Saturday, March 18, 2023

Still Life with Robin: Sunrise, Sunset

 by Peggy Robin

Lately I've been struck by the extraordinary number of colorific photos of sunrises and sunsets posted by the DC photographers I follow on Twitter. Normally, around this time of year, I expect to see an amazing array of cherry blossoms images digitally captured and tweeted -- and I haven't been disappointed -- but these vivid sunrise/sunsets have been an unexpected pleasure. Is it that climate change has brought us more intense reds at dawn and purples at dusk? I'm hoping that's not the reason, but in any event, I can take pleasure in the season (unintentional rhyme!)

Here's just a small sampling of what's been in my Twitter feed:

Jeannie in D.C. @RiverGirl707
#Moonrise and #Sunrise 
Alicia Allison  @AAinDC
Morning commuter inspection - almost there
Peter Forister ❄️💨❄️@forecaster25
Beautiful optics over Virginia this morning! #vawx
Diane @DianeKrauthamer
Sunset, Georgetown 
David @Davides81
GM happy weekend Every1
Video at Tidal Basin
Frank Sellin @franksellin
Good evening, #DC Next to Douglas Memorial Church on H St NE
Cherry blossoms underway this morning at the #TidalBasin while many buds wait to burst forth.
Kevin Ambrose @dcstormchaser
A few cherry blossoms at dawn
Sunrise and moonrise together
Sunrise time-slice

Good morning and good evening to all!
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Get Out! The Wharf DC is hosting a full day of St Patrick's Day festivities....a day late, Sat, March 18

Well, St. Patrick's Day will have come and gone once you turn the calendar page past March 17 -- but don't tell that to the people who run the festivals at the Wharf in Southwest DC. Here's the full schedule of their St. Patrick's Day festivities on the 18th:

The Wharf and Kirwan's Irish Pub are bringing the luck of the Irish to the waterfront with our free Ireland at The Wharf festival! Enjoy all the fun of a true Irish festival with Guinness beer, Irish coffee from Praline Bakery, whiskey, bands and bagpipers.

All ages welcome - no admission fee. Must be 21+ to consume alcohol. Slainte!

12:00pm — The Guinness Beer Garden opens on District Pier and the DCFD Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band begins to march from Kirwans Irish Pub to District Pier! View the Piper Parade Map. Learn how to play Gaelic Football with DC Gaels.
12:30pm — The 19th Street Band performs on the District Pier Stage.
1:00pm — Visit the Jameson Rugby Lounge on District Pier to watch the Six Nations Rugby Championship as Ireland takes on England.
2:00pm — Enjoy an authentic Irish dance performance by the McGrath Morgan Academy of Irish Dance.
2:15pm — Poehemia performs on the District Pier Stage.
Piper Parade at DC Wharf
3:45pm — Boyle School of Irish Dance takes the stage to perform an authentic Irish dance.
4:00pm — The McGrath Morgan Academy of Irish Dance performs an Irish dance on the Transit Pier Floating Stage.
4:15pm — Ben-David Warner Band performs on the District Pier Stage. The bar will still be open!


The Get Out! event of the week is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays. 

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Still Life with Robin: Spring ahead....and if you were hoping it's for the last time, keep hoping!

by Peggy Robin

Here's your friendly reminder to set your clocks forward one hour (that is, if you still own any that need to be manually reset!) before you go to bed tonight.

But wait! Maybe you were thinking, "Hey, didn't Congress (in the previous term) vote to eliminate the clock change? Once we spring ahead, is that it? We stay on DST forever?" 

Well, no. You may be forgiven for not following all the ins-and-outs of the bill, called "The Sunshine Protection Act." In fact, I was pretty confused about it myself -- even though this is one of those issues I've been following for quite a few years -- and it's also something I've been advocating, almost my whole adult life. Still, I wasn't sure about what had happened to the bill -- which I thought had passed -- until I read the story in the Washington Post this morning. 

The short answer is: The bill passed the Senate and then at the last minute, was killed in the House. But the story is much more complicated than that, and the bill is not dead yet....but as we're on the brink of losing an hour, I find I don't have the time to give you the full account; let me just refer you to the Post article and you can read all about it in your own good time: 

Online as "Permanent daylight saving time: The clock is ticking in Congress" 
In the Saturday print edition on page one with the more intriguing headline "The days may be numbered for our vexing clock ritual."

