Saturday, October 19, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Those Old Listserv Days....

by Peggy Robin

Now that Yahoogroups is on the way out and we’re moving the Cleveland Park Listserv over to Groups.IO, it’s time for a little nostalgia about our early days. Here’s a piece I wrote about running the Cleveland Park Listserv when it was just three years old and had less than a thousand members. (And that was considered big for an e-group back then! The current membership number is 18,482). You’ll note that things were a bit different in those days: Running the listserv was a fun little hobby that took maybe a half hour a day. There was no advertising allowed, paid or unpaid. Now the CP Listserv is a full-time online sponsor-supported community publication that comes out 365 days a year. We’re looking forward to many more years when we get to our new home at Groups.IO.

Moderators Are Masters of Their Domain on Local E-Mail List
Author: Robin, Peggy
Date:     Nov 14, 2002
Section: WEEKLY - DISTRICT Start Page:  T.04

It has been a day of heavy traffic on the Cleveland Park e-mail list. There's a debate raging on the fate of Klingle Road: Should it be reopened or remain closed? One person has posted four times on the subject in two days. Is that "over-posting"? Meanwhile, a new list member has posted a message introducing herself as a massage therapist, describing the types of massage she practices. Is she simply introducing herself to her neighbors, or is she using the list as a form of free e-mail advertising (otherwise known as "spam"), which our list rules strictly prohibit?

These are the kinds of questions I face every day in my role as moderator of what we believe to be the District's largest neighborhood e-mail list. There are more than 900 members of this free e-mail network. People write in about lost dogs, the search for an honest plumber, the cat-loving housesitter they seek, what new stores are moving into vacant storefronts, whether the traffic light on Porter Street should be retimed, how new zoning rules are needed to restrict the number of bars (but not restaurants) on Connecticut Avenue, and dozens of other things, both weighty and trivial.

My husband, Bill Adler, and I started the e-mail list in 1999, and we have been running it ever since. It's not a lot of work -- half an hour a day on most days -- and it's often fun, although occasionally it can be a big drag. When a message writer ignores the posting rules, Bill or I will take the time to send a brief note to the violator. Bill writes to a member asking him not to send pages and pages of text that overload the system, and then I write to another one asking her not to post endlessly on the same subject. We both write notes reminding members to sign their names, and -- most frequently of all -- to stick to the main subject, our neighborhood.

We learned early on that unless we act quickly in our role as moderators, things get out of hand. Our first big lesson came in the summer of 2000 from the attempt by some Miami residents to bombard the list with messages opposed to the return of Elian Gonzalez to Cuba. The issue was international, but there was a bit of a local hook: At the time, Elian was staying at the Rosedale estate in the heart of Cleveland Park. I suppose the would-be posters thought they could have some influence over events by directing their e-mail to the people who lived in the surrounding neighborhood. But the messages posted were shrill diatribes, not the least bit neighborly in tone.

As a result, Bill and I decided that we had to have some rules about who could post and what sorts of subjects were acceptable. We prohibited name-calling, spamming and cross-posting (that is, including the Cleveland Park list on a mass e-mail list for an announcement or press release). Our aim is to get people to use the list to talk to each other online in just the same way they would if they met in the park or at the supermarket. No shouting slogans at each other. Say hello first, and then say what's on your mind. No commercial advertising. No promotion of out-of-neighborhood causes, however worthy. There are plenty of other e-mail groups to join for those interested in such causes.

Despite the need to rein in the occasional shouter, we think that, on the whole, our list has become one of the most civil in cyberspace. It's useful, too: Lately, people have been approaching Bill or me on the street to say that they found a great contractor through the list, or the most wonderful babysitter. Our list has become the quick and easy way to find the answer to any question. A short while ago, there were helicopters hovering overhead for 20 minutes or more. Someone asked if anyone on the list knew what was going on. Within a few minutes, the answer came back that there had been a holdup at a local market and the robbers had escaped on foot. Police were using helicopters to guide police cars in their attempt to catch the men.

Sometimes misinformation is posted, but usually when that has happened, a list member has jumped in with a correction. Unlike most other e-mail lists that accept anonymous posts, we ask all people to sign their names, to stand behind what they write. That has been one way to keep things neighborly.

Still, sparks do fly on occasion. When Giant Food unveiled plans to expand, heated arguments pro and con dominated the list for months. An e-mail list gives people a fast, convenient way to register opinion -- perhaps too convenient. People who don't attend meetings or write a paper letter that needs a stamp and an envelope can always fire off an e-mail. Yet a good case can be made that the list does provides a fairly accurate way to gauge how the lines are drawn on an issue.

The Giant Food discussion on the e-mail list led directly to the formation of a grass-roots group of residents in favor of a bigger store. (Until that development, meetings had been dominated by leaders of neighborhood organizations adamantly opposed to Giant's expansion plan.) Eventually, city officials worked out a compromise that so far has been hailed by all parties as a victory. We like to think that discussion on our e-mail list played a part in that outcome.

Then there are the perennial issues for which no compromise seems possible: dog walkers who don't scoop vs. neighbors who are sick of the mess. (Oh, you think no one would defend a scoopless dog walk? Think again.) People who think city living means a lively streetscape and, yes, some late night noise, vs. people who think Cleveland Park has always been and should continue to be a tranquil oasis in the midst of a busy city. People who think it's better to let traffic flow smoothly through neighborhood streets vs. people who would like to see more traffic diverted from purely residential streets and onto the major arterials. None of these debates shows any sign of achieving consensus in the near or far future.

As long as people in Cleveland Park have keyboards, e-mail servers and modems, we're going to be hearing more on these subjects. As moderators, we stand ever at the ready, poised to send out a firm but politely worded (and always private) note, "Please refrain from questioning the parentage of another list member. Remember, you are talking to your neighbors. Please keep it friendly! Sincerely, Peggy Robin & Bill Adler, Moderators, Cleveland Park E-mail List."

Peggy Robin is a freelance writer who has published seven (mostly how-to) books. She lived in the Washington area for several years as a teenager, moved back in 1977 and has lived in the city ever since. The Cleveland Park e-mail list can be found at

Still Life with Robin is published on All Life Is Local and on the Cleveland Park Listserv on Saturdays. The Cleveland Park Listserv is found at -- at least until October 28, 2019. After that, look for it at -

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column - October 18 - 24, 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 18,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

DC Public Library Image
Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv

Friday October 18 from 12 - 2 PM, 3 D's - Dining, Documentary, Discussion, “Back to Basics:The Future of Water and Food.” DC Public Library in partnership with Guy Mason Recreation Center and the Interactivity Foundation present the program series 3Ds – Dining, Documentary, and Discussion. Attendees will view a documentary film, participate in a facilitated discussion and enjoy a free lunch! The documentary screened today is Back to Basics:The Future of Water and Food. Registration Required - please email guymasonevents @ gmail dot com. At Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert St NW,

Friday, October 18 from 5 - 8 PM,  Meet the Artists Reception: Nancy Nesvet and Larry Ringgold - “enDANGERd”. Nancy Nesvet's photographs and paintings of endangered animals and disintegrating structures, both natural and manmade, inhabit her beautiful but threatened world. An ecofeminist, her concern with warming seas and human efforts to destroy the environment for present and future generations of people, animals, flora and fauna pervade her paintings and photographs. Larry Ringgold's sculptures of endangered species result from what he calls "an equal alliance of creativity and craftsmanship". These sculptures, made from driftwood washed up on the beaches after often devastating storms, stand witness to the effects of global warming, shrinking ice caps and glaciers that daily disappear from our world, stranding species and eventually, ourselves. Free. At Zenith Gallery, 1429 Iris Street NW. Show runs from October 18 - November 16. For more info: contact margery @ zenithgallery dot com

Saturday, October 19 at 10:30 AM, Firefighter Story Time and Truck Touch. Join us for a special Saturday Family Story Time on the 2nd-floor Children's Rug at the Northeast Library. We’ll visit with DC firefighters from Engine Co. No. 18 and their mascot, Sparky the Dalmatian! (Sparky is a DC firefighter in a dog costume.) After story time, we’ll go outside to look at the big red truck!  All ages welcome. Story time is at 10:30 AM, Truck Touch is at 11 AM. The Northeast Library is at 330 7th St. NE,

Saturday October 19 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Community Fun Fest at the Lisner-Louise-Dickson -Hurt Home. Enjoy a day filled with food, fun, laughter and games! Thiis community event is truly fun for all ages. Intergenerational Art Activities: Paint a miniature canvas or make a dazzling sand art piece to take home. Help paint a life size animal statue in the garden. Visit the Resident Art Gallery to view contemporary artwork created by the talented artists of the Home. Baby Farm Animals and Pony Rides. Meet cuddly ducks & chicks, squeaky pigs, fuzzy sheep & funny goats and take a ride on a pony! Moon Bounce, Juggler and Face Painting. No outdoor event would be complete without a chance to jump around in a bounce house, become your favorite superhero or princess, and be entertained by a super silly clown! Refreshments: Ice Cream * Popcorn * Hot Dogs * Pizza * Snacks * Drinks * Food Trucks. Bring your friends. Bring your grandchildren! No admission fee, small cost for rides, activities, & food. The Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home is at 5425 Western Avenue. Rain or shine - if it rains we'll be inside.

