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 fa├žade 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.   

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, June 7 - 13, 2019

Photo by Ludovic Bertron (Creative Commons)
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 18,200+ 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 7 from 2 - 9 PM, Pride on the Pier celebrates the city’s LGBTQ community on the bustling Southwest waterfront with an exciting array of activities and entertainment, all free and open to the public. The District Pier will offer DJs, dancing and other entertainment. Musical line-up: 2-5 PM DJ Rosie; 5-7 PM Brothers Brau; 7-9 PM DJ Drew G. The Transit Pier will host The Family Zone with activities for children of all ages. Fireworks show starts at 9 PM, weather permitting. For info about additional ticketed VIP events visit: For more details of event schedules and visitor information (parking; directions, etc), go to:   

Friday June 7 at 5 PM, Workshop for Parade-Goers: Get the Goods! Do you attend a lot of DC parades? Then you know there’s always a lot of people handing out goodies and giveaways: strands of multicolored beads, paper fans, rubber bracelets, keychains, stress-balls, sunglasses, bookmarks, all kinds of candies, cookies and power-bars, as well as water bottles, and sometimes even tote-bags and hats. People toss them from floats and dancers hand them out on the street. But you need to be fast and use strategy to make sure you get the goods. Often, more aggressive or practiced parade-goers will cut in front of you and intercept that necklace meant for you! Or jump up to block you from getting that desired rainbow-colored stress-ball. At this practical and empowering workshop you will learn the best tips for getting your fair share, including: the Elbow-ahead; the Under-scoot; and the Bold-stroll into the parade route combined with a Direct Ask; and finally the Preemption (you seek out the parade contingents before they start marching and take stuff directly from their supply box). This workshop will equip you to get the most out of the June 8 Capital Pride Parade, and then you’ll be more than ready for the Fourth of July! Sign up for this free workshop here: 

Friday, June 7 from 6 - 9 PM, Opening Reception and Artist’s Talk: Helen Zughaib: Migrations (Artist’s Talk at 7pm). Artist Helen Zughaib will exhibit recent work throughout the historic Wilson House. Inspired by Jacob Lawrence’s 1941 seminal Migration Series, Zughaib’s Syrian Migration Series allows for an exploration of the contemporary consequences of the post WWI peace through the lens of the current Syrian conflict and the mass migration it has triggered. This exhibition is presented to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. Free - please RSVP:  At Woodrow Wilson House, 2340 S Street NW.

Saturday, June 8 from 10 AM - 1 PM, World Oceans Day at Smithsonian National Zoo. The oceans provide food, jobs, recreation and even the oxygen we breathe! They are also home to some amazing animals. Join the Smithsonian's National Zoo for World Oceans Day. Celebrate marine species along American Trail, explore the world of coral conservation in Amazonia and discover new ways to help protect ocean habitats worldwide. Activity tables will be set up between the seal and sea lion exhibits on American Trail, with demonstrations occurring at both American Trail and Amazonia. Free. The Zoo is at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW. More info:

Saturday, June 8 from 11 AM - 3 PM, Summer Challenge Kick Off Events at Martha's Table. Schedule of Events: National Symphony Orchestra String Quartet performs at 11 AM. Summer Challenge Story Time at 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM. Zumba with Twist & Turns Body Fitness at 12 PM. The CooLots perform at 1 PM. The DMV Hip Hop Orchestra at 1:30 PM. Washington Ballet: Meet a Ballet Dancer at 2 PM. Also: Instrument Petting Zoo with DC Strings Workshop and DMV Percussion Academy; #Read20 reading corner; Craft activities; Summer Challenge signup and program information; Summer-themed book titles available for checkout; Chat with other neighborhood organizations including DCPS Early Start, DC Strings Workshop, DMV Percussion Academy, Washington Ballet and the National Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy snacks and treats courtesy of the DC Public Library Federation of Friends. All free and open to the public. At Martha's Table, 2375 Elvans Rd SE. Details at

Saturday, June 8 from 4:30 - 10 PM, Capital Pride Parade and Block Party. Join the LGBTQ+ community in the historic Dupont and Logan Circle neighborhoods to experience the Capital Pride Parade in the Nation’s Capital, featuring more than 200 organizations, transversing the 1.5 mile route, expressing themselves with floats, vehicles, signs, banners, and entertainment to commemorate our history and support our community, making this one of DC’s favorite and most impactful parades. Please note that bags/backpacks will be subject to search, so consider leaving them at home for your convenience. Parade starts at 21st and P Streets NW (east of Dupont Circle) and ends at 14th and R Street NW. The parade route is in the Capital Pride 2019 Guidebook found at Free. Reviewing stand bleacher seats: $25 at The 3rd Annual Pride Block Party returns for Pride 2019. Enjoy entertainment, food, and your favorite beverage before, during, and after the Pride 2019 Parade. The Logan Beverage Garden will provide revelers (age 21+) the opportunity to cool down or heat up while watching and listening to great entertainment on the Block Party Stage. More info about all the Capital Pride Week 2019 events at:

