PM, DC Jazz: An Author Talk. Maurice Jackson and Blair Ruble, co-editors and contributors to the recently published collection of essays, DC Jazz: Stories of Jazz Music in Washington DC, will discuss the social, economic and historical conditions surrounding DC’s jazz music history. Jackson, a Georgetown University professor and historian, and author Ruble are two of ten area contributors to this collection. DC Jazz traces the earliest beginnings of the District's jazz scene, focusing on Duke Ellington, the history of Howard University’s music program, the significance of 7th and U Streets, segregation, long gone music venues and more. The event will be co-moderated by Reuben Jackson, archivist at the Felix E. Grant Archives at the University of the District of Columbia, and DCPL Special Collections Archivist, Ray Barker. Copies of DC Jazz will be available for purchase at this event. Free. For all ages. At the Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library, 1630 7th St. NW, 

Thursday, August 2 at 2 PM, Reptiles Alive. Enjoy an exciting live animal show. Professional wildlife presenters will entertain audiences with funny and fascinating facts while showcasing a colorful variety of exotic animals. A family program for children ages 5 and up. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 

Thursday, August 2 at 7 PM CR Gibbs Summer Lecture Series: "From Black Cargoes to Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of African-American Protest." Join award-winning historian CR Gibbs for his monthly summer lecture series at the Deanwood Neighborhood Library, 1350 49th St. NE. Free and open to all.  

Thursday, August 2 from 7 - 8:30 PM, Summer Evenings at the National Arboretum: The Hip-Hop Orchestra. Pack a picnic, bring a lawn chair or blanket, and relax below the Capitol Columns. "The HHO" is a collaborative music project featuring a new generation of DMV artists who color sound with spirit using a diverse palette of personality and strokes of Hip-Hop bringing you classic medleys and landmark originals. More about the The Hip-Hop Orchestra at: All concerts hosted by Friends of the National Arboretum are free, but reservations are required - go to: Sorry, dogs and alcohol are not permitted. Gates open at 6 PM; concerts go from 7 - 8:30 PM. pm. Enter through the R Street NE Gate (2400 R St. NE)   

Monday, July 23, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Rained Out!

Photo by Shootthedevgru, Australia (via Wikimedia Commons)
by Peggy Robin

Sorry....there was no Still Life with Robin on Saturday or Sunday. Called on account of rain! Will be back next weekend, once we've dried out.

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local, usually on Saturdays, and occasionally on Sundays....but every now and then we skip one, as we did last Saturday.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column, July 20 - 26, 2018

Friends of Turtle Park
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 17,800+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv     

Friday July 20 from 10 AM - 3 PM, Mars Day at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Celebrate the Red Planet with educational and fun activities for all ages that expose visitors to the latest developments in planetary science. Talk to scientists active in Mars research and mission planning, learn about current and future missions, and see a real meteorite from Mars. Learn about the history of water on Mars, with planetary scientist Ross Irwin; test your skills as you maneuver a robotic rover or collect samples with a robotic arm in this hands-on activity with small robots. Also, quizzes, games, interactive programs - for the  full list of activities and paticipating scientists, go to All free. The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum is on the Mall at 600 Independence Avenue SW.

Friday, July 20 from 5–8 pm, Fridays at Freer/Sackler: Global Nomads, featuring DJ Ayes Cold and Huda Asfour. Spend Friday night on a musical and culinary journey around the world. Catch a set by DJ Ayes Cold, known for her genre-bending sound. Delve into the repertoire of the Arab region and neighboring cultures by joining a Mashriq Maghrib Music Jam Session with Huda Asfour and other local artists. Tibetan cuisine by Chef Dorjee Tsering served in a traditional handcrafted nomad-style tent, Middle Eastern street food by Z&Z, Asian-inspired cold treats by Ruby Scoops, and specialty cocktails by Please Bring Chips will be available for purchase. Cool off inside by viewing the Freer’s exhibitions and a free 7pm screening of Paradox, a Hong Kong action film that will take you into the Thai underworld. Free; no tickets required. In case of rain, activities will move indoors. The Freer/Sackler Museum is on the Mall at 1050 Independence Avenue SW,