Saturday, October 19 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Ancestry Day: Genetic Ancestry Testing - Another glimpse of the Old World and lessons for the new. Have you ever wondered about our collective African ancestry—what that ancestry means today or what you can know about it? From newspaper advertisements to online databases, the quest to find family members and ancestors has never stopped. Join Bethel 21 at Metropolitan AME Church, as we explore tools that can potentially aid African Americans in our continued search for our ancestors. Guest speakers include genetics and genealogy experts Fatimah Jackson, Dorothy Roberts, Janina Jeff, and Shannon Christmas. This forum has been designed with an intergenerational audience in mind. Whether you're interested in genealogy, curious about DNA testing, or a medical professional interested in the role of ancestry information and race on health care, this forum is for you. The event is free, but we encourage registration here: At Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, 1518 M Street NW

Saturday, October 19 from 11 AM - 3 PM, Lafayette Fall Festival. This wonderful annual event for kids and adults benefits the Lafayette school community. For the kids: Expect carnival rides, bounce houses, rock-climbing walls, face painting, balloon twisting, glitter tattoos, arts and crafts, sports and games, a haunted house, and more. We also have an array of fall-filled fun for adults: Purchase beautiful fall décor: pumpkins, corn stalks and hay bales. Participate in the pie competition or purchase homemade treats from our bake sale. Peruse our used toy and book sale. Enjoy lunch from some of the city’s best food trucks, which will make a rare appearance in our neighborhood! Indulge in treats and snacks including ice cream, funnel cakes, pizza slices, cotton candy, and more. This is a beloved community event that is open to all. Lafayette School is at 5701 Broad Branch Road NW. For more information on the Fall Festival, visit: For information on what activities and sales are cash only or sold by tickets or by credit card, go to:

Saturday, October 19 from 11 AM - 7 PM, Down in the Reeds Music Festival. Join Library Takeout at Down in the Reeds, a day-long fall celebration and music festival happening at The Parks at Walter Reed. Festival organizers, Listen Local First, will create an outdoor fall gathering that brings together a mosaic of entertainment and activations reflective of DC’s cultural diversity and in celebration of the healing power of music. The ability of music to heal at the micro and macro level is one of music’s fundamental characteristics, bridging race, culture, and socio-economic status across all Wards. This one-day celebration seeks to highlight that common experience through performances from some of DC’s most vibrant musicians as well as workshops, arts activations, community and family engagement and more. Free. Location: The Parks at Walter Reed, 1010 Butternut St. NW. More info:

Saturday, October 19 at 12 noon, Research 101: LGBTQ+ Resources at Washingtoniana. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Washington Blade and LGBTQ+ History Month, learn about the LGBTQ+ history resources available from Special Collections. Archival collections will be available to view, and staff will lead a short presentation on how to find and use our LGBTQ+ materials. Free. Washingtoniana is at 4340 Connecticut Ave. NW,. More info:

Saturday, October 19 from 12 noon - 3 PM, OAKtoberfest Concert: The Shmoods, known as the DMV Hip-Hop Orchestra. Join Friends of the National Arboretum for a crisp fall afternoon of music, food, drinks, and fun! We'll be joined by crowd favorite, The DMV Hip-Hop Orchestra, now known as "The Shmoods," a collaborative music project featuring a new generation of DMV artists who color sound with spirit using a diverse palette of personality and strokes of Hip-Hop bringing you classic medleys and landmark originals. Our friends at The Greater Cater with be serving up St. Louis meals all afternoon! Free admission. At the US National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue NE. More info:

Saturday, October 19 at 1 PM, It’s a Small World After All: Art Wraps on Historic Georgia Avenue. This is the first event in a series that explores DC history, public art and storytelling. Learn about the lives of visual artists Lily and Earle Pilgrim and public art with community historian Peter Stebbins. Then take a tour of the traffic box art outside of the library, followed by a reception at NuVegan Café. Food and refreshments will be provided. This event is recommended for ages 18+. In partnership with the Lily and Earle M. Pilgrim Art Foundation and Georgia Avenue Thrive. Starts at the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW,

Saturday, October 19 at 2 PM, A Right To The City Author Talk Series: Lawrence J. Vale. Join us for a discussion with Lawrence Vale about his book After the Projects: Public Housing Redevelopment and the Governance of the Poorest Americans. The book examines the deeply-rooted spatial politics of public housing development and redevelopment at a time when lower-income Americans face a desperate struggle to find affordable rental housing in many cities. Vale is Ford Professor of Urban Design and Planning at MIT, where he served as Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning from 2002 until January 2009. He has taught in the MIT School of Architecture and Planning since 1988, and he is currently the director of the Resilient Cities Housing Initiative (RCHI), a unit of the School’s Center for Advanced Urbanism. Free. Registration is required. Please note that registration does not guarantee a seat.At the Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW (entrance on Lamont St). More info: 
Sunday, October 20 at 7:30 PM, Chiarina Chamber Players Concert: A Poet's Love. Grammy nominated baritone Randall Scarlata and National Symphony Orchestra principal flutist Aaron Goldman join Chiarina for a colorful program featuring Schumann's beloved song cycle Dichterliebe and works by Ravel and Prokofiev. Tickets: $25 at; $30 at the door, $10 for age 30 and under. A 15% discount is available with discount code CP15. At St. Mark’s Church, 301 A Street SE

Sunday October 20 at 2 PM, Talk Story: Three Coins: A Young Girl's Story of Kidnappings, Slavery and Romance in 19th Century America. Join the 1882 Foundation's monthly Talk Story program for a discussion with Russell Low, who discovered a 1903 Hong Family photograph that sparked a decades long search for the stories behind the picture. Three Coins is one of the untold stories of women who endured and built the foundation of Chinese American families. Free and open to the public. Located at the I (Eye) St. Conference Center, 600 Massachusetts Ave. NW (Use the Public Parking entry way located on I (Eye) street, and take the elevator to Level C). More info:   

Monday, October 21 at 12 noon, Lecture: DC's Fort Reno Community after the Civil War, presented by Amy Rispin and Diane Tamayo, independent scholars. Delve into the history of D.C.'s Fort Reno community after the Civil War. Although the neighborhood was nominally integrated, the schools and residents' social lives were largely separate. Independent scholars Amy Rispin and Diane Tamayo reveal the social history of this popular Northwest neighborhood. Free; no reservations required. Bring your lunch and enjoy a cup of coffee on us. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21 Street, NW. More info:

Monday, October 21 at 7 PM, Waste Not: Food Waste, Resource Conservation, and You. The American food industry discards 150 million pounds of food every day - the equivalent of 523 Titanics per year. This class will review the causes of food waste and ways to reduce it, debunking myths along the way. For example, is the food you are throwing out actually bad? In addition, you’ll learn about the environmental damage caused by food waste, and various efforts to co-opt the current agricultural system to help feed local communities. This class will be led by William Reid who, in an effort to prove a point, survived off of food waste for over two years. Free. At Northeast Library, 330 7th St. NE. More information: 

Tuesday, October 22 at 4:30 PM, Halloween Crafts and Mask Making. It’s that time of year again! Join us in celebrating Halloween by making Halloween-themed masks and decorations. All art supplies will be provided.All ages welcome. Free. At Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW, entrance on Lamont St, 

Tuesday October 22 from 6:30 PM to 8 PM, Free Landmark Lecture: Houses Divided: Arlington House, Tudor Place, and the American Civil War, presented by Mark Maloy, National Park Service. Explore the Custis connections between Tudor Place and Arlington House, and the difficult decisions made by family members at both homes as the nation hurtled towards the Civil War. Register to reserve seats: Tudor Place Historic House and Garden is at 1644 31st Street NW,  ·

Wednesday, October 23 at 6:30 PM, Clarice Smith Lecture Series: Naomi Beckwith, senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago takes a deep dive into her professional background and explores the interplay between her formal education and life experience in her curatorial approach. Beckwith explores questions of identity through multi-disciplinary practices showcasing contemporary art in a culturally conscious setting. Her recent work includes exhibitions focused on African American painter and mixed media artist Howardena Pindell, the artists’ collective AfriCOBRA (African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists), and the Association for the Advancement for Creative Musicians. Tickets: Free; Registration online recommended: In the Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium, 8th and F Streets NW.