Sunday, June 9 from 11:30 AM - 7 PM, Pride @ SAAM (Smithsonian American Art Museum). Celebrate Pride at SAAM’s pop-up exhibition that showcases artists using performance, music, media art, and traditional painting to explore LGBTQ+ histories and futures. Stop by the Feminist Pride Media Art Gallery to see films by women and femme identifying artists from SAAM’s collection and play “zinester” video games that imagine queer relations in outer space and other places. Participate in a Collection Highlights Gallery Talk, where every hour from noon – 3 PM visitors can take a close look at a specific artwork by an LGBTQ+ artist. Be sure to check out American University’s “DC Humanities” truck that will be parked in the F Street Plaza from 2 – 7 PM to collect and share stories from people who identify as LGBTQ+. From 3 – 6 PM, SAAM hosts a live performance by internationally recognized artist Brendan Fernandes, whose performance of Free Fall 49 takes over the massive Kogod Courtyard. This dance-based performance responds to the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando through a choreographed call and response between a live DJ and dancers. Free. At SAAM, 8th and F Streets NW. More info:   

Sunday, June 9 from 12 - 10 PM, Capital Pride Festival, Concert, and Sunset Dance Party.
Enjoy a full day of entertainment, music, food, drink, education, and celebration on America’s Mainstreet, historic Pennsylvania Avenue (at 3rd St NW). The Capital Pride Festival includes three stages of national and local talent, and will host 300 exhibitors including local community groups and businesses, food vendors, and organizations. From 1 - 8 PM there will be concerts on 3 stages. Stay for the Sunset Dance Party on the Capitol Stage immediately following the Concert. Enjoy views of the sunset on the Capitol as you dance into the night. Free admission. Due to large crowds and very hot asphalt, it’s recommended that you leave pets at home. Bags/backpacks will be subject to search, so consider leaving them at home for your convenience. More info on the Festival at; more info on the concert/dance party at:

Sunday June 9 at 2 PM, Jazz in the Basement: Abe Mamet plays Julius Watkins. Abe Mamet will lead a quintet in a tribute show honoring one of the first jazz french horn players, Julius Watkins. Abe Mamet, french horn; Julian Berkowitz, drums; Steve Arnold, bass; Herb Scott, tenor sax; Justin Taylor, piano. This event will take place at the Goethe-Institut Washington at 1990 K St. NW - enter on 20th St. Free | All Ages | Seating is first come, first served. More info on the Jazz in the Basement series here:

Monday, June 10 at 4:30 PM, Butterflies at the Library: Pollinator Plant Bombs. Children ages 5-12 are invited to create seed balls in fun shapes from recycled paper to grow plants that will attract pollinators, including butterflies. Take yours home to plant or give it as a gift. 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,

Monday, June 10 at 6:30 PM, Sweet/Dry: An Exploration of the Intersections of Taste and Identity. Domestique Wine and the DC Public Library are partnering to host a panel that explores the intersections of taste and identity. The conversation for this panel initially began around the idea of breaking down the concepts of "sweet" and "dry." These two descriptors are used regularly as ways for people to not only describe what they enjoy in terms of taste but also to project how they want to be seen (and, of course, influence how others see them). The goal is really to invite a transparent and honest conversation about the perceptions and connotations surrounding taste. Panelists: Millicent Souris, Lee Campbell, Genevieve Villamora and Ralph Eubanks. The session will run 6:30-8:00 PM, followed by Q&A. Free. At the Woodridge Library, 1801 Hamlin Street NE,

Tuesday, June 11 at 6:30 PM, Playing with Fire: From American Revolutionaries to French Revolution. The upheaval and violence of the French Revolution threatened the lives of aristocratic officers of the Revolutionary War and colored their memories of the revolution in America. Julia Osman, associate professor of history and director of the Institute for the Humanities at Mississippi State University as well as our 2009 Tyree-Lamb Fellow, discusses her work exploring the impact of the American Revolution on the French officers who commanded it, the French soldiers who fought it, and the French civilians who supported it. The lecture will last approximately 45 minutes. Free. At Anderson House, The Society of the Cincinnati, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW. More info:

Wednesday, June 12 at 6:30 PM, Cottage Conversation: DC Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French. Join us as Harold Holzer discusses his new book, DC Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French, which chronicles the life of the sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial. The program begins with a cocktail reception in the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at 6 PM and is followed by the conversation at 6:30 in President Lincoln’s Cottage, and concludes with a book signing. Admission: $10 for the lecture and $10 for the reception. Free for Cottage members at the $250 level or above. Tickets: President Lincoln’s Cottage is at 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW.
Thursday June 13 at 7 PM, Love You Hard: Author Talk with Abby Maslin. In 2012 Abby Maslin's husband, TC, was brutally assaulted on his walk home in Capitol Hill. He survived with a severe brain injury, an event that would transform both their lives and marriage. In the book that award-winning journalist Maria Shriver calls, "a testament to love, resilience, and choosing joy during the toughest times,” Maslin tells the raw, unflinchingly honest story of a young love left broken, and the resilience required to mend a life and remake a marriage. At the heart of this captivating story are the universal truths that bind us all. This is a tale of living and loving wholeheartedly, learning to heal after profound grief, and choosing joy in the wake of tragedy.
Copies of the book Love You Hard will be available for sale and signing after the author talk.
Free. At the Northeast Library, 330 7th St. NE,    