Friday, July 20 at 10:56 PM, National Moon Walk Day. It’s the 49th anniversary of that first “small step for a man” on the moon (see: We’ll celebrate this day by doing the moon walk. Step outside around 10:50 PM and then at exactly 10:56 (the same time, EDT, that Neil Armstrong first set foot on the lunar surface), start your dance moves. (If you don’t know how to moon walk, try this Youtube tutorial: If you don’t feel like dancing, you might want to sing instead. Here’s a good song to celebrate this event, “Fly Me to the Moon” - see If you’re wondering if this is the Weekly Fake Event (…..well, it could be. But it can be as real as you like, because you can really do all of these things to celebrate that first Moon Walk on July 20, 1969. 

Saturday, July 21 from 10 AM - 3 PM, Day of Archaeology Festival at Dumbarton House. This event is a fun-filled day for both adults and children. Children can get hands-on with mock excavations, crafts, and 3D printed artifacts. Speak with archaeologists in person and learn about their projects locally and globally. There will be live music, family activities, face painting and food trucks for all to enjoy. The Day of Archaeology Festival is a great way to learn about DC’s local history and visit Dumbarton House! Free. Learn more here: Dumbarton House is at 2715 Q Street, NW. 

Saturday, July 21 at 11 AM, Story Time with Washington Nationals Player Sean Doolittle. Meet Washington Nationals Pitcher Sean Doolittle at this special story time event for families. He will read stories and answer questions. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Saturday, July 21 from 11 AM - 7 PM, Fiesta Asia Street Fair. Celebrate Asian Heritage at the 12th annual National Asian Heritage festival, featuring more than 1000 performers on five stages, representing more than 20 cultures for 8 consecutive hours. Live performances by musicians, vocalists, dancer, martial artists; Pan-Asian cuisine; a shopping bazaar; kids friendly interactive activities; talent competition, cultural parade, Bollywood street dancing, and exhibits of traditional and contemporary Asian crafts. The Street Fair takes place along Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Third and Sixth Streets. Register here (free):

Saturday, July 21 from 2 - 4 PM, DC Puppy World Cup! Mayor Muriel Bowser Invites You To
The DC Puppy World Cup, celebrating athletic puppies from across the District! The Columbia Heights Gym will be transformed into a Puppy Soccer Field! This awesome day will be offered to puppy owners that have been registered in DC and have all of their needed shots. (Registration has closed, but keep this in mind if you are thinking of entering a pup next year.) Some of DC's cutest athletes will dribble it out in true FIFA Fairplay in Puppy Cup action! Teams will enjoy an up-tempo, safe game that will be fun to watch. We’ll also have a pop-up dog park for adult dogs. Enjoy fun giveaways and prizes for winners of games - while supplies last! Free. At the Columbia Heights Community Center, 1480 Girard Street NW. More info and RSVP:

Saturday, July 21 from 3 - 7 PM, Free Concert at Marvin Gaye Park, presented by Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, featuring live music, local artists, local vendors, riverside cafe with food samples and dishes from local chefs. Fun for all ages. Free admission.This concert is part of a series taking place on the third Saturday of the summer months -- also on August 18 and September 15. Marvin Gaye Park is at 5200 Foote Street NW  (Riverside Center Entrance). RSVP: 

Saturday, July 21 from 4 - 6:30 PM, WWAC Panel Discussion & Reception. Spend your Saturday afternoon with former members of the Washington Women’s Arts Center. Judith Benderson, Barbara Frank, and Taina Litwak will join the exhibition’s curator, Françoise Yohalem for a panel discussion that looks back at the history of the Washington Women’s Arts Center and its influence on the Washington art scene that still resonates today. A reception will follow the panel. Free and open to the public. At the American University Museum Katzen Arts  Center, northeast corner of Nebraska and Massachusetts Avenues. More info: 