Thursday, October 24 from 6 - 9 PM, Halloween Tennis Monster Smash (Tennis Costume Party). Join DPR Citywide Tennis and our partners, Tennis at Shiloh for a night of haunted Halloween tennis! The Halloween Tennis Monster Smash is a fun family event in which children from ages 3+ and adults are encouraged to come dressed in their spookiest costume and play tennis. Instructors will be in costume as well and the DPR team will facilitate a Halloween themed evening filled with music, prizes for the best costume, and of course, some great tennis. Show up anytime between 6pm and 7:30pm for kids and family play. 7:30pm to 9pm will be reserved for adults only. RSVP today - - and don't forget your phone because this event is perfect for social media! Free. At Banneker Tennis Courts, 2500 Georgia Avenue NW.

Thursday, October 24 from 6 - 8 PM, What NOT to Wear for Halloween? Your four-year-old daughter wants to be Pocahontas for Halloween - is that an expression of admiration for a real historical girl hero? Or is it cultural appropriation? Your ten year-old boy wants to be the Dread Pirate Roberts - does that make light of piracy and its many real-life victims? What about your desire to put your little doggie in a lion costume? Is that fair to the pooch? Or to lions? And what about all those “sexy nurse” and “sexy French maid” outfits? Are they sexist? (You bet they are!) Halloween may be a silly kids’ holiday but these days it’s positively fraught with weighty issues. Too much for the average parent to navigate alone! Now you can join a group workshop to guide you through the do’s and don’ts - complete with costumed models of what is and is not considered appropriate This is just what you need before you send your kids out trick-or-treating! For a photo gallery preview of some of the costumes that will be critiqued and rated on an acceptable-to-don’t-even-think about it scale, go to    

Friday, October 11, 2019

Still Life With Robin: Goodbye, Columbus!

Columbus statue in front of Union Station, DC
by Peggy Robin

On Tuesday, October 8, the DC Council passed emergency legislation to rename this coming Monday, October 14 – the Holiday Formerly Known as Columbus Day -- "Indigenous People's Day." With this move DC joins six other states, and over 130 cities, towns, counties and other jurisdictions in ceasing to pay homage to the Italian explorer who claimed the New World for Spain. And the charges most commonly lodged against old Chris? Here are the three biggies:

* Columbus did NOT discover the Americas. It had a thriving native population who had been here some 16,000-30,000 years before Columbus and his three ships dropped anchor.  He wasn’t even the first European to cross the Atlantic. That prize goes to Leif Ericson.

* Once he came into contact with the people of what he called the Indies, Columbus brought some back to Spain in chains and oppressed and enslaved many others.

* First contact with Europeans set into motion the rapid spread of European diseases throughout the Americas, leading to mass death that in some places wiped out ninety percent of the population, obliterating whole cultures. The bringer of death and destruction on such a scale should never be honored - no matter what other accomplishments may be to his credit.

The honor, instead, ruled the Council, belongs to those who suffered from the conquerors from across the seas – and their descendants who managed to survive. For that reason the new name of the holiday is "Indigenous People's Day."  Here’s the story in DCist, which gives more details about the Council’s actions and reasoning: 

To see a map showing what other states and municipalities have dumped Columbus Day, go here:

I say with some pride that this is a move I’ve been pushing since 2014, when I first took it up in this column: What to Do With Columbus on Columbus Day?

Now that it’s come to pass, I’m only too happy to say, Goodbye Columbus! And thank you to the DC Council for running him out of town before he had the chance to ruin another three-day weekend. And now let’s all go out and buy mattresses and cars just as the original Indigenous Peoples used to do!

Happy IP Weekend to ALL!

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

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column October 11 - 17, 2019

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

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv       

Friday, October 11 from 10 AM - 12 PM, DIY Digital Friday - Digital Preservation. Take our Intro to Digital Preservation class to learn about ways you can digitize your personal archive using library technology at the Tenley Library and the Memory Lab. Tenley Library staff  will be on hand to assist in scanning materials, answering questions and providing one-on-one guidance in digital preservation. Bring your photos, slides and personal papers to receive a consultation. Registration is required: Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

Saturday, October 12  from 8 - 9:30 AM, Fall Bird Walk at Tregaron Conservancy with Birding Expert Jim Nelson. Did you know that Tregaron Conservancy is a birding "hot spot"? Over 100 species of birds have been identified in our woodlands. Join our terrific volunteer, birding expert Jim Nelson, on a walk to look and listen for Tregaron's resident and visiting birds. Jim has been birding for over 30 years and regularly leads tours for land conservancies in our region. The group will gather at 3100 Macomb Street NW. Tregaron has mulch trails and moderate elevation changes. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a water bottle. Questions? Email info @ tregaronconservancy dot org. Free - register at

Saturday, October 12 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Fall Festival at All Saints Church. Enjoy music, bounce houses, petting zoo, pumpkin patch, cookout, hot chocolate, s’mores, arts and crafts, and more! There's even ping pong, foosball, and corn hole for older children. This kid-friendly event is open to the public, so bring your friends and neighbors. Tickets sold at the door. To get an approximate headcount, please RSVP here Admission for children (includes bounce houses, games, petting zoo, cookout, hot chocolate, snow cones, s’mores) $20; admission for adults (includes cookout) $15; admission for adults (food not included) $5. If you are looking for a healthier food option, there will be a Middle Eastern food truck selling salads, falafel, chicken shawarma and more. Rain or shine at All Saints Church, 3 Chevy Chase Circle, Chevy Chase, MD

Saturday, October 12, 11 AM - 2 PM, Tug of Wharf at District Pier. Taking place on the beautiful District Pier at the DC Wharf, teams of six will battle it out to see if they can be crowned DC’s top tuggers. Prizes will be offered for the winning tug of war team, best team costume or theme, and for the team that raises the most money to benefit the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The DC Wharf is at 1100 Maine Ave SW. More info:

Saturday October 12 from 2:30 - 5 PM, The Georgetown Library Celebrates 5 Years of the DC Punk Archive! Selected materials from the DC Punk Archive collections will be on display in the Peabody Room, the punk archive's temporary home during the renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Read zines, view rare concert footage, and learn about how the collections have been used by researchers over the years. The Open House will take place indoors between 2:30 - 4 PM; an outdoor celebration will go on till 5 PM. The celebration includes: an exhibition of photographs by Antonia Tricarico, author of Frame of Mind: Punk Photos and Essays 997-2017; DIY merch - make a button and stencil your own posters and t-shirts! Paper will be provided, but you must bring your own t-shirt; Music by Les the DJ at 2:30 p.m. and CORIKY (Amy Farina - Ian MacKaye - Joe Lally) at 4 PM. Outdoor activities will take place in the rear yard, and will move to the lower level meeting room in the event of rain. Free. At the Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St. NW. More info on the punk archive at 

Sunday, October 13 from 10 AM - 5 PM, Grand Re-Opening of the Anacostia Community Museum. Everyone is invited to join us for the grand re-opening of the museum! See our new look both inside and outside. From 2pm to 4 pm, there will be special festivities. Meet and greet with our new director, Melanie Adams, and enjoy refreshments and live music. See our current exhibition, A Right To The City. Free. At the Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE, 202.633.482, 