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Still Life with Robin: ISO of a Non-Redundant Abbreviation

QWERTY Keyboard (Michael Maggs, Creative Commons)
by Peggy Robin

Maybe it’s something that comes in with the spring pollen but lately there’s been a rash of queries headed by the subject line: ISO of…. If you read that closely, you will realize that the abbreviation “ISO” is followed by a redundant “of”. Still don’t see the problem? It’s so easy to read right over it – but “ISO of” translates to “In Search Of Of”

I’ve been routinely correcting this little error in subject lines of listserv messages, but lately I've been thinking it’s getting out of hand (OOH?). Oh, I don’t mind at all when it’s in spoken English. We can’t help ourselves from saying things like “PIN number” (personal identification number number). I know I’ve said, “I need to find an ATM machine” (that’s an automated teller machine machine). And in some cases – especially if it’s an abbreviation of a technical thing and I’m not really sure what the letters stand for – I’ve made this kind of mistake in writing, for example, emailing someone to say “Send me the document in PDF format.” How many people know that means “portable document format format”? 

Still, everyone who knows anything at all about internet-speak knows that ISO stands for “In Search Of.” So there’s no justification whatever for typing that extra “of.”

Now, some of you who are reading this must be thinking, about now: “This must be the pettiest complaint ever!” No, it’s not. I’m about to drop an even pettier, peskier little irritant on you -- still on the subject of subject lines. People, if you are replying on a topic, always use RE: in the subject line. (You shouldn’t even have to think about it – it should be there automatically); otherwise NOT! “Re:” in common internet parlance does NOT mean “regarding,” as it does in old-school business correspondence. In an email, RE: means REPLY. So unless your message is a reply to a previous message, RE: has no business being there. Get rid of it! If you leave it in, it will just fool readers into thinking that your message is not a query or a comment on a new topic but a follow-up to a message already on the listserv. What’s worse, it may fool the automated Yahoogroups discussion-threading algorithm into thinking that your message should be tied to a previous message. (The entire Yahoogroups system is in such a snafu these days, that’s the least of its problems, but don’t get me started!)

So, folks, to sum up our two simple lessons for today:

1. Once you’ve written ISO, what follows immediately is the thing you are seeking; do NOT type “of.”
2. If it’s a reply, your subject line can start with RE: but otherwise, NO RE.

Here’s a little poem I just made up on the spot to help you memorize these two rules:

I – S – O is followed by the sought-for thing
RE: means REPLY; it does not mean re-gar-ding!

(Okay, it’s a painful rhyme, with the stress on the wrong syllable at the end, but if  that little annoyance helps to make these two rules stick in your brain, I’m not sorry!)

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, May 31 - June 6, 2019

Walt Whitman (Public Domain)
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 18,200+ 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, May 31 at 7 PM, Walt Whitman 200th Birthday Performance Showcase. Celebrate the 200th Birthday of Walt Whitman, who ignited the birth of Modern American Poetry. In alignment with Whitman’s Queer Identity, artists from the 9th Annual Capturing Fire Festival perform spoken word with special musical performance by ethno-musicologist, banjo and violinist Jake Blount. Featuring: Charlie Petch, Jerrica Escoto, C. Thomas, and J Mase III. Hosted by The Fairy Godmother of Spoken Word Poetry, Regie Cabico. Free admission. At Busboys & Poets Takoma, 235 Carroll St NW. More info:   

Friday, May 31 at 7 PM, Library Takeout: An Evening with Nafissa Thompson-Spires. THEARC DC hosts a special evening with PEN Open Book Award-winning author Nafissa Thompson-Spires, capping our month-long discussion of her short story collection, “Heads of the Colored People.” Thompson-Spires will read from the book, followed by a conversation with the audience led by Victoria Murray Baatin of DC's Mosaic Theater. Due to limited seating, registration is required for this free event: - and please plan arrive early. Books will be available for sale and signing. At THEARC: Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus, 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE. 

Saturday, June 1 from 9 AM - 2 PM, The Great Cleveland Park Yard Sale. More than 20 homes are participating. You'll find housewares, clothing, kids stuff, yard and garden items, sporting goods, books, furniture, and much more! The map of all the participating homes can be found here: All the details can be found on the Cleveland Park website: Organized by the Cleveland Park Business Association:

Saturday June 1 from 11:30 AM - 2 PM, Afternoon Tea with Special Musical Guests. Treat yourself to the refreshment of an afternoon tea, accompanied by the a cappella talents of In Process (, a women's a cappella ensemble that stands firmly in the African American oral tradition, and the Wesley Youth Choir. Hosted by The United Methodist Women of Wesley. Wesley Campus of National United Methodist Church, 5312 Connecticut Avenue NW (at Jenifer Street). Enter on Conn. Ave. through the glass doors (there is an accessible elevator). Tickets (cash and checks only): $15 general admission: $10 seniors; free for ages 12 and under.