Saturday, July 21 from 6 - 8:45 PM, The Turtle Park Jazz Project. Bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy a summer evening at the park for adults and kids of all ages! Hear the Susan Jones Quartet - Susan Jones, jazz violin; Tom Lagana, guitar; Dallas Smith, bass; Tom Jones, drums…along with other members of the DC Federation of Musicians. Plus strolling Magician and Juggler for the kids. Variety of food and ice cream trucks on hand. Free admission. Friendship (“Turtle”) Park is at 45th and Van Ness Streets NW. More info:   

Sunday, July 22 at 2 PM, First Day of the Shark Week Celebration. It's Shark Week! We're going deep to explore these fascinating creatures as we dive into a week of exciting programming in the children's room. July 22 at 2pm: For our Sunday crafternoon program we'll create an exciting paper shark craft. July 23 at 4pm: Let's try to build a LEGO shark. Don't let it take a chomp out of you though… July 24 at 2pm: Come for Finding Nemo; stay for the snacks. July 25 at 4pm: Haven't had your fill of sharks yet? Build an underwater seascape to take home and enjoy. July 26 at 4pm: Take a breath as we plunge into some fun shark related games. July 28 at 11am: Ahoy mateys. Family story time this week will feature some real scallywags - pirates may make an appearance  and what story time would be complete without everybody's favorite song "Baby Shark"? All programs are free. At Francis Gregory Library, 3660 Alabama Ave. SE,

Monday July 23  at 1 PM, Passport to Wakanda: Shuri Design Laboratory. Experiment with a wide range of materials and creative supplies to create your own innovative three-dimensional technological models. Each participant will receive a Wakandan passport, and a "customs" stamp for every program they attend. Lunch is also provided. For children ages 5-11. Free. At the Shepherd Park (Juanita E. Thornton) Library, 7420 Georgia Ave. NW. More info: 

Tuesday, July 24 at 4 PM, Summer Challenge: Map Your Neighborhood. Let's study a few maps and then make a map. If it is not of your actual neighborhood, the map can show what you think is important in a neighborhood. This program is for ages 6 - 12. Free. At the Palisades Library,
4901 V Street, NW,

Tuesday, July 24 at 6:30 PM, DIY Home Improvement Workshop: Learn How to Use Power Tools. Looking to make improvements to your home this summer? DCPL is teaming up with Annie's Ace Hardware to provide Do-It-Yourself Workshops. You'll gain the confidence to take on your own home projects and save tons of money in the process. In this workshop, patrons will learn how to wield and operate various power tools. First, a staff member from Annie's Ace Hardware will demonstrate how to use power tools. Then attendees will have the opportunity to practice working with power tools. This workshop is free and demonstration materials will be provided. In the Meeting Room of the Shepherd Park (Juanita E. Thornton) Library, 7420 Georgia Ave. NW,

Tuesday July 24 from 6 - 9 PM, Film screening of Rosenwald: The Remarkable Story of a Jewish Partnership with African American Communities, followed by panel discussion hosted by  DC Public Schools Interim Chancellor Alexander. This powerful documentary tells the life story of Julius Rosenwald, a Jewish businessman and philanthropist who partnered with Booker T. Washington to build more than 5,500 schools that served African-American children in the south from 1915 – 1952. Many Washingtonians know the impact of these schools on the lives of their parents and grandparents and the larger African-American community. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion that will feature Chancellor Alexander, Stephanie Deutsch – the author of You Need a Schoolhouse, a local philanthropist, and other individuals. The event will be held at American University's Spring Valley Building. Refreshments will be served. Free. Please RSVP to attend: - contact janae.hinson @ dc dot gov with questions.

