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.

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.   

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.

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: 
It’s been there long enough for it to have acquired an affectionate name – “Chance the Snapper” chosen by acclaim on social media:

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:

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!

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, July 12 - 18, 2019

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   

Friday, July 12 from 6 - 8 PM, Community Showcase: Model Home and Daniel Bachman. Luce Unplugged Community Showcase pairs DC’s best local bands with local beers surrounded by beautiful artworks in the Luce Foundation Center. Enjoy some experimental hip-hop beats from Model Home and the syncopated acoustic stylings of Daniel Bachman. Free beer tastings (21+) provided by a local craft brewery. Additional beverages and small snacks available for purchase. Free admission. At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center (third floor), 8th and F Streets NW, more info:   

Friday July 12 at 6:30 PM, MPD 2D Community Movie Night. Come and hang out with your local Police Officers at the Second District Station, for a viewing of the animated film "Wonder Park". We will be serving hot dogs, drinks, popcorn, nachos, and snacks! Doors open at 6 PM, movie starts at 6:30. Limited seating - MUST RSVP to kyi.branch @ dc dot gov. Free. In the Community Room of the  Second District Station, 3320 Idaho Avenue NW.

Saturday July 13 from 10 AM - 6 PM, French Festival at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens. Indulge your inner Francophile with French amusements from the 1700s in celebration of Bastille Day and Hillwood's French decorative arts collection. Add to the festive atmosphere by making and wearing a French bergère or Napoleon hat. Experience the festivities of French court come to life in a play by Happenstance Theater. Enjoy the best of baroque dance with New York Baroque Dance Company. Immerse yourself in music of the 1700s with Kevin Shannon’s baroque guitar. Explore Hillwood’s luscious gardens. And of course, admire the exquisite collection of French decorative arts from the 1700s collected by Marjorie Merriweather Post. For schedule of activities, visit Come rain or shine, performances and activities take place indoors or in the airy and open shelter of the C.W. Post courtyard tent. Tickets $5-$18 available at Free for children age 5 and under. Hillwood Estate is at 4155 Linnean Avenue NW. 

Saturday, July 13 from 10 AM - 4 PM, Commemoration: Battle of Fort Stevens. This year is very special - the 155th anniversary of the battle (which occurred on July 11-12, 1864). It was the only Civil War battle that occurred in the Nation's Capital and the only time in the nation's history that a sitting President (Lincoln) has come under direct enemy fire. An important event in both our local and national history! The morning program will start with the Washington Revels Jubilee Voices performing some beautiful, traditional songs and two verses of the National Anthem including one written in 1861 by Oliver Wendell Holmes. They will conclude by singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the Negro National Anthem. Keynote Speaker is Dr. Jonathan Noyalas, director of the McCormick Civil War Institute, Shenandoah University, who will speak on Early's Escape: From Fort Stevens to Cool Springs. Afternoon programs will feature Civil War reenactors (military and civilian), cannon and musket firings, living history demonstrations, historic walks and talks, kids and teens tent, and live period music and dancing. Free. Location: Quackenbos Street NW between 13th St. and Georgia Ave. More info at     

Saturday, July 13 at 1 PM, Peabody Room Presents "A 1961 Dream Lands in July 1969 - 50 Summers Ago." Jamie Stiehm, a Washington, DC journalist and Creators Syndicate columnist, discusses how President Kennedy's goal to “ a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth" was accomplished. Free. At Georgetown Library 3260 R St. NW,

Saturday, July 13 at 2 PM, African American Family Histories. Assuming that finding pre-Civil War ancestors requires tedious review of slave transactions that are frequently not well documented, African American genealogy buffs may overlook thousands of documents focusing on free ancestors that lived in northern states and the District of Columbia. In the District of Columbia, the number of free blacks outnumbered those enslaved by 1830. Drawing from his own fascinating experience that includes documenting free ancestry back to the late eighteenth century, Guy Weston will talk about methods to search family history of free Blacks as well as methods to identify those who were enslaved. In addition, he will discuss the development of a free Black community called Timbuctoo in New Jersey, where his 4th great-grandfather purchased a parcel in 1829 that has remained in his family since that time. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,   

Saturday, July 13 from 2 - 4  PM, French Fete for Bastille Day. Join Tenleytown Main Street and the Friends of Fessenden Park for an afternoon of French-inspired fun in celebration of Bastille Day. Savor crepes and profiteroles from Le Chat Noir and Matisse; sip French wine, Perrier, or Orangina; learn to play the French lawn game Petanque; plant a sunflower to take home with you and add a bit of the French countryside to your windowsill; participate in family-friendly craft projects; enjoy music as you relax at a cafe table. Tickets are just $20; one child ticket (age 10 and under) included free with a paid adult. Additional child tickets, $5/child. Tickets include all food, beverages, and activities. Purchase online at Fessenden Park is at Wisconsin Ave, Fessenden St, and 42nd St.

Sunday, July 14 from 2 - 4 PM, Le 14 Juillet - The 2nd Annual Bastille Day Picnic at Opaline at le Sofitel. The celebration features picnic fare, champagne, rosé, and prizes for best French attire and parasols. Have your photo taken with famous French cutouts. We’ll have a caricaturist, tri-color snow-cones, and live French musical entertainment. Prizes may be: overnight hotel stays, dinners and cocktails. French poodles and other canines are welcome too. Opaline’s Bastille Day Picnic is free and open to the public, but space is limited and tickets must be reserved on Eventbrite: At Lafayette Square, 806 15th St NW

Sunday, July 14 from 4 - 6 PM, Anti-French Revolution Day. What better day than Le 14 Juillet to protest the overthrow of the ancien régime and rally behind the true heir to the French throne?Monarchists and royalists say it’s never too late to redress the historical wrong done in 1789 when mob rule replaced le roi. You need not be French or part French to show up in front of the French Embassy on Reservoir Road - just come in a powdered wig and knee breeches or come dressed as Marie Antoinette, and wear lots of rouge. We will supply you with a  fleur-de-lis flag to wave. But first you must choose which of three royal bloodlines (Bourbon, Orleans, Bonaparte) you believe leads to the rightful heir to the throne. You can review the options on this helpful Youtube video “Who would be king of France if France restored the monarchy?”: If enough people show up on behalf of each of the three living candidates, this anti-Republic/pro-monarchy rally will turn into a battle among the three parties. To find out the rules for battle, what to wear, and how to identify yourself as a supporter of one of the three royal houses, go to:

Monday, July 15 at 12 noon, Artist Talk: The Indispensable Plan for Washington - Peter Waddell, artist. Two panoramic paintings of Washington, DC, by renowned Washington artist Peter Waddell, return to the museum in the exhibition Best Laid Plans: Designs for a Capital City. The recently commissioned works, The Indispensable Plan and The Village Monumental, explore the evolution of Washington, DC. One painting shows the grand city that planner Peter (Pierre) L’Enfant envisioned. The other captures the city's development by 1825, the year L’Enfant passed away. Join us for a gallery talk with the artist for a behind-the-scenes perspective on his process. Free, but reservations are required - or call 202-994-7394. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21 Street NW.

