Thursday, August 25, 2016

Get Out! - The Events Column

Dragon boat by Pesopesado (Wikimedia Commons)
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 16,300+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday, August 26 at 5:30 PM, Picnic in the Park Concert, featuring Marsha and the Positrons, presented by the Friends of the Forest Hills Playground. This is a free, all-ages show. Bring a picnic (or cash for pizza) and get ready to groove! Armand's Pizza truck will be selling slices and whole pies (a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the playground). The live performances will begin at 6 PM. No admission fee. At 32nd and Chesapeake Streets, NW,

Friday, August 26 from 3 - 7 PM, “Open House Sommerfest” at the Goethe-Institut Washington. Discover your German island in DC at a summer party at the Goethe-Institut’s new building in in its new neighborhood. Learn about the work of the Goethe-Institut, chat with staff and others interested in German culture and language, enjoying German beer, and enjoy some fun activities. Food truck DC Doner will be on site with food for purchase. Take part in an interactive scavenger hunt – prizes will be awarded! The Goethe-Institut is at 1990 K Street NW, Suite 3 (Entrance on 20th Street NW, lower level). Free registration at

Friday, August 26 at 11 AM, Guided Garden Tour: Historic & Growing, presented by Tudor Place Historic House and Garden. This lively 45-minute walk with an expert traces the history and horticulture of the centuries-old trees, heirloom plants and flowers, and abundant English boxwood shrubs that thrive in the 5½-acre landscape. Learn how Tudor Place’s design reflects its Federal-period origins and how land use changed over time. See where orchards, stables, and grazing land made way for lawns, fountains and stately garden “rooms.” Learn to identify species cultivated here for two centuries, and find out how four owners cared for their estate over six generations, as Georgetown and the Federal City grew around it. Free to members, $10 for non-members. Walk-ins welcome, or reserve online at Tudor Place is at 1644 31st Street NW.

Saturday, August 27 from 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, 3rd Annual Capital Dragon Boat Regatta. The Capital Dragon Boat Races (formerly the National Harbor Dragon Boat Regatta) is being held along the pristine waters of the Washington Channel on the beautiful southwest waterfront, celebrating Asian culture and bringing a family-friendly event to the Washington DC area. At the Southwest waterfront, 600 Water Street, SW. Free. More info, including links to race schedules and events at   

Saturday, August 27 from 10 AM - 6 PM, “America’s Front Yard” Family Festival, featuring live music, storytelling and other activities to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service and looks forward to the next century. Grammy-nominated rock band for kids Milkshake headlines an entertainment lineup that also includes acoustic guitar and vocals by Ellis Woodward; Uncle Devon; lively children’s sing-alongs with Yosi & the Superdads, the Great American Indian Dancers; magic, music and juggling with the Wes Holly Balloon Magic Show; vocalist Erica Wheeler, and YAP, who delivers national park themes through hip-hop music and culture. The festival also includes face painting, juggling, a corn maze and lots of other fun activities for kids of all ages. Exhibits by more than 20 National Park Service partners will include Lego models of national parks, virtual reality park tours, 3-D printing of National Mall monuments and memorials, natural flora and fauna found in urban parks, and much more! At Constitution Garden, 1850 Constitution Ave NW.

Saturday, August 27 from 12 - 6 PM, The 7th Annual 17th St Festival, an event celebrating the shops, restaurants, and services of 17th Street, presented by Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets and other sponsors. The festival will include artists, artisans, vendors, politicians, kids activities, and a pet area – rain or shine. The all-day entertainment begins with a flamenco dancer and includes a mariachi band to enliven the day, a Chinese dragon dancer to add some mystery, and a New Orleans jazz band to bring some charm. New this year, there will be three parades by participants starting at 17th and R Street to walk down the festival site: a baby parade for parents with strollers (ages 0-2), a wagon brigade where children ages 3-12 can decorate their wagon and pull it down the street with their favorite stuffed animal, and a dog parade with pets dressed up like lions, cats, squirrels, etc. The festival will include more than 50 artists displaying everything from fine art to jewelry, ceramics to crafts, and every creative item in between. Other vendors will include area nonprofit organizations, politicians, and local entrepreneurs. The Kids Zone on 17th St. will have a moon bounce, ball crawl, snow cones, face painting, and soccer activities. Free admission. New this year, we are trying a discounted wristband to promote the great restaurants along 17th Street. For $10, you get a discount pass to buy drinks, appetizers, and entrees all day at many of the restaurants along 17th Street. Come for the fun and stay for the food! For more about the festival visit:; for more about Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets, visit

Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28 from 11 AM - 3 PM, “Dolley Days” at Dumbarton House. Enjoy free museum admission, kids’ activities, and ice cream! Bring a picnic and enjoy our grounds throughout the day. Dumbarton House is offering special guided and self-guided tours in celebration of Dolley Madison’s stop at Dumbarton House on August 24, 1814 during the burning of Washington. Guided tours will be offered every 15 minutes (except between 1-1:30pm) and self guided tours will be available throughout the day. Last tour will begin at 2:30pm. On Saturday, join in the Georgetown Walking tour from 1-3 PM. Explore the neighborhood surrounding Dumbarton House; meander through this historic neighborhood and let Dwane Starlin, member of the Guild of Professional Tour Guides, take you to mansions, servants’ quarters and cemeteries of the apogee of Georgetown. Registration recommended:; tickets for the walking tour, $15. More info on Dolley Days at Dumbarton House is at
2715 Q Street NW.

Sunday, August 28 from 11 AM - 8 PM, DC State Fair! The DC State Fair is a free showcase of the region’s agricultural and artistic talents. You are invited to this seventh annual celebration of all things homegrown: food, music, art and entertainment for everyone. Vendors, Pet Parade, hands-on workshops, and contests, with contest categories including best pie and best pickled vegetables, along with lesser-known regional specialties such as best Mumbo sauce, or “Best Bud.” Free admission, at NoMa Junction at Storey Park, 1005 First Street NE,

Sunday, August 28 at 5 PM, Wilson High School presents a public screening and discussion of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the August 28, 1963 March on Washington. Free. At Fort Reno Park, 40th and Chesapeake Streets NW. More info:

Monday, August 29 from 12 - 12:30 PM, Fine art photographer Stephen Voss, author of “In Training,” a photography art book about bonsai trees, will lead tours of the bonsai exhibition at the Japan Information and Culture Center. The bonsai exhibition is sponsored by the United States National Arboretum and the National Bonsai Foundation in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum. Founded when Japanese bonsai enthusiasts in the Nippon Bonsai Association donated 53 bonsai and 6 viewing stones to the people of the United States, the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum has one of the largest collections of these timeless trees in North America. The tour is free and open to the public but registration is encouraged -- go to -- although walk-ins are welcome. The Japan Information and Culture Center is at 1150 18th St NW.

Wednesday, August 31 at 4 PM, Lego Construction Crew at the Tenley-Friendship Library. Tenley-Friendship Library. We supply the Legos, you bring your imagination. For ages 4-12. Free. The Tenley-Friendship Library is at 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW.

Wednesday, August 31, 11:59 PM - 2 AM, Midnight Lego Challenge (Barefoot Edition). More practical than the American Ninja Warrior Challenge, but possibly more painful. In our mock-up of a home, competing parents will run an obstacle course in the dark, with the extreme challenge of getting from the child’s bedroom across a playroom floor to the bathroom down the hall without stepping on any of the small, sharp-edged Legos scattered in the path. No lights or footwear allowed. If you do step on a Lego, points deducted if you make a sound. Winner will get an all-expenses paid trip to LegoLand. Enter here to register and get your assigned starting time and location.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Still Life with Robin: 3 to 5 Times a Day

By Peggy Robin

It’s happening three to five times a day. I’m not talking about needing to take a pill….or a break to stretch….or get a bite to eat. No, I’m talking about how often I get emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign. It may be signed by campaign manager Robby Mook, or Vice President Joe Biden, or running mate Tim Kaine, or even Hillary herself, but the main message is always the same. “Peggy [they like to call me by my first name, though we’ve never met]….we need your help.” They mean in the form of cash. “Can you give today?”