Wednesday, July 25 at 7 PM, Book Hill Talks: Publishing Science: Experiments and the Royal Society. Abbie Weinberg, reference and outreach specialist for the Folger Shakespeare Library, will lead a discussion about the history of early modern science at the Royal Society—the world's oldest independent scientific academy. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, 

Thursday, July 26 at 6:30 PM, 'We are Headed for Some Bad Trouble': Gentrification and Displacement in Washington, DC, 1920-2018. For nearly two decades now, DC residents have been grappling with a city that is becoming younger, wealthier and whiter - a city that is gentrifying. In wide-ranging and sometimes heated debates about the topic - which have included allegations of “swagger jacking” and accusations of “black Columbusing” - District residents have had to confront difficult issues of race, class and power. This seminar will place these debates in historical context. Surveying the past 100 years of "private revitalization" or "gentrification" in DC, it will answer the questions: What is gentrification? How does it happen? Who benefits? Who loses out? And what have DC residents done to address this issue in the past? George Derek Musgrove is an associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the co-author of Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital. Registration required - Free. At the Woodridge Library, 1801 Hamlin Street NE, This event is part of a series of seminars inspired by the teach-ins at Resurrection City, the Poor People’s Campaign civil rights encampment on the National Mall during the summer of 1968. The series is part of DC Public Library’s year of art, activism and education commemorating the 50th anniversary of the events of 1968. Visit for more information or contact Washingtoniana librarian Michele Casto at michele.casto @ dc dot gov with questions.     

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Water in Old Bottles

by Peggy Robin

Wasn’t yesterday fun! Were you in a Boil Water Alert Area Home? I think that’s what they should have called it: BWAAH! My house was BWAAH until the revised map was posted later that afternoon, putting Cleveland Park and many other neighborhoods to the north of CP in the clear.

I thought I was well prepared. There’s a closet in the basement we’ve kept stocked with emergency supplies, including flashlights, glowsticks, slow-burning candles, and some large jugs of bottled water, plus a case of smaller bottles. So I put a big pot of water on the boil, and then went down to the basement to bring up one of the jugs and perhaps a smaller bottle or two, to have some water available for immediate use, until the pot had boiled and then cooled down. But as soon as I brought up the stored water, I noticed the expiration date -- it was 2007. Does water expire? When I googled that one, here’s what I found []:

Water bottles all have expiration dates. You’ve probably seen them — little black dotted numbers marking when you should toss your water because it’s “gone bad.” Wait… Here’s where we get confused. How can water go bad? It can’t. Water, like oxygen or steel or any other naturally occurring substance, is simply a chemical compound; it’s ageless. However, humans have taken to storing natural-occurring water in plastic, artificial, flimsy containers, and the bottles can go bad. The plastic compounds can break down over time and leak into your water….. Plus, plastic isn't impermeable. Algae or bacteria —not the good kind — seep in and grow inside your bottled water if you leave it for too long. This can still happen even if the bottle is closed. So if you’ve waited long enough, once you finally open up that “purified” water you’re also likely opening up a bacteria-ridden breeding ground for harmful organisms.

So much for that eleven-year-old water! But no problem; it was just a matter of replacing the stock – and high time, too. But I couldn’t run to the grocery store right away. I had an appointment in Herndon, VA, so would have to pick up the water on the way home. It was well past noon by the time I was leaving Herndon. It’s a very typical bedroom community – at least out  where I was. All around me, just single family homes on big lots. I did not pass by a single store before I was back on I-66. And that meant I was back in DC before I found a convenient place to stop off at a Giant. And by the time I did (no surprise!) the shelves had all been emptied.

Still, I gave it a shot, and corralled a nice store clerk and asked if there were any boxes of water in the back. He went to look and returned in a minute with the last four bottles of a brand of bottled water I’d never seen before – Eternal. I took all four of the one-liter bottles. By the time I got home and had checked in at to see the status of the alert, my neighborhood was out of the BWAA. So I brought those four bottles down to the basement emergency supply closet to put them away. In the process, I discovered a few things about this brand: 1. It comes in a bottle that’s flat on one side, so that it’s made to be stored on its side in a space-saving, non-rolling stack; 2. The bottle is made from BPA-free material; and 3. It does not have an expiration date anywhere on the bottle, so I’m assuming that means if I store it in the closet and there’s no water emergency again for another 11 years…..I’m good!