Sunday, October 13 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Capitol Cider House 2019 Harvest Festival, with everything you want in a Fall Festival, including: Live Apple Pressing; Apple Cider Donuts; Apple Tasting; Mulled Cider; Face Painting; Balloon Animals; Random Prizes!!! Free admission. Please RSVP here - - so we have enough of everything, especially DONUTS! At Capitol Cider House, 3930 Georgia Avenue NW 

Sunday October 13 2019 at 2 PM, Garden Concert Series: Karen Collins & The Backroads Band. Join us for an afternoon of music in the beautiful garden area beside Northeast Library. Bring a chair, sit back and enjoy the sounds of Karen Collins & The Backroads Band. One of the Washington, DC area top classic honky-tonk groups, Karen Collins & The Backroads Band play classic country music. Their original shuffles, two-steps, and buckle-polishing slow tunes project an authentic vintage sound and the twang continues with a list of covers that range from Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb, to Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, with dashes of rockabilly, Wanda Jackson and Chuck Berry thrown in. Please note: In the event of inclement weather, concerts are held inside the Northeast Library, 330 7th St. NE,

Monday, October 14 at 12 noon, Lecture: DC Murals: Spectacle and Story. Perry Frank and Cory Stowers, founding and associate director of DC Murals: Spectacle and Story, share the stories behind many of the public murals that decorate the streets of Washington, DC.Free; no reservations required. Bring your lunch and enjoy a cup of coffee on us. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21 Street, NW,

Tuesday, October 15 at 7 PM, Author Talk: Sid Balman, Seventh Flag. A National Book Award nominee, Seventh Flag is a work of historical fiction about the radicalization of America that follows four generations of two families in a small West Texas town on their global journeys as they come of age and adapt to shifting paradigms of gender, commerce, patriotism, loyalty, religion and sexuality. Sid Balman, Jr. is a Pulitzer-nominated national security correspondent and fourth generation Texan. He has covered wars in the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo. Balman now makes Washington, DC his home. This is his first novel. Free. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW,

Wednesday, October 16 at 6:30 PM, Pumpkin Carving. Come celebrate Halloween with carving or decorating a pumpkin. You can make your pumpkin scary or funny! Supplies and Pumpkins will be provided, while they last. Free. At Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Wednesday October 17 at 4 PM, The October Curmudgeons’ Club. Does it raise extreme hackles whenever you see the typo “fall foilage” when it should be “foliage”? Are you incensed by the rampant overuse of “Spooktacular” in the names of Halloween fairs and festivals? Do you get slightly nauseated by the ubiquitous scent of Pumpkin Spice at Starbucks all this month? If you answered yes to any of these petty irritants, then come to the October Curmudgeons’ Club and meet a bunch of cranks just like you, who harbor these and other seasonal pet peeves.See all the October solecisms, malapropisms, and cultural cliches that drive curmudgeons up the wall. If there’s a particular cliche or horrible Halloween pun you think should be banned from civilized society, you can add it to the complaint agenda for the meeting here: -- where you can also register and find out the address of meeting place of the group.

Thursday, October 17 at 7 PM, Author Talk: Ruta Sepetys and "The Fountains of Silence." In partnership with Politics and Prose, Cleveland Park Library  welcomes author, Ruta Sepetys, who will discuss her new book The Fountains of Silence. This event will take place in the Cleveland Park Library first floor meeting room. The Fountains of Silence is set in the summer of 1957 in Spain, at the height of a fascist dictatorship. Daniel Matheson, son of an American oil tycoon, joins his parents on a summer trip to Madrid where he hopes to connect with the country of his mother’s birth. Is the Spain that tourists experience a glossy, filtered version? Can Daniel, an aspiring photojournalist, bring to light the atrocities the world has ignored? Once again, internationally acclaimed bestselling author Ruta Sepetys deftly illuminates a lesser known history with her newest novel about the power of love, the repercussions of war and the reckoning of truth in fascist postwar Spain. Copies of The Fountains of Silence and other Ruta Sepetys titles will be available for purchase. A book signing will take place after the event. Free. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Seating is first come, first served. The Cleveland Park Library is at 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Thursday October 17 from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Tudor Nights: Steppin’ Out in Style. Begin at the Main House, to view a selection of rarely displayed footwear from the Tudor Place Collection, followed by cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres at the Dower House. For ages 21+. Tickets: Free for Tudor Place Members; Non-Members: $15 at Tudor Place Historic House and Garden is at 1644 31st Street NW     

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Still Life with Robin: The Tenleytown Report Is Out!

Tenleytown Metro (Wikimedia Creative Coomons)
by Peggy Robin

Today’s subject is Tenleytown -- Cleveland Park’s Good Neighbor to the North. The DC Office of Planning has undertaken a study of this land: its people, their customs, their environment and the ways they relate to it, use it, and travel through it. The study provides not just an analysis of present conditions and problems but lets us peek into the future and see what changes could be on the horizon.

So what do we discover after reading this painstakingly researched portrait of a people? Why, they’re just like us!

You can read the Office of Planning’s Tenleytown Public Life Study by going to: and then click on Tenleytown Public Life Study 2019. Or you can go directly to the study (.pdf format) by clicking here: 

Or you can jump right ahead to the exciting finale of the report, the end section titled “Tenleytown Tomorrow," which lays out a vision of what the future could bring, if pushed by a few creative sparks. You'll see a spiffed up, jazzed up Tenleytown, centered around a bright public plaza with more and better public seating, scads of better signage, lots more inviting buildings facades to line the streets, with pedestrians, bicyclists, scooter people, and people on who-knows-what-future-transport, flowing smoothly through and around the town. 

Kudos to the DC Office of Planning, which carried out this study, mostly in 2018, with the assistance of the graduate planning and architecture students from the University of Maryland-College Park and the Tenleytown Main Street organization. And thanks to the 40 respondents who agreed to cooperate with the student survey takers. It wasn’t a particularly high response rate (a mere 19%) but it seems that the ones who did agree to stop and answer questions were very much quality over quantity!


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

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Get Out! - The Events Column, October 4 - 10, 2019

Adams Morgan PorchFest 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 18,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv     

Friday, October 4 from 8 AM - 6 PM, Halloween House Decorating Season Is Open with pick-up permits available at all local police stations. Candy, popcorn and free coffee will be given to the first 200 applicants in line. The first Friday in October is the official opening day of the Halloween decorating season, when, under the new DCRA regulations recently enacted by the Council, you are allowed to put Halloween decorations on your house, lawn, trees, bushes, fences and other structures. Objects requiring permits include: inflatable/blow-up monsters, ghosts, witches, et. al; jack-o-lanterns and other gourds (in excess of 30in. circumference); dummies and/or models of ghouls, mummies or zombies;  tombstones (with or without hand sticking up from ground); scarecrows/straw men/women; disembodied parts, e.g. talking heads or hands; spiders larger than 18in; spider webbing; and cauldrons (with or without fog). Anyone who has displayed such items prior to 10/4/19 was in violation of the new DCRA Halloween Season Permit rules (no fines issued this year - only warnings!) Starting at 8 AM on Friday, the police will begin issuing seasonal display permits. You can go in person to your nearest police station to pick up your permit. In celebration of opening day there will be free coffee, candy and popcorn for the first 200 in line. You can also “skip the trip” by filling out your Halloween seasonal display permit application online at:

Friday October 4 at 2 PM, Film and Discussion: Exiled, America's Deported Veterans. This timely 2018 documentary explores how two military veterans and green card immigrants find themselves deported, and who must now fight for the right to be heard. The film is a persuasive and intimate look at the human consequences of current US immigration policy. Join a post-screening Q & A with the film's director, producer and cinematographer, Mike Seely (via Skype). Free. At the Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW, entrance on Lamont Street,

Saturday, October 5 from 10 AM - 2 PM, Open Streets DC on Georgia Avenue. Three miles along Georgia Avenue NW (Barry Pl NW to Missouri Ave NW) will be closed to traffic and filled with fun activities for all ages and abilities, including various fitness classes, demonstrations, bike clinics, children's activities and more. Participants are encouraged to walk, bike, ride a scooter, bring your family and furry friends, enjoy the streets and explore the local businesses along the route. Free admission. The event is happening rain or shine! RSVP with the link below: More info at: 