If you want to know why I'm among the 57 percent of Americans who want to ditch the twice-yearly clock change (44 percent preferring to go on permanent DST; 13 percent choosing permanent standard time), you can go back to my Still Life with Robin polemic in the subject, from March 2014, "Down with DST!"
Or you can go even further back to November 2011 to read Bill's novel proposal for DC to opt out:
"DC to World: We're No Longer Turning Our Clocks Back"

Do you find all this drama a tempest in a clockwork? Then you might want to amuse yourself and your friends with some fun facts about DST, as brought to you in this short video by NBC4Washignton:

And here's a nice little ditty to close out this column:
"Does anybody really know what time it is?" (Chicago)
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Get Out! And Celebrate Pi Day

by Peggy Robin
Attention, all you math nerds who love irrational numbers - and all who love PIE: Your favorite day is fast approaching! It's almost PI DAY, which falls, of course, on 3.14 -- and if you want to be precise, arrives exactly at 1:59 and 26 seconds -- that's this coming Tuesday.   
What do you do to celebrate PI DAY?
You bake a pie, any type from pizza to pecan to pumpkin to decide! And you decorate the top with the Greek letter π. 

Like this: 

Some people celebrate Pi Day by putting a pie pan on their head as a hat, running outside on the afternoon of 3.14 at precisely 1;59 and 26 seconds, and they start shouting out all the digits of Pi as far as they've been able to memorize them. You can also sing the Pi song: (Memorize it and you'll know Pi to 100 digits!)
And now for what really makes a holiday festive! Presents! Well, the things below are not entirely free, but you will get some pretty good discounts!
7-Eleven is offering a whole pizza for just $3.14 (in-store only) on 3.14:
Sbarro Pizza - Join their rewards program and you can get a free XL slice of NY-style pizza with the purchase of a drink. Find your nearest Sbarro location at:
Whole Foods Market / Amazon Prime members will get $3.14 off whole large-size cherry and apple pies from the Whole Foods Market Bakery on 3.14. (No other pie flavors, brands and sizes are included in the offer.) This deal is only available for in-store purchases, and you must identify as a Prime member to receive the discount.
Uno's Pizzeria and Grill at Union Station will give you an individual-sized, thin-crust cheese pizza for $3.14 on 3.14.
More PI Day deals at:
Have a hap-PI Day!
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.  

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Still Life with Robin: Metropolitan Diary Entry - from a Long-Time Cleveland Parker

by Peggy Robin

Today’s Still Life with Robin column comes to you courtesy of The New York Times, whose “Metropolitan Diary” column – always filled with little glimpses of city life in the form of vignettes sent in by visitors or residents -- comes out weekly in the print edition of the paper on Sundays. Until fairly recently it came out on Mondays. It’s been a feature of the paper since 1976 – and I’ve been a big fan from the start. I’ve even submitted pieces to it, at least twice (but never selected).

Imagine my pleasure when I opened the paper this morning and saw that one of the vignettes was by a long-time Cleveland Parker – and Listserv member, too. The Metropolitan Diarist in this case is Sal Selvaggio, who posts regularly to give us the events and programs of Northwest Neighbors Village, for whom he serves a volunteer outreach coordinator. He’s also a dentist, and until he retired a few years ago, was one of the most frequently recommended dentists on the Listserv. As it happens, he was the dentist for my adult children after they outgrew their pediatric dentist but before they moved to other cities. They both thought he was great!

It turns out that he’s great with a snappy anecdote, too! With that introduction, here's his story:

Special Skill (excerpt from New York Times Metropolitan Diary, Sunday March 5, 2023) 

Dear Diary:

It was a lovely evening. My wife Andrea and I were walking down a mostly empty street in Brooklyn, returning from a funeral. I was quickly running out of relatives of a certain age. 

A man who was walking in the opposite direction veered straight toward us, stopped abruptly and garbled a question through clenched teeth. 

I answered, and he walked away. My wife was confused. 

I explained that he had been asking for directions with a broken jaw that was wired shut. 

Wow, she said, what are the chances he would ask the only person around who could understand him? 

My years of being a dentist and talking to people with mouths full of cotton had finally been useful outside the office. 

— Sal Selvaggio


Still Life with Robin is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on weekends (usually on Saturdays but today it got bumped back to Sunday.)

Thursday, March 2, 2023

FitDC 5K Run/Walk + HerStory Festival on Saturday, March 4 - Race starts at 10am

Residents of All Ages Encouraged to Run/Walk at Freedom Plaza to Honor the History-Making Women of Our Nation’s Capital

Mayor Muriel Bowser is inviting residents to celebrate the history-making women of our nation's capital by joining in the 5th annual FITDC HerStory 5K, which will be held in person at Freedom Plaza in downtown DC on Saturday, March 4.

Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and the 5K will begin at 10:00 a.m.

“March is right around the corner, which means it’s time to register for one of DC’s favorite Women’s History Month traditions – the FITDC HerStory 5K,” said Mayor Bowser. “The HerStory 5K is a chance for the District to come together and celebrate the history-making women in our city, region, and nation. Let’s encourage our neighbors, family, and friends to register and join the celebration.”

The FITDC HerStory 5K is a Women’s History Month tradition that routinely draws over 2,500 participants from all eight wards. Last year’s HerStory 5K was the largest to date, with over 3,000 DC residents participating in the event.

Established in 2015 and executed by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, the FITDC campaign is a citywide fitness initiative designed to provide residents with a year-long calendar of cause-driven fitness events that evoke civic pride and allow residents of all fitness levels to unite in the spirit of living healthier, more active lifestyles.

The HerStory 5K is one such event and this year, women, men, children, and dogs from all eight wards will enjoy a lineup of speakers headlined by Mayor Bowser, a scenic race route down Pennsylvania Ave., and a finish festival with vendors, a live DJ, and a. 360 photo booth. FITDC has also partnered with the Mayor’s Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives and SKY Breath Meditation to provide curated pop-up exhibits. Pacers Running will be on site to lend running shoes to any runner without proper running shoes.

AETNA, a CVS Company is the grand sponsor of the 5th Annual HerStory 5k and will provide participants with a commemorative t-shirt and runner’s bib while supplies last. Other race partners include Road Runners, Call Your Mother Bagel, Compass Coffee, the Washington Spirit, Monumental Sports, and Giant Foods.

For those who want to grab their 5K materials in advance, FITDC will host shirt and bib pickup on Wednesday, March 1 and Thursday, March 2 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the below woman-owned businesses. Residents are encouraged to pick up their bib and shirts prior to the race in order to avoid lines on the day of the event.

  • SteadFast Supply – 301 Tingey Street, SE
  • Hook Hall – 3400 Georgia Avenue, NW
  • Bourne2Fly Fitness – 3408 18th Street, NE

In preparation of the HerStory 5k, the FITDC team will host weekly training program in partnership with Pacers Running to get residents from the couch to the finish line. This program is for all running abilities and includes planned weekly runs, dynamic warmup routines, running etiquette, and track basics. Residents can access and download the plan here.

Before, during, and after their run/walk, residents are encouraged to tag @myfitdc, while they share pictures and selfies on social media using the hashtags #HerStory5K and #CelebrateWomen.

Participants can track their run time through our sign-up portal the day after the race to compare and connect with family and friends.

Residents can register here and learn more about the FITDC initiative here.

Saturday, March 4, 2023
Registration: 9:00 a.m.
5K Begins: 10:00 a.m.

Freedom Plaza
1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
This announcement is available in full on the Department of Parks and Recreation website at:
The Get Out event of the week is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Still Life with Robin: Oh, the Good Old Days (NOT!)

by Peggy Robin

My, how we adore the rosy glow of nostalgia in these visits to the stores and restaurants of old. Kind of makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Except when it doesn't.

I don't know why I'm feeling inclined to find some thorns among the roses (I'm usually as willing as the next sentimental fool to wallow in some good, old-fashioned nostalgia. But today, I guess I'm just feeling a little prickly. Let me give you just three examples:
Yenching Palace
Photo by Bill Adler

1. Yenching Palace.
Yes, I know it has a long, storied history. And you got great big platters of northern Chinese cuisine at a very modest price -- but toward the end of its life behind the gleaming turquoise & black facade, there were an awful lot of rodents on the loose! I remember at one big family banquet, staring up at the beams that crossed the ceiling and watching a parade of furry little mice scurrying by. That was the last time I ever ate there.

2. The Cereal Bowl. Maybe you've forgotten about this little breakfast/lunch bar by the Uptown Theater. It wasn't there very long -- and for good reason. Who ever thought it was a bright idea to sell cold cereal in a bowl with milk as if it was something you needed to go to a restaurant to get? And pay regular DC lunch prices for it, too! I wish Shark Tank had been around back in the day, so the sharks could have taken a whack at the whole crazy notion. 

3. The "Soviet Safeway." That's what we called our little Safeway at the corner of Connecticut Ave and Ordway, where the Streets Market is now. It had long lines and not a whole lot of selection. Of course, anyone who's ever been to a store in the waning days of the Soviet Union would have told you the nickname was a misnomer; ANY American food store, no matter how small and limited in scope, was an absolute food paradise compared to any Soviet store (even those special "dollar stores" set aside for shopping by foreigners and high party officials). But we weren't making literal comparisons to the Soviet food shopping scene -- we were comparing it to any other nice, clean, well-laid-out, decent sized grocery store you'd find anywhere else in Maryland or Virginia or even other parts of DC. Our little Safeway felt so sad and neglected -- and its corporate parent, Safeway, finally decided they just didn't want it any more and they announced they were getting rid of it. That spurred a lot of members of the Cleveland Park community into action. We hastily formed a "Save Our Supermarket" committee to try to find a replacement grocery store for the space.

Photo by Bill Adler
(That's me with Mayor Barry
at the Grand Opening in 1987)
Here's where my nostalgia for the good old days finally kicks in: I was on the SOS committee, along with Bill Adler (later to become my husband) and Woodley Park resident Margaret Hare, who became the SOS Committee Chair, -- plus about 200 other hard-working volunteers. We were doing everything we could think of to keep a grocery store in that location, with the most successful approach being to form a research subcommittee to see if we could identify a grocery store owner who would be interested in taking over the space. Our research committee (headed by Bill) found the Shirazi brothers, owners of the Brookville Market in Chevy Chase, MD, who quickly put in a successful bid for the property and within just a few months, opened the Brookville in place of the old Soviet Safeway 

While I have lots of reasons for looking back on the old Brookville Market with nostalgia, I still have to say, our current Streets Market beats it hands down! Sometimes newer really is better!
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Get Out! And Stand with Ukraine at the One-Year Mark of the Russian Invasion

by Peggy Robin

This Friday and Saturday (Feb. 24-25), the Ukrainian community from across the region will meet in DC to mark one year of full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. The main commemoration event in the Eastern US will be held at the Lincoln Memorial on Sat. (Feb. 25), at 2 PM.

On Friday evening, February 24, starting at 7PM there will be a CANDLELIGHT VIGIL and protest outside the Russian Embassy at 2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW. More information at:

On Saturday afternoon, February 25 starting at 2pm, there will be a RALLY IN SUPPORT OF UKRAINE, marking one year of the full-scale invasion by Russia. Location: Lincoln Memorial. More information at

Immediately following this rally at the Lincoln Memorial, local charity organization US Ukrainian Activists will hold a PROTEST MARCH from the National Mall, past the White House, to end at the residence of the Russian ambassador on 16th St. More information at:

What: A protest march in support of Ukraine, commemorating one year of full-scale war

When: Saturday, February 25, immediately following the mass rally at the Lincoln Memorial (~4:30 PM)

Where: From the National Mall, past the White House, and to the Russian Ambassador’s residence on 16th St (within sight of the White House).

Who: This march is organized by US Ukrainian Activists. The event will be attended by members of the Ukrainian community, and many non-Ukrainians who support Ukraine in its fight for survival.

Why: To mark one year since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, to protest Russian aggression, and to express American support for Ukraine.


The "Get Out" event of the week is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.