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

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Get Out! - The Events Column

Photo by Lorie Shaull vis Wikimedia 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 17,800+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv   

Friday, July 13 from 5 - 8 PM, Fridays at the Freer/Sackler: Mystic Folk and Asian Flavors, Featuring Folks of Bengal - plus Hong Kong Film Festival Screening. Meet us on the Freer plaza for a fusion of flavors and experiences, featuring music from West Bengal, India, by the Folks of Bengal. Singing scroll painters and mystic music makers known as Bauls will incorporate poetry, traditional strings and drums, and colorful paintings into their performance. Hong Kong street food by Tiger Fork, modern Chinese and Korean cuisine by CHIKO, Asian-inspired cold treats by Ruby Scoops, and specialty cocktails by Please Bring Chips will be available for purchase. Cool off inside by viewing the Freer’s exhibitions and a free 7 pm screening of Shock Wave, a pitch-perfect action flick that was one of 2017’s biggest hits in Hong Kong. Free. In case of rain, activities will move indoors. The Freer/Sackler is at 1050 Independence Avenue SW, 

Friday July 13 from 7 - 9 PM, Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Refuse/REFUSE. While investigating the plastic pollution in our oceans, Kirsty Little kept coming up against huge numbers that she really could not comprehend. Americans use 35,000,000,000 (35 billion) plastic bottles each year. We have barely reduced our plastic footprint since plastic production began 50 years ago. Much has ended up in our seas and landfills. Trillions of micro plastics virtually invisible to the human eye are being eaten by plankton and working their way up the seafood chain to our plates. Kirsty Little’s installation in the 355 Pod Space located on Route 355 near Rockville Town Square is one of the ways that she is working to raise consciousness about plastic pollution. She wants people to think about how many plastic items they use once and then discard. She wants to sensitize people to the costs of careless consumption and disposal of plastic.More about the art and artist at: The Exhibition runs June 29 - September 23, 2018. Free.

Friday, July 13, all day, Paraskevidekatriaphobia Day. Are you afraid of Friday the Thirteenth? No? Good for you! Because if you were, this would be an especially scary one, as it’s the second one of 2018, occurring exactly 13 weeks after the first one on April 13th. If you are superstitious about this confluence of the day and date, then your event for this date is a non-event: don’t go anywhere - stay under the covers in bed and avoid bad luck! Whether you are or are not afraid of this date, it’s not really the Weekly Fake Event, because it really is Friday, and it really is the 13th, and there really are people who are freaked out about it. See to learn more about this Friday the 13th and others in coming and past years.

Saturday, July 14 from 10 AM - 4 PM, Commemoration of the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stevens. Please join us anytime from 10 AM - 4 PM for the commemoration of the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stevens - the only Civil War battle in the Nation’s Capital and the only time in the history of the United States that a sitting President (Lincoln) has come under direct enemy fire. Ft Stevens is located at 13th and Quackenbos Streets NW (also known as Elizabeth Thomas Way). The commemoration is sponsored by the National Park Service with the support of the Alliance to Preserve the Civil War Defenses of Washington. It will feature a special opening program at 10 AM that includes Frank Smith, founder and director of the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum. This will be followed by military and civilian reenactors, hourly musket firings, talks by Civil War historians, living history demonstrations, live period music and Civil War dancing, and special programs for children and teens. It will end with a memorial service at Battleground National Cemetery where many of the Union soldiers who fought at the battle are buried. For more information and a copy of the program, see and visit: Free.