Saturday, June 1 from 12 - 4 PM, Glover Park Day - 30th Anniversary! We hope this will be the best Glover Park Day ever! Shop the Wares of Local Crafters and Artists. Listen to Live Music. Enjoy Great Food. Learn About Community Service Groups. Enjoy Kids’ Activities: Face Painting! A Mechanical Bull! A Moon Bounce! Sno Cones! Cotton Candy! Have your pet try out the Dog Obstacle Course. Get the Annual Glover Park Day Commemorative T-Shirt. Buy Raffle Tickets for the Many Prize Drawings. Free admission. At Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert St. NW. More info:

Saturday, June 1 from 12 -  5 PM, Takoma Trukgarten. This one-day beer festival features local breweries pouring over 20 different craft beers plus cider and new TPSS Co-op hosted wine tent. There will be local restaurants and food trucks plus live music all day! Multiple tasting packages with commemorative glass and non-drinker ticket option available until 5/30 at Under 21 enter free. Beer Fan: $25 for entry, 6 tasting tickets + souvenir glass; Beer Lover: $35 for entry, 12 tasting tickets + souvenir glass; Designated Driver: $10 entry (this ticket does not include beer or glass). Tickets prices at the gate are higher. Complete details at Event happens rain or shine - no refunds. Bring your ID. Kids, families and dogs welcome. At TPSS Co-op Parking Lot, 201 Ethan Allen Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 

Saturday June 1 at 12 noon, June Rhyming Day. June 1 inaugurates the month with the most rhymes of its name. Not just moon, noon, tune, soon, balloon, croon, spoon, dune, loon, baboon, buffoon, maroon, and lagoon, but more poetic and/or obscure words like jejune, pantaloon, poltroon, rune, and festoon. Can you name them all? You will find it a boon to attend on the first of June. Bring your favorite June rhyme and enter it in the contest in one of these categories: Most Creative June Rhyme, Best June Rhyming Couplet, Best Near-Rhyme (“-oom” and “-ooin'” words allowed), Best Original June Song, and Best Foreign Language June Rhyme. To submit a June rhyme in the contest, please enter it online at: Free. At Paper Moon in Georgetown. 

Saturday, June 1 at 1 PM, Family Restoration: Celebrating Fathers, Empowering Parents - A Community Conversation. Estranged from your father but would like to mend the bridge? Having trouble co-parenting? For more insight on how to strengthen family ties, join us for an important and dynamic discussion about fathers, family and strategies for healing relationships. Professional experts and seasoned activists will lead an important pre-Father’s Day conversation about strengthening and restoring families in the DC Metropolitan region. The most effective defense against childhood trauma, community violence, poor academic performance and poverty has always been and will always be family. Family as an inspirational, powerful and empowering institution can be restored, despite the social and economic odds. Free light refreshments will be served. Free books to the first 20 people to sign-in on the day of the event. At Francis Gregory Library, 3660 Alabama Ave. SE,

Saturday, June 1 at 2 PM, Lecture and Workshop: Walt Whitman, presented by David McAleavey, professor of English, GW's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. In this introductory lecture about Walt Whitman, learn about his unique style, and his legacy, followed by a poetry workshop. Attendees can either bring existing work or create something during the workshop. Participants are invited to share their work with others and receive critiques. Free; no reservations required. This program is part of DC's Walt Whitman 200 Festival celebrating the 200th anniversary of the poet's birth. At The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW, 

Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2, from 11 AM - 4 PM, 36th Annual Dupont/Kalorama Museum Walk. Stretch your legs and your mind this weekend while touring five diverse museums in one of Washington, DC’s most beautiful neighborhoods. Discover Anderson House, Dumbarton House, National Museum of American Jewish Military History, The Phillips Collection, and the President Woodrow Wilson House, all free of charge. The Museum Walk event is held rain or shine. The Phillips Collection will open at 12 noon on Sunday. Special activities, programming, and crafts offered at each museum. For details about each museum in the Museum Consortium, go to and then click on the museum’s name to go to that website.

Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2, 12 - 7 PM, Washington Folk Festival. The Washington Folk Festival is back for its 39th year at Glen Echo Park. This FREE festival, presented by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington and the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, celebrates the many folk music, dance, and craft traditions of the greater Washington area. The Festival features over 400 of the best traditional musicians, storytellers, dancers, and craftspeople representing our diverse and multi-faceted region. Seven stages simultaneously present music and dance for a total of nearly 100 hours of live performances. The festival also includes a storytelling stage, dance workshops in the Spanish Ballroom, a fine crafts market in the Bumper Car Pavilion, and many spontaneous picking sessions in the Park’s picnic grove. At 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, MD. Schedule of events and other details at:

Sunday, June 2 from 11 AM - 5 PM, Taste of Wheaton, highlighting the deliciously diverse restaurants in downtown Wheaton with food samples from some of downtown Wheaton’s best restaurants at prices ranging from $1 to $5 per “taste"; live music and dance performances; kids' rides; face painting, balloon sculptures and caricature drawings; beer and wine garden. This fun-filled event will take place in Parking Lot 17, 2320 Price Avenue (Price Avenue and Fern Street), one block east of the Wheaton Metro station). Free admission and free garage parking is conveniently located across the street from the event at 11304 Amherst Avenue. The event will take place rain or shine. Details and performance schedule at:

