Page 1 January 2011

Est. 1981






124 D Street, SE #3

1007 K Street, NE

608 D Street, SE

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234 Maryland Ave., NE

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$179,900 Fern Pannill 240-508-4856



Renovated 1BR & 2BRs $164,900 - $189,900

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“WHERE WASHINGTON SHOPS FOR A NEW ADDRESS!”® 225 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20003

Tel: 202-544-3900

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Phyllis Jane Young Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Licensed Broker in DC, MD, and VA Call: 202-544-4236 Visit: Visit my listings at,, oodle, trulia, cyberhomes, zillow, google, yahoo, aol, craigslist, washingtonpost, nytimes, AND OF COURSE!


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ADOBE DESIGN CENTER & SHOWROOM 654 H Street NE DC’s premier retail showroom for innovative home furnishings and international and African-American art.. 202.529.9006 |

NOUVEAU FLEUR 500 H Street NE Noveau Fleur is a full service florist selling individual flowers, arrangements wedding and party designs, sympathy tributes plants and gourmet gift baskets. 202.543.8616

What’s Inside

01.11 ineveryissue 12 14 26 36 43 89 126 134 138

Go ... See ... Do Washington’s Best Calendar The Bulletin Board The Numbers / by Ed Lazere Spotted on the Hill / by Peter Vankevich Dining Coupons Classified Ads Last Word The Nose

newsofthecapitolstreets 23 38 40 42 43


44 46

Hill Buzz / by Celeste McCall Development and Crime in Hill East / by Alice Ollstein A Standout School: Ludlow Taylor Elementary Uses the Arts for Test Success / by Alice Ollstein ANC 6A / Apple Tree School Issue Returns / by Roberta Weiner ANC 6B / Liquor License Applications Continue to Stir Debate in ANC6B / by Gwen Jones ANC 6C / Union Station North Zoning / by Lex Kiefhaber ANC 6D / Kastles Tennis Season to Interim Waterfront Plans / by Roberta Weiner

communitylife 51 52 54 56 58 60

4th Annual Livable, Walkable Awards / by Shannon Holloway H Street Life / by Elise Bernard South by West / by William Rich Barracks Row / by Sharon Bosworth Congressional Cemetery Is Named To The Network To Freedom / by Sandra Schmidt Stardust Gala To Shine Again: St. Colleta School will be the venue for this Festive Fundraiser / by Mike Canning

Healthin2011 62 64

Accepting Who You Are : Tips from Dr. Joseph Tarantolo/ by Pattie Cinelli Jiu Jitsu Training for Women and Kids / by Lex Kiefhaber

66 68 70 72 74

@ Your Service / by Heather Schoell Cultivating Optimism: Learning How to Be An Optimistic Person / by Ronda Bresnick Hauss, LCSW ASAP Home Care; Allowing Your Loved One the Comforts of Staying at Home / by Heather Schoell Creating Real Change: How to form positive habits and a NEW YOU! / by Alita Brown Bikram Yoga Can Help with Rheumatoid Arthritis / by Kristin Marsh Song

realestate 75 76 78

Brewing Beer on Capitol Hill / by Robert Pohl A History of the Washington Brewery / by Donna Hanousek and Beth Purcell Changing Hands: Residential Home Sales / compiled by Don Denton

ARTSdiningentertainment Special 83 86 88 90 92 94 96 98

Old Chinatown / by Celeste McCall Dining Notes / by Celeste McCall Schneider’s of Capitol Hill / by Jon Genderson Theater / by Brad Hathaway At the Movies / by Mike Canning Art and the City / by Jim J. Magner The Literary Hill / by Karen Lyon The Jazz Project / by Jean-Keith Fagon

kidsandfamily 99 102 103 104

Kids & Family Notebook / by Kathleen Donner Know The Show: St. Mark’s Players Workshop for Yung People/ by Alexis Truitt Try Something New: CHAW’s Winter Workshops Lineup / by Megan Cheek School Notes / compiled by Susan Braun Johnson

homesgardens 114 116 118 120 122 124

Making the Most of a Townhouse Kitchen / by Bruce Wentworth, AIA What To Do With Your Roof?: A Capitol Hill Roofing Makeover / by Tom Daniel Ask Judith: Recharged, Not Lined, and Locked / by Judith Capen, RA Dear Garden Lady / Anonymous Garden Spot: Winter Beauty In Your Landscape / by Derek Thomas Orchids: Remarkably Easy / by Joe Carmack

COVER: “All Fingers Are Not Equal” Victor Ekpuk acrylic on pigment print, 54x50. Long View Gallery. 1234 9th Street NW. 202.232.4788.

83 114


Consciousness and the Development of Illness

Capital Community News, Inc. 224 7th Street, SE, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20003 202.543.8300 •

By Dr. David Walls-Kaufman

So, you went to the doctor and he diagnosed you with, say, allergies. You may have asked him or her, “How did I get them?” And he or she shrugged their shoulders and said something like, “We find things like this just happen to people.” In spite of the sophistication and technological advancement of medicine, the cause of diseases and conditions continue to elude us. They do so to the extent that our scientists are exploring ways to improve our genes as they have done to our tomatoes and oranges. It will be ungodly expensive, it seems. But chiropractic philosophy and medical research have told us a great deal about the causes of disease. While medical practice has a very mechanistic philosophy, chiropractic, and medical researchers, are talking in a very holistic philosophy. When you ask me how does one get sick, I give you the answer emerging from this school: Psychological, chemical and physical stresses in your life overwhelm your body’s innate life-magic for managing itself. This life power is considerable, but you aren’t a god, you’re mortal. This life power is as much a thing of consciousness as it is cellular energy. This “consciousness” must have a model, or it would be completely adaptable and changeable. So, stress events wound your consciousness, and this in turn mars how your nervous system and brain are handling all the thousands of systems involved in your perfect health. Now, some of those systems are “off”, and you develop symptoms of allergy or high cholesterol or anything else that is a slip from optimum health. And so, to get at the cause of disease, we need to look beyond genes, which medical research has shown us are also expressions of our consciousness and nervous system, and look at ways to reduce stresses and then attack the chain of events in disease at the level of nervous system and consciousness. This is more our future than gadgets. Capitol Hill Chiropractic Visit 411 East Capitol St., SE 202.544.6035. Serving our neighborhood since 1985.



MANAGING EDITOR: Andrew Lightman CFO & ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Maria Carolina Lopez KIDS & FAMILY EDITOR: Susan Braun Johnson ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Mary-Frances Daly

Mickey Thompson •

HOMES & GARDENS Rindy O’Brien - Hill Gardener • Derek Thomas • Judith Capen • HomeStyle: Mark Johnson •



ART: Jim Magner • DINING: Celeste McCall • HIT THE CITY: Kathleen Donner • LITERATURE: Karen Lyon • MOVIES: Mike Canning • MUSIC: Jean-Keith Fagon • RETAIL THERAPY: Scott Frazini • THEATER: Brad Hathaway • TRAVEL: Maggie Hall • THE WINE GUYS: Jon Genderson •

Tanya Snyder • Hunter Gorinson • ANC6C: Hunter Gorinson • ANC6D: Roberta Weiner • BARRACKS ROW: H STREET LIFE: Elise Bernard • THE NOSE: LOGAN CIRCLE • SHAW • MOUNT VERNON TRIANGLE • BLOOMINGDALE • 14TH & U • ANC6B:




Michelle Evans • Celeste McCall • Heather Schoell • Tanya Synder • Virginia Avniel Spatz • Peter Waldron • Kathleen Donner • Stephanie Deutsch • Paul D. Shinkman - Melanie Sunukjian - Shannon Holloway -

SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Deborah Bandzerewicz 202.543.8300 X13 • ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Kira Means 202.543.8300 X16 • CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING: Maria Carolina Lopez 202.543.8300 X12 • MARKETING ASST.: Giancarlo Fagon



Patricia Cinelli • Ronda Bresnick Hauss, LCSW • Peter Sherer •

KIDS & FAMILY Kathleen Donner • Susan Johnson •



DEADLINES & CONTACTS ADVERTISING: DISPLAY ADS: 15th of each month CLASSIFIED ADS: 10th of each month EDITORIAL: 15th of each month; BULLETIN BOARD & CALENDAR: 15th of each month;,

We welcome suggestions for stories. Send queries to We are also interested in your views on community issues which are published in the Last Word. Please limit your comments to 250 words. Letters may be edited for space. Please include your name, address and phone number. Send Last Word submissions to For employment opportunities email


Copyright © 2010 by Capital Community News. All Rights Reserved. 10 ★ HillRag | January 2011

GO.SEE.DO. Patti LaBelle in Choral Tribute to Martin Luther King Hear Patti Labelle and the Let Freedom Ring Choir in concert at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Monday, January 17 at 6:00 PM in tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. This musical celebration is co-hosted by the Kennedy Center and Georgetown University. During the evening Georgetown University will award the ninth annual John Thompson Legacy of a Dream Award to Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery—a leader in the American Civil Rights movement. Free tickets will be distributed (two per person in line) in the Hall of Nations starting at 4:00 PM that day on a first come, first served basis. The line forms early. 202-467-4600.

MLK National Day of Service For Haiti and the MLK National Day of Service, come to the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Sunday, Jan. 16 for the Service To Serve Haiti Fair. This event is an ecumenical, inter-faith gathering to commemorate the January 12th, 2010 earthquake that devastated part of Haiti and to engage local citizens in partnering with Haitian organizations actively reconstructing their schools, clinics, and small businesses. A Service of Recommitment will be held at 4:00 PM in the sanctuary. The fair itself will be held in the Fellowship Hall from 3:00-6:00 PM for non-profit partners of Haitian organizations to display their project’s work, seek volunteers and raise material and financial support. 212 E. Capitol St. NE. Martin Luther King National Day of Service was designated by Congress in 1994 transforming the holiday into a national day of community service. Serve DC and the Office of the Secretary ask for volunteers to take part in a day that keeps alive a legacy of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Volunteers will participate in over 1300 projects throughout DC’s 8 wards. 12 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Sunday Evening Concerts at the National Gallery of Art On Sunday evenings, the National Gallery of Art presents free live music concerts in the West Building, West Garden Court. On Jan. 2, hear the American String Quartet; Jan. 9, the National Gallery of Art Orchestra; Jan. 16, Bruno Nasta, violinist, and Ensemble; Jan 23, Verge Ensemble; Jan 30, Victor Goldberg, pianist. The entrance at Sxith Street and Constitution Avenue, NW remains open on Sundays until 6:30 PM. Concerts are every Sunday except in summer when the National Gallery of Art presents Jazz in the Garden on Friday nights. 202-842-6941. American String Quartet. Photo: Peter Schaaf

Horton Foote’s “The Carpetbagger’s Children” at Ford’s In a series of charming, humorous and poignant vignettes, Horton Foote’s “The Carpetbagger’s Children” weaves a captivating tapestry of family secrets, small-town lives and private tragedies. At the center of the play are sisters Cornelia, Grace Anne and Sissie, daughters of a Union soldier who moved south after the war. The sisters’ bonds are challenged as they seek to preserve the family’s Texas plantation in an era of startling growth and change. An Academy Award-winning playwright, Foote won the 2002 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics New Play Award for “The Carpetbagger’s Children.” This play, at Ford’s Theatre from Jan. 21Feb.13, is part of Civil War to Civil Rights, a citywide commemoration marking the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War that also explores D.C.’s unique role in the civil rights movement. Tickets are $15-$55 with discounts for groups, senior citizens, military personnel and those younger than 35. 202-347-4833. The Carpetbagger’s Children. Photo: Courtesy of Ford’s Theatre

Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park On Saturday, Jan. 29, an estimated 15,000 participants of all ages will take a dip in the wintry waters of the Chesapeake Bay at Sandy Point State Park. This year Plunge includes a brand-new “Frigid Friday” Polar Bear Plunge for school teams, the 80’s themed Rams Head Ice Lodge, an entertainment tent featuring live music and beer and wine for sale; and a bigger and better festival. Participation is $50 in pledges or a $50 donation to Special Olympics Maryland. Since the event’s inception in 1997, approximately 60,000 people have taken the Plunge, raising a total of $16.1 million dollars for Special Olympics athletes. Anyone can participate. Under 18 requires parent or guardian signature. Plunges will take place at both 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Registration begins at 8:00 AM. You may preregister online at or by calling 800-541-7544 x503. ★ 13

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Books & Beyond at the Library of Congress. Wednesday, Jan. 12, noon. Kate Masur will discuss and sign her new book An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle Over Equality in Washington, DC. Free. Montpelier Room, Madison Building, Library of Congress. 101 Independence Ave. SE. 202-707-8000. Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Program at the Anacostia Community Museum. Friday, Jan. 14, 7:00-9:30 PM. This annual program honors the birthday and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Free. 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820. MLK Shabbat: Visions of Justice and Freedom. Friday, Jan. 14, 7:30 PM. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue and Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church invite you to celebrate the seventh annual MLK Shabbat service commemorating the spirit and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Musical accompaniment by Turner Memorial Choir and Rak Shalom, a University of Maryland a cappella group. Dessert reception following the service. Free but please RSVP. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. 202-408-3100. A Conversation with Tavis Smiley and Cornel West. Jan. 14, 7:30 PM. Join one of America’s leading public intellectuals, Cornel West, for a wide-ranging conversation with broadcaster and author Tavis Smiley, on African American history and culture. This event is presented as a preview to the exhibition America I AM: The African American Imprint, which opens Feb. 2 at National Geographic Museum. $20. National Geographic Museum, 17th and M sts. NW. 202-857-7000.

Eric Messner as Nightlife in Gwydion Suilebhan’s REALS, a Taffety Punk bootleg production. Photo: Marcus Kyd.

REALS, the Bootleg Tuesday, Jan. 18, 8:00 PM. To celebrate the newest addition to the Taffety Punk line-up, Resident Playwright Gwydion Suilebhan, the Punks will perform his new play about real caped-crusaders “bootleg” style. Fans of Taffety Punk will know their annual Bootleg Shakespeare Productions--where they rehearse and perform an entire Shakespeare play in a single day. This will be the first attempt to bootleg a contemporary work. Don’t miss the world premiere of REALS! Three Camera streaming video to arena stage. $10 Donation. Corner Store, 900 South Carolina Ave. SE. 202-544-5807. 14 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Family Festival. Jan. 15–17, 10:00 AM-5:30 PM. The National Museum of American History remembers King’s legacy and the contributions of thousands of other Americans to justice and freedom during the Civil Rights Movement with a weekend of special events. Visitors can participate in Student Sit-ins, a Freedom Riders Roundtable Discussion and experience a stirring and inspirational tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as the museum’s Freedom Singers present songs of the Civil Rights Movement, followed by a dramatic presentation of Dr. King’s own words. 202-6331000. Martin Luther King Day Concert at National Cathedral. Monday, Jan. 17, 2:00 PM. This annual tribute celebrates the legacy of Dr. King through service projects, interfaith dialogue, and performances of our city’s rich music and dance heritage. No reservations are required to attend this program of soulful music and dance. Admission is a donation of either a non-perishable canned food item or a new children’s book. Washington National Cathedral (intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin aves. NW). MLK Day: Not Just Another Day Off. Monday, Jan. 17, 11:00-1:00 PM. Combining dramatic readings of speeches and poetry, Folger Shakespeare Library celebrates the spirit of


Martin Luther King Jr. with this free and family-friendly event. Folger Shakespeare Library Wreath-Laying at the Lincoln Memorial. Monday, Jan. 17, 1:00 PM. The National Park Service will place a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial, on the steps where Dr. King gave his 1963 speech. The recitation of the “I Have a Dream” speech will be presented by students of Washington, DC’s Watkins Elementary School. 202-426-6895. Alexandria, Virginia MLK Poster Contest Awards. Monday, Jan. 17, 1:00-3:00 PM. Posters on display and prizes awarded. Free. City Hall, 301 K St., Alexandria, VA. 703-7464356. Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday Public Skate. Fort Dupont Ice Arena welcomes all skaters on Monday, Jan 17, 1:00-2:20 PM. Children 12 and under and seniors, $4. Skaters 13 and older, $5. Skate rental is $3. 3779 Ely Pl. SE. 202-584-5007. Civil Rights History: On American Soil. Thursday, Jan. 20, noon. Jack Hamann will discuss On American Soil: How Justice Became a Casualty of WWII, an account of one of the most controversial events in American civil rights and military justice history. In the U.S. Army’s largest and longest court-martial of World War II, 43 African American soldiers were accused of rioting and charged with the murder of an Italian prisoner of war. After dozens of interviews and years of research, Hamann uncovered documents in the National Archives that shed new light on the case and led to justice for the African American soldiers. A book signing will follow the program. National Archives, Jefferson Room, Pennsylvania Ave. at Seventh St. NW. 202357-5300. Greater DC Cares Volunteer Opportunities. On Monday, Jan. 17, Greater DC Cares will continue the proud tradition of honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the role of community service by engaging nearly 2,000 corporate and community volunteers of all ages and backgrounds in service projects throughout Washington, DC, Maryland & Virginia. Join them as they remember his legacy and commitment to service by volunteering with Greater DC Cares! Call 202-777-4441 or register online at Washington, DC Martin Luther King. Jr. National Memorial. Dr. King championed a movement that draws fully from the deep well of America’s potential for freedom, opportunity, and justice. His vision of America is captured in his message of hope and possibility for a future anchored in dignity, sensitivity, and mutual respect; a message that challenges each of us to recognize that America’s true strength lies in its diversity of talents. The vision of a memorial in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. is one that captures the essence of his message, a message in which he so eloquently affirms the commanding tenants of the American Dream — Freedom, Democracy and Opportunity for All; a noble quest that gained him the Nobel Peace Prize and one that continues to influence people and soci-

eties throughout the world. Upon reflection, we are reminded that Dr. King’s lifelong dedication to the idea of achieving human dignity through global relationships of well being has served to instill a broader and deeper sense of duty within each of us— a duty to be both responsible citizens and conscientious stewards of freedom and democracy. Keep track of the memorial construction at


MANY THANKS... for Making 2010 Our Best Year Yet!

Leaves, Words and Screens at City Gallery. Jan 2-28. Opening Reception, Jan. 8, 6:009:00 PM. Collage by Ronnie Spiewak. 804 H St. NE. 202.468.5277. Jonny Grave CD Release Show. Friday, Jan. 7, 8:00 PM. Rock-a-billy and roots country. $5 (cash only at the door). Ebenezers Coffeehouse, 201 F St. NE. 202-558-6900. Double header Movie Night with Taffety Punk. Friday, Jan. 7, 8:00 PM. “Bewildered,” a semi-sci-fi short penned by new Taffety Punk resident playwright Gwydion Suilebhan, follows an agricultural scientist (played by Marcus Kyd) into his experimental corn fields where he finds a delusional young woman (Kimberly Gilbert) who’s been living among the stalks. “The Story of Plena” is a sneak preview of company member Paulina Guerrero’s documentary about the traditional Plena musicians of Puerto Rico who lead street festivals during Little Christmas. Also featuring the Corner Store’s famous popcorn. $5 donation. Save a seat at 202-544-5807. Corner Store, 900 South Carolina Ave. SE. 202-5445807. Diana Quinn’s “Bubble Splash” and “Musicians” Series. Gallery-show opening on Saturday, Jan. 8, 6:00 PM. Capitol Hill musician and artist Diana Quinn uses acrylics, spray paint, house paint, stencils, string and other everyday objects to create multi-textured paintings on board and canvas. Diana and the band will perform at the opening. Free. Corner Store, 900 South Carolina Ave. SE. 202-544-5807. National Symphony Orchestra presents “Sanctuary: A Sacred Sound Concert”. Saturday, Jan. 8, 5:00 PM. The National Symphony Orchestra and Neworks Productions present a special performance celebrating African American sacred music traditions, including anthems, spirituals, hymns, praise and worship songs, and gospel. The concert will feature Y’Anna Crawley (BET’s Sunday Best), Dennis Sawyer (Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church), Vanessa Williams (Richard Smallwood Singers), and accalimed conductor Nolan Williams, Jr. $10 (12 and under $5). THEARC Theater, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-889-5901. CHAW Annual Photography Exhibition Opening. Saturday, Jan. 8, 5:00-7:00 PM at CHAW, 545 Seventh Street, SE. The exhibition features works from local and regional artists using a variety of photographic pro-

317 10th St, NE # 11 $317,000 | The Hawthorne is waiting with all its Art Deco charm. 7 windows! 1BR, 1BA, FP, storage closet, new appliances, A/C, HW floors, bookshelves, deck, H street, 2 metros, Barracks Row, low condo fee. Phew!

UNDER CONTRACT: 409 1st St, SE .................................................................... $689,000 606 Kentucky Ave, SE - Unit A .......................................... $489,000 1307 S Carolina Ave, SE .................................................... $998,500 736 7th St, SE ................................................................... $599,000

Megan Shapiro (Cell) 202-329-4068

George Olson (Cell) 202-203-0339 Allegiance

The Norris Group ★ 15

AARP (Chapter 2881) Monthly Meeting.Second Tuesday of every month, noon. Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Ave. SE. Will Hill, President. Call him at 202-5443785 for more information. cesses including black and white, color, traditional, alternative, material, and digital. Free. The show continues until Feb. 4. 202547-6839. Books & Beyond at the Library of Congress. Wednesday, Jan. 12, noon. Kate Masur will discuss and sign her new book An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle Over Equality in Washington, D.C. (University of North Carolina Press, 2009). Montpelier Room, Madison Building

Politics & Entertainment. Jan. 12, noon-1:00 PM. Alan Gevinson, curator of the “Hope for America: Performers, Politics & Pop Culture” exhibition, gives a talk on “Blurring the Lines of Politics and Entertainment.” Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment, ground floor Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress. 202-707-9203.

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Breaking Laces and Jake Armerding with Jason Liebman. Thursday, Jan 13, 7:30 PM. Breaking Laces is a three-piece acoustic rock band out of Brooklyn NY with a sound that has stylistic debts to such artists as Death Cab for Cutie, Snow Patrol, They Might Be Giants and the Lemonheads. Since the release of their first album in 2003, Breaking Laces has sold over 30,000 records independently and over 100,000 digital downloads. $10. Ebenezers Coffeehouse, 201 F St. NE. 202-5586900.

SAW Young Artist Showcase Hosted by Margot MacDonald. Friday, Jan. 14, 7:30 PM. $5 suggested donation. Ebenezers Coffeehouse, 201 F St. NE. 202-558-6900. St. Mark’s Players Present “Inherit the Wind.” Performances on Jan. 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 12, 28 and 29. St. Marks Episcopal Church, 301 A St. SE. $20. 202-546-9670. Gross National Product in “The Sound of Palin”. Fridays and Saturdays, Jan 14-Feb. 18, 8:00 PM. Gross National Product returns with a comedy revue entitled “The Sound of Palin.” The title sketch “Sound of Palin” is a GNP mini- bastardization of Rodgers and Hammersteins’ classic musical which follows the political witt-less-cisms of Palin from Mayor to Reality Star and Beyond? “The Hill is Alive” with laughs as that ex-Gov with that twangy G-rated mouth sings and dances her way to the Presidency in 2012 and “Climbs every Office.” $10-$15-$20. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. 202-399-7993. Prevention Works Mobile Health Unit Training. Saturday, Jan. 15, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM. Topics included will be PW History/Overview, HIV 101, Harm Reduction 101, Wound Care, Universal Precautions, Safer Injection Techniques, Tools of the Trade, and Needs of the Transgender Community. Sunday, Jan. 16, 1:00-4:00 PM. Topics included will be

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Hepatitis C, Overdose Prevention and Response, Techniques for Outreach, and Policies and Forms. Both days of training are required. To reserve a slot: please send an email to Mary Beth Levin at Film Screening of “My Mother’s Journey.” Monday, Jan.17, 7:00 PM. Documentary tracing one African American woman’s migration from the South to the North, and her work in the civil rights era and beyond. Post show discussion with the filmmakers Sam & Kirsten Hampton. Open Donation. Corner Store, 900 South Carolina Ave. SE. 202-544-5807.

Public Programs at the Anacostia Community Museum Jan. 5 We Shall Overcome: The Song That Moved a Nation (58 min. film), 10:30 a.m. We Shall Overcome traces the origins of the civil rights movement through a single song performed by the SNCC Freedom Singers; Peter, Paul, and Mary; and Joan Baez. Andrew Young, Julian Bond, and other veterans of the 1960’s reminisce about the meaning of the song. Jan. 8 The Music of West Africa, 2 p.m. Brother Ah and the Sound of Awareness Ensemble lead a workshop that provides a compelling introduction to the rhythms of traditional Africa. Jan. 9 Rhythm Café: “The Long Awaited Return-Home Again”, 2 p.m. In the final installment of David Vandy’s three-part series that offers traditional dancing with masks and music, the long-awaited Gullah relatives return to Sierra Leone to the welcoming arms of a proud people eager for their kinfolk’s arrival.With stories from the unknown land, the homecoming celebrations are filled with emotions, tears, and laughter. Jan. 11 The Sierra Leone-Gullah Link, Part 1, 7 p.m. Journalist Kwame “Cumale” Fitzjohn moderates this series analyzing the relationships between the Sierra Leone and Gullah cultures. E. Frances White, a New York University professor, discusses the market place, role of female vendors, rice crops and other commonalities between Gullahs and Sierra Leoneans. Part 2: Jan. 28. Jan. 14 Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Program, 7-9 p.m. Annual program features keynoter FOX News analyst Juan Williams followed by a dialogue with Essence Magazine White House correspondent Cynthia Gordy. Performance by Taratibu Pan African steppers. Free admission but reservations requested. For more information, call 202.633.4875; for reservations, email At National Museum of Natural History, Baird Auditorium Constitution Avenue at 10th Street Nw. Jan. 15 Inspired by the African Gullah Traditions, 10:30 a.m. Inspired by African and Gullah traditions, create your own personalized mojo, an inspirational charm, from a variety of familiar found objects and everyday materials. Artist Camilla Younger leads the workshop. Jan. 22 Washington’s Dance Party (45 min film), 1 p.m. Documentary Dance Party: The Teenarama Story (2006) examines the popular TV dance programs of the 1950s and 1960s. Teenarama aired on the former WOOK-TV channel 14 from 1963 to 1970 and provided a social outlet for Washington, D.C., black teens. Followed by discussion with filmmakers, show producer and participants. Jan. 23 The Language You Cry In (52 min. film), 2 p.m. This film traces the memory of a African American family to their ancestral roots through a Mende (Sierra Leone) funeral song based on linguist Lorenzo Dow Turner’s 1930s research of a song from Ga. Sea Islander Amelia Dawley. Jan. 28 The Sierra Leone-Gullah Link, Part 2, 7 p.m. Journalist Kwame “Cumale” Fitzjohn moderates part 2 of this series analyzing of the relationships between the Sierra Leone and Gullah cultures. Arthur Abraham, a Virginia State University professor and consultant on the Mende of Sierra Leone for the Amistad movie, discusses Mende history and culture. Jan. 29 Folk tales from Africa to the Americas, 10:30 a.m. Master storyteller Baba-C shares his unique blend of interactive storytelling through West African, Afro-Brazilian, and Gullah tales imparting life lessons and featuring Anansi the Spider, Bossy Elephant, and others. Feb. 3 Black Seminoles: The Gullah That Got Away, 7 p.m. Word Shout Song: curator Alcione Amos, explains how Black Seminoles, who now live in three countries, were originally Gullah people who fled SC and Ga. into Fla. Editor of the book ,The Black Seminoles: History of a Freedom Speaking People, Amos will tell the story of a people who kept their language and traditions despite enslavement. REMINDER: All events are free, open to the public and require reservations which may be made at 202.633.4844 unless otherwise indicated. 1901 Fort Pl. SE, Open 10am-5pm daily except Dec. 25. 202.633.4820 Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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REALS, the Bootleg. Tuesday, Jan. 18, 8:00 PM. To celebrate the newest addition to the Taffety Punk line-up, Resident Playwright Gwydion Suilebhan, the Punks will perform his new play about real caped-crusaders “bootleg” style. Fans of Taffety Punk will know their annual Bootleg Shakespeare Productions--where they rehearse and perform an entire Shakespeare play in a single day. This will be the first attempt to bootleg a contemporary work. Don’t miss the world premiere of REALS! Three Camera streaming video to arena stage. $10 Donation. Corner Store, 900 South Carolina Ave. SE. 202-544-5807. History of Weight Watching. Jan. 19, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM. Nutrition, obesity and weight loss will be discussed by a panel of experts from Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina and Weight Watchers International. Mumford Rroom, sixth floor, James Madison Building, Library of Congress. 202-707-1205. Joe Rathbone with Shane Cooley. Friday, Jan 21, 8:00 PM. Joe Rathbone will be performing with his band. $7. Ebenezers Coffeehouse, 201 F St. NE. 202-558-6900. Beyond Home Remedy: Women, Medicine, and Science. Jan. 21–May 14, 10:00 AM5:00 PM. Monday–Saturday. Syrup of violets, plague water, a drink made from snails – these are some of the “healthy” recipes concocted by women in Shakespeare’s England that will be featured in this fascinating look at historic medicine. This exhibition highlights women at all levels of society—from the Countess of Kent and Lady Castleton to Hannah Woolley and Mrs. Anne Coates—who were known to practice medicine. Manuscript, text, and image from the Folger’s collection bring the work of these women to life, while natural history specimens and instruments from the Smithsonian help to demonstrate the elaborate nature of the recipes women constructed and shared with one another. Free. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St. SE. 202-544-4600. Collection Connections at the US Postal Museum. Saturday, Jan. 22, 11:00 AM-3:00 PM. Discover the fun of stamp collecting! Drop by to learn how to make a topical collection, select stamps to take home, and explore the exhibition Collecting History: 125 Years of the National Philatelic Collection. Free. 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE. 202-633-5555. post- Building a Vocal Community®: Singing in the African American Tradition Workshop. Monday, Jan. 24, 7:00-9:00 PM. Masterfully led by Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell, singers and nonsingers alike will share the common experience of learning in the oral tradition and singing rhythms, chants, traditional songs from Africa and the Diaspora, and a variety of songs from African American culture including spirituals, ring shouts, hymns, gospels, and songs from the Civil Rights Movement. Admission is $10 and reservations are encouraged. 202-5476839 or email The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare. Jan. 25–Mar. 6. Previews, January 25–30. A shipwreck, one of Shakespeare’s favorite launching devices, starts off this comedy’s craziness of coincidence and confusion. Antipholus and his servand Dromio journey from Syracuse in search of their long-lost, identically named twin brothers. Their arrival in Ephesus sets off a chain of mishaps as the twins are mistaken for each other, culminating in a climax of comedic chaos. $30-$60. Folger Elizabethan Theatre, 201 E. Capitol St. SE. 202-544-4600. Grounds for Discussion Forum at St. Augustine’s. Sunday, Jan. 30, 11:00 AM. Guest Speaker, Barbara Ehrlich, community activist. Grounds for Discussion is a community speaker forum offered by the church on the last Sunday of each month from 11:00 AM-noon. It focuses on local, national and global issues that challenge us both as citizens and people of faith. Guest speakers include writers, educators, and civic and church leaders. 600 M St. SW. 202-554-3222. Exploring the Early Americas Exhibition at the Library of Congress. Visit Monday-Saturday, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM. Exploring the Early Americas features selections from the more than 3,000 rare maps, documents, paintings, prints, and artifacts that make up the Jay I. Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress. It provides insight into indigenous cultures, the drama of the encounters between Native Americans and European explorers and settlers, and the pivotal changes caused by the meeting of the American and European worlds. The exhibition includes two extraordinary maps by Martin Waldseemüller created in 1507 and 1516, which depict a world enlarged by the presence of the Western Hemisphere. Northwest Gallery, second floor, Thomas Jefferson Building. 202-707-4604.

SPORTS, DANCE, PHYSICAL FITNESS 2011 Predictions & Resolutions 5K. Saturday, Jan. 1, noon-1:30 PM. Out-and-Back 5K course on the Mount Vernon Tail starting near Key Bridge. $5. 2100 North Lynn St., Arlington, VA. email Georgetown Men’s Basketball at the Verizon Center. Jan. 1, 8, 12, 26 and 31. Buy

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2011 Al Lewis 10 Miler. Saturday, Jan. 8, 9:00 AM-noon. Although this is in Rock Creek Park, it is not a flat course and has some nice hills after Mile 1 and along the portions of the course parallel to Military Rd. and Oregon Ave. $5. Meadowbrook Recreation Center, 7901 Meadowbrook Lane, Chevy Chase, MD. Contact Dance Studio Classes at St. Marks. Founded more than 20 years ago, the St. Mark’s Dance Studio has been training dancers primarily in ballet and jazz. Classes for both children and adults, beginner and advanced, are available and open to both parish members and the community. Private ballroom lessons are also available for wedding parties. For more information, contact Rosie Brooks at 202-543-0054. Ice Skating at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Open through Mid March (depending on the weather). M-Th, 10:00 AM9:00 PM; F and Sat. 10:00 AM-11 PM; Sun. 11:00 AM-9:00 PM. View magnificent works of sculpture while skating in the open air and enjoying music from the state-of-the-art sound system. $7 for adults, $6 for children 12 and under, students with ID and seniors 50 and over. Skate rental is $3. Seventh St. and Constitution Ave. NW. 202-289-3361.

Alex Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow Smithsonian American Art Museum. Currently on exhibit until May 8, 2011. The stunning work of Alexis Rockman’s large and small paintings are monumental in technique and impact. The real impact, beyond the mastery of technique, comes from the realization of what you see: the truths and fantasies of a universe evolving at warp speed. These are major and often scary statements that go beyo nd science to the emotional ties that leap from primordial forces and ooze from the pores and orifices of every living thing. Alexis Rockman is the complete package. Shown: Alexis Rockman, Airport, 1997. Envirotex, digitzaed photograph, vacuum-formed Styrofoam with aluminum finish, Plasticene, oil paint, and Laughing Gull specimen on wood. Collection of Rachel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann. Courtesy of Artist

and sell tickets at the “Stub Hub” on the Hoyas website. Washington Capitals Ice Hockey. Jan. 4, 8, 14, 16 and 24 at the Verizon Center. Buy and sell tickets on teamexchange.ticketmaster. com. Visit the Washington Capitals website at Washington Wizards Basketball. Jan. 1, 7, 11, 15, 17, 21, 22 and 25 at the Verizon Center. East Potomac Tennis Center (indoor courts).

20 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Open daily. Indoor courts available year round at 70 degrees. 7:00 AM-10:00 PM. Winter indoor court fees are $17-$36/hour depending on the time. 1090 Ohio Dr. SW (East Potomac Park). 202-554-5962. Southeast Tennis and Learning Center (indoor courts). Open daily; Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM-9:00 PM; Sunday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM. Four indoor courts. Six outdoor courts. Summer hourly fees at $6 to $10 for adults. Kids 17 and under play for free. 701 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-645-6242.

Fort Dupont Ice Arena Public Skating. Fridays in Jan., noon-1:50 pm; Saturdays in Dec., 11:15 AM-12:15 PM. $5, adults. $4, children and seniors. Skate rental, $3. 3779 Ely Place, SE. 202-584-5007. National Marathon and Half-Marathon Registration Open. The race is Saturday, Mar. 26, 7:00 AM. The National Marathon is the only marathon held entirely within the boundaries of the District of Columbia. The races begin and end at RFK Stadium, 2400 E. Capitol St. providing the opportunity to run past all of the historic monuments, museums and corridors of the city. This course is the fastest flat-looped marathon in the country and is a Boston Marathon qualifying race. Registration is $105. Half Marathon is $85. NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo. Saturday, Jan. 15-Sunday, Jan. 16, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. More than 200 health care providers, businesses, and non-profit organizations will be on site at the Expo. They will provide free assessments, advice and information, and tests, screenings and services. Also, raffles and giveaways, blood drive, dancing, healthy cooking stage and a Winter Olympics pavilion. Free. Washington Convention Center. 2011 JFK 20 & MLK 5K (low key) Races. Saturday, Jan 15, 9:00 AM-noon. This race will feature both a 20K and a 5K out and back on the Capital Crescent Trail. Register online before the race, there will be only a limited number of same day registrations. Online registration will close at 11:30 P.M. on Jan. 14. $5. 3700 Water St. NW (Georgetown). 301-233-7147. Volunteer Nights at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. Typically held on the first and third Wednesday of each month, 6:308:30 PM, they invite everyone and anyone to come by the WABA office and assist with the latest project. Tasks might include preparing

materials for an upcoming events, stuffing envelops for membership mailings and anything else needed at the time. 2599 Ontario Rd. NW. 202.518.0524. Tennis on the a non-profit Community Tennis Association, promoting and facilitating the playing and enjoyment of tennis as a means of healthy recreation and lifelong physical fitness for all ages, abilities, income levels, and backgrounds in the community of greater Capitol Hill and surrounding area. Find junior programs, adult programs, adult conmpetition and tennis socials on

CIVIC LIFE Community Office Hours with Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells. Second Thursday of the month in Southwest and fourth Thursday of the month on H St. NE; both are 8-9:30 AM. All Ward 6 residents encouraged to come out and meet with Wells and members of his staff. Call Wells’ office for meeting location, 202-7248072. Orange Hat. Every Friday, 7:30-8:30 PM. An informative, pleasant stroll around the neighborhood to discuss current neighborhood issues and visit areas of interest. Dogs, kids welcome. Rain cancels. Meet at corner of Kentucky, 14th and D sts.SE Champs Links Lunch. Jan. 20, 11:30 AM-1:00 PM. (3rd Thursday of every month except August) Location TBA. Goals, Strategies and Setting Benchmarks for Accomplishment. $20. RSVP to Champs or 202-5477788. See the Supreme Court in Session. Jan. 10, 11, 12, 18 and 19. Be in line by 7:00-7:30 AM for seats for ordinary cases. There is a second line for people who want to view the court in session for 3 minutes. Free. One First St. NE. 202-479-3211. Thursdays at 1:00 PM at the US Capitol Visitor’s Center. Join curators, historians, and educators from the US Capitol, National Archives and Library of Congress as they reveal stories about Congress and the Capitol through documents and objects on display in Exhibition Hall. Talks are 15 minutes. Meet at the entrance to the Exhibition Hall on the lower level. No reservations required. ANC Meeting for 6-A. Second Thursday, 7:00 PM. Meeting at Miner Elementary School, 601 15th St. NE. 202-423-8868. ANC Meeting for 6-B. Second Tuesday, 7:00 PM. Meeting at The Peoples Church, 535 Eighth St. SE. 202-543-3344. ANC Meeting for 6-C. Second Wednesday, 7:00 PM. Meeting at Heritage Foundation, 214 Mass. Ave. NE, first floor conference room. 202-5477168. ANC Meeting for 6-D. Second Monday, 7:00 PM. Meeting at Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St, SW. This meeting location may change after January. 202-554-1795.

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OUT OF TOWN International Saxophone Symposium. Friday, Jan. 7, 3:00-7:00 PM, 8:00 PM concert; Saturday, Jan. 8, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, 8:00 PM concert. The event is brought about for the enjoyment and fulfillment of all members of the general community. Because of this mission, they have one of the largest audiences of any saxophoneonly event in the country today. All concerts, clinics, recitals and master classes are free, open to the public, and no tickets are required. George Mason University Center for the Arts. 703-993-2787.

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Art Night at the Torpedo Factory. Second Thursday of every month, 6:00-9:00 PM. Browse open studios and galleries, interact with artists, and enjoy refreshments. Enjoy special programming and exhibition receptions throughout the year. Free. Torpedo Facrory Art Center, 105 North Union St., Alexandria, VA. 703-8384565.

Fort McHenry (Birthplace of the National Anthem). Grounds open daily, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM. It was the valiant defense of the star-shaped Fort McHenry by 1,000 dedicated Americans during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 2400 E. Fort Ave., Baltimore, MD Arlington National Cemetery. Open daily. October through March, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM. Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier every hour, on the hour. Occupying 612 acres of hillside overlooking the Potomac River, Arlington National Cemetery was founded on 200 acres confiscated from the family of Robert E. Lee’s wife. It was intended to be a cemetery for Union soldiers of the Civil War. 703-607-8000. arlingtoncemetery. org. ★

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Rosslyn Lighting the Washington Skyline. Skyline lit through Jan. 31. Rosslyn property owners participate in LIGHT UP Rosslyn by placing holiday lights along the rooftops of their buildings. Over the past two years most Rosslyn buildings have gone green, changing all of their rooftop lights to energy-efficient LED bulbs. The result is an 80 percent energy savings compared to traditional lights. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Gravesite. Open daily. Fitzgerald died at age 44 on December 21, 1940, in Hollywood. After his wife, Zelda, died in a sanitarium fire on March 11, 1948, she was buried with him beneath a common headstone. Fitzgerald had once written that, “I wouldn’t mind a bit if in a few years Zelda and I could snuggle up together under a stone in some graveyard. That is really a happy thought, and not melancholy at all.” Saint Mary’s Cemetery, 520 Veirs Mill Rd., Rockville, MD.

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Capitol Streets HillBuzz by Celeste McCall a volunteer group of professionals. To volunteer or to learn more about Kim’s Garden, go to www.kimsgardendc. The revamped and renamed site is especially appropriate, as Kim was the founder and owner of The Ornamental Garden, a local landscaping firm. “Kim saw beauty and innocence all around her,” said her fiancé, Joe Ardizzone. “What better way to honor her memory than to come together, and create beauty once again.”

New at NoMa Kim Brenegar

Appropriate memorial A little more than a year after the death of Capitol Hill resident entrepreneur Kim Brenegar, family and friends have gathered to create a garden in her memory. Thanks to a partnership with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, a neighborhood park is being restored, redesigned and maintained by the city. Now called “Kim’s Garden,” the space is at the intersection of Eighth Street, Independence and North Carolina avenues SE, next to the Christ our Shepherd church. HillBuzz is familiar with the spot; I often cut through there on the way home from Eastern Market. Local horticulturist Jim Adams is supervising the landscaping, while artist Deirdre Saunder will create a mixed media centerpiece. Renovations are being directed by Friends of Kim Brenegar,

As far as supermarkets are concerned, NoMA is no longer underserved. That area, (north of Union Station) now claims a Harris Teeter supermarket, located at 1201 First St. NE (Constitution Square). And to think that, less than a decade ago, we had to drive to Virginia or elsewhere to shop for cat food, flour, paper products and other staples. At Harris Teeter’s Dec. 7 grand opening, hundreds of happy neighbors turned out. Among the guests was Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells. “I’m thrilled that Harris Teeter has opened its doors in our NoMa neighborhood – one of the fastest growing parts of our city,” he said. “They bring new shopping options to the area, and just as importantly, new jobs to the neighborhood.” Although we normally patronize the Jenkins Row HT near our home, we de-

cided to visit the 50,000 square-foot NoMa newcomer. After sliding our Camry into one of the 168 parking slots (accessible from M Street NE and free for HT shoppers), we grabbed a cart and plowed in. The experience was almost overwhelming. We spent half the time cluelessly roaming the wide aisles and asking where the cream cheese, ground turkey, granola and paper towels were located. But HT employees–even if they weren’t sure themselves--were eager to help. They even escorted us to the desired item. Advice: Get a store map when you arrive. Besides filling an urgent need, the new supermarket has created more than 200 jobs, mainly for folks who live nearby. Harris Teeter has also donated $5,000 to Walker-Jones Elementary School and Two Rivers Charter School.

Peter Bug Honored The block of 13th Street SE between D and E has a new name: “Peter Bug Matthews Way.” After the new

Kim’s Garden at 8th and Independence, SE ★ 23

Peter Bug Matthews was honored by the City by having 13th Street between D and E Streets remanmed Peter Bug Matthews Way. Photo: Andrew Lightman

signs were installed, the city honored Matthews in a small gathering Dec. 18. Last July, the DC Council voted to designate that section to Matthews, who is practically a Capitol Hill legend. Since 1977, Matthews has operated the Peter Bug Shoe Repair Academy at 1320 E St. SE, adjacent to Watkins Elementary School and Buchanan Park. Besides helping his young students find part time employment, he sometimes walks kids home who may be “staying out too late.” In 1990, Matthews launched the Watkins Hornets football team and took five young men under his wing. “They were my children,” he told neighborhood activist Ann Quarzo. “Even though they had parents, they were my children.” He encouraged them, telling them they could make it. One of them has earned his MBA from Howard, and his son plays for a Chicago soccer team. Since last month’s street renaming ceremony was shortened due to frigid temperatures, the major dedication will occur on the 34th annual Peter Bug Day in May.

Art at B. Smith’s At Union Station, there’s still time to view a cheery art show presented by Art Enables, the Washington-based non-profit organization serving adults with developmental and/or mental disabilities. Displayed in the private Cabinet Room of B Smith’s restaurant (in Union Station’s main level), the colorful exhibit 24 ★ HillRag | January 2011

showcases 20 works created by Art Enables artists in their Northeast studio. The snow closes mid-month. Displaying a variety of techniques, participating artists include Shawn Payne, John Simpson, Charles Messiner, Paul Lewis and Margie Smeller. Proceeds from sales go directly to the artists. For more information on Art Enables, visit org or call 703- 417-2709. While you’re at it, you might want to dine at B. Smith’s, which has been serving Cajun, Creole and Southern dishes since 1994. For a menu, hours and more information call 202-289-6188 or

More Art Speaking of local artwork, you have until Jan. 16 to see “A Winter Fine Art Exhibition” at the Fusion Grill, 515 Eighth St. SE, on Barracks Row. Presented by Giovanni’s Art Group of Capitol Hill, the brightly colored paintings depict Eastern Market and other neighborhood scenes. For more information on that independent arts group, call 202-510-2793. Fusion Grill is open daily for lunch and dinner, including Sunday brunch. Call 546-5303 or visit

New Southwest Playground Good news for Southwest families: Kids may soon be romping on a new playground. The Community Benefits Coordinating Council (CBCC) is working with neighbor-

hood parents to establish a children’s park on the city owned property at Third and I streets SW, adjacent to the Southwest public library branch. Partnering with KaBoom, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving playgrounds, Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, Friends of the SW Library and other residents have been working to make the park a reality. One hundred volunteers are needed to build and help maintain the park, which will hopefully be finished by the end of the year. For more information call the ANC6D office at 202554-1795.

New Boathouse In the dead of winter, it might seem unusual to think of water sports, but Washington has a viable recreational boating community, represented by the Anacostia Community Boathouse Association. Boasting 800 members–comprised of 10 high school, community college, and other groups–the 20-year-old organization was honored at Ward 6 Council Member Tommy Wells’ Fourth Annual Livable and Walkable Awards ceremony last December. (See first HillBuzz item.) President Jennifer Ney accepted the “Brickie, and Long and Foster realtor Jim Connolly, the group’s veep, was also present. Last summer, the ACBA had to move from its headquarters (tucked beneath the 11th Street Bridge), when its boathouse was demolished to make room for a new bridge span. The group relocated a few blocks away to 1900 M St. SE, where it erected a new boathouse. This temporary structure is make of fabric stretched over a metal frame, similar to the tent Eastern Market occupied for two years after the 2007 fire. Last month, the Anacostia Community Boathouse Association celebrated its new home with a festive awards gala and lighting ceremony. For more information visit ★


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300-318 G Street, NE are illustrative of the Classical Revival style, a design aesthetic popular around Northeast Capitol Hill at the beginning of the twentieth century. This will be part of a presentation Jan. 19 sponsored by CHRS. Photo: Courtesy of CHRS

Learn about the Development History of the Near Northeast Mayoral Inaugural, Jan. 2 An exciting day of inaugural events has been planned in honor of Vincent C. Gray as the next Mayor of the District of Columbia. All events, which are free to the public, will be held on Sunday, Jan. 2 at the Washington Convention Center. The day will begin with an 8:30 a.m. ecumenical Prayer Service, “One City…Praying Together,” followed by the “One City…Moving Forward Together” Mayoral Inauguration and Swearing-In Ceremony of the Council Chairman-Elect Kwame R. Brown and Councilmember At-Large Phil Mendelson, Councilmember At-Large David Catania, Councilmember Jim Graham (Ward 2), Councilmember Mary Cheh (Ward 3), Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. (Ward 5) and Councilmember Tommy Wells (Ward 6). The Swearing-In Ceremony for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, DC State Board of Education Members, and Shadow United States Representatives will immediately follow at 1:00 p.m. The activities will end with the Inaugural Gala, “One City …Celebrating Together.” The Gala will have a distinct hometown Washington, DC flavor featuring DC artists Chuck Brown and Raheem Devaugh along with Style Band and The Yvonne Johnson Trio. A variety of dining and beverage stations will be available for guests. Free tickets were distributed in December. 202-442-4729. 26 ★ HillRag | January 2011

CHRS is sponsoring a presentation by EHT Traceries, the architectural history firm that has been documenting the history of the buildings outside the boundaries of the Capitol Hill Historic District over the past few years. This presentation will describe the development history of the neighborhood adjacent to the H St. commercial corridor (roughly, from 2nd to 15th St.and H to F sts. NE). You will hear about Swampoodle, as well as the transportation and government industries that helped give rise to the near northeast’s development. Learn the distinctions among Italianate, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Classical Revival building styles, as explained by knowledgeable architectural historians. This particular phase of the greater Capitol Hill survey was funded by the Louis Dreyfus Property Group, as mitigation for the demolition of 12 historic buildings to make way for their new mixed-use development on Square 752 (approximately bounded by H and G sts. and Second and Third sts. NE). This event is free and open to the public as part of the CHRS “Beyond the Boundaries” program, which seeks to promote the appreciation of neighborhood history and support historic preservation efforts outside the boundaries of the Capitol Hill Historic District. Wednesday, Jan 19, 6:00-7:15 p.m. Ebenezers Coffeehouse, 201 F St. NE.

Fragerama 2011 Photograph yourself in a Frager’s tee-shirt at your exotic vacation destination and send it in an envelop or email to Frager’s Hardware for publication on their website and a chance to win $100. Winner announced at end of Sept. 2011. 202-5436157.

New Metrobus Benning RoadH Street Limited Stop Express Service Metrobus Express X9 service with limited stops and buses every 15 minutes operates Monday through Friday during morning (6:15-9:00 a.m.) and afternoon (3:30-6:30 p.m.) rush hours. Get on wherever you see the blue and gray Metrobus Express sign. 202-637-7000.

Become a CHAW Board Member Capitol Hill Arts Workshop is seeking individuals interested in serving on its Board of Directors. Each year directors attend seven board meetings and one off-site retreat. Terms of service are two years and begin in January 2011. Board members support CHAW’s mission of building community through the arts by serving as ambassadors for CHAW in the community, securing financial support for CHAW’s programs, and participating in Board committee work. As a director, you sustain and strengthen community, share CHAW’s legacy of teaching thousands of children and adults to explore the inner artist, and make sure that the arts are accessible particularly for children who might not otherwise have access to the arts. 202-5476839.

We are the District’s




Remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Tuesday, Jan. 18, 7:00 p.m., the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Arts ★ 27

tium and the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop will offer a Remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church, Fourth and Independence Ave. SE. Participants in the Remembrance include: Fortissima, Choir of the Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church, Not What You Think, Nuance, Rock Creek Singers of Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C., Jubilee Singers of All Souls Unitarian, the Capitol Hill Youth Chorus, and artist Pamela Jafari. The performance will conclude with a special appearance by the youth of the Bokamoso Youth Centre in Winterveldt Township near Pretoria, South Africa who will talk and sing about their challenges and dreams. The event is free and open to the public. The church is accessible and the event will be interpreted for the deaf. 202-547-4102. or

Museum of African American History and Culture Public Meeting On Jan. 6, 5:30-7:00 p.m., the National Capital Planning Commission and the Smithsonian Institution will host a public meeting regarding construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Members of the public and local and federal agencies will have the opportunity to ask questions and give their input following a formal presentation about plans for the museum. 401 Nineth St. NW, Suite 500.

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EMMCA Launches Website -



Eastern Market Metro Community Association announces the launch of its new website, Editors Barbara Riehle and Larry Janezich will use the site to keep the community informed

about developments in the neighborhood. Everyone is free to comment on the postings, but only EMMCA members will be asked to take positions on issues. The editors welcome suggestions.

CHAW Now Registering Students for Spring Classes and Workshops The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW ) is now registering youth and adult students for a slate of new classes and workshops in the visual and performing arts. The popular Youth Arts Program for ages 5-12 runs Jan. 3-June 10. Classes include Ceramics, Guitar, Movie Making, Musical Theater, Sculpture, Drawing, Watercolor, Mural Painting, Tap, Art History, the Capitol Hill Youth Chorus, Mixed Martial Arts, and more. New classes include a Creative Writing class. Van pick-up is available from local schools to CHAW. Adult Winter Workshops run Jan. 10-Feb. 5, and include Introduction To Figure Drawing, Portraits, Sewing Basics, Knitting, Photoshop, Using Your Digital Camera, Ceramics, Jazz, Music Appreciation, Ballroom Dancing (no partner required/gender neutral), Pilates, and more. Students ages zero to five years old can participate in popular Music Together classes which run Jan. 10-Mar. 18. Choose from multiple days and times for this acclaimed music and movement program. For a complete list of workshops, classes or registration information, visit or call 202-547-6839.

Guardian Angels Patrol The Guardian Angels will continue to patrol PSA’s 106 and 107 on Saturdays from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Their focus areas will be PSA 106 around Potomac Gardens from 12th

In Loving Memory Robert L. Von Schlegel June 25, 1933 - Dec. 31, 1990 “I beg of you do not forget me when the phenomenon of death comes to visit me. Oh keep my memory alive … for if you forget me only then will I have surely died …” ★ 29

The Yards Park opened this summer giving the public great access to views of the River. Photo courtesy of the Capitol Riverfront BID

to 14th sts. and PSA 107 from Potomac Metro to Safeway. Guardian Angels are in need of new members. If you are 15 years or older and can volunteer four hours a week, visit or call John Ayala at 202-359-0601.

Capitol Riverfront: 2010 Brings Growth Despite the effects of a slower economy, the Capitol Riverfront continued to grow, seeing its residential population increase nearly 30 percent since the same time last year, new office tenants signed more than 200,000 square feet, and the opening of a world-class park that will draw people from around the city and the region, according to the Annual Report and State of the Capitol Riverfront released today by the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District. The Yards Park, a 5.5-acre park featuring a quarter-mile long boardwalk, great lawn, sculptural bridge, and canal basin opened to the public, and the BID has assumed responsibility for maintaining and programming this waterfront asset. Booz Allen Hamilton and the DC Department of Transportation joined the ranks of office tenants in The Front; $176 million in building purchases were made and construction continued on two previously stalled buildings. 30 ★ HillRag | January 2011

In addition, Justin’s Café opened, bringing the neighborhood its first full service restaurant. The Trapeze School of NY opened a new indoor/outdoor facility. The BID continued to engage in community building projects with the farmers markets, boat cruises, outdoor movies, free fitness classes, and more.

Two Rabies-Positive Raccoons Found in Near-by Parks Two raccoons tested rabiespositive in late November, one near Langdon Park and the other at the National Arboretum. Please do not approach wildlife or animals that appear sick or injured. Instead, call DC Animal Care and Control at 202-576-6664. Rabies is a fatal disease of man and mammals. District law requires that all cats and dogs over four months old be vaccinated against rabies and distemper. For low cost rabies and distemper vaccinations visit Washington Animal Rescue League at 71 Oglethorpe St. NW. on the last Saturday of each month. 202-7262273. $10/shot. The Spay and Neuter Center at 1001 L St. SE takes walk-ins, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. $10/shot.


Full Moon Hikes at the National Arboretum This four-mile-long, mildly strenuous hike is a magical trip through moonlit gardens, meadows and woods. Discover how the striking landscape of the arboretum changes under the moon and stars of the night sky. Your guide will share points of special interest and seasonal highlights. The two-hour walk over hilly and uneven terrain is more a hike, not a tour, so wear good walking shoes. Not recommended for children under 16. No pets. $22. Early registration required. Warning-hikes fill-up early. Jan. 18, 19 and 20; Feb. 16, 17 and 18; 7:00-9:00 p.m. Meet in the temporary Visitor Center. 202-245-5898.

Tax Season Volunteers Needed This tax season you can be a part of a tremendous effort that brings over $9 million into the homes of DC’s lowincome working families each year by volunteering as a tax preparer or savings promoter with the DC Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign. Each tax return completed by a volunteer preparer can raise a low-income working family’s income by more than $6,000. Other volunteers, known as savings promoters and SNAP (food stamp) outreach specialists, will help clients use their returns to move up the economic ladder by saving a portion of their refunds, enrolling in money management classes and credit counseling, and even applying for nutrition assistance. Volunteers will receive free training and certification on Saturdays and/or weekday evenings in Jan. Volunteers then commit to one 3-4 hour session per week from late Jan-mid-April at one of 11 tax sites throughout the

Capitol Hill 64 15th Street, NE Unit 64 Washington, DC 20002 • The Car Barn!! Fantastic two level two bedroom/two and one half bath condo in desirable Car Barn. This gated community is steps to Lincoln Park and the Metro. Completely updated unit with hardwood floors, wood-burning fireplace, granite and stainless steel in the kitchen and a master with ensuite bath. Lives like a home--with the carefree lifestyle of a condo!! Plus one car garage parking! $515,000

Capitol Hill 903 G Street, SE European Flair on Barracks Row! Perfectly located steps to the bustling and exciting 8th Street Corridor. Two blocks to the Eastern Market Metro and a stroll to the Market. Fantastic three bedroom/one and one half bath home with original details galore. Tastefully updated and decorated to magically transport one to Tuscany or Provence! Absolutely adorable rear garden and a spacious lower level in-law suite with a charming bath and a large eat-in kitchen completes this lovely offering! $824,500

Capitol Hill 27 15th Street, SE Purse Pleasing Property! Lovely end unit home, located in a well sought after neighborhood. This three level home boasts two bedrooms (plus an office)/one full bath and two half baths. Featuring hardwood floors, built-in bookcases and a fenced-in rear yard. $449,000

Capitol Hill 327 11th Street, NE Terrific Two-Unit!! A grand façade hides a wonderful two-unit property with a C of O. Great configuration with each unit boasting two bedrooms and one bath. Large open living/dining areas, updated kitchens, and flooded with natural light. Plus walls of exposed brick, wood burning fireplaces and large rear decks off the living area. Complete with a brick rear patio and off-street parking! Live in one and have your tenant pay half your mortgage—sounds like a win-win!! $729,000

Capitol Hill 1352 South Carolina Avenue, SE Grand Home On A Grand Avenue! Wonderful almost new EYA constructed home within steps of Lincoln Park and Eastern Market! The façade of this three bedroom, three and one half bath home blends perfectly with its historic Capitol Hill neighborhood. But behind the façade awaits a home designed for modern day use! The first floor features a guest bedroom with a full bath and access to the rear-loading two car garage. The second level has a sunken living room with a gas burning fireplace, a large dining area conveniently located off the gourmet eat-in kitchen. Two bedrooms on the third level include a large south facing master with a walk-in closet and a designer bath that will wow. Topped off with a roof top deck with absolutely stunning views!! Perfect for viewing 4th of July fireworks or fair weather al fresco entertaining! $819,000

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Emergency room and pediatric specialists Dr. John Jones and Dr. John Maguire have opened Simplicity Urgent Care in Arlington, a neighborhood medical center located at 3263 Columbia Pike, which allows patients with or without insurance to see a doctor without an appointment. “Urgent care is for accidents and illnesses that require a doctor’s attention, but not a trip to the emergency room,” explains Dr. Jones, an emergency department physician at INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital, who is certified in both pediatric and adult emergency care. “From colds and flu to minor injuries and urinary tract infections, our physicians will specialize in fast, friendly care. That also includes immunizations, x-rays, drug screenings, travel medicine, and more.” All patients come on a walk-in basis, so no appointment is necessary. After reviewing the medical records, the doctor will discuss the information with the patient and complete an exam based on the illness or injury. The exam may involve such additional steps as x-ray, which can be completed onsite. If the recommended treatment requires a prescription, the patient may be able to fill it onsite. Simplicity Urgent Care offers prescription services for the most commonly prescribed medications. After a brief checkout at the front desk, the patient is on their way home. In most cases, this will be within an hour from their arrival time. Learn more about Simplicity Urgent Care by visiting www.simplicityurgentcare. com.

DC Streetcar Moving Forward The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has issued a Request for Proposal for the completion of the H Street/Benning Road Streetcar line. DDOT is soliciting design/build proposals to make the line operational and ready for revenue service in 2012, and the agency issue a separate RFP for the purchase of additional streetcars. DDOT will also pursue a vehicle capable of operating without overhead wires in early 2011. DDOT has also launched an Environmental Assessment and Historical Preservation Study for Phase 2 of the Anacostia Streetcar Line. DDOT is proposing an

extension that will run from the Anacostia Metrorail Station to the 11th Street Bridges, providing service to the Downtown Anacostia business and Historic Districts, and across the 11th Street Bridge which will be streetcar ready when completed in 2013. For more information about the DC Streetcar system, visit

International Affairs Program Accepting Applications The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program is now accepting applications for its 2011 graduate fellowships. The Rangel Program seeks applicants who are interested in promoting positive change in the world as Foreign Service Officers for the U.S. Department of State. The fellowship is open to undergraduate seniors and recent graduates who want to begin twoyear master’s programs in the fall of 2011. In March 2011, the program will select twenty Rangel Fellows who will receive up to $90,000 in benefits over two years to fund tuition, mandatory fees, and living expenses for completion of two-year master’s degrees, as well as summer internships to promote professional development. Those who successfully complete the program will receive appointments as Foreign Service Officers upon graduation. Application deadline is January 21, 2011. 202-8064367.

HIV Testing, Counseling, and Referral Training If you’re looking for an opportunity to volunteer, consider this training. You will learn to answer questions about HIV, administer HIV tests, and provide results, connecting people to the resources they need. Once you complete this training, you will be able to volunteer at the DC Center for HIV testing events conducted in partnership with Whitman-Walker Clinic. You will need to attend both training sessions to complete your training. They are Saturdays, Jan. 22 and 29, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Your training will culminate on Feb. 5 for the National first HIV testing event, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, where you will be supervised doing HIV testing and referrals and fulfill your required supervision hours. (if you cannot volunteer on Feb. 5, this final step can be scheduled for a later date). If you are interested, email your name, address, and email address to ★ 33

85th Annual Black History Luncheon Reserve your spot at the Renaissance Washington DC Hotel, 999 Nineth St. NW, to hear guest speaker, Mr. Lerone Bennett, Jr., Editor Emeritus of Ebony Magazine on Saturday, Feb. 26, 12:30-3:00 p.m. (book signing at 10:30 a.m.). Individual tickets $75-$100. Deadline to purchase is Feb. 2, while seats are available. 202-865-0053.

DPR Grass Athletic Fields Closed for Winter Months The DC Department of Parks and Recreation natural grass fields will be closed for the winter through Mar.15. The winter weather creates poor field conditions and use of natural athletic fields in these conditions can cause long-term damage. Artificial turf athletic fields remain open for use and permitting. The artificial turf fields may close in instances of severe weather. For more info, visit the DPR website, or call (202) 673-7647.

DSLBD Micro Loan Fund Program In order to apply for a micro loan, businesses must be certified by the Department of Small and Local Business Development as Certified Business Enterprises that are designated as small or disadvantaged. Other requirements for the Micro Loan Program include, but are not limited to, the following: businesses that are independently owned, operated, and controlled; businesses that have been in existence for no fewer than two years; businesses that have a current Certificate of Good Standing from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and 34 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Certificate of Clean Hands from the Office of Tax and Revenue. For more information, contact Will Gist at or 202 741-0871.

10th Annual Sugar & Champagne Affair to Benefit The Washington Humane Society On Tuesday, Feb. 1, at The Ritz-Carlton, start the New Year off right by attending this fun, dog-friendly event. The Washington Humane Society’s 10th annual dessert and champagne reception hosted by Chef Todd and Ellen Gray of Equinox Restaurant honors our local crusaders against animal cruelty: WHS’s Humane Law Enforcement Officers, Animal Control Officers, and Humane Educators. For $150 donation you can sample delicious gourmet entrees and appetizers prior to the main attraction. Standard reception tickets for Sugar & Champagne are just $90. Buy tickets at

90 Years of New: Free Weekend at the Phillips Collection The Phillips Collection kicks off its year-long 90th anniversary celebration with a weekend featuring free admission, the newly renovated Phillips house, special art installations, interactive tours, films, and complimentary champagne. A display of birthday cake designs by some of the finest chefs in Washington, D.C. includes the work of Cake Love’s Warren Brown and Hook’s Heather Chittum, among others. Jan. 15, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and Jan. 16. 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. 1600 21st St. NW. 202-3872151. ★

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Happy New Year, Multi-State Corporations! DC Council Inaction Could Give You A $22 Million Gift at The Expense of DC Taxpayers by Jenny Reed and Elissa Silverman


ayor Vincent Gray has made it abundantly clear that dealing with the District’s looming $400 million budget shortfall next year will be his biggest immediate challenge. However, you may not have heard that Gray and the DC Council could be making the gap even bigger by failing to follow through on an important corporate tax reform they adopted last year. If they don’t take action soon, the city could lose $22 million in needed tax revenue by allowing big multi-state corporations to continue to avoid paying taxes to the District. Right now, corporations like CVS and Starbucks are taking advantage of weaknesses in our tax system by shifting profits they make in DC to other states that have lower — or no — businesses taxes. The result? They avoid paying their fair share of DC taxes while local businesses and residents pick up the slack in tax revenue. This doesn’t sound like good tax policy. And the DC Council seemed to agree, when it passed an important tax reform in 2009 to prevent this abuse of corporate tax shelters called “combined reporting.”

So everything has been fixed, right? Not yet. The problem is that the Mayor and Council haven’t spelled out the rules and details so that corporations can actually start abiding by combined reporting this month as planned. The result of this inaction? A $22 million larger hole in our budget next year. This comes despite the fact that a majority of states with a corporate income tax use combined reporting, and DC’s Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi endorses it. In fact, Gandhi has made it easy for the Council to take action because his of36 ★ HillRag | January 2011

fice has drafted the legislation needed to implement this important reform.

So is it too late? No. If the Mayor and Council act soon, combined reporting can go into effect and the District can collect the taxes it needs from Macy’s, Home Depot, and others. At a time when funding for libraries, parks, and assistance to poor families has been cut, and more cuts will be coming soon, our leaders should be doing everything they can to keep DC’s revenue base healthy and strong.

The Tax Evasion Game That Big Corporations Play Should a locally-owned hardware store be taxed more than a branch of a national retailer? Of course the answer is no. Yet right now, national retailers and other corporations often have a distinct tax advantage over local DC businesses. These companies engage in complicated tax-avoidance strategies that artificially shift profits out from states where they are earned and into states where the business tax rate is lower— or where a corporate income tax doesn’t exist at all. This happens because most large, multistate corporations are composed of a “parent” corporation and a number of “subsidiary” corporations owned by the parent. Some major retailers shift profits earned by subsidiaries to reduce their taxes. For example, Toys R Us has its corporate logo registered in Delaware. Each store pays a royalty to this Delaware subsidiary, which takes profits earned across the country and moves them to Delaware, which just happens to not have a corporate income tax. DC doesn’t have a Toys R Us, but there are many other multi-state corporations in the city that use practices like

this to deny the District needed revenues to help fund schools, libraries, health care and roads. The result is that individual taxpayers and small businesses have a heavier tax burden. The DC Council passed legislation to stop this abuse last year, and combined reporting was supposed to take effect Jan. 1, 2011. At the time the Council adopted combined reporting, CFO Gandhi estimated this tax reform would add $20 million to DC coffers in FY 2012, and this was used to balance the FY 2012 budget. Gandhi has recently upped the revenue from combined reporting to $22 million. However, the Mayor and DC Council have not moved on legislation to implement the law, even though the CFO’s prepared draft legislation. If nothing happens, then the budget for 2012 will fall $22 million further into the hole. That means $22 million more in cuts while multi-state corporations continue to pocket money that should be coming to the city. Gandhi has also expressed his support for the law, telling the Washington Examiner: “This legislation is a fair and equitable revenue source for the District…It is being adopted by many states.” In fact, combined reporting is recognized by economists and tax experts as the most comprehensive way for states to stop corporations from abusing tax shelters. Twenty-three states of the 45 with a corporate income tax use combined reporting.

Combined Reporting Poses No Harm to DC’s Business Climate Multi-state corporations lobby against combined reporting, but here’s an important fact to keep in mind: Many of the corporations that would be impacted

by combined reporting in DC are already subject to it in other states. Companies such as CVS and Marriott already follow the combined reporting law in these states, and it has not proven to be a disincentive to do business there. In fact, most states with combined reporting have had it in effect for decades, and they include some of the most economically-successful states in the country. Studies suggest that combined reporting has not affected their economic competiveness. At a time when cuts are being made to libraries, parks and poor families with children — and when DC government employees are being asked to forgo pay, lack of action on this important tax reform will mean deeper cuts next year while multistate corporations continue to avoid paying DC taxes. Mayor Gray has said we need to make tough choices to tackle our budget shortfall. And Council Chairman Kwame Brown has argued that DC should be fighting to collect taxes owed to us before we talk about raising taxes. Combined reporting shouldn’t even be a tough choice. It’s a no-brainer. The DC Council should take the final steps needed to implement combined reporting and pass the necessary legislation as soon as possible. Reed and Silverman are staff of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (www., which conducts research on tax and budget issues that affect low- and moderate-income DC residents. ★

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Development and Crime in Hill East Recent Assaults Spark Resident Concerns by Alice Ollstein


t’s the story of many transitioning DC neighborhoods. Just a block from the Potomac Gardens public housing at 13th and Pennsylvania Ave. SE sits the glitzy new Jenkins Row condos, which start at $250,000 each. A block further, the hip new cocktail lounge Wisdom sells $12 mixed drinks and $8 “haute dogs.” “Where there’s gentrification, there’s going to be friction,” said Wisdom’s owner Erik Holzherr. “There’s a lot of racial tension here that shocks me, even as a New Yorker.” Local police have also seen how economic disparity creates unrest. “The neighborhood is a diverse one consisting of public housing and affluent homes,” noted First District Commander David Kamperin. “Recent offenses a couple of weeks ago underHill started Orange Hat Patrols many years ago. standably caused concerns, Will Photo by Andrew Lightman. but we should remember that both groups have comshe was assaulted without provocation mon bonds, like [an interest by a young male. Her jaw was broken in] public safety.” Several high profile crimes in in two places, and witnesses stayed by the immediate neighborhood have her side until an ambulance took her brought existing tensions to the sur- to the hospital, where she underwent face. In June, 15 people were arrested a four-hour surgery. Her jaw is now in a drug ring bust in Potomac Gar- wired shut—no talking or eating solid dens, and over $230,000 worth of foods for six weeks. “This injury will impact me physiheroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine, was confiscated. In November, a man was cally for many months,” Samata Veshot in the leg on the 1300 block of luvolu wrote on a local online listserv. I Street SE. Just days later, a young “Emotionally, I may never feel as safe woman was leaving the Harris Teeter as I did before this happened.” Some locals have been alleging supermarket on 13th Street, SE when — both on the listserv and aloud at 38 ★ HillRag | January 2011

community meetings — that Potomac Gardens is a hotbed and a haven for crime. But residents of Potomac Gardens are bristling at the accusations, and are mobilizing to have their voices represented in local debates and decisions.

The Blame Game ANC commissioner Will Hill has lived on Capitol Hill since 1972. He has watched the neighborhood change over the years—young people moving in, families moving out, crime rising and falling in waves. Like some other community members, he blames local public housing for the recent incidents. “We wouldn’t have as much crime as we have if [Potomac Gardens] was not here,” he said. “I don’t like to say this, but I think it should be gotten rid of. There are some good people living in public housing, but the bad apples spoil the barrel.” Holzherr has been hearing the customers at his bar sharing similar thoughts for the past three years, but he does not agree. “I’ve been hearing forever that Potomac Gardens is the source of all the crime and should be torn down,” he said. “But I don’t think you can demonize them like that. They live in public housing, but they’re still part of Capitol Hill. It’s their community too.” The residents of Potomac Gardens, for their part, are tired of being talked about — and are ready to be talked to. “It’s sad that any time something violent happens in the community,

people assume it’s coming from Potomac Gardens,” said Melvina Middleton, president of the PG Residents Council. “Crime is everywhere, from the poor house to the White House. But since we’re the eyesore in the neighborhood, people want to blame everything on us.” Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells believes that the misconception stems from the tendency of perpetrators to run into Potomac Gardens after committing a crime. “People escape into it,” he said. “They’re able to disappear.” Holzherr also thinks the grim appearance of Potomac Gardens influences people’s mentality. “It’s built almost like a prison, so people want to point and say, ‘That’s the problem. That’s the ugly spot.’ It’s human nature,” he said. “It’s also fear of the unknown, from not knowing the residents in Potomac Gardens.” Steve Parks of Little Lights Urban Ministries has been working with youth in Potomac Gardens since 1999. He and his staff have spent countless hours at Potomac Gardens for 13 years, often late at night, and not a single one of them has ever been assaulted or robbed. “Crime happens here, but this isn’t an inherently violent place,” he said.

Perception vs. Reality Despite the popular view that perpetrators are coming from local public housing, police data collected last year shows that less than 10 percent of those arrested are from the immediate area. Nearly a third come from Trinidad/Northeast, and another third come from either Deanwood or Southwest. This applies to the most recent incidents as well. “The juvenile [who

assaulted Veluvolu] was not a resident of Potomac Gardens,” said Kamperin. “Other individuals arrested for violent crime in the area have been from outside of the First District.” He clarified, “Although some of the suspects have been associated with Potomac Gardens, these are individuals and not the entire complex.” Middleton is the main voice of Potomac Gardens for the outside community, where she struggles to clear up misunderstandings about public housing. “Everyone says we depend on their tax dollars, but 70 percent of us work and pay taxes too, and all of us pay rent. While they see us as the lowest of the low, we know we’re human just like anybody else.” Local police have also been working to counteract the misconceptions about both crime in the neighborhood and public housing. According to Commander Kamperin, crime in PSA 106 is down by 19 percent, while violent crime is down by 26 percent. And in the area right around Potomac Gardens, overall crime is down 13 percent while robberies are down by 10 percent. In fact, the First District is enjoying its fourth consecutive year of crime reductions. Yet these numbers are cold comfort for the victims of crimes. “I watch gangs of kids outside my

bar getting into some scary situations,” said Holzherr, who estimates that a large majority of neighborhood crimes are committed by minors. “I also talk to customers who have experiences with cars being stolen, and getting mugged. A lot of old residents tell me I don’t know how bad things used to be, and I know it’s getting better, but it’s still not okay for guns to be pulled on people.” Kamperin confirmed that juveniles between 15 and 20 years old are committing most local robberies, but said car theft involves older suspects and home burglaries vary.

Having a Voice

During a Dec. 14 meeting focusing on security, the residents of Potomac Gardens aired their grievances to Chief William Pittman of the DC Housing Authority.They spoke of drug use in their hallways, graffiti, urine in the elevators, mailboxes robbed, malfunctioning security cameras, slow police response, and even hostility from police assigned to the property. Pittman stressed that residents must continue to work with the police by reporting every incident. “We need you as much as you need us,” he said. “We need your help, but also your patience and understanding.” He then spoke of funding cuts and understaffing, which prompted Middleton to reply, “When you deal with dollars and cents, you’re dealing with people’s lives. There’s a budget cut here and a crunch there, but we have to have security. And we don’t want a Band-Aid, we want healing. We want to live safe and decent just like you where you pay your rent.” Three officers usually patrol Potomac Gardens each night, but that number has been raised to five due to the recent wave of crime. The residents expressed concerns that the increased security is only due to media attention, Fence around Potomac Gardens. Photo by Alice Ollstein and will vanish when

the community turns to other issues. Middleton urged the residents to keep demanding better security. “The squeaky wheel gets the oil,” she said. Park worries that all the blame and hostility coming from the community will negatively effect the Potomac Gardens youth he works with, who he says are already treated like second-class citizens. However, he said, “Maybe all this attention from outside residents can help Potomac Gardens.” The police are also optimistic about future collaboration. “Even though there are socio-economic differences it’s evident that everyone wants to work together to not only be safe, but to feel safe,” said Kamperin.

Looking Forward Holzherr started the Red Hat Patrol just over a year ago, organizing small groups of community members to walk the streets and alleyways and call in suspicious activity. Interest has faded in the past several months, but Holzherr is pushing to revive the patrols in light of recent crimes. He said the walks not only served as a crime-deterring presence — sending the message that “bad kids don’t run the neighborhood” — but also to help neighbors meet one another and form ties. This time, he hopes to involve Potomac Gardens residents as well, since several have shown interest in participating. “I felt safer when there were regular patrols, and I met people,” said Holzherr. “I hear people, ‘I’m too busy, it’s the police’s job.’ I say, ‘Well next time someone pulls a gun on you tell them you’re too busy to be mugged.’ ” Wells thinks amending D.C.’s confidentiality laws is part of the solution. The City Council and the mayor passed his bill this past summer, which would give more access to the names of juveniles that commit crimes. If Congress approves the bill to become law, a Potomac Gardens family could be evicted if any member of their household is convicted of a crime. “This will be one more tool we can use to really make the whole family accountable for juvenile crimes,” said Wells. “In the interest of keeping Potomac Gardens and the rest of the neighborhood safe, we will need to start evicting.”

While there has been much talk of Potomac Gardens being redeveloped, or even repurposed, any action would be fairly far in the future. An offer from the Marines in February to turn Potomac Gardens into barracks, was turned down by the Housing Authority. Since any offer needs approval from every resident and Housing and Urban Development, chances are slim for a future sale. “When the government and private sector have more money, we can request funds to do mixed development with Potomac Gardens, in concert with the residents who live there,” said Wells, who emphasized that because public housing is federally managed, he would have little say in a final decision. Middleton sees these proposals as threats to her community — further motivation to speak up. “They want us gone, so we have to take a stand,” she said.

Bridging the Divide Everyone, whether they advocate redevelopment, evictions, or more police presence, stressed the need for better communication and collaboration. “There’s a large chasm between Potomac Gardens residents and the residents around Potomac Gardens,” said Wells. “At the [December 2 PSA] meeting, I heard people say they’d like to bridge that chasm.” He believes creating bonds through social activities, joint meetings and volunteering will create “a more accountable relationship between neighbors.” Parks agrees, having seen this happen first-hand. “We need to get to know each other, look out for each other, build relationships, and get over pointing fingers,” he said. “There are no easy solutions, but if people commit to making a better neighborhood, we could see something really neat.” Wells sees the issues of South East DC as a microcosm of national problems. “The divide is the same as in much of America,” he said. “It’s a black-white divide, a class divide, a cultural divide. The only way to deal with the situation is to be intentional about creating relationships and community.” ★ ★ 39

capitolstreets news

A Standout School Ludlow Taylor Elementary Uses the Arts for Test Success by Alice Ollstein

A kindergartener combines drawing and storytelling.


hough the DC Public Schools as a whole did not perform well on standardized testing this year, Ludlow Taylor Elementary School bucked the trend, making great improvements in both reading and math and achieving the highest test scores on Capitol Hill. “We knocked the socks off the test,” said Principal Carolyn Cobbs. Scores at Ludlow Taylor shot up nearly 20 percent in both reading (from 57 to 74 percent proficient) and math (from 57 to 75 percent proficient). This was accomplished by teachers who have all been at Ludlow Taylor for over 10 years and entirely by minority students. Additionally, Ludlow Taylor is a Title 1 school with enough students qualifying for free and reduced price meals that they are offered to every student. Rosa Simon, former head of maintenance at Ludlow Taylor and current grandparent of a 5th grader said she’s always believed the school 40 ★ HillRag | January 2011

was great, but the recent improvements have impressed her. “Everyone was working for one goal — the teachers, students and parent community. Everybody was doing whatever it took to make success happen.”

Arts and Academics Ludlow Taylor became an “Arts Catalyst School” three years ago, and both parents and teachers give credit to Arts Integration program for student achievement. “We want to bring the classrooms alive,” said Cobbs. “We want kids to say, ‘Wow, I can’t wait to get to school.’ ” Eliza Derrick coordinates the program, and works to combine standard curriculum with visual and performing arts. “It’s less about art for art’s sake and more about art for the sake of learning,” she explained. “We wanted to get away from a model where kids sit in their seats filling in worksheet

after worksheet. We wanted them up best, and to know how powerful eduand moving about and actively en- cation can be.” And according to Cobbs, the Arts gaged in their learning.” The approach is based on the the- Integration Program is just as much ory of multiple intelligences, which about parent engagement as student teaches that children learn in differ- engagement. She says parents are ent ways and calls into question “one much more likely to attend a perforsize fits all” education styles. At Lud- mance than a meeting. “When my parents’ children are low Taylor, Arts Integration takes different paths in different grades. up on that stage, the room is full,” she Some classrooms partner with the said. “Every chair is filled.” Folger Shakespeare Theater, while others tackle spoken poetry. One fifth A Push for Change grade teacher uses rap to teach what Donny Kirsch, who has a kinderwould be rote-memory drills. The gartener and a preschooler at Ludlow kindergarten classrooms learn math Taylor, described how local parents and reading from daily songs. mobilized a few years ago to help im“We use music every day,” said prove the public schools on the Hill. Letrice Beasley, a kindergarten asHe began by hosting “meet and sistant. “The songs really help them greets” for City Counsel and School remember their lessons, like the days Board candidates with his neighbors, of the week, the months of the year… which sparked discussion about where They even understand high and low to send one’s children for school. He pitch and different rhythms.” says the group believed strongly in Simon has seen firsthand how the public schools, having all had public program has helped her grandchil- education themselves, so they began dren. “Arts integration has been a wonderful aspect for the children,” she said. “I have noticed a lot more excitement. It’s another way of learning, and it really works.” Though teachers and parents note the talent and creativity of Ludlow Taylor students, Derrick explains that the focus is still on academics. “We’re not trying to be Duke Ellington [School for the Arts],” she said. “We’re not training them to be in symphony orchestras. We just want them to feel empowered, to know their own Two students practice their parts in the holiday show. strengths and how they learn

Making AYP

Principal Carolyn Cobbs and fourth-grader Jasmine Hobbs smile beside the holiday decorations made by the younger grades.

to investigate local options. “On paper, the schools were not very strong,” said Kirsch. The parents started making school visits and volunteering. They reached out to City Counsel members Tommy Wells and Lisa Raymond for advice on how to be involved, and were put in contact with DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee. “We challenged the parents to develop a plan for the school that would work for them,” said Wells. “From there, the Chancellor worked with the new parents and the school staff to make Ludlow Taylor the first school of choice for the surrounding families.” Rhee began by replacing Principal Donald Presswood with Principal Cobbs in 2008. Cobbs then fired seven teachers, which she called “a painful and difficult decision.” “I had crazy stuff. I had a teacher who slept all day. I had teachers who didn’t know their subjects,” she said. “When teachers have low expectations, or don’t work on perfecting their craft, that’s when I have a problem. I don’t accept mediocrity.” Since then, the school has substantially increased enrollment, added early childhood programs, and instituted daily staff development sessions. Most importantly, said Kirsch, the school “tried to set a different tone when it came to testing. They created incentives for not only top achievers but also those who improved the most. They found creative ways to celebrate success.”

Kirsch admits that test scores don’t mean everything, and aren’t the best or only way of measuring a child’s education. But in a post-No Child Left Behind world, he says, good test scores are essential. “With the current climate and national standards, everything depends on a school making AYP [Adequate Yearly Progress],” he said. “When you’re on the ‘watch list’ you’re restricted in so many different ways, and once you make AYP you’re free to do a lot more things.” Derrick agrees. “Despite the enthusiasm that people might have for arts integration, testing comes first,” she said. “We have to use the data from testing to think about what we need to work on, then apply the arts to those areas.” Though Cobbs feels that No Child Left Behind is “a pain in the neck” and “poorly thought out,” she appreciates the challenge of getting every student to improve—regardless of race, gender or learning ability. The biggest problem, she says, is that the annual standardized tests are given in early April, yet are designed to measure whether students demonstrate a year’s worth of learning. Additionally, explained Derrick, Ludlow Taylor’s recent gains have set the bar very high “Our kids did so well that we’ve made it hard for ourselves, because we have to keep improving by a certain percentage [to make AYP].” To escape its “Corrective Action” classification, Ludlow Taylor must make AYP again this year. “I’m confident about our fourth and fifth graders, because they showed what they’re made of last year,” said Cobbs. “But our third graders are weaker than last year because of a weak second grade teacher.” Despite these anxieties, Kirsch believes the school will continue to improve. “I cannot see anyone coming in to Ludlow-Taylor and telling us that after having raised scores almost 20 percent, we should change what we’re doing.” Alice Ollstein is a freelance radio and newspaper reporter in Washington D.C. She recently moved here from her hometown of Los Angeles. ★ ★ 41

capitolstreets ANC reports


by Roberta Weiner

Apple Tree School Issue Returns Last month, ANC 6A voted to appeal the BZA permits granted to the Apple Tree Learning Center for construction of the site of a charter pre-school at 138 12th St. NE as being out-of-date, on the rationale that new permits would be subject to current zoning regulations for the location of charter schools, regulations that the school does not meet. With a large group of prospective Apple Tree Learning Center parents in attendance, Commissioner Mary Beatty, who had not been present at the November meeting, offered a resolution to overturn the ANC’s previous action, saying that a large number of people in the neighborhood want the school, and it’s only a small number who have been fighting it. Commissioners Nick Alberti, David Holmes and Drew Ronne42 ★ HillRag | January 2011

berg, who have led the charge against opening Apple Tree in that location, reiterated their views, citing the residential nature of the surrounding neighborhood, the too-small lot size, the lack of adequate parking and the prospective problems inherent in picking up and dropping off children on a narrow residential street, But each of them was equally firm in his view that the school would be an asset to the neighborhood, just not in that location. “I would be delighted to have Apple Tree in the neighborhood,” Holmes said, “and there are plenty of empty lots on which to build a new school within code requirements.” ANC Chair Kelvin Robinson, who spoke in support of the motion, said that it was time for the ANC to “get out of the way,” let the building move forward and work to establish a relationship with the owners. The motion passed 4-3, with Commissioners Beatty, Robinson, Rafael Marshall and Gladys Mack in support.

Options PCS Problems Being Worked Out Commissioner Beatty, in whose single member district Options Charter School is located, said that there have been problems at the school with disruptive students with behavior problems, some even leading to the intervention of MPD. Dr. Montgomery, the school’s Executive Director, gave a presentation on steps the school is taking to resolve the difficulties. She began with a brief history of the school, which is the District’s oldest charter school, beginning at the Children’s Museum, and moving to its current site in 2004. It has an honors program and provides challenging courses for the college bound. But it also serves students at the other end of the spectrum, including those with learning disabilities and brain damage. This year, the school received 30 students with emotional disorders, including oppositional defiance. She said that most of the students are very good and doing very well. But

there are students with special needs that came from non-public schools that the District decided to place locally instead of paying for them to go to schools out of town. She acknowledged that there has been an increase in aggression. The students have been assessed and it has been determined that some of them need a more therapeutic environment and substance abuse treatment in a smaller setting. However, she outlined steps the school has taken to alleviate the situation, including hiring more behavioral experts. They have modified dismissal plans, including contracting for three buses to pick up and drop off students at various bus sites. She said they will not be able to afford the continued expense of the buses and are looking into purchasing a bus and hire two part-time drivers, which will cost $150,000. They are having town hall meetings with parents and have met with MPD. She also said they are opening a second site at 1501 1st St. NW on


Jan. 4 that will feature professional development programs for faculty. They will be having an open house for parents and the community. Ms. Beatty thanked Dr. Montgomery and other school officials for hearing the community and really taking action.

ANC 6B Liquor License Applications Continue to Stir Debate in ANC6B by Gwen Jones

Other Actions In other actions, the ANC: • Supported the renewal of the liquor license of Rose’s Dream, but voted to protest the request for a substantial change in order to open a rooftop summer garden unless an amended voluntary agreement is signed prior to December 20th. The owner is willing to make adjustments to the VA, including sound abatement, a trial period with earlier hours of operation than the inside of the establishment, and the amendments are being negotiated. • Voted to support a small alley closing on Linden Place behind Sova, 1359 H Street NE< so that the coffee and wine bar can use a small open space as an outdoor patio. • Voted to support a motion introduced by Commissioner Gladys Mack to oppose any move to change the name of the Rosedale Recreation Center, and saying that the ANC should have input into any proposal to do that. • Heard from Donna Cooper, a regional Vice President of PEPCO, who presented information on the installation of Smart Meters, which will take place from October 14th to December 2011. The new digital meters will allow detailed energy use information and fewer estimated bills. She recommended going to pepco. com for more information. The next meeting of ANC 6C will be held on Thursday, January 13th, 7:00 pm at Miner School601 15th Street NE. ★


he final meeting of 2010 for ANC 6B, held Dec. 14, was also the final meeting for four commissioners: Michael Patterson (6B09), Mary Wright (6B02), Ken Jarboe (6B05) and Will Hill (6B06). ANC Chair David Garrison (6B01) acknowledged and thanked all four in his opening remarks, in particular noting commissioners Wright and Jarboe for their five terms and Commissioner Hill for his nine terms of service. Of his outgoing vice chair, Ken Jarboe, Garrison noted Jarboe’s extensive knowledge of the workings of the D.C. government, adding, “He has been the heart and soul of the commission. I will miss his steady hand and wise counsel.”

Serving the Kingman Park, Linden, Near Northeast, North Lincoln Park, Rosedale, and Stanton Park communities

# # #

ANC 6A generally meets the second Thursday of the month, 7 pm, at Miner Elementary School, 601 15th Street, NE. ANC 6A, 2nd Thursday January 13 Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee 3rd Tuesday, January 18, 7pm • Sherwood Recreation Center Corner of 10th & G Streets, NE • Chair, Adam Healey, 256-5335 Transportation & Public Space Committee Monday, January 24, 7pm • Community Room of the Capitol Hill Towers 900 G St. NE • Chair, Omar Mahmud, 546-1520 Economic Development & Zoning Committee 3rd Wednesday, January 19, 7pm • Sherwood Recreation Center Corner of 10th & G Streets, NE • Chair, Drew Ronneberg, 431-4305 Community Outreach Committee 3rd Monday, January 17 • Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith Annex 1235 C Street, NE • Chair, Elizabeth Nelson, 543-3512

Please check the Community Calendar on the website for cancellations and changes of venue. Attend a meeting! Volunteer for a committee! It’s your ANC!

Restaurateur Fails to Win ANC Support for New Liquor License But the warm feelings soon turned to serious commission business as the ANC considered another new liquor license application for an 8th Street establishment. This license, for Pacificos, a new restaurant at 514 8th Street, was being sought by Xavier Cervera, who also owns and/or operates several other 8th Street restaurants including Finn McCool, Molly Malone and the recently opened Chesapeake Room. The restaurant, which would involve a $1.2 million renovation to the property according to Cervera, would replace Capitol Video Sales. The ANC’s ABC committee recommended that the ANC protest the license application before the ABC due to concerns that additional restaurants located along Barracks Row, especially in the 500 block of 8th Street SE, will result in an over-concentration of restau-

Learn about the Development History of the Near Northeast Wednesday, January 19, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. (Ebenezers Coffeehouse – 201 F Street, N.E. (lower level) CHRS is sponsoring a presentation by EHT Traceries that will describe the development history of the neighborhood adjacent to the H Street commercial Corridor (roughly, from 2nd to 15th Street, from H to F Street, N.E.). You will hear about Swampoodle, as well as the transportation and government industries that helped give rise to the near northeast’s development. Learn the distinctions among Italianate, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Classical Revival building styles, as explained by knowledgeable architectural historians, and enjoy the beautiful images of the handsome building stock with a better understanding of the architectural details. This event is free and open to the public as part of the CHRS “Beyond the Boundaries” program, which seeks to promote the appreciation of neighborhood history and support historic preservation efforts outside the boundaries of the Capitol Hill Historic District. You can get details about all of our events on our website,

Preserve and Protect Your Neighborhood Join the Capitol Hill Restoration Society

CFC # 50747 202-543-0425 ★ 43

capitolstreets ANC reports rants. Mr. Cervera came to the ANC meeting prepared to make changes to mitigate concerns raised at the ANC’s ABC Dec. 9 committee meeting, including downsizing seating capacity, altering designs to mitigate noise – including adding a rooftop greenhouse at the urging of his chef to grow fresh greens and herbs, and offering solutions to neighborhood parking concerns. “I believe that this is a lot better than what is there now,” he concluded. While no one disagreed with Cervera’s statement, his efforts to win ANC support for his liquor license application were met with mixed reactions from both community members in attendance and the commissioners themselves. While some neighbors came out in favor, others were strongly opposed citing noise and parking concerns and calling on the ANC to stick to its commitment made at the October meeting. At that meeting, the ANC vowed to protest all new liquor license applications until its Retail Mix Task Force develops its report on how to manage growth along the 8th Street, SE corridor. Several commissioners commended Cervera on his efforts and noted that he has made many positive contributions to the community through his other businesses. But, as Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04) said, “I have a problem with this. Two months ago, I voted against an establishment in protest that the 500 block is saturated. So I find it problematic to support this. It undercuts us at the ABRA board. I don’t know how else to vote because of that previous vote.” “This is not about Xavier,” Commissioner Ken Jarboe commented. “It’s not about the restaurant. It’s about the liquor license. Once it becomes a restaurant, it will likely stay that way. At some point a line has to be drawn.” Garrison concurred with Jarboe and Oldenburg saying, “All other things being equal, I would support this, but given where we are, I don’t see how I can.” The final ANC vote on the mo44 ★ HillRag | January 2011

tion to protest the license application was 5-4-1, with commissioners Oldenburg, Jarboe, Wright, Garrison and Carol Green voting in favor. Opposing the motion were commissioners Patterson, Hill, Francis Campbell and Neil Glick, while Commissioner Norman Metzger abstained.

Stop Sign Proposed for 12th and G Sts. SE In response to the submission of a petition from a resident, Commissioner Green (6B07) proposed that the ANC support the petition to the D.C. Department of Transportation to install a 4-way stop sign at the intersection. Currently there are stop signs for G Street, but none for 12th Street, which makes crossing particularly hazardous, Green noted. The intersection is adjacent to the Cesar Chavez Public Charter School. The commissioners voted unanimously to support the petition to DDOT. Actions on Other ABC Committee Recommendations Regarding other liquor licenses up for renewal, the ANC voted in accordance with committee recommendations with little discussion: * Bullfeathers (401 1st St. SE) license renewal – The ANC voted to support the license renewal contingent on the execution of a signed voluntary agreement. * Annie & Teddy’s Po Boys, 1400 Pennsylvania Ave. SE – The ANC voted to take no position since there were no objections or concerns but there also was no representation from the establishment seeking the renewal. The ANC voted to protest another new liquor license, for the Bavarian Beer Garden at 720 L Street SE, pending the development of a voluntary agreement that would address numerous questions commissioners had about the yet-to-bebuilt establishment’s hours, nights of live music, size, etc. The applicant, Mark Brody, was receptive to the commissioners’ comments and questions and promised to work through

the process with the ANC and community.

Planning & Zoning Committee Recommendations At this month’s ANC meeting, recommendations of the ANC’s Planning & Zoning Committee met with little discussion or controversy, and the ANC to the following actions: * 2011 National Marathon Race, March 26 2011 – Approved the event, the course of which will use several streets running through the ANC6B. * 2011 Cupid Undie Run, Feb. 12, 2011 – Approved the event, which will benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation, which will have little impact on the ANC due to it’s 30-minute duration and very limited distance. * 15th Street SE – Crepes on the Corner – The owner, Vincent Bradbury, provided all information requested by the committee at its Dec. 7 meeting, including addressing questions about securing outside seating furniture. The ANC voted to approve the application. * 1216 D Street SE Renovation of existing alley structure for residential use – Approved. * 319 East Capitol Street SE Roof Deck Extension – Approved. * The Maples (also known as Friendship House) – Approved the conceptual design, which calls for a 17-20 unit condo development with underground parking and construction of three new townhouses on South Carolina Ave. Commissioner Oldenburg commended the owners and the architects for their sensitive treatment of the historic building, which is listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings. * Lower 8th Street Vision Process Report to the D.C. Office of Planning – Voted to support the report, developed by the Capitol Riverfront BID. * Comprehensive Zoning Regulations Review: Medium & High Density Residential Development – Voted to support Recommenda-

tion 5, which would divide the R-5B zone between apartment areas and row house areas. This division would protect the existing row house areas from encroachment by apartment building development.

Outgoing Commissioners Bid Farewell In keeping with tradition, Garrison ceded the floor to the outgoing commissioners for closing remarks. All felt privileged to have the honor to serve and acknowledged their fellow commissioners. Wright extended an offer to continue to work with the ANC in some capacity and help the incoming commissioners with the transition. Jarboe observed that, while ANCs across the city are known for being dysfunctional, ANC6B is often cited as one of the city’s best. “We have spirited discussions and spirited disagreements,” he said, but ultimately, the commission “gets the job done.” Hill, the longest-serving commissioner at 18 years, was proud of his service, noting that “I learned a lot, and we helped a lot of people along the way.” ★

ANC 6C Union Station North Zoning by Lex Kiefhaber


he Commission debated an amendment put forth to rezone a segment of Capitol Hill north of Union Station. An independent company with intentions to construct a platform that will be home to various residential and commercial interests acquired the air rights for a portion of the area above the Amtrak tracks extending north of Union Station. The amendment would effectually rezone that area, allowing for buildings to reach heights of 130 feet. By changing the zoning stipulation, it would better

accommodate commercial and residential buildings as opposed to more industrial construction. Two local residents of Capitol Hill weighed in against the proposed building project. Bill Cruise gave an impassioned speech accusing the commission of allowing business interests, dedicated to profits rather than preserving the character of the District, unwarranted access to retail opportunities at the expense of “the soul of the city.” Daniel Jones voiced his concern that the project would drastically change the community, specifically the availability of parking in his neighborhood. Ryan Belasko argued in support of the project, suggesting that it would create buildable space to encourage new residents, more shopping opportunities, and an “unprecedented chance to re-knit the city together.” The representative for the Commission’s planning and building committee, Tony Goodman, was also highly supportive of the project. He championed it as an opportunity to avoid “block killing” establishments like office building lobbies and dead-space walls. “It’ll essentially bring Union Station two blocks north and allow it to be part of our neighborhood,” he said. Commissioner Wirt said that she had taken an informal poll of her constituents on the issue and found them to be overwhelmingly opposed. At the very minimum, she’d like to see a traffic study explaining how increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic would be accommodated. Commissioner Richardson disagreed, saying that he believed the good far outweighed the bad. The measure will be debated further in a Committee on Public Planning on Zoning to be held on December 16th, upon which a vote will be held.

Learn new ways to keep fit. Read the healthfitness section every month. Stay healthy. Read it. ★ 45

capitolstreets ANC reports Online Ambitions Again Deferred

Running around Capitol Hill

Other News

Richardson’s efforts to take the business of local governance digital were tabled for the second straight month. The meeting began with by revisiting his previous request for $5,000 to hire a local graduate student to construct a website which would serve as a portal into current developments in his district, interactive features about the community, and an online forum for discussion. In response to the commission’s less than enthusiastic response in November, Richardson trimmed his budgetary request to $3,500. Much of the discussion revolved around ascertaining exactly what content the website would publish, specifically, what the money was going to buy. The website, as presented by Richardson, would be multi-faceted in its approach to informing his constituents about local happenings in the community with a constantly updated blog, integrated flash material, and current news concerning local business and neighborhood concerns. He offered to provide an itemized budget detailing expenses. The site, as proposed, would concern only Richardson’s single member district, with optional pages for other SMDs. Phelps felt that the site should incorporate the entire ANC 6C. Richardson said that two students from Howard University would update the website for extra credit. He again defended the validity of the project and stressed that it would serve the needs of his district, and be a resource for the Commission as a whole. Phelps, while supporting the endeavor in spirit, was concerned that it would be prohibitively expensive to replicate the web fee to incorporate each individual district. Comm. Wirt requested a lineby-line budget enumerating each expenditure and detailing how and where the money would be spent, to be presented to the commission in January.

Three separate races, all with routes through sections of Capitol Hill, were presented for approval. First is the National Marathon, which will hold its 6th annual race on March 26th. A portion of the race will take place along H St. NE. Second is the “Stop the Silence Run,” an event sponsored by the non-profit organization Stop the Silence dedicated to stopping sexual abuse of children in the United States. This will be the race’s seventh race, to be held on April 23rd. The third annual Triathlon will be run on June 19th. The race will finish between 3rd and 6th streets on Pennsylvania Ave. NE. All three races and their routes were approved unanimously.

The Commission approved the addition of basement entrance for the handicapped to a property on the 300 Block of Massachusetts Ave. NE. The entrance would be constructed where the bay currently is, not directly below the existing front door. The vote passed unanimously. A special exemption was granted to a house on the 600 block of C street NE to build an enclosed deck behind a residence. The motion passed unanimously. Commissioners Mark Dixon, Lena Brown, Anne Phelps, M. Tony Richardson, Charles Doctor, Tom Hamilton and Karen Wirt were in attendance. Roberta Weiner recorded minutes. The next ANC 6C meeting will be held in January, time to be determined, at 214 Mass. Ave NE. ★

46 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Harris Teeter Comes to Town On Tuesday, Dec. 8th, the ribbon was cut on the newest grocery store and café in the District. The Harris Teeter on 1201 First St. NE will be the largest grocery store in DC, complete with a café open from 7 a.m. to midnight and a 32-seat outdoor space that will be open in the warmer months.

North Capitol Collaborative The North Capitol Collaborative, an organization dedicated to prevent child abuse and neglect, applied for an additional grant from the ANC. The Collaborative, operating since 1996, provides services to children and impoverished families around the district, including a youth mediation group designed to teach conflict resolution, a computer lab and resources for college and opportunities after high school, summer camps, and mentorship programs. The council agreed to take up the application upon the receipt of a revised, itemized budget. Comm. Brown took a moment to voice her support for the past work the collaborative has initiated on behalf of the community.

ANC 6D Kastles Tennis Season to Interim Waterfront Plans by Roberta Weiner


leanor Bacon and a team of her associates from the Southwest waterfront development and the District’s Economic Development office presented the group’s plans for interim programming at the waterfront beginning by the end of March. The new plans will be in addition to 7th Street Landing, the park that opened late last summer and a stone fire pit that was added in time for the annual early December parade of the lighted boats. Centerpiece of their current plans is construction of an amphitheater to be built on the site of Hogate’s, which will be completely demolished by mid-January, and will house tennis courts to be used by Washington Kastles professional tennis team for their annual July sojourn in Washington. The team is

losing its current home downtown to the construction of the Convention Center hotel. According to David Roberts of the office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, the site will be cleaned by the middle of January and a request for proposal (RFP) for construction of the bleachers would go out in mid-December. The site will also be used for a plethora of community-oriented activities beginning with the Cherry Blossom Festival at the end of March. Other possibilities could include events like a seafood festival or an a capella sing-off. Bacon also pointed out that the Kastles are very community-oriented and will probably reach out to the neighborhood, including nearby Jefferson Middle School, for various tennis-oriented programs. This is another step in the ongoing community-oriented activity by the developers for the next year or two until they begin construction on the massive redevelopment project. Bacon said she plans to reconvene the Community Planning Committee that met in the early days of project planning.

Apple Tree School Presents Plans for Southwest While Apple Tree Early Learning Center continues its controversial progress in ANC 6A, its Southwest development plans were enthusiastically embraced by ANC 6D, as well as by community members who spoke at the meeting. For ten years, Apple Tree has been operating a successful—and very popular—charter pre-school at Southwest’s Riverside Church, currently serving 80 families in its programs, both at Riverside and, after school hours, at Amidon School. Several months ago, Southeastern University (SEU) was sold to The Graduate School, formerly associated with the US Department of Agriculture, but now independent. The Graduate School, apparently unable to renovate the building to

suit its programs’ needs, is studying its options, and is open to bids to buy the building. Jack McCarthy, head of Apple Tree, who is currently serving as a member of Mayorelect Gray’s Education Transition Committee, came to the ANC to say that Apple Tree is interested in purchasing the building, and is preparing a bid which it plans to submit within the next few weeks, saying that The Graduate School is open to receiving a bid and would like to see one soon. He said that his architect had already looked at the building, and he was trying to determine whether he could open the new facility by August, as his term runs from August to August. He pointed out that he had funds available and was working on a business plan. He added that Apple Tree also runs a school in Columbia Heights that serves 120 families. The school, he reported, is an architecturally exciting facility that provides a model for what he wants to do in Southwest. He reported that the school is an anchor in the neighborhood, and that there is little problem with automobile pick-up and drop-off of the children because most parents walk to and from the school. Several members of the audience spoke about the excellence of the school, as did Commission Chair Ron McBee. The Commission voted to support the bid by Apple Tree to buy the SEU building to expand its facilities.

would be the addition of the team logo, the “curly W” to the signs and maps. The signs on local Federal roads (e.g. I-395) already use the ”curly W” on its signs. He said that focus groups the team had held found the “curly W” was the branding most identified with the team. He assured the Commissioners that the Nationals would pay any costs involved with using the logo. Commissioner David Sobelsohn, attending his last meeting as a Commissioner, offered a resolution to urge DDOT and WMATA to add Capitol Riverfront and Nationals Park to the Navy Yard station signage, keeping Navy Yard first on the list, and supporting the use of the ”curly W”, in order to “lure visitors to the area. The motion passed unanimously. Sobelsohn also offered a resolution to urge DDOT and WMATA to eliminate Southeastern University from the signage at Waterfront station, because SEU is defunct, and the future status of the building is unclear. While Commission Chair Ron McBee abstained, reiterating his past concern that no action should be taken on the property until there was direct conversation with the school’s executives, the motion passed.

Other Actions •

Renaming Metro Stations, Chapter 2 Two months ago, the ANC passed a resolution urging WMATA to add the name of Arena Stage to the Waterfront station name, and to add Capitol Riverfront to the Navy Yard station name. Well, there’s more! At this meeting, Gregory McCarthy, Nationals Vice President for Community and Government Affairs, approached the ANC to ask for support for the addition of Nationals Park to the Navy Yard Station. More appropriate, he said,

In other actions, the ANC: Heard from Lt. Nicholas Gallucci that one of two recent murders in near Southwest had been solved within days and that while no arrest has been made, there is a suspect in the other. Lt. Gallucci also reported that there has been a significant drop in all categories of crime in both PSA 104 and 105 from the same period last year. Voted to send letters of support for two races: The Suntrust Marathon, to be held next March 26, with past problems eliminated, and notification of residents in affected areas given adequate notification; the Stop the Silence 8K race against child abuse, to be held on April 23. Voted to support the Zoning ★ 47

Commission’s changes to regulations governing parking, loading and bicycle parking. • Heard Chair McBee report that there would be a community meeting with School Chancellor Kaya Henderson; and that Jefferson Middle School would be instituting an International Baccalaureate Program. The next meeting of ANC 6D will be held on Monday, January 10. 2011, 7:00 pm, at Arena Stage, the Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th Street SW. ★



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Community Life Spotted on the Hill

The Mallard Duck text and photo by Peter Vankevich


n a dangerous world where there are lots of sharp elbows of those competing for dwindling resources, one may admire attributes in a species such as adaptability, hardiness, not finicky about food sources, a tolerance of both harsh weather and bustling human activities. These survivor traits are ingrained into our featured bird this month, the Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). Its name derives from Middle English malarde and Old French mallart which means a wild drake. With the exception of southern Florida and the northern extremes of Canada and Alaska, Mallards are distributed throughout North America and many other parts of the world wherever there is suitable habitat. They breed throughout much of the continent with the exception of some of the southern portions. Interestingly, this was not always the case. Prior to twentieth century, the breeding range primarily covered central and western North America. They began to extend east and northeast because of releases of captive-bred birds for hunting and introductions to urban parks as “ornamental” birds. These days the Mallard needs no introduction to the Capitol area as they are readily

seen in the Reflection Pool of the west side of the U.S. Capitol, that wonderful little wetlands of the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian where these photos were taken, as well as the waters near the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Observing our tame-appearing local mallards, one may be surprised to learn that those in the true wild are very wary birds, extremely fast flyers, and a challenge for even skilled hunters. Like most duck species they are sexually dichromatic, i.e. males and females appear differently. Handsome

adult males have a darkgreen head, chestnut-brown breast, narrow white neckring, light brown or gray upperparts, and a black and white tail. Females have a mottled brownish color with a purple wing speculum bordered by black and white, a dark brown stripe running through the eye and an orange bill with variable dark blotches. For both sexes, the legs and feet are bright orange. One theory for these gender differences is that the plumage of the hen permits her to blend into her nesting habitat. After breeding season, Mallards undergo a flightless molting period. At the time, the male’s plumage becomes very similar to that of the female. Beginning in July you can observe this phenomenon and observe the plumage changes with the ducks that can be seen in the Reflection Pool west side of the Capitol. The Mallard is classified as a dabbler or puddle duck, that is, it feeds by dipping only the head and neck into the water. Rather omnivorous, during breeding season they feed primarily on animal matter such as worms, larvae and snails and the rest of the year on aquatic plants. They will also not turn down offers of bread, corn and seeds. With the exception of the Muscovy, Mallards are noted for being ★ 49

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the genetic base for nearly all domestic ducks. You can see their genes in many color varieties of these ducks. In the wild, they occasionally mate with the Black and the Mottled Duck and to a lesser degree with several other species. We can’t end without commenting on their sounds. The mallard is most associated with the stereotypical quacking sound of a duck. This call is made primarily by the female. The male tends to make softer calls, but both sexes have a variety of vocalizations. In my December column on the Red-bellied Woodpecker, I perhaps exaggerated a bit by comparing a glimpse of its belly color in the field to being as rare as seeing a green flash at sunset. Several people asked me what I meant. Green flashes or rays can occur under certain atmospheric conditions for a very brief moment immediately after sunset or before sunrise. They are usually seen on an unobstructed horizon, such as over water. The green flash gained a bit of literary fame with the 1882 Jules Verne’s novel “The Green Ray.” To take a bit of the edge off the harshness of the opening of this column let’s end with this famous writer’s description of this optical phenomenon: “a green which no artist could ever obtain on his palette, a green of which neither the varied tints of vegetation nor the shades of the most limpid sea could ever produce the like! If there is a green in Paradise, it cannot be but of this shade, which most surely is the true green of Hope.” If you have any interesting birds visiting a feeder on Capitol Hill that could be a possible feature for this column, or would like to join me for a stroll on the Hill with your binoculars or camera on a weekend morning, feel free to contact me, petevankevich@ ★

4th Annual Livable, Walkable Awards by Shannon Holloway


Jim and Patricia Flannigan hang out before the award ceremony. Photo: Shannon Holloway

o create a truly livable, walkable community, it takes leadership and vision -- not just from those elected to office, but also from our neighbors, city employees, civic organizations, and local businesses,” Tommy Wells. The 4th Annual Livable, Walkable Awards were held December 6th inside the main lobby of the new and beautiful Arena Stage at the Meade Center for American Theater. Hosted by Councilmember Tommy Wells, the Annie Sidley Band rocked the night away and local eateries like DC-3, Harriet’s Family Restaurant, Matchbox, Ted’s Bulletin, The Argonaut, and Tunnicliffs presented a tasty selection of fine food. All 2010 honorees were nominated by community submissions through Tommy Wells’website.The goal was to find community leaders who over the last year have helped Ward 6 reach the gold standard as a popular, walkable destination

to transform nearly a dozen abandoned historic call boxes into a vibrant network of markers for a walking trail that celebrates the culture, history, and people of Southwest DC.

Anacostia Community Boathouse AssociationCommunity Organization Award From humble beginnings in 1988 this group of neighbors who wanted to create a rowing program on the Anacostia River for at-risk teenagers has restored access to the waterfront and has grown into the river’s premiere rowing and paddling association. (

Argonaut TavernBusiness Award The Argonaut is a restaurant that has become a symbol that celebrates the diversity on H Street NE. It provides stroller parking, bike parking, and dog walking with other H Street businesses as a special partnership helping to create a worry-free dining experience.

Will HillPublic Service Award

Honorees: (L-R) Anacostia Community Boathouse Association (top), Argonaut Tavern (bottom), Barbara Ehrlich, and Will Hill. Photo: Shannon Holloway

in DC. The individuals, leaders, associations, businesses, or organizations that brought the idea of a livable, walkable neighborhood to life received a real red brick mounted with a name plate. “The Brickies” serve to honor and give weight to the individual efforts of each recipient, and foreshadow the collective structure that they are slowly building in DC. This year’s honorees:

Barbara Ehrlich Neighbor Award

Barabara Wells and Arena Stage Architect Bing Thom watch the ceremony. Photo: Shannon Holloway

A 33-year resident of Southwest DC, community leader, advocate for building and sustaining a great neighborhood, member of Southwest Neighborhood Assembly and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Board of Directors Barbara has partnered with many community members

Will Hill is a long serving ANC Commissioner well recognized across his neighborhood as a leader in community policing. Founding and sustaining Orange Hat patrols, Will Hill has helped to ensure better public safety for the growing neighborhood bringing community members out of their homes and back out to the sidewalks. Shannon Holloway is a local artist living in the district. You may reach her via e-mail at ★

Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells announces winners. Photo: Andrew Lightman ★ 51


h street streetlife life by Elise Bernard


new year is upon us already, and while 2010 brought much excitement along the H NE Corridor, 2011 promises to be an even more eventful year. Tons of new places are poised to open their doors in the first six months of the year.

its longtime Logan Circle home. HR-57 (816 H Street NE, is a great place to catch live jazz, without spending a lot of money.

Atlas Room Stakes a Claim on H The Atlas Room (1015 H Street NE), the newest addition to H Street, is already drawing a healthy crowd. I recently enjoyed my first dinner there with friends. The Atlas Room occupies the space once held by Napa 1015. The interior has undergone quite the transformation. Gone are the light colored walls, and decorative pendants have replaced the recessed eyeball lights. The vibe feels considerably distinct from its predecessor. The cocktail menu mixes innovation with the classics. The cosa nostra, the Atlas Room’s take on a manhattan ($11), is a good bet for fans of rye whiskey. The menu is organized by protein type, with three to four offerings in each category. Small plates (enough for 3-5 bites) run around $10, first courses about $15, and entrées in the range of $20-25. The bartender recommended the beef two ways (short ribs, and flat iron steak), and it was a table favorite. We also tried the pork loin, saddle of lamb, and Indian spiced beef. All were excellent. The flavors were perfectly balanced, and often inventive. While reading the menu I found myself intrigued by the raisin caper sauce, which ended up tasting amazing (that perfect salty sweet zing). The Atlas Room aims to take dining on the H Street Corridor to a whole new level, and I believe they’ve reached that goal.

Church and State Comes to H Street

The Atlas Room offers culinary delights in a casual atmosphere.

Erik Holzherr has cocktails on the brain. The owner of Wisdom and Fruit Bat (1236 H Street NE, http://www. further explores his obsession in his new venture Church and State. Church and State is located at 1236 H Street, above Fruit Bat. Holzherr has described it as his baby, and said it’s a bar for grownups. If Church and State is more formal than Fruit Bat, Holzherr reassures that it won’t be snotty.

Angelico La Pizzeria Heads East The team behind A Slice of Life, the pizza place coming to 1387 H Street NE, recently unveiled plans to also open Angelico La Pizzeria (1421 H Street NE, just down the street from the Argonaut (1433 H Street NE,

Jazz at HR-57

HR-57 Aims to Jazz Up the Corridor A favorite of local jazz fans is relocating from 52 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Clinical Services (which provided mental health services), it was home to Nat’s Record Shop. And way back in the day Club Kavakos (727 H Street NE, kavakos2.html) used to swing well into the night just down the street. Club Kavakos played host to such jazz greats as Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Dizzy Gillespie, all of whom recorded tracks there in the 1950s. It’s exciting to have HR-57 relocated to H Street to continue that jazz legacy.

In its Logan location HR-57 serves beer, wine, and liquor, but also allows patrons to bring in their own beverages for a small corkage fee of $3 per person. The new space has a bit of musical past. Before it was home to the most recent occupant, Fusion

Kitchen on K Street Comes to NoMA Chef Gillian Clark, of Colorado Kitchen, plans to open a new restaurant called Kitchen on K Street inside the Loree Grand (250 K Street NE, Clark describes the restaurant fare as “Bet-

Tacos Impala serves it up late on weekends

ty Crocker gone Cordon Bleu.” Kitchen will serve breakfast lunch and dinner. Kitchen will likely be open from 8am-10pm during the week, and one hour later on the weekends.

Tacos, Glorious Tacos Tacos Impala is a new venture that’s popped up in the space used by Philadelphia Water Ice in the spring, summer, and fall. It’s the brainchild of H Street regulars, two of whom are also behind the soon to open Toki Underground (second floor of 1234 H Street NE,

Argonaut Sets Sail Again Local staple the Argonaut (1433 H Street NE, had a tough year. A fire destroyed its kitchen and first floor, and then it was burglarized. But the Argo is making the best of the situation. Undertaking a massive rebuilding project, the tavern will come away with a larger kitchen, a new Chef, a new and improved bar, and increased

capacity for draft beers. It reopens in early to mid-January.

Marvelous Pizza Comes to the H Street Connection A new sit down pizza place is set open up in the H Street Connection. Marvelous Pizza will occupy the space at 957 H Street NE, right next to the 7-Eleven.

X9 Goes From Here to There Faster Metro’s newest local offering, the X9, rolled onto the scene in late December. Like the X2, the X9 carries riders from downtown to the H Street NE Corridor. The key difference is that the X9 is an express bus, meaning it makes fewer stops. The X9 runs every 15 minutes during peak demand times, and makes two stops along the Corridor (8th and H Street, and near the Starburst Plaza). For more on what’s abuzz on and around the H Street Corridor you can visit my blog You can send me tips or questions at ★ ★ 53



SOUTH St. Matthews Complex Moves Forward Town Center East Park to Get Playground by William Rich

Building a Playground from the Ground Up As more families have moved to Southwest over the past few years, attracted by more affordable housing and proximity to employment centers, one of the disappointing realities for parents has been the lack of green space for children. “It’s shocking to me how few areas there are in the neighborhood where children can play,” said Eve Brooks, Secretary of the Near SE/SW Community Benefits Coordinating Council (CBCC), which has teamed up with area parents to build a playground in the neighborhood. Spearheaded by CCBC Chair Reverend Ruth Hamilton of Westminster Presbyterian Church and Felicia Coates, mother of two young children, the newly formed group chose to focus their efforts on a specific site - Town Center East Park, the District-owned park space located adjacent to the Southwest Branch Library

at 3rd Street, SW and “Eye” Street, SW. This is the first major project for the CBCC, which formed in 2005 and whose main mission is to bring together organizations, institutions, and individuals headquartered, living, or working in DC’s near Southeast/ Southwest, to ensure that redevelopment sustains neighborhood diversity and improves residents’ quality of life. According to Coates, the role of the Southwest Library playground will be two-fold, “it will give children a place to play and it will bring the community together to break down some of the divides in Southwest.” “It’s about community building and creating safe spaces,” added Brooks. In order to get the park built, the group is currently working with KaBoom!, a national non-profit organization that has built over 1,900 playgrounds across the U.S. It will take about 100 people to see the project through to completion and $100,000 in funds. Not only will the volunteers

Town Center East Park is located adjacent to the Southwest Branch Library and will have a playground by October if the CBCC is successful in their fundraising efforts. Photo by William Rich 54 ★ HillRag | January 2011

be needed to serve on committees, such as fundraising, communications, and design site & build, they will also help build the actual playground on Build Day, tentatively scheduled for October 1, 2011. The group is beginning its fundraising effort in early 2011 and has several ideas, among them being soliciting corporate donations from local businesses and getting children involved with candy sales. In mid-December, the group held a clean-up event at the park, which coincided with the monthly clean-up of Town Center West Park and about 15 people showed up to help. However, a planning meeting held the following week was sparsely attended, most likely due to a number of other community meetings scheduled at the same time and it being so close to the holidays. Questions still remain regarding liability issues and park maintenance, which the group is working on with the District Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). The CBCC is well

on its way to 100 volunteers, but still has a long way to go before Build Day comes in October.

Plans for Mixed-Use St. Matthew’s Complex Move Forward In a series of community meetings in November, Pastor Huber from St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, along with architect Shalom Baranes from Shalom Baranes Associates and developer Trammell Crow presented their latest plans for a mixed use project at Delaware Avenue, SW and M Street, SW. Baranes has designed several new buildings along the M Street SW/SE corridor, including Waterfront Station, 55 M Street, SE and 401 M Street, SE in The Yards. Some changes were made with the new plans, including the location of the new sanctuary and community center relative to the planned apartment building. In the new plan, the development is in the shape of an “L”

The large courtyard will be a shared open space between the new St. Matthew’s Church and the apartment building. Courtesy of St. Matthew’s & Shalom Baranes Associates

- the apartment building will be situated along M Street, SW & extend south along the western border with an existing residential building and the church will be located at the corner of Delaware Avenue, SW & M Street, SW, in order to preserve what is left of the view shed along Delaware Avenue, SW north to the Capitol dome. In addition, the new design will maintain the courtyard-design aesthetic of Southwest, with buildings interspersed with open space. There will be a shared open space along Delaware Avenue, SW with a seating area and a shallow reflective pool that will be connected to the fellowship hall of the church. A landscaped buffer will be installed along Delaware Avenue, SW to shield the outdoor space and provide some security. While the courtyard will not be open to the public, Huber says “the community will have full access through St. Matthew’s.” Several existing trees will be maintained on three sides of the site: on Delaware Avenue, SW, and along the western and southern border. New landscaping will be planted on M Street, SW. Such a large courtyard can be created since the apartment building will be 10-11 stories tall and have a Floor-to-Area Ratio between 4.3 and 4.4, allowing more open space. The apartment building will be 2-3 stories taller than other buildings on M Street, SW, but Baranes explained that it is good to have structures of varied heights and the building will be brought closer to the street to give the corridor a more urban feel. Other developments along M Street, SW, including future phases of Waterfront Station will have buildings closer to the street as well. Preliminary designs for the apartment building call for a simple box shape with a variety of building materials, playing off of what currently exists in the neighborhood and similar to the style of residential buildings in the area. The main entrance for the apartment building will be located on M Street, SW. Ten percent of the housing is mandated to be affordable housing by inclusionary zoning, but Huber would like for it to be designated workforce housing (for teachers, police officers, firefighters, etc.) since the neighborhood already has plenty of public housing.

St. Matthew’s wants to design the sanctuary as a performance space. When the old church was in existence, the fellowship hall was used almost daily and Huber referred to it as the “town center” for Southwest; the redesigned fellowship hall will aim to serve that purpose once again. A grand entryway for the church will be designed on M Street, SW. In addition, a community center will be located between the church and the apartment building with a separate entrance on M Street, SW. Transforming Southwest Community Development Corporation, a 501(c) non-profit organization, will manage the community center. Within the community center will be a coffee shop called Sacred Grounds Cafe: “Coffee with a Purpose.” Some features and planned activities for the community center include: free Wi-Fi access, Internet terminals, seniors morning, book club, live performances, community forums, gallery to support local artists, movie night, preschool program, thrift shop, and a multimedia classroom. Other ideas floated by Huber include: offering “Dinner at Your Door” program, a community outreach center with a social worker, and a Southwest youth & children’s choir. A Planned Unit Development (PUD) application will be submitted in early 2011 and construction is scheduled to begin by the first or second quarter of 2012. The Lutheran Church helped finance the PUD process and most likely will be involved with financing the project. Until construction begins, temporary uses will be encouraged for the vacant site. Previously, the lot has been transformed into a Christmas tree lot during the holidays and last summer, 20 plots were created for gardeners. Other temporary uses are being contemplated for the site, such as a community yard sale, partnering with Arena Stage and the Corcoran for an outdoor arts festival, and a wine festival. By 2014, the community should be able to welcome St. Matthew’s back to their new home with open arms. William Rich is a freelance writer and blogger at Southwest…The Little Quadrant that Could ( ★

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Unexpected Synergy Cupcakes, Bikes and Dog Grooming with Zest article and photos by Sharon Bosworth the Tour de France: “I look forward to additional retail on Barracks Row and to City Bikes opening in our old location. Capitol Hill has a great cycling community and we have enjoyed serving their needs. Business begets business and more retail will be good for the neighborhood and for all of us.” Actually, D’Amour’s instincts are spot on – more is better in the case of retail. Georgetown, another DC bike hot spot, is home to four bike shops; two sit side by side on M St NW. But with the explosion of interest in cycling for health, time savings and energy savings, Bicycle Pro Shops 3403 M St. NW, one of the four Georgetown stores tripled their business last year! “It’s great for the customers to have

us so close together but it’s also been fantastic for our business,” marveled one of Bicycle Pro Shops staffers. Debora Harding CEO of City Bikes can’t wait to get to the Hill. “We want to work with Capitol Hill Bikes and build up a larger biking community here. We carry different brands from Capitol Hill Bikes and with the DC Bike Share stations at the Eastern Market Metro and at 8th and I St, this corridor will become a place biking enthusiasts flock to.” City Bikes signature shop opened 23 years ago in Adams Morgan, 2501 Champlain St. NW, in an old filling station, an irony not lost on her customers. Though she is not planning on replicating the iconic biking cow mural here at their new

“We will do something unique with our Capitol Hill store (707 8th St SE): our Adams Morgan store (2501 Champlain St. NW) has become a landmark” … Debora Harding, CEO City Bikes.


ike crocuses sprouting unseen under the snow, retail activity is re shaping 8th St SE, with multiple leases in quiet negotiation and store fit outs in process behind papered over front windows. The first quarter of 2011 will bring a retail bloom to the 700 block of 8th Street, as incoming retailers capitalize on the extensive parking now available at 8th and I St SE in the under-the- freeway city lot opened by Barracks Row Main Street and DDOT in May of 2010. Here’s what is certain: by Valentine’s Day 2011 Hello Cupcake, 705 8th St. SE, owed by Penny Karas will open two doors south of the corner of 8th and G St. SE. Then by mid March 56 ★ HillRag | January 2011

City Bikes, 707 8th St SE will open right next door. The addition of the new bike shop will create a bike hot spot on 8th St. For the last ten years Capitol Hill Bikes at 719 8th St SE has provided Capitol Hill with both retail and bike repair. Now a second full service bike shop will open in the same block on Barracks Row Main Street. Soon DC bike enthusiasts can bring their most challenging bike issues to our corridor for both a first and second opinion.

“Business begets business…” Denise D’Amour, owner of Capitol Hill Bikes, 719 8th St. SE, exhibits sportsmanlike verve worthy of

The interior planned for Hello Cupcake, 705 8thSt. SE, symbolizes the soft airy feel of a perfect cupcake.

shop at 707 8th St SE, Harding added: “I expect unexpected synergies will work in much the same way they did with Ben and Jerry’s. Our Capitol Hill store will develop a unique style all its own!

Coffee and Cupcakes for Bikers Both Denise D’Amour and Debora Harding are intrigued with the calories-in and caloriesout equation: with a cupcake shop located between two bike stores a big decision will face riders. Hordes of bikers may descend on the cupcakes both before and after rides for an energy boost. This also is a fantasy for Penny Karas for her new Hello Cupcake site at 705 8th St SE. Barracks Row will be the second DC location for Hello Cupcake and Karas plans to move some of the activities now centered at the Dupont Circle store to this location. “Cup Cake decorating classes for private groups will take place at Capitol Hill and our nation-wide shipping will also be supported at this location,” added Karas. Both the Dupont Circle and Barracks Row locations of Hello Cupcake are full scale, from scratch cup cake bakeries with batter and icing made into cupcakes right on the premises. Karas noted that her 8th Street shop will be a place to hang out and enjoy a great cup of coffee along with a cupcake. Hello Cupcake takes great pride in making their coffee from beans custom roasted by ME Swing, DC’s oldest roaster. Could wireless access be far behind? “Very probably the internet will be available in the Capitol Hill store,” agreed Ms. Karas. “We look forward to bringing coffee house hospitality to this end of Barracks Row.

All Welcomed By Zest Chateau Animaux, owned by Dennis Bourgault and Michael Suddath will be moving from 524 8th St in late January because the partners sold their building recently to right size their business operation. They intended all along to reopen as close as possible to

their old address. “We’ve been working on leasing a new space on Barracks Row,” confirmed Bourgault, “and today we signed the lease on 733 8th St SE right next door to Zest Bistro (735 8th St. SE). Meanwhile, we will be in our present location through the end of January, so we have plenty of time to get things in place and hopefully have minimal down time when we actually move.” Myles Doherty and partners own 739 8th St SE a vacant building a few doors from Zest Bistro. Doherty verified the uptick in interest in the Row: “Over the past few months we have shown our building to a variety of business owners: massage therapists, a yoga and pilates studio, a beauty parlor, a bakery, a wine shop and a liquor store. Of course, there have been many office inquires as well.” Doherty has owned properties on 8th Street for 30 years and is no stranger to the need for a fit between antique buildings and 21st century businesses. “Our Barracks Row buildings were constructed in the 1800’s. The interiors are challenging for many modern businesses to adapt to.” But Doherty and his business manager, Michelle Karl, are certain 739 8th St SE will lease quickly. “Now that 8th Street is a restaurant destination, foot traffic is guaranteed, and with the new lot, parking is available. We are concentrating now on finding just the right new addition to the Row. Amanda Briggs owns Zest Bistro, 735 8th St SE, the last full service restaurant diners come upon when walking down 8th Street from Pennsylvania Ave. Briggs is ready to celebrate: “We are thrilled by the prospect of new retail or restaurants. Every day Hill residents stumble upon us, love their experience and mention that they never walk this far down. Most people don’t even know about the public parking lot right here under the freeway! This end of 8th is primed and ready to go… bring it on!” ★ ★ 57

Congressional Cemetery Is Named To The Network To Freedom




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ongressional Cemetery was named to the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom earlier this year. Established by Congress in 1998 and managed by the National Park Service, the mission of the Network to Freedom is to commemorate individuals, preserve sites and promote the historical significance of the Underground Railroad and its role in eradicating slavery. To qualify, sites, programs and facilities must provide verifiable documentation that corroborates their association with the Underground Railroad. Congressional Cemetery is the burial site of two participants in the UGRR -- William Boyd and David A. Hall. William Boyd’s activities are well documented in newspaper accounts and in the court and other federal records at the National Archives. He was arrested in November 1858 just 15 miles from the Pennsylvania border for transporting two runaway slaves who were hidden in the back of his wagon. During questioning, witnesses stated that he had been spotted several times in the past in the area of Westminster, Md., driving his wagon in a manner so as to avoid detection. Boyd was tried, convicted of larceny (stealing slaves), and sentenced to 14 years in the penitentiary. In 1861, at the urging of 54 members of Congress, he received a full pardon from President Abraham Lincoln. Although never again a conductor, he contin-

ued to defend the rights of African Americans. In 1865 he attempted to intervene at a riot in which rowdy soldiers attacked African Americans and their homes in southwest Washington. He lost an eye and nearly died of injuries received. In 1869 grateful African American voters elected him to the District’s Common Council. David A. Hall’s efforts are also docu-

mented in the court records at the National Archives as well as the Maryland State Archives and in the diaries and correspondence of well-known abolitionists and anti-slavery men. David Hall was a respected attorney who studied law with one of the founders of the American Colonization Society, an orga-

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nization that repatriated free black Americans to Liberia. As a young man he adopted the views of his mentor, but his experiences in representing both free and enslaved African Americans led him to develop more radical anti-slavery sentiments. He associated almost exclusively with opponents of slavery and counted William Seward, Daniel Webster, and Gamaliel Bailey (editor of the National Era) as among his closest friends. Hall used his skills as an attorney to work within the law to negotiate the release of slaves and defend the rights of men, both black and white, who were working to assist “freedom seekers.” He donated money to purchase slaves’ freedom and provided bail for William Chaplin, a prominent abolitionist arrested for stealing and transporting slaves. At the request of Joshua Giddings, he was the first attorney to courageously step forward to represent the crew and 76 slaves captured onboard the Pearl -- the largest documented slave escape attempt in U.S. history. Hall also drew up the papers that Giddings presented in Congress to challenge the practice of selling into slavery free blacks who could not pay their jail fees after being falsely arrested as runaway slaves. Congressional Cemetery is located at 1801 E St. S.E. and is the final resting place of slaves, slave owners, antislavery men and women, and politicians who worked to end slavery. Their stories provide a unique opportunity to learn about the realities of slavery in the District of Columbia from all perspectives. To support the Network to Freedom’s mission to educate the public about the significance of the Underground Railroad, walking tours that interpret the lives of those interred in Congressional Cemetery who experienced slavery first hand are planned for next spring and summer. ★

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Stardust Gala To Shine Again St. Colleta School will be the venue for this Festive Fundraiser by Mike Canning


he third annual “Stardust Gala” of the Capitol Hill Village (CHV ) will take place January 29 at a new Hill site: St. Colleta School. This is a change of venue for this important fundraiser which was held previously at St. Mark’s Church. Village leaders felt it was time for a change for the Gala. Moving to St. Coletta, a larger space, makes sense because last year’s affair was filled to capacity. The move also aims to rekindle the magic associated with the first CHV Stardust Gala in 2009. Ann Richards will be the chair for the fest. The symbolism of holding the event at a school underscores CHV members’ interest in continuing to reside in a neighborhood with persons of all ages. Additionally, St. Coletta’s architecture is remarkable and singular; many who attend the Gala will see it for the first time. Opened in 2002, St. Coletta of Greater Washington, located at 1901 Independence Avenue, SE, is a private, non-profit organization which operates a school day program for children and young adults (ages 3-22) with cognitive disabilities. Its building was designed by renowned American architect Michael Graves, known for landmark buildings and designs throughout the United States and abroad. The first Stardust Gala (subtitled “An Evening in Black, White and Silver”) was held January 31, 2009, and aimed to both raise funds for the organization and to celebrate its members and volunteers. Held at St. Mark’s Church on the Hill, it included festive food and libations, dancing (to the music of Doug Bowles and his SingCo Rhythm Band), and a silent auction—all in a spangled bunting atmosphere. Dancers from the “GottaSwing” company added collective swing dance lessons to the mix. The 2009 Gala, overseen by Board President Mary Procter and Margaret Crenshaw and a worthy batch of volunteers, cleared over 60 ★ HillRag | January 2011

$10,000 for the Village. The second Stardust Gala, last January 30, followed the pattern of the first. A sellout, it was again held in the St. Mark’s chapel, with food, dancing, and entertainment for all. One big difference was the weather. In the winter of DC’s Snowmaggedon, significant snow fell on the day of the Gala, but it did not deter most attendees, some 240 of whom still showed up to show off their spangles and dance moves. The second year’s silent auction was expanded considerably and included a series of salon dinners in Hill homes with local celebrities and an impressive array of getaways, ranging from a house on the Cote d’Azur to a home on the St. Lawrence Seaway. Village stalwarts Anne Kraemer and Paul Malvey were the co-chairs for the 2010 event, aided by dozens of CHV volunteers. This time, the event

netted more than $25,000 to support Village expenses and programs. Since the 2011 Gala is a fundraising event, reservations can be made by anyone who wants to support the Village—and have a good time doing it. Individual reservations made before January 15, 2011,

cost $60 ($70 afterwards). Reserve a table for 8 to 10 people at a discount price of $50 per person ($60 after Jan. 15). You may pay online at, or send a check to Capitol Hill Village, P.O. Box 15126, Washington, DC 200030126. ★

Health in 2011

Hill Ragâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Beauty Health and Fitness Special


REAL Change

Health in 2011 Accepting Who You Are Dr. Joseph Tarantolo Tells You How by Pattie Cinelli


very January 1, we ponder how we want to become. It’s a tradition to vow to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, be less stressed, be kinder, get a new job – significant actions that we think will “change” us. We often are coming from a place of lack. We want to feel better about ourselves, our relationships and our worth in the world. Many of us have found that making a vow on New Year’s Eve doesn’t work and have dropped the tradition altogether. Others hang onto the hope that this year will be different because obviously we are not good enough the way we are. But there is another way. “Perhaps the new you this year is accepting the old you,” said Dr. Joe Tarantolo, a Capitol Hill psychiatrist who has found that accepting and embracing conflicts in one’s life is the only way you can get anywhere. “In order to become a “New You” you have to give something up. In the very act of accepting who you are, you are beginning to change.” Dr. Tarantolo’s philosophy is not new. Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu wrote of this same concept in the Tao Te Ching, “By letting go it all gets done. The world is won by those people who let it go. When you try and try the world is beyond winning,” Dr. Tarantolo is unique among the majority of psychiatrists. Instead of prescribing psychotropic drugs to mask his patients conflicts he helps them to accept their imperfections and make small changes. “People get hooked on antidepressants. They feel they have some kind of constitutional 62 ★ HillRag | January 2011

problem. I use therapy and very slow withdrawal [from a drug] to bring them back into balance. I think people who rely on drugs to make their interpersonal life better will have to pay the piper eventually.” Dr. Tarantolo was trained in traditional western medicine. In the early ‘80s he said he thought psychiatry was doing wonderful research. “I was wrong. By the time Prozac was released, the statistics were distorted. The stats on suicide were hidden, and it took 14 years for America to put out warnings about the drug’s dangers.” Dr. Tarantolo wears two hats. He’s a psychotherapist who studies what makes up people’s interior and interpersonal world. He’s also an herbalist and nutrition counselor who examines the physiology of a person through their lifestyle and diet. He changed his traditional view of medicine 17 years ago when his wife developed breast cancer. “She developed pain syndrome because of the treatment which she should have never received. It made me question how we treat cancer and all treatment of disease.” What he knows about nutrition and herbs he’s learned it all on his own the past 20 years. He attends herbal and nutrition conferences each year. What Dr. Tarantolo often recommends to his patients and to anyone who wants to change something in his/her life is to first “depathologize” – stop believing there is something wrong with you. “When you consider something a pathology the emphasis only makes it worse.” He sites the example of Lawrence Olivier, one of

Dr. Joseph Tarantolo

the iconic actors of the 20th Century. Olivier used to throw up before every performance. “Was that a pathology? No, it was greatness!” Another example Dr. Tarantolo talked about was an adolescent girl who had severe anxiety before a test. She would cry and vomit. Another physician put her on an anti-depressant. She became suicidal and still had the anxiety. Emphasizing the problem, which he considered normal, only made the situation worse. “The saddest lament I have about my profession is they have turned normal crises people have into chronic illnesses.” Dr. Tarantolo works with people as they are.

We can apply many of the techniques Dr. Tarantolo’s recommends to his patients to improve our own lives. He uses meditation in his own practice. “Meditating is not a big deal. You just sit still, be quiet, pay attention and breathe. I think we all learn it in first grade.” He adds one element to his meditation – mindfulness. “It’s like being a good mother to yourself.” He also recommends exercise. “I’ve never seen a negative study about meditation or exercise. I believe it’s almost medical malpractice for any physician not to prescribe them for a patient.” Dr. Tarantolo debunks much of the bad press vitamins and nutrition-

al supplements have gotten in recent years and attributes the misinformation to manipulation by the pharmaceutical and medical industry. “In 2007 and 2008, zero number of deaths were attributed to supplements of any sort.” Vitamin C got a particularly bad rap. “You can’t get enough of it from your diet. It’s important for vascular health, and the connective tissue around blood vessels need it. It’s also been shown to be helpful in the treatment of cancer, heart disease, the beginning of dementia in different doses.” With more than 500 papers published on its benefits, he takes 1500 milligrams a day. While he stresses that we all need supplements, he also emphasizes that they don’t replace a good diet, exercising, having friends and love in your life. Quoting the theologian Reinhold Neihbur “Nothing that is worth doing is achieved in a lifetime,” Dr. Tarantolo said that the happiness, health and self-acceptance you are seeking may come more easily by being humble about changing things in your life. “Think small changes, not big changes. Maybe the first step in changing what and how you eat could be having a moment of appreciation before eating instead of radically changing your diet.” Be aware, enjoy and appreciate what you have and who you are. Joe Tarantolo, MD can be reached at 202-543-5290. Pattie Cinelli is a personal trainer and yoga and Pilates instructor who helps clients make small changes in their lives to feel better through exercise. She began her fitness column more than 10 years ago. Please email her your fitness questions or column suggestions at: fitness@ ★

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Health in 2011 Jiu Jitsu Training for Women and Kids by Lex Kiefhaber


yjah Easton attended Orr Elementary, just east of the river in Anacostia. The way she put it, school was more like a battle zone than a place to learn. When she came home and told her father of the daily scuffles, the bruises and scrapes, he did more than offer his comfort, he sent her to learn how to fight back. More than a decade later, she’s repaying the favor. This past November Nyjah and fellow student of self-defense Rita Floyd opened the Capitol Hill Martial Arts and Fitness Academy (MAFA). At the modest yet inviting studio on 14th and D St. SE, Rita and Nyjah teach a blend of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Thai Boxing, Yoga, and functional fitness, with a focus on exercising the mind as well as the body. Perhaps the most unique aspect of the Capitol Hill MAFA (aside from Nyjah’s blond Mohawk) is the distinctive clientele: no men allowed. Rita and Nyjah believe theirs is the first mixed martial arts (MMA) style gym dedicated solely to training women and children. The desire to open a facility specifically tailored to children (ages 3- 17, boys age out at 18) and women was a response to what Rita and Nyjah saw as typical of female programs offered by larger gyms. Those programs were often added as an afterthought, a way to maximize profits with minimal cost, and thus were not focused on the specific needs and desires of women. Coming up through various schools and disciples of martial arts, Rita and Nyjah felt a growing disparity between men and women in their sport. This forced the women to partner with the men; a sometimes-awkward arrangement involving twisting and writhing on the mat, usually with one partner far outweighing the other. Both Rita and Nyjah will be quick to tell you that in Jiu-Jitsu technique always trumps strength, but what’s most important is a learning environment where the students feel safe and comfortable, with themselves and their peers. Rita and Nyjah created Capitol Hill MAFA as a means of sharing with other women the mental toughness, strength, endurance, and sense of accomplishment they themselves have 64 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Owners are Rita Floyd and Nyjah Easton.

Miguel Rosario, age 7, strikes a fighting pose.

garnered from a career in mixed martial arts. Their teaching philosophy incorporates the emotional confidence one gains from learning how to defend oneself as well as mental and physical awareness from understanding how to use one’s body. All this wrapped up in no-joke workouts directly derived from what they did to prepare for competitive fights. These “fighters workouts without the rough edges” employ a circuit-style training technique, wherein the students rotate through a number of stations, each developing a different aspect of the fighter’s arsenal. These stations range from JiuJitsu style work on the mat, done with a partner, cardio-style Thai Boxing, and traditional Yoga. As Rita put it, you can get the body of a fighter without necessarily having to fight. While most of their students won’t pursue a career in MMA, Rita and Nyjah believe that every woman should know how to defend herself. According to Rita, 90% of fights end up on the ground, and knowing even basic Jiu-Jitsu could prove invaluable in a dire situation. The style of Jiu-Jitsu they teach uses leverage and technique to render size and strength inconsequential. Rita, who stands head and shoulders above Nyjah, and by her own admission probably outweighs her two to one, says she is no match for her slighter counterpart. Asked if she’d ever beaten Nyjah, Rita, grinning through her teeth, and said, “not yet.” Both women come from competitive backgrounds, and their passion shows through in their intensity as instructors. They met while training for competition at Lloyd Irving’s team facility in Maryland. In 2008, Nyjah was the team’s first World Champion, winning the female Purple Belt Division. She went on win a Silver Medal in the Pan-American Championships in the Brown and Black Belt Division in 2009. Rita holds the Gold medal in the 2009 New York Open and the Silver in the 2009 World Championships, both in the female Blue Belt division. When not teaching, they continue to train and plan on competing in next year’s World Championships. They attribute their success to a mantra they have employed over the years, and now share

Allen A. Flood, M.D. 650 PENNSYLVANIA AVE., S.E., SUITE 420

with their students: improving 1% every day. Pointing the gym floor, a series of forgiving foam-like square mats puzzled together, she says that if on the first day you make it one square, then come back the next day and make it two, then three the next, before you know it you’re all the way across the gym. It’s a simple idea that they convey to women, but especially to the children. Their children’s classes are broken into three sections, tiny ninjas (3-4), little dragons (5-7) and Jr. Mixed Martial Arts (812). With the younger children the workouts are high-octane energy outlets, teaching the children to gain a sense of ownership over their bodies through gymnastics, flexibility, balance, eye hand coordination all incorporated into a platform of lessons in effective self defense and conflict resolution. From the tiny ninjas on up a key tenet of the class structure is character development. For Nyjah, the lessons she learned from the classes her father made her take went well beyond selfdefense. She gained a sense of confidence, self-awareness, patience and discipline that have shaped her life. These aspects of martial arts are woven into the classes for the younger fighters (and tiny dragons). When asked what their motto would be, if they could sum up what the gym was about in a few words, both Rita and Nyjah were momentarily at a loss. Perhaps nothing says it better than the Christian D. Larson poem each student recites at the end of class: “I promise myself to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.” If that’s the promise, then Rita and Nyjah are the teachers who can provide the tools to make good on it. For more information on MAFA go to Located at 1443 D Street SE, Washington D.C, 202-455-4662 ★

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Health in 2011 @ Your Service by Heather Schoell


wenty eleven. Two thousand eleven. ‘Leven. No matter how you say it, make it the year you skip the empty promise of running 10 miles before work every day (starting tomorrow). Instead, commit to healthful living in ways that are relaxing, fun, feel good, and make you fabulous from the inside out. Heather Schoell is a regular contributor to Capital Community News and can be reached at ★

Jazzercise with Rebecca Westcott 201 Fourth St., SE 202-299-9146 Yes, Jazzercise! Leave the gold lamé headband in the 80s, and join this millennium’s version of Jazzercise. The 60-minute session combines cardio, kickboxing, and Pilates, and brings it ‘round with a little jazz Jazzercise Photo: Rebecca dance to make it a top-to-bottom workout – burn up to 600 calories! It’s fun, it’s something you can do with friends, and it is close! Rebecca hosts this dance party every Mon. through Thurs. at the Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church from 6 to 7 p.m. Werk it, boys and girls! “@ Your Service” is a compendium of what’s happening in the service and consumer industry on the Hill (food and drink excluded). Know something really cool and new for sale or for service? Let us know!

Michael Craig 1221 Pennsylvania Ave., SE 202-544-0725

A Holistic Approach 202-360-6988 Personal training, boot camp, body work, stress reduction, and nutritional guidance are just some of the healthful assistance you’ll get from AHA. There is pre-, post- and during pregnancy yoga. What better time than now to get healthy, mama? And guys – no one expects perfection, but a little boost to your self-confidence… hot. Carpe diem, peeps! Check out the website for more information on how owner Alicia Robinson-Morgan can help get you to where you want to be.

Healing Arts of Capitol Hill 320 G St., NE 202-544-9389 Start the new year off with the best gift you can give yourself and your family – good health. Healing Arts of Capitol Hill is a health destination, offering acupuncture, therapeutic massage, psychotherapy, and nutrition guidance. All practitioners at Healing Arts are licensed to practice in their fields, and can help with food allergies, winter blues, seasonal allergies, and everything in between. Healing Arts is a respectful, tranquil, clean space. Meditation sessions are free of charge each Wednesday from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Michael Craig is a salon for men, the décor masculine in shades of brown and beige. Trim the hairline, get a proper shave, and battle the dry air with an intense winterizing facial and haircut. Clean yourself up, guy! Michael Craig offers beverages and wi-fi as part of your grooming experience, so there’s really no excuse not to greet the cold new year with a fresh look (and a hot towel). During the month of January, new clients will receive a special gift! 66 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Healing Arts Photo: Mary Rieger of Healing Arts â&#x2DC;&#x2026; 67

Health in 2011 “I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams.” Dr. Jonas Salk

Cultivating Optimism Learning How to Be An Optimistic Person by Ronda Bresnick Hauss, LCSW


t’s the start of a new year and with it comes the opportunity to be happier and healthier. One key tool for increasing happiness, according to Martin Seligman, author of the book, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, is to learn to be an optimistic person. People with an optimistic way of seeing the world are likely to be healthier, more successful and happier in life. Optimism can be cultivated with practice.

Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full? What are the qualities that make one person optimistic and another pessimistic? According to Seligman, a person’s habitual way of explaining bad events is learned in childhood and adolescence and stems directly from whether they think they are valuable and deserving or worthless and hopeless. There are three dimensions to a person’s style of explaining events: permanence, pervasiveness and personalization.

Permanence: •

If a person thinks about bad things that happen in an permanent way - alway’s and never’s - they have a pessimistic style. If however, bad events are blamed on transient conditions - sometime’s and lately’s - a person has an optimistic style. For example, the pessimist might say, “I’m all washed up”, while the optimist might say, “I am simply exhausted”. In contrast, if a person thinks about good events that happen as having permanent causes - traits, abilities, always’s, they are more optimistic than a person who believes that good events are temporary. For example, the pessimist might say, “I try hard” while the optimist might say, “I’m a talented person”.

Pervasiveness: •

The optimist sees bad events as having specific causes while good events enhance everything that they do. For example, an optimist might think, “This book is useless” rather than “all books are useless.” Or, “I was charming” rather

68 ★ HillRag | January 2011

than “I was charming to her.” The pessimist believes that bad events have universal causes and that good events are caused by specific factors. For example, a pessimist might think, “All teachers are unfair” rather than “my math teacher is unfair”. Or, “I’m smart at math” rather than “I’m a smart person.”

Personalization: •

The optimist tends to find external reasons for bad events. For example, “I have no luck at poker” rather than, “I have no talent at poker”. The pessimist tend to internalize or blame themselves for bad events. For example, “I am an insecure person” rather than, “I grew up in poverty.”

The Consequences of Pessimism Martin Segliman is straightforward about the consequences of a pessimism. A person with a more pessimistic style is likely to get depressed easily. They are likely to be achieving less at work than their talents warrant, and their physical health and immune system are probably not what they should be. A person who has an average amount of pessimism may be fine in ordinary times but may find that in a crisis, they get more depressed than they should. For example, when they are rejected by someone they love or don’t get the job they want, they may find that the future feels bleak and the zest has gone out of living. They might feel this way for weeks or perhaps months. So how do we raise our everyday level of optimism?

The Optimistic Life The optimist faces the same set backs and tragedies that befall the pessimist in life but the optimist is more resilient and weathers life better. Learned optimism comes from the power of developing “non-negative” thinking. The following are some of the skills that promote an optimistic style of thinking. Disputing Your Belief: Look for an alternative explanation for the adversity besides one that im-

plies the setback is permanent, unchangeable and pervasive. Distancing: Recognize that your beliefs are just that - beliefs and not facts. Just because you feel that you are a failure does not make it a fact - it is a belief. It is essential to stand back and suspend belief for a moment - distance yourself for your pessimistic explanation long enough to verify it’s accuracy. Evidence: The most convincing way to dispute a negative belief is to show that it is not factually correct. Ask yourself - “what evidence do I have that this point of view is true?” Alternatives: There are usually multiple causes for events. Rather than picking the most permanent, pervasive and personal one - consider a less insidious explanation. Focus on the cause that is changeable, specific and non-personal. De-catastrophizing: Try to consider the situation and it’s implications. Ask yourself “Even if my belief is true, what are the consequences? Is it the end of the world?” Usefulness: Try to consider whether it is useful to dwell on the negative belief at a given moment in time. If not, try to set the negative thought aside for now and return to it when you have time to examine it and challenge it. There is little doubt that optimism is good for us. It is also probably more fun. While it may not stem the tide of depression, it is a valuable tool to help a person achieve their goals. Segliman notes that finding temporary and specific causes for misfortune is the art of hope while finding permanent and universal causes for misfortune is the practice of despair. Optimism, he says, serves as the crucial framework for relating to experiences -- it’s the skeleton of hope. Ronda Bresnick Hauss is a licensed clinical social worker and the founder of the Quiet Waters Center for Trauma, Stress and Resilience, on Capitol Hill. She uses an integrative & holistic approach to psychotherapy – addressing the connection between the mind, body and spirit through the use of traditional talk therapy, meditation, visualization, and creative, non-verbal techniques. She can be reached at: 202-544-5050 and is on the web at: HYPERLINK “” ★ â&#x2DC;&#x2026; 69

Health in 2011 ASAP Home Care Allowing Your Loved One the Comforts of Staying at Home by Heather Schoell


SAP is a complete in-home care resource for families with a loved one who needs care during the work day. With nurses and aides offering physical therapy, home care help, and more, ASAP’s service allows the elderly to live at home with their families – safely, cleanly, and professionally. ASAP allows patients, usually elderly, to remain in their own homes, along with their families, instead of having to go to an assisted living facility. As an example, a man who has had a stroke may need around-theclock care, and his family is willing to provide that care, but they have to work during the day. With his family there for him at night, ASAP can care for him during the day – providing his physical therapy, speech therapy, and making sure he is clean, dressed, and properly fed. Longevity is key with ASAP. One of their patients, whom they are careful to identify only as “Mr. A.” has had the same home health aide for 16 years! Another client, their oldest patient at 110 years old, has been with them for 16 years. According to Head Nurse Lakisha Clayton, the supercentenarian is mentally still with it. “She has arthritis, ambulatory issues – no memory issues. She’s beautiful.” Staying within the comfort of home is the idea behind in-home care. “Our goal,” said Lakisha, “is for the client to remain in-home and receive the optimal level of functioning.”

The Process ASAP will come to you. Talia Santos, Community Relations Coordinator, explained the process. First, call to set up an appointment. Lynette will probably be the one to 70 ★ HillRag | January 2011

take your call. Gerard Seabrooks, Case Manager Coordinator, or Lakisha will come to your home. They will take all of your insurance information for processing. ASAP accepts Medicaid and Medicare, as well as private insurance. The next step is a medical assessment. The nurse will assess how much care is needed for the patient. The longest visit is 16 hours every day (covered over two shifts), but that is in the case of the patient qualifying for a waiver based upon income and issues that require more than eight hours of care per day. Once insurance is arranged and medical needs are assessed, an aide comes to do the visits. This aide is the person who will be responsible for the care of the patient – bathing, dressing, and feeding him or her; going to medical appointments, making sure the environment is clean – carrying out whatever plan is crafted by the patient, family, and ASAP. A nurse returns monthly to re-assess the patient’s needs.

Family Business ASAP has provided in-home care in the District for 20 years, but relocated to their current location at 201 15th St., SE four years ago. Capitol Hill brings ASAP closer to those they serve. They introduced themselves to the neighborhood with a community barbeque, offering free blood pressure screenings. Look for another community day in the spring. ASAP is a family business started by George Purcell, Sr. 20 years ago. Today, he remains CEO, while George Purcell II is company president. “My dad is a very private person. We don’t do a lot of advertising

Lakisha (at left), Gerard, and Talia standing behind Lynette. Photo: Heather Schoell

– we want our work to speak for itself,” said Purcell II. “Of course this is a business, and we want to make money, but we are in this to provide a service that helps the community.” Purcell prefers their Capitol Hill locale, so they can live and work among people they serve – and employ them. (Their new accountant commutes from around the corner.) There is also the family affinity that nurses and home health aides establish with their clients, especially as they maintain their professional relationship for so many years in so many cases. “Home health aides love their patients.” Lakisha said. “They

often become family and are treated as such.” “Even when a patient lost the privilege of their Medicaid,” Talia began, “[Lakisha] went to see her.” The patient was terribly swollen, retaining water in her joints and was so uncomfortable. “I begged the pharmacy for a diuretic,” said Lakisha, “because if that was my grandmother…” ASAP Services Corporation, 201 15th St., SE, Washington, DC 20003. (202) 293-2931 or www. Heather Schoell is a regular contributor to Capital Community News and can be reached at ★

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Health in 2011 Creating Real Change How to form positive habits and a NEW YOU! by Alita Brown


ver wonder why some people get great results from their workouts or their normal eating routine? What makes them different? How do they do it? Usually their success rests on one or two simple habits. All of us face choices in life and those choices usually pertain to what we control and what we don’t. When we have challenges beyond our control, we often allow the challenges to influence the things we do have control over. When it comes to regular workouts and healthful eating, many people feel they have barriers which prevent them from regular workouts – work, the need for more time with family, long commutes, and even boredom and fatigue. Some barriers are very difficult to overcome: personal injuries or illness, caring for elderly patients, feeding the teenagers each evening and many more. But barriers should not stop you from implementing positive changes to secure a long and healthy life. What is a ‘fence sitter?’ That is a person who only puts their foot halfway in the water, or half way to a commitment. Well, now’s the first of the year and time to make some positive changes to your lifestyle. You can surely find one or two things that you do control and attack those. Make them positive habits that you always think about. Then pick two more! Before you know it you are on your way to a new you.

Using our Parks In our own Capitol Hill neighborhood, we have beautiful parks at our disposure. If you are short on 72 ★ HillRag | January 2011

time and resources the park can be your greatest asset. Folger Park – Distance 1 lap=.25 mi. Stanton Park – Distance 1 lap=.32 mi. Lincoln Park – Distance 1 lap=.43 mi. Marion Park- Distance 1 lap = .27mi. Garfield Park – Distance 1 lap= .54mi. Here are some examples of an outdoor workout to enjoy at the park of your choice. Maybe you can’t work out every day, but an easy way to start is to find a buddy or co-worker and walk together at lunch. Then make sure you go out every day. If the weather’s bad, go down to one of the nearby museums or the Botanic Garden and absorb beauty as you walk. Joy of Motion on H Street has a variety of fun dance classes to burn those extra calories. You can even tango at Eastern market, if you want to spice things up a bit. After you’re in the habit of participating in exercise activities for five days a week, moving will become a part of your life that you will crave and enjoy. Select a time of day (maybe first thing in the morning) when you don’t have conflicts or distractions and you know you can always get it done. Before you know it you’ll be out walking, jogging, dancing, etc. six days a week. Most important, stay active! It’s hard to change your diet overnight, but you can form one or two new habits every month and change your life. Try eating healthier tips such as these: ½ a sandwich instead of a whole at lunch. Swear off fried foods. No soda. One piece of fruit per day. Cut-back or eliminate alcohol. There are indeed things that

you can control in life that will make you healthier and ultimately happier. Start with only one thing that you can control and then go to work on it. You’ll soon see your world change! Alita Brown is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness Together-Capitol Hill. If you want to make healthy changes to your lifestyle, you don’t have to go it alone. A personal trainer from Fitness Together – Capitol Hill can design a on-on-one workout program for you. We are located at 408 H street NE, just four blocks from Union Station. For great tips on nutrition and fitness follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Visit our website at or contact Alita at 202-558-6486. ★

Regimen #1

Regimen #2

Time, Activity • 5 minutes, Warm up Brisk walking • 2 minutes, Walk or jog • 1 minute, Walking Lunges (or stationary) • 1 minute, Jump rope • 1 minute, Plank • 1 minute, Sprints • 3 minutes, Walk or Jog • 1 minute, Pushups (or T Planks) • 1 minute, Scissor Jumps • 1 minute, Run • 3 minutes, Butt Kicks • 1 minute, Long Jumps • 1 minute, Run or Butt Kicks • 1 minute, High Jogs - As you jog, lift the knees up to hip level (if you can). • 1 minute, Flutter • 3 minutes, Jumping Jacks • 3 minutes, Cool down and Stretch

Time, Activity • 10 minutes, Warm up Brisk walking • 3 minutes , Total Body Stretch • 3 minutes , Find A Tree or Monkey Bars and do 3 sets of Pull ups • 10 minutes, Jog/Run • 10 minute , Brisk Walk • 1 minute , Find a Bench or Steps and do tricep dips • 30 second , Sprint • 3 minutes , 3 Sets of Squats • 30 second , Sprint • 1 minute , Traveling Lunges • 3 minutes , 3 sets of crunches • 5 minutes , Cool down and Stretch

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by Kristin Marsh Song


ara Atella knows firstsecond week we were hooked hand how wonderfully and even decided to buy year quirky Capitol Hill life memberships.” can be. Lara and her husband, Lara and Ken became Ken Petersen, moved to the Hill regulars and made a host of in 1999 to be close to Union great friends through the Station so she could take the studio – including that spetrain to work in Baltimore. It cial blonde woman, owner was convenient at the time, but Elizabeth Glover. Ever since they did not plan to stay more that fateful meeting, Lara has than a few years. While Ken grown to appreciate the place worked his way through school, Elizabeth and her studio hold Lara held a job as a neurobehavon Capitol Hill. ioral researcher in child develop“Elizabeth is so supment. Her position meant hours portive of the community,” of work behind a computer and Lara says, pointing to the in the lab, in addition to a long studio’s extensive work-study commute. Over time she began program for those who can’t noticing increasingly stiff and afford membership, as well Bikram Yoga. swollen joints. In 2002 she was as the Friday evening classes Photo by Andrew Lightman diagnosed with rheumatoid arthat generate proceeds to lothritis cal charities. About two years later she was pushing her Lara is especially grateful for the help Elizaone-year-old son, Nate, in a stroller down G beth and her studio have given to her and her Street with a friend, and a car stopped in front family. The yoga has brought physical relief to of them. A tall blonde woman climbed out and Lara, helped her husband cope with the stress approached them with a big, friendly smile. of completing his Ph.D., and even provided a The woman asked the surprised pair what learning place for her son. Elizabeth has always they thought about having a Bikram yoga studio allowed Lara to bring her son to the studio. on H Street. Lara didn’t know what “Bikram” In fact, Lara became such a devotee of Biwas and thought H Street was a bit rough at the kram and the studio that she decided to become time, but she said having a yoga studio nearby a professional teacher, enduring the rigorous would be nice. nine-week training session all Bikram teachers The woman said she was looking at some- must undergo to become certified. Her friend, thing around 5th and H streets and seemed the one walking with her on that fateful day, also excited about the prospect of opening up her has become a certified instructor. own business. Lara thought she was gutsy and These days, Lara and her husband are baskencouraged her to go for it. The pleasant conver- ing in their Hill life and the community they’ve sation concluded, and all three women went on found. Their idea of a perfect day always includes with their lives. a trip to Sidamo to see the owners Mimi and Then, in January of 2008, Lara and Ken de- Kenfe and then to the BYCH “hot room.” cided to give Bikram yoga a try. They had fre“Over the past several years we’ve grown quently seen people coming and going from the to love our lives and the community we share Bikram Yoga Capitol Hill while they sat drink- here and are so thankful to those who make it ing coffee at their favorite shop, Sidamo – lo- so meaningful and fun! My son is at an excellent cated across the street – and were curious. school, Brent Elementary in SE, and my hus“Since my husband is a sauna enthusiast, band has an easy bike ride to work in northwest. I though he might like it,” Lara says. “I never I no longer need to commute to work by train; thought I would make it past the first class.” instead I just walk a few minutes down H Street, Class wasn’t easy, but the effects were amaz- grab a perfect cup of coffee and hit the ‘hot room’ ing. “The next day when I woke up, I experi- for an early savasana.” enced one of my first mornings not feeling horribly stiff and uncomfortable,” Lara says. “By our Bikram Yoga Capitol Hill is located at 410 H St. NE. 202547-1208, ★

RealEstate & Finance Brewing Beer on Capitol Hill The Beer Entrepreneur Albert Carry by Robert Pohl

Albert Carry and his family. His daughter Marie married into the Didden family, current owners of National Capital Bank. Photo courtesy of Capitol Hill Histry Project


ith the opening of Biergarten Haus and the imminent opening of the Bavarian Beer Garden at 8th & L Streets, SE, joining such favorites as Belga Cafe and Granville Moore’s, ale friends on the Hill certainly have reason to rejoice. It’s too bad that the closest we get to local beer is the Capital City Brewpub next to Union Station, especially since there was a not-to-distant time when Capitol Hill breweries took on the national giants on their own terms. The brewers on the Hill got their start just before the Civil War, when George Juenemann opened a brewery on the corner of 4th and E Streets NE. He had previously owned a bar, but now began production as well. In spite of being a smallish enterprise, producing only 20,000 barrels a year,

it lasted for almost 30 years until Juenemann’s death at age 60 in 1885. The next year his widow and sons decided to sell.

amount of beer consumed per capita increasing by a factor of ten between 1863 and 1888, there was always need for more capacity. Carry thus decided to double production, and while this expansion was in the works, he was offered a large sum of money for his brewery. He at first accepted the offer, but then reneged after learning that the offer had been made by an English company. In 1889 another offer came, this time from a group of New York financiers. Carry sold out for $400,000. Almost immediately after the deal was finalized, it was revealed that the money behind the New York financiers was actually English – they had gotten their brewery, after all. The English were aware that Americans might be uncomfortable buying beer from an English brewer, so they changed the name to Washington

Enter Albert Carry Albert Carry was, like Juenemann, from Prussia, and had emigrated to the United States in 1871. He spent the next 15 years as a brewer in Cincinnati learning the trade, as well as assiduously saving his money. He bought Juenemann’s brewery and paid most of the $95,000 purchase price in cash. Carry went about expanding the brewery, and within a few years was producing 50,000 barrels a year – an impressive achievement, though only a tenth of the output of AnheuserBusch, the self-proclaimed largest brewer in the US. However, with the

1891 ad showing the new building of the National Capital Brewery. ★ 75

A History of the Washington Brewery by Donna Hanousek and Beth Purcell

1896 ad for Washington Brewery Company.

Brewery Company, and began adding a picture of George Washington to the bottles.

A New Start Carry took his money, joined up with Robert Portner, who owned a large brewery in Alexandria and a smaller one in the 600 block of Virginia Ave SW, and bought another brewery: Henry Rabe’s at 13th and D Streets SE. Rabe had worked himself up from clerk in a brewery to the owner. He had in turn bought the brewery in 1886 from John Guethler; the brewery’s history went back to the Civil War, when Herman Richter and Henry Schonborn first used that site to make beer. While Guethler was the owner the brewery produced only 20,000 barrels a year, and it hadn’t been expanded much since then – clearly an opportunity for Carry. And indeed, in 1891, with much fanfare, Carry and Portner opened a new brewery with the capacity for producing 100,000 barrels a year: The National Capital Brewery. The Washington Star newpaper proclaimed that “it would seem to be a local enterprise first last and all the time.” The new brewery was an immediate success, selling beer all across the city, as well as in a beer garden on the premises. With everything going well at the brewery, Carry turned to other businesses, chief among them banks, but also real estate and insurance. In 1917, with the passage of prohibition in DC, Carry converted his brewery into an ice cream factory, which it remained until 1960 years, when the current owner moved out of the city and sold the land to Safeway, who has been there since. Not a brick of the original buildings remain. As for the Washington Brewery Company, they too did not survive Prohibition, and the site is now occupied by Stuart-Hobson Middle School. As for Portner’s original SW brewery, the land it occupied now contains the Reporter’s Building, and is leased to the USDA.

Brewer to Banker Albert Carry’s work has lived on until today, however. The National Capital Bank which he helped start in 1889 and where he was both director and vice-president, continues its operations at 316 Pennsylvania Ave SE. His grandson, George Didden, took over operations there in 1943 and served as president until 1995. Even today, great-grandchildren of Carry’s continue their ancestor’s work. ★ 76 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Washington Brewery dominated the landscape at 13th and D Sts, SE. Photo:


n Nov. 13, 2010, Capitol Hill Restoration Society sponsored a walking tour of Hill East Alleys. In addition to 19th Century alley dwellings in five alleys, the tour also featured one of Hill East’s most notable and successful commercial ventures in the 19th century— the Washington Brewery. The Brewery, which was located in Square 1041—which is bounded by D Street, E Street, 14th Street, and 13th Street, S.E.—is the subject of this article. The story begins, as local historian Cindy Janke explains, with George and Theresa Beckert’s purchase of half of Square 1042 in 1850 (for the price of $628.07). The Beckerts, who lived in a small two-story frame house at 1352 E Street, SE, began the brewery sometime in the 1850s. On the

east, along 14th Street, was Beckert’s Garden, which included a restaurant, saloon, bandstand, dance pavilion, amusement park, playground, and a picnic area. After George Beckert died in 1859, the brewery was owned by two sons-in-law whose partnership lasted only three years. After that, the brewery was operated by son-inlaw Herman Richter and Beckert’s Garden was operated by son-in-law Herman Meyer. Sometime in the 1870s, John Guethler operated the garden and brewery together. In 1884, there was a building permit for a dancing pavilion and outhouses on the east end of Square 1042 (today’s Safeway site). The 1888 city directory listed Henry Rabe’s Washington Brewery, at what they called “Washington Park,” advertising picnics, festivals, and outdoor amusements. It

Kitty Kaupp & Tati Kaupp is worth noting that listings for the Navy Yard Brewery and Washington Brewery in the 1880s and National Capital Brewery in 1890, were all listed at the same location. So we know there were changes in both who owned the businesses and in what they were called. The 1917 photo shown here depicts the National Capital Brewery (designed by A.C. Wagner and constructed between 1890 and 1891). This brewery was a combined enterprise between Albert Carry and the Robert Portner Brewing Company. Carry, who had operated a brewery between E and F and 4th and 5th Streets, N.E. since 1886, sold that brewery in 1889 and then acquired the land in Square 1042 in 1890 for this new endeavor. This brewery was a prominent five-story brick structure that was as tall as an ordinary seven or eight-story building because of its tall floors, covering an area 94 x 136 feet. It had handsome stone trimmings and a graceful cupola. Attached to the main building were several roomy and substantial outbuildings, including an engine house, stable, and cooperage (where the beer kegs were stored). The company used nine wagons and 30 horses to deliver its beer—100,000 barrels a year. 1331 D Street, S.E. is a Colonial Revival building constructed in 1899 as an apartment building. D.C. Historic Preservation Office staff say that at one time this was where the brewmaster lived. We don’t know for certain, but it would certainly have been a convenient location and we do know that buildings related to the brewery were built as late as 1912 (when the ice storage building was constructed in the alley). Whoever lived at 1331 D Street enjoyed an especially handsome and highly-ornamented building, with its Roman brick facade, decorative cornice with patterned frieze, and fluted pilaster at the door surround. If it was the brewmaster’s home, this would be the only remaining building from that most exciting era. In 1891, the Washington Evening Star reported that the brewery did not make its beer for shipment. Their beer was a good pure quality of beer for local use so it can be drawn from wood and not adulter-

ated with any chemical whatsoever in order to make it a beer that keeps well. A 1910 ad suggested “[t]he true meaning of temperance—is not total abstinence…drinking GOOD beer in moderation PROMOTES rather than retards the growth of true temperance.” (Washington Post, March 3, 2010) However, not everyone drank beer in moderation. One night in August 1886, at the brewery’s employee picnic, things got really out of hand; after a lot of drinking, there was a major fight with beer glasses flying and overturned tables and chairs. On March 18, 1899, Lizzie Johnson, who lived in Guethler’s Court, had a very bad day. She was born in 1860 in Maryland, married, but her husband died before 1900. As of 1900, she was doing general housework and boarded with another family. That day Lizzie Johnson and John Sherman (who also lived on Guethler’s Court) were drinking beer at Lizzie Johnson’s house, where she had two kegs of beer. A policeman was attracted by noise from Johnson’s house. After he arrived, the policeman and Sherman started fighting. They went upstairs, rolled down stairs, then Sherman ran out into the rear yard. Neighbors urged Sherman to give up, but he refused. Sherman threw something at the policeman, who then shot and arrested him. Police said that Sherman had a bad reputation. Johnson was arrested for “profanity.” Sherman was hospitalized, recovered, and returned to live at Guethler’s Court. Sherman’s mother, Anne Sherman, lived at 1332 Guethler’s Court in 1900. John Sherman does not appear on the 1900 Census, but by 1910, he was living at 419 Guethler’s Court with his mother. His 1910 occupation was “general work.” Enterprising neighbors bought kegs of beer and sometimes operated unlicensed bars. In 1883, John Guethler was caught operating an unlicensed bar. In 1906, Edward Henson and Emma Carroll (who may or may not have been residents of Guethler’s Court) were selling beer without a license at 17 Guethler’s Court. Police arrested them and confiscated a keg of beer. ★

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635 Pennsylvania Ave SE Lease $3,000 / Month Commercial Lease. 2nd Floor office space, 1200 Square Feet with street front entry. Renovated with open layout, glass block, light-filled windows, roof deck. Located between 6th & 7th and Pa Ave SE at the Eastern Market & Metro, retail & commercial corridor. Barracks Row-8th Street & Navy Yard just blocks away. Walk to US Capitol, House side, Library of Congress 22 15th Street NE #22 $519,000 Historic Car Barn loc on East Capitol St. 2BR, 2.5BA unit on 2 levels, Approx. 1462 SF. Open floor plan LR+DR, Large eat-in Kitchen, granite counters, separate pantry + W/D room. Oak Hardwoodd floors, CAC. MBR w/ ample double closets. Spacious 2nd BR +2nd BA . Ample storage. Private front patio. Pkg space included. Outdoor pool. Near Lincoln Park, a quick walk to Eastern Market & Metro. 316 F Street NE Commercial Lease Strategic location on Historic Capitol Hill at US Capitol and Union Station,Senate side, SEC building,& Mass Ave retail corridor. 6402 Square Feet available in increments from 165 SF up, on 1st & 2nd levels. Lower level available 2000 SF. Beautifully renovated building with high ceilings, large windows, marble lobby. Grand presence. 1365 Independence Ct SE $799,000 Brick 4 level end unit at Bryan SquareTH. 3 BR 3.5 BA + Family Room/Den. New const. 2004 LR/DR ,Frpl + Kitchen open flow/entertaining. Hrdwd fls,granite & SS Kitchen +office area. Marble BA, Master sep shower +tub,double vanities. Walk in closet. Custom upgrades incl Lutron Whole House Light Control System, whole house ethernet. Roof top terrace w/ skyline views + 2 car Garage/Pkg.

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View on ★ 77

real estate changing hands Changing hands is a list of most residential sales in the District of Columbia from the previous month. A feature of every issue, this list, based on the MRIS, is provided courtesy of Don Denton, manager of the Coldwell Banker office on Capitol Hill. The list includes address, sales price and number of bedrooms.


$965,000 $911,000 $905,000 $862,000 $835,000 $810,000 $805,000 $775,000 $751,000 $744,000 $720,000 $710,000 $700,000 $625,000 $619,000 $607,000 $600,000 $583,700 $570,000 $516,000 $515,000 $511,000 $503,125 $499,975 $497,750 $469,000 $425,000 $290,000

3 3 3 3 3 4 4 3 3 3 4 3 2 3 4 4 3 4 3 2 3 2 3 2 2 2 1 3

$1,175,000 $1,140,000 $910,000 $792,000 $740,000 $685,000

6 6 4 3 4 3

$1,985,000 $1,800,000 $1,400,000 $1,350,000 $1,325,000 $1,100,000 $1,075,000 $980,000 $665,000

5 6 6 5 4 4 4 5 2



Close Price



$790,000 $762,500 $725,000 $322,750 $285,000 $17,250

4 5 5 5 7 0


$1,010,000 $975,000 $875,000 $810,000 $775,000 $770,000

4 4 3 3 4 3


$385,000 $335,400 $199,900 $165,000 $38,000

3 3 3 3 2



78 ★ HillRag | January 2011

5 5 3 4

$575,000 $472,000

5 3

$529,000 $373,000 $340,000 $278,800 $160,000 $417,500

3 3 4 4 3 4




$669,000 $504,990 $390,000 $299,000 $295,000 $250,000 $235,000 $195,000

4 3 4 4 3 3 3 3

3511 T ST NW






$670,000 $635,000

5 3

$660,000 $575,000 $570,000 $536,000 $475,000 $461,000 $459,000 $407,000 $390,000 $354,000 $326,000 $300,000 $234,000 $180,000

3 3 4 5 0 8 3 4 5 3 4 3 2 0

$262,000 $225,000 $153,900 $61,500 $45,000

4 3 3 3 3

$1,175,000 $875,000 $850,000

7 5 4

$320,000 $275,000

5 4



$1,499,000 $1,150,000

5 4

4601 FOOTE ST NE 1111 45TH ST NE

$1,275,000 $735,000 $672,500

3 3 2

$599,000 $559,900 $485,000 $416,000 $380,000 $375,000 $370,000 $335,000 $305,000 $195,000

4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 3 3



$199,000 $70,000

3 3

$799,000 $754,500

4 3



$11,111,111 $4,050,000 $2,775,000 $2,600,000 $2,300,000 $1,800,000 $1,395,000 $1,345,000 $1,075,000 $1,020,000 $660,000

8 6 5 4 5 5 2 4 3 3 2







$1,390,000 $1,000,000

4 4

$849,500 $480,000 $360,000 $399,999

4 4 3 4

$1,150,000 $751,000

4 4





GARFIELD 2620 WOODLEY PL NW 3210 R ST NW 1515 30TH ST NW 1699 31ST ST NW 3257 O ST NW 1505 35TH ST NW 3017 CAMBRIDGE PL NW 3905 RESERVOIR RD NW 1425 33RD ST NW 1405 28TH ST NW 1668 34TH ST NW 1606 34TH ST NW











$1,525,000 $1,453,000 $1,010,000 $800,000




3 3 3 3 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 2 2 2



$249,000 $215,000 $201,000 $197,000 $189,000 $179,000 $169,700 $169,000 $152,900 $149,900 $85,000 $61,000 $57,000 $56,000 $46,250



628 50TH ST NE 4115 HAYES ST NE 17 54TH ST SE 250 DIVISION AVE NE 82 57TH PL SE 5113 JUST ST NE 5094 JUST ST NE 6114 BANKS PL NE 309 61ST ST NE 4913 FITCH PL NE 5253 KARL PL NE 4217 FOOTE ST NE 856 52ND ST NE 176 35TH ST NE 5321 BLAINE ST NE



Happy New Year! Happy New Home!

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2 2 3

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3 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 4 3 2 3 3 3 5 2 3 2 2

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4 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 3 3 5 4 3 4 3 3

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4 3





OLD CITY 1225 1ST ST NW 1810 H PL NE 1334 CONSTITUTION AVE NE 619 ELLIOTT ST NE 911 G ST SE 714 7TH ST NE 513 14TH ST SE 720 7TH ST NE 626 LEXINGTON PL NE 114 17TH ST SE 638 ORLEANS PL NE 618 G ST NE 1433 G ST NE 813 10TH ST NE 1717 C ST SE 1214 CARROLLSBURG PL SW 221 K ST NE 901 L ST NE 1356 EMERALD ST NE 2043 GALES ST NE 1808 H PL NE 1507 1ST ST SW 2019 ROSEDALE ST NE 1421 S ST NW 1346 WALLACH PL NW 1818 15TH ST NW 1608 8TH ST NW 304 P ST NW




For more information, email or or call 202-741-1699




80 ★ HillRag | January 2011


$554,000 $549,000

3 3





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82 ★ HillRag | January 2011







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Arts & Dining C H I N A T O W N It’s Still Here

by Celeste McCall ashington’s evolving Chinatown brings back fond memories. In the late 1960s, after a night on the town, my date and I would wind up there for a late supper of chow mein, eggs foo young, or moo goo gai pan. Price: about $2. Today, mainly because of the arrival of Metro and the Verizon Center, much of Chinatown has been yuppified. Vintage Chinese eateries (mainly Cantonese) are being crowded out by trendy hot spots like Vapiano, Zengo and Ping Pong Dimsum.


Friendship Arch 7th and H NW ★ 83

ARTS& Dining Sadly, there’s not much left of the “old” Chinatown except for the colorful Friendship Arch at Seventh and H Streets NW. Dedicated in 1986, the traditional Chinese gate was designed by local architect Alfred H. Liu to celebrate our friendship with the people of Beijing. But a few culinary mainstays have dodged the wrecking ball, and my husband Peter and I decided to revisit some of them. With Chinese New Year marking the Year of the Rabbit on Feb. 3, we chose four favorites, all budget-priced. All are open daily and provide carryout.

neighboring restaurants, Wok and Roll offers budget-friendly luncheon specials.

Eat First 609 H St. NW 202-289-1703

Folks rave about this place and now we know why. It’s not fancy. But rather than a hole-in-the-wall nook, Eat First is a plain, bustling space. At lunchtime, seats are almost all occupied with business people, Chinatown locals and tourists. Daily Wok and Roll specials like whole crispy fish and (Chinese and Japanese Tea House) steamed lobster are displayed on 604 H St. NW day-glo colored signs plastered on the wall. 202-347-4656 From the list of luncheon specials, Wok and Roll is tucked into the historic we thought we’d found typos. SingaMary Surratt boarding house, where Abraham pore noodles, kung pao chicken, and Lincoln’s assassination was allegedly planned. other selections for just $3.95? Including We all know how that turned out, and the conhot tea? Those rock bottom prices took me spiracy resulted in Surratt being the first woman back to the late 1960s. in United States history to be executed. Along We started with a cup of tongue tingling with three male co-conspirators, she was hanged hot and sour soup ($1.50), laced with tofu, mushat Fort McNair. rooms, vegetables and yes, hot peppers. I had to A series of Chinese restaurants have occutry the $3.95 Singapore noodles, one of my fapied the site over the years, and the current ocvorite dishes, and I was not disappointed. The (al cupant offers reliable, price-conscious cooking in dente) vermicelli noodles were enlivened with a down-home atmosphere. curry and studded with shreds of pork and bits of The Wok and Roll menu encompasses appetizfried egg. Delicious. Peter turned to the regular ers like regular and vegetarian egg rolls, an old-fashseafood section and chose shrimp and scallops in ioned pu-pu platter and chef specials such as eight garlic sauce ($11.95). Accompanied by the usual treasure clay pot; fresh lobster prepared Cantonese style with ginger/scallion sauce; lemon shrimp; bowl of steamed rice, the plump shellfish were Peking duck and “seasonal Chinese” vegetables. In cooked perfectly and paired with snow peas, caraddition, Wok and Roll has added sushi, tempura rots, onions and celery. We did not get to the clay pot dishes–casand Japanese lunch combos. The TeaZone pours all seroles of simmered fish heads, spicy ground kinds of hot and cold tea, flavored with almonds, pork with eggplant, or roasted pig and oysters. taro, passion fruit, Next time. Like some other venerable litchi and Chinese restaurants we visited, mango. Eat First also offers congee–a Like tummy-warming rice porridge laced with various tidbits–chicken, seafood and occasionally variety meats. We inquired about the stir-fried snails but learned that the kitchen had run out of them. Again, next time. Service was swift and pleasant, and the whole place, including restrooms, is practically spotless. Singapore noodles with little cup of hot tea at Eat First, 609 H St. NW (202-289-1703) 84 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Chef making noodles or dumplings in the window at Chinatown Express, 746 H St. NW (202-638-0425)

Full Kee 509 H St. NW 202-371-2233 This 20-year-old mainstay is highly recommended by Chinatown regulars. While not fancy, the cooking is honest and fairly authentic. The plain dining room has two levels. For a mid-week lunch, we were seated in the upper room, but our table and chairs felt so cramped we asked to move. No problem. From the extensive menu, we were pleased to see the afore-mentioned congee. In China, congee is served primarily at breakfast, but we ordered it anyway, and decided it’s the ultimate Asian comfort food. Priced at $5.75, Full Kee’s overly generous version was replete with squid, pork skin and–of all things–peanuts. We could not finish our bowl. Peter started with a zippy hot and sour soup with crispy fried won tons. His entree was midday special: Peking shrimp combined with emerald sugar snap peas, broccoli florets and sliced mushrooms. The dish was a winner. Lunch for two came to only $15 (with hot tea), before tip. Now that’s a bargain. Dinner optWons run the gamut of crab Rangoon (an appetizer), General Tso’s chicken (spicy), shredded pork Szechuan style), myriad seafood dishes and oodles of rice and noodles. There’s also a short vegetarian listing with sauteed green beans, stir fried spinach and eggplant with garlic sauce.


Fine German Cuisine

Chinatown Express 746 H St. NW 202-638-0424 It’s hard for passersby to miss the white-clad chef stretching noodles or pinching dumplings right in the front window. This lively display should provide a hint: Tops among recommended items in this homespun eatery are those handmade won tons (dumplings), which might be filled with pork, seafood and vegetables. An order of dumplings includes 10 pieces, a pretty good deal and ideal for sharing. Noodles soon swim in tangy soups or are incorporated in myriad dishes like shrimp, pork or lobster lo mein. Succulent roast duck, chicken and pork dishes with soy or chili sauce are tasty alternatives. Inside Chinatown Express, those smoked and roasted ducks dangle over a counter. Nearby, fish and lobsters loll in tanks, awaiting their fate. Most recently, we’ve ordered the “express lunch.” When they say “express” they mean it; We had barely begun sipping our drinks when my trio combination of Singapore noodles, chicken in plum sauce and shrimp with broccoli was plopped before me. Husband Peter’s roasted duck with vegetables appeared shortly thereafter. Sadly, this fast food tasted like circa 1960s vittles. It is far better to stick with the yummy noodles and dumplings. Caveat: When we visited Chinatown Express, cleanliness did not appear to be rank next to godliness. We wish the restrooms were a bit tidier. ★

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ARTS& Dining



article by Celeste McCall | photo by Andrew Lightman Argonaut Set to Reopen Jan. 12 They’re BAACCK! OK, maybe that lead is not very original, but the Atlas District and the rest of Capitol Hill is thrilled that the Argonaut restaurant/lounge is set to reopen Jan. 12. Located at 1433 H St. NE, the popular restaurant/bar has been largely shuttered since an electrical fire ripped through the first floor June 20. The Argonaut’s place in our community was acknowledged last month at the Fourth Annual Livable Walkable Awards, when Ward 6 Council Member Tommy Wells announced that the Argonaut was voted top local business for 2010. Clutching his “Brickie” (actually a real brick with a bronze plaque), Argonaut proprietor Scott Magnuson thanked Wells and added,” It’s been a long summer for us.” The Dec. 6 Awards ceremony, doubling as Wells’ holiday party, was held at the beautifully renovated and enlarged Arena Stage at the Meade Center for American Theater in Southwest. Over zesty fish tacos at Argonaut’s food station (many Hill restaurants set up similar stands to help sponsor the party), we spoke with new Argonaut chef Damion Jackson. He described Argonaut’s extensive rehab and rebirth. “We totally gutted the downstairs, moved the bar, and changed the flow of the kitchen,” he explained. Emerging from that renovated space will be Jackson’s “straightforward American food, elegant but simple fare.” Among Jackson’s culinary creations are shrimp and grits–made with stone-ground grits, white cheddar cheese, Gulf shrimp, chorizo and spinach. We look forward to sampling it. For more information call 202-250-3660 or visit

Sporting Life at Justin’s The Washington Nationals have departed for the winter, but Justin’s Café, the sprightly sports bar which 86 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Although Thai Orchid is just minutes away from Capitol Hill, driving there can be tricky. For folks coming from the Hill, the restaurant is on the “wrong” side of the street. One way streets further complicate things, but we think Thai Orchid’s cooking is worth the slight hassle, and they deliver to Capitol Hill. For more information call 202-506-8699 or visit

Yes! Market – Super Size Argonaut owner Scott Magnuson with the Brickie awarded for Top Local Business of 2010.

opened last spring, is livelier than ever. Located near the Nats ball park at 1025 First St. SE (in Velocity Condos), Justin’s continues to serve good food and cheer as fans follow the Redskins, Wizards, Mystics and Caps (and favorite college teams) on a pair of big TV in a trendy, industrial style space with a raised, open kitchen. Justin’s brunch starts with Bloody Marys concocted with Moose Mix, a zesty tomato juice made nearby in Lynchburg, VA. The menu consists of a lineup of scrambled egg wraps, enlivened with chorizo, ground bison, horseradish-spiked cheddar or limescented cous cous. The wraps come with choice of fruit, salad, breakfast fries and deliciously crunchy sweet potato fries. Justin’s regular, lighter luncheon menu of salads, soups and paninis is also available. Justin’s “American-Neapolitan” pizza can be eaten in or taken home. Try the “East Bay” with generous toppings of salami, sausage, sundried tomatoes, hot peppers, mozzarella and tomato sauce. Good choice! Justin’s “progressive” happy hour goes from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Justin’s is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. when the kitchen closes, but the bar stays open until 11 p.m. or

midnight. Weekend brunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 202652-1009 or

Thai Across the river A brief drive from Capitol Hill is Thai Orchid Kitchen, at 2314 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, across the river in Anacostia. Now seven months old, this spartan eatery once housed a comedy club called El Brookman’s where my husband Peter performed comedy in the 1970s. Owned by a sister act–chef Adunni Kaeo-khao and Saouvanee Kertgage--Thai Orchid serves typical Siamese dishes made from fresh ingredients. Sipping tea (no booze here), we shared a bowl of tangy lemon grass soup laced with shrimp, mushrooms, chunks of ginger and sprigs of cilantro. We followed with entrees. Peter ordered his favorite Thai dish -- drunken noodles with chicken. I passed up fiery green curry for Panang seafood curry, which was replete with shrimp, scallops, squid and three plump mussels (in their shells). Soothed by coconut milk, the sauce delivered just enough zing. Lunch for two came to $27, before tip. Open daily, Thai Orchid also offers carryout and delivery; the latter has a $15 minimum.

Dodging cars while crossing the street from Thai Orchid, we checked out the new Yes! Market at 2323 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Almost three times the size of its Capitol Hill sister store, this Yes! opened September 1. We were particularly impressed with the good service, wide aisles, bulk grains, lovely taper candles and the extensive, sensibly priced wine selection. We could not resist a California Pinot Grigio called Naked Grape.

Downtown In nearby Penn Quarter, look for Museum,an upscale private event space and lounge at 915 F St. NW. Formerly housing a pair of night clubs, the turnof-the-last-century bank building has undergone a pain-staking restoration to bring it back to its neo-classical architectural roots while incorporating modern design elements. The original glass roof has been restored, and period railings, doors, and molding have been updated. “The concept is to hold intimate events, dinners, exhibitions, and meetings in a place that allows the architectural design and feeling of the space to inspire conversation and connection,” said Giles Beeker, Museum’s general manager. The 2,730square foot space is divided into three areas; the banking hall, the gallery, and the “board room.” Design Cuisine will provide ca-

tering, while Museum “mixologist” Max Taylor will create pre-prohibition cocktails. Taylor has also launched his own wine consultancy, The Noble Vine LLC. He’s also bartended at Bourbon Steak (Georgetown) and at 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church. For more information call 202-638-1234 or visit

Salad days With New Year’s resolutions in full swing, health conscious consumers welcome Chop’t Creative Salad Company, which arrived last month in Union Station. Located on the street level of the station’s west wing, Union Station’s Chop’t is the sixth spinoff in the Washington area and 12th nationwide. Offering freshly-made salads incorporating 60 ingredients (including 26 homemade dressings), Chop’t Union Station is open daily, with catering and delivery also available. Founded by entrepreneurs Tony Shure and Colin McCabe in New York’s Union Square a decade ago, Chop’t was named a 2008 “Hot Concept” by Nation’s Restaurant News.


TUNNICLIFF’S TAVERN The Gathering Place On The Hill… Right next to Eastern Market Metro across from Eastern Market Tunnicliff’s Tavern 222 7th Street SE Washington, D.C. 20003

Sandy Irvin: 202-544-5680 Phone: 202-544-5680 • Fax: 202-544-9630 Email:

Choices of India With our January trip to India fast approaching, Peter and I have been frequenting restaurants showcasing the exotic cooking of that subcontinent. New on the scene is Merzi– which means “choice” in Hindi– a bare-bones, fastservice eatery which opened last month at 415 Seventh St. NW. Think Chop’t goes East Indian. Merzi’s menu offers “new interpretations” of Indian dishes while allowing customers to create custom meals from an assortment of meats, seafoods, vegetables, sauces and chutneys. A signature dish is “Tandisserie chicken, seasoned with tandoori spices baked rotisserie style. Merzi is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; call 202-6379140 or ★

Offering whole bean coffee delivered to your home or office. See our website for details.

7th St and Pennsylvania Ave, SE ★ 87

ARTS& Dining

Schneider’s of Capitol Hill by Josh Genderson


s a child growing up in Montgomery County I would look forward to my weekend cashier gig, when I could get on the red line and ride up to Union Station for the short walk to Schneiders of Capitol Hill, my families wine shop. As I would walk up Massachusetts Avenue I would see many people on the street and it felt like I knew all their names. Whether it was a celebrated Congressional member or an employee of Amtrak, they would stop, say hello, and thank me for my help the previous weekend. It was on one of these walks when I first realized what I wanted to do “when I grew up”. According to a study sponsored by the Arthur Andersen Center for Family Business, a significant number of family-business owners nearing retirement age lack designated successors. Not Rick and Jon Genderson, my father and uncle respectively.

Rick, Josh and Jon Genderson

They have an extremely capable and dedicated (not to mention good looking) successor in me ready to bring Schneiders in to the future. Built on hard work, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill was started in 1949 by my great grandfather Max Schneider and my grandfather Abe Genderson. There were only two employees: Esther and Charlotte (my great grandmother and grandmother). Today we have eight full-time Consultants in the wine department alone. Our fine wine collection now stretches from Chateau Lafite 1900 at $4500 to Vina Antigua Bonarda for $5. In between are at least 12,000 other choices. Our “Old and Rare List” is something we’re most proud of. We search the world for collectables to offer at the best possible prices. These selections are then housed in our 15,000 square foot temperature-controlled warehouse. We feel that wine is life and life is wine. 88 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Schneiders was built on a work ethic that seems to be lost in our generation. This work ethic was passed on to my father and uncle who have been at the store for 30 years, worked every job, and seem to spend every waking hour making Schneiders what it is today. There was rarely a time when you could walk into the store and not be helped by Rick or Jon. They envisioned a store that relied on customer service and an old school charm rarely found these days, with a connection to the community that was instilled into them by their grandfathers legacy, now being passed on to me. My path to the world of wine began in 2006. After graduating from the University of Maryland I decided to go to Manhattan and work for an importer of wines from Spain, Portugal and Argentina. While working in New York, I attended wine classes at the International Wine Center and started to really get a grasp on this amazing product. There are so many fantastic traits that come with each individual grape and I have never had more fun learning and studying (and drinking). Another factor that really caught my attention is the increasing scientific evidence that moderate, regular wine drinking can reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and gum disease. Upon completion of my courses, I traveled to Spain and learned the intricacies of growing and making wine. It was so exciting to learn that winemaking is so much more than the manufacturing of a product--it is an art. The right materials assembled will chemically react and produce an alcoholic liquid, but how, when, and where to properly perform this process to create a product that will delight your taste buds, and add a third dimension to your meal is truly an amazing process. I feel so incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to carry on my family’s legacy. The best part is to be officially joining a community that I felt I was a part of my whole life. I will do everything I can to ensure that Schneider’s will continue to be an outstanding member of the community and a part of Capitol Hill for years to come. So for a truly unique family experience, come to Schneiders and find one of our many hard to find special products. Such as;

Lombard 12 Year Teaninch (only 39.99). Lombard is a well-established independent bottler of Non-Chill Filtered Single Malt and

with stocks of aged and rare Single Malts that are extremely wide-ranging and diverse, their products are hard to beat. These include whiskies from distilleries now closed and lesser known malts. The 1990s witnessed the malt whisky category develop and Lombard diversify their interests to the cased goods market - the company’s first move to control the utilization of mature stock.

Edradour 10 yr. – retail $79.99 sale $54.99 Edradour is produced in Scotland’s smallest distillery - and is hand made today as it was over 150 years ago by just three men who are devoted to the time-honoured methods of whisky making. Indeed equipment used at the distillery has remained unchanged since the day the distillery opened and is only just capable of producing commercial quantities. Only 12 casks of whisky are produced a week, making Edradour single malt a rare pleasure for a fortunate few.

NV Montaudon Class M – retail $69.99 sale $39.99 Classic Champagne with big, bold toasty, yeasty flavors mitigated by apple and pear, perfectly balanced with a long and lingering finish.

2005 Eagles Trace Cabernet – retail $79.99 sale $39.99 The 2005 Eagles Trace Cabernet is an elegant, full-bodied wine, showing an opaque plum-purple color, a perfumed nose of flowers, cassis and blackberries and a full palate that fills the mouth with black currants and a hint of licorice. The tannins are sweet, ripe and well integrated. This wine will benefit with cellaring for 1 to 7 additional years and continue to live for 20 or more years. ★

RATED ONE OF THE BEST WINE SHOPS by Washingtonian Magazine July “Best & Worst” Issue Listed in the Wall Street journal as one of the most enjoyable places to shop for wines nationwide. “Best Website Award”, 2008 by the Wine Spectator’s Market Watch

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Shakespeare Theatre Company Sings! Venerable Company Co-Produces “Candide” At The Harman

by Brad Hathaway


here are some magical musi“Candide” is a comic operetta cal moments to be treasured with a sprawling story and over in a local theater right now. twenty songs, some of which are That might not sound like big news among the most melodic Bernstein given that Washington theater lovers are used to being able to bop on over to the Kennedy Center for a big musical or catch a national tour of a Broadway musical at the National or the Warner. Molly Smith does a big musical at Arena practically every year, and it is a rare season without a musical at Ford’s. Studio has done some great musicals and so have some outlying houses like Olney or Round House. Then, too, the Tony Award even went to our own Signature Theatre in Arlington two years ago principally on the strength of its musicals. But the memories of which I write this time are to be had at the new home of that venerable classical theater where the works of Shakespeare, Molière or Shaw usually hold forth. Michael Kahn’s Shakespeare Theatre Company is famous for Geoff Packard as Candide in the Shakespeare Theatre quality work but isn’t known for Company’s production of Candide, directed by Mary musicals, so it is something of a Zimmerman. Photo: School Suchman. delightful change to find people walking out of the Harman Hall with a song on their lips and a ever wrote. “Glitter and Be Gay” rhythm in their step following a per- has become a classic performed by formance of a work by none other practically every coloratura soprano than Leonard Bernstein. capable of delivering its pyrotechWell, to be truthful, Bernstein nics for the past half century and the composed the music for “Candide,” overture is a staple of symphonic orhe didn’t create the entire thing. chestras around the world. While it is Bernstein’s music more For this production, however, than anything else that makes these that score is heard from an unforthree hours so magical, the story tunately small pit orchestra. The comes from Voltaire and the lyrics original on Broadway had twenty from a handful of more modern no- five musicians playing Bernstein’s tables including the Pulitzer Prize own orchestration of the overture winning poet Richard Wilbur and and beautiful orchestrations for rest Broadway’s Stephen Sondheim. of the score which were penned by 90 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Hershey Kay. Here new orchestrations (erroneously credited as “original orchestrations” in the program) are by the very talented Bruce Coughlin. However, they are for less than half the number of players than the original had and the difference is unmistakable. Twelve simply can’t sound as good as twenty five and the show suffers a bit because of it. The imbalance between score and script has been a difficulty since the show first opened on Broadway in 1956. With its original script by Lillian Hellman “Candide” was only able to eke out a run of two months. Nearly two decades later, a revival with the script reworked by Hugh Wheeler (who wrote “A Little Night Music” and, later, “Sweeney Todd”) ran on Broadway for nearly two years. Since then, the show has become a frequent offering of theaters and opera houses around the world. Now Mary Zimmerman, the director/adaptor whose produc-

tions of the non-musicals “Pericles” and “Argonautika” were so gloriously staged here and whose “Metamorphosis” earned her a Tony Award on Broadway, has taken a crack at the challenge in a co-production of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and our own Shakespeare Theatre Company. She’s done quite well, indeed. Zimmerman’s new adaptation is not quite as glorious as the score it serves--that would be expecting too much. However, as a book writer she has done a very good job of structuring the tale in discrete, stageable segments and then, as a director, has staged most of them beautifully. Stringing them together, she manages to maintain a narrative clarity while avoiding the feeling that the episodic story is just plodding along which has to be a very real danger for a single story that takes place in over a dozen localities. Key to her

Jesse Perez as Cacambo and Geoff Packard as Candide in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Candide, directed by Mary Zimmerman. Photo: Liz Lauren.

success is the use of multiple narrators throughout the show. Every few minutes some character will turn to the audience and simply announce, for example, “What befell Candide in Holland” or “Off they ran as fast as ever they could.” The story that Voltaire told in his 1759 satire is of a young man named Candide who is taught by his tutor to believe in the theory of optimism: that “everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.” His belief is sorely tested, however, as misfortune after misfortune befalls him and the woman he loves at every turn. Wars, epidemics, rapes, murders, enslavements, ship wrecks -- you name it -- are all turned to Voltaire’s satiric purpose, and therein lies the challenge. How do you make these ugly things the topic of beautiful music? Bernstein accomplished it by letting beauty contrast with the grotesque while his lyricists used the contradiction between good and evil to humorous effect. This allowed such things as killing off the heroine and then bringing her back to life with a simple song “You Were Dead, You Know,” or telling the story of the spread of syphilis during the age of discovery in the lines “nothing can prevent the spread of Love’s divine disease / it rounds the world from bed to bed as pretty as you please.” As Candide, Geoff Packard who was one of the sons in Ford’s Theatre’s well-remembered production of “Shenandoah,” gives a bright, heartfelt and humorous

performance. He’s matched by Lauren Molina whose rendition of “Glitter and be Gay” is a crowd pleaser even if Zimmerman’s direction does distract from her vocal delivery at key points. The comic role of her sidekick is well delivered by Hollis Resnick and Larry Yando is great fun as the tutor who continues beyond all evidence to maintain his optimism saying “I hold firmly to my original views. I am a philosopher, after all.” Zimmerman is just the latest of many major talents who have tried to apply all the tools of musical theater to Voltaire’s biting critique of the way people justify ignoring injustice. In the words of Zimmerman’s version, optimism is simply “a way of seeing all the evils of this world as part of a divine plan beyond our understanding, and thereby excusing yourself from lifting a finger to end a one of them.” Here the wit of the storytelling and the glories of the songmaking may not make it the best of all possible musicals, but it does provide many magical musical moments. Brad Hathaway operated Potomac Stages, a website and email service covering theater in Washington, Maryland and Virginia and has written about theater for Theatre.Com, Musical Stages Online, The Connection Newspapers and such magazines as American Theatre, Show Music, the Sondheim Review and Live Design. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill. He can be reached by email at ★

“Candide” continues through January 9 at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Thursday Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 - $108. Call 202-5471122 or log on to

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DC in the Movies – Two Different Takes by Mike Canning


ust a few months ago, a major documentary film was released called “Casino Jack and the United States of Money” which outlined the stunning rise and abrupt fall of the Washington über-lobbyist Jack Abramoff (see Hill Rag review, May 2010). That film, made by documentarist Alex Gibney, gave a vigorous, warts and all, portrayal of this super-hustler of the Bush Era as he suborned officials and legislators, feathered his luxury nest, and offered a calamitous model of hardball politics. Turns out that the Abramoff story was entertaining enough to trigger another telling, this time in a fiction film called “Casino Jack” (no originality there), starring Kevin Spacey as smiling Jack. Here, however, the tenor of the film is sardonic wit and knowing snideness, confirming to audience members just how unbelievably crass our political process has become. Call it a comedy of bad manners. Spacey, as a matter of fact, looks nothing like the real Abramoff, but it hardly matters (especially to viewers outside Washington, who have little sense of the man as a public figure) because, while the real Jack was coarse and fat, the actor is cool and slim. However, Spacey is also appropriately oily and smooth, the very picture of a well-dressed slimeball who could say just the right things to a beleaguered Congressman or a cowed bureaucrat. The one time the film tries to duplicate the actual Abramoff is the image everybody remembers, when the man is under indictment, with his (semifamous) black flat-brim fedora and pinched double-breasted coat. The costumers place Spacey in the same wardrobe, but, frankly, other than evoking the original, it mainly looks silly. Abramoff ’s partner in lobbying crime, Michael Scanlon, is the princi92 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Kevin Spacey (left) is lobbyist Jack Abramoff in “Casino Jack,” while Barry Pepper plays his associate Michael Scanlon. Photo: Ken Woroner/ATO Pictures

pal featured figure, and he is played (by a wired Barry Pepper) as a significantly hyper, even manic character, apparently paralleling the real life Scanlon. Thus, Spacey offers a becalmed Ying that fits nicely with Pepper’s frenzied Yang. The film, directed by George Hickenlooper, who died before its release) is smart and cynical and somewhat surprising in one respect: the script is full of actors playing real-life characters still in or around the world of Washington. Another recent Washington-based movie, “Fair Game,” (see Hill Rag review, November 2010) also incorporated some real figures in its true-life story of Valerie Plame, but it fudged many of them, particularly those involved with intelligence. “Casino Jack” names names and renders real scandaltinged people and Washington players, like notorious Rep. Tom Delay, indicted Rep. Bob Ney, Sen. John McCain, Abramoff colleague Kevin Ring, conservative icons Grover Norquist, Karl Rove, and Ralph Reed, Post journalist Susan Schmidt, inter alia.

Even with the attempts at human accuracy, “Casino Jack” does not aim at anything like a documentary feel. It aims to be a crackling, tart exposé, and it achieves it only half-way (the script is by Norman Snider). Sometimes incidents happen too fast, with too little explication, and some of the building pressures on the harried lobbyists just seem like flapdoodle. Still, Washington insiders should get a kick out of “Casino Jack,” though they will look in vain for a film featuring the physical Washington. The bulk of the movie was shot in Toronto, with only the occasional establishing shot (a restaurant façade here, the Washington Monument here). (The film runs 108 min. and is rated “R” or language.)

How Do You Know Another current movie (opened December 17) with a DC background is James L. Brooks’ latest, the romantic comedy “How Do You Know,” sporting a triangle of Reese Witherspoon,

as Lisa, a Olympic-level softball player at a crossroads, Owen Wilson, playing Matty, a relief pitcher with the Washington Nationals(!), and Paul Rudd as George, an honest businessman caught in a company scandal. Lisa is the appropriately perky woman who wants more from life than the sweet, but narcissistic Matty can offer, but who is chary of George, the new bumbling presence in her life. On the male side, Matty likes Lisa well enough—even tries to get semi-serious with her--but George is frankly smitten, though he’s too kind-hearted and decent to be aggressive. It is no surprise how this kind of game plays out, the question is whether Brooks can ring some intriguing or neat changes on the formula. While there are some nice touches—a miniessay on package-opening is one such—the material is really overly familiar and predictable. For example, there is the required best buddy/support gal, in this case two of them, one for each lead. Though two of the protagonists are professional athletes, we get almost zero sense of their physical competence. The film frankly feels long (rated “PG-13,” it runs 113 min.), as some of the obligatory “relationship” talk is strung out and repetitive (e.g., a treatise on Play-Doh, of all things, runs on too long). As far as Washington scenes go, there is little more here than in “Casino Jack.” Lisa lives—apparently—at 15th and I (not likely), George resides in what looks like a Georgetown figment, and Matty has a suite in an invented “downtown” DC luxury hotel. The only true element of Washington that seems to have any presence is a handsome, clean Metro bus, which floats through the film like a transportation leitmotif.

Washington Area Movie Awards Announced On December 6, the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) announced its annual “Best Of ” awards, selecting “The Social Network” as the Best Film of the Year. The film’s director, David Fincher, won the Best Director prize and its screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin, won for Best Adapted Screenplay. Colin Firth was named Best Actor for his superb performance in the historic biopic “The King’s Speech,” while the surprising newcomer Jennifer Lawrence, in the little-seen “Winter’s Bone,” claimed Best Actress. In other major categories, Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”) was named Best Supporting Actress, while her co-star from the same picture, Christian Bale, won for Best Supporting Actor. They play a ferocious mother-son combination in the film. “Toy Story 3” won for Best Animated Feature, and “Exit Through the Gift Shop” was selected 2010’s best documentary. The sci-fi fantasy drama “Inception” won in four categories: Cinematography, Original Screenplay, Arts Direction, and Musical Score. In many categories, it was the closest voting in WAFCA history. WAFCA was formed nine years ago and is comprised of 40 DC-area film critics from television, radio, print and the Internet. Its “Best of ” year-end poll is the chief activity of the group. Your friendly HILL RAG reviewer was generally pleased with the results, since Colin Firth and Christian Bale were also my first choices, and Jennifer Lawrence was my second in the acting categories. For Best Film I favored “The King’s Speech,” but “The Social Network” was among my top five and a worthy winner. Long-time Hill resident Mike Canning has written on movies for the Hill Rag since 1993 and is a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Association. His reviews and writings on film can be found online at Full reviews of “The King’s Speech” and “Inception” can be found on his site. ★

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Artist Portrait: Peter Kephart

A Capitol Hill artist and writer, Jim can be reached at


hese are the landscapes of our dreams. They come to us as visual ideas that both sooth and alarm as they float with the elements of fire and water from the primeval imaginings of our ancient ancestors. It’s through the process of fire and water that Peter Kephart allows the images to take form – using starch, liquid pigments and gunpowder on the paper before it is exposed to the flames. He completes each picture with artist materials that are almost as ancient: pastels, inks and charcoal. He discovered the effects of fire on rag cotton watercolor paper by accident when he threw scrap pieces into a bonfire. The combination of fibers and gelatin sizing made the paper heat resistant. The fire singed the paper to a golden glow, and if he sprinkled water on the surface, those spots and patterns would remain white. The visual movement he achieves in each composition comes from the process itself and his experience in controlling the elements during the burn. Some results are unexpected and open up new ideas and concepts. Peter was born in New Jersey and developed his process there. He lived and worked in the DC area for years and now continues his painting in West Virginia. He is a new member of Zenith Gallery and his works are on display this month in Chevy Chase Pavilion. (See, At the Galleries). The paintings of Peter Kephart go beyond decorative. Inherent in his work is a warning of loss that becomes a postidyllic story of change and a declaration that the natural beauty we treasure is fragile and transitory. Our inherited idealized views may survive only as remnants as they are replaced by the new realities of expediential social and technological change.

Jim Magner’s Thoughts on Art Alexis Rockman (see, At the Museums) has full control of the language of painting. He has mastered all of the structural principles of composition and 94 ★ HillRag | January 2011

the techniques of paint application. He has achieved a mastery of appearances – all the fool-the-eye tricks of optical illusion that fashion our common notions of realism. His pictures often appear almost as photographs, seamless and without a hint of painterlyness. At the same time, in some monumental panels, what may look like random strokes up close, meld into great flows of ice, oceans or cities. But Rockman is not demonstrating technique for its own sake, that tempting sanctuary of admiration where many accomplished painters arrive and decide to roost…including some of the best known surrealists. He uses the language of painting to say something of consequence. Like Dickens, Orwell, Twain, Steinbeck and other literary masters, he uses subtle expressions of common experiences to reach deep into the soul of human morality, and then goes beyond, to the pure serendipity of existence. Questions are asked and answers are offered. Not just in the realm of the big doubts, but itty bitty questions about the itty bitty things that ultimately add up to the profound. His questions about the past are as teasing as those of the future. This is not decoration or entertainment. Rockman is not afraid of the ugly…not shy about graphically splaying the freckled notions of natural existence. He dares to include beauty, but not a romantic idealism. It’s the deep-seated beauty of the violence inherent in nature. That includes us and the ultimate consequence of human ingenuity and intervention. We are the target. We are the answer.

At the Museums Alexis Rockman Smithsonian Museum of American Art 8th and F Streets NW - May 11 The stunning work of Alexis Rockman seems to be the least heralded of the current shows at Out on the Fringe. Bonfire, Water (Color), Mixed Media on Cotton Rag Paper. 38” x 38”.



ment on the surface, which comes from the material used, experience with the process and unexpected effects. There is more color than you might expect – the applied pigments are clear, and often intense, but still complex. www.

Photography Capitol Hill Art Workshop 545 7th St. SE Jan. 8 – 30 CHAW presents its fifth annual photography exhibit, juried by Bruce McKaig. The show always includes a great range of images and technologies from black & white to digital. Opening reception is Sat. Jan. 8, 5-7. www.

“Leaves, Words & Screens” City Gallery 804 H St. NE #1 Jan. 2 – 29 Ronnie Spiewak uses her mastery of collage to create her “paintings.” Scissors and Xacto blades are her paint-

brushes. Foreign language publications and papers with rich glossy finishes provide some of the exotic touches, but don’t distract from the overall composition. The opening reception is Jan. 8, 6-9.

“Off Kilter” Touchstone Gallery 406 7th St. NW Jan. 5 – 30 With “Off Kilter,” Leslie Nolan brings forth the emotional intensity and colors with muscle in her big paintings. Artist reception: Jan. 14, 68:30.

“Celebrate Gay Marriage” Foundry Gallery 1314 18th St. NW Jan. 5 – 30 “Celebrate Gay Marriage” is indeed a celebration with art and other exhibitions. The opening reception is Jan. 7, 6-8. ★

Unexplained Daylight where Evening Mist is Made. Bonfire, Water, Mixed Media on Cotton Rag Paper. 38” x 29”.

the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, but this is a not-to-be-missed experience. Both his large and small paintings are monumental in technique and impact. He can paint wall-covering canvases that overpower an imposing space with a cast of a thousand creatures that flow as one – or intense, compact expressions of raw nature that jolt your imagination and make you cringe…or smile. You can stand inches from the surface and revel in the surprising detail. Yet, each composition is so strong that the farther you go back, the more it works as a complete painting. The real impact, beyond the mastery of technique, comes from the realization of what you see: the truths and fantasies of a universe evolving at warp speed. These are major and often scary statements that go beyond science to the emotional ties that leap

from primordial forces and ooze from the pores and orifices of every living thing. Alexis Rockman is the complete package.

Peter Kephart Zenith Gallery Chevy Chase Pavilion 5335 Wisconsin Ave. NW - Feb. 8 Peter Kephart (see, Artist Profile) uses “firepainting” to create landscapes, still lifes and abstract works. He prepares heavy cotton rag watercolor paper by applying materials such as starch, liquid pigments and gunpowder, preserving white areas with water droplets. He exposes the surface directly to open flames, which creates the primary shapes and forms. He then completes the picture with pastels, inks, charcoal and other materials. The result is a sense of flowing move-

Alexis Rockman. Bromeliad: Kaieteur Falls, 1994. Oil and lacquer on wood. Nestlé USA. Photo courtesy of the artist ★ 95


★ ★ ★

the LITERARY HILL A Compendium of Readers, Writers, Books, & Events

“What do you like to do?” she asked. “I like to read,” I offered. “What kinds of books?”“Well, mysteries…” I began. “Did you know that Martha Grimes lives on the Hill?” she replied. I gulped. And “Hill Writers” was born. Ms. Grimes beMark your calendars for Sunday, May 15, for a first-ever festival came my first “Hill celebrating books and authors on Capitol Hill. Writer,” although I was so terrified at the thought of actuThe Literary Hill Goes Live! ally meeting her that I conducted the Have you ever wanted to meet the interview via fax. Lou Bayard was the writers you read about in The Literary unwitting guinea pig for my first faceHill? Well, mark your calendars. On to-face interview. Th anks to his kindMay 15, you’re invited to the first annuness and encouragement, I mustered al (we hope!) Literary Hill BookFest. the courage to tackle more than forty In celebration of my tenth year authors over the next four years. with the “Hill Rag,” my friend and During that time, I interviewed fellow writer Maggie Hall and I are Pulitzer Prize-winners Edmund Morplanning a festival featuring authors ris and Jonathan Yardley, DC Delewho have appeared in these pages. gate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Martha There will be talks and readings, book Grimes (in person!), political activist sales, a children’s corner for story Sam Smith, poet Jean Nordhaus, retimes, and plenty of opportunities to porter Jim Myers, novelists Frederick chat with your favorite writers. InviReuss and Marie Arana, three memtees include Martha Grimes, Gene bers of the Kelly clan (Tom, MargueWeingarten, Louis Bayard, Frederick Reuss, Ariel Sabar, Peter Manseau, rite, and Katy), and many others. These and many more. The BookFest will distinguished and talented Hill denitake place in the North Hall of East- zens welcomed me into their homes, ern Market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and with my loyal photographer/husband Ed McManus in tow. They were inadmission is free. But first, some history. A decade variably gracious and forthcoming ago, I finally decided that it was time about their work and their lives. It was to stop wanting to be a writer and a rare privilege — although my palms actually be one. That year, 2001, I never stopped sweating. In 2005, I decided to broaden my submitted my first article to the “Hill focus to “The Literary Hill,” making Rag” – on home canning. I followed the column a compendium of writthat up with a piece on adult educaers, books, and events of local interest. tion and then one about people who Since then, I have written more than a took their pets to work. Clearly I hundred short reviews of books, scores needed some focus. Enter Executive of announcements of readings, and Editor Melissa Ashabranner, who coverage of events such as the Nationnot only believed that I could write al Book Festival. but who also has a gift for getting On the tenth anniversary of my right to the heart of the matter.

96 ★ HillRag | January 2011

writing debut, I look back in astonishment at Capitol Hill’s never-ending supply of writers and readers and people who care about books. The first annual Literary Hill BookFest is a way of paying homage to them and encouraging others to join their ranks. Over the next few months, I’ll share some behind-the-scenes stories about my early interviews and keep you updated on plans for the BookFest (a website is coming soon). So watch this space! And if you’d like to help, either on the day of the event or with preparations (such as poster design), please e-mail us at volunteer@

A Local Author Shines When Peggy Walton’s daughters were small, she wrote a story for them about growing up and finding the light within. Now her daughters are grown, but she recently pulled out her story, reworked it, and called upon her friend Hazel Caldwell to illustrate it. The result is “Shine!” The book tells an inspiring tale about a pair of sisters named Alison and Jayme, little fireflies who bask in the warmth of their family. Eventu-

Local author Peggy Walton shares a story about growing up that inspired her own two daughters.

ally, however, they begin to be curious about what’s beyond the familiar boundaries of home. “What do you suppose is out there?” Jayme asks Alison. They set out to explore and their subsequent adventures, both wondrous and frightening, help them to discover that they have it within themselves to navigate in the world. In the end, “encircled by their own warm glow, [they strike out] confidently into the darkness to find their way home.” Having “nurtured two daughters and helped keep a marriage shining,” Peggy Walton lives and works on Capitol Hill. For more information about “Shine!” visit

Coming Attractions 2011 promises to be a banner year for lovers of books, poetry, and literary discussions. Here are just a few of the treats in store for the New Year. New books. Martha Grimes returns to her series about young sleuth Emma Graham in “Faraway Girl” (February 3), which takes up the cold case of a baby who vanished from the Belle Ruin Hotel twenty years ago. Hill favorite Lou Bayard hearkens back to the sixteenth century for his new historical mystery, “The School of Night” (March 29), about a cabal of scholars who practice the black arts and a modern-day duo trying to solve an ancient puzzle. And Ariel Sabar, whose first book, “My Father’s Paradise,” won a National Book Critics Award, tells the true stories of nine couples who found romance in the Big Apple in “Heart of the City: Nine Stories of Love and Serendipity on the Streets of New York” ( January 11). Poetry Readings. The Capitol Hill Reading Series at Riverby Books has scheduled a stellar slate of poets for 2011. On January 18, enjoy “Pi Pie Poetry: On Mathematics, Formulas, Fillings, Fruitfulness & Crusty Subjects,” which is billed as both a poetry reading and a pie tasting. Upcoming

readings will feature author, teacher, and host of NPR’s “The Poet and the Poem,” Grace Cavalieri, whose latest work is “The Poet’s Cookbook,” and Kim Roberts, noted poet and editor of “Beltway Poetry Quarterly.” Readings are held the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. For more info visit or call 202-526-1632. The O.B. Hardison Poetry Series at the Folger Shakespeare Library also promises some great poetic moments in 2011. On Jan. 6, the series travels to The Phillips Collection for a co-sponsored presentation by Kevin Young, who will read works that accompany images from an exhibition called “TruthBeauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art 1845-1945.” Mary Karr, better known for memoirs such as “The Liar’s Club,” will read her poetry in March, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass joins Capitol Hill’s own Jean Nordhaus for a reading and discussion in May. For more info, visit www.folger. edu or call 202-544-7077. Readings and Talks. In Feb. the PEN/Faulkner reading series at the Folger will feature dual offerings: Elinor Lipman, Stephen McCauley, and Cathleen Schine on the 7th and “An Evening with Jonathan Franzen”on the 18th. On Jan. 14, a moderated conversation on politics, race, and family spotlights novelists Porochista Khakpour, Achy Obejas, and Danzy Senna. Visit www.penfaulkner. org or call 202-544-7077. Finally, on Feb. 15, Folger Lectures will present Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery, co-creators of “Kill Shakespeare,” a graphic novel that creates new adventures for Shakespearean characters. Visit or call 202-544-7077. ★



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A Theory Of Jazz Jazz can be enigmatic, an alchemy of mysterious sounds and moods that is spontaneous and yet deliberate in its free flowing creativity. The music can be complex, but good jazz feels as simple as first love—it goes straight to the heart and rests there, beating gently. At times, the music can be so life-like that it speaks to you with honesty and love. One still gets a keen sense of understanding of the complexity of the music. There is such a high note of haughtiness, perhaps a natural aristocracy from a kind of inbred austerity about jazz that puts it in a class by itself, elevating one to a higher ground of one’s consciousness. It almost borders on elitism, and yet jazz strikes one as a beautiful music for everyone. And it is, especially for those of us who not only enjoy, but truly love, the music. True, most good jazz musicians more than likely think of jazz as the arbiter of modern music. And on a good day, I think they are correct. You can walk in your door after a hard day’s work and a harrowing Metro ride, put on Sarah Vaughn and your world is transformed. Your mind clears, your body relaxes and suddenly life is pretty good. There’s no drug in the world that can do that. Jazz is beautiful music. pieces like “Emily” (1, 2, & 3), “The Bell Tolls,” “Whispers,” “So What,” and “I Fall In Love Too Easily.”

by Jean-Keith Fagon Smalls ••• Ben Wolfe Quintet, Smalls Jazz Club Here is a solid jazz group performing with verve and panache on some classic pieces like “For The Great Sonny Clark,” “Telescope,” and “I’ll Know You More.” Although the music is chock full of improvisation, the musicians are closely in touch with each other and there is a sense of purpose and craftsmanship that brings unity to the album. And no more is this more evident than the musical relay on “Contraption,” a sumptuous and dynamic musical dictionary of jazz styles. Performers include Ben Wolfe (bass), Marcus Strickland (sax), Ryan Kisor (trumpet), Luis Perdomo (piano), and Gregory Huchinson (drums).

A Night In Monte-Carlo •••• Marcus Miller, Concord Jazz The profligacy of jazz over the last three decades makes it sometimes difficult to determine what is good jazz. Truthfully, jazz in its original creation is really the musical story of black Americans. Some of you might say that jazz has transcended its cultural heritage. Perhaps it has, but only in the sense that jazz is now a sophisticated lifestyle music that embod98 ★ HillRag | January 2011

ies love, romance, dining, and cultural class. It is true that jazz has no cultural boundaries performed as it is by musicians from every country in the world. Bassist, producer, composer Marcus Miller confirm this with “A Night in Monte-Carlo,” a live concert he performed on November 29, 2008 in the “rich man’s playground” of Monaco. A live concert should have a head start in tapping the vital component of spiritual uplift. And this performance does exactly that resoundingly. The concert features Mr. Miller leading both his quartet and the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, with special guests Roy Hargrove (trumpet) and Raul Midón (singer/guitarist). “The repertoire for A Night in Monte-Carlo covers nearly a century of music — from two styles of opera to jazz, including a contemporized spiritual and a timeless ballad.” What you will hear is beautiful, vibrant, rich music celebrating the beauty of our life with majesty, triumph, and endearing cultural faith. This is music without boundaries or restraint, especially on “Your Amazing Grace,” “Strange Fruit,” “I’m Glad There Is You,” “I Love You Porgy,” and “Amandla.”

Night Whispers ••• Marc Copland, Pirouet This album represents Marc Copland New York Trio, Vol. 3 featuring Marc Copland (piano), Drew Gress (bass) and Bill Stewart (drums). “Night Whispers” will put you in the heart of New York City’s sophisticated nightlife with its fine dining, artful entertainment, and that touch of cultural class that puts it on pedestal as the world’s richest city in every category of lifestyles. Finesse and craftsmanship abounds here without restraint on

Rhapsody In Blue ••• Bill O’Connell, Challenge Reords “It Never Entered My Mind” is a beautiful, rhapsodic rendition of a classic standard that gently expresses Bill O’Connell’s reflective piano postlude from the world of jazz. The eloquent voice of Steve Slagle’s saxophones makes this one cut worth the price of the whole album, closely followed in quality by “Rhapsody In Blue” (title track), “Off Beat,” and “Two Worlds.” Also featured on this album are Lugues Curtis (bass), Steve Berrios (drums), Richie Flores (percussion), Dave Samuels (vibraphone), and Conrad Herwig (trombone).

Pathway ••• David Cook, Bjurecords Although David Cook is an accomplished pianist his latest album underscores the lack of freedom on many of his pieces with no surprises here. Too bad, especially when the flame flashes but not brilliantly on “Idly, Ideally,” “Robin’s Song,” and “Pathway” (title track). These are expertly crafted pieces, each resonating with excellent clarity and engaging melodic contours.

The Inward Song ••• Christian Weidner, Pirouet Saxophonist Christian Weidner is delightfully mellow on this fine album. The spirited yet attentive playing here is close in sound to what John Coltrane might have expected if he was listening. These are fine performances, even great ones; Mr. Weidner seems to have rethought his approach

to these ballads he must have known almost too well. The romantic side of this album is full of languid sensuality with ballads that are deliciously and decadently alluring, and the performers are hardly less seductive in this sentient atmosphere. Pay particular attention to “Penta,” “Relief,” “Poem for Ada,” “Ave,” “The Inward Song.” Supporting musicians include Colin Vallon (piano), Henning Sieverts (bass), and Samuel Rohrer (drums).

Let It All Go ••• Christina Ashley, Let It All Go, a debut album from Christina Ashley is a seventeentrack collection featuring a stellar cast of musicians--Grammy winner Charlie Bisharat, Anthony Jackson, Trey Henry, Cliff Almond, and Lion King vocalist Carmen Twillie. Ms. Ashley recorded gems penned by Paul Simon (“Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes”), Elton John (“Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”), Billy Joel (“And So It Goes”), and John Lennon & Paul McCartney (“Two Of Us”). But more interesting are the four original songs Ms. Ashley wrote with the album’s producers and arrangers, Amber & Rob Whitlock. Throughout the diverse collection, whether it be a country-fied gospel (“I’ll Fly Away”), a retro dance cut (“When Will I See You Again”), sophisticated jazz (“My Little Boat”), or an adult-pop rocker (“These Dreams,” “I’m Not That Girl,” “Africa”), Ms. Ashley proves herself to be a promising singer-songwriter with the potential to have the long-term music career of which she dreams. All CDs and DVDS reviewed in this article are heard through Bowers & Wilkens 802D Speakers and ASW 4000 subwoofer, and Rotel Preamp 1070, amplifier 1092 and CD player 1072. CDs are available for purchase through For more information about this column, please email your questions to fagon@ ★

Kids & Family Kids and Teens Notebook by Kathleen Donner

LEGO® Architecture at the Building Museum Piece by piece, brick by brick, this exhibition features large-scale artistic models of some of the world’s most famous structures including the Empire State Building, St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece Fallingwater. The simplicity and nostalgic quality of LEGO

affords viewers a new, detailed look at familiar buildings. Visitors can lean in close to see the complexity of a building’s intricate design and engineering or take a step back to appreciate its stunning sculptural form in full. After drawing inspiration from awe-inspiring structures, visitors are encouraged to create buildings to include in a LEGO community. Based on the principles of good urban design,

participants will be invited to create a building from one of the four categories--residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial--and then place the LEGO models on a large-scale map of a city. As the Museum welcomes more visitors, the LEGO city will grow and grow. Open through Sept. 5, 2011. $5 suggested donation. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. 202-272-2448.

Home School Programs at the Navy Museum The U.S. Navy Museum free math and science-focused home school program is designed specifically for home school students. Sessions are held on the second Monday and Thursday of every month. On Jan. 10, 1:00-3:00 p.m., and Jan. 13, 10:00 a.m.-noon, underwater archeology will be studied. All ages are welcome. They will split the groups into age groups so that everyone can participate in the activities. Reservations are requested to ensure enough materials for all students but are not required. RSVP to Laura Hockensmith at 202-433-6826 or Parking is not available at the Navy Yard. Enter at Sixth and M sts. SE or the Ninth and M St. SE gate. All adults 16 years and older will need a photo ID to enter.

“Sprouts” Program for Preschoolers at the Botanic Garden LEGO® Architecture: Towering Ambition at the National Building Museum . Exhibition open through Sept. 5, 2011. $5 suggested donation. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. 202-272-2448.

Bring your preschooler (3-5 yrs.) to the U.S. Botanic Garden for plantrelated fun this winter. Sign up for a ★ 99

kidsfamily notebook one-month session and attend four different programs. (February will be a repeat of the January programs.) Each Wednesday session. 10:3011:30 a.m., will have activities that may include a story, art activity, or walk in the garden. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Participating children must be 3 years of age. Free but pre-registration is required. 202-225-l116.

Sports on the Hill Lacrosse Spring Program

“Little Skippers” Program at the Navy Yard On Saturday, Jan. 22, 1:00 p.m., Little Skippers learn about the “Battle of Hampton Roads: Monitor vs Virginia.” Free. Enter at Sixth and M sts. SE. All adults 16 years and older will need a photo ID to enter. Tell the guard at the gate you are there to participate in a museum event and they can direct you.

On the November 20-21 weekend, the SOTH All-Star Under-10 Boys soccer team played 6 very exciting games to win the Herndon Youth Soccer All-Star Under-10 tournament! Congratulations on your hard work and victory! Pictured with their coach Luis Granados are (beginning with the topleft): Charles Horne, Caleb Martin, Justin Wallace, Luca Militello, Nicholas McCourt. Bottom row: Mason Mailloux, William Bell, Dylan Healy, Casey Bressler, Alexander Moore.

“Curve Ball” Installed at Nationals Ballpark

Institute for Responsible Citizenship Needs College Sophomores

The DC (soccer) Player Development Academy announces an indoor winter academy to run Jan. 12-Mar.4 (20 sessions), 7:00-8:00 p.m., at Jefferson Middle School, 801 Seventh St. SW. The winter academy 2011 accepts boys and girls ages 7-11. Players are grouped by age and ability. They train Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Monday and Wednesday are skill days. Friday is a play only date. $220. 202-280-2080 ext.3.

The sculpture “Curve Ball” by public artist Thomas Sayre, commissioned by DC Creates! has been installed at Nationals Ballpark. On the eastern side of the Nationals parking garage, stainless steel baseballs follow the path of a curve ball’s flight. The western garage facade follows the higher-angled trajectory of a hit ball by the batter. At night these thirty colossal baseballs will shine by means of energy efficient LED lights, and the lights are programmed to match the energy of the ensuing baseball game.

Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday Public Skate

Saturday Spanish Classes

The Institute for Responsible Citizenship is now accepting applications for the Class of 2012. The Institute seeks to recruit talented African American male college sophomores to participate in its summer leadership program. Admitted students will work at high-level internships, take a challenging course in government and economics, and meet influential leaders in the public and private sectors. Applicants must be college sophomores. They strongly encourage students who major in the sciences, engineering, business, and entrepreneurship to apply. They are accepting applications on a rolling basis through Jan. 7.

DC Soccer Player Development Academy Winter Session

Fort Dupont Ice Arena welcomes all skaters on Monday, Jan 17, 1:002:20 p.m. Children 12 and under and seniors, $4. Skaters 13 and older, $5. Skate rental is $3. 3779 Ely Pl. SE. 202-584-5007.

DC PCS Recruitment Expo On Saturday, Jan. 8, noon-4:00 p.m., learn about 94 unique public charter school options at the Washington Convention Center. Children’s entertainment and giveaways. 202-328-2660. 100 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Registration is open for Saturday Spanish classes. They combine the fun of a playgroup and the learning of a workshop. Children learn Spanish naturally in a playful immersion way. Parents and tots, 18 mos.- young 3 yrs., 10:00-10:50 a.m. Just kids, older 3’s-5 yrs.,11:50 a.m. Classes are at Josephine Butler Parks Center, 2437 15th St. NW. Free parking on premises. Winter session is Jan. 8-Mar. 12. $190/child. Register online at pratacreative. com. 202-656-0044 or email info@

“Investigate: Alexander Calder” at the NGA Meet Sophie, an artistic spider, and find out what inspired her wondrous creations. Explore Alexander Calder’s Spider and learn to weave your own wire mobile. Free. January 16, 23 and 30 at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art East Building, ground level. 202-737-4215.

Sports on the Hill offers a spring lacrosse program for boys and girls ages 5-10. No experience is necessary. Sticks are provided to those in need. Players will receive a Capitol Hill Lacrosse reversible jersey from Lax World. Malcolm Lester is the commissioner and directs the sessions, assisted by Ivan Johnson and other parent volunteers and high school lacrosse players. The fee is $75 and siblings, $60. Scholarship aid is availabe as an option at registration. If you have any questions, please contact SOTH lacrosse commissioner Malcolm Lester at or 202-537-5703.

USBG looking for Junior Botanists You can become Apprentice Junior Botanist by asking for an Adventure Folder for exploring the US Botanic Garden Conservatory. Bring along an adult adviser with an official ID (e.g., a driver’s license) so you can check out a backpack filled with cool tools to use during your explorations. Follow up your visit to the USBG with an at-home activity and then apply to become not just an apprentice, but an official USBG Junior Botanist. Free. 202-225-8333.

Planning for Play Park Adjacent to SW Library The Community Benefits Coordinating Council (CBCC) is working with parents and friends to establish a play park in the DPR/DCPL property adjacent to the SW Library Branch. CBCC is seeking a partnership with KaBoom to make this vision a reality. Many people have been working separately in small groups and finally together to make this happen, including Tommy Wells’ Office and the Friends of the SW Library, who have volunteered to help maintain the park. If you would like to join the team of 100 volunteers needed to build the park, call the ANC6D office at 202-554-1795 or call Rev. Ruth Hamilton at 202-641-8221 or email her at

Capitol Hill Wrestling Collegiate-style wrestling helps boys and girls ages 4-14 develop discipline, confidence, and persistence. Practices are from 6:00 to 7:30pm on Tuesday and Friday evenings from Jan. 4-Feb. 25 at Kendall Elementary School activity room (beside the gym) on the Gallaudet University campus. $75 ($70 sibling). For further information, contact Sean Mason at 202-262-9469 or bseanm@ sportsonthehill. com/wrestling

Children’s Audio Tour of NGA This free, self-guided tour of the West Wing gives children, ages 7-12, an opportunity to get “up close and personal” with some of the world’s greatest paintings, by such masters as Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt van Rijn, Claude Monet, and Winslow Homer. Available at the Acoustiguide desk located in the Rotunda, on the main floor of the West Building. For group reservations (ten or more), call 202-842-6592. The audio tour, with images, is also available on

Teen Volunteer Program at NGA High school students can volunteer for spring term ( Jan.May) and summer term ( JuneAug.). Student volunteers assist with clerical and administrative tasks that support the department’s education programs such as preparing materials for art projects, data entry, photocopying, filing, and assisting during teacher programs. Candidates must be rising juniors or seniors with a mature, positive attitude and a strong work ethic. The schedule will vary weekly, The time commitment can range from four to ten hours per week. Service hours may be submitted for community service credits. ★ ★ 101


Know the Show The St. Mark’s Players Workshop for Young People by Alexis Truitt


n a sunny Sunday afternoon in October, a small group of people were playing in the courtyard of St. Mark’s Church at 3rd and E St SE. These were no ordinary games, however. Through the use of theatre games, three Capitol Hill nine-year-olds were learning the synopsis to “Two Gentlemen of Verona”. The exploration of the synopsis through acting was just the beginning of this two day journey. Designed and produced by Alexis Truitt and professional teaching artist Mitch Mattson, this explorative journey is St. Mark’s Players newest addition to its community outreach program. ”Know the Show” is a two -day workshop for young people ages 918. The program gives the participants the opportunity to learn about the production by viewing it, discussing it, and performing it. Following the activities in the courtyard the participants went into the theater to front row seats to view the 2 ½ hour Shakespearean performance, to which one participant commented “I got nearly all of the jokes.” This experience was followed up with a question and answer session with the entire cast and a pizza party, where the young participants had the opportunity to talk to the actors one on one, and get their autographs. They capped off the evening with playing some final group theater games. All of this fun was just day one; they returned the following Saturday to get down to the business of being actors themselves. They analyzed and deciphered what William Shakespeare was truly saying in his colorful way. They learned to choke and faint (stage combat) without hurting each other or themselves, and they 102 ★ HillRag | January 2011

read scenes from Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” taking on the characters and bringing them to life themselves. Last, they created their own play, encompassing all of the elements they had just learned. Tired and excited they said how much they loved the experience and that they would come back for more. The “Know the Show” series will continue to run in conjunction with the St. Mark’s Players theatrical season. The next production in St. Mark’s season is Inherit the Wind, the riveting courtroom drama based on the “Scopes Monkey Trial.” For this performance, the devised “Know the Show” is for children ages 9-15. Day one, January 23, attend a matinee performance of Inherit the Wind and a talk back with the performers. The evening will conclude with a pizza party and theater games. Day two, January 29, explore the themes and characters of the play through acting exercises, writing, and scene work. Participants will work together to create an original scene exploring a new theme in the heightened style of a courtroom drama. The two day workshop cost $60; the fee includes: • 6 hour workshop with professional teaching artists • A free ticket to the January 23rd matinee performance • A pizza party following the matinee • A copy of the script Elizabeth Dranitzke parent of a participant said: “This was a great workshop. We’d been looking for something like this, not a long term commitment, and on the Hill.” Don’t miss out on this experience

to write your story. Develop your characters. Lift your voice. Come create movement and dialogue to fill the stage with your imagination. Come Know the Show! To sign up for the

next two-day workshop, Know the Show-Inherit the Wind offered on Sunday, January 23rd and Saturday, January 29th, go to ★


(PreSchool through 12th grade) 7009 Varnum Street, Landover Hills MD 20784 (301) 459-7311 •

Try Something New CHAW’s Winter Workshops Lineup by Megan Cheek


f you are looking to try something new in 2011, check out the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop’s line up of adult Winter Workshops. For the month of January, CHAW offers a little something for everyone from the novice artist to the more advanced. Below are just a few of the over twenty workshops available. Visit or call 202-547-6839 for more information or to register.

well, singers and nonsingers alike will share the common experience of learning in the oral tradition and singing rhythms, chants, traditional songs from Africa and the Diaspora, and a variety of songs from African American culture including spirituals, ring shouts, hymns, gospels, and songs from the Civil Rights Movement. Ballroom Teaching Artist John Aaron Blanchette with student Maria Kokkinaki. Photo by Ellen Cornett

Painted Furniture with Sheppard Bear Mondays, January 10-31, 2011 6:30-8:30 pm • $105 Sheppard started her business Fine Art Finishes with partner Bryan Tyson (www. in 1996 and has been transforming rooms and furniture ever since. In this workshop, Sheppard will teach the basics of taking a piece of tired furniture (or furnishing) from relic to a newly painted heirloom. Students will focus on several classic finishes that are often seen in designer magazines including stenciling, glazing, and gilding.

Social Ballroom Dance with John Aaron Blanchette Mondays, January 10-31, 2011 7:00-8:15 pm • $66 John Aaron is an accredited dance professional and has been teaching in the DC area for 14 years. Students in this workshop will enjoy over an hour of practice time to polish their ballroom skills as well as “micro lessons” to review the various dances, and ensure that students of all levels can fully participate. Dance parties are gender neutral and no partner is required.

Building a Vocal Community®: Singing in the African American Tradition with Dr. Ysaye Barnwell Monday, January 24, 2011 7:00-9:00 pm • $10 Masterfully led by Dr. Ysaye M. Barn-

Supporting Parents In Raising Moral Children Over 20 Faiths & Nationalities Represented I-20 Approved for International Students

• Excellent academic standards • High standardized test scores • Competitive pricing; sibling discount • Enriching Summer Program

Open House

Saturday’s January 8th, February 12th, March 12th and April 9th 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (tour begins promptly at 10:00 AM) Mention the Hill Rag and get $25 off registration fee Principal orientation and tour of the school most Thursdays 9:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Time for Tea Pots “Put a Lid On It” with Paul Tenwalde

Tuesdays, January 11February 1, 2011 6:15-8:45 pm • $175 + $15 materials fee Paul has been teaching art for the past four years and would suggest this course for anyone who wants to focus on making functional pottery. Some throwing experience would be a plus, but is not necessary. By making a teapot, students will advance their ceramic skills and learn to create and combine the following elements: a vessel, lid, handle, and spout.

Intro to Figure Drawing with Ellen Cornett Thursdays, January 13-February 3, 2011 6:30-8:30 pm • $140 Ellen has exhibited across the DC area and the U.S. and has been teaching at CHAW since 2003. Join Ellen as you learn the basics of figure drawing working with nude models. Students will cover gesture and contour drawing as well as human proportions. Previous drawing experience is recommended, but not required.

Retouch and Recreate Using Photoshop with Leslie Andrus Thursdays, January 13 – February 3, 2011 6:30 - 8:30 pm • $140 Join freelance photographer Leslie as you revisit special moments by using simple Photoshop techniques to retouch and restore photographs. Learn how to scan, color correct, repair tears or age spots, retouch blemishes and erase minor imperfections. ★

Telling your family story with images. Children, Family, Birth and Maternity Photography

202-297-0749 10% discount when you mention Hill Rag

Acupuncture Massage Meditation Reiki Herbs & Nutrition

Wholistic health care for adults, children and teens. 320 G Street, NE • 202.544.9389


Past Life Regression Therapy ★ 103

kidsfamily school notes

school notes Capitol Hill Montessori News Up, Up And Away! Capitol Hill Montessori Makes a Move It’s been said that millions of public school students across America are waiting for Superman to fix their schools. Not so for Ava Pugh, 6, and her 154 schoolmates in Watkins public Montessori program on Capitol Hill. “The program gives her the opportunity to be her best self, explore her interests at her pace, and make friends with children of different socioeconomic, religious, and ethnic backgrounds,” says her mother Kathy Pugh. “She’s confident and happy.” Sound dreamy? Well, the good news is that with a planned expansion and move to its own building in the fall of 2011 to the Logan School at 215 G St. NE, more children will be able to take part in this diverse (40 percent African American, 40 percent white), unique and popular program. This year about 400 children applied. Twenty-six got in. But while the program only has 155 students, they come from all corners of the city, including 20 percent from Ward 7 and ten percent from Ward 5. “We believe that Montessori public school education should be available to more families,” says Waduda Henderson, lead Montessori teacher. “The move to Logan will facilitate our dream of serving a larger number of students.” The move to Logan will allow for at least one more primary class (20 to 25 students) in the first year. Parents and teachers hope gradually to add primary (ages 3 to 6) and elementary (ages 7 to 11) classes. Also on the table is a plan to add 104 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Compiled by Susan Braun Johnson

thy? What are/what have been the challenges for human morality? “The adolescents need extra support morally, cognitively, socially, and emotionally,” Ms. Henderson says. “What better place to be supported than in a middle school where the staff has supported their growth from three years old?” But the emphasis on philosophy and life-skills doesn’t mean that traditional academics are ignored. The standards are to meet or exceed the state standards for achievement. Ms. Pugh and other Montessori parents are crossing their fingers – and working hard – for Watkin’s Montessori to Move to Logan School in 2011 the middle school expansion. A school system decision on a a middle-school program, something middle school expansion is expected Ward 6 City Council member Tommy early 2011. Wells has called a “solid” plan. “I would really hate to see Mon“I am thrilled the Montessori tessori end at such a vulnerable age program is expanding in Ward 6,” (11),” Ms. Pugh says. “It’s so important says Mr. Wells. “It’s been a successful for kids at that age to know that what public school program sought out by they say matters; that they can really many families often requiring a substantial waiting list.” But what exactly will a Montessori middle school look like? As with any Montessori education, there will be just as much focus on academics as on the emotional, physical, social and moral health and well-being of the child. For example, the middle school students (ages 12 to 14) will spend part of their school week immersed in community work – whether it is tending a garden or working in a soup kitchen. This type of work not only teaches skills like gardening or cooking, but also allows students to become contributing members of a community. The work also is intended to encourage discussions on life-skills and moral character: What is empa-

figure out who they are in a safe environment. This Montessori program provides all that.” In other words, who needs Superman? –Gabriella Boston. For more information:

Maury Elementary News Maury Pre-K Students Explore Think Tanks Maury’s Inquiry-Based Learning Lab, or “Think Tank”, will launch this semester. This special lab has been funded by $27,000 raised by Maury families and will include weekly projects for all grade levels. The PTA has hired Ms. Carolyn Hunt, the current part-time PE teacher, to staff the lab. Children will practice collaborative learning through hands-on experimentation with everyday items. The Think Tank will be the first of its kind on Capitol Hill. All of the students at Maury have participated in sample Think Tank activities to give them an idea of what they can look forward to. Mrs. Clayton’s Preschool class made Gak using

Maury Pre-K Students Working on a Think Tank Project.

Borax, glue, and food coloring. The children then discussed whether their creation was solid, liquid or gas. Students in Ms. Cooper’s fifth grade class explored the importance of direct and precise communication with a paired drawing activity. The students worked in pairs, with one student attempting to draw an abstract picture while blindfolded, based solely on the guidance of their partner. Maury hopes to use the Think Tank to step outside of the standard textbook method of learning to boost real-world critical thinking and develop skills in mathematics, science, and language arts. For more information on the Think Tank concept, check out Jean Sausele Knodt’s book, Nine Thousand Straws.

Maury Awarded Green Works Grant Maury Elementary participated in Green Works’ “Walk to School Challenge” on Facebook, competing against much larger schools nationwide. Families logged the length of time spent walking to school every day, answered “Eco Quizzes”, shared healthy tips, and of course shared their stats on their Facebook profiles to increase awareness and participation. Maury, with an enrollment of 273, came in third. The top two schools have enrollments of around 700 students; impressive! The school is still brainstorming on how best to spend the money. Check back for updates! -Tara Givens, 202-698-3838, 1250 Constitution Ave., NE.

Capitol Hill Day School News Overnight Adventures Capitol Hill Day School students take over 300 field trips annually, each one directly connected to the curriculum. Upper grade students enjoy three very special overnight trips where they can interact outside of school in a different environment, and broaden their view of their classmates and themselves. Sixth graders spend three days at the Sheridan School’s Mountain


Where Every Child Achieves!

CHDS 8th graders on Sheridan ropes course. Photo: Yvette Yamagata

Campus in Shenandoah National Park, participating in trust and teamwork activities. The zip line and climbing wall present individual challenges that require the support and encouragement of the group. Back at school, students reflect upon their Sheridan experience in letters and in personal narratives. Eighth grade students help plan their Sheridan trip, setting class goals for the trip. The challenges on this trip are more difficult than the ones they worked on as 6th graders, and posttrip discussions provide opportunities for individual and group reflection. One student said “I learned that if you step back and listen to all your teammates you can come up with a plan to make everybody happy and benefit the whole team.” Eighthgraders appreciate how the Sheridan trip brings them together during their last year at CHDS, and one student noted that “This trip fits the overall CHDS experience because you learn while having fun.” A three day Chesapeake Bay Foundation Residential Study Trip is the highlight of the 7th grade environmental science program. Students live on an island in the Bay and are challenged to minimize water and electricity use and food waste, while experiencing the local culture, history, and ecology. They explore tidal marshes, underwater grass beds, and oyster reefs, and interview Tangier Island residents about island life, and how their livelihoods depend on the health of the Bay. Students practice sustainable conservation and responsible citizenship, and see the impact of their everyday activities on the Bay.

OPEN HOUSE ON ALL 3 CAMPUSES Tuesday, January 25th • 9:30am & 10:30am Peabody Early Childhood Center & School-Within-School 425 C St NE • 202.698.3277

Watkins Elementary & Montessori School 420 12th St SE • 202.698.3355

Stuart-Hobson Middle School 410 E Street NE • 202.671.6010 ★ 105

kidsfamily school notes Seventh graders appreciate the responsibility and independence asked of them. One student said, “The overnight trips give us a chance to learn more about ourselves and our classmates. We learn how far we can stretch our limits, and how far we can help our classmates stretch theirs.” - Jane Angarola. 210 South Carolina Avenue, SE; 202-386-9919.

Third-grader Elijah Mason shares his Eastern Market model with Mikaella Steward at Watkins Elementary’s student-built Monuments Museum

Capitol Hill Cluster School News Stuart-Hobson Makes a Splash at Geoplunge Tournament Six Stuart-Hobson sixth-graders competed against 200 area students last November in the day-long Geoplunge Tournament, a test of students’ knowledge of the fifty United States. Split into two groups, the Stuart-Hobson students finished first and ninth out of 64 teams. Congratulations to Keimoni Spence, Joyce Thomas, and Mason Standard, who made up the first-place team, and to Airique Bond, Mathew Nolan, and Ernest Harper, who came in ninth. Sixth-grade social studies teacher Victoria Pearson, who coached both teams, described the competition (sponsored by Arent Fox LLP and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights) as “electric,” with stu106 ★ HillRag | January 2011

dents racing to answer questions and complete challenges involving state capitals, populations, birds, bordering states, etc. Noted Pearson, “Whether they’re talking about our history or cultural differences or different countries, these students now have reference points for comparison.”

Watkins Reconstructs D.C. The Watkins Elementary School cafeteria was transformed into a minimuseum in early December as third graders showed off their hand-made models of area monuments and historic sites. The students, who are studying the Civil War, were assigned to re-create a site as it appeared in either 1860 or today. Students wrote reports and, at the Monument Museum, fielded questions from teachers, parents, and friends. The creator of a miniature FDR memorial noted, with amazement: “He was president for sixteen years!” The designer of the Pentagon 9-11 memorial: “The youngest person who died was three.” And the architect of Georgetown’s Old Stone House: “You can go there for free.” – By Julie Somers and Molly Dewsnap Meinhardt, Peabody Early Childhood Campus – 425 C Street NE; Watkins Elementary Campus – 420 12th Street SE; Stuart-Hobson Middle School Campus – 410 E St. NE;

Architecture at Peabody Students in Mr. Watson’s Pre-K class at Peabody Early Childhood Center worked with a team of architects from Bowie Gridley to learn how the design of the built environment reflects and enhances our community. The volunteer architects visited the classroom once a week for eight weeks as part of Architecture in the Schools, a program of the Washington Architectural Foundation. Students built structures out of toothpicks and candy and combined their own structures with others to create a community. They walked through the Capitol Hill neighborhood identifying different types of architecture and taking pictures. For their final project—exhibited at Howard University in December—the students created three-dimensional models of buildings in our community using foam board, papier-mâché, and other materials.

St. Peter School News Eighth Grade Latin Students Raising The Bar

Between the years of 1230 and 1250, St. Thomas gave several lectures and commentaries both on Scripture and theological treatises from various Church Fathers. The great majority of these lectures and commentaries took place in either Paris or Rome, but all were given in the official language of the universities during the medieval era, Latin. Given the prolific body of work St. Thomas produced, a number of these works remain without an official English translation. In steps St. Peter School Latin instructor Andrew Kim and his eighth grade Latin class! Together, they have just completed an English translation of the previously un-translated preface to St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Commentary on the Apostles’ Creed.” Quite The 2010 Geoplunge winners (from left) Mason Standard, an accomplishment for our Keimoni Spence, and Joyce Thomas, with their Stuart-Hobson graduating middle school history teacher and geography coach Victoria Pearson. The scholars! sixth-grade team placed first in the city-wide U.S. geography tournament.

St. Peter School Team First and Eight Graders as Reading Buddies

Reading Buddies The first and eighth-grade classes have partnered to be “Reading Buddies”. Twice a month, the eighth grade students head downstairs to the first grade classroom for buddy reading. The program is a great leadership opportunity for the eighth graders and an ideal occasion for younger students to improve reading skills. Watching the students interact exemplifies the school’s culture of caring and respect.

“Viva Las Vegas ” On The Hill! Mark your calendars for a memorable evening of dining, dancing and high bidding! St. Peter School will proudly present the “Viva Las Vegas” Auction on Feb. 12, 2011 at 6 p.m. at the St. Peter’s Church Hall (Second and C Streets, SE). The 2011 auction is promising to be the best party ever, with fabulous items and many new surprises in store! Proceeds from the auction will support the school’s mission of providing an education founded on love of God and service to others and characterized by Catholic values and academic excellence. Tickets are $75, with $65 of the ticket price eligible for tax-deduction. Advertising and sponsorships opportunities are also available to show your support to over 200 Capitol Hill families. Donations of merchandise or services welcome!! For more information, please contact auction co-chairs Cindy Johnson or Tami Plofchan at -By Sally Aman. 422 Third Street, SE, 202-544-1618,

Accepting applications for grades PS-6 Download your application at

With a French and Spanish immersion program and a dual focus on academic excellence and community service, Stokes School prepares culturally diverse elementary school students to be leaders, scholars, and responsible citizens who are committed to social justice.

2011 Open Houses: January 27 & February 24 9:30 - 11:00 am. RSVP to Ms. Cortes @ 202.265.7237 The Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School 3700 Oakview Terrace, NE | Washington, DC 20017 | 202.265.7237 â&#x2DC;&#x2026; 107

kidsfamily school notes

Brent’s Chinese cookbook release party

Brent Elementary News Busy at Brent Back by popular demand, Brent’s 2nd annual New Year’s Bird Count for Kids is coming up on January 8. Students will meet at the school that morning where there will be live birds of prey, breakfast, crafts and games. Then students will head out to Haines Point, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and the National Arboretum where they will participate in bird walks and activities led by national recognized bird experts. Brent 3rd graders have been learning about Chinese culture and cooking. They celebrated the “publication” of their Chinese cookbook with a tasting of several Chinese treats. Students in all grades at Brent have Chinese language and culture classes as part of the curriculum. Closer to home, the 3rd graders have also been working on an extensive Washington and government project. They have visited the Capitol Building and have a visit to the White House upcoming. Then they brought famous Washington buildings into the classroom, literally, by building models of edifices such as the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. Students used a variety of materials such as cardboard, marshmallows, and clay. Talk about hands on learning! 108 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Brent 2nd graders have been learning about our community and local government and they also put their studies into action. They visited the Wilson Building (home of the offices of the D.C. City Council and the Mayor) where they interviewed Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells. Councilman Wells answered questions from every student in the class. Then his staff took the students on a tour of the City Hall where they learned about city government. Michael Bonk, the Chef de Cuisine at Sonoma Restaurant here on Capitol Hill, has signed up with the Chef ’s Move Initiative through the Partnership for a Healthier America to be the consulting chef at Brent. Chef Bonk will help educate Brent students about healthy food choices and will help administrators and parents improve the food served in the cafeteria. He will also be doing “chef demos” where students will experience a cooking demonstration with locally grown, in-season foods, and later foods from Brent’s own vegetable garden! E.V. Downey, 301 North Carolina Avenue, SE. 202698-3363,

Teatro de la Luna perform El Gato y la Gaviota (The Cat and the Seagull). The performance was an opportunity to bring together the Spanish-immersion, arts integration, and special education students -- and share Spanish across the programs. Teatro de la Luna is a local theater company whose mission is to foster cross-cultural understanding through Spanish-language theater and bilingual theatrical activities. Teatro de la Luna’s Experiencia Teatral/Experience Theater program brings age-appropriate Spanish language plays into area schools. El Gato y la Gaviota is the touching story of Zorbas, the cat, who promises a dying mother seagull who has been caught in an oil spill that he will take care of her egg until it hatches and will teach the baby seagull how to fly. Zorbas decides to name the baby seagull Afortunada, and he keeps his promise to care for the baby seagull. After many tries, Zorbas teaches Afortunada how to fly. Before the performance, teachers were provided a study guide that included ideas for extension activities to enhance the students’ understanding of the play. Ms. Maria Syquia, an arts integration preschool teacher, prepared pictures of the characters of the play prior to the performance. She told them the story in English, and used the pictures to point out the names of the characters in English and Spanish. After the performance, the children drew pictures and they told her what they remembered about the character they drew. The Capitol Hill Community Foundation awarded Tyler a grant last spring to fund the Teatro de la Luna performance. –Suzanne Wells.

Tyler Elementary News Teatro de la Luna Comes to Tyler! On December 14, every student at Tyler Elementary was afortunada or fortunate because they got to see

“Actors from Teatro de la Luna perform El Gato y la Gatiota at Tyler Elementary.”

Two Rivers School News Showcasing Knowledge & Talent Two Rivers’ educational model emphasizes interactive, hands-on, project-based learning. Twice every school year (winter and spring) the students hold a Student Showcase where students are able to share with their families and guests what they learned from their expeditions and field studies. During the Winter Showcase we learned about things like The Chemistry of Cooking, Innovation and Invention, and Geology and Structures in DC, as well as DC’s vulnerability to a natural disaster, and about the convergence of cultures among this country’s early settlers in Jamestown – the 4th grade class actually took an overnight trip to Jamestown, VA to learn firsthand about the settlers and their experiences. Through these expeditions and others presented by Two Rivers’ students in grades preschool through eighth grade, they were able to show what they learned and how the subject matter affects their daily lives.

Ludlow-Taylor Elementary News Though it may be chilly outside, things are smoking inside LudlowTaylor Elementary School. LTES ushered in the holiday season with “Winter Wonderland: A Winter Recital.” The evening showed off the gift of new music teacher, Thomas Pierre, Jr. Each class performed two songs including selections from The Carpenters, The Doobie Brothers, John Legend, and Rodgers & Hammerstein. The audience was also treated to the debut of the LTES Glee Club whose repertoire included “Heri Za Kwanzaa” (Victor Cook), “S’vivon” (a folk song celebrating Hanukah and dreidels, sung in Hebrew), and “Children Go Where I Send Thee” (an African American Spiritual). Principal Cobbs showed off her jazzy side as she joined the Glee Club for “Merry Christmas All” (Sal Soul Orchestra). In addition to showcasing students and their blossoming music program, the event served as an opportunity to thank some partner organizations. Principal Cobbs presented

CHAW with a plaque recognizing the murals they did a few years ago in LTES’s stairwells, which for Principal Cobbs, served as inspiration for the arts catalyst direction the school has embraced. Principal Cobbs also recognized the Duke Alumni association, which has long taken LTES’ students on Saturday field trips to a range of local cultural outings. Mr. Pierre gave special recognition to the Capitol Hill Community Foundation for awarding a grant to get the Glee Club up and running. Please join them after the New Year for future recitals! Speaking of the New Year: Save the date for LTES’ first annual Spring Gala on March 18 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The evening will include a silent auction, wine, and hors d’oeuvres. To donate items or services, please contact Alison Black at ablack@ –by Donny Kirsch. 659 G St. NE.

Amidon-Bowen News

ST. PETER SCHOOL The Key to Educational Excellence since 1868

A Busy Season For Students And Staff Amidon-Bowen students made the Christmas tree ornaments for the 6th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony sponsored by the Washington Waterfront Association. The WWA President, J. Nickerson (Gangplank Marina) offered the school the opportunity and gave art teacher, Ms. Ayannie Peake a donation of $150 for the art program. The ceremony was held on Dec. 4 at the Seventh Street Landing (700 block of Water St. SW). Refreshments, music, and photos with Santa added to the festive atmosphere. Free hotdogs from the Doghouse were provided along with gourmet cupcakes decorated for the holiday. Music always plays an important part of holiday celebrations. On Dec. 12, the 4th and 5th grade chorus members under the leadership of Ms Para Perry, Amidon-Bowen’s music teacher, performed with the Shiloh Youth and Children’s Choir and the Seaton Elementary School Choir “The Many faces of Christmas”, by

Pre-K to 8th grade • Rigorous Academic Program State of the Art Science and Technology • Religion Spanish • Latin • Accelerated Reader Program • Music Art • PE • Health & Wellness • Aftercare Enrichment Program All Denominations Welcome

OPEN HOUSE DATES January 12th, 6–8 pm • January 13th, 9–11 am ★ 109

Robert Shaw. The concert was held at Shiloh Baptist Church, during their annual presentation of The Messiah. They also provided entertainment for Republic Properties at their Tenant’s Association Party. The New Century Saxophone Quartet played for the 4th and the 5th grade classes in a gala concert on December 16. The music varied from jazz favorites to mariachi music to familiar Christmas music and the “Folk Dances” by Shostakovich. Michael Stephenson on soprano saxophone, Stephen Pollock, tenor saxophone, Connie Frigo, baritone saxophone and Chris Hemingway on alto saxophone New Century Saxophone Quartet performs at Amidon demonstrated the specific voices Bowen. photo: Meg Brinckman of their instruments. The school-wide holiday tioned the distance students would program wound up the season with have to travel to Amidon-Bowen as chorus presentations, a sing-a-long the two elementary schools, Brent complete with Power-Point display and Tyler, are near capacity. of the words so that all members of There were a number of people in the audience could participate. - Meg the audience who did not have chilBrinckman dren in school yet. and several spoke about the large number of pre-school children in the area and the possibility of utilizing one of the elemenThe Capitol Riverfront Community tary schools in this feeder pattern for Pre-K to first-grade. Students from Supports Van Ness Elementary In a meeting at the Courtyard Amidon-Bowen, Brent and Tyler ElMarriott, in December, Chancellor ementary Schools feed into Jefferson Kaya Henderson listened to residents Middle School and then to the newly express their overwhelming support renovated Eastern High School startfor reopening the former Van Ness ing next year. Jefferson will begin a Elementary to serve the rapidly grow- new program utilizing the International Baccalaureate curriculum in ing Capitol Riverfront Community. The Van Ness building has been 2011-2012. The school system must consider used since 2006 for DCPS offices. fi nal housing specifications to predict Abigail Smith, Chief, Transformathe increase in school age population tion Management Office, reminded as well as trends in out-of-boundthe approximately 125 Capitol Hill ary enrollment. Every school in the residents in attendance that DCPS DCPS system that has not been has kept Van Ness in the inventory renovated is on schedule for modernanticipating the kind of growth that ization. Opening Van Ness in 2011appears to now be occurring. At pres2012 is not possible because funds are ent there are approximately 480 elcommitted to other schools in need of ementary age students living within repair and modernization. Amidona half mile of the Van Ness Building. Plans over the next 5-7 years antici- Bowen is scheduled for a Phase I (inpate the addition of 2,400 new resi- terior) modernization in the summer of 2011. It is planned to have Phase II dential units. Comments from the audience fo- (exterior) renovation in 2016. In the cused largely on the need to preserve final analysis, the decision to reopen a school that would anchor the neigh- Van Ness will be driven by enrollborhood. Numerous parents men- ment demands and available funding. –Meg Brinckman. ★

Van Ness School News

110 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Homes & Gardens Hill Parks Are in Peak Demand – Especially Watkins Recreation Field Article and Photos by Rindy O’Brien


n 2011, Capitol Hill’s neighborhood parks and playgrounds are in great demand. With more and more organized sports being offered to children and adults, it is not surprising that finding a field to practice or play a game on is becoming a major stress point for coaches and parents. Parks and school yards that once were mainly used on weekends and after school hours by Hill neighbors to picnic, walk their dogs, or just let the kids kick out the jams are now being upgraded by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation to meet the growing sports

demand. The days of a pick up game of tag down the street may soon be over; but on the other hand, Hill pee wee league football and soccer may be entering a new stage.

A $1.6 Million Field Makeover Is Moving Forward At Watkins School And Field. On November 30, 2010, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation met with the Watkins community to unveil a major upgrade to the Watkins

field. The city hopes that by installing a new turf field complex, the field will be able to accommodate heavier usage than a grass field. One team that has practiced on the field is the Watkins Hornets, a peewee football team, sanctioned by the District’s Department of Recreation. On December 14, 2010, the Hornets won their Pee Wee Division I National Football Championship beating the Florida City Razorbacks. Mayor Adrian Fenty watched the game on television and at a press conference honoring the young team; he

Watkins’ transformation from grass to turf-grass should be done in time for spring season. ★ 111

jacent to the field. John Stokes, Chief of Staff of DPR, said in a meeting held on December 21, 2010 at the Watkins School Library with about 75 people in attendance, that he had spoken to Jesús Aguirre, DPR head, about using some of the $1.6 million for playground improvements. “But, none of the elements in the original plan can be cut out,” said Mr. Stokes, “and the Watkins playground is slated for a complete makeover in 2013.” Parents at Watkins Elementary School, one of the three-cluster schools on Capitol Hill, were deeply disappointed with this response and are skeptical that the playground will actual see any repairs once the field is finished. As one parent said, “it should have been considered as a package deal.”

plan does call for eight new trees to be replanted and that satisfies the District’s requirement to replace trees that are cut down. But, it will take many years for these new trees to mature into anything comparable to the trees that are gone in terms of beauty or carbon production. Mary Case, Martha Loomis, and Lisa Bergman vowed to stay on the Watkins field that morning to protect the trees. But after three cold hours and warnings by the police that Mary could be arrested, the trees finally were taken down. “What I resent more than anything,” said Mary, “is that the DPR

Trees And Green Grass Verses Health And Safety The Watkins Elementary School and Recreation Center encourages play.

promised to fix their field. In reality, the bidding process by the DC Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization Department (OPEFM) went out on July 22, 2010 months before the Hornets had won their championship. The process called for the installation of an artificial turf athletic field, with under-drain systems, and complete related field improvements at the Watkins field, adjacent to the Watkins Elementary School located at 420 12th Street, SE. In addition to the turf, the contract calls for an electronic scoreboard, lighting, fencing, and basketball courts. The contract also stressed that “time is of the essence with respect to the contract. The Project must be substantially completed by November 15, 2010.” But, the proposal’s scope of work did not call for any improvements for the playground that is ad-

Everyone seems to be in general agreement that the current state of the Watkins field is not good. Despite DPR putting new sod on the field, and many efforts by school parents and neighbors to clean up the broken glass and litter, the field has been a safety issue for teams that played there. Mary Case has lived across from the Watkins Field for 22 years. She and her neighbors like Deidre Francis were out early the morning of December 6, 2010 when they saw that a construction crew had showed up with a chain saw to chop down two very old oak trees. It appears that communication fell apart between the Mayor’s Office, the ANC Commissioners, the school, and DPR. Many of the neighbors, like Mary, had not heard anything about the tree removal. So it was shocking news that the DPR intended to remove ten or more inches of topsoil and replace the field with rubber and Astroturf. It seems the DPR and OPEFM had not revealed at earlier neighborhood meeting that the trees would be sacrificed as part of the upgrade. The

A box of the branded turf grass – Field Turf – was presented to interested residents that came to the December 21, 2010 meeting about future plans for upgrading Watkins field.

was not honest with us and that after promising us that the second tree would not be taken down until more discussion had been allowed, they went ahead and cut it down. I feel that we are losing our neighborhood.” But, for other neighbors who use the field for organized sports like Soccer on the Hill, the tradeoff is worth it. Michael Barrette is a founder of the new list-serve called Friends of Watkins Recreation Center. He thinks the turf field will be a new asset that will make the neighborhood an even more attractive place to live and play. “I started the listserve so we can make sure that all the immediate neighbors of the Watkins Field and Capitol Hill community have a chance to hear what the city officials are doing,” Michael said, “because I know there have been some communication problems.” The list-serve now has over 75 citizens, coaches, and ANC commissioners on it.

Dpr Ready to Work Through the Issues.

LEFT: John Stokes, Chief of Staff, for DC Department of Parks and Recreation, took questions from the 75 hill residents at the meeting to discuss on going concerns over safety of turf grass and the broken playground equipment. RIGHT: Martha Loomis was amazed at some of the information shared by the DPR that no federal Environmental Impact Statement was needed for the project. 112 ★ HillRag | January 2011

DPR officials say that the field should be ready by spring 2011 for teams to start playing soccer, baseball, football, and other sports. There are still many issues that need to be resolved before the athletes hit the field. As far as neighbors and parents of Watkins’ students are concerned, the biggest questions center on operation and management of

the new facility. Will there be access to the field for Capitol Hill teams and neighbors? How will parking around the field be handled during peak time periods? Who will be responsible for cleanup and maintenance not only on the field but also all around the park? Will the new scoreboard be used and kept working? Who will be legally responsible for stray balls that break windows? One good piece of news is that the controversy over whether the turf is a health hazard to the young athletes seems to have been quelled at the December 21, 2010. The problems from when Astroturf was first introduced have been solved to the satisfaction of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and the turf field product is being used on over 40 fields in the District today. The NFL and Major League Baseball also use the same type of turf that will be used at Watkins. John Stokes at the Department of Parks and Recreation and his staff seem genuinely interested in making the Watkins field succeed for everyone. He has promised that Hill sports teams will be given some preference in the permitting process, and that the neighbors will be given a permit to use the field as well. The proposal is under the cost figure that triggers a federal environmental review. But, the city has put the project through its usual environmental evaluation process and given it a green light. Fields like the improved Watkins one may be the wave of the future. But, with dedicated park and environmental advocates like Mary Case and others, we can be assured that our Hill parks will meet rigorous reviews before they transform into new recreational spaces. And, that is a good thing. Rindy O’Brien is a long-time resident of the hill, and is pleased to see so much community interest in the parks, even if it may be divided. To comment, rindyob@ ★

s hit a h G A R L L I H The ER! T T I W T D N A FACEBO O K “Like” HILL RAG to stay on top of your local community news on FACEBOOK

And/Or follow us on TWITTER #capitalcommnews ★ 113


Making the Most of a Townhouse Kitchen by Bruce Wentworth, AIA


he typical town house has a narrow galley kitchen, lacks natural light and is walled-off from the home’s living area. Some townhouse kitchens are so narrow it’s hard to get a 36” aisle down the middle. A small addition can often make a huge impact. Even a small narrow galley kitchen can be dramatically improved with thoughtful planning and design that maximizes every inch of kitchen space. A couple recently downsized from a suburban detached home to a 1920s urban townhouse and required a new kitchen. Located in one of the city’s historic districts the couple considered their new abode a long-term “retirement home” and wanted a new design to fit their lifestyle. The dark narrow galley kitchen had to go. The couple enjoyed chatting with guests while preparing meals

which meant that the wall between the dining room and kitchen had to be opened up. To provide space for a small breakfast table and expanded kitchen, a small addition was built on the footprint of an old rear porch.

Small Addition The clients knew that sacrificing their rear porch to build a kitchen extension was

a smart use of space. Simulated stucco panels, and casement windows fit gracefully with the older home. The sensitive design easily received approval from the DC Historic Preservation Office. An existing rear basement stair was accommodated by placing the new addition on masonry piers. Properly insulated at all exposures, heated with hot water baseboard, and supplemented with electric radiant floor heat, guarantees the addition will stay cozy in the winter. 114 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Windows and a glass door wrap the corner of the little addition providing garden views from the breakfast table and ample sunshine. A custom 24” x 30” walnut breakfast table was designed to fit the space perfectly.

Opening up the Wall Every inch matters in a small kitchen. Taking out the wall between the dining room and kitchen added 6” in width to the galley kitchen. By encroaching 12” into the dining room with base cabinets, storage was enhanced and dining room furniture minimized. Frosted glass cabinet doors provide visual interest with storage for the dining room. The addition provides extra length for the galley kitchen and two straight runs of cabinetry are a most efficient layout; there are no dead corner cabinets to waste space. The kitchen retains visual definition from the dining room because of the wide low-spring arch that divides the two spaces. Defined, but open, the arch resembles others in the residence and acts as a proscenium arch for the kitchen as the couple prepares dinner for their guests.

Details that Maximize Small kitchens rely on a host of design features to maximize space. Cabinets with roll-out shelving and functional accessories use space wisely. For this kitchen unused space was found under a stair to tuck in a pantry. Glass cabinet doors, mixed with solid doors, create a sense of lightness, pattern, and movement. With glass cabinet doors one can experience the extra depth of the cabinet to create the illusion of more space. In this kitchen oak floors were continued from the adjacent space to enhance the flow. White painted cabinets are always light, bright and traditional; and in this case the backsplash of white 3” x 6” subway tile continues a 1920s period style. A manmade counter top of Caesar Stone is practical and attractive. An existing cooling duct and a new exhaust duct within a bulkhead minimize visual clutter. A steel beam supports the brick above the new opening at the rear addition and allows the new and old spaces to appear seamless.

New Dining Room Furniture Plan The open plan kitchen fits the client’s informal lifestyle, and spurred our design team to tackle the useless “formal dining room” problem to further maximize space. Their traditional dining room table in the middle of the room was sold,

and a new smaller table, with pull-out leaves, was purchased to be placed against the wall. When more seating is required for guests the table is pulled away from the wall, centered in the room, and expands to seat eight. Flexible track lighting suits both furniture configurations. Two upholstered, host and hostess chairs with arms were specified for permanent use and smaller, armless chairs for guests, were placed in various rooms of the house until needed. With some additional upholstered seating the old dining room can double as a sitting room with a character appropriate to the homeowner’s informal lifestyle. Upon completing the remodeling the homeowners “were pleasantly surprised by the amount of sunlight streaming into the kitchen and dining room – what a difference from their old gloomy galley kitchen.” The design and construction team hit the right balance of efficient use of space and comfortable style. Bruce Wentworth, AIA is an architect and remodeling contractor. He is president of Wentworth, Inc. a residential design/ build firm. Visit or ★ ★ 115


What To Do With Your Roof? A Capitol Hill Roofing Makeover by Tom Daniel


his is a companion article to the October Hill Rag article of the same name which is intended to take some of the mystery out of roof work, what roofers do and as a guide to homeowners. The focus of this article is an actual case study of Hill homeowners faced with a big problem directly below their roof (the roof foundation) as well as the roof itself. Last winter’s heavy snows and ice formed from melting snow caused homeowners a lot of concern about their roof foundations. The heavy snow and ice dams which built up on gutters and spouts created many emergency situations throughout the city. In the worst cases roofs collapsed from the heavy weight. Roofing contractors were busy for months and in some cases are still working on jobs created by the severe weather. Weak foundations were especially vulnerable, creating added stress on the structure of the home. 116 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Joe and Vicky Smith of 8th St. S.E. had major roof leaking problems and significant wood decay in the roof foundation over a period of years. The winter of 2010 convinced them it was time to take serious action. According to Joe, “the old roof had sagged over the last century and created an area where rainwater collected. Under this area, I could see water stains on the rafters and joists in the attic and decayed wood where the rafters sagged. The insulation was

wet and we had to deal with leaks in two bedrooms. I knew that another bad winter would only make the damage worse, possibly even creating a dangerous situation.” They had to decide what to do with the rotten wood and what type

of new roof was best for them. Their existing roof was old and in disrepair. It was constructed of membrane above an old slag roof (gravel and tar). There were two roofs which had to be replaced which is not unusual on Capitol Hill homes. While new roofs constructed of modified bitumen or EPDM (aka “rubber” roof ) were fine and came with long term guarantees from the manufacturers, they chose to have their existing old membrane and slag roofs removed and replaced with three new copper roofs covering the entire structure of

their home. About half of the roofs’ total surfaces required new sheets of plywood as well. The new wood to support the roof foundation would calm the concerns previously experienced by Joe and Vicky. “This was a long term investment in our home that was consistent with our long term outlook,” said Vicky. Copper roofs are fire and spark resistant and resistant to hail and wind. A copper roof properly installed will last as many as 100 years and requires little maintenance. They had also considered a tin or terne metal roof. These roofs are currently composed of a fairly equal blend of tin and zinc. Terne is used to coat sheet steel to inhibit corrosion. Terne metal must be painted initially and periodically thereafter but can last 50 years or more. Finally, the gutters and spouts on the home were older aluminum and the decision was made to install new copper gutters and spouts. “We chose copper gutters and downspouts for their aesthetic appeal and harmony with the roof materials. As a sailor, I also knew that mixing dissimilar materials such as copper and aluminum causes galvanic corrosion,” said Joe. This mixing accelerates the corrosion process. The Smiths’ roofing experience is a similar one for many homeowners with older flat or low slope roofs. Some of these older homes have sagging roofs, decaying roof foundations and leaks. The key is to seek guidance on how to correct a roof foundation problem and what the options are to replace your roof. That is especially true when considering the upcoming winter season. Tom Daniel is the owner of R. Thomas Daniel Roofing and specializes in working on flat and low slope roofs on Capitol Hill. He and his family have been in the roofing business on the Hill for more than 90 years. He can be reached at 443-968-0311 (Maryland #) or by email at ★ ★ 117



Ask Judith

Recharged, Not Lined, and Locked by Judith Capen, RA


aybe this article is premature since those holiday gifts with rechargeable batteries haven’t had a chance get to the inevitable point where they lose their ooooomph, refusing to take a charge. But, when your new rechargeable appliance batteries do give out, you can have them actually rebuilt. About thirty years ago I found the best-ever electric eraser. Until then, the only electric erasers I knew were heavy and tethered by their power cords. (You may wonder: electric eraser!? Before computers people in architects’ offices sat at drafting tables and drew all day. Before my time it was with ink. In my day we drew on linen or vellum with graphite and later with plastic

lead on mylar. The saying was, “Don’t draw more in the morning than you can erase in the afternoon.” We had eraser shields for precision erasing. We also had extensive collections of specialized erasers: pink for pencil, grey for ink, vinyl for mylar…) My dream eraser was rechargeable, took and held a charge wonderfully, and was modestly sized. And so it was for decades. But then it got pitiful. My first, quintessentially American, thought was to buy a new eraser, but I discovered that its manufacturer no longer existed. I couldn’t even find the erasers or replacement batteries on eBay. Then, as sometimes happily happens when looking for things on the Internet, I found a company that rebuilds rechargeable batteries. Hopeful,

Graffiti notwithstanding, this is a solution to the problem of security for a lock that needs to be operable from the inside without a key. The steel plate is sized to prevent access and even decorated with applied checker plate. Both these pictures illustrate selectivity: preventing access just where needed, within an arm reach of the thumb turn or door knob on the secure side.

but not yet convinced, I sent them pictures of my eraser, opened up to expose its little motor and battery. They said, sure, they could rebuild the battery and I didn’t even have to unsolder it: just mail the entire thing. They rebuilt the battery and now the eraser works with energy it hasn’t had for a very long time. I highly recommend these guys. You may not save much money rebuilding rechargeable battery packs you can buy at Home Depot, but if your treasured piece of equipment is no longer made or if you like the idea of keeping a battery in service instead of tossing it (ooops, I mean recycling) these are the guys.

The photo I sent to Voltman Batteries to see if they could rebuild the battery in my peerless, both by name and by character, electric eraser. (Visible as the white object in the picture) They could and they did and I confidently expect another thirty years from my eraser. 118 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Q. I enjoy your articles. I anticipate doing some work on

my windows. Reviewing your articles about windows I noticed a reference to “jamb liners.” What are they? A. “Jamb liners” are one of the reasons for our 20th c. incredible levels of productivity. Historically, double or single hung windows operated by means of a rope or chain attached to cast iron weights in weight pockets, fed over a pulley. “Jamb liners” are flat pieces of vinyl or aluminum with channels so the sash moves up and down, staying put through a pressure fit. One of the common ways to upgrade old windows is to install “replacement sash” in jamb liners. (“Sash” is the part of the window that moves. In a double hung window both the upper and lower sash operate. People lowered the upper sash to â&#x2DC;&#x2026; 119

The Capitol Hill Garden Club presents

Dear Garden Problem Lady,

This solution to security near the lock was planned before fabrication instead of just slamming some metal on an existing gate. Putting the vertical bars close together prevents someone from reaching through and opening the gate, but in the vocabulary of the ironwork.

allow hot air trapped at the ceiling to escape while cooler air, everyone hoped, came in the opening from the open lower sash. Only one of the two sash moves in a single hung window, normally the lower one.) Sometimes people will keep the frame of their old windows and replace just the sash to get double pane glass. Most people who make replacement sash install them with sash liners instead of fussing with the ropes, pulleys, and sash weights. Another way to upgrade historic windows is to have a company called Bi-Glass rout out your existing sash to accommodate double pane glass. Bi-Glass will reinstall the sash with your sash cords, weights, and pulleys but they prefer jamb liners for obvious reasons. The reason I don’t like jamb liners is that we know the system of sash cords, weights, and pulleys works and has worked for more than a hundred years whereas we know vinyl is not a hundred-year material. It’s a bit of a quandary because the jamb liner system makes a tighter window. Our historic windows are made of old-growth wood that is more durable than modern farmed lumber. The old sash are assembled with 120 ★ HillRag | January 2011

pegs and mortises and tenons that allow them to be disassembled to replace parts. The operating system of cords, weights, and pulleys is simple and all the parts can be replaced. The chill is from the fact that double hung windows, by their nature, are less air tight, by a factor of nine, than awning, casement, or other windows with hardware that pulls the sash tight to the frame. It is theoretically possible to tune up double hung windows with bronze weatherstipping but is hard to find people with the skills and interest. So, while old double hung windows are beautifully made of terrific materials, they can be miserable to live with. Installing exterior storm windows is the recommended solution, which, while tightening things up also protects the historic windows. Jamb liners are but one aspect of window replacement, a complex equation. But original windows for all their sometime breeziness are worth working to keep. Why toss Auntie Irene’s walnut breakfront in favor of Ikea?

Q. The inspector told my neighbor her security gate lock

has to be able to let you out without a key in case of fire or emergency. She installed this REALLY ugly screen so someone wouldn’t be able to reach in and open the security gate from the outside. Is there a better way? A. I think ugly is never the answer, for anything. New York has been enforcing this regulation for some time so homeowners and iron workers there have developed some solutions that are potentially more attractive than what people are doing on the Hill. The two photos at the beginning of this article illustrate two key principles: 1. Plan ahead: If you are getting any security iron, plan for this code provision. Modify the design so this protection is integral to the grille. 2. Limit the blockage to where you need it. You don’t need an entire security gate of expanded metal mesh unless you anticipate felonious octopi. Real Architect, i.e. Registered Architect. This column written by Judith Capen who can be reached at ★

I needed a small, compact, evergreen bush so I planted a Burford holly, which said “dwarf ” on the tag. More than ten years later it is no dwarf – taller than I am, and ten times wider. A knowledgeable friend told me last May that I had “missed the pruning window” of this large bush. What pruning advice can you offer? The so-called pruning window occurs when the bush is dormant – from now until just before its dormancy breaks – end of February, early March. The dwarf Burford holly has a size at maturity of roughly 8 feet by 8 feet – so you will need to prune, and keep pruning each year, unless you can live with that size. Do not prune more than one-third of the bush in any one year. Cut dead boughs first, and work from inside out, careful not to spoil the shape of the bush. Make your cuts just above a growth bud. I understand that some seeds need cold weather in order to germinate properly. How does that work? When should I plant my poppy seeds? The Capitol Hill Garden Club’s resident genetic biologist, Dr. Ruth Timme, offers this little primer: Plants can drop their seeds at various times across the growing season, from late spring to late fall. A seed’s germination strategy depends on its life history and ecological requirements. Most plants have a combination of physical and chemical cues to let them know when to germinate. On

Additions & Basement Experts the east coast, the physical cues are often a wearing down of the seed coat, allowing moisture to make contact with the embryo. The chemical cues are often tied with temperature, such as a cool period (or so-called “cold stratification”). The cold stratification is usually species specific. Some can be quite complicated (warm + cold + warm) and others require only a brief cold snap to promote germination. The more complex the cues, the more finely tuned the plant is to its environment, so that a brief warm weekend in early January does not trick the seed into germinating, only to get pummeled with snow a week later. On the west coast, there are several species of plants that will germinate only after a fire makes contact with the dormant seeds; other seeds need to go through the gut of a bird before they’ll sprout! Now about your poppies – Sow them in late February, early March. Feeling beset by gardening problems? Send them to the Problem Lady c/o The Capitol Hill Garden Club at andrew@ Your problems might prove instructive to others, and help them feel superior to you. Complete anonymity is assured. Capitol Hill Garden Club programs are free. On Tuesday, January 11 2011 at 7 p.m., the Club will feature a panel of members talking about their own gardens – “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. At the Church of the Brethren, 4th Street door, corner North Carolina Avenue and 4th Street, SE. Membership details at 202-543-7539. ★

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homesgardens gardenspot

Winter Beauty In Your Landscape Color, Texture, and Contrast in the Winter Garden Photos and article by Derek Thomas


1 2

rost has withered even our toughest annuals. Our show-stopping perennials have had their final encore and the ghostly silhouettes of stark leafless trees have replaced the beautiful fall foliage. There are many things to keep a gardener busy during the late fall and early winter; planting bulbs, amending soils, final pruning, and the last clean up of the season. While performing these maintenance tasks, there are many reasons to remain inspired as you put you garden to rest. One thing to consider as you plan to install new plants is that there are trees and shrubs that are beautiful all year long. Plant beauty does not only come in the form of lush green foliage. You can add plants that will provide you with everything from wonderful peeling bark to attractive evergreen foliage and red berries. These plants shine and glow in our otherwise quiet, wintry gardens. The following list is some of my favorite picks for winter beauty. After you check out the list take a stroll around the Hill and check out the trees and shrubs that are a part of this story and a vibrant winter attraction throughout Capitol Hill. This is a great way to renew your gardening vigor on a blustery winter day.

River Birch, Betula Nigra This is perhaps the toughest of all birch species. Found natively throughout the Northeast, the South and in 122 ★ HillRag | January 2011

3 4


1 A River Birches peeling bark is stark and beautiful in the winter landscape 2 Kousa Dogwood has an abstract marbled bark in winter 3 Acuba japonica is green and colorful all winter long 4 Nandina’s red berries are colorful and decorative in the winter landscape 5 Western Arborviate is a hardy evergreen that makes a great natural screen

parts of the Midwest. It is very tolerant of poorly drained soil, heat, humidity, and an array of pests. River birch can be natively found along riverbeds in our area. They thrive in the very moist, silty soils. This birch has a beautiful cinnamon to creamy brown flaking bark that becomes darker with age. It will get to be large and is a great shade tree in the summer garden. But, due to is ease of care, disease and drought resistance and beautiful, peeling bark it is one of the best birches in the winter garden.

Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa This dogwood blooms about three weeks later than the native dogwood. The blooms are just as memorable and give quite a different show since they emerge after the tree’s leaves have opened. Both species are known for their showy flowers, colorful fall display and red berries. The Kousa has a habit of forming a more multi-bough, umbrella shaped, medium canopy that is very attractive when planted as a specimen tree. The most striking aspect of the Kousa is its beautiful flaking bark that displays various shades of tan, gray and brown. The picture perfect growth habit and beautiful flaking bark make the Kousa Dogwood a memorable addition to the winter landscape.

American Beech, Fagus grandifolia Beeches are perhaps the most elegant and noble of the deciduous trees. Their smooth silver gray bark, which can be compared to an elephants skin, will brighten even the darkest of winter landscapes. A native to North American forests the silvery gray to nearly white bark of the American beech was known as the ghost tree to native Americans.

Gold Dust Plant, Acuba japonica ‘Variegata’ This shrub is a good example of the beauty that broad leaf evergreens add to the landscape. This variety has dark green shiny leaves with irregular splotches, freckles, and splashes of gold to yellow. The patterns remind me of a two-toned Jackson Pollack canvas. The green stems are thick and smooth. The gold dust plant will easily reach 6 to 10 feet high with a spread that is slightly less. Plant in partial shade in well-drained soil and add ample organic matter annually. Placing it in full sun will cause bleaching or scalding of the leaves. Cuttings can be harvested and used for decorations during the holiday season.

Camellia, Camellia sasanqua Camellias are close relatives to the tea plant (Camellia sinensis); they are beautiful, glossy, dark leaved evergreen, shrubs that have many different flower colors and types to

choose from. The flowers range from white to pink to red and some have two colors on the same flower. The flowers are; single, semidouble, and double and can mimic other flowers like peonies or roses. The species sasanqua blooms in the late fall to early winter. In our Washington gardens you can have blooms in mid to late December depending on the mildness of early winter. Plant all camellias in well-protected areas since winter winds can burn the leaves. In our gardens the best exposure is western or northern. They will thrive in moist well-drained acidic soil high in organic compost.

Heavenly Bamboo, Nandina domestica The common name that has been given to this native of China may deter many gardeners from planting it. However, rest assured that this plant is not related to the aggressive bamboo plants many of us have a love hate relationship with. In fact this plant forms a rather neat clump as it matures. The dark shiny green leaves are sets of leaflets and the appearance is graceful and fern like. The foliage is evergreen and changes color to beautiful shades of reds in the winter. The white clusters of springtime flowers mature into grape-like bunches of red berries in fall. The berries provide a dramatic display on the plant or can be used in holiday arrangements. If left on the plants the berries will last the entire winter. The culture of this plant makes it a must for anyone looking for a low maintenance attractive addition to the landscape. It will grow in many soil types and light exposures and is very tolerant of dense shade. Regular pruning by removing the entire oldest cane will help to keep young shoots coming. Pruning can be done in late winter.


Western Arborvitae, Thuja plicata This arborvitae has a wonderful pyramidal growth habit. It is evergreen, and has an emerald green to golden cast on its leaves. This large shrub is perfect for use in screening and can mature to 50 feet tall. However it responds quite well to pruning and can be sheared into a very attractive hedge. During the winter it is quite durable to the damaging weight of snow. It is also very tolerant of either full sun or shade. This is a great replacement for the often over used Leyland Cypress. Give this shrub moist well-drained fertile soil and watch it thrive. Derek Thomas is principal of Thomas Landscapes. His garden designs have been featured on HGTV’s Curb Appeal. His weekly garden segment can be seen on WTTG/Fox 5 in Washington. He can be reached at or 301.642.5182. ★

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O R C H I D S Remarkably Easy by Joe Carmack


verybody seems to like orchids. A few, not without reason, may be a little intimidated by them. I guess it’s their exotic beauty and unfamiliarity that scares people off. Sometimes it’s hard, even being in the business, to convince customers otherwise. But if they appeal to you, give them a try. They work great in urban homes from modern loft to Victorian townhouse. They add life and brilliant color. Orchids thrive in the bright defused light emanating from large industrial windows. Surprisingly, they are proving themselves quite smart jumping from jungle to modern city life and adapting easily. I visited with Room and Board visual merchandiser Angela Hayes in their store on 14th Street.. She likes using orchids with her displays for their simplicity, beauty and durability, which fit perfectly with the store’s main design principles. We placed orchids around the store, and they looked ideal in this modern, light filled setting. Angela will be using more orchids in displays with the new 2011 furniture collection due to arrive mid-January.

Phalaenopsis. Photo by Jeremy Hube 124 ★ HillRag | January 2011

Cymbidiums. Photo by Joe Camack

Interestingly enough, orchids found their way into the Victorian townhouse more than a century ago. Here a certain sense of nostalgia prevails in having orchids. The Victorians were mad about their botany, adoring exotic and non-native plants. They treated their orchids like pampered pets. There is a strong association between orchids and the Victorian townhouse that works well even today.

Caring for Orchids Orchids widely available in this area are the Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium and Cymbidium. They are not difficult to care for but require some attention to detail. Here are the main factors to consider in caring for an orchid: light, water, potting medium and air moisture. Orchids like bright, indirect light. If they are getting the right amount of light, they will have healthy, medium-colored green leaves (just imagine a smidge of yellowish tint). Dark green leaves are a sign that the plant is not getting enough light. Equally as important as light is darkness. Keeping a lamp on at night close to an orchid might not be the best idea, particularly if you are trying to get an orchid to bloom again. As to watering, the golden rule is to never let an orchid sit in water. Always test the orchid medium before watering; if it is moist to the touch, wait to water. In general, wait 7-10 days and then water thoroughly. Our DC water is treated and has added minerals not natural to orchids, particularly sodium. If possible, not a must, try watering your plants with distilled water. Know your medium. The Phalaenopsis and Dendrobium are epiphytes as are most orchids, which grow high in tree branches. (They cause no damage to their host.) These orchids should be planted in bark, not potting soil, in an orchid pot with openings around the sides. This allows air to reach the roots. Leave the fuzzy aerial roots showing. They add to the visual charm. Cymbidiums are terrestrial. They can grow either in or on the ground. They should be planted using one part bark to two parts soilless medium, both easily available at your local



“I suppose I do have one embarrassing passion- I want to know what it feels like to care about something passionately.” - Susan Orlean The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession.

neighborhood garden shop. There are many types of terrestrial orchids requiring different medium combinations. So when in doubt, always check with your sales person for answers. Other factors to consider for healthy orchids are humidity and temperature. Humidity should be around 40 to 70 percent. You can test humidity using a hygrometer. The general “recommended” temperature range should be between mid50s nighttime and mid-70s daytime degrees. Orchids often bloom for 68 weeks, and then bloom again the following year. Apply all these easy care instructions for a healthy, re-blooming orchid. The reward is great. Passions run high among orchid growers and studies show that blooming orchids have an emotional impact on humans, enhancing sharing, intimacy, and a sense of life satisfaction. Joe Carmack is owner of Garden District and a landscape designer/consultant, graduate of the George Washington University, Landscape Design Studies program. He’s a lifelong gardener dedicated to bringing great plants and resources to the urban-landscape and to making DC a more green and inviting city. You can reach him at joecarmack@ or visit the garden shop’s website at ★


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Barracks Row Moratorium, A Bad Idea The ANC 6B Commissioners are considering a moratorium on all new ABC licensed restaurants on Barracks Row on 8th Street, SE. Review of other ANC districts around the city show that moratoriums don’t solve the problems for which they were implemented, and they do cause other unforeseen problems such as vacant storefronts and dissension among neighbors. In considering a moratorium there should be but two questions for the ANC Commissioners: Do the residents of ANC 6B want an end to new dining options on Barracks Row? And is it in the best interest of the whole ANC6B community to bar all new ABC licensed restaurants from Barracks Row? The Barracks Row commercial corridor languished as a commercial destination for many decades, even as the larger community of ANC 6B flourished. Main Street Development Grants and a lot of hard work by community leaders have finally brought a commercial renaissance to Barracks Row. And new restaurants have led that renaissance, largely because restaurants are uniquely synergistic businesses -- the more there are, the more business they all generate and share (and that business activity spills over to other businesses in the area). Are we now to shut down further development of the primary industry that has made Barracks Row a consumer destination for our community? Business entrepreneurs all know that industries must grow or 134 ★ HillRag | January 2011

ANC 6B Abuses Its Power

Vibrant Restaurant Row on Barracks Row. Photo by Andrew Lightman.

they wither and die. Noise, limited parking space and pedestrian crowds are endemic to healthy commercial activity, and those issues should be addressed by the ANC. But in the best long-term interest of the community, the threat of a moratorium should be quickly removed from consideration lest we arrest the local commercial activity that we all prayed for and prize. Every resident of Ward 6B should consider the following questions and then contact their ANC Commissioner about the proposed moratorium on new restaurants on Barracks Row. 1. Do residents of Ward 6B want a vibrant and inviting commercial atmosphere on Barracks Row? 2. Do residents of Ward 6B want more and different dining choices? 3. Does commercial zoning exist for the benefit of the whole

community? 4. Should all residents of Ward 6B have input into what businesses locate on the few commercially zoned streets in their neighborhood? 5. Should adjacent residents have veto power over what businesses can locate on commercially zoned streets? 6. On the question of moratoriums, should the ANC Commissioners represent their constituents in their districts, or should they defer to the residents who live adjacent to the commercial streets? 7. When looking for locations to start new businesses, do entrepreneurs fear and avoid communities that use moratoriums to control business activity? Consider these questions carefully. Larry D. Quillian

As a Capitol Hill resident since 1984, and a close-in neighbor to Barracks Row, I am surprised and disappointed that our ANC has chosen to wield its power over liquor licenses to try to shape a misguided economic fantasy by trying to ban new restaurants from our neighborhood, most recently the proposed Pacifico in the soon-to-be-vacated Capitol Hill Video space. Barracks Row is one of if not the most successful and healthy examples of neighborhood renaissance anywhere in the District of Columbia. The new restaurants that have opened along Eighth Street over the past few years have done nothing but improve our neighborhood. Our streets are safer. Our children have a better sense of community. Our property values are enhanced. My family can walk to an amazing choice of quality dining choices that just a few years back were nothing but check cashing stores and carryouts behind bulletproof glass. We have gone from a desolated and unsafe no-man’s land to a coveted destination within the city. When we walk the dog down Eighth Street at night, there is a level of vitality and excitement I have never before seen on Capitol Hill. Our neighbors sit at tables joined by a diverse assortment of well-dressed and well-behaved patrons experiencing and enjoying our Capitol Hill -and spreading the good word. It is the presence of a positive, family-friendly growth of quality sit-down restaurants that has led this transformation, and I believe it is the continued growth of this sector that will lead us

to even greater prosperity and retail opportunities in the future. The ANC cannot use a liquor license as a proxy for controlling or directing economic development - It won’t work, and it’s not right. If there is a perceived need to balance the business mix on Eighth Street, then the ANC should look at Business Enterprise Zones or zoning overlays. The current Retail Mix Task Force and Lower 8th Street Visioning process are good examples of how one can take a comprehensive multifaceted look at development issues affecting the community. An ad hoc attempt to regulate development through the liquor licensing process is not. Banning new restaurants won’t bring us a better retail mix – it will just add to what are already a disturbing number of empty storefronts and “for rent” signs up and down Barracks Row. If anything, the vibrant business community created by a dynamic assortment of dining establishments will encourage, not discourage, the “feeder” customers that will patronize new specialty retail before and after their meals. And with respect to parking concerns, it would certainly seem that retail shoppers intending to bring home bags and boxes of purchases will shun public transportation in favor of private vehicles more than restaurant patrons. The ANC should re-examine its motives and objectives, and allow our neighborhood to continue its longsought road to even better health and prosperity. Very Truly Yours, James M. Loots, Esq.

Sometimes Wishes Come True Wow! I was walking down 8th Street recently and couldn’t believe my eyes. The street was busy; patio café’s were full, and people were actually waiting to get in to restaurants. What a wonderful sight, especially for someone who dreamed of this day, but never thought he would live to see it. It seems not so long ago that I pulled into Capitol Hill in my yellow Pinto, with a $5000 receipt in my pocket for the down payment for a run-down auto parts store on 8th street called Penn Auto Supply. It was 1977, the streets were also busy then -- with panhandlers, alcoholics, drug addicts, small time thieves, shabby store-fronts, and undercover police everywhere. It looked like a scene from “Hill Street Blues” (if you’re old enough to remember that show). I thought to myself, I gave up a future teaching position in Howard County school system for all this! I must be nuts. But that auto parts store, which I renamed South East Auto Supply and that unattractive block allowed me to meet some of the smartest, energetic, kindest, hard working entrepreneurs with their own dreams over the next three decades. Some were already there, some moved in over time. People like: • Harry Kroll who owned District Lock for many years before he retired and sold out. • Bernie Sr. and Ophelia Williams, who left the teaching profession to open up Chats Liquor and Ophelia’s Flowers. • Cissy Webb, owner of Frame of

Mine, who brought class, to not such a classy place. Don Denton, a true real estate pioneer, always an active volunteer for the betterment of the Hill. Kitty Kaupp, along with Ken Golding and Frank Reed, who had the insight to invest and always create a new beautiful structure on every project they built, that always enhanced our area. Rick and Jon Genderson, who took their family liquor store and made a wine industry out of it. John Distad (who graduated from the same college and year as I did) along with his brothers Rick and Roy who carried on their father’s business with pride and honesty. This is the most honest auto repair shop in America. I should know—I’ve sold to hundreds of shops over the years. Nico at Alberto Trattoria was the funniest man on earth and a pioneer on 8th Street. Angelika Werner who built Headlines Salon, with a few credit cards and a pair of scissors. Chuck Burger who came from my hometown of Columbia to build a deli on 7th Street, then went into real estate and politics, and never stopped working hard and believing in the potential of the Hill. JJ and Heindrick who followed their dream to 12th and Penn and opened their service station. The most memorable character of them all, and I say that with

affection, was and is Jean-Keith Fagon (Keith to his old friends), founder and owner of he Hill Rag. I remember he would walk all day delivering a small folded sheet of paper and slid it thru the mail slots in each house on the Hill. He than would spend the next month talking every business into advertising in this small “Rag.” (It ain’t small any more, my friend. Hats off to you, and Melissa.) So many more entrepreneurs I could mention who all had the courage, the guts, the fortitude to put it all on the line every day to try to create there dream on Capitol Hill. We saw it all in 30 years, up markets, down markets, , but never did we dream of such a beautiful formation of businesses and the creation that the new generation of entrepreneurs has brought to 8th Street. Seven years ago a young Belgium chap named Bart came to me to put a high-end restaurant in part of my building that had occupied South East Auto and Capitol Video Sales. I said, “You want to do what? On 8th Street?!” Bart put his hardhat on, spent 20 hours a day planning the space, with a lot of obstacles, put $100s of thousands of dollars into the buildout and a year later Belga Café was opened, and everyone can agree that it’s awesome. Now we have a young group of entrepreneurs who are willing to put of hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars to open up businesses on our beloved 8th Street, in this economy. Do you think the City of Detroit ★ 135

would say no, Vegas, or the hard hit Midwest. They would welcome these smart entrepreneurs with open arms. These businesses will create tax revenue desperately needed by the city and employ people in work that does not require a college degree. This city needs more jobs for people that live here that will give them an opportunity to move up the ladder without going to Harvard. The people that oppose more food establishments on 8th Street should remember the sacrifices that have been made for decades to bring 8th Street to its current point, and realize how fragile this success can be, especially in the current economy. Is the answer to their concerns really to put barriers in the way of people willing to take a chance on our community. Maybe instead they should just enjoy the fruits of others hard Two oaks were felled to accommodate the improvements to Watkins Field. Planned installation of artificial turf could be a detriment to our work, watch their real estate valnatural surroundings in the opinion of the author of the letter below. ues go up and enjoy the wonderful food on one of the most amazing upgrades and operational improve- usage, and the loss of true green to install it? Why was this expense streets in America. ments for years. space to a plastic and rubber Field- not applied to keeping the existCheers to all I am concerned, however, that Turf field. ing grass field in good condition, or Jimmie Townsend the current plan was not revealed to One of my main concerns is – for those who do not want a new Townsend Properties, Capitol Vid- the neighborhood (Nov. 30) until it maintenance. The state of the play- synthetic field – used to get the deeo sales, Capitol Motor Sports was already let to a contractor and ing field alone shows that the De- graded grass field back into just days away from the start of con- partment of Parks and Recreation, tion? It does not take an ideal world struction (Dec. 6). This is not the ap- which has responsibility for the to maintain a grass field. propriate way to engage the commu- facility, has not provided regular Synthetic turf is said to require Improvements on Watkins Field As someone who lives across nity that will be directly impacted by maintenance up to now, so I am not lower annual maintenance than clear how that situation will im- grass, but the field and the other new the street from Watkins Recreation this major $1.2M project. This very important issue of lack prove. If there was not commitment equipment to be installed will not be Center (at Watkins Elementary), I am pleased that the DC govern- of process aside, there are a number to maintenance of the existing field, maintenance-free by any means. Acment is taking action to improve this of other concerns I have about the where will the funding and commit- cording to the FieldTurf web site, facility. The neighborhood has been project: maintenance, apparent lack ment come from to maintain this these fields require regular brushsuggesting and requesting specific of a plan for the impacts of increased new field, after the huge expense ing, aerating, raking, sweeping, infill

136 ★ HillRag | January 2011

(rubber) replenishment, and application of various optional cleaning and conditioning fluids. There will be a scoreboard, bleachers, goalposts, and more. Will all this be kept safe for users? Then, what happens in 10 years when the lifespan of this field is over (according to the manufacturer)? Will taxpayers have to pay another half-million-plus dollars for a new field, plus disposal of the old one? I fear this plan is short-sighted. I am also concerned about the loss of green space. I had no idea that artificial turf was being considered for Watkins, and feel uneasy about it from an aesthetic and environmental point of view. Why reduce our already dwindling urban green space with this material? What about the psychological and emotional benefits of interacting with nature, especially for our children? Instead of a natural field that produces oxygen and cools the air, a synthetic field is “dead” and increases ambient air temperature significantly – apparently so much that it cannot be played on at times. What if kids want to just sit on the grass and watch bugs crawl or have a picnic? Artificial turf has raised environmental concerns and there are differing interpretations of the studies that have been done. I have read that excessive dust is given off by the fields, and I have been told there is a strong smell of rubber in the summer. I know that no parent would knowingly expose their children to harm. At the very least, we should be told exactly what this synthetic field is going to be made of and be given the Material Safety Data Sheets for

the components. But why not install a sod field and maintain it with modern, low environmental impact practices that are being practiced successfully by so many communities today – not the high fertilizer and high pesticide model that is out of favor. Embracing this paradigm for field management would be a much greater contribution to our environment and wellbeing, now and in the long term. My other very significant concern with the project at the Watkins Recreation Center is the plan for increased use without any apparent plan for managing all that comes along with increased use – parking, garbage, restrooms, and a range of behaviors that impact the neighborhood. We already tolerate double parking, constant litter, public urination, and late-night noise. I cannot imagine how the area can handle 200 spectators at events. This field is in a close residential neighborhood with no buffer zone. The immediate neighbors are directly affected by all activities there. I know that other community members are concerned about access, the outdated playground, lighting, and the lack of information that has been provided about this project. There are many reasons to start a dialog with the entire community about this project now, before it goes any further. Claire Peachey, Ward 6

Southwest Deserves Better Educational Choices We do not have access to high quality education through DCPS because we live in Southwest and opportunities are extremely limited. We’re desperate for “Superman,” because drastic and immediate change is needed. Currently, our assigned elementary school, Amidon-Bowen, is identified as a school “in need of improvement,” with passing rates at the 29thand 24th percentile for reading and mathematics. No child should be in a school where they have a 25% chance or less of getting an education adequate enough to reach the minimum grade level standard. The effects of inadequate education are enduring and pervasive, yet the students at Amidon-Bowen are forced to wait for incremental improvement as they fall further behind. That is right—children are being “left behind.” Students will never recapture these years that have been void of a quality educational opportunity. Students and a school with the greatest need are getting what appears to be the least support in Ward 6. Why wouldn’t a whole neighborhood assigned to Amidon-Bowen based on the district boundary lines be working to reopen Van Ness at 4th and M Streets, SE? The underlying message here is clear—Amidon-Bowen is not a school that would meet their needs. They don’t want their children to go to Amidon-Bowen, so much so that they are asking that limited resources be spent to open a new school just 1.1

miles away. The impact of not fixing Amidon-Bowen, the incremental approach toward improvement there, and efforts and resources invested toward opening another school will go far beyond the current students at Amidon-Bowen. If Amidon-Bowen were a high achieving school, people would be clamoring to get in and rallying around it to be a part of the success. Sure, we parents newly entering the school market could take our shot at a lottery, but wouldn’t attending the neighborhood school be in the best interest of the community? The reality is the lottery system is not in most children’s favor. Further, traveling to a school outside of the neighborhood prevents the building of a supportive community, friendships, and cohesion in our area. Those fortunate enough to have a choice will spend their time preparing to move, applying to private schools, or out of area schools via the lottery, and building community cannot happen. Also, these options mean resources will not be directed to AmidonBowen, the neighborhood school. It clearly means there are many people desiring a better school option. As a parent I would like to elevate the educational opportunities currently available within DCPS/PCS for Southwest DC. We are open to collaborative approaches to address the needs of the diverse community, but we aren’t willing to leave AmidonBowen students behind. Respectfully, Dr. Julia Peyton ★ ★ 137

Give the Gift of Community! Subscribe to the Hill Rag Today! Get Your Hill Rag @ Home! Residents of Ward 6 Can Now Subscribe for $12 per year. Get The Hill Rag Delivered Directly to Your Door. Call Southwest Distribution, Inc. 202-678-8350 Ext. 352 or Email

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Hill Rag January 2011  

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