Saturday July 14 at 12 noon, Dorothy I. Height Day. Learn about the woman Barack Obama called "Godmother of the Civil Rights Movement." Hear stories about her activism and accomplishments in DC and around the world. Attendees will also learn about the original and revived Poor Peoples Campaign. This program is free and open to the public.At the Benning (Dorothy I. Height) Library, 3935 Benning Road NE, 

Saturday July 14 at 1 PM, Hunger Wall Poster Making Workshop. Join an artists-in-residence event to create original posters in this hands-on workshop, incorporating imagery from the Poor People’s Campaign Collection in DC Public Library's Special Collections. In 1968, residents and visitors in Resurrection City drew and painted on a temporary plywood wall to express messages of solidarity among different races, cultures and regions of the country in the human rights struggle. Inspired by the Resurrection City mural, which bore the message “Hunger’s Wall: Tell it Like it Is,” our artists,  Nando Álvarez, Adrienne Gaither, Monolith DC and Justin Poppe,  have created poster-making kits allowing visitors to combine activist imagery from 1968 with their own messages for 2018. This workshop will feature artist Justin Poppe. Free. At the Petworth Library 4200 Kansas Ave. NW, 

Saturday, July 14 from 2 - 4 PM, Bastille Day Celebration. The Friends of Fessenden Park are celebrating Bastille Day and you are invited! Join them and our favorite local French restaurants Matisse and Le Chat Noir for an afternoon of French-inspired fun. Sample crepes and other sweet treats from Matisse and Le Chat Noir. Sip French wine (or juice). Learn to play the French lawn game Petanque. Plant a sunflower to take home with you, and add a bit of the French countryside to your windowsill. Participate in family-friendly craft projects. Enjoy music. Register online: Tickets are just $10; one child ticket included free with a paid adult. Tickets include all food, beverage, and activities. Proceeds support programming and maintenance of the park by the Friends of Fessenden Park (at Wisconsin Avenue, Fessenden Street and 42nd Street NW)

Saturday, July 14 at 7 PM, Out of the Shadows: A Creative Response to the Removal of TPS. A Performance That Speaks to Today's Headlines. Stories of courage and resistance by immigrant youth, adults, day laborers, and migrant workers. Presented by GALA Theatre. Free. At Columbia Heights Plaza, 14th Street and Park Road NW,

Sunday, July 15 at 2 PM, Crafty Ice Cream. We dream of ice cream! Enjoy two of our favorite summer activities: being outside and finger-painting. We'll be creating "ice cream cones" with paint and other supplies, so come dressed to get messy and make a finger-painted "ice cream" craft. This is an outdoor activity, which will occur weather permitting. In case of inclement weather, the program will be rescheduled. Recommended for ages 4 and up with their caregivers. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW,

Sunday, July 15 at 2 PM, Jazz in the Basement - with Allyn Johnson. The DC Public Library and the Goethe-Institut Washington present local pianist, Allyn Johnson, a multi-talented musician, composer, arranger and producer whose trademark sound gives brilliance and fortitude to the art of jazz improvisation. This free event is located at the Goethe-Institut Washington at 1990 K St. NW (enter on 20th St.) More info: 

Sunday, July 15 from 2 - 9 PM, World Music Festival. If you've ever been curious about all different cultures that make Montgomery County great, head over to Downtown Silver Spring on July 15th. You'll enjoy food and live performances. Free admission. At the Silver Spring Civic Center, 1 Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD. Register at

Monday, July 16 at 1 PM, Passport to Wakanda: Killmonger Mask Museum. Children will explore Igbo tribal culture and create their own ritual masks. For children ages 5-11. Each participant in the Passport to Wakanda program will receive a Wakandan passport, and a "customs" stamp for every program they attend. Lunch is also provided. Free. At the Shepherd Park (Juanita E. Thornton) Library, 7420 Georgia Ave. NW,

Monday, July 16 at 6 PM, Baseball Talk Before All-Star Game with MLB All-Star Week Panel.
Moderator: Leslie Heaphy. Speakers: Fred Frommer; Aviva Kempner; David Rapp. On the eve of baseball’s first All-Star Game in DC in half a century, a stellar line-up of baseball experts and seers, led by Society for American Baseball Research member David Rapp (author of Tinker to Evers to Chance) will discuss the intersecting destinies of baseball and American society. Bring your ideas, questions, and opinions! This event is co-sponsored by the Washington DC and Baltimore chapters of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), the University of Chicago's DC Alumni club, and East City Bookshop. Register here: Free, but please RSVP to rsvp @ eastcitybookshop dot com. At East City Bookshop, 645 Pennsylvania Ave SE

Tuesday, July 17 at 4 PM, In the Zone: Bubbles and Chalk Art. Have fun with bubbles and chalk art. In the Zone is held the third Tuesday of the month. Best for ages 4-12. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW,

Wednesday, July 18 from 6 - 8 PM, Disaster Preparedness Forum. In Celebration of the 28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act the DC Office of Disablity Rights is kicking off a Disaster Preparedness Forum, where you can: Learn about what to do in an emergency or disaster situation; Learn how to build a disaster preparedness kit; Learn how to make a plan that is tailored just for you! The location is wheelchair accessible. There will be onsite ASL-English Interpreters. To request other reasonable accommodations or if you have questions please contact Julia.Wolhandler @ dc dot gov or call 202-727-2890. Please RSVP: Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Avenue NW, Lower Level, Meeting Room 4.

Wednesday, July 18 at 7 PM, DC Youth Orchestra In Concert at Lincoln Memorial. The DC Youth Orchestra (DCYO) is the premiere ensemble of the DC Youth Orchestra Program and this concert at the Lincoln Memorial is the kick-off concert for DCYO’s 2018 trip to Italy. Concert includes music by Aaron Copland, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Charles Ives, Arturo Márquez, and more. Admission is free; no tickets are required. More info on DCYO Program at 

Thursday July 19 at 6 PM, Information Session for First-Time Home Buyers. Tired of renting? Are you ready to buy your own home? We can help. At this session, sponsored by nonprofit housing counseling program University Legal Services, find out: How to qualify to buy a house;
About the HPAP program for first-time home buyers; How to attend future information seminars;
Answers to any questions you have about the home-buying process. University Legal Services is funded by the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development. The session will be presented in English and in Spanish. Free. At the Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW - entrance to Mt. Pleasant Library is on Lamont St,      

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Still Life with Robin: Welcome Back, DCist

DCist is back!
by Peggy Robin

DCist was out of our lives for seven long months + a week -- from November 2, 2017 to June 11, 2018. How we missed it! And how good it is to have it back again, telling us everything we needed to know about goings-on in our city. Practical things, like how the filming of Wonder Women has closed off streets around MacPherson Square this weekend:

….and things that are both practical and fun, like a guide to What’s Opening at the Capital Fringe Festival and Where to Find It:

And then there are stories that are just weird – like “Rat Attack in Dupont Circle”

Here’s another animal story you might find more to your liking: 
Be sure to scroll down and play the video of the deer frolicking in the Metro.

Then there’s the feature I always loved best (and glad to see it resurrected in the new DCist):
“Overheard in DC”

While exploring what’s old and what's new in DCist, I just happened across the last issue of the old DCist before the hiatus (Nov 2, 2017), and found this recommendation of a great source for hyper-local news:

“YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF THE CONVERSATION: Want to learn if you're the only one who got packages stolen off your porch? Interested in finding a new nanny? Concerned about changes taking place in your neighborhood? I am a not-so-secret sucker for community listservs, which serve all these purposes and more. Most neighborhoods have one, most famously Cleveland Park, and they work by distributing emails to a list of people who've signed up, with varying degrees of curation.“

Well, if DCist is going to plug the Cleveland Park Listserv, I am more than happy to return the favor to DCist – especially now that it’s back and better than ever!

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local, usually on Saturdays but occasionally on Sundays.