I get this pitch over and over, day in and day out – never a missed day – and it’s been this way for months. Now, this is a column about all kinds of things EXCEPT national politics, so I’m not going to go into how I got on this email list, except to confirm that I am indeed a Hillary supporter. No surprise there, as I conform to every demographic of the stereotypical Hillary voter. But the reason I’m bringing this up has nothing to do with the candidate herself; the thing that interests me – and bugs me—is the overkill of email messaging. How could any campaign manager think anyone would want to be emailed thirty-plus times a week? I’ve been keeping track of this for little more than a week, but if it keeps up at at this rate, that’ll be about a 124 emails a month!  

So why don’t I just unsubscribe? That should be an easy fix, shouldn’t it? At the bottom of every email there is a paragraph explaining how I can opt out of the barrage. It’s in teensy-weensy type but it’s there. If I click on the link provided, I can take my email address off the list. Now, I was reluctant to click on it because I don’t actually want to cut off all contact from the campaign. I would like to stop the flood but let a trickle come through. Let’s call it “enough to wet my whistle.” You see, every so often they send me something I actually want to receive: not a plea for cash but an offer to get something desirable for just a nominal donation. Example: “See Hamilton on Broadway with Hillary!” That was sheer brilliance. For a $3 donation I could enter a lottery for a chance to see the sold-out-forever show --normal prices are around $350 a ticket!-- and see it with Hillary, no less. Of course, entering more often improves the odds from a one-in-a-bazillion shot to a ten-in-a-bazillion shot, but what the hell. I don’t want to lose out entirely on the chance to act on these kinds of deals. (And yes, if you’re wondering, I do enter the Powerball lottery whenever the jackpot goes up to eight figures - that's my threshold. I understand my chances winning are worse than being hit by lightning while simultaneously being run over by a train but more fun to imagine.)

Well, just yesterday, soon after filing away the third of the day’s missives from the campaign, I was on the phone complaining about the quantity to a friend, who said “Why don’t you just hit the ‘less email’ link? You don’t need to unsubscribe entirely.” This was a subtlety I had not known existed. I don’t think it was in the first batch of emails I received. But when I looked at one of the more recent ones, I found this line (still in eye-strainingly small type): “Getting emails from Hillary for America is one of the best ways to stay in touch with this campaign, but if you really want to scale back, click here to receive less email and click here to unsubscribe.” So I hit the “less email” link.  They asked me to confirm my email so that they could reduce the frequency of the messages to that address – and then they asked me for my cell phone number so they could text me instead! NOOOOO!! You know I didn’t fall for that trap.

And now it’s the end of the day, Saturday, the first full day after clicking the “less email” link. And I am pleased to report that I got just a single email today. If I get just one a day from now on, it’s a mere 79 emails till election day – whew!

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Get Out! - The Events Column

BioArt at Palisades Library
FASEB winner Xiawei Ou
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 16,300+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv  

Thursday, August 18 at 3:30 PM Explore BioArt: The Brain. Using images from the BioArt exhibit, investigate how the brain sends signals to the body, and participate in a role-playing activity about neural connections. For ages 7-12. More About BioArt: The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) initiated its annual BioArt competition in 2012 to showcase images taken the incredible variety of biomedical and life science research topics, ranging from how bones grow to how eye cells talk to each other. The images are created using many different technologies, including data visualization, electron microscopy, and fluorescence microscopy. The BioArt collection is on display free to the public in the Children's Room at the Palisades Library, 4901 V Street NW,

Friday, August 19 at 12:30 PM, Lunch Bites Lecture: “A list of the uniform and personal effects of Captain Anthony Morris, Jr.” Jack Warren, executive director, will discuss an original 1777 document, the only list known to survive from the Revolutionary War of the uniform and personal effects carried into battle by an American soldier,. Anthony Morris, Jr., a captain in the Pennsylvania militia killed in the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777. The list of his personal effects, written on the battlefield where he died, reveals the types of equipment carried into battle by an average American soldier and how the Battle of Princeton was fought.The free presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the document. At Anderson House, Society of the Cincinnati, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW,

Friday, August 19 at 8 PM, American University in the Neighborhood Movie Night: “Zootopia.” Bring your family and a picnic and enjoy a free screening of "Zootopia" at AU's outdoor Woods-Brown Amphitheatre. Free popcorn. Rain location is Mary Graydon Center on the AU campus. For more information, call 202-885-2167. American University is at 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW.

Saturday, August 20 from 10 AM - 2 PM, “Hatch Day” celebrating the birthday of Pokey the Turtle, the Nature Center’s 21-year-old resident turtle. Kids will enjoy nature-themed arts & crafts, a turtle obstacle course, story time “Box Tutle at Long Pond,” an activity about what turtles eat, and a “Turtle Dance Competition.” For kids age 3 - 8. Full schedule of events at Free. At Rock Creek Nature Center, 5200 Glover Road NW.

Saturday, August 20 at 4 PM, Art Show/Wine & Cheese Reception - Exhibit by Dr. Andrzej Zmudzki. Dr. Zmudzki, an artist, a psychiatrist, neurologist and behavioral health therapist, spent more than 40 years working in many professional programs and private practice, both here and in Poland. The show presents an unexpected side-product of his professional life: his prints which unite graphic and verbal language to illustrate some striking elements and events of our contemporary life. Free. At the Kosciuszko Foundation, 2025 O St NW,

Saturday, August 20 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Giant Panda Birthday Celebration at the National Zoo. Come celebrate the birthdays of giant pandas Bao Bao, Bei Bei, and Tian Tian on August 20, It's Bei Bei's first birthday! Bao Bao will be turning 3 and Tian Tian will be 19. Visitors can watch as the giant pandas devour frozen birthday "cakes" and see animal demonstrations. At 1 PM Bei Bei, Bao Bao, and Tian Tian will be served their frozen birthday cakes. The Chinese Embassy will offer guests a complimentary tasting of Dan Dan (dahn-dahn) noodles to enjoy. If you’d like to be in on a smaller, earlier celebration, become a member of Friends of the National Zoo, and then you’re invited to the party at 9 AM -- meet at the top entrance of Asia Trail nearest to the Connecticut Avenue entrance for a welcome from FONZ Executive Director, Lynn Mento. No RSVP required, but please present proof of active FONZ membership with photo ID. More info on both open-to-the-public and the FONZ-members-only event at:

Saturday, August 20 from 2 - 2:05 PM - The Un-Cute Animals Birthday Celebration. The National Zoo invites you to pause for 5 minutes to wish a happy birthday to all those animals at the zoo that are not cute enough, not popular enough, not special enough, to merit their own dedicated event. We’re not talking about the so-ugly-they’re-adorable naked mole rats, or the so-scary-they’re-amazing bats or snakes, but the garden variety species that never draw a crowd, such as the Swamp Sparrow ( or the Emperor Newt ( Admit it, you’ve never stopped to see them or give their birthdays a moment’s thought. Now the Zoo offers you this opportunity to sing happy birthday to them and all the other unheralded animals like them. Just stick around for 5 minutes after the panda event on Saturday and pause wherever you may be, and blow out an imaginary birthday candle on a non-existent cake… because this is the weekly fake event.

Sunday, August 21 from 10 AM - 12 noon, Bicycle Ride with US Park Police. Established by President George Washington and continuously on duty in the Nation’s Capital since 1791, the United States Park Police protect the monuments and memorials of the National Mall. Join Park Police officers and park rangers on a three-mile ride to Hains Point and back, and learn about the history of East Potomac Park. Younger riders can try out an orange-cone obstacle course and a half mile loop around the Park Police headquarters. Guest Services will have their ice cream and beverage cart available during and after the event. The Mini Golf course at Hains Point is having a special after the ride - click here for details. Free. Meet at 1100 Ohio Drive SW. More info:

Monday, August 22 at 7 PM, “The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal behind the World’s Favorite Board Game” by Mary Pilon. Join the discussion by the History/Biography Book Club at the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Avenue NW. Free. Copies of the book are available to check out at the library.