Monday, July 15 at 1 PM, The Georgetown Neighborhood Library Presents: California Typewriter. A documentary look at the people who remain loyal to the typewriter as a tool and muse, and a portrait of California Typewriter, a typewriter service and sales company in Berkeley that has been in business since 1949. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St NW,

Tuesday, July 16 at 10 AM, Managing Finances in Case of Incapacity. Please join financial advisor, Kevin Henry, of Oppenheimer & Co. for a comprehensive overview of the primary aspects of financial and estate planning. Topics discussed: Important Documents;;Managing Income Sources; Investment Principles; Wills and Probate; Tax Considerations; Lifetime Gifting, Trusts; The seminar is strictly educational. No products or services will be promoted. Free. At Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW,

Tuesday, July 16 from 10 AM - 1 PM, World Snake Day at the National Zoo. Head down to the Reptile Discovery Center to celebrate World Snake Day at the Zoo! Watch a snake feeding, learn about venom and discover how you can be a friend to snakes in the wild. Free. The Smithsonian National Zoo is at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW. More info about this event and about other special animal discovery days at:

Tuesday, July 16, at  6:30 PM, Researching "Red Summer." NAACP Executive Secretary James Weldon Johnson used the term "Red Summer" to describe bloody and violent race riots in cities and towns throughout the United States in 1919. In some cities, including Washington, DC, African Americans resisted attacks from white lynch mobs by fighting back to protect themselves and their homes and families. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of "Red Summer," DC Public Library archivist Derek Gray will discuss how to conduct research on this dark chapter of DC history using collections and resources in several DC-area archival institutions, including DC Public Library Special Collections. Please register for this free event if you are planning to attend: At Woodridge Library, 
1801 Hamlin Street NE,

Wednesday, July 17 at 2 PM, Senior Care Providers Information Workshop. Join us for a free information session about Senior Care Providers presented by adviser Tim Howard of Senior Retirement Lifestyles. Tim will discuss companion care, home care, pairing other services with home care, home health, configuring your home for at home care, community care for independent living, assisted living, nursing homes and memory care. Tim will define the differences between at home care and community care, list its benefits, outline the qualifications, and summarize how you can pay for it. For questions, please contact Tim Howard at 540-330-4103 or email thoward @ seniorretirementlifestyles dot com. Free. At Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Thursday, July 18 from 5 - 7 PM, Take 5! with Integriti Reeves. Relax and Take 5! with free, live jazz music in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard. In this installment of Take 5! vocalist Integriti Reeves celebrates the great Nat “King” Cole, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. Reeves is a graduate of DC’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Baltimore’s Peabody Institute, and Howard University, where she was a member of their award-winning vocal ensemble Afro-Blue. Free. In the Kogod Courtyard of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F Sts, NW, 

Thursday, July 18 at 7 PM, Go-Go Book Club: Take Me Out to the Go-Go. In partnership with Solid State Books, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival's "The Social Power of Music" and Washington Performing Arts, Go-Go Book Club will meet at Solid State Books to discuss books that detail the history of Washington DC's own indigenous music. The book for this session is Take Me Out To The Go-Go: The Autobiography of Kato Hammond. Next month’s book club on August 15 will focus on Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City by Natalie Hopkinson. Free. At Solid State Books, 600F H St. NE,    

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Words Flying Through Time

by Peggy Robin

Of course by now you will have heard that bit of time-travel cited by President Trump in his Fourth of July speech: “In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified army out of the Revolutionary Forces encamped around Boston and New York and named after the great George Washington, commander in chief.… Our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do.”

Now that the word “airport” has been transported back to 1775, I thought we might all enjoy a bit more verbal time-travel, using the online tool created by dictionary dictators at They call it the Merriam Webster Time Traveler:

Type any year into the search box and you will bring forth all the words that appeared in print for the first time ever* in that year. You can type in 1775…but you won’t see “airport”! Amazingly, though, you will see these additions to our political, social, and cultural discourse: “nonconstitutional” (“unconstitutional” had already been around since 1734) and “self-justification,” and “unevolved.” A person could be described for the first time as a “clotheshorse” or as a “tourist”. Something that had gone out of fashion could be called “passé ”. And look at the two new foods that English speakers were able to identify and enjoy: Gazpacho and eggnog.

Since I started this little game with Trump, let’s next take a look at the words that came into print at about the same time baby Trump came on the scene – the year of his birth 1946: Your success could be described as “boffola”. If you told a story that went against the historical  truth, it was “counterfactual.” If you came from Latin America, you could now be called “Latino” and if you were rich enough, you could be called a “zillionaire.” And all of these trendy new terms were “buzzwords”.

Moving forward to the year Trump was elected, 2016, there are just five new words in the dictionary never before seen in print, and four of them were artificially produced, short-lived radioactive elements. One of these, cooked up in a lab in Moscow, is called “moscovium.”

Want to fly back to the year of your birth and see what new words came along at about the time you arrived in the world? You will probably be surprised to find words you had always assumed had been around forever are no older than you are. Jump around the centuries for a while and you’ll feel the oddest ripples left by words coming and going and shifting meaning through time. Whatever you discover, it will not be a waste of time!

[* For more on what qualifies as “first time in print” [in an English language publication, see]
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv* and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.
[The word Listserv was invented and trademarked in 1986.]  

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, July 5 - 11, 2019

Serenade! Choral Festival Presents Túumben Paax
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     

Friday, July 5 at 6 PM, MPD Community Movie Night. Come out and hang with your local Police Officers at the Second District Station, for a viewing of the animated film "Wonder Park". We will be serving hot dogs, drinks, popcorn, nachos, and snacks! Doors open at 6:00pm, movie starts at 6:30pm. Limited seating - must rsvp to kyi.branch @ dc dot gov. Free. At the Second District Police Station (Community Room), 3320 Idaho Avenue NW.