Saturday, October 5, 11 AM - 5 PM, Taste of Bethesda. Bethesda's famous food and music festival brings 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment to Bethesda's Woodmont Triangle. Each year, more than 40,000 attendees sample the delicious restaurants, enjoy the live entertainment and visit the kid's corner for face painting and arts and crafts. Taste of Bethesda is held rain or shine. Admission is free. Taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5 - ticket sales end at 3:30 PM. Food servings cost 1-4 tickets. The event is held along Norfolk, St. Elmo, Cordell, Del Ray and Auburn Avenues in Bethesda's Woodmont Triangle. More info:

Saturday, October 5 from 12 - 4 PM, Murch Fall Fair. Featuring: Games and Prizes • The Famous Used Book Sale • Snacks • Potomac Pizza • Ice Cream • Arts & Crafts • 5 Bounce Houses • Photo Booth • College Hunks Dunk Tank • Pop-Up Shops • Neighborhood Artisans •  And More!  Proceeds go to the Murch HSA. Free admission. Rain Date: Saturday, October 19. On the Murch ES playground at 36th and Ellicott. More info: 

Saturday, October 5 at 2 PM, Performance and Sing Along: Songs of the Civil War. Join us for an afternoon of Civil War-era songs performed by the Washington Revels Heritage Voices, and a sing along of familiar melodies. The Civil War played an instrumental role in the development of an American national identity, inspiring songwriting on both sides of the conflict, as amateurs and professionals wrote new, timely lyrics to old English, Scottish, and Irish ballads, as well as original compositions. In addition to the performance and sing-along, enjoy a tour of the museum's exhibition Songs of the Civil War featuring original sheet music from the era, including three songs performed by the Heritage Voices. Tickets: $10/members, $15/public. Registration is required; space is limited. Register online at or call 202-994-7394. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW.

Saturday, October 5 from 2 - 6 PM, Adams Morgan PorchFest 2019. Adams Morgan PorchFest returns on Saturday with 58 local bands; 17 porches, patios and stoops will become stages for the day, drawing music-lovers from around the region. This is the highest concentration of local music in the city, with 58 separate sets of tunes in one afternoon! The Airport 77s (including the Washington Post’s John Kelly and other local  journalists) will kick off the afternoon at 2 pm at event headquarters - SunTrust Plaza at 18th Street and Columbia Road NW. Attendees can pick up a map and a FREE wristband, then stroll around the neighborhood for nonstop musical performances until 6 pm; the wristband guarantees great deals at more than 20 local businesses. The range of bands touches nearly every musical genre, including klezmer, classic rock, rap, reggae, folk, classical, and a cappella. Each PorchFest location will host at least three 45-minute sets between 2 pm and 6 pm. See the full lineup of performers and a map at Please note that Georgia Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic from Florida Avenue to Missouri Avenue for Open Streets, so plan your trip accordingly.

Saturday, October 5 from 11 AM - 10 PM and Sunday, October 6 from 12 - 9 PM, SerbFest DC. Delicious Serbian Food: Spit-roasted Pig & Lamb, Traditional Foods, Side Dishes & Desserts;  Serbian Beer & Wine; Live Serbian Music & Dancing! Live Serbian Folklore Dance performances! Children's Activities! Free admission and parking. At St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church, 10660 River Road, Potomac MD. Complete information at 

Sunday, October 6 from 11 AM - 5 PM, Takoma Park Street Festival. Everyone's favorite Takoma Park Street Festival returns for another year of music, vendors, food and fun in Takoma Park along Carroll Avenue. Enjoy the day exploring over 200 vendors booths, live music from 18 local bands, children's activities and inflatables, food trucks and more. Takoma's unique shops, restaurants and cafes are all open and welcoming visitors. Catch 18 free performances on 3 stages all day throughout the festival. Acoustic Folk, Latin Folk, Gypsy Jazz, Funk, Rock and more from a mix of local favorites including Hannah Jaye and the Hideaways, La Marvela, Sweater Set, Positive Vibration, Djangolaya, Amadou Kouyate, King Soul, MSG Acoustic Blues Trio, The Nighthawks, Chopteeth, and more. Vendors include local artisans, non-profits, green companies and a variety of community groups, and 25 different food vendors offering lobster rolls, oysters, tacos, BBQ, empanadas, ice cream, and everything in between. For entire vendor, music and food line up, visit:

Sunday, October 6 at 11 AM, Library Takeout: World Architecture Day at the National Building Museum. Experience activities and pop-up exhibits themed around the Bauhaus and modernism at the National Building Museum’s annual celebration. For a special edition of story time, the museum’s youngest visitors are invited to explore architecture through DC Public Library read-alouds of books related to Mies van der Rohe, modernism and the Bauhaus. At the National Building Museum, 401 F. St. NW. More info:

Sunday, October 6 at 2 PM, The Blessing of the Animals in celebration of St. Francis of Assisi.
Washington National Cathedral honors the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi (c. 1180–1226), patron saint of animals and the environment, with a yearly Blessing of the Animals service on the Cathedral’s west steps. All pets and their caretakers are invited to attend. Free and open to the public. More info:

Monday, October 7 at 12 noon, Lecture: Abraham Lincoln in Words and Music. Claire Jerry, lead curator of political history at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, reveals the nuances of Lincoln’s speeches and his use of language. She also explores how this relates to words and music of the 1864 campaign and Lincoln's death. Free; no reservations required. Bring your lunch and enjoy a cup of coffee on us. The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW,

Monday, October 7 at 7 PM, WAPAVA Presents: Reel Time - A Historical Look at DC Theatre over 25 years. Join us for an evening of DC theater history with the Washington Area Performing Arts Video Archive (WAPAVA - To celebrate their 25th anniversary, WAPAVA staff and local theater professionals will discuss the past two decades of theater in DC. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW,

Tuesday October 8 at 4 PM, Origami in the Wild. Learn interesting facts about animals and learn how to fold paper to make origami versions of them. This month we'll be learning about and folding penguins. This program is for ages 6-12. Free. At Georgetown Neighborhood Library, 3260 R St. NW,

Tuesday, October 8 at 7 PM, Camp Austen - Author Talk with Ted Scheinman. Join us for an author talk with Ted Scheinman, who will discuss his book, Camp Austen: My Life As An Accidental Jane Austen Superfan. The author and journalist will discuss his time reporting among Jane Austen superfans, and after a selection of readings from the book, Ted will field a conversation about costumes, teatimes, which Austen characters offer the most promising (and most wicked) role models, and anything else that tickles the audience's curiosity. Please RSVP to attend on Eventbrite, Books will be available for sale and signing. Refreshments will be served. Free. At the Southeast Library, 403 7th St SE,

Wednesday, October 9 at 4:30 PM, Hispanic Heritage Month Family Film Series: Funny Bones. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at Mt. Pleasant Library by joining us to watch Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras. Funny Bones is an animated presentation of award-winning author Duncan Tonatiuh's book, which tells the story of Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada and the origin of calaveras (skeletons performing everyday or festive activities). Funny Bones is unrated and has a run-time of 24 minutes. Free. Screening is in the large meeting room on the 1st floor of the Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW - entrance on Lamont St. More info:

Thursday, October 10 at 7 PM, Author Talk: David Taylor and "Cork Wars." Join author David Taylor as he shares the story and research behind his latest book Cork Wars, a thrilling true story about Americans during World War II. Through three families, the book tells how Americans, including DC-Maryland families, endured a pivotal moment in history amid rumors of Nazi sabotage and an FBI investigation. The book follows three families pulled into the intersection of enterprise and espionage. “Taylor gives a vivid slice of life from that time that speaks to ours,” writes Douglas Brinkley. This talk shares the research process and how you can access these resources yourself. Copies of Cork Wars will be available for purchase. Book signing will take place after the event. Free. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Seating is first come, first served. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Avenue NW,

Thursday, October 10 at 7 PM, Author Talk with Mario Bencastro, Odisea del Norte. Join us for an evening with author and painter, Mario Bencastro, to discuss his book, Odyssey to the North (Odisea del Norte). Odyssey to the North chronicles the story of Calixto, who comes to the US from El Salvador, "with his stomach empty but his soul full of hope." The story takes place in the Mt. Pleasant and Adams Morgan neighborhoods of Washington, DC, as well as parts of El Salvador and Mexico. Free. At the Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW - entrance on Lamont St.,

Thursday, October 10 at 7:30 PM, A Well-Read Woman: A Discussion with Kate Stewart. Join us for an evening with librarian and author Kate Stewart. Stewart will speak on her book A Well-Read Woman: The Life, Loves, and Legacy of Ruth Rappaport, which follows the life of a legendary Capitol Hill resident from Nazi Germany to Seattle, Israel and Vietnam. Stewart will discuss how Rappaport's love of reading and her experiences with censorship affected her life and career as a librarian. During American Archives Month, come hear the story of a champion of history and the written word. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing. Prior to the discussion with Stewart, stop by for a brief introduction to the library's Memory Lab at 7 PM. Free. At Northeast Library, 330 7th St. NE,   

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Still Life with Robin: It Was Good to Know You, Mark

WTOP Photo
by Peggy Robin

DC will never be the same without Mark Plotkin. Even with that flat Chicago accent, undiluted through all his years here, Mark was first and foremost a voice for DC statehood. Charmingly so, most of the time, obnoxiously so a bit of the time, indefatigably so, all of the time.