Sunday, June 2 at 3 PM, Music of Friends Chamber Music Concert. Come join Friendship Place for its annual Music of Friends Chamber Music Concert and reception hosted at the French Embassy. Come enjoy music by Max Bruch, Darius Milhaud, and Joaquin Turina, performed by musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra and the Levine School. After the concert, join us for a fun, open-bar cocktail party in a grand space overlooking the Embassy's beautiful gardens. Please purchase tickets here: - $10 for students, $35 for under 35 or over 65, $50 general admission, plus sponsorship levels from $100 up to $500. Proceeds benefit Friendship Place. Please note that the Embassy requires the names of all guests. No parking on Embassy grounds, although special needs drop-off available with advance notice to Chris Rutledge at crutledge @ frienshipplace dot org. At the Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Road NW

Sunday, June 2 from 3 - 4:30 PM, “Reptiles Alive" at Rosedale. Join wildlife educator Rachel Walker as she presents a variety of safe, friendly and awe-inspiring snakes, lizards, turtles and frogs. There will also be a special guest appearance from an immensely long, cold-blooded and fork-tongued friend. All are welcome to attend - parents and kids alike - free. On the Rosedale grounds at 35th and Newark St.

Sunday, June 2 at 4 PM, Concert: “Composers of Leipzig.” Max Reger, Felix Mendelssohn and Johann Sebastian Bach all lived and composed in the German city of Leipzig, though at very different periods in their lives. Works by all three of these musical giants will be on the program of the annual CCPC spring concert, under the direction of Julie Vidrick Evans, which will feature choir, soloists, orchestra and organ in a fast-moving, 60-minute presentation. A reception to meet the performers will follow the concert. Free and open to the public. At Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, One Chevy Chase Circle NW,

Monday, June 3 at 12 noon, Library Takeout: Art AfterWords: A Book Discussion (Special Edition) - “Specimen Days” by Michael Cunningham. Join staff from the National Portrait Gallery and the DC Public Library as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman's birth with a special Art AfterWords. In this free program we will discuss Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham, as well as the portrait of Whitman in the Gallery...all in the building where Whitman served as a nurse during the American Civil War. In each section of Michael Cunningham's bold new novel, his first since The Hours, we encounter the same group of characters: a young boy, an older man, and a young woman. Presiding over each episode of this interrelated whole is the prophetic figure of the poet Walt Whitman, who promised his future readers, "It avails not, neither time or place…. I am with you, and know how it is." Specimen Days is a genre-bending, haunting and transformative ode to life in our greatest city and a meditation on the direction and meaning of America's destiny. It is a work of surpassing power and beauty by one of the most original and daring writers at work today. Please RSVP at At the National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW. More info: 

Monday, June 3 at 6 PM, Walking the Camino de Santiago. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk the Camino de Santiago? The Camino de Santiago is one of the most well traveled walking paths in the world. The famous European path, also known as "The Way of Saint James" welcomes over 200,000 travelers per year. Speaker Lelia Mooney will share her experience after walking 500 km along the Camino during 2018, including logistical and preparation tips. Q&A will follow the presentation. Free. At the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW, 

Monday, June 3 at 6:30 PM, Terror, by Ferdinand von Schirach. The Goethe-Institut Washington, together with Scena Theatre, presents Spotlight: Berlin, a series of Berlin play workshops featuring selections of the latest and most sensational plays to appear on the Berlin stage. The first of these staged readings will take place on June 3 (next dates are July 1 and August 26). All play readings will be in English. The first play featured is Ferdinand von Schirach’s Terror (Terror – Ihr Urteil). Major Lars Koch, pilot of a German Army Eurofighter, faces your verdict. A Lufthansa-Airbus is hijacked by terrorists; Major Koch is ordered to divert the Airbus from its course - can he do the right thing? There are 164 people on board Flight LH 2047, Berlin to Munich. The Airbus has suddenly changed course for the Allianz-Arena where a capacity crowd of 70,000 have gathered for the Germany verses England international. Major Koch must react. What are his orders? If the terrorist do not change course, can he, should he, shoot down a passenger jet? The clock ticks, Lars Koch makes a decision. Can any human life be measured against others, regardless of the number? What circumstances could there ever be be, to avoid one catastrophe with possibly a smaller catastrophe? Who is responsible? Is it only Lars Koch alone here on trial? The Jury decides. Register for free tickets: At The Goethe-Institut Washington, 1990 K St. NW (Entrance on 20th St., lower level)

Tuesday, June 4 at 12 noon, Estate Planning for Your Pets. If something happens to you, will your dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, rabbits, or other beloved pets be protected and provided for? If you’re not sure, or if you’d like to learn more about how trust and estate law treats our furry friends, then you’ll want to attend Estate Planning for Pets, a panel discussion presented by the DC Bar’s Animal Law Committee. The panelists will discuss the legal rules governing your pets’ futures; how to make sure that your pets stay well cared for; and what happens if, without a proper estate plan, this responsibility falls onto agencies and rescue organizations. Register to attend in person ( or to watch the live webcast ( You may also register by phoning the DC Bar at (202) 626-3463. Free for members of the DC Bar Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Community; the DC Bar Estates, Trusts, and Probate Law Community; and the DC Bar Litigation Community; $10 for law students, $15 for government or nonprofit lawyers, $20 for members of the DC Bar, and $25 for nonmembers. At the DC Bar, 901 4th Street NW.