Tuesday, August 23 at 1 PM, American Glass Now: 2016. “American Glass Now” is the premier juried show of contemporary stained glass. Now in its second year at the National Cathedral, it brings together the work of leading artists, with a fresh and versatile take on a treasured medium. The exhibition encourages artists to explore what they find fascinating and evocative, and share their vision with an expanded public. Located in the Pilgrim Observation Gallery (seventh floor of the Cathedral; accessible by the west narthex elevators). Free. The National Cathedral is at Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues NW,

Wednesday, August 24 at 4 PM, End of Summer Reading and Back to School Craft Party. Celebrate the end of summer and the start of the school year! Grab a fun book to read for when you are not doing school work, create some scribble art, learn how to use a DC One Card to check out library books, and redeem any unclaimed summer reading prizes. Free. For all ages. At the West End Interim Library, 2522 Virginia Avenue NW,

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Still Life with Robin: Olympics Keep Getting Better, Part II

Ipanema by Vani Ribeiro
via Wikimedia - Creative Commons
by Peggy Robin

Last week I raved about some great Olympic moments….all of them totally made up. Like Giraffe Team Diving (see:

This week I’m not making anything up.

It really is true that Olympic gymnastic phenom Simone Biles can jump TWICE HER HEIGHT:

Bethesda’s own Katie Ledecky was so great in Saturday’s gold medal winning, world-record-breaking 800m freestlyle final that her nearest competitors were not even in the same camera frame with her as she raced. The silver medalist was over 11 seconds behind her.
She beat her own world record by two full seconds.

Michael Phelps proved he is the greatest swimmer of our age, and may yet be the greatest swimmer of all time….but all the same that does not give him a pass for naming his innocent little baby “Boomer.” That’s a dog name, Phelps. You shouldn’t have done it. Your child will grow up to blame you for it.

Now to a small Olympic mystery: why aren’t the Olympic medalists getting flowers? And what are those funny little multi-colored trophies they’re handed instead? The answer: Flowers are a water-devouring crop; they’re just not in keeping with the environmental sustainability theme of the Rio Olympics. Instead of giving the athletes a bouquet that looks good for a few days and then must be thrown away, the organizers decided to give out permanent souvenirs in the shape of the Rio Olympics logo --three stylized figures holding hands in a circle-- that double as a medal-holder/stand.

If you have not had time to watch a lot of this weekend’s Olympic events….or you can’t abide all the hype and schmaltz of NBC’s coverage, punctuated by long, long, longer commercial breaks, you might instead opt to look’s slideshow of Olympic “photos of the day”.

Occasionally, however, NBC hits the sweet spot with a mini-feature on a previously unheralded athlete. That’s the case with the story of Brazil’s adorable swimmer, DinDin the Penguin:


Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays….and sometimes (like today) on Sundays.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Get Out! - The Events Column

"View of the Soldiers' Home in Lincoln's Time" 
by William Woodward, 2007 
President Lincoln's Cottage
[National Park Service]
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 16,300+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Thursday, August 11 from 2 - 7 PM, “Beat the Streets 2016” community festival sponsored by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Third District Station. Come out for public safety, health and education info, free school supplies, games, a climbing wall, a moon bounce and more. Free. At the Rita Bright Recreation Center, 14th & Clifton Terrace NW.  

Thursday, August 11 at 7 PM, Photos of Petworth Showcase. The Petworth community was invited to tell stories of their daily lives through photography last spring. Come see 50 favorite photos, curated by the Open Stories Committee. Light refreshments will be provided. Want to be a part of the showcase? Upload photos of Petworth neighborhood to the Photos of Petworth Flickr group, Free. At the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW,

Friday, August 12 at 11:30 AM, Friday Gallery Tours at The American University Museum. Docent-led tours of the summer exhibitions are free and open to the public. Tours begin by the front desk on the first floor of the museum and last approximately one hour. Current exhibitions: Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints: Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil; The Looking Glass: Artist Immigrants of Washington;  Contemporary North Korean Art: The Evolution of Socialist Realism; Art Cart: Honoring the Legacy. The American University Museum is in the Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW,

Saturday, August 13 from 10:30 AM - 2 PM, Family Tour and Ice Cream Making at Peirce Mill. The dog days of summer are upon us, and what better way to escape the heat than a free family tour plus a free demonstration of homemade ice cream. Ice cream samples will be handed out after the demo. Demos at 10:30 AM and 1 PM. Tour at 12 noon - watch Washington, DC’s only working gristmill in action. Come for picnicking, ice cream, history and much more. Peirce Mill is at 2539 Tilden Street. More info:

Saturday August 13 at 1 PM, The Peabody Room Presents "Isabel Briggs Myers: She’s Got Your Type!" Jamie Stiehm, a Creators Syndicate columnist and contributor to, discusses the life of Washington, DC native Isabel Briggs Myers. Myers, with her mother Katharine Cooks Briggs, developed the personality inventory known as the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) which became a global success. Free. At the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St, NW

Sunday, August 14  at 1 PM, Make Art with Lasers. Please join the Friends of the Tenley-Friendship Library for our 3rd Makers Workshop with Billy Friebele and Mike Iacavone. Laser cutting is a way of taking digital images and burning them into physical materials. In this workshop Billy and Mike will demonstrate how to take a photograph, turn it into a vector image on the computer, and use the laser cutter to etch the image in wood, plexiglas, cardboard and a variety of other materials. They will also demonstrate how 3D printers work.Billy and Mike will discuss their upcoming exhibition at the Flashpoint Gallery, which was created using the tools and equipment from the Fab Lab in the Martin Luther King, Jr Library. Light refreshments will be served. Free. In the large conference room of the Tenley Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW,
Monday, August 15 at 12 Noon, “It’s the Middle of August - Where Has Everyone Gone?” Is your block littered with uncollected copies of The Northwest Current? Are you sick of having your urgent emails bounce back with one of those annoying “Out of Office” vacation auto-replies? Do you actually miss the sight of schoolkids congregating at local hangouts and Metro entrances, even if they are often rowdy and rude? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you need this workshop to help you relieve the anxieties of mid-August in semi-deserted Washington, DC. You will learn how to reassure yourself: “Don’t worry, the usual over-scheduling is soon to resume.” Our laid-back counselors will teach valuable tips and tricks to help any Washington Type-A workaholic chill through the next week -- but if you show up at the workshop to find you’re the only one here, it’s not because everyone else is on vacation; it’s because this is the weekly fake event.

Tuesday, August 16 from 1 - 4 PM, Police / Neighbors Ice Cream Social: “Neighbors Serving Those Who Serve Us”  Neighbors and volunteers will be serving ice cream, generously donated by Giant Food, to our Officers and Staff  at MPD 2D. Any neighbors who would like to drop by and add a note of personal thanks to the officers are encouraged to attend! Just drop in to say thanks, and have some ice cream. Free. In the Community Room of the Second District Police Station, 3320 Idaho Avenue, NW.

Wednesday, August 17 from 6:30 - 8 PM, DC Open Doors Homebuyers' Informational Session. Statistics prove that homebuyer education contributes to successful homeownership. Come out and learn how you can purchase your home in the District of Columbia using a DC Open Doors mortgage product. All DC Open Doors Homebuyers' Informational Sessions are free and co-hosted by the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency, a participating lender and Realtor. This session's presenters are Mike Cooper, George Mason Mortgage and Leisel Taylor, Keller Williams. At District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency, 815 Florida Avenue NW, a short walk from the U Street Cardoza metro station (green line); free parking available in garage accessible via the V Street NW side of the building. Register at

Wednesday, August 17 at 7:30 PM The Two Faces Comedy Show at Lincoln’s Cottage. “I leave it to my audience: If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?” – Abraham Lincoln, 1858. Drawing inspiration from Abraham Lincoln’s legendary humor and self-deprecation, President Lincoln’s Cottage and The DC Improv are partnering to present Two Faces Comedy, the first comedy series performed at the Cottage. Come enjoy the comedic stylings of Kasha Patel, Rahmein Mostafavi and Tok Moffat as they each humorously recall the experience of growing up as first-generation Americans. This comedy series is recommended for adult audiences. Tickets are $5, available in advance at Open Bar: Beer and wine available for $5 a drink at each show. Lincoln’s Cottage is at 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW.  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Still Life with Robin: Rio, Day One...and It Keeps Getting Better!

Caracara Riding on a Capybara - Another Unusual Brazilian Sport
(Photo by CharlesJSharp via Wikimedia Creative Commons)
by Peggy Robin

It’s been just 24 hours since the Rio 2016 opening ceremonies and already there are some spectacular events recorded and available on the internet. If you have not seen these before, take a look. You will be amazed!

This event is beyond fantastic – and I bet you didn’t even know it existed:
Team Giraffe Diving:

You may have seen some high-flying trampoline routines before, but none like this one:

Then there’s this very excellent men’s synchronized swim team:

If you watched the Parade of Nations at the Opening Ceremonies yesterday evening, you already know the sensation of the night was the Well-Oiled Tongan:

But you may have missed the earlier entry of the Estonians in Triplicate:

But my favorite Olympic moment of all time is surely this one – Michael Phelps at the Sochi Winter Olympics:

Looking for actual Olympic news? This is the not-kidding place to go:

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

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Get Out! - The Events Column

by Ragesoss (via Wikimedia Commons)
We wanted to share some events and activities that list members might be interested in. Have a great weekend -- and week beyond, too. If you know of an event that the 16,300+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Thursday, August 3 at 4 PM, French Music Time. Children of all ages will have the opportunity to play musical instruments, sing along with popular and traditional French songs, dance to their favorite music, learn the alphabet and how to count. This program is all about rhythm and speech stimuli that allow children to enjoy the music, memorize songs, practice their French and maybe become little musicians in the process. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Avenue NW,

Thursday, August 3 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, “DC: Home of the March and Rally,” a Humanitini Happy Hour program, part of a year-long celebration of the 225th birthday of the Nation’s Capital. From the Bonus Army to the Million Man March, Washington, DC is the place to make your voice heard. Protesters, activists, and concerned citizens from across the country make the trek to DC where they believe they can make their case on a national stage. We’ll discuss how public protest has changed over the last 100 years in Washington. How has it been effective? How is it changing? Will the next march take place entirely on Instagram? The discussion panel is moderated by Cherie Ward, Professor of Speech at UDC Community College. Panelists include a veteran of the 1963 March on Washington, a community organizer at Empower DC, and a documentary filmmaker. Free, but registration required at . At Busboys & Poets Takoma, 235 Carroll Avenue NW.

Friday, August 4 from 6 - 8 PM, First Friday Art Event at Heurich House Museum: Pop-Up Arts & Crafts Stores. Guests are welcome to the explore the first floor of the famous brewmaster’s historic house and shop in the pop-up stores by DC makers Printed Wild, Great Hill Studio, and Carol Herwig pottery in the Conservatory. Free. The Heurich House Museum is at 1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW. This event is part of the First Friday Dupont series of events -- see for the full list of exhibitions and galleries.

Friday, August 5 at 7 PM, “The Sounds of Summer Music.” Guy Mason Recreation Center would like to invite you to join the Van Ness Quintet for a musical potpourri ranging from Purcell and Strauss to Gershwin and Porter. Free. At Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert Street, NW. For more information, please contact Ms. Bell at 202-727-7703.

Friday, August 4 at 7:30 PM, The US Army Chorus’s 60th Anniversary Gala Concert. The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own," is one of the nation's only professional men's choruses. From its inception in 1956, the US Army Chorus has established and maintained a reputation of excellence in the performance of male choral literature. Beyond the traditional military music and patriotic standards, the repertoire of the Army Chorus covers a broad spectrum which includes pop, Broadway, folk, and classical music. More info and program at: Free. At the National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave NW.

Saturday, August 6 from 11 AM - 3 PM, Back to School Festival, sponsored by the Greater Washington Urban League. Community health and wellness information and health screenings, dental exams. Fun for kids including a moonbounce, face painting, free popcorn & cotton candy. FREE backpacks and school supplies. First time home buyers workshop, financial literacy workshop, healthy cooking demonstrations, haircuts & hair styling, fitness dance, arts, crafts, vendors, free prize drawings, music & entertainment! Free. At the Thurgood Marshall Center for Service & Heritage, 1816 12th Street NW, more info:

Saturday, August 6 at 11 AM, Centennial Hike through Rock Creek Park. The National Park Service preserves historic houses, battlefields and natural wonders. Did you know all that can be found right here in Rock Creek Park? A Park Service Ranger will lead a 2-mile hike as we celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service. Remember to wear sturdy shoes, use sun protection and bring water. For all ages. Free. Starts at the Rock Creek Nature Center, 5200 Glover Road NW,

Saturday, August 6 from 7 -10 PM, “Rock the City” Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service with a benefit concert to support Rock Creek trails and parklands. Performers include Dave Bass, Terrance Richburg, Javier Starks, and the Groove Spot Band & Show. Tickets: $25 available at: At Carter Barron Amphitheatre, 16th St and Colorado Avenue NW.

Sunday, August 7 at 2 PM, “Herbs, Blossoms and …. Buicks?” Learn about the history of the garden at the Old Stone House in Georgetown, and find out where used cars fit in. For age 7 and older. Free. The Old Stone House is at 3051 M Street NW,

Sunday, August 7 at 8 PM, Olympian Dreams - a quadrennial workshop on how to use the Olympics to help conquer insomnia. The availability of the full range of Olympic sports, for viewing online or through your TV via an HDMI cable, is sure to prove a great boon to anyone with sleep issues. At this phenomenally helpful workshop, a professional sleep coach will show you how to select, access, record, and playback the ultimate in boring Olympic sports on display in Rio -- hours of big men grunting as they heave shotputs and hammers, long views of sailboats in the distance following an unseen course; barely glimpsed badminton birdies whooshing back and forth over a net to be whacked by indistinguishable players; plus modern pentathlon, and water polo, and some sports you never even heard of. Learn which ones are most likely to make you nod off even if you are sitting upright in a chair. Each workshop participant will be given a questionnaire to help him or her discover which aspects of international sport most quickly induce yawns and sleepiness in that individual. At UDC’s student lounge. Free, but you must register at

Monday, August 8 from 12 - 12:30 PM, Fine art photographer Stephen Voss, author of “In Training,” a photography art book about bonsai trees, will lead tours of the bonsai exhibition at the Japan Information and Culture Center. The bonsai exhibition is sponsored by the United States National Arboretum and the National Bonsai Foundation in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum. Founded when Japanese bonsai enthusiasts in the Nippon Bonsai Association donated 53 bonsai and 6 viewing stones to the people of the United States, the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum has one of the largest collections of these timeless trees in North America. The tour is free and open to the public but registration is encouraged -- go to -- although walk-ins are welcome. The Japan Information and Culture Center is at 1150 18th St NW.

Tuesday, August 9 at 6:30 PM, “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace” - a workshop presented by the DC Office of Human Rights. At this workshop, staff from the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR), DC's civil rights enforcement agency, will explain the civil rights laws that protect workers from sexual harassment, including how to identify and report sexual harassment. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW,

Wednesday, August 10 from 10 AM - 12 noon, “Mystery Kids Storytelling” - The Global Sleepover presents an Olympic themed mystery and storytelling activities for kids at Cathedral Commons, Wisconsin Avenue & Newark St NW. Free. More info about The Global Sleepover and ideas for activities using the Olympics and Paralympics to teach kids about 206 countries at More info about this event at