I first met him in 1978 or maybe 79….if I’m placing it correctly (well, it was a looong time ago!) Mark wasn’t a journalist then but a Democratic activist and head of the DC Democratic State Committee. Some years later (1986 – I looked it up), he ran in the Democratic primary for the Ward 3 council seat. The primary was in effect, the whole election, as the Democratic nominee never faced more than token opposition from a Republican in the general election, in our overwhelmingly Democratic ward. Here’s a classic Mark story from that race:  There was a public debate and going into the event, the three main contenders were popularly ranked and perceived as follows: The front-runner was Ruth Dixon, a moderate/centrist; positioned to the left of Ruth and in second place in the polls was Jim Nathanson, and to the left of Jim and in third place was Mark. The most contentious issue of the day was how much new development Ward 3 could accommodate. During the debate  Mark attacked Ruth aggressively, relentlessly, painting her as in the developers’ pocket, taking their money, doing their bidding. He was whipping up the crowd – he had them on his side. But on election night, when the votes were counted, Jim came out the winner. And the next morning, Mark observed, ruefully, “I hit her the knockout punch, but at the end, they raised Jim’s hand”* That was exactly how it seemed to me!

Mark left politics for journalism/local punditry not long afterward, going on to radio stardom on the DC Politics Hour and other local news and opinion shows – clearly having much more fun as the asker of questions and pursuer of slippery politicians than the other way around. I didn’t see much of him after he stopped running for things – although I would occasionally bump into him at a DC function, and even a few times in the grocery store. He had the politician’s gift of remembering everyone, even those he knew casually or from long ago, always seeming glad to see you. At least he always seemed happy to run into me. He had that light-up-the-world smile, enhanced by the deepest dimples that could possibly crease two cheeks. We will miss that....

On the day we finally get that 51st star on the US flag, it will be a great day for DC….and I know that star will be shining for Mark, too.

* Note: I’ve made this a direct quotation, but I’m quoting from memory. I did try to find it in the Washington Post archives or in some other local paper, but I don’t think Google has it. Still, I feel quite sure I’ve got the gist of it right.
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, September 27 - October 3, 2019

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

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv   

Friday, September 27 at 12 noon, Lecture: Creating Outdoor Spaces That Connect Children to the Natural World - presented by Nancy Striniste, Founder and Principal Designer at EarlySpace, LLC. Nature play can awaken children’s senses, challenge their bodies, inspire their imaginations, and build self-confidence. In order to grow up healthy and happy, children need abundant, unstructured time to play and explore in the natural world, but today’s children rarely have the opportunity to roam free outdoors. Bringing nature to the places where children spend their time is an answer. Well-designed nature play spaces are inviting and endlessly engaging for children AND good for the planet.With rich, inspiring images from around the world, author, educator, and landscape designer Nancy Striniste explains why and how to bring the beauty, adventure, and sustainability of nature play to backyards, schoolyards, churchyards, neighborhood parks, early childhood settings, and more. In the Conservatory Classroom at the US Botanic Garden,100 Maryland Ave, SW. Free - registration required. More information and registration link at

Friday, September 27 from 5 - 8 PM, Made in DC Art Fair at the Wharf. Pop-Ups showing made-in-DC art, from Screen Print, Mixed Media, Watercolor, Oil and Acrylic Artists. All artwork is for sale. Free and open to the public. 10 District Square SW.

Saturday September 28 from 9 AM - 1 PM, The 3rd Annual Anacostia River BioBlitz. What is a BioBlitz? It is an opportunity to explore the natural treasures of your Anacostia River, but more importantly, it will be your opportunity to do citizen science to help us document the biodiversity of the Anacostia River Watershed. The goal is to identify and document as many species as possible along the Anacostia River. We'll primarily be using the free, crowd-sourced app iNaturalist, At the event, you can learn how to use iNaturalist, explore nature with other naturalists and experts and learn about the identification and ecology of some of the river's fascinating species. At Kingman Island near RFK stadium - park in the Northern section of RFK Lot 6. If using GPS, you can use the address 575 Oklahoma Avenue NE. Bike parking is available. This site is also accessible by the X2 bus or a mile walk from the Stadium-Armory metro. Please register for every person who plans to attend, including children or family members - Be sure to look at the “what to bring” list on the Anacostia Watershed Society registration page. Free. Rain or shine.

Saturday September 28 from 10 AM - 4 PM, ¡Fiesta con la Familia! Join us at the Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library for our family fun day, as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! Play lotería, take your chance at carnival games and enjoy a theatrical performance by Las Estrellas Fabulosas. This event is free and open to all children, teens and families! So, bring your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, too! 10-11:30am: Lotería is from; 11am-3pm: Carnival Games; Las Las Estrellas Fabulosas Performance: Magnificent Folktales from Latin America, a 45 minute bilingual Spanish-English performance featuring three traditional tales: Martina y Perez, Tio Antonio the Fox y Cuy the Guinea Pig, and a Chupacabra story. Free. At the Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW, entrance on Lamont St. More info:

Saturday, September 28 at 11:30 AM,  "¡Muévete! Hispanic Heritage Month Festival.” Join DC Public Library at the National Portrait Gallery's family-friendly "¡Muévete! Hispanic Heritage Month Festival" taking place in the Kogod Courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery at 8th and F St NW. The colors, sounds and styles of Latin America come alive in this festival of Latinx art, artists and sitters. The day will feature special tours and art activities, along with performances, workshops and story times, with the Washington Ballet, the Discovery Theater and the DC Public Library. Bilingual story time from a curated collection of children's books related to Hispanic Heritage Month will take place at 12:45 PM and at 2 PM. Free. More info: 

Saturday, September 28 from 1 - 3 PM, Rock Creek Park Day. Celebrate the anniversary of the creation of Rock Creek Park in 1890 -- it’s the third-oldest national park. We’ll have speakers, information booths, ranger-led talks (hiking, biking, camping tips), fun facts about history in Rock Creek Park, and more. Free. At the Nature Center, 5200 Glover Road NW. Please note: All slots for the volunteer activities for National Public Lands Day (NLPD) that are scheduled to take place from 9 AM - 1 PM at Rock Creek Park are full. More info at 

Saturday, September 28 at 2 PM, National Good Neighbor Day. Say Hello! It's the first step to being a good neighbor. If weather permits, we will hold a story time outside and express ourselves with sidewalk chalk. For children ages 3 - 10. Free. At the Palisades Library,
4901 V Street, NW,

Saturday, September 28 from 7 - 9:30 PM, Stop Deportations Dance Party! What do you do when migrants are under attack? STAND UP & DANCE! You won't be able to sit down as Latinx dance band Ocho de Bastos music pulsates the air. Local Latin Pop Rock group Ocho de Bastos serves up infectious bi-nation and multi-culti music. If the music is not enough, let our global appetizers, homemade desserts and more bring you in! Tickets are free - but please donate all you can: Questions? Contact Denise Woods woodsasoc @ gmail dot com or text 202 415 9757. At All Souls Unitarian,16th and Harvard Street NW.

Sunday, September 29 from 12 - 4 PM, Tudor Place Fall Picnic, Plant Sale and Garden Tour. By popular demand: enjoy a fall plant sale and picnic! Spend an afternoon experiencing our historic gardens. Take a “de-tour” through the fall foliage and blooms with our gardeners and educators. Bring your own picnic and blanket to relax in this spectacular setting. Rain or shine, Tudor House will also be holding a plant sale featuring heirloom plants traditionally grown by the Peter family, including perennials for locations in sun, part-shade, or shade. Your purchases at the Plant Sale support conservation and education at Tudor Place. Free tickets at Tudor Place Historic House and Garden is at 1644 31st Street NW .