Friday, July 5 from 6:45 PM – 8:30 PM, Serenade! Choral Festival Presents Túumben Paax and Choir Cedemusica, presented by Mexican Cultural Institute. The performance will feature Túumben Paax, (“New Music,” in the Mayan language), a female vocal sextet, pioneer ensemble from Mexico established in 2006 by Lucía Olmos, and formed by young singers from the top conservatories in Mexico. The choir brings a repertoire to Serenade! that includes pre-Hispanic music, modern arrangements of traditional folk song, and contemporary pieces that reflect Mexico’s past and present, such as Cadet’s Xon ahuiyacan (Be Joyful). Opening for Tuumben Paax is Cedemusica, a non-profit institution based in the city of Ambato, Ecuador, whose performances are distinguished by their indigenous costumes and Afro-Ecuadorian rhythms. At the Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th Street NW. Free, but please register here:       

Saturday, July 6 at 10:30 AM, DC Strings Workshop. Celebrate the 4th of July weekend with a special concert by DC Strings Workshop. These local professional musicians will play music, discuss music theory and have a time for children to explore the instruments after the performance. Free. At the Bellevue (William O. Lockridge) Library, 115 Atlantic St. SW,   

Saturday, July 6 at 2 PM, Author Talk with Dr. Ashante Reese: Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, DC. In her book, Black Food Geographies, Reese examines the structural forces that determine food access in urban areas, highlighting Black residents' navigation of and resistance to unequal food distribution systems. Linking these local food issues to the national problem of systemic racism, the author examines the history of the majority-Black Deanwood neighborhood of Washington, DC. Limited copies of the book will be available for purchase. Free. At the Deanwood Library, 1350 49th St. NE,   

Sunday, July 7 from 12 - 4 PM, Celebrate International Chocolate Day at the United States Botanic Garden. Come see our beautiful Theobroma cacao tree in bloom and learn how our arborist hand pollinates its flowers. Participants will learn about the process from flower to fruit and fruit to chocolate. A local chocolatier will be on site to ensure everyone gets a taste! In the Conservatory Garden Court of the United States Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue SW. Free, no pre-registration required. More info:     

Sunday, July 7 at 7:30 PM, Serenade! Choral Festival Presents: The Human Journey. Artists: Calmus (Germany), Sedaa (Iran & Mongolia) and Barbara Furtuna (Corsica). Calmus is a German a cappella quintet that embodies the rich choral tradition of Leipzig, its hometown city so closely associated with Bach and Mendelssohn. Sedaa means "voice" in Persian and connects traditional Mongolian music with the Orient, which makes an extraordinary and fascinating sound. Master singer Nasaa Nasanjargal and Naraa Naranbaatar, who studied in their Mongolian homeland join with the virtuosic Dulcimer player Ganzorig Davaakhuu and the Iranian multi-instrumentalist Omid Bahadori to bring you one genuinely exotic world between the Orient and Mongolian steppe. The Corsican ensemble, Barbara Furtuna is a polyphonic group of four men mostly performing a capella, but occasionally with other instruments. Barbara Furtuna combines repertoire grounded in the island’s rich musical heritage with original works that reflect contemporary themes, such as the plight of refugees, through a lens informed by Corsican culture dating back thousands of years. Free - register at At the Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G Street NW

Monday, July 8 from 7 - 9:30 PM, Fort Reno Concert Series - First concert of the season features: Broken Hills; Tosser; Babies with Rabies. 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. Scroll down the page at to see the schedule for the summer. Questions - contact: Amanda @ fortreno dot com. Concert information line: 202-355-6356

Tuesday, July 9 at 5 PM, Idea to Reality: How to Make Your First Video Game with Cloudy Heaven Games. Learn from a local game developer and software engineer how anyone can make a video game with no prior programming experience. Discover what skills are required to make a game, tips for writing out your game idea, suggestions for beginner-friendly game development software and tools, and ideas for monetizing games. Ages 13-19. Free. At the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW,

Tuesday, July 9 at 6 PM, From Game Reality to Your First Billion: Sell Your First Video Game. After your teenager has created a video game at the workshop described above, stick around for the next hour when you and your whiz-kid can meet with some tech start-up investors who are looking for the next Minecraft or other worldwide game phenomenon. Come with your lawyer and be prepared to negotiate! Sample contracts available in advance at: At the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW. 

Wed, July 10 from 6:30 - 9:30 PM, Roots to Rivers: How Trees Improve our Waterways. Join Casey Trees and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation and DC Department of Energy and the Environment to learn how plants and people can protect our District’s waterways. The Sustainable DC plan set the goal to achieve 40% tree canopy in the District, and to have fishable, swimmable rivers by 2032. How do we bring these two goals together for a healthier environment? Come explore the intersection between trees, stormwater runoff and stream health. You will learn about your local watershed,stormwater runoff and what you can do to improve our District's watersheds. A healthy urban forest means a healthy watershed. You must register in advance at Space is limited. If your plans change prior to the event, please update your registration status. Meet at Anacostia Neighborhood Library, 1800 Good Hope Rd SE. More info:   

Thursday, July 11 from 11 AM - 7 PM, It’s 7-11 Day! And it’s the 75th anniversary of 7-11 this year. Every year on July 11 (7-11) the stores celebrate 7-11 Day and since 2002 they've been giving away Slurpees on this date. Get yours while supplies last! The Cleveland Park 7-11 is at 3433 Connecticut Avenue NW. More about this sweet national holiday at:

Thursday, July 11 from 7 - 8 PM, Gallery Talk: Keith Morrison. Join this evening discussion with artist Keith Morrison and curator Judith Stein at the Katzen Arts Center at American University. Dive into Morrison’s world through works that explore Afro-Caribbean and Meso-American art forms with themes of spirituality and resilience. Free and open to all, no RSVP required. The Katzen Arts Center is on Ward Circle on the northeast corner of Nebraska and Massachusetts Avenues. More info:     

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Still Life with Robin: The Importance of an Accurate Census

Photo by Joe Ravi via Creative Commons

by Peggy Robin

You probably assumed I’m talking about the US Census, now that the Supreme Court is letting it go forward without the citizenship question. Sure, that’s important. In a way, it’s TOO important for me to take up in my Still Life with Robin column, with its focus on the trivial, the silly, the mundane. No, I’m talking about the SQUIRREL census. Getting an accurate count of the furry little rodents may not matter one thousandth as much as counting people; still, it’s a lot harder to pull off. Consider that you can’t ask the squirrels any questions. Well, you can, but here’s what you would get in response: Worse, you can hardly tell ‘em apart. Which makes it quite a chore for the average census taker to know if the squirrel she's looking at has already been counted. But that hasn’t stopped over 300 intrepid volunteers from pursuing this task – the first time it’s ever been done.

I wish I could say it’s been done here in DC, where we certainly have a booming population of some of the best and brightest squirrels on the planet -- but I’m talking about the ones that live in Central Park, NYC, who were the subject of the 2019 Squirrel Census - You can read more about it in this National Geographic piece, available at this link:

For an even deeper dive into the subject, I recommend listening to this half-hour long podcast on "99 Percent Invisible" by Roman Mars; 

Now that it’s been done for Central Park, maybe it’s time to count our squirrels in Rock Creek Park (?)  I know we have some competent wildlife counters among us. They’ve already done counts of our coyotes, deer, rabbits and beaver. Why let New York City beat us on squirrels? DC Squirrels deserve to be counted, too! That way, we’d get needed recognition for these clever little residents of our perennially under-represented city!

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, June 27 - July 4, 2019

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     

Friday, June 28 from 11 AM - 3 PM, Games, Lunch & Movie: The Milagro Beanfield War. The Guy Mason Recreation Center will have board games set up at 11 AM; lunch goes from noon to 1 PM, and the movie, The Milagro Beanfield War, starts at 1 PM. Free. Please RSVP to guymasonevents @ gmail dot com or call (202) 727-7736. The Guy Mason Recreation Center is at 3600 Calvert Street NW.

Friday, June 28 at 4 PM, Reptiles Alive! Enjoy a fun and exciting live animal show. Our friendly and professional wildlife presenters have years of experience entertaining audiences with funny animal stories and facts while showcasing a colorful variety of exotic animals. Free. At the Palisades Library, 4901 V Street, NW, 

Friday, June 27 at 9 PM, Pop-up Astronomy Night at Rosedale. We're thrilled to be led by Cleveland Park's own Henry Throop in viewing the night skies. Henry is a scientist at NASA and on the New Horizons / Ultima Thule science team. Clouds permitting, we hope to see Jupiter, its four Galilean moons, and Saturn. We also hope to have an additional telescope or two generously provided by local astronomy enthusiasts. If you have a telescope, please feel free to bring it and join in on the fun! I expect we'll set up on the main lawn behind the boxwoods. Enter through the 35th Street gate and follow the stone path up to the main lawn. This is a FREE event; no reservations required. (No dogs please.)

Saturday, June 29 from 9 AM to 12 noon, Volunteer Public Service: Invasive Plant Removal. Join Rock Creek Conservancy and the National Park Service as we remove invasive Mile-a-Minute vines from Peggy Fleming’s Meadow at Military Road and Oregon Ave/Glover Road near the Rock Creek Nature Center. Invasive species are among the biggest issues plaguing this urban park. We invite you to help keep this section clean. What to Wear: Please dress appropriately for the weather; wear sturdy boots or sneakers - no sandals. Long pants and sleeves are best to prevent contact with poison ivy. A hat is recommended, too. Tools, and gloves will be provided but bring your own gloves if you have them. Bring a refillable water bottle. Students can earn SSL hours - please bring needed forms. Register here: Leader contact information: John Burwell, pinehurstprojectdc @ gmail dot com, 202-491-6555. Weather Policy: If there is inclement weather we will email you directly to let you know the event has been cancelled. Assume the event will occur as scheduled unless you hear from us.

Saturday, June 29 at 10:30 AM, Connecting Hearts: Celebrating the Veterans. In this final event of the series, we will focus on the military members, veterans and their families. During this event, we will share stories, resources and information that can assist those communities and foster genuine connections. Dr. Shonda McLaughlin, a professor and certified rehabilitation counselor, will host and facilitate the activities. Free. At Tenley Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 

Saturday, June 29 from 12 noon - 5:30 PM, DC Music: A Preservation Block Party, hosted by Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Celebrating the legacies of DC's unique and original music culture, this event will focus on the importance of collecting, digitizing and preserving the stories and the sounds. Join The DC Punk and Go-Go Archives with the Library on the Go-Go's Tech Truck and Memory Lab for onsite, live digitization, lessons in preservation, maker activities, discussions, workshops and performances. For detailed schedule of events, go to: Located at the Freer/Sackler Gallery Plaza, 1000 Jefferson Drive SW. Free and open to the public - all ages.

Saturday, June 29 from 1 - 4 PM, Under the Arbor: Culinary Uses of Lavender (National Herb Garden). Join Nancy Baggett, cookbook author and lavender enthusiast, for a tasty look at how lavender can be incorporated into various culinary applications. This is a drop-in educational program open to the public. Free. At the National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue NE. More info:   

Saturday June 29 from noon - 10 PM and Sunday, June 30 from 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM, The 2019 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Normally held during the 2 weeks around the Fourth of July holiday, the Folklife Festival this year is condensed to a weekend of concerts on the theme of The Social Power of Music. This year we celebrate the power of music to entertain, educate, inspire, preserve history, strengthen identity, and build community. For the complete schedule of events on both days, go to:; click on each event for more detailed information. All events are free and open to all. Food and drink available for purchase from food trucks.

Sunday, June 30 from 4 - 7 PM, Annual Community BBQ at Rosedale. Please bring: (1) drinks for your family, (2) a side dish to share with your neighbors (fruit salad, side salad, brownies, chips, etc.), and (3) a lawn blanket or chairs. Rosedale will provide the burgers, dogs and watermelon. This year marks the 2nd annual “Best Brownie” contest – with “Kid” and “Adult” divisions. Bring your best baking skills and try to take the secret prize. A plate of your best, home-baked brownies is all you need to enter. Special Attractions: As always, we will have music from The Cleveland Park Jazz Quartet. We will also have face painting and balloon twisting, corn hole, and a variety of kid games laid out on the grounds (balls, etc.). No dogs please. Rosedale is at 35th and Newark Street NW.

Monday, July 1 at 6:30 PM, A Right to the City Lecture Series: Barry Farm/Hillsdale Settlement. For the month of July, A Right to the City will host a lecture series. Anacostia Community Museum curator and author Alicione M. Amos will lecture on the history of Barry Farm/Hillsdale, a settlement created by the Freemen's Bureau in 1867 to deal with the housing problems faced by African Americans in Washington, DC after the Civil War. We hope you can join us on for this thought provoking discussion. Free. At Anacostia Library, 1800 Good Hope Road SE,

Monday, July 1 at 7 PM, Canada from Eh to Zed. It’s Canada Day, and what better way to honor the holiday than to learn all about our friendly neighbors to the north! At this fun and practical workshop, we will cover 26 essential things you need to know about Canada, from Eh to Zed. We’ll serve poutine, beavertails, and butter tarts, and you can wash it down with a Molson’s or a double double. Register here for this free event and we will send you the location. If you can’t make it, you can still watch an online version - go to:

Tuesday, July 2 at 6:30 PM, A Second of July Celebration of the American-French Alliance. Celebrate the Second of July, the day the Continental Congress voted for American independence, with music of the founding era. David and Ginger Hildebrand of the Colonial Music Institute perform eighteenth-century songs—including ballads, marches and French-inspired songs—in costume with period instruments. The concert will last approximately one hour. Free. At the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW. More info:   

Tuesday July 2 at 6:30 PM, Don't Mute DC: Go-Go, Gentrification, and Resistance to Cultural Erasure. Join Dr. Natalie Hopkinson, author of Go-Go Live: the Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City, in a seminar examining the important role of Go-Go in DC's cultural landscape and the danger of - and fierce reaction to - the prospect of cultural erasure in a gentrifying city. This summer's People's University seminar series was developed in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution Anacostia Community Museum to complement their current exhibition “A Right to the City.” Please register here: . Free. At Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library, 1630 7th St. NW. More info:

Wednesday, July 3 at 12 noon, Brown Bag Chamber Music Recital at the Goethe-Institut of Washington. Performers in this monthly series include internationally known, local musicians Ralitza Patcheva and Vasily Popov, as well as special-guest performers. The concerts are located at the Goethe Institut of Washington, next door to Library Express, at 1990 K St. NW - entrance 20th St. between Eye and K Sts NW. More info: 

Thursday, July 4 at 11 AM, Palisades 53rd Fourth of July Parade and Picnic 2019. If you plan to be in the parade, line-up begins on Whitehaven Pkwy at 10 AM in the order in which people appear. If you don’t mind being in the back of the parade, feel free to line up closer to 11 AM. Please enter Whitehaven Pkwy via Foxhall Rd so that you will be facing the right direction; parade starts moving at 11 AM sharp! You do NOT need to register for the parade, just show up and get in line - it’s that easy! Parade route: from Whitehaven Pkwy, down MacArthur, left on Edmunds, left on Sherier, ending at Palisades Rec Center. Afterward, there is a free picnic for all at the Rec Center featuring hot dogs, watermelon, drinks, live music and moon bounces. Come one, come all! More info: 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Still LIfe with Robin: The Names Are In! (Update to `More Name Games`)

by Peggy Robin

Just over a month ago (May 18, 2019) I ran a column on the “Name Those Dolphins” contest put on by the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project run by the Potomac Conservancy. Here’s that column:

Image by Potomoac Conservancy
I didn’t just publicize the naming contest on the CP listserv. I entered it myself. My suggested names for the pair of river and bay dolphins: Mac and Chessie.

After the nomination period closed, ten pairs of names were nominated, and people were invited to vote for their favorite pair. And guess what? My Mac and Chessie won! See for the results!

Not only did they win but by a nine-point lead over the next pair of contenders (Cherry and Blossom). That’s a wider margin than the gap between the current Democratic front-runner and the next closest candidate in the polls. Of course the now-crowned Mac and Chessie don’t have to do a thing to live up to their new names -- just swim around and leap up every once in a while, and look incredibly sleek and graceful while doing it. But that’s something all dolphins seem to be able to carry off without effort. They never disappoint.

Of course we will need to keep the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay clean enough for pods of dolphins to live there and thrive. So I’ll throw in a plug for supporting the work of the Potomac Conservancy, which is working to help keep it that way:

Mac and Chessie will thank you for the support!

Want to hear them? Take a listen, right here:
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, June 21 - 27, 2019

Smithsonian Summer Solstice Events on the Mall
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 18,000+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv     

Friday, June 21 at 12:30 PM, History Presentation: Tarleton’s Second Battle of Cowpens. The presentation by History and Education Associate Evan Phifer will focus on the published first edition of Banastre Tarleton’s 1787 memoirs and his very public debate with critics over responsibility for the dramatic British defeat at the 1781 Battle of Cowpens. The presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with time afterwards for up-close viewing of the memoirs. Free. At Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, , 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW. More info:   

Friday, June 21 from 1 - 4 PM, Bloomsday at OLLI. Please join us for this year's OLLI Bloomsday Celebration. The readings from Ulysses will consist of Chapters 5 (Lotus Eaters), 6 (Hades) and 7 (Aeolus) of Ulysses, accompanying James Joyce's anti-hero, Leopold Bloom, as he sets out on his odyssey across Dublin. It will be followed by an off-site cast party to which all attendees are invited. If you would like to attend on June 21, please click here: This is a free event, but reservations are required. For more information and to reach the coordinator of this event, please contact Bob Kolodney at bobkolive @ gmail dot com. (Editor’s note: Bloomsday is traditionally on June 16 worldwide - and somebody should have told OLLI that!) In the lecture hall (Room A) at American University’s Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Friday, June 21 at 7:15 PM, Piano Salon at Guy Mason Recreation Center, featuring members and friends of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC. The artists will play a wide variety of styles and periods of music including classical, ragtime, jazz, show tunes, popular songs, gospel, new age, improvisation, and modern or contemporary compositions. Reception to follow. Free. At  Guy Mason Center, 3600 Calvert St NW.

Saturday, June 22 from 11 AM - 12 midnight, America Now: Celebration of Music / Summer Solstice Festival at Smithsonian museums. Go from day to night with this year’s America Now, when three of your favorite Smithsonian museums (National Museum of American History, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and National Portrait Gallery) unite for a free, one-day festival celebrating the best of art and history in DC. This year is a Celebration of Music, with hip-hop performances, DJs, and dance parties. From 11 AM - 5:30 PM the National Museum of American History will showcase hip-hop culture through activities, live music and dance, DJ performances and an outdoor dance party. Admission is free, festive food and drinks are available for purchase. Open to families and general audiences. From 6 PM to midnight at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, enjoy an evening full of live music in the beautiful Kogod Courtyard with some of your favorite DC performers, art happenings, and more. DC native Christylez Bacon will MC the opening performances from Rare Essence, DJ Beauty and the Beatz, and the Out of Town Blues Band. A special headline performance from Eric Hilton (of Thievery Corporation) with The Archives closes out the night. Admission is free, festive food and drinks available for purchase. Evening event recommended audience 18+. Cash bars close at 11:30 PM, galleries open to midnight. Location: 8th and F Streets NW. Full details of the day at: For the full schedule of events until midnight at other Smithsonian museums and galleries on Solstice Saturday, go to

Saturday, June 22 from 1 - 4 PM, Christian Heurich House '90s Themed 125th Birthday Backyard Bash. The Heurich mansion was completed 125 years ago in 1894 and we’re celebrating by partying like it’s 1994! We’ll have '90s party favors, a birthday cake, and beer, and without a doubt we’ll be listening to the 1994 Top 40 on our boombox. We highly encourage you to dig out your '90s threads – bring a lawn chair and a few friends. All proceeds from this event benefit the preservation of the Heurich House. You must be 21+ with a valid ID to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages at this event. Tickets – including a piece of birthday cake - for a requested donation of $12.50 + Eventbrite fees, in honor of the Heurich House Museum’s 125th birthday, available at More info:

Saturday, June 22 from 2 - 6 PM, Taste of the Philippines. Come out to the scenic District Pier at The Wharf to feast on delectable Filipino cuisine from celebrated chefs! Free admission for this fun, family-friendly foodie fest. Enjoy Filipino cultural performances, martial arts demonstrations, music, giveaways, prizes, and activities for kids. Adult refreshments from Ketel One will be available - please bring your ID. Taste Tickets: Each tasting portion is a couple of bites. We invite you to purchase a pack of tickets and enjoy a leisurely afternoon on District Pier sampling all of the dishes the chefs have to offer. Advance tickets available here: - 5 tickets for $22; 8 tickets for $33; 11 tickets for $44 - day of sale prices are slightly higher. At District Pier at The Wharf, 101 District Square SW. Event website:

Saturday, June 22 from 6 - 10 PM, Solstice Saturday at the Zoo. On June 22 the Smithsonian marks the first Saturday of summer, Solstice Saturday, by staying open late and hosting a free dance party featuring music by DJ COV, kid-friendly activities and sweet treats. Visitors can also see a special screening of "PANDAS" at 6 PM ($1 tickets) or "Jurassic Park" at 7:30 PM  ($5 tickets). Buy tickets at the Zoo’s Visitor Center Box Office or online at The Zoo is at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW. More info at

Saturday, June 22 at 8:37 PM, The Solstice with the Mostest! Did you know that nothing really rhymes with solstice? It’s one of those rare English words, like orange or silver, that has a number of creative near-rhymes but no true rhyme. While others may take this day to celebrate the official start of summer and the day with the most hours of daylight, at this summer solstice event we will glory in the malleability of English to come up with creative near-rhymes for the un-rhyme-able Solstice. To get you into the creative rhyming spirit, look at these: ….and “mostest” isn’t even on the list! Come equipped with your own suggestions for near-rhymes/rhyming phrases, or a whole poem - try a limerick! - about the summer solstice. We will vote on the winners in a few different categories and award prizes! Starts at dusk, 8:37 PM in the front of the Cleveland Park Library. To register your entries in advance of the contest, go to:

Sunday, June 23 at 10:30 AM, Drag Queen Story Hour. Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, bookstores, and community centers. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real. We are excited to announce that the DC chapter of DQSH has partnered with DCPL, The Line Hotel, and the Adams Morgan Community Center to bring this program to the District of Columbia. Our queens are professionally trained by the exceptional staff at DCPL, who will also be on hand for limited mobile check out. If you have any questions / comments / concerns, please feel free to reach out to our DC chapter dc @ dragqueenstoryhour dot org. Registration is encouraged, but not required: pre-register at (one per child). Free. At the LINE Hotel DC / Adams Morgan Community Center, 1770 Euclid Street NW. More info: 

Monday, June 24, 4:30 PM, Butterflies at the Library: Butterfly (Release?) Party. Children of all ages and families are invited to a butterfly party to celebrate the metamorphosis of our insect friends over this past month from caterpillar to butterfly. Enjoy a butterfly story, snacks and activities, and, if nature works on our schedule, we will release our butterflies into the wild to continue their life cycle. Free. At the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW,

Tuesday, June 25 at 6:30 PM, “The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret”: George Washington, Slavery, and the Enslaved Community at Mount Vernon. Mary Thompson discusses and signs copies of her new book on the enslaved people of Mount Vernon. Based on decades of original work on the people who lived and worked at George Washington’s plantation, this is destined to be one of the most important works on George Washington and slavery ever published, combining deeply original and precise scholarship about the enslaved people of Mount Vernon with a rich understanding of George Washington’s life and views on what he recognized as one of the most critical social and political challenges facing the United States. The talk will last approximately 45 minutes, followed by a book signing and refreshments. Copies of the book will be available to purchase at the event. Free. At Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, , 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW. More info: 

Tuesday, June 25 at 6:30 PM, History of Tenant Organizing in Washington, DC. Provoked by mass evictions and the onset of gentrification in the 1970s, tenants in Washington, DC, began forming cooperative organizations to collectively purchase and manage their apartment buildings. This seminar and discussion on the history of tenant organizing and housing co-operative formation will be led by Amanda Huron, professor at the University of the District of Columbia and author of Carving out the Commons: Tenant Organizing and Housing Cooperatives in Washington, DC. Free. Register at At Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW,

Tuesday, June 25 from 6:30 - 7:45 PM, The Dark Side of the Universe. Of what is the universe made? Recent observations suggest surprising results. Not only is most of the matter in the universe dark and unconventional but, more surprisingly, the major component of the universe may be what's called "dark energy"—a form of energy that opposes the pull of gravity and causes the universe's expansion to accelerate. By combining recent observations of clusters and large-scale structures, distant supernovae, and the cosmic microwave background radiation, we find evidence for a universe comprised of 5 percent normal atomic matter, 20 percent non-atomic dark matter, and 75 percent "dark energy." The observations suggest a universe that is lightweight. With only 25 percent of its critical mass-density needed to halt the universal expansion, the universe will likely expand forever. Dr. Neta A. Bahcall (Eugene Higgins Professor of Astrophysics, Princeton University) will discuss the observations of the dark side of the universe and their implications. This talk celebrates the legacy of Vera Rubin and is associated with a symposium in her honor. Free. Register at At the Carnegie Institution for Science, 1530 P Street NW. More info:   

Wednesday, June 26 at 3:30 PM, Art Attack: Aboriginal Dot Painting. Learn fascinating facts about a famous artistic style and create art inspired by its masterpieces. This week we'll be looking at Aboriginal Dot painting. This program is for ages 7 and up. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW, 

Wednesday, June 26 from 7 - 8:30 PM, Jane Austen Trivia Night! Get ready for Dumbarton House’s annual Jane Austen Film Festival with a night of trivia. Spend an evening in the North Garden with your team proving your knowledge of Austen’s books, life, and the regency world. Winners will receive a wonderful Jane Austen themed prize! Refreshments will be available for purchase. Please bring your own chairs or blankets for seating. In the event of rain, the event will be cancelled and tickets refunded. Tickets: General Admission $6.00 + $1.30 fee; Dumbarton House Member Admission $5.00 + $1.25 fee - purchase tickets at: Dumbarton House is at 2715 Q Street NW in Georgetown.

Thursday, June 27 from 6:30 - 7:45, Universe or Multiverse? Cosmological observations show that on the largest scales accessible to our telescopes, the universe is very uniform, and the same laws of physics operate in all the parts of it that we can see. Rather paradoxically, the theory that explains this uniformity also predicts that on extremely large scales, the situation may look totally different. Instead of being a single spherically symmetric balloon, our universe may look like a multiverse—a collection of many different exponentially large balloons with different laws of physics operating in each. In the beginning, this picture looked more like a piece of science fiction than a scientific theory. However, recent developments in inflationary cosmology, particle physics, and string theory provide strong evidence supporting this new cosmological paradigm. Presented by Dr. Andrei Linde: Professor of Physics, Stanford University; Kavli Prize Laureate. The conversation will be moderated by George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs Director and Emmy winning journalist Frank Sesno. Free admission - $10 donation requested - register at At the Carnegie Institution for Science, 1530 P St. NW.

Thursday, June 27 at 7 PM, Book Hill Talks - The Turn of the Tide: World War II in 1943. Military historian David Silbey will lead a discussion on 1943, the year in which the Allied Powers took the upper hand during the Second World War. Free. At the Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW,    

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Follow That Truck!

UPS Truck photo by Qualle (Creative Commons)
by Peggy Robin

For some time I’ve been enrolled in various delivery service tracking programs. I’m in the US Postal Service’s “Informed Delivery” program [], that sends me an email every morning with scanned images of all the US mail I can expect to have delivered to me later that day. It’s been fairly accurate and useful. And I have a FedEx account that tells me if I’ll be getting a FedEx package – and where the FedEx person will leave it. That certainly helps to prevent package theft. But the service I like the best is UPS My Choice []. I’ve had it the longest, and it keeps getting better and better. 

Just this morning, UPS announced a new wrinkle: Now, when I get an email from UPS to let me know to expect a package delivery, it asks me if I would like to go to a map and see where the delivery truck at this very moment. 

You bet I would! Click, click, and I’m right there on the map. There is an icon representing my house, shown so big that it looks as if it takes up about 500 acres of Ward 3. And there is the icon of the UPS delivery truck, shown as about the same size as my house. It was out in Prince Georges County when I first clicked on the map about 15 minutes ago. Now it’s in Northeast DC. In addition to the map with icons for my house and the truck, the map shows the outlines of DC with all the major routes marked, and a few neighborhood names included as well. You can zoom in and get as much detail as you like. The only thing you can’t get that I would love to see is the real-time movement of the little cartoon truck through traffic. I want to see it chug-chug-chug along the map, just like the Little Engine That Could! But you can’t have everything.

As soon as I finished typing this, I refreshed the page and the truck was approaching Connecticut Avenue from S Street to the east. There’s also a sidebar with a progress line that moves from “On the Road” to “In Your Area” to “Almost There!”. The truck is now in the “In Your Area” Zone. The Anticipation Builds!

I have an estimated delivery time….well, it’s a four-hour window, which they certainly will make. If I like, I can click on a link to manage my delivery options and send a message to the driver with instructions about where to put the package, or have them hold it and redeliver it another time.

This is all rather entertaining for a package of miscellaneous but-hard-to-find kitchen supplies!

The only thing that could make it more exciting is to be able to track the progress of a delivery drone. But that’s just a matter of time, so I've been told.

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

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, June 14 - 20, 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

Friday, June 14 from 5 - 8:30 PM, Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery of Art - Adwela & the Uprising, Reggae band. In the sculpture garden at 7th St and Constitution Avenue NW. Free admission. The schedule for the summer series is available at:   

Saturday, June 15 from 8 AM - 1 PM, Truck Touch. Mayor Muriel Bowser's 2019 Truck Touch is fun for the whole family. Kids and teens eat free! Experience the equipment used to provide vital city services. Kids can climb aboard, work the gears and honk the horns! Get a tour of DC Public Library's new Library on the Go-Go Tech Truck and make a craft. What is Library on the Go-Go Tech Truck? It's the NEW food truck-style vehicle for community outreach and programming equipped with creative hardware, technology, laptops,and wifi. It will feature truck tours, equipment demos, craft projects, and library services. Free. At RFK Stadium Lot 8 located off Independence Ave SE. Event flyer: 

Saturday, June 15 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Chinatown Community Festival. Come out and experience the sights and sounds of Asian and Pacific Islander cultures, including: Lively Performances: Wushu, Japanese Drumming show, Dog Tricks show, Indonesian Dance, Hawaiian Halau Hula, Turkmen Folk Dance, and other cultural demonstrations; Fitness Demonstrations; Food Samples; Face Painting, Henna Design, 3D Paper Cutting, K Make-up, and other Asian Arts and Crafts; Free Bike Repair and much more! Free and Open to the Public. In Chinatown Park, 5th and I Street NW.) RSVP: 

Saturday, June 15 and Sunday June 16 from 2 - 10 PM, both days, DC Jazzfest at the Wharf. Enjoy the last weekend of DC JazzFest at The Wharf, offering two days of world class jazz, music education, beer and wine gardens and a diverse marketplace experience. Enjoy FREE concerts daily on District and Transit Piers starting at 2 PM, or check out the full schedule of music events for JazzFest at - including ticketed shows and VIP packages. For location and transportation info, go to: 

Saturday June 15 - Saturday June 22, By the People Festival. Eight days of arts events, taking place at 28 different venues. To make the most of the Festival, start at and click on “Filters” to display the events, sorted by date, by venue, by artist or performance group, and by type (visual art, performance, discussion, etc.). Free. 

Sunday, June 16 from 1 - 2 PM, Bloomsday Ulysses Reading 2019. It’s Bloomsday again! [See:] Politics & Prose is hosting a  mini-marathon reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses, the famous novel that rambles around Dublin. Marathon readings of this modernist masterpiece can go on for days, but P&P’s little version will last just over an hour. Volunteers will read a short prepared portion of the novel as short or long as each reader wishes. This event is free to attend with no reservation required. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Click on for more information. At Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW. 

Sunday, June 16 from 2 - 3 PM, Alternative Bloomsday. You’ve just read about the annual Bloomsday celebration, a day of readings from James Joyce’s Ulysses, which takes place in cities all around the world on the day that the fictional Leopold Bloom wandered around Dublin. Very high-brow stuff! This Bloomsday, why not enjoy the adventures of that OTHER Leo Bloom, the not-so-heroic protagonist of Mel Brooks’s film / Broadway musical / and again a film, “The Producers.” That is, THIS Leo Bloom - see On Alternative Bloomsday, come dressed up as the Gene Wilder incarnation of Bloom, or if you must, the Matthew Broderick version - see Bring a blue blankie, wear a green eyeshade, don’t forget your briefcase, and be prepared to shriek, “I’m wet, and I’m hysterical”. No Joycean lines, but you can sing and dance! Definitely NOT at Politics and Prose. To find out where Alternative Bloomsday will take place, click here:     

Sunday June 16 at 2 PM, Garden Concert Series: Vim & Vigor. Enjoy an afternoon of music in the beautiful garden area beside Northeast Library. Bring a chair, sit back and enjoy the sounds of Vim & Vigor, a six-piece pop-folk band from Washington, DC. With multi-instrumentalists and three vocalists, Vim & Vigor produces a sound that is unique and earnest, with rich harmonies and layers of instrumentation. Please note: In the event of inclement weather, concerts are held inside the library. Location: Northeast Library, 330 7th St. NE. More info on the Garden Concert series: 

Monday, June 17 at 4:30 PM, Butterflies at the Library: Science Art. Children ages 5-12 are invited to explore the connection between science and art. Using science in our techniques, we'll create butterfly-themed art. Participants will be able to take their work home. While you're here, check out the progress of our real caterpillars, as they form chrysalides and become butterflies before your very eyes through the month of June. Free. At the Petworth Library, 
4200 Kansas Ave. NW, 

Tuesday June 18 at 4 PM, Juneteenth: I, Too, Am America. In honor of the Coretta Scott King Awards' 50th anniversary, we are hosting a Juneteenth program using the books: “All Different Now” by Angela Johnson, “I, Too, am America” by Langston Hughes, and “Heart and Soul: the Story of America and African Americans” by Kadir Nelson. Weaving will be the craft activity. For children ages 4 - 12 and their families/caregivers. Free. At the Palisades Library, 4901 V Street, NW, 

Tuesday June 18 from 7 - 8:30 PM, Jeff Wincott, Actor/Director with Moderator Amy Henderson. Jeff Wincott will discuss his prolific acting career in the US and Canada, describe his newest television and movie films, and explain why he has recently embraced directing. He will be interviewed by fellow Kennedy Warren resident Amy Henderson, historian emerita of the National Portrait Gallery. Emcee of the KW's popular Classic Movie Night series, Amy is a cultural critic who reviews theater, books, and exhibitions for a variety of newspapers and magazines. This is the final talk in a six part monthly series presented in partnership with the Cleveland Park Business Association and the Cleveland and Woodley Park Village. At the Cleveland Park Library, 1st floor meeting room. This event is open to the public and admission is free, but please register at to reserve your seat -- and please come early to get your choice of seats. More info on this event: - and more info on the series at 

Wednesday, June 19 from 2:30 - 8:30 PM, MPD’s Beat the Streets 2019 Kick-off 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 King Green Leaf Recreation Center, 201 N Street, SW. To see the schedule of all the “Beat the Streets” events, go to: 

Wednesday June 19 at 3:30 PM, Art Attack: Early Animation and Flipbooks. Learn fascinating facts about an artistic style and create art inspired by its masterpieces. This week, we'll be delving into the fascinating birth of Early Animation and Flipbooks. This program is for ages 7 and up. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW. More info: 

Thursday, June 20 at 6 PM, Author Talk with Jacqueline Woodson. Join Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-winner (NBA), at Dunbar High School as a part of Summer Challenge in an event co-sponsored by Politics and Prose. Woodson, the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is the author of numerous award-winning books, including Brown Girl Dreaming, a mesmerizing memoir in verse about growing up as an African American girl in the 1960s and 1970s. Her story is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line offering a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Ages 10 and up. This event is free and open to the public; however, to attend, an entrance ticket is required. Please register here: Copies of Brown Girl Dreaming are available for pre-purchase with a ticket. This event will be held at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, 101 N St., NW. More info:       

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Be Free - A Song for the 51st State
by Peggy Robin

If DC ever becomes the 51st state, it will need a state song. Well, this isn’t it – see: -- it’s more in the nature of a “wannabe-a-state” plea/spoken-word/hip-hop mashup, more suitable for a pep rally than for a state’s anthem. Our state’s song is still to be written. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time, as statehood is not about to come through this week, or this month, or even this year. But I’m boosting the “Be Free DC” song because it does something that DC residents from all eight wards can appreciate: it names each ward and gives a shout-out to the landmarks, personalities, and iconic items of each one.

Ward 3, as it happens, plays a dominant role in the music video, as so much of it was shot at the entrance to the National Zoo on Connecticut Avenue. You’ll also catch glimpses of the Uptown Theater façade and the glass clock tower across from the entrance to the Zoo, in front of Baked by Yael (definitely a Ward 3 landmark to be appreciated!) Other scenes were shot inside the Zoo: one in front of a fish tank (implying, perhaps, that our politics are sometimes a bit fishy?), and another, inserted ironically (I assume) just as the line “want to be free” is sung over a shot of the Zoo’s elephants, sadly confined behind the wires of their too-small outdoor exercise pen.

With or without a song to sing, if you are hoping to give a boost to statehood, you’ll have your first real chance in 26 years to rally ‘round the 51-star flag, when Congress holds a hearing on statehood on July 24. (See: Mark your calendars, and get out your buttons, T-shirts, and statehood paraphernalia, so you’ll be appropriately outfitted for the event. Don’t have the right look? You can stock up on T-shirts and get a onesie for your DC baby on the CafePress web page at DC Vote: Go to and hit the “shop” link at the bottom of the page, or go directly to the shopping site at

But why wait for Congress to act to give us a 51-star flag when you can have that NOW? Buy it here: (or go to if the long link above is broken).

It makes a great Fourth of July present!

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