Tuesday, June 4 from 5 - 9 PM, Taste of Adams Morgan is an annual neighborhood event celebrating its 7th year with creative tastes from the neighborhood's best restaurants. Buy your “taste” tickets online at (ticket prices rise if purchased same-day). Each ticket is valid for 1 “taste” or bite-size menu portion at any of the participating restaurants. Tickets are sold in packages of 4 and 8. Additional taste tickets can be purchased the day of the event. All tickets must be picked up from Little Shop of Flowers (2421 18th St NW) or the BB&T Plaza (1801 Adams Mill Rd NW) the day of the event. Each participating restaurant offers at least two tasting options of choice, highlighting their signature dishes or cocktails. Taste Guides with a map of all participating restaurants and the dishes they are offering will be handed out at check-in to guide you on your culinary adventure. From there, explore and indulge at your own leisure! You decide where to go and what to taste, making this a great event for large groups, families, or even date night. All proceeds benefit the nearly 53,000 individuals who will be served this year through Mary's Center's comprehensive healthcare, education, and social service programs. For info on all participating restaurants go to: 

Wednesday, June 5 from 5:30 - 8 PM, Vintage Game Night at Woodrow Wilson House is the  perfect mid-week happy hour for history/museum/board game enthusiasts! The museum will be open after general admission hours, with game tables and snacks spread throughout the house. Play vintage games from the 1920s, 30s and 40s inside the authentically furnished home of our 28th President. Tickets are $15, best purchased online at A limited number of tickets may be available at the door. For Presidential Tour combined with Vintage Game Night ($35) go to: Woodrow Wilson House is at 2340 S Street NW.

Thursday, June 6 at 12 noon, Library Takeout Express: Chamber Music at Noon. Goethe-Institut of Washington and the DC Public Library present a chamber music series (formerly titled the Brown Bag Chamber Recital), free and open to the public. Performers include internationally known, local musicians Ralitza Patcheva and Vasily Popov, as well as special-guest performers. Free. At the Goethe Institut of Washington, next door to Library Express, at 1990 K St. NW - entrance on 20th St. between Eye and K Streets NW. More info:      

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Still Life with Robin: Encounters with Wildlife by Land or by Sea

Photo by Terry Goss (via Creative Commons)
by Peggy Robin

To all who are spending this Memorial Day weekend on the water…and haven’t made it all the way to the ocean beaches but have gone as far as the banks of the Potomac or the Chesapeake Bay – watch out for your chance to get a glimpse of our bottlenose river dolphins. According to the Potomac Conservancy and the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project, the timing could be right for you to see D1 and D2 gliding by (they’re the still-nameless dolphins that are the subjects of the #NamePotomacDolpins naming contest) -- or perhaps one of about 1,000 other river dolphins in the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay. The naming contest closes on May 30 []. To learn more about the #NamePotomacDolpins contest, I’m sending you back to last Saturday’s column at (OK, it’s a holiday weekend and I’m too lazy to write something fresh!)

Now moving north along the coastline and then out to Long island: you may have heard the news that another marine animal conservation group called Ocearch ( has been tracking the movements of a 10-foot shark they’ve named Cabot. But sightings of Cabot the Shark are not as jolly as the sightings of Dolphins D1 and D2. In fact, they’ve mostly been panic-inducing – especially after Cabot’s tracking device was heard pinging along coastal waters of the Long Island Sound (tracker log is here: Are you hearing ominous notes in your head…sounding something like this: It’s because this is exactly the plot of “Jaws,” if you substitute Fire Island for “Amity Island” and Memorial Day weekend for the Fourth of July. Well, it wasn’t too long before the public was being assured that the danger has passed and it’s safe to go back in the water. Yeah, right…. (See:

All I can say is I’m happy to be inland this weekend.

Wherever Cabot is, at least he can’t crawl out of the water and wander up to your front door. Unlike some other large-jawed marine predators I can name. Like this one, who came right up to the front door of a home in Palm Coast, Florida: 

Aren’t you glad we just have coyotes and foxes? See for the story (Cleveland Park Listserv subscription with Yahoo log-on needed to access.)