Sunday, September 29 from 1 - 5 PM, Tenleytown Block Party! Join us for our annual fun, family-friendly and completely free Tenleytown Block Party! Featuring: Free Grilled Burgers/Hot Dogs/Drinks/Desserts and More (food served from 1-5pm); Free Ice Cream by local area favorite food truck; Cotton Candy, Shaved Ice and Popcorn; Children’s Ferris Wheel; Inflatable
24 ft Rock Climbing Wall; Face Painting, Balloon Artists, Airbrush Tattoo Artists; The Fan Zone - Featuring Eating Area with Live Viewing of NFL Games; Rides and Amusements for all ages; Live DJ/Music; Tour a Metro Police Car; And Much More! This free community event takes place at Citizen Heights Church, 4100 River Road NW, next to Container Store and AU/Tenley Metro Stop). More info: (Rain date: October 6th)

Sunday, September 29 at 4 PM, Broadway at Mitchell Park. Join us for a concert of songs from “9 to 5: The Musical” sung by the super-talented stars of Catholic University’s upcoming production. It’s at Mitchell Park, 23rd and S Streets NW. Refreshments will be served, and we will provide some seating. Family friendly. Free admission.

Monday, September 30 at 12 noon, Book Talk: "Larry Felder Candidate" by Bob Levey, author. Join former Washington Post columnist Bob Levey for a talk about his time at the paper during an earlier Golden Age, and how that relates, or doesn’t, to his new novel. “Larry Felder, Candidate” is a close-up look at a big-time newspaper and contemporary Washington-area politics. Free; no reservations required. Bring your lunch and enjoy a cup of coffee on us. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW. More info:

Monday September 30 at 6 PM, Community Conversation: Hispanics in the Legal Profession. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is hosting a community conversation with DC’s Hispanic leaders to discuss the importance of Hispanics in the legal profession. The event, which is in collaboration with the DC Hispanic Bar Association, is open to the public and will highlight the stories of Hispanic legal professionals in DC. Free. At Crowell and Moring LLP, 1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW. Free - but seating is limited and you must RSVP:

Monday, September 30 at 7 PM, A Debate: Resolved, Oktoberfest Should Be Changed to SeptemberFest. Every year millions around the world lift their beer steins in celebration of Oktoberfest… mostly in September. The beer festival, begun in 1810 was originally set entirely in October but once it took hold in Germany, beer garden hosts realized they could sell more beer during the 16-days of celebration if they started it in September, when the weather was warmer and the days were longer. So they set the ending date of the festival on the first Sunday in October. If that falls on the first or second of the month, OctoberFest is barely in October at all! Come to hear two experienced teams of debaters argue the merits of the name change. The Traditionalist Team will defend keeping the historic name, while the Realist Team will argue that the name should reflect the reality that September is the month with the greatest number of days of beer drinking fun. The audience will be polled both before and after the debate - also before and after four rounds of beer. Free admission. Pre-debate first vote may be done online at More about the history of Oktoberfest at

Tuesday, October 1 at 7 PM, Organ Concert: Christopher Houlihan in performance with the St. Ann Festival Orchestra, Washington, Jeffrey Silberschlag conducting. This program features the thrilling, rarely-heard Symphonie Concertante by Joseph Jongen. On, "Organ phenom" (Cincinnati Enquirer) Christopher Houlihan is joined by the St. Ann Festival Orchestra (Jeffrey Silberschlag conducting) for a performance of Joseph Jongen's thrilling Symphonie Concertante. Our recently restored organ has over 3000 pipes ranging from 16 feet to 1/2 inch in length! The image of Mr.Houlihan playing the organ will be projected onto a jumbo screen so the audience will have a close up view of his performance. Full details are available at The performance is at St. Ann Catholic Church, 4001 Yuma St. NW, and also includes solo organ works by Saint-Saëns, J.S. Bach, and more. Free.

Wednesday October 2 at 4 PM, Celebrate Culture, Community, and Cuentos. Enjoy being creative? Does your inner artist yearn to experiment with new styles? Then, join us as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by creating art in traditional Hispanic forms such as molas, paper flowers, and papel picado. This free event is best for ages 5 to 12.  At the West End Library 2301 L St. NW, 

Thursday, October 3 at 7 PM, Author Talk: Judges Russell F. Canan; Frederick H. Weisberg, and Gregory E. Mize will discuss the book they edited, Tough Cases: Judges Tell the Stories of Some of the Hardest Decisions They’ve Ever Made. Elián González, Terri Schiavo, Scooter Libby — we know the arguments presented in these legal cases, but next to nothing about what the judges were thinking as they heard the evidence. In the González case, Judge Jennifer Bailey had to decide whether to return a seven-year-old boy to his father in Cuba after his mother drowned trying to bring the child to the United States. In the Schiavo case, Judge George Greer had to decide whether to withdraw life support from a woman in a vegetative state over the wishes of her parents. Gathering essays from judges across the country about their most difficult case, this book gives us a rare and illuminating perspective on the American judicial system, tracing the judges’ moral dilemmas and the personal biases they struggle to recognize and shut out as they hear a case. The editors, current or former judges themselves, will discuss the book and offer further comments on the challenges judges face. Free, but space is limited; seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Book sale and signing to follow event. At the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave NW. If you can’t attend, watch a livestream of the judges’ Author Talk on the Friends of the Tenley Library’s Facebook page at: More info:    

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Flying the 51 Stars (and 13 Stripes)

Image by
by Peggy Robin

If you attended the DC Statehood hearings on Thursday, September 19, you know that Mayor Muriel Bowser arranged for Pennsylvania Avenue to have 51-star flags flying all along the route to the Capitol. Nice touch, Madam Mayor! (See the news video here: )

If you would like to support DC statehood, here’s a quick, simple, and rewarding way to do it: Just donate $51 or more to DC Vote’s membership drive, and your reward will be your own 51-star flag in return – go here: And if one day we should ever get a Congress with a majority in both houses who care about voting rights for ALL, your 51-star flag could turn into the official flag of the United States.

In the meantime, its purchase price will be contributing to the goal of getting real representation for the 702,000 of us ~give or take~ who live within the roughly diamond-shaped entity that is now just the plain, old, unstately district.

For those with an interest how that extra star was fitted into the canton (that’s the name for the blue field that holds the stars in the top left corner of the flag), you might enjoy reading this 2012 article on flag design from Smithsonian Magazine: (Try not to be put off by the fact that the article was written in anticipation of Puerto Rico’s statehood movement succeeding ahead of our own, and the 51st star representing an island in the Caribbean, while DC remains a colony.)

Now for those rooting for BOTH Puerto Rico and DC to become states, here’s a site that shows what a fifty-TWO-star US flag would look like.
In fact, on the awesome site above, you can see the possible star layouts for US flags with fifty-one through SEVENTY states of the union. Just don't ask me where states number fifty-three through seventy will be found!

For more on the design of our current 50-star flag, listen to the story told by its designer, Bob Heft, in this brief StoryCorps piece:

And let's leave this subject with a rousing salute in song:

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

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column Part 2, Sunday Sept 22 - Thursday, Sept 26, 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 18,400+ members of the Cleveland Park Listserv should know about, please email us at events @ fastmail dot net.

Peggy Robin and Bill Adler
Publishers, Cleveland Park Listserv   

NOTE: This is Part II of our two-part events column. Yesterday we posted the “Get Out!” events list for just two days, Friday, September 20 and Saturday, September 21, 2019 - with eleven events listed just for those two days! So much to do this coming week that we need two columns to take it all in (without making you scroll endlessly down your email screen)! Now we give you a column made up of twelve events from Sunday, September 22 to Thursday, September 26. Hope you find something fun to do!

Sunday, September 22 from 11 AM - 4 PM, Taste of Georgetown. Now in its 26th year, The Taste of Georgetown offers creative tastes from more than 30 of the neighborhood’s best restaurants, along with beer and wine. This foodie event takes place in the heart of Georgetown, on K Street NW, between Wisconsin Avenue and Thomas Jefferson Street and along the scenic Georgetown Waterfront. Benefiting Georgetown Ministry Center's Homeless Assistance Programs. This family- and pet-friendly event is free to attend. One taste ticket is redeemable for one restaurant taste, beer (full pour), or wine (full pour). Click here to buy advance tickets - 5 tickets for $24; 8 tickets for $35; 11 tickets for $45. Same day tickets: 2 tickets for $12; 7 tickets for $35; 10 tickets for $45. Both cash and credit will be accepted on-site. Tickets are non-refundable. This event is on, rain or shine. Complete details at   

Sunday, September 22 from 11 AM - 7 PM, Fiesta DC. With an estimated attendance of 200,000 people, Fiesta DC takes place on four stages showcasing live music bands and international well-known artists, over 50 businesses, restaurants, community organizations, food vendors and more! On Facebook at: .Free. Along Pennsylvania Ave NW, from 3rd to 7th St NW.

Sunday, September 22 at 12:30 PM, Community BBQ at Wesley Methodist Church. Stop by for a time of FREE neighborhood fun, food, and surprises! Enjoy food from a variety of countries and cultures, as well as a bounce castle (not necessarily in that order)! There will also be a gun-melting demonstration by artist Stephanie Mercedes as part of National United Methodist Church’s Gun Violence Prevention ministry. The melted gun will be turned into an artwork, which will be permanently installed in our Wesley Campus church building. Free. At the Wesley Campus of National United Methodist Church, 5312 Connecticut Ave NW.

Sunday, September. 22 at 2 PM, Garden Concert Series: Bumper Jacksons Duo. Join us for an afternoon of music in the beautiful garden area beside Northeast Library. Bring a chair, sit back and enjoy the sounds of the Bumper Jacksons Duo. The Bumper Jacksons are hot and sweet, painting America's story from the streets of New Orleans to Appalachian hollers. Unafraid to scrap together new sounds from forgotten 78's, the Bumper Jacksons elegantly balance paying homage to the traditions while fashioning their own unique, playful style. Bursting at the seams with some of the richest threads of old America, Bumper Jacksons bring you into the center of a party where everyone's invited and the dance floor never sleeps. Please note: In the event of inclement weather, concerts are held inside the library. Free. At the Northeast Library, 330 7th St. NE. More info; for other dates in the Garden Concert Series go to .

Sunday, September 22 at 7:30 PM, Concert: A Hebrew Overture. Legendary clarinetist Charles Neidich performs a striking, klezmer-influenced work by Jewish-Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov. Shostakovich’s haunting wartime trio and Prokofiev’s infectious sextet fuse Jewish folk music with the unmistakable sound of the 20th-century Russian greats. Program: Prokoviev, Overture on Hebrew Themes; Shostakovich, Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor; Golijov, Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind. Tickets: $10 - 20 at At St. Mark’s Church, 301 A Street SE. 

Monday, September 23 at 4:30 PM, Kid's Art Time: Traditional Hispanic Heritage Folk Art - Tree of Life Project. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we will learn about traditional artisans from Mexico, Central America, and South America and their artistic styles! Then, you will have an opportunity to create folk art masterpieces rich in Hispanic heritage. If you like creating art in various mediums and expressing yourself creatively, then join us! Ages 4 and up welcome. Free. At  Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW, entrance on Lamont St. More info on this program and on other traditional Hispanic heritage folk art programs this month at 

Monday, September 23 from 6 - 8:30 PM, Kickoff event for Banned Books Week: Team Rayceen presents Rayceen’s Reading Room, featuring authors, poets, comedians, and more - hosted by Rayceen Pendarvis. This event will take place in the newly renovated Cleveland Park Library, in the community room, directly across from the main entrance on Connecticut Avenue NW. Doors to the community room will open by 6 PM and the program will begin at 7. This event will be live and uncensored. Free and open to the public! More info: 

Monday, September 23 from 7 - 9 PM, Magnificent Main Street: Woodley Park’s Beautification Celebration, featuring Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh and Washington, DC Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Planning John Falcicchio. From its naming in 1801, Woodley Park has been home to presidents, the National Zoo, and welcomes over four million visitors annually (roughly 20% of DC's tourist population!). The needs of a modern tourist epicenter with such a celebrated past are great. Help us raise the funds required to meet this challenge - and at the same time, enjoy Lebanese Taverna’s complimentary bar and traditional Lebanese delicacies. Be the first to see beautification proposals for the neighborhood's commercial corridor and give your input. Learn what WP residents have to say about their neighborhood, its future, and offer your own ideas for retail diversity. Be a part of keeping DC the entrepreneurial capital of the USA by helping small businesses improve and thrive in your own neighborhood. Tickets: $25 - go to and scroll down to see the “tickets” pay box. Lebanese Taverna is at 2641 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Tuesday, September 24 at 7 PM, Author Talk: Ann Crittenden on Raising Children: The Most Undervalued Leadership Credential. This event kicks off a new season of Tuesday Talks at the Cleveland Park Library. Award-winning journalist, author, and lecturer Ann Crittenden will discuss Raising Children: The Most Undervalued Leadership Credential. Raising kids confers invaluable lessons in managing adults. Crittenden came to this conclusion not only through her own child-rearing experience, but also by interviewing prominent leaders in various fields who had also been hands-on parents. Hear more from Crittenden on her findings, and how your parenting may be preparing you for much, much more. In addition to writing critically-acclaimed books, Crittenden covered economic topics for The New York Times, initiated numerous investigative reports, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Crittenden’s book will be on sale that evening, and she will be available to sign books. The talk is free and open to the public and takes place at the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave NW. Seating is on a first come first serve basis, so please come early to get your choice of seats. RSVPs are strongly encouraged - go to To see the other speakers in this season’s Tuesday Talks, visit The Tuesday Talks Series is brought to you by the Cleveland Park Business Association and the Cleveland and Woodley Park Village, in collaboration with the DC Public Library.

Wednesday, September 25 from 7 - 8:30 PM, What Are the Laws of War in Cyberspace? - A Discussion with Susan Rice, MS President Brad Smith, and other industry leaders. Bombs may not be dropping, tanks may not be rolling, but America is engaged in a high-stakes cyber war with her adversaries where there are few rules, no moral framework and no end in sight. Our national security system has yet to answer critical questions emerging from this new zone of conflict: How should America protect its citizens, critical infrastructure, and other targets? Can the US help shape new “rules of war”? And what is the price of failure? Ambassador Susan Rice, former National Security Advisor, and Brad Smith, President of Microsoft and a leading voice on these issues deliver keynote addresses. David Ignatius of The Washington Post moderates a discussion on the state of cyberwarfare and this new digital battleground. Other panelists are: Gen. Keith Alexander (ret), CEO of IronNet and former head of the National Security Agency and Cyber Command; Joseph Nye, Harvard professor and co-chair of Aspen Strategy Group; Laura Rosenberger, Director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund, former foreign policy advisor and National Security Council staff. Admission: $15; $7 military and student tickets available - go to: At the National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, NW

Thursday, September 26 at 4 PM, Zine Workshop (A Banned Books Week Event). Learn how to make a zine out of a single piece of paper and express what the freedom to read means to you. Discover more about the ways zines are used for self-publishing and sharing your ideas. For ages 13-19. Free. At Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW,

Thursday September 26 at 5:30 PM, Library Takeout: Finding the Bauhaus in the Public Library: Opening Reception and Panel Discussion. The Bauhaus (1919-1933) was a German art school that imagined a better world and launched some of the greatest architects, designers and artists of the 20th century—including Mies van der Rohe, architect of DC’s own Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Yet the school’s social vision was eclipsed by World War II and the rise of a fascist regime. Today we see traces of Bauhaus design everywhere—but what became of its utopian ideals? Further, what new perspective does this history offer on present-day challenges of inequality and shrinking public space? Join us for a cross-cultural conversation with experts from the fields of art and design, architecture, and education about historical experiments and today’s realities in design for the public good. Moderated by Maryann James-Daley, Assistant Director of Public Services, DC Public Library, with Panelists: Karen Koelher, Professor of Art History, Hampshire College; Mira Azarm, Innovation Instigator, University of Maryland Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Hazel Edwards, Chair, Howard University Department of Architecture. Presented in partnership with AIGA DC Design Week. Opening reception and exhibition is from 5:30 - 7 PM. Panel discussion from 7 - 8:30 PM. Please RSVP via Eventbrite at More info: