Saturday, August 17, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Sounds of Summer

by Peggy Robin

As the end of the summer is rapidly upon us, it’s time to declare a “Song of the Summer”….and the uncontested winner for 2019 is....
“Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X !
Rehoboth boardwalk - Photo by Dough4872 via Creative Commons

What else could it be? If you haven’t heard it, what hermit cave did you crawl into, back in April? It’s high time you came out! By mid-July, that ubiquitous ear-worm had already locked down its claim on the Billboard “Song of the Summer” title: See https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/8520151/lil-nas-x-old-town-road-leads-songs-of-the-summer-chart

It’s already sold so much so quickly, it’s on track to take the title of “Song of the Decade.”*

And now we move on to contenders for the 2019 Summer Blockbuster Movie:
[from The-Numbers.com movie data website: https://www.the-numbers.com/market/2019/top-grossing-movies]

Rank Title                                  Studio           Genre       Gross              Tickets Sold      
1 Avengers: Endgame               Walt Disney   Action    $858,070,646   94,189,972
2 The Lion King                        Walt Disney   Children $487,407,985  53,502,523
3 Toy Story 4                             Walt Disney   Children $422,793,307  46,409,803
4 Spider-Man: Far From Home Sony              Action     $374,624,545  41,122,343
5 Aladdin                                   Walt Disney  Children  $353,296,257  38,781,147

Not a real adult movie among them. Nor a single original – they’re all remakes, sequels, or part of a series.

Here’s where I admit that I have not seen any of the top five 2019 box-office smash hits listed above. Why? Possibly because I’m decades and decades over their target demographic -- which seems to start around age 8 and stop at the upper end of the Millennial generation. 

Well, I don’t care how many tickets have been sold, or how far these summer juggernauts have pushed MY personal pick down the ranks of contenders for the title of Greatest Summer Blockbuster Of ALL Time ....and that would be the original 1975 Jaws. I’m not alone in this judgment, either; it was proclaimed by Entertainment Weekly back in 2014: “Jaws: The Best Summer Blockbuster of All Time.”
….And it’s also a strong contender for the scariest film of all time [See https://hellogiggles.com/reviews-coverage/jaws-is-the-scariest-movie/]
….And the scariest movie theme, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvCI-gNK_y4

Now I don’t want to leave you on this fine summer evening on such a menacing note, so let me cap this column off with the happiest “Song of the Summer” ever written – the super-bouncy, clap-along sounds of the Pharell’s 2013 hit, HAPPY:

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* While “Old Town Road” is already being hailed already as the Song of the Decade, I have not yet seen an updated list of "Greatest Songs of the Summer Ever" that includes it. The last Billboard list of greatest summer songs that I could find was from 2017:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop-shop/6634535/100-biggest-summer-songs-of-all-time. And let me put in a plug for my own previous consideration of this topic in a “Still Life with Robin” column from four years ago [August 15, 2015]: http://alllifeislocal.blogspot.com/2015/08/still-life-with-robin-sans-song-of.html
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, August 16 - 22, 2019

Georgia Avenue Day Festival
We wanted to share some events and activities that we thought would be of interest to list members. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 18,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

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

Friday, August 16 at 12:30 PM, Lunch Bites: A Collection of Images Illustrating the Art of War in the 18th Century. Anderson House’s Library Fellow Bénédicte Miyamoto will present highlights from the Society’s manuscript map, fortification drawing, and artillery diagram collections. Military engineers, draftsmen, and topographers in the eighteenth-century received artistic training that was used to produce these documents. Artistic skills were not only needed for in-situ sketching, but were also required to produce a wealth of copies for the military corps. Many of the documents did not circulate in print given their military nature and the need for secrecy. The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the maps and diagrams. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW. For more info about this and other Anderson House events go to: https://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public

Saturday August 17 from 1 - 5 PM, Memory Lab Pop Up and Clinic – Learn how to preserve your personal archives. Come learn from DC Public Library’s Memory Lab staff about ways that you can digitize your personal archive using library technology. Highly trained archivists and librarians will be on hand to assist in scanning materials such as photos, posters, papers, negatives and slides. Please note they will not have portable equipment to digitize home movies. Staff can assess the condition of items and suggest next steps, provide one-on-one guidance in digital preservation, home movie preservation and creating oral histories. Bring in your photos, slides, personal papers and home movies to receive a consultation on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to serve everyone, please do not bring more than 5 items. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, First Floor Meeting Room #1, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/63377 

Saturday, Aug. 17 at 3 PM, Teen Trivia! Join us for our August Teen Summer Challenge event: Teen Trivia! Categories will include Harry Potter, music, memes, YA books and other pop culture topics. There will be snacks and prizes for the winners. Don’t forget to log your reading this summer to receive your prizes and to become eligible for raffle prizes! Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/63808

Saturday August 17 from 11 AM - 6 PM, Georgia Avenue Day – an arts festival in the park at 3000 Georgia Avenue NW. The festival will have painters, jewelers, makers, and crafters. Food vendors will be on site to tempt you. And there will be a stage filled with live music. There will be open mic too, so if you want to rap or play, you are welcome to make a joyful noise! For more info visit http://georgiaavenueday.org/ 

Sunday, August 18 at 2 PM, Garden Concert Series: The Irish Breakfast Band. Enjoy an afternoon of music in the beautiful garden area beside Northeast Library. Bring a chair, sit back and enjoy the sounds of the Irish Breakfast Band, a diverse group of DC, Northern Virginia and Maryland residents who meet every Saturday morning for a potluck breakfast and rehearsal. Founded 36 years ago, the band regularly performs for events and concerts throughout the DC area, often accompanying traditional Irish dancers with their music. This concert is part of the Northeast Library's Garden Concert Series - find the complete list of Garden Concerts at https://www.dclibrary.org/calendar?keys=%22Garden%20Concert%20Series%22. Please note: In the event of inclement weather, concerts are held inside the library. Free. At the Northeast Library, 330 7th St. NE, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64141  

Monday August 19 Jokes On Tap: Open Mic Comedy at Union Stage. Doors/Tap Room will open at 5 PM, sign-up for Open Mic starts at 7 PM, show starts at 8 PM. This is a FREE comedy open mic event. All ages. At Union Stage, 740 Water Street SW. $5 US drafts. Full dinner menu will also be available. Reserve at https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1878065 

Tuesday, August 20, all day, National Lemonade Day…or is it Fake National Lemonade Day? We have no need to make up a Weekly Fake Event this week -- there’s already a claim that National Lemonade Day, which is shown as August 20 on all those online funny calendar and holiday websites, is not a real event. The August 20th myth of National Lemonade Day is boldly exposed as a fake event on this muckraking website: https://lemonadeday.org/blog/august-20th-fake-lemonade-day! And yet look at these four well-respected holiday-marking websites that have fallen for the hoax: https://nationaltoday.com/national-lemonade-day/
https://www.checkiday.com/7b1235fa7862be5fcfecbae0ccc01814/national-lemonade-day
https://www.punchbowl.com/holidays/national-lemonade-day https://www.nonstopcelebrations.com/days/in-august/celebrate-national-lemonade-day-every-august-20/  (I could list more, but I don’t have room!). So should we all now start observing National Lemonade Day on the first Sunday in May, as the historical record demands? NO! National Lemonade Day should officially be moved to August, when it’s so hot in most parts of the US that everyone wants lemonade! May is springtime - and we all know lemonade is a summer drink! So let’s all push to make August 20 into the real National Lemonade Day -- and then this will no longer qualify as the Weekly Fake Event [http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent] of the Get Out! column.

Tuesday, August 20 from 10:30 - 11:30 am, Tour: Exploring Bartholdi Park, led by Thomas Crawley, USBG Gardener, and Ray Mims, USBG Conservation and Sustainability Horticulturist. This Bartholdi Park walking tour will highlight the park’s history, gardens, plantings, and recent renovation to upgrade accessibility, safety, and sustainability. Tour participants will also hear about the Sustainable SITES Initiative—a comprehensive rating system for sustainable, professional landscapes, meant to encourage the design and development of healthy, productive landscapes—and the Landscape for Life program that highlights these principles for home gardeners. Come join Thomas and Ray, rain or shine! Please note: This tour is held outdoors. We suggest bringing protective clothing and water. The tour is canceled in the event of extreme weather conditions. Meets by the Bartholdi Park fountain at the US Botanic Garden, 245 First Street, SW. Free - Pre-registration required: https://usbg.doubleknot.com/registration/register.aspx# 

Tuesday, August 20 at 6:30 PM, DC Punk Archive Presents: Harry and the Potters. They'll be playing all your favorite wizard-themed songs, including tracks from their new album Lumos. Get your wands ready for this FREE, all ages event! The show will take place inside the Woodridge Library, in the Children's  Area. Music can be enjoyed from all levels of the library, as we have a very open floor plan. Harry and the Potters are the first wizard rock band. They play songs exclusively about the Harry Potter books. The band consists of brothers Joe and Paul DeGeorge. They grew up in a suburban Boston house that has a cupboard under the stairs. Their commitment to playing shows for all ages has meant extensive touring in unconventional spaces like libraries (where a large number of teens and pre-teens undoubtedly saw their first concert ever). The Woodridge Library is at 1801 Hamlin Street NE. More info: https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64630

Wednesday August 21 at 5:30 PM, Art AfterWords: A Book Discussion - Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation by Jeff Chang. Join staff from the National Portrait Gallery and the DC Public Library for a monthly discussion of portraits and prose. Each month, a Portrait Gallery educator will discuss a portrait from the collection. Following the portrait exploration, a DC Public Library librarian will lead a discussion of a book related to the image. (Please note that the book’s author is not present.) The book for this month’s meeting is Can't Stop, Won't Stop : A History of the Hip-Hop Generation by Jeff Chang. Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip hop has been a generation-defining movement. In a post-civil rights era transformed by deindustrialization and globalization, hip hop became a job-making engine and forever transformed politics and culture. Based on more than a decade of original interviews with DJs, b-boys, graffiti writers, gang members and rappers, and featuring unforgettable portraits of many of hip hop's forbears and mavericks, this book chronicles the rise of this movement through vivid cultural criticism and detailed narrative. We will gather at the 8th and G Street entrance to the Gallery. Free and open to the public - but please note that registration is required at http://bit.ly/2yYBveA. You may check out the book from the DC Public library (see https://www.dclibrary.org/node/63560 for information) or purchase it from the Portrait Gallery's museum shop. For questions about obtaining the book from the library, please contact David Quick at David.Quick2 @ dc dot gov

Thursday, August 22 from 5 - 7 PM, Concert: American Roots Music, with Michelle Hannan & One Blue Night (country). Come celebrate American roots music—Americana and folk, country, blues, jazz, and even rockabilly—with the return of our popular summer concert series in the Garden! Michelle Hannan & One Blue Night, based out of Frederick, MD, is one of Maryland’s top up-and-coming independent country bands. The band features the warm, soulful vocals and songwriting of Michelle Hannan, along with her husband: singer, songwriter, and bassist Jason Hannan. They are supported by the dynamic instrumental work of renowned veteran musicians Howard Parker (pedal steel), Brent Progecene (lead guitar), and Todd Campbell (drums). Please note: Limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis or bring your own blanket or chair. Free. No pre-registration needed. In the Amphitheater of the United States Botanic Garden 100 Maryland Ave, SW. (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)

Thursday August 22  at 7 PM, Love You Hard: Author Talk with Abby Maslin. In 2012 Abby Maslin's husband, TC, was brutally assaulted on his walk home in Capitol Hill. He survived with a severe brain injury, an event that would transform both their lives and marriage. In the book award-winning journalist Maria Shriver calls, "a testament to love, resilience, and choosing joy during the toughest times,” Maslin tells the raw, unflinchingly honest story of a young love left broken, and the resilience required to mend a life and remake a marriage. At the heart of this captivating story are the universal truths that bind us all. This is a tale of living and loving wholeheartedly, learning to heal after profound grief and choosing joy in the wake of tragedy. Copies of the book Love You Hard will be available for sale and signing after the author talk.Free. At the Cleveland Park Library 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64074     

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Vacation Pix

Lake George (Peter Fiztgerald via Creative Commons)
by Peggy Robin

While I’m away (I'm in the Adirondack mountains right now) I'm still doing my Saturday column but in the laziest possible way: I'm showing you other people's travel photos -- all far better than I could ever take. Enjoy these National Geographic travel photo contest winners:

https://www.boredpanda.com/travel-photo-contest-national-geographic-2019/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

If you would like to see more, scroll through the galleries of the 2019 runners-up as well:
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/contests/travel-photo-contest-2019/gallery/winners-all/1/

And while we are talking travel stills, take a look at these picture-perfect sunsets:
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/features/photography/sunset-sunrise-golden-hour-light/

And finally, if you have been following the posts on the Cleveland Park Listserv of the previous week (when I was still in sweltering DC), you may recall a post about a goat running loose in AU Park. No one ever said where it came from or sent in a photo to prove it was there. But in the course of looking into whether it really happened, I did come across this little video clip, which I thought you might enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up1a21TCn4k 

Will be back next week!
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, August 9 - 15, 2019

Full Moon & Memorial Walk - Hosted by Washington DC History & Culture
We wanted to share some events and activities that we thought would be of interest to list members. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 18,300+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

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

Friday, August 9 at 10 AM, DIY Digital Friday: Intro to 3D Printing. Want to see one of DC Public Library's 3D printers in action and learn how to "make 3D stuff" at Tenley and the Fab Test Lab? Take our Intro to 3D Printing class and learn more about the process including: preparing digital files for printing, changing filament and basic troubleshooting. This class includes hands-on instruction with Cura, the software used to prepare your 3D object file for printing on a Printrbot Play 3D printer. Registration is required: http://bit.ly/31emUb0. The class is made possible by The Labs at DC Public Library. Click on https://www.dclibrary.org/labsatdcpl for more information about the Labs and to sign up for updates about classes and services. Free. At Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64618

Saturday August 10 at 11 AM, Artist Talk with Shani Shih. Originally from New Jersey, Shani Shih is a Washington, DC based multidisciplinary artist who works primarily in illustration, painting and street art. She is dedicated to her practice as well as community art and arts empowerment. Her projects include: Bern the System!, a large street art showcase in 2016 that uplifted messages of social change; DC 2 Standing Rock, a cross-country mural campaign in support of the indigenous-led “Water is Life” movement; and the subsequent founding of the 411 Collective, a political graffiti/street art collective. In 2018, in partnership with the Chinatown organization 1882 Foundation, Shih founded Chinatown Art Studio—a youth art space servicing Asian Pacific American youth through art programming. Shih will discuss her work and artistic journey within the context of the exhibition, A Right to the City. To complement her presentation, the artist will moderate a brief discussion with a Chinatown community leader about the relationship between arts/culture and Chinatown community preservation and empowerment (past and present), how art and cultural resources in the neighborhood can be strengthened to meaningfully benefit the community, and how Chinatown Art Studio fits into this scenario. Free. At the Woodridge Library, 1801 Hamlin Street NE, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64076

Sunday, August 11 from 11 AM - 5:30 PM, DC VegFest. Free. The first 1,000 visitors will receive a free VegFest totebag filled with samples. Speakers, live music, tasting booths, cooking demonstrations, KidZone, story time, readings, stand-up comedy, and much more!  At Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol St SE. More info: http://dcvegfest.com; click on https://dcvegfest.com/schedule/ for schedule. Free admission. Please note that for security backpacks are not permitted (purses and handbags OK).

Sunday, August 11 at 2 PM, Gearin' Up Bike Repair Pop Up. Need to dust off that bike sitting in the garage? Gotta fix that flat tire? Visit Gearin' Up Bicycles at a neighborhood library near you to receive free basic bike repair and maintenance. Limit one adult bicycle or two children's bicycles per customer. For a complete list of Gearin' Up Bike Repair Pop Up dates and locations at DC Public Libraries click on https://www.dclibrary.org/bike. Gearin’ Up Bicycles mechanics, safety coordinators and teen staff provide free bicycle maintenance for schools, parks, churches, and community events throughout the city, with an emphasis on areas not served by for-profit bicycle shops. Parts, tools, and skills are provided by Gearin’ Up. Free. At the Palisades Library, 4901 V Street, NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64445

Sunday, August 11 at 3 PM, Steinway Series: Natalia Kazaryan. Critically acclaimed pianist Natalia Kazaryan performs pieces by female composers for this installment of the summer Steinway Series. Kazaryan, a graduate from The Julliard School and now an adjunct piano faculty member at Howard University, has received top prizes from the Eastman Young Artists International, the Zosciuszko Foundation Chopin, and the New York piano competitions. Shea has also been recognized by Queen Sophia of Spain with a “Sobresaliente” Award. Free. At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium, 8th and F Streets NW. More info: https://americanart.si.edu/events/steinway-series-natalia-kazaryan-august-11-2019 

Monday, August 12 from 10 AM - 1 PM, World Elephant Day at the National Zoo. From trunk to tail, celebrate all things elephant at the Smithsonian's National Zoo on Aug. 12! The largest living land mammals, elephants are intelligent, social and complex creatures that researchers are learning more about every day. Prepare for a day of elephant-sized fun and exploration, where you can hear from elephant researchers, play elephant-themed games and attend special training demonstrations. Free. The Smithsonian National Zoo is at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW. More info on this special event and other animal discovery days at https://nationalzoo.si.edu/events/animal-discovery-days

Monday, August 12 at 12:30 PM, Organ Demonstration at the National Cathedral. A Cathedral organist gives a short talk about the 10,650-pipe great organ followed by a mini-recital. The National Cathedral is at Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues NW. Included in the tour with admission ticket - $12 adults (ages 18+); $8 for seniors, students and teachers (with ID), active military (with ID) and veterans; $8 for youth (ages 5 - 17); free for children under 5. More info: https://cathedral.org/event/organ-demonstration-2/2019-08-12/

Tuesday, August 13 from 1 - 5 PM, Demand-based Parking Formula Analysis Class. Are you confused by the new formulae that determine the cost of parking in Chinatown/Penn Quarter based on demand? DDOT now offers a class to all who want to understand the underlying math/economics/social psychology used to arrive at the variable parking meter pricing. DDOT detailed the new price structure in an announcement posted on the CP Listserv on July 16 (Message # 149968); here is a brief section of that message: “For spaces in the pilot area, parking meter rates on individual block faces will be adjusted to one of twelve prices: $1.00/hour, $1.50/hour, $2.00/hour, $2.30/hour, $2.75/hour, $3.25/hour, $4.00/hour, $4.75/hour, $5.50/hour, $6.00/hour, $6.50/hour or $7.00/hour. Prices are also different depending on the time of day. On weekdays, there are three periods: 7 am – 11 am, 11 am – 4 pm, and 4 pm – 10 pm.” For the full message go to this link: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/cleveland-park/conversations/messages/149968. In this class we will examine the socioeconomic variables that contribute to higher parking meter rates, as well as compute the intake predictable under various high-demand/low-demand usage models. Prerequisites for the class include AP Calculus and Microeconomics. Class tuition fee varies based on a percentage of your income after taxes; subsidies and tuition grants available (must apply 90 days in advance of the class - use this online link to the application form: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent 

Wednesday, August 14 at 2:30 PM, 7th Annual Back to School Bash. Join us for a FREE celebration for the whole family to help kick off a successful school year. The event includes:
Health screenings; Entertainment; Face painting; Educational resources; Caricature artist;
Backpack and school supply giveaways*; Live performance from special guest, Suttle (formerly known as Suttle Thoughts); *Children must be present to receive backpacks -- DC Residents only. Free. At the Bellevue (William O. Lockridge) Library, 115 Atlantic St. SW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64761 

Thursday, August 15, 5 – 7 PM, Take 5! With Tyrone Allen. Relax and Take 5! with free, live jazz music in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard. In this installment, bassist and DC area native Tyrone Allen celebrates the 80th birthday of legendary local bass player Butch Warren with a lively tribute. Allen, who learned how to play bass from his father, a DC public school teacher, studied jazz and classical music at the Eastman School of Music before attending Berklee College of Music. He has performed at Blues Alley, Twins Jazz Club, Bohemia Caverns, and the Kennedy Center. During the concert, you can stop by the Courtyard Café for refreshments or borrow a board game to play. Free. In the Kogod Courtyard of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F Streets NW.  More info: https://americanart.si.edu/events/take-5-tyrone-allen-august-15-2019 

Thursday, August 15 at 7 PM, Go-Go Book Club at Solid State Books. This is the third and final meeting of the Go-Go Book Club at Solid State Books to discuss three titles that detail the history of Washington, DC's own indigenous music. In partnership with Solid State Books, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival's "The Social Power of Music," and Washington Performing Arts. The third and final book discussion takes on the book, Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City by Natalie Hopkinson. You need not have attended the two previous sessions to attend this one. Free. At  Solid State Books,  600F H St. NE. To learn more about the Go-Go Archive project at DC Public Library, visit https://www.dclibrary.org/gogo or use the hashtag, #SmithsonianMusic. More info on this event: https://www.dclibrary.org/node/62827

Thursday, August 15 from 7 - 9:30 PM, Full Moon Walk: National Mall Monuments & Memorials - hosted by Washington DC History and Culture. Washington DC's monuments and memorials on the National Mall are spectacular in the evening, and even more so during a full moon. With the August full moon falling on a Thursday come join us for a pleasant evening walk with friendly people from the non-profit community organization Washington, DC History and Culture: bringing people together to experience the history and culture of Washington, DC.  Our walk will start and end at the National World War II Memorial and cover approximately 2 miles past Washington DC's most famous monuments and memorials. Please note, this a walk and not a guided tour - although some brief information on the sites we’re visiting may be provided. We’ll have a good-sized group, usually 100+ people, and it’s hard to remember people’s names. Therefore, as a fun ice-breaker we’ll bring blank name tags and markers and each person can write their name and their “dream” vacation (past or present) - example: “Michele - Hawaii” & “Robert - Japan.” During our walk we can then discuss our past and future travels! : ) Register: http://bit.ly/2KvTNJr    

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Driving by the Book

Photo by Bill Adler
by Peggy Robin

At the end of summer and the middle of the fall I have a few long driving trips planned. It’s been quite a few years (OK, decades) since I traveled this way, and so I’m looking for advice about audio books to sustain me through the long stretches of rural roads without NPR….or those long stretches with NPR when I’m tired of re-hearing the same bits on the “All Things Considered” repeat.

I need a book that will be good for at least three hours of an even longer drive. Here are the prerequisites:

The content can’t be too demanding. If it takes too much attention to follow a convoluted plot, or has too many oddly-named characters to keep straight, or has a challenging premise or difficult-to-comprehend scientific paradigm behind it, then I’m not going to divide my attention between the book and the road signs, the construction zones, exits, and/or the voice of the GPS -- and I will undoubtedly miss my turn-off. I might even miss that tractor-trailer that’s decided to change lanes without signaling. That means I must turn down your favorite time-travel story that would have me keep track of multiple realities or timelines. I am just not the multi-tasker I used to be.

Second, it can’t be too grim. I made that mistake a long time ago when I chose an audio book about the Antarctic voyage of the Endurance [https://amzn.to/2YCZePLk], led by the intrepid Captain Shackleton: a six hour narration of an unrelenting struggle for survival, men against the frozen sea, the twenty months spent trapped on ice floes, with their ship slowly, slowly being crushed by pack ice. I started that one on a drive back from Mid-coast Maine to DC, but I made it only as far as the start of the New Jersey Turnpike before I gave up in despair. All of the men would make it to safety in the end by dint of their courage and perseverance….but I just couldn’t take one more paragraph of their frostbitten woe and bailed out somewhere around the Vince Lombardi Service Area.

Third, I’d like to avoid cliff-hanger chapter endings. That rules out a lot of thrillers and murder mysteries. I need something that can readily be paused or turned off at almost any point, without losing the momentum or the fun of the chase, or needing to go back and catch up on missed clues. I once took a trip to a thriller called Vertical Run [https://amzn.to/2MxroFD]. I have no trouble recommending it as a beach read. It’s just not a good book for an extended drive. There comes a point when you or your fellow riders would like to take a bathroom break or stop for a meal, but you find yourself saying, "Hey, we can’t leave the hero dangling off the sixtieth floor – let’s just drive a little farther, till we find out how he gets off the ledge." After a while, your bladder starts to ache…. Though you do find that you will make good driving time!

Fourth, think "upbeat." As I find driving stressful even under the best of conditions, I want a book that won’t add to the stress. That pretty much rules out anything about the contemporary political scene. No inside looks at the chaos inside the Trump administration or what’s broken about our democracy. No soul-searing tours of the criminal justice system or deep dives into life on the margins. My blood pressure is already high enough from all the 80mph cars that are whizzing by. 

What kinds of books have worked well in the past? We’ve done quite a few Bill Bryson travel books with pleasure [https://amzn.to/2Knx6Hs]. “In a Sunburned country” made us happy to be rolling along that ribbon of highways in America rather than trekking across the parched and barren Outback or the crocodile-lined waterways of the North Coast of Australia. Funny, enlightening, yet easy to pause and start up again. Collections of humorous essays work well. Nora Ephron or other Ephron-ish writers will do nicely [https://amzn.to/318LQka]. Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief was perfection [https://amzn.to/339AYEA]. But these are all decades old. This just gives you an idea of the last time I was on the road for an extended time!

So, long distance drivers, what do you like? If I get enough off-list goodies, I will happily share the lode.

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

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column for August 2 - 8, 2019

DC Public Library Image
We wanted to share some events and activities that we thought would be of interest to list members. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 18,300+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

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

Friday, August 2 from 6 - 8 PM, National Beer Appreciation Day at Christian Heurich House - The Brewmaster’s Castle. In celebration of International Beer Appreciation Day, local author Garrett Peck will be at the Heurich House Museum to talk about the history of DC beer, as part of the First Friday Dupont events of the participating museums and galleries around Dupont Circle (http://www.firstfridaydupont.org/).The museum’s doors will be open for guests to explore the family home of DC’s most successful brewer, Christian Heurich, and learn more about his historic brewery in the exhibit HOME/BREWED: How the Chr. Heurich Brewing Co. Witnessed DC History. This is event is free and open to the public.  Local beer will be on tap and snacks will be available for purchase. The Castle Garden will be open weather permitting. Heurich House Museum is at 1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW. More info: http://www.heurichhouse.org/first-friday-dupont-lets-appreciate-beer     

Friday, August 2 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, History at Sunset: Civil War Tour. This tour will walk visitors from the grounds of President Lincoln's Cottage to the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery.  During the program, Ranger Steve and Joan Cummins from President Lincoln's Cottage will explain the evolution of President Lincoln as commander-in-chief and the experiences of the First Family at their summer retreat to escape the heat of downtown Washington. The one-mile walking tour starts outside President Lincoln’s Cottage, at the intersection of Upsher Street, NW and Rock Creek Church Road, NW. The tour goes on, rain or shine.  Please bring rain gear and a government issued ID to get through security. Free! More info on the Civil War Defenses of Washington website: https://www.nps.gov/cwdw/planyourvisit/history-at-sunset.htm

Saturday, August 3 at 6 PM, Tanya DePass: Barriers Are Meant to be Destroyed, Not Just Broken. Learn about diversity in the gaming industry from Tanya DePass, founder of the non-profit organization, I Need Diverse Games, who presents a keynote talk that explores the theme of SAAM Arcade 2019, “breaking barriers.” DePass explains how video games fit into unconventional spaces such as art museums, and expands upon how programs like SAAM Arcade serve as a critical aid to promote this idea. She also discusses how her organization seeks to highlight projects and research by marginalized groups within the gaming industry, and talks about her past and current work that encourages a more diverse gaming environment. ASL interpretation will be available during this program. Free. In the McEvoy Auditorium of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F Streets NW. More info: https://americanart.si.edu/events/tanya-depass-barriers-are-meant-be-destroyed-not-just-broken-august-3-2019

Saturday, August 3, and Sunday, August 4, 11:30 AM - 7 PM,  SAAM Arcade. The Smithsonian American Art Museum is turning into an arcade! Enjoy 2 days of play with a free, family-friendly event for gamers of all levels. The 5th annual SAAM Arcade features 13 select indie games, vintage consoles, arcade cabinets, traditional table-top board games, and new games created for old consoles. This year, the Arcade showcases indie games that recognize the diversity of gaming audiences, makers, players, characters, and cultures, encouraging the industry to break barriers and celebrate underrepresented segments within the gaming community. ASL interpretation will be available during this program. At the Smithsonian American Art Museum at 8th and F Streets NW, Kogod Courtyard. Tickets: Free. More info: https://americanart.si.edu/events/saam-arcade 

Sunday August 4 at 2 PM, Free Bike Repair Pop Up with Gearin' Up Bicycles. Need to dust off that bike sitting in the garage? Have to fix that flat tire? Visit Gearin' Up Bicycles at a neighborhood library near you to receive free basic bike repair and maintenance. Limit one adult bicycle or two children's bicycles per customer. Parts, tools, and skills are provided by Gearin’ Up. For a complete list of Gearin' Up Bike Repair Pop-Up dates and locations at DC Public Libraries visit https://www.dclibrary.org/bike. Free. At Northwest One Library, 155 L Street, NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64567

Monday August 5, all day, National Underwear Day. To celebrate this nationally observed annual event, go outside in your underwear! Good thing this holiday falls  in one of the hottest months of the year. If you happen to be in New York City you are likely to find a crowd of people in their underwear outside City Hall or at the Stock Exchange or in Times Square. Sure, you might find someone in their underwear any day of the year in Times Square, but on National Underwear Day, you could see a lot of them. You probably were thinking this must be the weekly fake event (http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent) but in fact it’s a real day that’s been observed since the underwear company FreshPair first declared it in 2003. In 2013 the event had grown so big in New York that the gathering on August 5 of that year broke the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people in their underwear ever assembled! In the years since the holiday was established, FreshPair has organized all kinds of events to celebrate, including handing out free underwear to all comers and putting up a runway for an outdoor show by underwear models. Why doesn’t DC have a public observance of National Underwear Day on August 5? Silly Question! Because everyone is at the Vineyard in August, of course! More info: https://nationaltoday.com/national-underwear-day/

Monday August 5 at 6:30 PM, Ten Strong: Women of Barry Farm/Hillsdale. Curator and author Alcione M. Amos from the Anacostia Community Museum will recount the lives of 10 women from the historic African American settlement of Barry Farm/Hillsdale. Located in Southeast Washington, DC and established in 1867 by the Freedmen's Bureau, this community counted 47 women among its first settlers. Amos will tell the life stories of inspiring women such as Georgiana Rose Simpson, the first African American woman to receive her PhD in the United States, and Winnie Banks, who as an enslaved young girl was separated from her parents. Free. At the Anacostia Library, 1800 Good Hope Road SE, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64154 

Monday, August 5 at 7 PM, Author Talk/Q&A/Book Signing by Randon Billings Noble. Join local author Randon Billings Noble as she discusses her new book, Be with Me Always. With a little bit of something for everyone, Be with Me Always is a collection of essays that explore hauntedness - not through conventional ghost stories, but by considering the way our pasts cling to our imaginations. About the author: After graduating with high honors from the University of Michigan (where she won a Hopwood Award in 1994), Randon earned her MFA in creative writing from New York University in 2001. She was a full-time writing instructor at American University from 2001 to 2009, and has since taught at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Politics and Prose, and the Washington National Cathedral. This event is free and open to the public. Copies of Be with Me Always will be available for purchase after the event. Book signing will take place after the event. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64364

Tuesday August 6 at 10:30 AM, Animal Activities with Friends of the National Zoo. Here in Washington, DC, nature is all around us! Join the Friends of the National Zoo education team to learn about some of the animals we find in our own backyards. During this program, we will play a pollinator-themed game and take part in an animal coverings craft. This program is best suited for children ages five to 12 and their caregivers. Free. At Capitol View Library,  5001 Central Ave SE, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64732

Tuesday, August 6 from 5 - 8 PM, National Night Out. The Metropolitan Police Department invites you to join our officers and other community leaders to celebrate the 36th Annual National Night Out event. This year's festivities will be held on the grounds of Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert Street NW. We have a fun-filled day in store for everyone (food, music, moon bounce, 22-ft slide, kids and cops basketball game, car seat safety inspections, child fingerprinting kits, information tables, giveaways, pet adoption truck, and SO MUCH MORE! We will also be celebrating MPD's 158th Birthday! Please be sure to stop by the red carpet photo station! Questions? Contact Kyi Branch, Community Outreach Coordinator, MPD Second District, kyi.branch @ dc dot gov

Wednesday August 7 at 10:30 AM, Trash Free DC! Are we drinking our bath water?! Did you know that 80% of the people in the region get their drinking water from the Potomac River? This means that the yucky litter found in our watershed is in the same water that eventually comes out of your faucet. For instance, in April 2010, a cleanup of the Potomac River found*: 503,800 pounds of trash; 21,597 plastic bags; 14,802 cigarette butts. [*Source: Alice Ferguson Foundation] Join us in welcoming the Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative team at this interactive program where we will learn all about what we can do to help our community stay clean and thrive! Recommended for children and their families. Free. Bellevue (William O. Lockridge) Library 115 Atlantic St. SW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64692   

Wednesday, August 7 from 11 AM - 3 PM, Walking Stick “Trunk Show” to benefit Cleveland and Woodley Park Village. Susan Miller is a wood artist specializing in canes and walking sticks, who will be coming to DC in August, and will host a “trunk show” for the Cleveland and Woodley Park Village. Come out and purchase one of her beautiful hand-carved pieces for yourself or a friend, and 25% of the sales will be donated to the Cleveland and Woodley Park Village. Cash and checks only. Make an appointment at 202-615-5853 or email info @ ClevelandWoodleyParkVillage dot org to get the house number of the of the private residence on 29th Street NW where the show will be held. (Accessible) 

Wednesday, August 7 at 6:30 PM, Documentary Film Screening and Talk: The Lafayette Escadrille. At the beginning of World War I, young Americans rushed to France as volunteers to defend America’s oldest ally. The Lafayette Escadrille, the only all-American squadron in the French Air Service, is the subject of a new documentary film co-directed by Paul Glenshaw. Following the film screening, Glenshaw will comment on the production, including presenting the deep connections several of the pilots had to the Revolution and to the Society of the Cincinnati. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW. For more info about this and other Anderson House events go to: https://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public         

Thursday, August 8 from 5 - 8 PM, Over the Line: Opening Reception for Zenith Gallery Exhibition, Works by Andrea Fried, Guigui Kohon, Joyce Werwie Perry, Judith Pratt. The exhibition is on from August 8 – October 12, 2019. Free. RSVP: http://bit.ly/2K65ckc. At Zenith Gallery, 1429 Iris St. NW.

Thursday, August 8 from 6 - 8 PM, Can DC Take the Heat? If you’ve spent a summer in DC, you know that heat can constitute anything from an annoyance to a crisis. In fact, extreme heat is the most widespread and deadly weather-related hazards in the United States, and it is worsening due to both climate change and urban development patterns. Join a panel of expert practitioners from the public and private sectors to hear how extreme heat is addressed in the new Resilient DC Strategy and how extreme heat can be mitigated through sustainable design and urban planning. The discussion will focus on lessons learned, offered in a new Urban Land Institute report on extreme heat and real estate, and how the District is keeping residents safe from extreme heat by mitigating the effects of climate change and preparing for the future.  This event is $10 for Greater Greater Washington Neighbors (who will receive a code via email) and $20 for the general public. Learn more and register: http://bit.ly/2K4uVJJ. Location: 700 Penn Rooftop, 700 Pennsylvania Ave SE. More about Greater Greater Washington at https://ggwash.org/     

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Still LIfe with Robin: Back to School Already?!

by Peggy Robin

Back-to-School Sale - image by m01229
via Creative Commons
Complaint of the Month (July edition):

Retailers of America,

It’s still July, dammit! Why are the shelves full of back-to-school items and specials? Can’t you at least hold off until August 1st?

Yes, I know that most of the schools now start the week BEFORE Labor Day. And lots of them get going mid-month. The long, lazy summer break is a thing of the misty past.

It’s all part of "calendar creep." Or call it “calendar surge.” You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see those Halloween things start to materialize on September 1st. And then a week or two after that – not even October yet – the Thanksgiving stuff will appear. At more and more stores, the Christmas selling season comes in full-bore at the same time, not even a day’s grace between them.

With the start of the New Year, the Christmas stuff sticks around a while for some extreme post-Christmas markdowns, and when it finally goes away, it’s replaced by red hearts and candy boxes and other Valentine’s merch. As soon we hit the midway point of February, the red turns to green for St. Patrick’s Day – although I’ve always wondered, who sends St. Patrick’s Day cards anyway? Is that really a thing?

No matter, because in the time it takes to ponder the question, the Easter and Passover supplies have taken over. And now we’re even finding a bit of diversity with Holi and Nowruz getting a foot in the door (or shelf space in the aisle) of the burgeoning spring festival retail world.

The minute we’re past that, it’s on to graduation season, and before you know it, the Fourth of July. And then, the day after the firecrackers and red-white-and-blue themed decorations have come down, those back-to-school signs are up, and we’re back to where we began.

I suppose it all shows us The Circle of Life....but then that leads me straight to another, perennial complaint of our age, The Disneyfication of Everything….and don’t get me started on that!

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

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, July 26 - August 1, 2019

DC Public Library Image
We wanted to share some events and activities that we thought would be of interest to list members. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 18,300+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

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

Friday, July 26 from 10:30 - 11:30 AM, Guided Garden Tour of Tudor Place. Take a guided tour of the property’s 5.5 acre landscape. Hear stories of the people who designed, created, and cared for the garden for over two hundred years. Explore seasonal flora and urban wildlife in this quiet retreat in bustling Georgetown. This outdoor tour will take place rain or shine. Please dress for the weather! Free for members of Tudor Place; non-members $10; walk-ins welcome. Advance tickets available at http://bit.ly/2Yf441t. Tudor Place Historic House & Garden is at 1644 31st Street NW.

Saturday, July 27 at 10 AM, Meet Washington Nationals Pitcher Sean Doolittle at this special Summer Challenge story time event for families. He will share stories and answer questions. Please note that this event will replace our regularly scheduled 10:30 AM story time. Please click on the link https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64458 to view additional information about this program. Registration is not required for this free event. In the first floor meeting room of the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Sunday, July 28 at 1 PM, Resistance to Gentrification in Adams Morgan, 1970s-1990s. In conjunction with the Anacostia Community Museum’s “A Right to the City” exhibition, the Mt. Pleasant Library is pleased to present a panel of Adams Morgan community members, activists and local scholars who will discuss the changing economic, social and cultural landscape of one of Washington’s most diverse and multicultural neighborhoods during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Panelists will address grassroots efforts to preserve and protect local culture, tensions between developers and residents, tenant organizing campaigns and the role of ANC and city political figures in the struggle for continuity and change in Adams Morgan over three key decades. Free. In the large first floor meeting room of the Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW. Entrance is on Lamont St. More info: https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64666

Monday, July 29 from 7 - 9:30 PM, Fort Reno Concert Series - Monday’s concert lineup: The Osyx https://www.facebook.com/theosyxband; Dirt Eater https://dirteater1.bandcamp.com/music; The Mauls at http://themauls.net/. What to bring: Yes to friends, dogs, babies. No to alcohol, drugs, glass bottles. Free. Ft. Reno Park is at Chesapeake and Nebraska Ave, across the street from Wilson HS. The Fort Reno website http://www.fortreno.com/ has the concert schedule for whole summer. Questions - contact: Amanda @ fortreno dot com.. Concert information line: 202-355-6356 

Tuesday, July 30, at 4 PM, Diane Macklin, master storyteller, stirs a savory blend of stories seasoned with truth, wit and humor. This interactive feast for the ears is rich with family traditions, folk heroes and the creative resilience of the African American experience.Free. At the Palisades Library, 4901 V Street NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/63713   

Wednesday, July 31 at 6:30 PM, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary - Escape Azkaban! It's been 20 years since Sirius Black escaped Azkaban! Come celebrate with trivia and surprises, maybe see if you can escape Azkaban yourself! There will also be an edible books contest (Harry Potter edition) being held to celebrate! Craft your favorite scene from any of the books or play out of food. Get punny with it! Sirius Black Forest Cake? Bella-Twix Squares? Awards will be given by age group, and a few other special awards. Don't want to bring something in? No problem, we will need judges as well. Costumes are not required, but encouraged. Free. At the Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/60401 

Wednesday, July 31 at 6:30 PM, DC Punk Archive Rooftop Show: Saffron and Lavender. Woodridge is taking it to the roof again this summer with the DC Punk Archive for our summer concert series! We're kicking it off with DC favorites Saffron and Lavender, on our beautiful 3rd floor terrace overlooking Langdon Park. Space is limited on the rooftop terrace, please arrive early to guarantee entry to the outdoor space. This event is open to all ages. Show will move inside in case of poor weather. Rain or shine, we will rock. Free. Woodridge Library is at 1801 Hamlin Street NE, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64486   

Wednesday, July 31 at 7 PM, Book Hill Talks: How Do Cognitive Neuroscientists Study the Brain? Science has made many advances from the days when, after an accident like a stroke or injury, researchers would wait for the afflicted person to die so that they could remove their brain and determine what had gone wrong that led to the person's symptoms. One amazing modern tool for understanding the human brain is magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI. In this seminar, we will talk about how MRI is used to measure brain structure and function, both healthy and unhealthy. We will also cover some of the landmark studies that showcased the power of this tool for learning about how the brain changes with experience, and how the brain works to carry out complex functions like understanding language. This talk is presented by Breana Downey, a 5th year PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience at Georgetown University. Currently, she studies how the experience of bilingualism impacts the brain systems for math, by comparing brain activity during addition and subtraction in English and Spanish, and comparing the bilingual brain to the monolingual brain as children and adults do arithmetic inside an MRI scanner. Free. At the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/63262    

Thursday, August 1 at 3:30 PM, Origami Attack at Tenley-Friendship Library. Looking for something to do on a hot summer day? Come to Tenley-Friendship Library and learn how to make water bombs, throwing stars and other interesting origami creations to amuse and amaze others. Ages 13-19, but younger kids are welcome as well. Attending this program counts towards DC Public Library Summer Challenge. Free. At Tenley Library Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64115   

Thursday, August 1 at 5:30 PM, Origami Attack II - The Next Level Up. For those who would like to create more advanced origami weaponry, please attend Tenley Library’s Origami Attack II session for ages 19 and up. No water bombs here - you will learn to make the F-15 jet fighter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CzrZDIU3lI and a Valor V280 tilt-rotor aircraft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B9DOK4j7ic. To create origami aircraft at this level you must have an origami security clearance issued by the Origami United Council of Handcrafters (OUCH). Apply online at: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent 

Thursday, August 1 at 6:30 PM, Film Screening: African Twilight: A Forty Year Odyssey Meets the Return of a Legend. Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith have spent over 40 years traversing the African continent photographing the vanishing rituals, ceremonies and cultures of Africa. This documentary by Reality Media Online documents the spectacular launch of their double volume book of the vanishing rituals and ceremonies of the African continent with a carnival of music, dance, fashion, cuisine, costumes and fashions created of the vanishing hand woven and hand printed textiles of Africa at African Heritage House, Nairobi. At the Katzen Arts Center at American University, northeast side of Massachusetts and Nebraska Avenues at Ward Circle. Free, please RSVP to museum @ american dot edu. More info: http://bit.ly/32SE2ED 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Countdown to J-Day!

Me and My Pal Alex

by Peggy Robin

The Three-Day Countdown to J-Day has begun! J-Day is Tuesday, July 23, and the show airs on WJLA at 7:30pm.

Here’s my “hometown howdy” – a little video clip that all Jeopardy contestants make so they can publicize their appearance on the show.
(I hesitated about posting it because it’s so hokey. But folks, it’s a game show – and I’ve always been a person who enjoys a good hoke!)

If you’d like to watch the show with me, you’re invited to see it on the screens at the Cleveland Park Bar and Grill, 3421 Connecticut Ave NW. Come about 20 – 30 minutes ahead of time and you’ll have time to order a drink and a snack and hear me say a few words about the show. Of course, I’m bound by the 11-page confidentiality agreement I signed with the Jeopardy production company not to reveal the results. If you can make it, please let me know by email ahead of time (to peggyrobin@gmail.com - peggyrobin @ gmail dot com), so I can give a head count to CP Bar&Grill.

Next week’s shows are the final five of Jeopardy’s 35th season. And it’s also the 35th anniversary of my favorite (and occasion-fitting) Weird Al Yankovic song:
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, July 19 - 25, 2019

Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
We wanted to share some events and activities that we thought would be of interest to list members. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 18,300+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

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

Friday, July 19 from 10 AM - 3 PM, Family Day: Discover the Moon Day -- a day of educational and fun family activities at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. On this day you can: Talk with real moon scientists; Trace the path of the Apollo 11 astronauts, starting at the Lunar Module and stopping at stations through the Museum; See real meteorites that came from the Moon; Learn how we can study the Moon from Earth and orbit using radar; Learn about the spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon and see stunning images; Learn about the rocks found on the Moon by seeing similar rocks from Earth; Work with mini-robots in a hands-on activity; See a demonstration of how craters form; See the newly restored spacesuit worn by Neil Armstrong on the Moon; See a Planetarium show; And more activities too numerous to list! All free. At the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, 600 Independence Avenue SW. For event schedules and other details go to: https://airandspace.si.edu/events/discover-moon-day-0

Friday, July 19, 2019 at 12:30 PM, Lunch Bites: The 1786 Published Edition of the Marquis de Chastellux’s Account of His Travels. Join Executive Director Jack Warren for a discussion of a treasure from our library — the 1786 published edition of the Marquis de Chastellux’s account of his travels in America, which offers remarkable insights into how European intellectuals imagined the natural world at the end of the eighteenth century and how they related those ideas to the American Revolution. Chastellux was a major general in the French army and the liaison between George Washington and General Rochambeau. The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the travel account. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW. More info about this and other Anderson House events at: https://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public 

Friday, July 19 from 6:30 - 8:00 PM, History Happy Hour: The Women of the 6888th Central Postal Battalion. In February 1945, a massive backlog of letters and packages intended for US troops, government, and civilian personnel serving in Europe, was being held in airplane hangars and warehouses in England and France. As troop movements and incomplete addresses brought mail delivery to a standstill, morale began to decline. But who would tackle the enormous project? The 6888th Battalion, nicknamed the “Six Triple Eight,” was a unit of African-American women who braved dark, freezing, and rat-infested warehouses, working around the clock to create a tracking system and get the mail to its recipients. Led by Major Charity Adams, the women maintained their dignity and professionalism while enduring segregation and the resentment of male service personnel. The program begins with film clips from “The Six Triple Eight” directed by James Theres, and continues with a panel discussion with the director, producers Lizz Helm-Frazier and Edna Cummings, and Stanley Earley, the son of battalion commander Major Charity Adams. This History Happy Hour is free of charge. Reserve your spot at https://sandyspringmuseum.salsalabs.org/hhh6888/index.html. At the
Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Rd., Sandy Spring, MD

Friday, July 19 & Saturday, July 20 starting at 9:30 PM, Go For the Moon: Apollo 50 Projection Show. This once-in-a-lifetime celebration of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 features a 363-foot Saturn V rocket projected on the east face of the Washington Monument and a special "Apollo 50: Go for the Moon" show, a 17-minute show that will combine full-motion projection mapping artwork and archival footage to recreate the launch of Apollo 11 and tell the story of the first Moon landing. The show will unfold on the face of the Washington Monument and supporting screens, including a 40-foot-wide re-creation of the famous Kennedy Space Center countdown clock. The free show will run 3 times: 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30 PM on both Friday and Saturday. Best viewing areas for "Apollo 50: Go for the Moon" are on the National Mall in front of the Smithsonian Castle between 9th and 12th Streets. Check the website at https://airandspace.si.edu/go-for-the-moon for updates and additional details. Text Apollo50GO to 888777 for live updates on the days of the shows.

Saturday, July 20 from 10 AM - 3 PM, 8th Annual Archaeology Day Festival at Dumbarton House. The International Day of Archaeology aims to raise public awareness of the relevance and importance of archaeology in the modern world. This festival is dedicated to the archaeology, history, and preservation of Washington, DC area and invites the public to learn in fun and interactive ways. For the 8th year, Archaeology in the Community (AITC) is bringing together archaeology organizations from DC, Maryland, and Virginia to celebrate the Day of Archaeology Festival. 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. Free. At Dumbarton House, 2715 Q Street, NW. Complete details at: http://dumbartonhouse.org/event/aitc2019   

Saturday, July 20 from 3 - 4:30 PM, Gallery Talk: Plans to Prosper You: Reflections of Black Resistance and Resilience in Montgomery County’s Potomac River Valley, presented by the AU Museum Project Space. The exhibition title takes its name from bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 to echo the central role of the Black church in bringing communities together, inspiring hope, and acting as a vector for social change. Panelists will consider the Black history of Montgomery County and western Washington, DC and pay homage to the communities of Scotland, Tobytown, and Macedonia-Moses, which championed fights against racial discrimination through faith, family, and fellowship. Free and open to the public. At the Katzen Arts Center at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/plans-to-prosper-you-gallery-talk-tickets-60721869747 

Saturday, July 20 from 7 - 10 PM, Sunset Square Dance in Rock Creek Park. The Friends of Peirce Mill and the DC Square Dance Collective are once again joining forces to bring you a fine summer evening of square dancing in Rock Creek Park! Gather under the lights for some old-time string-band music and live calling. As always, no experience or partner needed, and everyone is welcome. Wear your dancing shoes, but no glass bottles or jars please! Free--no reservations required. At Peirce Mill, 2401 Tilden Street NW - more info: http://bit.ly/2NW79nb

Saturday, July 20 from 8 PM - 2 AM, “The Eagle Has Landed" Late-Night Celebration. On July 20, 1969, humans walked on another world for the first time. Fifty years later, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum invites you to a late-night celebration of the first Moon landing. Activities include: Trivia games; "Eyewitness to Space: Art and the Apollo Program" at 9 PM,Rebroadcast of Moon landing and first steps at 10:30 PM; A special countdown at 10:56 PM ET to celebrate the exact time Neil Armstrong first set foot on the Moon. Apollo 11-themed musical performance by electronic-duo Quindar from midnight to close. Spacesuit Fashion Show at 1 AM. Film screenings - for titles, times, and tickets (some free, some for a small fee) go to: https://s.si.edu/2XXqBzI. Other activities: Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo-themed scavenger hunts; Astronaut costume designing; “Lunar traverse” activity that traces the steps the astronauts took from the lunar module across on the Moon’s surface (starting from our LM!); Hands-on activities and science demonstrations; Stargazing at the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory; And much more! At the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, 200 Independence Avenue SW 

Sunday, July 21 at 2 AM, Lecture: How We Faked the Moon Landing. The Truth comes out in this myth-busting lecture that unmasks a 50-year cover-up! Top NASA officials (who will be wearing paper bags over their heads so as not to blow their cover) will present documents, a Power Point, and their original production notes to show how they doctored photos, staged and carefully filmed the “moon landing” on a hidden soundstage in the basement of the Houston Space Center, and how, in an incredibly well-coordinated campaign with their secret collaborators in the media, they convinced the world that it had all really happened. Finally, the true purpose of this 50-year hoax will be revealed. Free. The lecture and presentation will take place at the Washington Monument in the early hours of Sunday morning, just after the closing events of the official NASA "The Eagle Has Landed" show has wrapped up its showings on the Washington Monument and nearby screens. The masked scientists will project their truth-telling evidence on the same screens which were just used to perpetuate the moon landing hoax. As proof, they will hold up for your inspection the ACTUAL BLUE MARBLE (one inch in diameter) used to represent the “earthrise” in the famous (faked) photo. To RSVP to this unprecedented revelatory event, go to: http://bit.ly/cpfakeevent 

Sunday, July 21 from 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, The Longest Ice Cream Sundae in the Capital!  This National Ice Cream Day, July 21, 2019, join Ice Cream Jubilee at The Yards Park to share a 100-foot ice cream sundae. We're going to create a new record for Washington, DC's longest ice cream sundae! Each ticket holder will get a spot at the sundae for two scoops and generous sundae toppings! It'll be the best Sundae Sunday ever! There will be 40 free tickets available for the first 40 in line at the Yards location, or you can purchase an overflow ticket or sign up for our waitlist. Buy tickets, $6, at http://bit.ly/2JQPPKX. At Ice Cream Jubilee, Yards Park, 301 Water Street SE.

Sunday, July 21 from 1 - 4 PM, Christmas in July at the Sandy Spring Museum. Have you ever wondered what goes on under the kissing ball? Come to the Sandy Spring Museum Garden Club‘s July workshop and learn all about the under structure of the kissing ball, boxwood Christmas tree, hurricane and greens centerpieces and arrangements. You will learn all this and more as you help in the preparation for their fresh greens workshops scheduled for early in December. Join in the fun by helping make the festive bows that adorn the beautiful arrangements and wreaths which we sell at the Holiday Green Sale. Learn, laugh and enjoy delicious refreshments. Reserve your spot at this free event: https://www.sandyspringmuseum.org/event/christmas-in-july-workshop/. Located in the Garden Shop Workshop in the basement of  The Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Road in Sandy Spring, MD.

Sunday, July 21 at 2 PM, Garden Concert Series: Full Power Blues. 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 Full Power Blues. Formed in 2009, Full Power Blues has played many yearly festivals in the Washington metropolitan area such the Silver Spring Blues Festival, the College Park Blues Festival and most notably the Annual DC Blues Society Festival at Carter Barron Amphitheatre. Please note: In the event of inclement weather, concerts are held inside the library. Free. The Northeast Library is at 330 7th St. NE. More info: https://www.dclibrary.org/node/63647 

Monday, July 22 at 7 PM, Broken Bargain: Bankers, Bailouts and the Struggle to Tame Wall Street - an author talk with Kathleen Day. Ten years after the Great Recession, a history of major financial crises—and how taxpayers have been left with the bill​. In the 1930s, battered and humbled by the Great Depression, the US financial sector struck a grand bargain with the federal government. Bankers gained a safety net in exchange for certain curbs on their freedom: transparency rules, record-keeping and anti-fraud measures and fiduciary responsibilities. While these regulations have evolved over time, the underlying bargain played a major role in preserving the stability of the financial markets and the larger economy. By the free-market era of the 1980s and ’90s, however, Wall Street argued that rules embodied in New Deal–era regulations to protect consumers and ultimately taxpayers were no longer needed—and government agreed. This engaging history documents the country’s financial crises, focusing on those of the 1920s, the 1980s, and the 2000s, and reveals how the more recent crises arose from the neglect of this fundamental bargain, and how taxpayers have been left with the bill. Kathleen Day has worked for thirty years as a business reporter for the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. She joined the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in 2013 as a professor of financial crises. Free. At Tenley-Friendship Library 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64533

Tuesday, July 23 from 9:30 AM - 12 noon, Forest Bathing at Tregaron with Melanie Choukas-Bradley. Join author and certified forest therapy guide Melanie Choukas-Bradley for a morning "forest-bathing" walk through Tregaron Conservancy on Tuesday. Forest bathing is a mindfulness practice, developed in Japan in the 1980s, that involves tuning into the beauty and wonder of your natural surroundings, using all of your senses. Space is limited and registration is required. For details and the registration link, visit http://bit.ly/30AOizG. Enter the Tregaron Estate on the Klingle Road side at 3031 Klingle Road NW.

Tuesday July 23 at 7 PM, Jeopardy Watch Party (show starts at 7:30). You are invited to the Cleveland Park Bar & Grill to watch Cleveland Park Listserv moderator and Jeopardy contestant Peggy Robin compete against two players in the second show of the final week of the 35th season of the popular TV game show hosted by Alex Trebek. Free admission, food and drink available for purchase. At Cleveland Park Bar and Grill,  3421 Connecticut Ave NW, http://cpbargrill.com/. If you’re planning to come, please email to peggyrobin @ gmail dot com.

Wednesday July 24 from 2:30 - 8:30 PM, MPD Beat the Streets Festival, featuring DC Public Library's new Library on the Go-Go Tech Truck. Come out for this public safety, health, and education event! This community outreach event serves as a traveling Community Festival and is a partnership between the Metropolitan Police Department, local social service agencies and community vendors. In a 3 to 5-hour block of time, community members (of all ages) enjoy musical performances from local bands and artists, as well as a street festival-like environment with local vendors and literature distributed by local social service agencies. This is an opportunity for members of the community to experience the lighter side of the police department while enjoying dancing, free food and fun. Free. At the Fourth Police District, Petworth, 9th and Taylor Streets, NW. This is the fifth of the eight events in the summer series put on in all 8 wards by MPD - more info about the series at: https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/beat-streets-2019

Thursday, July 25 at 6:30 PM, The Disaffected: Britain’s Occupation of Philadelphia During the American Revolution. Historian Aaron Sullivan discusses and signs copies of his book that chronicles the experiences of Quakers, pacifists and others who were pursued, pressured and at times persecuted during the British occupation of Philadelphia, not because they chose the wrong side of the Revolution, but because they tried not to choose a side at all. The talk will last approximately 45 minutes, followed by a book signing and refreshments. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW. For more info about this and other Anderson House events go to: https://www.societyofthecincinnati.org/events/public     

Thursday, July 25 at 7 PM, Commemorating the Stonewall Uprising. June 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, nearly a week of unrest sparked by a police raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The uprising is often cited as the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. How did the events in New York City affect the gay rights movement in Washington, DC? Did they have an effect on the LGBTQ+ resistance in our city? Join us for a panel discussion on what the queer resistance movement in DC looked like in 1969 and the years shortly after. Please register here. Speakers will include: Lou Chibbard, Jr., Senior Reporter at the Washington Blade; Eva Freund, an early member of the Mattachine Society of Washington and the National Organization of Women DC chapter, who coordinated the efforts of NOW and the LGBT community to support the passage of Title 34 (the Human Rights Law of DC); Richard Rosendall, former President of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance; Otis "Buddy" Sutson, co-founder and organizer for the Best of Washington, a social group for Black gay men. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, https://www.dclibrary.org/node/64228

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Get Out! The Events Column is published on All Life Is Local on Wednesdays and on the Cleveland Park Listserv on Thursdays.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Blackouts, Barry, Blackouts, Sharks, and Chance...and What Next?


by Peggy Robin

Here’s where we are tonight - Saturday, July 13 - around 10 at night.

If you’re on the west side of Manhattan, you’re in a blackout. Well, 45,000 of you, at least, are in the dark.
https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Power-Goes-Out-Across-Midtown-NYC--512688641.html

If you’re in New Orleans or in some other cities, towns and land along the track of Hurricane Barry, you are currently having water and more water dumped on you, coming down by the bucket-load, on top of your already levee-breached, inundated streets.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/13/us/barry-louisiana-saturday-wxc/index.html   

If you've gone up to Cape Cod to spend a peaceful, relaxing weekend at the beach, you'll be staying away from the water, as three beaches have closed due to shark sightings. 
https://www.wcvb.com/article/three-cape-cod-beaches-closed-briefly-on-saturday-due-to-great-white-shark-sightings/28386542

If you're in Chicago, thinking you are safe from east coast hurricanes and threatening salt-water jaws, well, you'd better not get near the urban Humboldt Park, where for the past few days there's been an alligator patrolling the lagoon, eluding all efforts to bring it in:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/11/us/chicago-alligator-search.html 
It’s been there long enough for it to have acquired an affectionate name – “Chance the Snapper” chosen by acclaim on social media:
https://www.newsweek.com/chicagos-loose-alligator-nicknamed-chance-snapper-honor-hometown-hero-chance-rapper-1448723

And now to those of us here in Washington DC on this hot summer night: Just be glad you are safe and dry, and, assuming you have a good, working air conditioner, be glad you are cool, and there's nothing swimming around in our waters that's likely to take a bite out of you. At the same time, let's not forget that just six days ago, our own beloved city was on the national news for a sudden and dangerous turn of the weather, when in the space of a couple of hours four inches of rain fell on us and flooded our roads. Here's a look back at what happened here, on Monday, June 8th:
https://www.washingtonian.com/2019/07/08/here-are-photos-and-videos-of-the-crazy-flooding-around-dc-this-morning/

I have the odd feeling that when I wake up in the morning, the news somewhere will be of lions and tigers and bears....and what is there to say but OH MY!
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Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.