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Get Out! The Events Column, May 24 - May 30, 2019

National Memorial Day Parade
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 18,200+ 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, May 24 from 5 - 8:30 PM, Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery of Art. Futurist jazz group performs alternative modern jazz. Free admission. At the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery of Art, 7th Street and Constitution Avenue. More info: To see other groups and performance dates in the Jazz in the Garden summer series, visit:

Saturday, May 25 from 11 AM - 2 PM, Remembering the “Art Barn.” Friends of Peirce Mill, the Washington Studio School, and the National Park Service are hosting the Art Barn Reunion and Landscape Meet-up at Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park. Artists of all ages are invited to draw and paint the landscape using their own supplies – or some borrowed from the organizers. Friends of Peirce Mill also welcomes photos and memories of the Art Barn for a slide show it’s putting together for the program. Contact education @ friendsofpeircemill dot org for more information. Peirce Mill is at Tilden Street and Beach Drive, NW. More info: 

Saturday, May 25 from 12 - 2 PM, Georgetown Walking Tour: In-TREE-guing Georgetown. Welcome spring and warmer weather with a tour highlighting the trees that line the idyllic streets of Georgetown. We’ll celebrate spring as we peep at a wide variety of species and enjoy the beautiful flora of the neighborhood. Meet at Dumbarton House’s Garden Gates at the corner of Q and 27th Streets NW at 12pm sharp! No pets - children 3 and younger are free but must be in stroller. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a bottle of water. Tour goes rain or shine. Begins and ends at Dumbarton House, 2715 Q St NW. Tickets: $20 non-members; $18 members, (plus order fee) at; if paying at the door, cash or check only. 

Saturday, May 25 at 1 PM, SAAM Fellows Lecture: Beyond the Studio: The Barbershop Project. Local activist poet Micah Powell presents a workshop on using art to spark community action and change our world for the better. Powell has been an influential voice in community building all over the country, having worked with politicians, religious organizations, governments, and communities to empower everyday people. Draw inspiration from his colorful combinations of words, monologues about civil rights leaders, and passionate pleas for peace, then write and perform poetry and brainstorm ways to empower your own community. This program is presented in collaboration with Cultural DC. Free. At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center (third floor). More info:; register here:

Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 from 12 - 8 PM, Rockville Hometown Holidays & Taste of Rockville. Enjoy food and drinks from more than 20 of Rockville's best restaurants. Get your food tickets at a Taste of Rockville ticket booth, then browse the food booths along Maryland Avenue and Courthouse Square. Most menu items cost between one and four tickets each. Musical Performances: More than 30 groups perform across six city blocks in Rockville Town Center for the city's Hometown Holidays Music Fest. Bring your chairs and blankets and get there early to stake out your spot. Kids Entertainment: Free, kid-friendly performances will take place on the Town Square Stage. Free admission. For complete details on music line-up, food booths, and kids activities, plus directions and maps, go to:

Sunday, May 26 at 10 AM, Songs of Ourselves, A Performance in Celebration of Walt Whitman's 200th Birthday. “I am large. I contain multitudes.” Founded as one of the first multiracial choirs in Washington DC, the 60-voice All Souls Church Unitarian Choir, joined by nationally recognized poets and spoken word artists, will honor America’s first great poet, Walt Whitman, through stories and songs of revolution, resistance, and radical self-love. Song of Ourselves explores Whitman’s texts, other poets inspired by Whitman, and cultural ideas celebrated in Whitman’s poetry in juxtaposition with music spanning generations, nations, and cultures. This program features the premiere of an original work by composer William Kenlon set to a Whitman text, with musical support from crossover cellist Devree Lewis and local jazz favorites Rochelle Rice (vocals), Todd Simon (piano), Corey Null (bass), and Dante Pope (drums and vocals). Poetry readings by: Sunu Chandy, Marcia Cole, Gregory Ford, Keondra Bills Freemyn, Rev. Bill Hardies, Chris Nealon, Dan Vera, and Elizabeth Zitelli. Free. At  All Souls Church Unitarian, 1500 Harvard St. NW. More info: 

Monday, May 27 from 2 - 4 PM, The National Memorial Day Parade ushers marching bands, youth groups, floats, performers and, of course, veterans, down Constitution Avenue. This televised parade is the largest of its kind in the US and honors those who have served or presently serve in the U.S. military. Special honorees will be the Heroes of D-Day. Free. The parade route goes along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Street. More info: 

Tuesday, May 28 at 10 AM, Lecture - Prisoner: 544 Days in Evin Prison. When Washington Post Tehran Bureau Chief Jason Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Selehi, were picked up by Iranian police, he thought it must be a mistake. Then he was locked up in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. Rezaian’s guards told him nobody had asked about him. Nobody was trying get him get out. He was a spy for the CIA, they said, and he had been abandoned. Rezaian was accused of espionage, put on trial, convicted and --after 544 days-- released out of the blue at the same time as the Iran nuclear deal was announced. Rezaian’s story is one-part farce to nine-parts terror. Jason Rezaian grew up in California, the son of Iranian immigrants. He is the author of Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison-Solitary Confinement, a Sham Trial, High-Stakes Diplomacy and the Extraordinary Efforts It Took to Get Me Out. This lecture is presented by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and held at American University’s Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Ave NW in Room A - 1st floor. Free, but registration is required at: More info:

Tuesday, May 28 at 6:30 PM, Holding on to Reno: Community Resistance to Displacement in DC, Join Neil Flanagan, author of the 2017 Washington City Paper article "The Battle of Fort Reno," for a seminar exploring one community's struggle to fight displacement. Residents of the mixed-race Reno neighborhood in Tenleytown did not make their eviction easy. As white neighbors and developers campaigned for the demolition of their homes, the community worked with elite African Americans to stop the effort for decades. They skillfully used what political leverage they had to expose a plan which, even in the 1920s, was understood to be a corrupt and racist scheme. While the efforts were unsuccessful in the face of overwhelming political power and were forgotten, new archival discoveries show what resistance looked like in the increasingly segregated DC of the 1920s. This lecture is part of the People's University seminar series, developed in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution Anacostia Community Museum to compliment their current exhibition A Right to the City. Free. Register at Location: Shaw (Watha T. Daniel) Library, 1630 7th St. NW,

Wednesday, May 29 at 7 PM, Henry Mitchell Garden Lecture. The Friends of the Tenley-Friendship Library invite you to the annual lecture honoring the late gardening columnist of the Washington Post, Henry Mitchell. Tenleytown resident and landscape contractor Mark Rasevic and his colleague, landscape architect Jonathan Ceci will describe their part in renovating the lovely and historic Nemours Gardens in Wilmington, Delaware, which are the largest and finest example of French-style formal gardens in the nation. The Nemours Mansion and Gardens were created by Alfred I. du Pont in 1909–10 as a gift for his second wife, Alicia, and named for the north central French town from which his great-great-grandfather emigrated. The Gardens of Nemours represent a unique blend of architectural spaces and pastoral landscapes, each of which was, in its heyday, remarkable for their horticultural richness and spectacle. Prior to the restoration, much of this richness had been lost. Rasevic and Ceci’s collaboration was critical to the successful renewal of this breathtakingly beautiful public garden. Free. At Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW. More info:

Wednesday, May 29 from 10 AM - 1 PM, World Otter Day along the Asia Trail at the National Zoo. Otters need our help! Of the 13 different species of otter, only one — the North American river otter — is not experiencing population decline. Attend an otter feeding or keeper talk, participate in interactive learning opportunities and find out how you can help otters at the Smithsonian's National Zoo’s World Otter Day celebration. Special demonstrations and activities will be held near the Asian small-clawed otter exhibit along Asia Trail. Free. The Smithsonian National Zoo is at 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW. More info:

Wednesday, May 29 from 1 - 2 PM, Someone Otter Do Something About Bad Animal Puns! The keepers of the Smithsonian National Zoo urge everyone treat animals with dignity and respect and avoid demeaning them through awful animal punning. When it comes to otters, that’s quite a challenge, because some people just naturally litter their discourse with animal puns -- even though they’re otterly deplorable. Yet it may be impossible to stop people from spouting these jocular otterances; otterwise, they’ll call an otterney to say they were deprived of their 1st Amendment right to freedom of the pun. Come hear a panel of distinguished animal experts and civil liberties lawyers discussing the rights of these marine weasels and otter animals not to be subjected to cruel and unusual pun-ishment. This is part of a series. The next session, on World Elephant Day, August 12, will consider bad elephant puns - see to prepare for that event - and go to for all the animals that can be punned against. Free. At the Smithsonian National Zoo, immediately following the Otter Day events. To register, go to:

Thursday, May 30 at 10 AM, Lecture: The Golden Age of Washington—Is Right Now. The typical television view of Washington includes monumental buildings and imposing Georgetown mansions. But DC is much more than just a federal city. It is coming into its own as a global capital. Join Mary Fitch for a virtual tour of the city to discover the neighborhoods and developments that are helping to create Washington’s Golden Age. Mary Fitch is Executive Director of the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Washington Architectural Foundation. She has founded and developed the award-winning Architecture DC magazine, National Architecture Week, Design DC Conference, and built the District Architecture Center. Free, but registration is required at: More info: This lecture is presented by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and held in American University’s Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Ave NW in Room A - 1st floor.

Thursday, May 30 at 4 PM, I Have Thought of You: An Epistolary Poetry Writing Workshop, hosted by Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Inspired by Walt Whitman’s love letter to Peter Doyle, we will look at the art and form of epistolary poems. The art of poetic letter writing. Like Whitman, we will seize objects in nature and those that are man made to write where we are and commune with a lost lover, pal and object. Bring a notebook to write in. This workshop is open to all adults 18 and up for all levels. Led by prize-winning poet and teacher, Regie Cabico; free admission. At Smithsonian National Postal Museum, 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE. Also on display: the two US Postal stamps depicting Walt Whitman, one newly-released for Whitman’s 200th birthday.

Thursday, May 30 at 6:30 PM, The Road to Charleston: Nathanael Greene and the American Revolution. Historian John Buchanan discusses and signs copies of his long-awaited sequel to The Road to Guilford Courthouse that brings the story of the war in the South to its dramatic conclusion. Greene’s Southern Campaign was the most difficult of the war. With a supply line stretching hundreds of miles northward, it revealed much about the crucial military art of provision and transport. Greene’s attempt to incorporate black regiments into his army was angrily rejected by the South Carolina legislature and a bloody civil war between rebels and Tories was wreaking havoc in the South. Correspondence between Greene and Thomas Jefferson during the campaign shows Greene was also bedeviled by the conflict between war and the rights of the people, and the question of how to set constraints under which a free society wages war. 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 the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW,