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1250 Taylor St. NW Washington, DC 20011 p. 202 545-0515 f. 202 545-0517

Serving Preschool, Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade for the 2013-2014 school year A new grade will be added each year through 5th grade. Attend one of our Information / Open House Sessions to learn more about the school. INFORMATION / OPEN HOUSE SESSIONS ON THURSDAYS: December 13 & 20 from 9:30 am – 10:30 am January 10 & 24 from 9:30 am – 10:30 am

February 7 & 21 from 9:30 am – 10:30 am March 7 & 14 from 9:30 am – 10:30 am

You must register to attend, limit of 20 people per session. Call (202) 545-0515 to register.

Application deadline March 15th, 2013. Lottery March 22nd, 2013 Apply for admissions at or by coming to the school. We are building on our strong foundation as an early childhood program. Come be a founding member of the elementary school!

Program Features: Before Care starting at 7:30 am and after care until 6:00 pm. Small classroom size and well trained staff. Individual planning for each student. Hands-on and project-based curriculum. Bridges Public Charter School is free and open to all DC residents. Tuition paid by non-residents.



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GO.SEE.DO. “Season’s Greenings” at the US Botanic Garden.

Get into the holiday spirit at the US Botanic Garden’s annual holiday exhibit, Season’s Greenings. The Conservatory is adorned with wreaths, garlands, living ornaments and filled with model trains, buildings made from plant materials and a vast collection of poinsettias to celebrate the wonder of the winter holiday season. The famous Garden Railway in the East Gallery features model trains running through an imaginative Enchanted Forest, with fanciful fairy dwellings along the rail line, all created with plant materials. Enjoy blooming plants throughout the Conservatory and a living history of poinsettias. The West Gallery houses one of the largest indoor decorated trees in Washington, DC, and the Garden Court is home to a display of model landmark buildings from our Nation’s capital, all made from plant materials. 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-225-8333.

fantasy soars in the young and young at heart with model trains, as they chug along more than 800 feet of track through the usBg Enchanted forest. Photo: Courtesy of the architect of the Capitol.

Reclaiming the Edge: Urban Waterways and Civic Engagement Based on research by the Anacostia Community Museum on the history, public use, and attitudes toward the Anacostia River and its watershed and on review of urban waterway developments in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Louisville, London, and Shanghai, Reclaiming the Edge explores various issues regarding human interaction with natural resources in an urban setting. It looks at densely populated watersheds and at rivers as barriers to racial and ethnic integration. The exhibition also examines civic attempts to recover, clean up, re-imagine, or engineer urban rivers for community access and use. This exhibition, on view through September 15, 2013, kicked off the museum’s 45th anniversary. 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820. 8 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

Learning to paddle a voyageur canoe on the Anacostia River. Photo: Photo by Keith Hyde, US Army Corps of Engineers, 2011; Wilderness Inquiry, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Twelfth Day of Christmas at George Washington’s Birthplace George Washington was born at Popes Creek in 1732 and remained at this plantation until age 3 when the family moved to another one of the family’s properties at Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Popes Creek farm stayed in the Washington family until it passed first to the state of Virginia and then to the Federal government for preservation and protection. The Washington family celebrated the 12 days of Christmas which begins on Christmas Day and ends on January 5th. George and Martha Washington were married on Epiphany, January 6, 1759. On Saturday, Jan 5, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Memorial House (the original house is long gone) will be decorated for the holidays and filled with colonial music. The plantation will be busy with demonstrations and activities performed by costumed interpreters. Visitors will have an opportunity to play a variety of African drums and the park will be illuminated at dusk with candles. Popes Creek (near Colonial Beach, VA) is about 2 hours from DC. 804-224-1732. Christmas revelers inside the Memorial House. Photo: Couresty of the National Park Service

“Wonderful Life” The Return of a New Holiday Classic!

Through Dec 30, Theatre Alliance partners with the Hub Theatre for the return of the Helen Hayes nominated play, “Wonderful Life”, based on Capra’s, It’s a Wonderful Life. Once again, this holiday season, they follow George Bailey through highs and lows as he struggles to understand his own worth, and ultimately find that life is worth living. “Wonderful Life” features Jason Lott in a breath-taking tour of Bedford Falls. This exciting and demanding one-person show will delight audiences of all ages this holiday season. If you saw it during its first run, you know it’s a feel-good experience that is not to be missed. To order your tickets via phone, call 202-241-2539 or online at theateralliance. com. This production will be the final performance of Theater Alliance at the H Street Playhouse.

Jason Lott as George Bailey in “Wonderful Life” at the H Street Playhouse.

New Year’s Eve at National Archives The National Archives will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with a special display of the original document. The Emancipation Proclamation is displayed only for a limited time each year because of its fragility, which can be made worse by exposure to light, and the need to preserve it for future generations. On New Year’s Eve there will be Watch Night festivities at 11:30 p.m. with a performance by Washington Revels Heritage Voices and Midnight–Bell ringing by Harriet Tubman, portrayed by historical re-enactor. On New Year’s Day, there will be a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at 9:00 a.m. The first hundred guests in line at the main museum entrance at Constitution Ave. and 9th St. NW, by 8:15 a.m., are invited to enter the building to experience the dramatic reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, musician, song talker, and scholar. All events are in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building, Constitution Ave. at 9th St. NW. Photo of the original Emancipation Proclamation courtesy of the National Archives u 9




Parkway-16 miles from DC). 703-780-2000. Doggie Photos with Santa at Congressional Cemetery. Dec 8, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM. For a $25 donation, have your dog’s picture taken with Santa. Historic Congressional Cemetery, 1801 E St. SE. 202-543-0539. Lighting of the National Chanukah Menorah on the Ellipse. Dec 9, 4:00 PM. Event features latkes and donuts, Dreidelman and Macabees, Dreidels and Menorah kits. For free (small processing fee) tickets, visit or call 202-223-5600. Jingle All the Way 8K. Dec 9, 9:00 AM. Eighth annual holiday-themed event moves out of the parks and offers a flat, fast course down Pennsylvania Avenue. ChronoTrack timing offered with awards to top 10 male & female finishers, and top 3 M/F finishers in 5 year age groups. Fun event also includes colorful long sleeve t-shirts, team competition, and jingle bells to all runners! 301-840-2042. Admission is free and seating is limited. Tickets are distributed on a first come-first served basis. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave, NW. 202783-6854.

Snow Scene in The Nutcracker. Photo: Brianne Bland

The Nutcracker at the Warner. Through Dec 23. Discover, rediscover, and celebrate this one-of-a-kind Nutcracker production set in 1882 Georgetown and starring George Washington as the Nutcracker, King George II as the Rat King, Anacostia Indians, frontiersmen, and all-American delights. Whimsical waltzes, glittering snowflakes, and gorgeous music, The Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker is a magical journey not to be missed! $34-$101. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. 202-783-4000.


Family Life Center, 1510 Ninth St. NW. 202610-4188.

Black Nativity at the Atlas has been cancelled.

Santa Paws Photo Shoot (for pets). Dec 8 and 22, 11:00 AM-3:00 PM. $25 per photo. Event is in the parking lot of Second Baptist Church, 816 Third St. NW.

BZB Holiday Gift and Art Show. Dec 8, 15 and 22; 10:00 AM-7:00 PM. Two floors of shopping at the largest African-American Department Store on the east coast. Shiloh

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Free Screenings of Classic Holiday Movies at National Theatre. On Dec 10, Scrooge; Dec 17, White Christmas. All movies are at 6:30

NPR’s Live Hannukkah Lights Broadcast with Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz . Dec 11, 7:00-9:00 PM. Hill Havurah cosponsors this immensely popular NPR holiday broadcast of specially commissioned stories by well-known writers including Anne Roiphe, Myra Goldberg and Simone Zelitch. Susan Stamberg is an NPR “founding mother,” having joined the network at its 1971 founding. She currently serves as a Special Correspondent. For many years, Murray Horwitz was NPR’s Vice President of Cultural Programming; Director of Jazz, Classical Music and Entertainment Programming. Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.

p.m. Admission is free and seating is limited. Tickets are distributed on a first come-first served basis. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave, NW. 202-783-6854.

Read Between the Latkes. Dec 12, 7:00 PM. Rabbi Shira Stutman unravels the revolutionary story of Chanukah between bites of potato pancakes and sufganiyot. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. 202-4083100.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight. Dec 8, 9, 15 and 16; 5:00-8:00 PM. Experience includes a candlelight tour, singing around a campfire, costumed characters, hot cider and cookies. $14-$20. Mount Vernon, VA (at the southern end of the George Washington Memorial

Soulful Sessions at the H Street Playhouse. Dec 12, 19 and 26; 7:30 PM. $20. Tickets may be purchased online at H Street Playhouse, 1365 H St. NE

St John’s Christmas Toy Drive. Through Dec 12. You can be an angel by donating gifts, books, or gift cards for any age child. If you have questions, contact Patty Cole at 202-347-8766. St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square, 16th and H sts. NW. Special Celebration for the 6th Night of Chanukah. Dec 13, 6:30-8:00 PM. The National Museum of American Jewish Military History, The Jewish War Veterans, and the Jewish Study Center invite you to a Special Celebration for the 6th night of Chanukah. NMAJMH 1811 R St. NW. Free. RSVP’s suggested to Mary Westley at or 202-265-6280 by Dec 12. FLORENCE-Christmas Music of the Trecento. Dec 14-23. In 14th-century Florence, lay religious fraternities began incorporating vernacular ceremonial songs known as laude into their worship. This popular form entered the homes of the city’s courtiers, learned clerics, and middle-class urbanites. Hear these stirring laude performed along with cheerful dances and polyphonic works in joyous celebration of the season. With vocal ensemble Trio Eos, multi-instrumentalist Christa Patton, and period strings and winds. $50. Folger Elizabethan Theatre, 201 E. Capitol St. SE. 202-544-7077. An Irish Carol at Keegan Theater. Dec 1431. An Irish Carol follows one evening in the life of David, a wealthy pub owner who has distanced himself from others and lost touch with his own humanity in the interest of self protection and material success. But on this Christmas Eve-challenged by a voice from the past, provoked by those in this present, and faced with the reality of lonely future-David’s life may change forever. An Irish Carol is a modern fable, told with the biting humor and incisive candor of its Irish playwright. Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. 703-892-0202. Irish Christmas in America. Dec 15, 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM. This holiday, bask in warmth, humor, and dazzling music, singing, and dancingall hallmarks of their Irish Christmas concert. Bridging the Old and New Worlds, this popular annual event returns for its 7th season at Nat Geo, featuring a stellar lineup of traditional musicians. Welcome first-time guests Aaron Jones of Old Blind Dogs-adding Scottish flavor to the lineup-and Shannon Lambert-Ryan, leader of the Philly-based Celtic group Runa. Produced by Oisin Mac Diarmada of Teada. $30. National Geographic, 1600 M St. NW. 202-8577700. u 11

The National Christmas Tree

National (White House) Christmas Tree. The tree was lit on Dec 6. You may visit any time you wish. There will be live entertainment most evenings at 8:00 PM.

DC United Annual Holiday Equipment Sale. Dec 15, noon-3:00 PM. The sale will be held inside RFK Stadium’s VW Lounge and will feature authentic DC United team-issued gear. Season Ticket Holders who present their membership cards will be granted early entry at 11:00 AM. Holiday Extravaganza-Vision Contemporary Dance Ensemble at the Atlas. Dec 15 and 16, 4:00 PM and 7:30 PM. This is Vision Contemporary Dance Ensemble’s first “Holiday Extravaganza.” Come and join the Vision of this newly created dance performance company where you will experience the “Power of Imagination Conveyed into Visible Form.” $20. Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. 202-399-7993. Holiday Caroling at the National Gallery of Art. Dec 15-16 and 22-23; 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM. Caroling in the seasonally decorated rotunda has become a favorite family activity of the holiday season. Guest choirs lead afternoon sing-along caroling. Singers and listeners of all ages are welcome. Free. West Building Rotunda, National Gallery of Art, Sixth St. and Constitution Ave. NW. Holiday Arts & Crafts Workshop. Dec 15, 10:30 AM. Create your very own holiday gifts with artists Deidra Bell and Tamara Thomas. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-6334820. PVTC Christmas Caper 5K & 10K. Dec 22, 7:30 AM. East Potomac Park, Hains Point, 972 Ohio Dr. 301-292-1441. Kennedy Center Messiah Sing-Along. Dec 23, 8:00 PM. Join the Kennedy Center House Orchestra, a 200 voice choir, a professional soloist and fellow audience members in a glorious “sing-along” of Handel’s beloved masterpiece. This is Washington’s most popular free holiday event. One ticket per person available

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two hours before performance (6:00 PM) in front of Concert Hall. Honor an American Hero at Arlington National Cemetery with a Holiday Wreath. The National Remembrance Ceremony will be held on Saturday, Dec 15. Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, is working hard this holiday season to fulfill its goal to honor every veteran buried at Arlington-220,000 in total-with a memorial wreath. The organization continues to seek donations and volunteers and encourages individuals to visit Christmas at Washington National Cathedral. Dec 24, Lessons and Carols, 6:00 PM, Midnight Eucharist, 10:00 PM. (Both services require free tickets but there will be a standby line that usually gets in.). Dec 25, Festive Eucharist (televised), 9:00 AM; Festive Eucharist, noon; Christmas vespers (Evensong). 4:00 PM; Christmas organ concert, 5:00 PM. Intersection of Wisconsin and Massachusetts aves. NW. 202-537-6200. Celebration of Christmas at the National Shrine. Dec 24, Children’s Mass with Gospel Pageant, 5:00 PM; Musical Meditations on the Nativity, 10:00 PM; Solemn Vigil Mass, 10:30 PM. Dec 25, Masses, 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM and 4:30 PM; Solemn Mass, noon; Spanish Mass, 2:30 PM. 400 Michigan Ave. NE. 202526-8300. Christmas Dinner For Those Who Are Alone or In Need. Dec 25, 12:15-2:00 PM. Dining Room of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. This is a walk-in meal. Just show up. To volunteer, call 202526-8300. 400 Michigan Ave. NE. 202-5268300.



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All Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam. Dec 25, 6:00 PM. December 25 always brings this popular annual event. Free. Kennedy Center. 202-416-8340. A Christmas Carol at Ford’s. Through Dec. 31. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Originally conceived by Michael Baron, this music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Dickens’s Yuletide classic. $35-$75. 202-3474833. Zoolights. Through Dec 31, 5:00-9:00 PM. Don’t miss your chance to meander through the Zoo when it is covered with thousands of sparkling lights, attend special keeper talks, and enjoy live entertainment. Free. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. nationalzoo. The Garden of Lights (Winter Garden Walk) at Brookside Gardens. Through Jan. 6, 5:309:00 PM, weekdays; 5:30-10:00 PM, Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday. 940,000 twinkling colorful lights shaped in imaginative displays throughout the gardens. $20-$25 per car. It’s a walk-through, however. Brookside Gardens Wheaton Regional Park, 1800 Glenallan Ave.,Wheaton, MD. brookside Seven Nights of Light at the Franciscan Monastery. The luminaries (seven-day candles) will be lighted in the churchyard on Christmas Eve and continue glowing for seven days and nights until New Year’s Eve. Franciscan Monastery, 1400 Quincy St. NE. 202-5266800. Grandma’s Kwanzaa. Dec 27, 11:00 AM. Celebrate Kwanzaa with Debra Mims, blending African & African American cultures and traditions. Enjoy stories from Grandma Sally Kathryn Mims as well. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820. Kwanzaa: Musical Celebration. Dec 29, 10:00 AM. Join Melvin Deal and the African Heritage Drummers & Dancers as they celebrate the spirit of Kwanzaa with music, dance, and ceremony. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820. Kwanzaa Arts, Family Fun. Dec 19, 11:00 AM. Create your own Zawadi (gifts) and greeting cards with artists Tamara Thomas and Deidra Bell. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820. anacostia. Western Maryland Scenic Railroad Santa Express. Holiday season festivities take on an old world charm in the nearby Maryland Mountains. The history filled small cities of Cumberland and Frostburg host traditional community tree lighting ceremonies on the Thanksgiving weekend. The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad operates Santa Express trains with morning and evening departures from Cumberland during the holiday season. More information about visiting Mountain Maryland, about two hours west of the Beltway on I-68 can be found at u 13

Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Farms in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Visit for farms and directions. Then follow the prompts. Visit Our Pardoned National Thanksgiving Turkey. The turkey is on display through Jan 6. Immediately following President Obama’s “pardon” of the National Thanksgiving Turkey, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens welcomed the turkey with a ceremony featuring a trumpet fanfare and proclamation read by Washington’s farm manager, “James Anderson.” After the holiday season, the turkey will live at Mount Vernon’s nationally-recognized livestock facility. Chinatown Restaurants are Open Christmas Day.

NEW YEARS Watch Night Festivities at National Archives. Dec 31, 11:30 PM. Performance by Washington Revels Heritage Voices. Midnight– Bell ringing by Harriet Tubman, portrayed by historical re-enactor. East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building, Constitution Ave. at 9th St. NW. First Night Alexandria. Dec 31, 2:00 PMmidnight. Fireworks on river at midnight. First Night Alexandria is a celebration of the new year through the performing arts. Local shops, restaurants and buildings turn into performance venues to showcase local talent. It’s fun, affordable, safe and venues are alcohol free. $15 ($20 Dec 17-31). Kids 12 and under, free. Emancipation Proclamation Reading at National Archives. Jan 1, 9:00 AM. The first hundred guests in line at the main museum entrance at Constitution and 9th Street, NW, by 8:15 AM are invited to enter the building to experience the dramatic reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, musician, song talker, and scholar. East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building, Constitution Ave. at 9th St. NW. National Archives to Display Original Emancipation Proclamation. Dec 30-Jan 1. Dec 30, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM; Dec 31, 10:00 AMmidnight; Jan 1, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. The National Archives will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with a free special display of the original document. The Emancipation Proclamation is displayed only for a limited time each year because of its fragility, which can be made worse by exposure to light, and the need to preserve it for future generations. East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building, Constitution Ave. at 9th St. NW.

MUSIC AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD Lincoln Theatre Soul Concert Series-The Manhattans and Jean Carne. Dec 8, 8:00 PM. $30-$40. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. 202-328-6000.

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Music at The Howard. Dec 16, Beka Trio, $30; Dec 17, Wind Me Up, Chuck! $30; Dec 19, A Concert for a Cause, $20; Dec 20. Paul Mooney, $40; Dec 21, Amel Larrieux, $40; Dec 23, Melanie Fiona, $35; Dec 27, Eric Roberson, $40; Dec 28, Keith Sweat, $49; Dec 29, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, $35; Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. 202-803-2899. Sunday Gospel Brunch Featuring the Harlem Gospel Choir. Every Sunday, 12:30-2:00 PM. $30-$45. The Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. 202-803-2899. Church of the Epiphany Weekly Concerts. Every Tuesday, 12:10 PM. Free but free will offering taken. 1317 G ST. NW. 202-347-2635. 1st Thursday @ First Church. First Thursday of every month, 5:30-7:00 PM. First Congregational United Church of Christ hosts a “Different kind of Happy Hour” for those passing by the corner of 10th and G sts. NWmusic, art, refreshments and conversation. Childcare provided. 945 G St. NW. National City Christian Church Organ Concerts. Every Friday, 12:15-1:15 PM. Free. 5 Thomas Cir. NW. 202-2320323. Steinway Series of classical music concerts at American Art Museum. Second Sunday, 3:00 PM The Steinway Series is a classical music concert that features the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s refurbished Steinway Concert Grand piano. Free. McEvoy Auditorium, Lower Level American Art Museum (between Seventh and Nineth and and F and G sts. NW.) 202-633-1000. “Take Five” (free jazz at the American Art Museum). Third Thursday, 5:00-7:00 PM. Smithsonian American Art Museum, (Great Hall on the 3rd floor), Eighth and F sts. NW. 202-633-1000.

THEATER AND FILM AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD Invisible Man at Studio. Through Dec 23. This savage, hypnotic, and impassioned adaptation of Ralph Ellison’s 1952 masterpiece explores bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators. Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. 202-332-3300. Studio (Theatre) District Nights. Dec 19, Jan 30, March 20, May 22, June 26. $20 for patrons who live or work in the Studio District, with proof of address. Tickets only available day of event. What is the Studio District? The area between 11th and 17th sts. NW, and from N St. NW to Florida Ave. NW. 202-332-3300. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Through Dec 30. Mismatched lovers Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena encounter a supernatural squabble that will alter their destinies forever. Will mischievous Puck create harmony or cacophony within the forest? Love, magic and wonder fill the air as dreams blend with reality in this must-see Shakespeare classic. Shakespeare Theatre, Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. 202-547-1122. The Pajama Men at Woolly. Dec 11-Jan 6. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, The Pajama Men have become stars of the international comedy circuit. They smashed all previous box office records at London’s Soho Theatre in 2010, earned the title “Double Act of the Year” by The London Times, and have produced the highest rated show at the Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival. Accompanied onstage by guitarist Kevin

Hume, this holiday season The Pajama Men bring their trademark style of blink-of-an-eye character switches and plot twists to DC. Woolly Mammoth Theater Company, 641 D St. NW. 202-393-3939. Apples from the Desert at Theater J. Dec 15-Jan 6. A poignant drama about love and reconciliation adapted by one of Israel’s most beloved authors from her own short story, this hit Israeli play follows the young Sephardic Rivka, a religious teenager, who falls for Dooby, a secular kibbutznik, at a dance class in Jerusalem. She arranges to follow him back to his kibbutz in the Negev Desert, but not before Rivka’s orthodox parents bar her from leaving, forcibly at first, only to chase after Rivka as she flees. A timeless and timely confrontation between tradition and modernity becomes a moving reckoning, as the sweetest of meals is offered and two generations learn to make peace. $25-$45. Theater J, 1529 16th St. NW. 202-518-9400. Tuesdays at Noon National Geographic Movies. Enjoy great selections from National Geographic TV and Channel films, All Roads Film Project, and independent filmmakers. All screenings held in Grosvenor Auditorium. Free. National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St. NW. 202-857-7588.


Historical Preservation with Modern Convenience FAST SERVICE / FAST INSTALLATION

SPORTS, DANCE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS DC Rollergirls. Dec 8, 4:00 PM. (Doors open at 3:00 p.m.) Tickets are $12 for ages 12 and up, $6 for children 6-11, and free for kids 5 and under. Tickets are available in advance at or at the door on bout day. Individuals with a valid military ID can purchase tickets for $10 at the door. Bouts are at DC Armory. The Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, DC. Dec 13-14, 7:00 PM. The Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, DC presents a storybook Sleeping Beauty for the holiday season….Enchantment for all. The Sleeping Beauty is a timeless fairy tale for all ages. Enter a world where good conquers evil and fairy tales really do come true. Experience the beauty of Russian ballet performed by students of the internationally revered Kirov Academy of Ballet. $20-$40. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. 202328-6000. Military Bowl. Dec 27, 3:00 PM. Tickets available. RFK Stadium. Canal Park Ice Rink. Open Monday-Friday, noon-9:00 PM; Saturday, 10:00 AM-10:00 PM; Sunday 10:00 AM7:00 PM. Adult fee is $8; children, seniors (55+) and military fees are $7. Skate rental is $3. On Tuesdays, two can skate for the price of one from 4:00-6:00 PM. The park is at Second and M sts. SE, one block from the Navy Yard Metro (New Jersey Avenue exit). Ice Skating at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Open through mid-Mar (weather permitting). Monday-Thursday, 10:00 AM-9:00 PM; Friday-Saturday, 10:00 AM-11:00 PM; Sunday, 11:00 AM-9:00 PM. $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. ginfo/skating DJ’s in the Garden-Spin, Cut and Groove. Thursdays through Feb 28, 6:00-9:00 PM. Keep warm on the ice while a DJ spins popular music from the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, including a wide range of musical styles such as Hip-Hop, R&B, Disco, Pop, Rock and Roll, and Soul. Skaters may make requests to guest DJs and twirl across the ice to their favorite tunes. National Gallery

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of Art Sculpture Garden, Seventh St. and Constitution Ave. NW. 202-289-3361. ginfo/skating Public Skating at Fort Dupont Ice Arena. Fridays, noon-1:50 PM; Saturdays, 11:15 AM-12:15 PM. Dress for warmth and safety. Clothes should be easy to move in, and pants must not fall below the heel of the skate (sweatpants or leggings are a good choice). Everyone needs to wear gloves or mittens, and one pair of thin, long socks or tights that fit snugly (no ankle socks). A helmet or knit hat is strongly recommended (loaner helmets are available). $5. $4 for kids and seniors. $3 for skate rental. Fort Dupont Ice Arena, 3779 Ely Pl. NE. 202584-5007.

are Wednesday-Friday, 11:00 AM-8:00 PM; Saturday-Sunday, 8:00 AM-8:00 PM. The newlyopened Union Market is an artisanal, curated, year-round food market featuring over 40 local vendors. 1309 Fifth St. NE. 301-652-7400. Eastern Market. Daily except Mondays and important holidays. Weekdays, 7:00 AM-7:00 PM; Saturdays, 7:00 AM-5:00 PM; Sundays, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. Flea market and arts and crafts market open Saturdays and Sundays, 9:00 AM6:00 PM. Eastern Market is Washington’s last

of 20th St. NW (between Mass. Ave. and Q St. in the adjacent parking lot of PNC Bank). 202362-8889.

violence service providers and government agencies. 5 Thomas Circle, NW. 202-299-1181 x105.

Georgetown Flea Market. Sundays year around (except in the case of very inclement weather), 8:00 AM- 4:00 PM. The crowd is as diverse as the items for sale! Antiques, collectibles, art, furniture, rugs, pottery, china, jewelry, silver, stained glass, books and photographs are an example of the available items. 1819 35th St. NW. 202-775-3532. or

All-Ways Mount Pleasant. First Saturday, noon2:00 PM. LaCasa. All-Ways is a citizen’s association primarily for the tenants of the larger apartment buildings of Mount Pleasant. 3166 Mt. Pleasant St. NW. Convention Center Community Association. Last Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 PM. Kennedy Rec Center, 1401 Seventh St. NW. www.ccca-online. Downtown Neighborhood Association. Second Tuesday, 7:00-9:00 PM. US Naval Memorial Center, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

Pentagon Row Outdoor Ice Skating. Open through mid-Mar. 10:00 AM-11:00 PM. $7-$8. $3 for skate rental. 1201 South Joyce St. Arlington, VA. 703-4186666.

East Central Civic Association of Shaw Meeting. First Monday, 7:00 PM. Third Baptist Church, 1546 Fifth St. NW. Contact: Al Hajj Mahdi Leroy J Thorpe Jr, 202387-1596.

Dance Classes at Dance Place. Classes offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Classes offered in modern, African, belly dance, Afro-Cuban, Hip-Hop. The mission of Dance Place is to improve the quality of life in the metropolitan area through the presentation of educational and cultural programs and to nurture and expand the field of dance nationally. $120 for 10 classes, valid for 3 months. Drop-in for $15 ($13, seniors). 3225 Eighth St. NE. 202-269-1600. Nearby public tennis courts. Banneker Community Center (eight outdoor tennis courts), 2500 Georgia Ave. NW. 202-6736861. Kennedy Recreation Center (one outdoor tennis court), 1401 Seventh St. NW. 202-671-4794. All courts are open daily, dawn to dusk. Some are lighted for extended evening play. Courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis for one-hour intervals; extended use of tennis courts requires a permit. Proper shoes and attire is required. 202-671-0314. dpr. Nearby indoor public swimming pools. Turkey Thicket, 1100 Michigan Ave. NE. 202-576-9236. Rumsey Pool, 635 No.Carolina Ave. SE. 202-724-4495. All DC public pools are free for DC residents. Have ID.

Edgewood Civic Association. Last Monday, 7:00-9:00 PM. Edgewood senior building, 635 Edgewood St. NE, nineth floor7-9pm. They encourage all Eckington and Edgewood residents to come out and take part in the lively civic life of our communities. Logan Circle Citizens Association. Please contact Jennifer Trock at jennifer.trock@ for meeting dates and times.

Girls enjoying a formal tea at a prior year’s tea. Photo: Courtesy of The High Tea Society

High Tea Society Holiday Tea The High Tea Society (HTS) was launched in 1997, as a vehicle to expose young girls to the rich cultural offerings of the District of Columbia while providing a tailored program designed to boost self esteem, inspire academic achievement and create “ambassadors of change” (poised, confident, college bound young ladies willing to share their HTS experiences and values with their family and friends). The High Tea Society was never just a “dress up and go to tea” program. Rather, it was designed in response to the urgent social and academic realities facing many girls living in Washington, DC. Over the years, the HTS has observed the novelty of afternoon tea wear away to become an everyday way of life among our youth. HTS is not confined to a tea box, they teach through tea! This year High Tea is on Dec 15, from 1-4 p.m. at the Woman’s National Democratic Club,1526 New Hampshire Ave. NW. Tickets are $60 for adults and $20 for children. 202-841-5244.

MARKETS Downtown DC Holiday Market. Through Dec 23, noon-8:00 PM. The annual Downtown DC Holiday Market offers seasonal outdoor shopping with a festive atmosphere. It features nearly 180 rotating exhibitors and artisans with approximately 50 each week, offering distinctive gifts for sale including fine art, crafts, jewelry, clothing, accessories, pottery, photography, clothing and specialty foods. Centered at Eighth and F sts. NW. Fresh Tuesdays at Eastern Market. Every Tuesday, 3:00-7:00 PM. Tuesday afternoon farmers’ line of fresh produce. Eastern Market, 200 block of Seventh St. SE. 202-698-5253. Union Market. Starting Nov 10, market hours

18 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

continually operated “old world” market. On weekends the market area comes alive with farmers bringing in fresh produce, craft and flower vendors, artists, a flea market and street musicians. 200 block of Seventh St. SE. 202698-5253. Dupont Circle Farmers Market. Sundays year round (rain or shine), 9:00 AM-1:00 PM. The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times of London named the market one of the top farmers’ markets in the country. During the peak season, there are more than 30 farmers offering fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit pies, breads, fresh pasta, cut flowers, potted plants, soaps and herbal products. 20th St. and Mass. Ave. NW, 1500 block

CIVIC LIFE Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic. Dec 11, 5:00-7:30 PM. This clinic is for aspiring or existing small business owners. Attendees will meet one-on-one with attorneys for brief advice on any legal issues their businesses may be facing. Free. DC Chamber of Commerce, 506 9th St. NW. 202-737-4700 ext. 3369. Rainbow Response Monthly Meeting. Second Wednesday, 7:00 PM. Rainbow Response is a grassroots coalition that brings together organizations and leaders from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) communities, along with traditional domestic

Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association. Third Tuesday, 7:30-9:30 PM. Yale Steam Laundry, 437 New York Ave. NW. U Street Neighborhood Association. Second Thursday, 7:00-8:30 PM. Source (second floor classroom), 1835 14th St. NW ANC 1A. Second Wednesday, 7:00 PM. Harriet Tubman Elementary School, 3101 13th St. NW. 202-588-7278. ANC 1B. First Thursday, 7:00 PM. Reeves Center, 2000 14th St. NW (second floor). 202-870-4202. ANC 1B11. Second Monday, 7:00 PM. LeDroit Senior Building (basement community room), 2125 Fourth St. NW. 202481-3462.

ANC 1C. First Wednesday, 7:00 PM. Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Health, 2355 Ontario Rd. NW. 202-332-2630. ANC 1D. Third Tuesday, 7:00 PM. 3166 Mount Pleasant St. NW. 202-462-8692. ANC 2C. First Wednesday, 6:30-8:30 PM. Watha T. Daniel Library, 1630 Seventh St. NW (new location). 202-682-1633. u



out and about


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A Sweater as Bright as Spring


ately I’ve noticed some of my friends’ clothes are worn – shirt cuffs frayed, pants suffering through a break-up with the cleaners and shoes ready to retire. Friends are wearing sweaters that have small holes, sweaters you pull from the back of the closet the first day of fall before going to the outdoor market. No need to dress well for bread and fruit. You think about your clothes the next time you’re sitting next to a friend at a party and you find the topic of economics interrupting your conversation again and again. Maybe you’re a few months from being unemployed. No need to sew a button back on a jacket if you’re running low on contacts and job leads. I try to overlook what I’ve just written but it’s difficult. D.C. can quickly become the type of lover you have silent meals with. One can slip from the middle-class into poverty without foreplay. That’s why dating is as risky as taking a long lunch break. There are people in Washington, D.C. who are homeless and slowly becoming invisible. When was the last time you gave someone spare change? Who carries cash these days? Coins and paper money might as well be coal. So you pass the homeless with your eyes looking the other way. What would Jesus do? When did unemployment become a sin? Or maybe you’re standing on the corner of 7th and T Streets, NW, close to the

by E. Ethelbert Miller Metro Station. You’ve been on this corner for years. You remember the pay phones and the pool room. You remember when you could get chicken carryout and watch the butts of Howard girls and maybe talk to one of them who didn’t have a weave. You felt good laughing and hanging out even with a police bust now and then. Hell, the undercover dudes were cool too. They knew the neighborhood was changing and maybe their jobs would be next. When crime falls so does work. Does D.C. stand for Death City or Demon City? I see old friends struggling to make a living. Everyone seems to have a business card but no business. But maybe this place is a tale of two cities and why so many of us look as if we escaped from a Dickens novel. Are we still in style? The beautiful people dress well. They are young and carry laptops and yoga mats. Their conversations are about parties and vacations. There is money and there is also dust on an empty shelf. There are times when this city refuses to recognize me. Even with my poems and images on display in several places around town, I feel like Baldwin in exile. How do you love a city that you use to be married to and now feel so separated from? Is it a simple case of vows renewal? I want to believe there is still enough love in this city to change the balance of things. I don’t want

to lose my compassion for my fellow human being. Yet as the air sips a “November Chill” I wonder as I wander from ward to ward. So what should I give thanks for? A roof over my head? My bones and joints are still pain free, but how long will that last? Will politics improve my life? Every year I place a turkey on the table and bless the food and the people surrounding it. Every year the circle seems to grow smaller. Fathers and mothers die, children move away, or boredom has an affair with one’s marriage. Some of us are in need of new clothes and a new outlook on life. This might sound cosmetic and New Age, but maybe that’s all one can hope for. What I enjoy about fall is the splendor of color, like the many possibilities that come with life. Our ups and downs are simply seasonal. How one grows to accept these laws of nature will determine how much longer one will delay the possibility of becoming an outlaw. If you find yourself doing frontier living in DC – afraid of the wild – then this city will only teach you survival skills and nothing else. It will not be a community or even a place of destination. It will not be home. It will simply be a hub with people passing through like an airport or a bus terminal. This is not something to be thankful for. Right now I need to buy a few new clothes to cover my aging body. I need to buy a sweater as bright as spring. u u 19

out and about

+ Shopping

RETAIL THERAPY by Mariessa Terrell

Muleh, 1831 14th St. NW | 202-667-3440

Anything on the Floor can be Yours at Muleh

Giving a new meaning to home decorating, Muleh offers well-established yet remarkable brands for style mavens adept at the art of compartmentalizing. It takes a fashion intellectual of significant worth to stay focused when every item on the floor is available for purchase. Snag the knitted high-waisted navy and lilac Vivienne Westwood Red Label frock (the only one in DC). Or forget all about closet additions and concentrate on the Kenneth Cobonpue hand-quilted armchair shaped like a tulip in full bloom. Despite my best efforts I fell into a quandary at the cash register. Unable to decide between the Malene Birger faux leopard zipper-front jacket or the tomato-and-cream-striped Autumn Cashmere sweater (with peplum), I opted instead for the solid mahogany (read: no veneer) classic fourposter bed by Warisan. A fabulous choice, I thought. But, it’s gonna be hard to sneak this one home if I have to borrow the truck.

Lettie Gooch, 1517 U St. NW | 202-332-4242

Leather, Lace and Bling at Lettie Gooch

Seeing Theresa Watts on the side of a Metro bus promoting the joys of shopping in DC inspired a visit to her boutique. For me, part of the Lettie Gooch magic is the wonderfully friendly atmosphere cultivated by the staff. The other part centers around Theresa’s uncanny ability to select wearable items that resonate with the romantic rocker and svelte qualities in all of us. Holiday 2012, according to Lettie Gooch, means loads of lace, leather, and bling. I adore the Jurassic raw-cut jewelry by Adina Mills and the lovely dresses on the back wall: a black sequined t-shirt dress dusted with white stars by Maloom and a sleeveless number with a tulle skirt and chocolate-draped wool bodice by Western Wear. Watching these items fly out of the shop brought a tear to my eye. DC’s fashion stock is rising as we speak.

Universal Gear, 1529 14th St. NW | 202-332-4242

Urbain Sophistication with a European Edge

Bespoke tailor Ozwald Boateng once complained that American men dress like boys. To the contrary, Universal Gear aficionados who take their cues from Kristopher August (manager extraordinaire) have a sophisticated, urbane sensibility all their own. Universal’s appeal is easily understood. The offerings are rugged (by city standards) yet possess a European edge capable of elevating everyday apparel to extraordinary heights. I am already a fan of the Hudson dip-dyed stretch denim and retro Anthony Marato poly or downfilled ski jackets arranged throughout the shop. Other promising pieces include the Scotch & Soda midnight velvet separates (two-button jacket and matching trousers) that provide a ready answer to the age old query, “What to wear to the Holiday Party?”

Redeem, 1734 14th St. NW | 202-332-7747

Local Leather Goods by Twisted Aristocrat at Redeem 20 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

While some may see the color palette of Redeem as dramatic. I find the boutique to be mysterious, edgy, and darkly romantic. My best avant-garde self was immediately drawn to Korean-branded Kai-aakmann ready-to-wear apparel. A gray wool belted shortcoat with full sleeves left quite an impression. The longer I perused the racks, the easier it became to envision myself with less Audrey Hepburn and more Amy Winehouse aplomb. The Twisted Aristocrat (love the name) leather goods likewise communicated a sense melodrama despite their simple lines. Handstitched and hardly ostentatious, these lamb-leather wallets and handbags are begging to be touched, scooped up, and used over and over. Many thanks to owner Lori Parkensen, a local, for finding your edge and inviting us to walk along it with you. Mariessa Terrell, aka Simone Butterfly, Fashion Investigator, does her sleuthing at u u 21

out and about



+ Dining









by Jonathan Bardzik

You’ve Got 23 Days to Have a Drink with Every Single Person You Know. Go!

I’m ringing in the holiday season, not with snow and caroles, but with the discovery of my first double-booked lunch. Dining in December is a desperate attempt to connect with your friends, network contacts, and as many acquaintances as possible in the 23 days before heading home to see family. The only thing that keeps my husband Jason and me sane, and still fitting in (most of ) our clothes is a firm commitment to great restaurants and avoiding those always disappointing mini-beef Wellington appetizers.

The Business Lunch

Since bringing lunch from home is part of our domestic austerity plan, Jason and I search out cheap places that are unique enough to be passed off as an experience. Cue a visit to Fast Gourmet (, 1400 W St. NW). Its gas station location is impossibly hip, and you’ll get a great meal whether you order the chivito (tenderloin, bacon, eggs, and olives) or the Cuban. Our friend Charles swears by the eggplant “fries” in a light beer batter. Speaking of Charles, I offered to buy him lunch if he could turn me on to a hot new lunch spot. We’re heading to the bricks and mortar home of foodtruck-famous Tacos El Chilango (, 1119 V St. NW). Charles is ordering the mixtos with a pairing of chicken and chorizo. 22 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

Casual conversation, craft cocktails, and giant bowls of pho at Hanoi Hotel provide a brief respite from holiday madness.

At his recommendation, I’m ordering the Al Pastor with pork and pineapple.

That Happiest of Hours

Committed to quality cocktails, Jason and I hit the streets to try out a couple of new spots. I had already seen the massive, gorgeous, industrialmeets-green-space bar at Matchbox’s new location (, 1901 14th St. NW). Longtime fans of their mini-burgers, we’ve already made plans with cohorts of former coworkers to grab a couple of the

tables against the high banquette for post-office drinks. Looking for somewhere we could show off our collection of ironic graphic-tees, we stopped by Satellite Room (, 2047 9th St. NW), conveniently located behind the 9:30 Club. We hoped this diner-meetsMexican mashup would work equally well for toasting friends and satisfying post-Blowoff munchies. A quick scan of the menu turned up diner basics (meatloaf, burgers, and breakfast all day), Mexican comfort

food, and a list of big-boy boozy shakes. Our bartender Boo said that while the Vincent Vega (vanilla and bourbon) received the most orders, his favorite was Latka Gravas (espresso, hazelnut, and Hennessy). The flavor was balanced, against a super boozy bite. Just the thing to suck down with their Smoke Stack chipotle, barbecue bacon burger after a night of dancing and drinking. We snacked on the elote (grilled corn with cotija and lime) which came out on the cob and made a delicious mess. The shrimp ceviche

was surprisingly hearty with chunks of tomato, avocado, and whole shrimp, perfect for chip-dipping. Satellite is not afraid to throw around some heat, but the shakes will cool the burn in your mouth. Only a block away, the hipster English pub Brixton (, 901 U St. NW) is both sexy and cozy. Perhaps that’s why our friend who tends bar on their amazing rooftop says she sees so many first dates. Jason and I grabbed a stool at the bar downstairs. He had his second beer of the night (Old Speckled Hen), and I ordered a Riot Sling (gin, honey, Earl Grey, and ginger beer). The black tea and spicy ginger were enough to warm me up on a damp November night, but refreshing and sweet enough to encourage lots of day-drinking on those first warm days next spring. Their menu, a mix of British and colonial Indian dishes, favors dinner over small bites, but we ordered a pair of saonas, beef and potato dumplings. They were gluten-free, so we ignored the trace of frying oil and congratulated ourselves on a figure-friendly decision.

The Sweet Escape

We love the holidays, but at some point even extroverts get worn out. December’s guilty pleasures definitely include sneaking off for a few quiet dinners. Our last stop was at opening night for Hanoi House (www.hanoihousedc. com, 2005 14th St. NW) in the former Blackbyrd space. We skipped the 25-minute wait for two seats at the bar. Dinner started with cha gio (pork and shrimp spring rolls). Light, crispy, hot and fresh, they whet our palates for the pork bahn mi and beef pho we chose for mains. Our bahn mi offered sweet pork, rich pâté, and fresh greens, stuffed in crisp, fresh bread. The pho broth (man up and get the big bowl for a dollar more) was light but complex, and the brisket perfectly tender. While I was busy taking notes Jason ordered the fried bananas in caramel sauce, which arrived light and crispy outside, soft and gooey inside. I’d say the best part of the night was the check – the most expensive thing on it was my $12 bowl of soup – but that was trumped by meeting owner Eric Hilton. With craft cocktails from Gibson mixologist Brendan Murphy, and

a music program by the Thievery Corporation, Eric said, “I see Hanoi House as a sister restaurant of the Gibson. Both places are seated only, which really encourages conversation and allows for personal space, which is not always possible in larger establishments.” Walking home we passed near Beau Thai (, 1700 New Jersey Ave. NW) in Shaw, which is on our speed dial for delivery (and by speed dial, I mean that Siri finally recognizes the name and calls on cue). Fighting the holiday fat, we’ve committed to walking over and dining in (that counts as exercise, right?). Jason’s order of fried calamari (light and crisp) and my bowl of tom yum soup are a given. Their stir-fried eggplant inspired me to get in my kitchen and develop my own recipe this summer (their’s is still better!), and Jason almost always orders the Panang curry (while making faces about the eggplant), but we’ve been lured away by the pumpkin curry on their fall menu. A few blocks from home, at the quiet Bloomingdale end of U Street, we grabbed a hot drink at Big Bear Cafe (www.bigbearcafe-dc. com, 1700 1st St. NW). A cozy mix of students, locals, and Apple laptops occupied the candlelit room. The menu seems to change every time we go, but what they produce with simple, local ingredients out of a tiny kitchen is always hearty, healthy, and inspired (and affordable for weeknight dining). We can sit after the meal, before our short walk home, and enjoy a couple of their seasonal mulled ciders spiked with bourbon and apple brandy. Big Bear is also the perfect place to sit and write those 127 cards we still need to finish, while avoiding lighting the tree and skipping out on that painful “young professionals mixer” that we didn’t want to go to anyway. Happy holidays! And we’ll see you in January for a review of who serves the best water with lemon and undressed salads (not really!). Jonathan Bardzik and his husband Jason live in Eckington (which is nowhere near a gym). In season, Jonathan offers weekly live cooking demos at Eastern Market, using farm-fresh ingredients he finds there. Check out his blog and his Facebook page of the same name, where he posts lots of graphic foodporn. u u 23

out and about

+ Music

JAZZ AVENUES A Merry, Jazzy Holiday to All

This month features a festive panorama of Christmas and holiday offerings by our favorite jazz performers, with a special one Dec. 15 by Anthony Braxton and guest Jason Moran at the Kennedy Center. “A master multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer, this avant-garde artist has pushed the realms of jazz and classical music into a glorious, unique mixture all his own,” says the Kennedy Center publicity about Braxton. Earlier at the Kennedy Center, top jazz pianists, including Moran, Ellis Marsalis, Geri Allen, and Taylor Eigsti, perform their favorite holiday songs for “A Jazz Piano

by Steve Monroe tional magazine articles if you want, but if you were at Howard University’s Rankin Chapel on Nov. 15 you would have seen the youth of the music in starring roles at the Howard University Jazz Ensemble’s fall concert. Before a large crowd of mostly students and young people, the chapel was alive with the sounds of players like trumpeter Jared Bailey, saxophonists Kenneth Nunn, Ashton Bryce Vines, and Steven Garrison, and pianists Joseph Wilson and Gregory Chambers, along with the veteran saxophonist Javon Jackson. They all sparkled under the direction of HUJE Director Fred Irby III on tunes by Thelonious Monk, Clare Fisher, Kenny Dorham, John Coltrane, and Benny Golson. And then there was the dynamic vocal ensemble Afro Blue, Howard U.’s own internationally acclaimed and Grammy-nominated group of songbirds doing right and soulful harmonizing justice to Bobby McFerrin’s “Jubilee.” The next night honored the memory of guitarist Jerry Gordon in a jam session led by guitarists Rick Whitehead, Paul Wingo, and Rodney Kelly and trumpeter Thad Wilson at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Southwest. A large crowd enjoyed Gordon favorites like “Going out of My Head,” “My One and Only Love,” “Laura,” “The Shadow of Your Smile,” and “Breezing.” Wingo played some especially exquisite chords on the melancholy Gordon composition “Sometime in Spring.”

December highlights: Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra Holiday Special, Dec. 10, Bohemian Caverns … Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra, Dec. 11, Blues Alley … Nneena Freelon, Dec. 14, Kennedy Center … Anthony Braxton, Jason Moran, Dec. 15, Kennedy Center … Todd Marcus, Dec. 16, Bohemian Caverns … Broken Reed Saxophone Quartet, Dec. 19, Twins Jazz … Jamie Broumas, Dec. 20, Blues Alley … Eric Byrd Trio & Brother Ray Band, Dec. 21, Westminster Presbyterian Church …Bobby Watson, Dec. 2122, Bohemian Caverns … Monty Alexander, Dec. 2731, Blues Alley … Arnold Sterling & Friends, Dec. 28, Westminster Presbyterian Church … Anderson Twins, Dec. 28-29, Twins Jazz … Larry Willis, Dec. 31, Twins Jazz …“A Jazz New Year’s Eve: Freddy Cole & the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band,” Dec. 31, Kennedy Center.

CDs for the Holidays

The always inventive piano master Larry Willis performs for the New Year’s Eve crowd at Twins Jazz.

Christmas” on Dec. 8. And there is “A Redd Christmas” with Chuck and Robert Redd, Dec. 18 at Blues Alley. The next night at Twins Jazz features Charley Gerard and the Broken Reed Saxophone Quartet, which specializes in a raw sound that saxophonist/composer Gerard calls “alternative jazz” with “unexpected comedic touches and … dynamic instrumental shifts.” New Year’s Eve performances include master pianist Larry Willis at Twins Jazz, pianist Monty Alexander at Blues Alley, and pianist-vocalist Freddy Cole at the Kennedy Center with the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band.

InPerson: HUJE, Gordon Tribute

Jazz dead? The music promulgated by oldsters dying off and fading into obscurity? Yeah, right. Believe misguided na24 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

Among recent recordings to savor is the Todd Marcus Quartet CD “Inheritance,” with Baltimore’s Marcus. Appearing at Bohemian Caverns on Dec. 16, Marcus will lead the way on bass and soprano clarinets. The music features original compositions, often with Middle Eastern influences, and arrangements of jazz. Band members include Xavier Davis, piano, Eric Wheeler, bass, and Eric Kennedy, drums. And as JazzAvenues went to press, many were hoping that William E. Smith’s latest recording, “The Story of Humanity,” by his W.E.S. Group, would be selected in early December as a nominee for the 2013 Grammy Awards show. Our resident saxophonist and ethnomusicologist educator said, “I’m thrilled to be in the running for this year’s upcoming Grammies. I’ve worked hard on my projects over the past couple of years, and to be recognized by my peers would be a great honor. This last project has been somewhat of a culmination of my musical growth over the years. I’ve expanded my studies in composition, arranging and improvisation and have tried to bring it to bear in this latest project.” u

December birthdays: Wynton Kelly, 2; Jim Hall, 4; Dave Brubeck, Frankie Dunlop, 5; Jimmy Smith, 8; Donald Byrd, 9; Ray Nance, 10; McCoy Tyner, 11; Tony Williams, 12; Clark Terry, Cecil Payne, 14; Sy Oliver, 17; Fletcher Henderson,18; Chet Baker, 23; Baby Dodds, 24; Cab Calloway, Don Pullen, 25; Earl Hines, 28.

Derek Brown

The Anthropologist of Bartenders by Kevin Poist


erek Brown believes Mark Twain was spot on when he said that “the cheapest and easiest way to become an influential man and be looked up to by the community at large is to stand behind a bar.” For Derek, the quotation is a reminder that his craft is a profession attained by those who have less traditional and convenient means for finding success. Bartending requires skills not prioritized in school, which is why Derek didn’t even think about it until college. In high school Derek was a “straight-edge punk” (looking back he’s happy he didn’t obtain the straight-edge tattoo). Since then Derek has obviously changed, while still giving credit to one of his punk rock mottos: “Do It Yourself.” Bartenders tend be self-promoters—they find their own rhythm and gather their

Derek Brown. Photo: Jim Webb.

own crowds. Recently, GQ and TIME claimed Derek makes the best gin martini in the country. Think he’s found his following? Even with such adorations Derek remains balanced and focused, showing no signs of pretention from such accolades. Originally on the seven-year academic track, Derek studied anthropology, becoming increasingly interested in the stories people share. Whether a story is true or not, people still tell it for a reason, and this fact has granted Derek an infinite interest in the stories people share. Derek didn’t know that his passion outside of an academic setting was waiting for him until he discovered bartending during the middle of his college years. Starting as a

+ People bartender 10 years ago, he claims he fell in the love with the profession as soon as he stood behind the bar. The spontaneity, creativity, history, and social interaction translated into his dream job. It wasn’t long before he was reading more about mixology than anthropology. He saw the anthropology in mixology, and at that point that Derek dropped out of college to pursue a profession as a sommelier and bartender. Derek has worked at some of the most popular bars and restaurants in the city. He is inspired by the former chef/sommelier of Citronelle, Mark Slater, as well as chef/owner of Palena, Frank Ruta. Eight years ago, on Derek’s 30th birthday, he and some friends went to Citronelle, arriving in jeans, which are not permitted in the dining room. Mark Slater set up a formal dining table in the bar area and gave Derek and his guests an incredibly memorable evening. This is the type of service and impression Derek wishes to give his customers. The hard-working, dedicated, and intelligent chefs, sommeliers, and bartenders in DC are Derek’s continuous inspiration. Ultimately, he says, there are two types of bartenders: those who believe in humanity and those who don’t. He likes to be considered one of the former. About three years ago the opportunity arrived to open The Passenger in Shaw (1021 7th Street, NW) . Before The Passenger it was Paul Ruppert’s Warehouse Theater, and before that it was a hardware store dating back to the 1890s owned by the Rupperts. Well aware that Shaw is proud of its history and emphasis on community, he thought it would be a great fit. A believer in what spirits and alcohol can do for a community he sees a bar as a place where people can celebrate, mourn, converse, download, relax, and share experiences. Derek travels somewhere new once a month—flying around the globe to experience the taste of alcohol and bring it back home to share. After traveling extensively through America, Europe, North Africa, Taiwan, and Japan, Derek has met some phenomenal bartenders, the most impressive of whom (with their unique swagger and varying attitudes) Derek feels are in the US. With a palate eager to learn, Derek is like a sponge, reading and experiencing everything he can about the world of alcohol. He also shares his knowledge through his writing about mixology and spirits for The Atlantic magazine, The Washington Post, and Entrepreneur magazine. You can read everything he has written, but it may be more satisfying to meet him in his bar. Besides, he feels strongly about supporting his community and hearing your story. Go and check out The Passenger for yourself. I think you’ll enjoy the experience. Kevin Poist is the Shaw Realtor at Evers & Co Real Estate Inc. Email, to have Kevin conduct an interview for his blog, u u 25

the nose


by Anonymous

here is a conspiracy afoot, Dear Readers. Yes, you heard it here first. Don’t panic! Don’t run for the exits! Before one of you calls the Secret Service, let The Nose be clear. No one is trying to do a Romney redux. Rather, the plot is of a much more insidious nature. Yes, Dear Readers, Barryites and Fentyites have found common cause in other than their penchant for green garb. A number are uniting behind the mayoral ambitions of Muriel “The Enigma” Bowser, the current councilmember for Ward 4. Bowser’s principality has always exerted an outsized influence over the District politics. It is home to the storied Gold Coast, land of wealthy, connected African-Americans such as super lobbyist David Wilmot; former Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly, and soon to be ex-Councilmember Michael Brown. For many years, Charlene Drew Jarvis steered city’s economic development efforts from her perch as Ward 4’s councilmember. Alternatively, Ward 4 has hatched the careers of two of the city’s most idiosyncratic reformers. Trial lawyer, good government advocate and former independent councilmember Bill Lightfoot calls it home. Here, Adrian Fenty launched his political career as an ANC commissioner. With Lightfoot’s aid, Fenty then went on to represent Ward 4 on the Council before ascending the mayoral throne. Ward 4’s political hegemony is now under threat. In this last election, Ward 6 topped its contribution of presidential votes by more than 5,000. This newly emergent, fast growing rival is home to Tommy “The Saint” Wells, a councilmember with mayoral ambitions. It is this demographic change which, in the Nose’s opinion, has cemented the emerging, infernal alliance between Barryites such as Wilmot and Fentyites like Lightfoot behind Bowser. The Nose has had enough of Wells' “Livable-Walkable” cant. Running one's Hummer through the fence of the local dog park to stop distracting canine vocalizations is just too tempting. Setting the District record for multiple U turns on Pennsylvania Avenue is a lifelong ambition. Damn DDOT! Give us back those lanes on L Street. They speed commuters out of the District. Despite The Nose's quibbles, “Livable-Walkable” does provides an elegant shorthand for Wells' New Urbanist beliefs. It is difficult to think of a similar refrain for Bowser. It is true that Bowser provided strong support for “Red Queen” Rhee’s bloody program of school reform. After reserving judgment during Harry “Light-Fingered” Thomas and Kwame “Add a Zero” Brown’s initial travails, Bowser was quick to call for Mayor Vincent “Where’s My Shadow”Gray’s resignation.She also stewarded the passage of the most recent ethics reform. Bowser has also proved a dogged advocate for her ward, which returned her overwhelmingly to office this past election. Still, what is Bowser’s signature issue? Why does she want to be Mayor? Does the difference between Bowser and Wells boil down to their 26 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

choice of rides? Wells prefers his wife's Toyota 'Pious,' his bicycle or the Metro. Bowser drives an SUV. With apologies to fans of My Fair Lady, this ditty is undoubtedly the one Bowser hums whenever she thinks of her Ward 6 rival: Just you wait, Mr. Wells, just you wait! You'll be sorry, but your tears will be too late! You'll be broke, and I'll have money; Will I endorse you? Don't be funny! Just you wait, Mr. Wells, just you wait! Just you wait, Mr. Wells, till the campaign gets thick, And you scream for your contributors double quick, I'll be off a second after, my accounts filled to the rafters! Oh ho ho, Mr. Wells, just you wait! Ooooooh Mr. Wells! Just you wait until we're racing in the polls! Ooooooh, Mr. Wells! And your bicycle hits a large pothole. When you yell you're going down I'll get dressed and go to town! Oh ho ho, Mr. Wells! Oh ho ho, Mr. Wells! Just you wait! One day I'll be Mayor! I'll be proper and prim; Go to the Wilson Building more often than I go to the gym! One evening the voters will say: "Oh, Muriel, old thing, We want all of the District your praises to sing. Next primary we do say will be your victory day! All the people will celebrate the glory of you And whatever you wish and want you can easily do." "Thanks a lot, voters" says I, in a manner well-bred; But all I want is Mr. Wells’ head!" "Done!" say the electorate with a vote. "Chief Lanier, run and bring in the bloke!" Then they'll march you, Mr. Wells to the wall; And the press will be screaming: "Muriel, sound the call." As they lift their rifles higher, I'll shout: "Ready! Aim! Fire!" Oh ho ho, Mr. Wells, Down you'll go, Mr. Wells! Just you wait! The problem with being a saint is that it invites martyrdom. u

your neighborhood What The Fiscal Cliff Means For DC


oing over the “fiscal cliff ” is the talk of Washington right now, but what will stepping over that brink mean for local DC? The term is shorthand for the payroll and income tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year combined with automatic cuts in federal spending that were put into law by Congress during the debt ceiling debate, known as sequestration. Many economists say that the scenario is less a cliff than a slope or hill, because the economic impact likely will not be immediately calamitous. It is more likely to be gradual, and many predict that a compromise will be reached that would stave off more severe consequences such as a recession. Yet the issue is a good reminder that what’s decided within the hallways of Capitol Hill can be felt on the streets of Capitol Hill— as well as Congress Heights, Cleveland Park and Chinatown. In fact, the folks in DC government who look into the crystal ball and tell us how many dollars we have to spend have been thinking about the impact of the fiscal cliff for some time now. Any policy that broadly influences the size and scope of the federal government will be felt here in DC, since we are the seat of government and many federal workers are located here. A reduction of staff or decrease in federal contracting translates into a reduction in local income taxes, since some residents might lose their jobs, as well as a drop in sales taxes, because residents will have less money to spend, fewer workers will be eating lunches at local restaurants and food trucks, and so on. This impacts the District’s revenue projections, and how much we can budget for various programs and services. Therefore, it is important that we consider the most likely scenarios and forecast accordingly.

by Elissa Silverman and Ed Lazere The Federal Factor

There are more than 200,000 federal jobs in the District, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, but only about one in five, or a little more than 45,000, are held by District residents. Yet there are many other jobs that rely on the federal government and federal workers. This would include contractors that do work for federal agencies or companies that supply products for the federal government or even restaurants, dry cleaners or clothing stores that have federal workers as customers. According to some projections, full sequestration could result in the loss of up to 127,000 DC jobs over the next decade. This number includes 35,000 federal jobs, 34,000 federal contracting and subcontracting jobs, and 58,000 jobs that would be impacted due to the decline in the federal payroll. Yet there are few who believe full sequestration will happen. Most likely, say many economists and Congressional experts, a compromise will emerge and the automatic reductions will not all take place. Nevertheless, the economists in the revenue analysis division of DC’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer have to make some assumptions about the federal budget and what impact this will have on both the national and regional economy to calculate how much money the city can expect to have in its coffers. CFO Gandhi and his deputies have said that it would be irresponsible not to show an impact from sequestration even if it is not fully implemented. “Despite the recent District job market strength and stronger than expected revenue, the continued uncertainty regarding postelection federal budget actions poses a real risk to the District’s finances,” Gandhi wrote in the September quarterly forecast. He calls the impact of the local cuts and a possible national eco-

nomic impact a “double-whammy” for the District. Economic indicators continue to show that the District is on the rise. Income and sales taxes remain strong and growing. Yet this was not reflected in an uptick projected future revenues in September’s revenue forecast because Gandhi said there was too much uncertainty about the fiscal cliff and how Congress would handle it. The murkiness led Gandhi to be cautious, so despite strong revenue trends, the CFO declined to make any new projections for tax collections in 2013 and beyond. Yet, the CFO wrote, if the fiscal cliff is largely avoided, “the revenue picture for the District would improve significantly” from what the CFO projected in his September revenue forecast.

That would almost certainly mean that Gandhi and his fellow economists would project an uptick in revenue in the December forecast. In most years, the September and December revenue forecasts would not be a major issue, since the most important forecast for the budget is issued in February. But for this year’s budget, the Mayor and DC Council anticipated that revenues might rise, factored that into its budget plan, and created a contingency budget on how to spend those dollars. For example, the approved homeless services budget is $7 million shy of what is needed just to maintain current services. That means that choosing not to adjust the 2013 forecast until February or later could mean that many basic services will go unfunded.

Why The Cliff Is Not A Cliff

Revenue Forecastng With And Without The Cliff

Economists like Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics say that the most likely scenario is that the fiscal cliff will be avoided, and that a budget deal will likely keep many of the tax cuts in place and avert the automatic spending cuts, while coming up with another longterm plan for reducing spending. Therefore, the fiscal cliff is really not a cliff. Thus, it seems likely that there will be some impact on economic growth, but DC will not end up seeing huge federal workforce cutbacks right away. This is very important, because it means that the impact on income and sales tax revenues will not likely be as severe as the CFO has projected. It also means that the city’s leaders will have a number of years to adjust to the downsizing of the federal government. And this has a very direct impact on how the District can allocate its resources this budget year. Once the specter of the fiscal cliff is lifted, the revenue forecast likely will show we have more money right now.

Revenue forecasting is not an exact science. Economists use economic data to make assumptions about what will happen, but it is worth making sure those assumptions are based on the most likely scenarios. Given that most economists believe that the cliff will be averted and sequestration will likely not take effect, our city’s revenues should reflect those likely assumptions. For that reason, we’re hopeful that the next revenue forecast reflects the expectation that the fiscal cliff will likely be avoided or that both scenarios be forecast. This would make the calculated impact of the federal cliff scenario more transparent. And the Mayor and DC Council would have an idea of what revenues might be available if a coampromise happens. Silverman and Lazere work at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (, which conducts research on tax and budget issues that affect lowand moderate-income DC residents. H u 27

your neighborhood

+ District Beat

Brown Goes Down

Does This Signal a Shift in DC Politics?


by Martin Austermuhle

he seemingly impossible happened on NoOf course, Grosso also benefited from the fact that vember 6: an incumbent D.C. councilmember Brown ran a non-campaign. The incumbent never rewas defeated. On that day, independent chal- ally made the case for himself, had virtually no vollenger David Grosso upset Councilmember Michael unteers and a non-existent get-out-the-vote operation Brown (I-At Large), besting him by over 20,000 votes on Election Day. It’s not much of a surprise that he to win one of two of the at-large seats that were up for wasn’t ready for Grosso, though—Brown’s last camgrabs. (Vincent Orange easily won the other.) paign was a cakewalk, seeing as he only had to defeat The news was momentous not only because in- a Republican for the At-Large seat he eventually won. cumbents so rarely go down in general elections in As for how the election played out, there two D.C., but because it symbolically marked the down- factors to consider. First, while Grosso’s win was nofall of the third political family that had occupied table, it didn’t completely break the predictable mold seats on the D.C. Council until this year. Brown’s fall of how many recent citywide races have played out. followed Harry Thomas, Jr.’s in January and Kwame Though Grosso soundly drubbed Brown in overall Brown’s in June. In the wake of Grosso’s big win, residents and political analysts alike are looking at whether his victory has marked the start of an emerging shift in how the city’s residents vote. Moreover, future candidates looking to knock off incumbents are taking stock of what Grosso did to beat Brown. In this, there are interesting developments and lessons to be learned. First off, Grosso laid out a clear strategy for defeating incumbent councilmembers that future challengers are sure to try. Most importantly, he followed in the footsteps of Adrian Fenty and Kwame Brown before him by starting early—a full year early. One 2014 hopeful has already taken this message to heart: former Ward 1 ANC Brianne Nadeau has already announced that she plans on unseating Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) in two years. Second—and this ties into the first point— Councilmember At-Large David Grosso and Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy raise a lot of money. Grosso didn’t only raise more, Wells. Photo: Andrew Lightman but he also spent it wisely, saving about half of his $160,000 bankroll for the final month of campaign- votes, he did so by racking up impressive margins in ing. Obviously, Brown suffered from having $113,000 the western wards and in parts of Capitol Hill, enough stolen from his campaign, but even without that loss to outweigh the comfortable wins that Brown saw in Grosso would have remained close in fundraising. (In precincts throughout many parts of Southeast and Nadeau’s case, she says she’s already raised $30,000.) Northeast D.C. Finally: find a message and stick to it. Grosso Breaking down the vote tallies, it becomes clear consistently pointed to Brown as yet another ethically that Grosso won largely because the animus towards challenged D.C. legislator, and the message seemed to Brown was much more significant in wards 2 and 3 stick. Looking to 2014, there’s little to say that Gra- than it was against Grosso in the ward 7 and 8 preham can’t suffer the same fate; though he’s never been cincts that he lost. While Grosso saw margins of victofound guilty of anything, there have been enough alle- ry approaching 40 percent in some of the precincts in gations of improprieties floating around to make many the western wards, Brown could only muster gains of of his constituents uncomfortable. 20 percent in areas east of the Anacostia River. It also 28 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

didn’t help that support for Brown in his home base of Ward 4 slackened significantly—he lost thousands of votes relative to his 2008 win—nor that Grosso was able to stay competitive on his own turf in Ward 5. That being said, Ward 6 emerged as a new player in deciding citywide elections. According to final counts, both the number of registered voters and number of residents actually voting grew more aggressively in Ward 6 over the last few years than anywhere else. Grosso’s single biggest margin of victory over Brown came in the Eastern Market area; with the endorsements of Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and predecessor Sharon Ambrose, he also did solidly in the rest of the ward. What does this mean moving forward? The dynamics of winning citywide office are shifting, if only slowly. While Ward 4 used to help decide elections— it was one of the reasons that Fenty fell to Mayor Vince Gray in 2010—Ward 6 may now become a younger, more politically dynamic battleground. Of course, it’s too early to know how influential those new Ward 6 voters might be: will they come out in the same numbers in non-presidential election years?

Farewell Michael Brown; Long Live Michael Brown?

Despite his loss to Grosso, though, it isn’t the end of the road for Brown. In fact, it may only be a few months until the two are serving alongside each on the D.C. Council. In the wake of his upset, Brown was quick to claim that he was defeated because the media treated him unfairly and because voters were confused by which Michael Brown they should have voted for. (The other Michael Brown, of course, ran for Shadow Senator.) He further argued that he had seen an outpouring of support from constituents asking that he run again. Well, he’ll soon have a chance. With Phil Mendelson’s ascension to the D.C. Council’s top spot, the At-Large seat he once occupied is now vacant. As we explained last month, the D.C. Democratic State Committee will select an interim councilmember in early December, and a special election will have to be held at some point in the next four months.

Darrin D. Davis, Principal Broker/Owner

Should he choose to run, Brown will certainly be competitive in that race—despite losing to Grosso, he still mustered over 58,000 votes from across the city. Additionally, special elections often see large numbers of candidates and a low turn-out of voters, a perfect recipe for a candidate with name recognition to sneak by with a small proportion of the votes. Though no one has yet declared themselves a candidate, D.C. Democratic State Committee chairwoman Anita Bonds has expressed interest, and even former candidates Bryan Weaver, Sekou Biddle, Peter Shapiro, and Patrick Mara have been cited as possible contenders. But should Brown actually run? I certainly don’t think so. D.C. political culture is small and insular enough as it is; we don’t need politicos looking at elected office as a lifetime appointment or the type of job they’re entitled to. With Brown, this seems like a very real danger. In his post-defeat comments, Brown never fully recognized that maybe his own personal failings are what turned voters against him. Even worse, he’s toyed with the idea of once again becoming a Democrat—he changed party affiliation in 2008 to Independent so he could run for his At-Large seat—indicating that he’ll do just about anything to remain in office. The most dangerous elected officials are those that see themselves as being indispensable. (See “Barry, Marion.”) Brown is a very likable guy, and in many ways a very competent legislator. But much like Orange, who hasn’t yet found an elected office he won’t run for, he’s clearly pinned himself as a political opportunist. If Brown wanted to display true leadership, he could admit to his mistakes and say that he’s stepping out of electoral politics for the time being. Martin Austermuhle is the Editor-in-Chief of and a freelance writer. He lives in Columbia Heights. u

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What’s Happening to Our Public Schools?


or the second time in her life, Eboni RoseThompson, Chair of the Ward 7 Education Council, felt compelled to speak out against proposed school closings. It was 20 years ago when she first testified before the DC Council against the closure of her own elementary school. Unfortunately, school closings are nothing new in DC. With a declining population of school-age children and a growing presence of public charter schools in DC, many neighborhood schools will have to fight to remain a viable option for local families. DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s announcement of the proposed consolidation of 20 public schools is causing frustration and outrage across DC, particularly in Wards 5, 7 and 8, where nearly 75 percent of the affected schools

by Ellen Boomer menting our portfolio of schools” with more charter schools; however, she failed to provide specifics about the fate of affected schools’ leadership and staff, and the number of new charter schools that will be approved.

DCPS – Then and Now

DCPS started as a segregated school system that had a surplus of buildings once the schools were integrated in the mid-1950s. Since that time, DC’s schoolage population has decreased overall and an increasing number of schools have been operating well below capacity. As a result, “DCPS spends disproportionately high sums on non-instructional staff and functions,” according to information provided by the Office of the Chancellor. By consolidating schools, redirected funds will ostensibly “help low-performing students, increase opportunities for advanced learners, and develop specialized programs to better engage students.” While the proposed school closings make financial sense, they “hit almost exclusively minority students who are low-income,” according to Ms. Levy. Approximately 39 percent of school-age children live in Wards 7 and 8, which also contain 42 percent of operating public charter schools in DC. Of the nearly 30,000 students who live in these wards, only 40 percent attend While 20 schools city-wide are slated for closure, none of the schools on Capitol Hill will be affected public schools in those two wards, such as Maury Elementary pictured here, one of several popular public schools on the Hill. based on information provided by the Office of the State Superinare located and 3,800 students will be directly im- tendent of Education (OSSE). A common question pacted. “We are heading toward two separate school among concerned residents is why should so many of systems,” stated Mary Levy, DCPS budget consul- the children in these wards have to choose between tant for the Lawyers Committee and former DCPS attending a charter school or commuting to another parent. In fact, 38 of the 57 operating charter schools ward to attend school? in DC are in the three wards most significantly impacted by the proposed school closures, and there are Why Close Public Schools? no schools slated for closure in Wards 1 or 3 where Chancellor Henderson provided well-documentschools are at-capacity or over-enrolled. ed reasons for proposing to close 20 schools across six During a press briefing and subsequent hearings, wards, including the need to modernize nearly half of Henderson outlined the reasons for reducing the num- DC’s school buildings and the desire to sufficiently ber of schools that DCPS operates, including “comple- support staff. Roughly 20,000 students attend schools 30 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

which lack modern facilities. By closing 20 schools, DCPS will be able to use funds to provide professional development for teachers, to support students with special needs, and to ensure each school has a full complement of art, music, physical education teachers, and librarians. One of the most controversial aspects of the proposed consolidations is the plan to create three campuses in Wards 1, 4 and 5, which will encompass grades 6 through 12. To create these campuses, DCPS will close two middle schools, MacFarland in Ward 4 and Shaw at Garnett-Patterson in Ward 6. Each of these schools is currently using approximately 25 percent of their building space. Given the vast differences in maturity between twelve-year-old children and eighteen-year-old young adults, putting them on the same campus is risky, even in the most modernized setting.

Closed Schools – Money Saved?

Affected communities are still assessing the longterm impact of the last round of school closings, which Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry called “atrocious.” “2008 was very difficult for us…once you lose [parents’] trust, it’s very difficult to restore it,” noted Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie. DCPS and the Deputy Mayor’s Office have not shared the anticipated cost or the potential financial benefits of the current proposed school closings. The previous round of school closures cost the city 40 million dollars rather than the anticipated 9.7 million dollars, according to the DC Auditor. In reaction to the proposed school closings, Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander reiterated that she has asked for a moratorium on school closures in Ward 7, “pending a detailed public report analyzing the outcomes of the 2008 school closures [and] the opportunity for public commentary sessions on both school assessment and proposed future closings.” There are no guarantees that closing schools will save money or that funds will be redirected to the schools that need the most help. DCPS “central administration is much larger than when we had twice as many students,” according to Ms. Levy. Henderson noted she’s “committed to looking at the central budget.”

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The Effects of Closing Schools

In addition to the lack of information surrounding potential financial benefits, DCPS has not provided specifics on the anticipated effects on school staff. Although some teachers will move to consolidated schools, Chancellor Henderson did not specify how many teachers and principals will lose their jobs due to school closings. In addition to proposed school closings, DC already faces a serious teacher retention problem. “The teacher turnover rate is three times the national average,” which is indicative of an “unhealthy professional culture,” according to education policy analyst and DCPS parent, Mark Simon. DCPS is in a “crisis of instability,” according to Mr. Simon, who noted, “When schools are closed, it harms the academic achievement of students…and accelerates departure from DCPS.” According to Mary Melchior, member of the Ward 5 Council on Education, “consolidated schools have lower test scores.” Unfortunately, 40 percent of the students who will be impacted in this round of closings were also affected in the 2008 consolidation when DCPS “lost 3000 students,” to charter schools and private schools, according to Ms. Levy. Chancellor Henderson noted that DCPS plans to lease the proposed closed school buildings to non-profits and charter schools and will “monitor population expansion and demand for public school options in individual neighborhoods. When there is critical mass, DCPS will reopen some schools,” according to the Office of the Chancellor. However, by potentially paving the way for more charter schools to open in DC, Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham asked Chancellor Henderson, “Doesn’t it send a message that you really don’t want students to stay in DCPS, that you want them to go to charter schools?” In the meantime, however, many neighborhoods may lose the use of their schools as a critical resource. “Schools in our neighborhood serve as a community hub,” Pho Palmer, Ward 8 resident and DCPS parent, pointed out, by offering various services for seniors and adult education classes. “This is not a time to close our schools; this is a time to innovate,” noted Ms. Palmer. Schools in Ward 6, such as Tyler Elementary, have seen “a remarkable renaissance,” according to Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells. He noted that, citywide, “we need to be very careful not to lose the option of neighborhood schools.” With yet another round of school closures and the associated impacts, it appears that many neighborhoods and children will be the ones who ultimately pay the price. Ellen Boomer is an Eastern Market resident, former teacher, current tutor and freelance writer. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and playing a competitive game of bocce in Yards Park with her friends. She can be reached at emboomer@ u

Build the New Shaw Middle School! By Alexander M. Padro, Chair ANC2C


n 2008, then-DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee initially proposed permanently closing Shaw Middle School, which as Shaw Junior High School actually gave the neighborhood its name, only to change her mind when the final closing list was announced. Now, with Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s proposed school closings and consolidations, there’s an opportunity to both fix attendance boundaries and get the new Shaw school built more quickly than proposed. Public schools often take their names from their neighborhood’s monikers. But in Shaw’s case, and Adams-Morgan’s, the opposite was the case. Both neighborhoods got their names from urban renewal areas whose attendance boundaries were used to define them. In 1966, when the Shaw School Urban Renewal area was established, Shaw Junior High School was housed in the former McKinley Technical High School building at the southeast corner of 7th Street and Rhode Island Avenue, NW. Over the decades that followed, the school, named for the white Union colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, who commanded the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, US Colored Troops in the Civil War, graduated thousands of African American Washingtonians before integration. The Shaw student body remained predominantly African American after desegregation because of the demographics of the attendance boundaries from which students were drawn. A new school building was completed two blocks away in 1977. Shaw was not only at the center of the neighborhood, but a center of its cultural aspirations. Noted painter Lois Mailou Jones presented a portrait of Arctic explorer Matthew Henson to the students of Shaw. Celebrated Washington Color Field artist Alma Thomas spent her career teaching art at Shaw. The school became the pride of the neighborhood when longtime principal Percy Langston Ellis established the school’s marching band and music program as its most visible program and chief recruiting tool. As the band’s fame grew, children from across the city wanted to attend Shaw out of boundary to be able to be part of it. Annual performances as part of the National Cherry Blossom Parade and travel to festivals across the Eastern seaboard helped spread Shaw’s name far and wide. Dr. Ellis’ locking down his school during the drug wars made national headlines and garnered TV coverage. And when Wesley Hoover, the band director, won the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation Award for musical education in 2003, Shaw was again in the national spotlight. But despite all the acclaim, attendance at Shaw was dwindling because the school’s attendance boundaries left out half of the neighborhood surrounding the school. Children of families residing south of Rhode Island Avenue, right across the street from the school, were required to go to Francis Middle School in the West End, despite

the fact that they could see Shaw’s building out of the windows of their apartments. For decades, children were forced to travel across town, when there was a neighborhood school within a few blocks of their homes. School boundaries were revisited so infrequently that making changes was dismissed out of hand. Widespread community outrage was the result when Rhee threatened Shaw’s extinction, and Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans backed his constituents’ demands that the closure not take place. When Rhee and thenMayor Adrian Fenty agreed to build a new Shaw Middle School on the site of the 1970s school at 925 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, the community breathed a sigh of relief. Shaw’s students would temporarily be housed at Garnet-Patterson at 10th and V Streets, NW, while a new school was built at 9th and Rhode Island Avenue. The recreation space available at the Shaw site made it more attractive for a new school than Garnet-Patterson. And so it was that $54 Million was budgeted for construction of the new school until FY 2013, when the funding disappeared from the DCPS capital budget, and plans for a new school went on hold. Then in November, when Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s proposed list of school closings was released, Shaw@Garnet-Patterson was to close, with its students to attend classes at Cardozo High School until the new Shaw Middle School was completed in time for the 2018 school year. That is when DCPS projects that there would be sufficient middle school aged children in the neighborhood to justify a stand-alone middle school. But even more troubling was that Francis was also to close, with its students forced to go to Georgetown’s Hardy Middle School, a much more complicated commute that would take Shaw’s middle school aged kids even further away from home. DCPS now says that changing school attendance boundaries is on the table. If done properly, the Shaw children who presently attend Francis would be added to those already slated to attend Shaw, providing the student enrollment that would justify starting construction of the new Shaw school now, not years from now. This additional population likely would also make the prospect of closing Shaw@Garnet-Patterson less attractive, and could result in keeping Shaw’s kids in the neighborhood until the new school is built, instead of sending them to Cardozo’s hilltop. But even if these children would be forced to go to Cardozo in the interim, building the new Shaw school earlier and preventing them from having to go to Hardy in the meantime are worth the effort. ANC 2C this month approved a resolution calling for these attendance boundary changes. Our new Councilmember, Ward 6’s Tommy Wells, is ready to help push for starting work on the new Shaw school earlier and adjusting the attendance boundaries. With the support of Ward 2 Councilmember Evans and Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, both of whom represent parts of Shaw, our neighborhood’s children could soon be ensured the ability to walk to their middle school, in a great new building, in far less than six years’ time. And letting Shaw Middle School and its band resume their place of honor in our community and city. u u 31

your neighborhood

Bloomingdale Bites by Jazzy Wright

Year-End Crime Review

A group of five people were walking through streets of Bloomingdale on the night of September 23, 2012, when they were approached by three armed men. The men stabbed, beat and punched two members of the group before robbing them and fleeing the scene. During the past year, the neighborhood has seen an increasing number of events like this one. The tally of confrontational muggings, home break-ins, car thefts, and violent crimes has risen steadily. According to the Washington Examiner, Bloomingdale has seen property crimes increase 21 percent and violent crimes increase 6 percent from 2011. Bloomingdale has also seen an increase in the number of home burglaries, according to Commander Andy Solberg, head of the fifth police district. Thieves in the area seem to have developed a home robbery system. According to police, thieves break into homes during the

Crowds Pack Randolph Street for Thanksgiving Meals in November

World Missions Gathers Hundreds of Meals for the Community 32 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

weekday, when homeowners are at work (traditionally between nine in the morning and three in the afternoon). They hide stolen items in trash cans behind the home and return later to wheel the trash cans through the alleys. The burglars arrested thus far tend to be juveniles from the area. “Burglary is a crime that is all too common, and I wish it weren’t,” said Solberg who has overseen the fifth district police force for close to two years. Many residents are devising ways to prevent burglaries. In one November community meeting, neighborhood commissioner Hugh Youngblood spoke of creating a “virtual neighborhood watch project,” which would put in back alley cameras. But before residents take up watchdog programs, Solberg says, there are many ways they can protect themselves from muggings and home burglaries. “People should call 911 when they see someone they don’t recognize who’s doing something suspicious, like pushing a trash can down an alley” he said. “They should take steps by buying a burglary alarm system, and getting good locks on their basement doors to make their homes more secure. He advised that “they should be aware when someone they don’t know knocks on their door because they might be knocking to see if the residents are in there, and they might want to come back to rob them. Always keep serial numbers on the things that you own like laptops and computers. It’s easier for us to identify those items if they are found by police.”

A Family celebrates at the rally.

Residents Rally for Families

More than 2,000 parents and their children lined up on a brisk day in November to receive free food baskets during Bloomingdale’s annual Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway. As part of the event, World Missions EXTENSIONS Center—a neighborhood church group—worked with Bloomingdale residents to gather food items for parents who otherwise could not afford to serve traditional Thanksgiving meals. In addition to receiving turkey donations from community members, World Missions worked with vendors from the Bloomingdale Farmers Market to provide residents with fruits and vegetables for their holiday meals. World Missions, a group affiliated with the World Missions for Christ Church on 1st Street NW, has organized Bloomingdale-area giveaways and rallies for the past 18 years. In addition to hosting food drives, the center organizes back-to-school fundraisers, mentoring programs, and tutoring lessons for students. The center’s founder and executive director, JoAnn Perkins, said that she started the organization after she retired from a long career in special education. “After coming out of the school system, I became a pastor with my sister, and we were seeing that most of the kids in the church needed after-school tutoring,” said Perkins. “We are extensions of services, schools, and communities because no one entity can do it all.” Perkins said that her work in the neighborhood helps her feel the pulse of the needs of the community. “When we do the food rallies, I take a survey of people who receive the boxes,” she said. “The survey findings show that people are looking for jobs, most of the households are headed by females, and a vast majority have relatives who are incarcerated. Parents want to be in education training, and they are trying their best to see change for their families. Low-income parents want the best for their kids, and they want them to be mentored. Now that we’ve identified the kids and know the families, we can match them with the mentors.” Within the next month, World Missions leaders will be collecting toys for low-income families as part of their “CHRISTmas Toys to Needy Kids Give Away” event, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 10:00 a.m. (in McKinley High School). Donors have until December 22 to contribute toys (or sign up to volunteer) for the community event. u


Shaw Streets by Ralph Brabham

Signage Restored

Often fading and barely legible, ghost signs are hand-painted advertising left over from another era on a building. Until recently, such a sign could be barely made out on the side of 1314 9th St. NW, at the entrance to Naylor Court. Thanks to historic - minded caretakers of the building and the work of artist Mark Walker ( the ghost sign has been restored and another added in the same style advertising the businesses located in this grande dame of a building. The restored historic sign reads: “Julius Viedt Jr. Groceries & Provisions,Wines & Liquors, Cigars and Tobacco.” The newly added sign advertises businesses on site, including Seasonal Pantry, SUNdeVICH, and the forthcoming A&D tavern. According to building owner Lisa

Fricano, Julius Viedt Jr. was the eldest son of Julius Viedt Sr., a German immigrant, Civil War veteran, cabinetmaker, and founder and first president of the Washington Saengerbund, which is still in existence. Julius Jr. married Emma Zeh, eldest daughter of William H. Zeh, who lived nearby at 924 N St. Also on this block was the office of the architect who designed 1314, Richard von Ezdorf, the chief draftsman and interior designer of the State, War, and Navy Building (now the Eisenhower Executive Office Building). William Zeh built 1314½ and garage in 1887 on the site of a two-story woodframe structure in which Julius Jr. had his original store since 1879. Though Emma passed away in 1895, Julius continued his tenancy and raised their children in the upper floor apartment until 1911. The Zeh family owned the building until 1943. The restored and new signs beautifully and appropriately alert passersby to the building’s past and present.

Baby Wale Rises

The restored historic sign and the new sign installation underway at 1314 9th Street. Photo: Ralph Brabham

In 2011, Tom Power announced intentions to open a casual eatery at 1124 9th St. NW, next to his famed restaurant Corduoy (1122 9th St.). Originally to be called Velour, the restaurant was subsequently renamed Herringbone and then, most recently, Baby Wale (all fabric references). Since the issuance of its building permit in September 2012, the former building shell

has been the site of much work. Designed by Edit (the firm behind many notable Shaw venues, including Dickson, Brixton, and Satellite Room), the two-level space will have a large bar, exposed brick, and an atrium. The ABRA application hints at the casual fare in store, including lobster rolls and roast chicken. Baby Wale should open in the first quarter of 2013.

Simon Vintage Furniture & Home Goods Coming to 9th

In November, a new retailer installed signage at 1911 9th St. NW, the former home of Lettie Gooch boutique and Toucan Boutique. Simon Vintage Furniture and Home Goods will soon occupy the space.

Main Streets Design Leaders Spruce Up 9th

On November 17, 2012, leaders of the Shaw Main Streets Design Committee met to spruce up tree boxes on the 1300 block of 9th Street. CoChairs O’Dette McDonald and Gerry Coates led the team-building exercise, which involved weeding, planting loriope borders, and mulching tree boxes. Old City Green provided the supplies at a discount to the commercial revitalization nonprofit.

Ronnie Spector’s Best Christmas Party Ever

On the evening of Saturday, December 15, 2012, Ronnie Spector’s Best Christmas Party Ever will take place at the Howard Theatre (620 T St. NW). Tickets are $36.00 in advance and $40.00 on the day of the show. Ronnie Spector embodies the heart, soul, and passion of female rock ‘n’ roll of the 1960s. Beginning in 1963, as

Shaw Main Streets Design Committee Co-Chairs Gerry Coates and O’Dette McDonald planting loriope in a tree box on 9th Street. Photo: Ralph Brabham

lead singer of The Ronettes, Spector recorded a long string of classic pop hits, including “Walking in The Rain,” “Do I Love You,” “Baby I Love You,” “The Best Part of Breaking Up,” “I Can Hear Music,” and the international smash “Be My Baby.” The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2007. Her solo renditions of holiday classics like “Frosty the Snowman,” “Sleigh Ride,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” and “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” are an integral part of every Christmas season. Her versions of “Sleigh Ride” and “Frosty the Snowman” have been staples on ASCAP’s Top 20 Most-Played Christmas Songs list for numerous years. In 1988, Spector introduced her signature show “Ronnie Spector’s Christmas Party,” which has become a seasonal celebration, playing to audiences across the country. Hot off the heels of her latest holiday release, “Ronnie Spector’s Best Christmas Ever,” she brings the sensational show to the stage of the Howard Theatre for a debut performance. u u 33

your neighborhood


t’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, at least in Columbia Heights. Right in the middle of the plaza on 14th at Kenyon across from the USA Mall, stands a Christmas tree replete with the trimmings. The tree trimming was a community event which certainly heightened the holiday spirit in this neighborhood to the north. Not to begrudge Columbia Heights its seasonal cheer, but wouldn’t a tall, well-trimmed holiday tree look even better in the middle of Logan Circle surrounded by all the beautiful Victorians? Hard to believe that, in all these years, no one has put one up in the Circle. Whole Foods, just two blocks away could even donate one. Or what about Old City Green handing off a parting gift before it closes its doors in Shaw for the last time? Think of the advertising potential. And to keep the tree from being “pinched” maybe it could even be guarded by the Logan Circle Christmas tree watch team. Not even Dupont Circle has a holiday tree. Anyway, it’s not too late. Christmas is still a few weeks away.

Time To Get Sauced?

Something new is coming to the corner of 14th and P in the space that for decades was occupied by Mid City Carryout. It looks to be another concept from the Taylor Gourmet crowd by the name of “Sauced.” At least that’s what the license on the door says. You may remember that the building experienced a fire back in the summer. Since then the carryout that had occupied the place for years closed down and the building was put up for sale. Now apparently there’s new life coming to the beautiful red brick Victorian building. Taylor Gourmet, a local start up with a Philly influence, first opened 34 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

Logan Circles by Mark F. Johnson

A view of the western end of Logan Circle on a warm December afternoon

on H Street, NE at about the time H Street was beginning its period of transformation. The deli has opened several other locations in and around DC, including one up the street at 14th and T which has been open for about a year. This new concept, I imagine will be more of a restaurant than a deli.

Central Union Mission On the Move

The time has come again to say goodbye to the Central Union Mission. The nearly block-long men’s shelter on the southeast corner of 14th at R is apparently set to move to its new location at the former Gales School on Massachusetts Avenue near Union Station. This location has been a homeless shelter before. The beautiful building which the Mission

occupied for decades is a former car dealership. The Central Union Mission sold the property to developers a few years ago who want to turn it into office and retail space. But the Mission wisely made the sale contingent upon finding a new home for the homeless. They had thought they would move to Petworth’s Georgia Avenue but local efforts opposed to the shelter prevailed and they were turned away. With the final relocation of the Mission and development of its large parcel, the transformation of 14th street toward more upscale apartments, shops and restaurants will take another giant leap, leaving no trace of the area’s more modest and to many, more colorful past.

Ethiopian Coffee to Go

The Ethiopian coffee shop, Collage Café at 1346 T Street near 14th

has closed down for good it looks like. Perhaps it was a casualty brought about by competition from nearby Pereguine and Point Chaud located within a block of each other on 14th. Both places seem to have a loyal clientele. Before the coffee shop wars started brewing, Mid City café closed down after a short life on the strip. It was located above Miss Pixies and closed about the time that Perequine was to open. The space that used to be Mid City Café is now, or more accurately soon to be, part of the expansion of Bodysmith gym which is also moving into the old AYT auto parts shop that was at the corner of 14th and R Streets where the new condominium Aston is nearly constructed. Happy Holidays to all and to all a fun and safe end of 2012! u

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+ Notebook n Donner

by Kathlee

Notebook Solar-Powered Carousel Opens at the National Zoo

The Speedwell Foundation Conservation Carousel-one of the only solar-powered carousels in the world-is now open at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The carousel, made possible by the Speedwell Foundation, features hand-carved and hand-painted animals and has a net-zero impact on the Zoo’s energy consumption. One hundred and sixty-two solar panels donated and installed by Pepco Energy Services power the Conservation Carousel. Any excess energy is diverted back to the Zoo’s electrical grid.

top of the carousel. The detailed artwork celebrates animals living at the Zoo, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and in the mid-Atlantic region.

Farm-to-Table Family Day at American Art Museum

The American Art Museum joins the National Portrait Gallery’s second farm-to-table event. Enjoy live music, learn about the “slow food” movement from local community organizations, and participate in hands-on activities that get your hands a little dirty. You’ll be ready to eat fresh, local, and healthy with recipes you can take home. And don’t forget to find delicious artworks on the Fruit and Veggie Scavenger Hunt. Program is on Saturday, Jan 12, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the American Art Museum, 8th and F sts. NW. 202-633-7970.

Toys for Tots Drop-Off at Crime Museum

The Crime Museum is teaming up with Toys for Tots this holiday season. Now through December 16, the museum will be accepting toys. Toys must be new, and unwrapped. Visitors of the museum who bring a toy will receive $3 off of their admission. Toys for Tots was started in 1947 by reservist Major William L. Hendricks, which is now run by the United States A giant panda, Baltimore oriole and red-eyed tree frog on the Conservation Carousel. Photo: Devin Murphy/ Marine Corps Reserve which Smithsonian’s National Zoo donates toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy Tickets are $3. It is open during regular Zoo hours them gifts for Christmas. It became a national camand during ZooLights-powered by Pepco-the annual paign in 1948 and has been the official mission of the holiday-lights festival hosted by Friends of the NationUS Marine Corps Reserve in 1995. The goal of the toy al Zoo. All proceeds from the carousel support animal drive is to deliver a message of hope to children who care and conservation science initiatives at the Smithare less fortunate, and to ensure that they have the opsonian’s National Zoo. It features 58 hand-carved and portunity to enjoy the holidays like any other child. painted animals for visitors to ride. Many represent The Crime Museum is at 575 7th St. NW. Doendangered species that Zoo scientists and animal care nate toys now through Dec 16; Sunday-Thursday, experts have spent years studying, breeding or work10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10:00 to reintroduce to the wild. The animals spin past 8:00 p.m. scenery panels depicting scenes from forest, grassland, savannah and aquatic habitats. Decorative panels, each featuring a different migratory bird species, adorn the Children’s Choir of Washington Concerts On Saturday Dec 15 and Sunday, Dec 16, at 36 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

4:00 p.m. hear the Children’s Choir of Washington perform at National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW. Adult tickets are $25; children 12 and under are $10. Prep class for first time singers ages 6-9 start Jan 17. No audition necessary. Just sign up.

150th Year Anniversary of the Signing of the Emancipation Proclamation Family Day

Family Day programming is on Tuesday, Jan 1, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building, Constitution Ave. at 9th St. NW. In addition to hands-on family activities, storyteller Bill Grimmest portrays Frederick Douglass in “Tales of My Friend Mr. Lincoln,” and historical reenactors will portray Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln and Rosa Parks. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War, formally proclaiming the freedom of all slaves held in areas still in revolt. The issuance of this Proclamation clarified and strengthened the position of the Union government, decreased the likelihood of European support of the Confederacy and, as the Union armies extended their occupation of the southern states, brought freedom to the slaves in those states. The Proclamation invited black men to join the Union Army and Navy, resulting in the enlistment of approximately 200,000 freed slaves and free black people before the War’s end.

The Joy of Christmas: Family Matinee at Washington National Cathedral

A perennial holiday favorite from the opening procession accompanied by the great organ to the Cathedral carillon and the beloved carols old and new, this festive concert has long been a Washington family tradition and is often sold out. J. Reilly Lewis conducts the Cathedral Choral Society; Todd Fickley, organ; Edward Nassor, carillon; Washington Symphonic Brass and guest choir, the Langley High School Madrigal Singers, Mac Lambert, director. Dec 15, noon. Tickets from $25. 202-537-6200.

An American Girl Tea: Samantha and the Gilded Age

On Dec 15, 10:30 a.m.-noon, learn what it was like to grow up during the Gilded Age at this family tea. After reading and discussing brief passages from the Samantha books, children will enjoy a tea party

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Visit us at 3700 Oakview Terrace, NE | Washington, DC 20017 | 202.265.7237 u 37

and design their own ornaments to take home. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Dolls are welcome! Reservations are required. $5. Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Ave. NW. 202-7852040.

Saturday Morning at the National Free Performances for Children

On Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. there are free live performances for children in the Helen Hayes Gallery. Tickets are required and distributed first come-first seated. Tickets are distributed 1/2 hour prior to performance. One ticket per person in line. The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. 202783-3372. Dec 8-Christmas Dreams from The Nutcracker. Saturday Morning at the National families eagerly await the annual presentation of the Virginia Ballet Company and School’s selections from Tchaikovsky’s glittering confection. Snowflakes and Sugar Plum Fairies fill the air in a dazzling presentation full of lovely costumes, lively dances and elegant holiday cheer. Dec 15-Chris Davis: A Christmas Carol. Join Tim Cratchitt (all grown up) and his blushing bride, Rose, in recreating Charles Dickens’s classic tale A Christmas Carol. Kids in the audience take roles in the show, playing Jacob Marley, Ghosts of Christmas, and the cantankerous old miser himself to the delight and merriment of all!

Paul Public Charter School Expands Curriculum to High School Grades

Paul Public Charter School is expanding to include high school grades. Paul PCS currently provides sixth through ninth graders with a high quality education. Beginning in the fall of 2013, Paul will expand one grade each school year. By the 2015-2016 school year, Paul will also offer middle and high school grades, sixth through twelfth. Paul’s International High School will focus on providing a college prep education, while focusing on developing global awareness and cultural competencies for its scholars. Paul Public Charter School, 5800 8th St. NW. 202-291-7499.

National Gallery of Art Children’s Video Tour (time travel)

Click on the images at education/timetravel for a closer look at 38 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

some of the paintings on display in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art and visit people, places, and surprising scenes from distant lands and times. If you are visiting the museum, this tour is available in the Rotunda free-ofcharge on handheld digital audio players that allow you to listen while standing in front of the original works of art.

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“My Fair Lady” Parent-Child Tea and Family Fun Pack

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On Dec. 16 at 2:00 p.m., enjoy premium seats to the matinee performance of “My Fair Lady” followed by a traditional British Afternoon Tea. Tickets are $250 for an Adult and Youth pair; additional tickets are $125 each. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit or call 202-600-4025. All proceeds will benefit Arena Stage’s award-winning Community Engagement Programs. Bring the whole family to Arena Stage to see My Fair Lady, through Jan 6. They have brought back the Family Fun Pack: four seats for $125. Must include a minimum of two patrons between ages 5 and 17 per Fun Pack; cannot be combined with any other offer or applied to previously purchased tickets; limit two Fun Packs per household. All standard fees apply. Must be purchased by phone or in person.

Washington National Cathedral Knitting and Crocheting Ministry

Do you knit or crochet? Join them on the first and third Sundays of each month in S–4 after the 11:15 a.m. service. This fall, they’re knitting and crocheting children’s warm hats, scarves, and mittens to donate to organizations such as Bright Beginnings which serves homeless children and families. You can also bring your own project and enjoy the company. Can’t knit or crochet? They’ll teach you! Needles and yarn are available. They welcome new members at any time. No registration is required. Take the South Tower elevator to the 4th floor.

Community Academy Public Charter School Winter Social

Get into the winter spirit with Community Academy Public Charter School Online, a tuition-free online public school that offers highly individualized online education for DC students in grades K-8, at the Dupont Ice Arena

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in Washington, DC on Friday, Dec 14 from 10 a.m. until noon. This is a great opportunity to meet other CAPCS Online families and for prospective families to learn more about the K¹² program. CAPCS Online staff will be available to answer any questions. Students will have the opportunity to participate in arts and crafts activities and ice skate! Community Academy Public Charter School’s Winter Social is just one example of the regular events the school organizes for students and families throughout the school year. Other socialization opportunities include school clubs, meet and greet events, and field trips to local museums and zoos. Interested parents and their children will be able to talk with teachers and have all their questions answered by Community Academy Public Charter staff. For those unable to attend, there are Live Online Information Sessions Dec 5 and 12 at 10 a.m. Visit capcs/ for details or call 866-339-9912 with any questions.

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Next Christmas in Girouette: New Novel Provides Festive Opportunity for Quality Family Time

Set on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Montana, this is the story of a brother and sister-Autry and Oxana Quinn-who find themselves stranded in a Girouette, a virtual ghost town, from Thanksgiving through Christmas when their father is taken seriously ill. Their grandfather, a Marine Captain long retired, plus an eccentric old café proprietress, a Blackfeet Indian horse trader who once served as the town’s mayor, a couple who published the local newspaper and an ancient deaf-mute trapper are the only remaining inhabitants of Girouette. These self-styled, “diehards” all seem to have one thing in common. Thanks to a mysterious event 60 years earlier, they still believe in Santa Claus. With modern technology hogging the attention of most people, nobody can deny that the upcoming festive season presents the perfect opportunity to re-kindle the values that keep friends and families together. Thanks to author Michael Welch and his two creative Daughters, their new book could offer the heart-warming literary adventure every family is seeking this holiday season. For more information, visit the author’s official blog at girouettechristmas. u u 39

at home

+ Home / Style


of delights get higher and higher as very year at this time, those you ascend up the three flights to a who give themselves the massive open space that reads like a pleasure of going on the angallery, party room and dance hall nual Logan Circle Holiday House all-in-one! Tour are treated to the opportuNumber 15 Logan Circle was nity to walk through the homes of built in 1877 for a Civil War vetertheir neighbors and fellow Washan and ambassador to Peru. Startingtonians to see how different ing in 1891 the house was sold to folks deck their halls! I don’t mean nation of Korea and was used as necessarily for Christmas either. its embassy until 1910. That year, In fact, now that I think about it, Japan seized the house as spoils over the past few years very few of of the Russo-Japanese war. Afterthe homes on the tour decorated wards it served as a home or headwith the Yuletide in mind. Instead, quarters to several individuals and what you see as you go from home organizations until the most recent to home is pretty much the dayto-day look. And I mean that in owners bought it in 1977, 100 years after it was first constructed. As the best possible way. From the it turns out, the 1977 purchasers many Victorians that first gave the owned it up until two months ago neighborhood its grandeur to the by Mark F. Johnson before selling it to the government more recent open-plan Modernist apartments that have been springof South Korea which plans to reing up over the last ten to fifteen years, the spotlight shone nicely on a mix of open it as a cultural center. The house appears to have most of its original Victorian integrity despite properties during the Sunday, December 2 tour. One of my favorites was a Logan Circle mini mansion located right on some modifications made throughout the years. For the most part, the rooms the Circle as it meets 13th Street. What a charmer number 15 Logan Circle retain their original dimensions and Victorian features like marble fireplaces, is from the minute you walk across the doorstep. If you don’t look up, you’ll pocket doors, incredibly high ceilings and winding staircases. What has been miss the vestibule fresco up some twelve or so feet high. From there the list added is a mix of beautiful antique pieces milling around with Modern pieces

34th Annual Logan Circle Holiday House Tour This year’s tour showcased some standouts

Metropole Penthouse living room featuring eyeball fireplace

40 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

Metropole second floor catwalk overlooking living room

and a pinch of African and Middle Eastern touches. There is also a representation of Asian artifacts that give a nod to its days as the Korean embassy. The result, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful, interesting and balanced decors you will find. This house above all others, tells the story of what Logan Circle was and what it is on the way to becoming.

The New Logan Circle

So what is Logan Circle on the way to becoming? Well, take a look at the Metropole penthouse apartment at 15th and P and you will get a pretty great idea! An apartment or two from the Metropole has been on the tour for probably the last two or three years but none to my memory has been as spectacular as #708. This Modernist penthouse could have been lifted from the New York or Chicago skyscape, save for the lowerrise buildings of course. The point is the magnificence of the floor to ceiling glass windows, the high ceilings, the openness of the unit and the cold

but exciting industrial touches. The 2800 sq. foot space has a two-level living room, south, west and north facing mini balcony as well as a much more spacious two-level south facing balcony which must come in handy for fireworks watching parties. This balcony has its own kitchenette in fact. The design of the space is both sophisticated and elegant, probably befitting of the empty-nester couple that live here, but also quite playful too. The glass catwalk that peers out over the living room from the second level shows that. But what is really breathtaking is the Mid Century Modern-inspired touches like the black eyeball fireplace suspended from the ceiling. The décor is dotted with Lucite furniture, Modern artworks splashes of color and contemporary Modern design furniture. So much so in fact that it could easily be mistaken for a duplex on the Upper East Side or in one of the 1950s or 1960s buildings along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The people that live here though, have some great

15 Logan Circle Italianate fresco overhead in vestibule

antique pieces on display as well giving this very Modern space a bit of extra gravitas and warmth! Moroccan flourishes also add warmth and interest. But really, one would be hard-pressed not to find something to snatch your attention in this unit. The kitchen, for example, which runs the whole length of the dining area, is a beauty and the finishes are splendid. The southwest facing corner unit seems far away from Logan Circle as one is used to thinking of it. But in reality, the corridor along 14th street is really catching up fast to the Modern look. After so many design thrills as the previous two homes had to offer, the third spot on “my favorites” list goes the Vermont Avenue home of a minister and her husband. The home is in fact a parsonage for the minister of Mount Olivet Church across the street. In a word, it is very Zen-like, from the minimalism of décor, to the choices of pale wall colors and the use of decorative religious symbols. It is a fairly spacious two-level unit,

with good light. In the front of the house is a Japanese-inspired garden and lots of Asian influences are seen throughout the space. One thing that you often find in DC homes is evidence of foreign travel or some previous life abroad. That was certainly true in this home with its Asian traces but generally true of many of the houses on the tour. In fact one house, the home of an Italian World Bank employee and his family, looked way more European in style than it did American. Once again there was a church on this year’s tour. John Wesley African American Episcopal Zion Church, at the corner of 14th and Corcoran opened its newly remodeled church and sanctuary right after Sunday services. And this year the Studio Theater at 14th and P Streets was not just the place where tourgoers picked up tickets and drank wassail. It was also on the tour. Make sure to put next year’s tour on your calendar. It’s not to be missed. u

15 Logan Circle third floor Great Room u 41

at home

+ Changing Hands / Garden Fairy

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. Neighborhood Close Price BR FEE SIMPLE BLOOMINGDALE 128 S ST NW



$1,425,000 $769,555 $695,000 $679,000 $581,000 $549,000 $536,650 $475,000 $449,000 $443,000 $420,000 $415,000 $392,400 $340,000


$1,065,000 $910,000 $735,000 $711,000 $605,000


$1,001,000 $934,000 $902,000 $900,000 $900,000 $820,000 $475,000 $442,000 $360,000

4 6 3 4 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 4 3 3 4 6 5 5 3 3 3 3 3 4 0 7 3 4 5


$690,000 $525,000 $522,000 $440,000 $399,000 $356,000 $350,000 $343,000 $339,400 $250,000 $235,000

4 4 4 3 4 4 3 4 3 3 3


$569,900 $379,000 $441,000 $425,000

BLOOMINGDALE 2201 2ND ST NW #41 2201 2ND ST NW #21 149 W ST NW #34 1818 1ST ST NW #2

$323,000 $309,900 $299,000 $624,990

2 1 1 2 1 1 1 5


$547,750 $521,000 $430,000 $399,750 $387,500 $380,000 $279,000

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS 1341 IRVING ST NW #D 3004 13TH ST NW #3 2819 11TH ST NW #1 1341 IRVING ST NW #A 1336 MERIDIAN PL NW #1 1323 CLIFTON ST NW #33 700 QUINCY ST NW #3 1417 CHAPIN ST NW #402 1435 CHAPIN ST NW #207 3039 16TH ST NW #101 1415 CHAPIN ST NW #306 2920 SHERMAN AVE NW #1 1300 TAYLOR ST NW #201 2721 13TH ST NW #1 1438 COLUMBIA RD NW #104 1465 COLUMBIA RD NW #102 1307 CLIFTON ST NW #24 1438 MERIDIAN PL NW #206 1441 SPRING RD NW #204 1441 SPRING RD NW #303 1101 FAIRMONT ST NW #4 3900 14TH ST NW #402 2600 SHERMAN AVE NW #BO-2 1205 CLIFTON ST NW #C

$775,000 $670,000 $625,000 $610,000 $609,000 $580,000 $519,000 $489,000 $488,000 $455,000 $445,000 $421,700 $410,000 $409,000 $381,900 $376,000 $375,000 $374,000 $285,000 $251,000 $235,000 $231,600 $220,000 $600,000

1 1 1 1 1 1 0

$630,000 $446,900 $359,000 $358,543 $344,500 $251,500 $225,000 $215,000 $685,000 $608,196 $358,000 $355,500 $240,000 $2,300,000

$865,000 $810,000 $604,000 $525,000 $499,900 $475,000 $449,900 $445,000 $425,000 $389,000 $381,000 $374,900 $295,000 $263,000 $241,000 $483,000 $327,000 $525,000 $477,500

MOUNT PLEASANT 2 2 4 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 3 2 1 1 2 2


1740 18TH ST NW #104 1725 P ST NW #302 1545 18TH ST NW #609 1815 18TH ST NW #102 1730 NEW HAMPSHIRE AVE NW #1 1260 21ST ST NW #907 1 SCOTT CIR NW #206 U ST CORRIDOR 1825 T ST NW #703 1224 W ST NW $752,250 3 1622 19TH ST NW #3 2206 12TH PL NW $565,000 2 1704 16TH ST NW #1 1545 18TH ST NW #322 WOODLEY 1731 WILLARD ST NW #106 2760 WOODLEY PL NW $1,135,000 3 1828 RIGGS PL NW #22 1414 22ND ST NW #61

1235 S NW #1 1220 N ST NW #3B 1300 13TH ST NW #707 1515 15TH ST NW #234 1109 M ST NW #9 1109 M ST NW #3 1109 M ST NW #5 1113 O ST NW #4 1441 RHODE ISLAND AVE NW #120 1210 R ST NW #BO7 1200 Q ST NW #302 1239 VERMONT AVE NW #609 1115 12TH ST NW #704 1521 KINGMAN PL NW #4 1300 N ST NW #813 1001 L ST NW #205 1245 13TH ST NW #714 1401 CHURCH ST NW #308 2001 12TH ST NW #212

2 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 2 2 1 1 0 3


$604,000 $539,000 $380,000 $350,000 $288,000



OLD CITY 737 6TH ST NE #2 1391 PENNSYLVANIA AVE SE #525 612 14TH PL NE #3 730 11TH ST NE #304 1441 RHODE ISLAND AVE NW #402 1408 Q ST NW #3 555 MASSACHUSETTS AVE NW #1018 437 NEW YORK AVE NW #Y-24 910 M ST NW #930 1420 N ST NW #608 1441 RHODE ISLAND AVE NW #609 1900 S ST NW #404 811 4TH ST NW #813 910 M ST NW #607 1504 17TH ST NW #2 555 MASSACHUSETTS AVE NW #716 1404 11TH ST NW #401 1618 S ST NW #5 440 RHODE ISLAND AVE NW #T-104 1245 13TH ST NW #515 1 SCOTT CIR NW #217

$724,900 $396,000 $240,000 $231,000 $654,000 $603,100 $550,000 $490,000 $467,000 $440,000 $435,000 $419,000 $410,000 $406,500 $400,000 $385,000 $375,000 $370,000 $357,000 $304,000 $239,900

$750,000 $559,900 $384,000 $346,000

42 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

2 2 1 1

1300 N ST NW #711 2125 14TH ST NW #625 1324 Q ST NW #B 1339 Q ST NW #A

$375,000 $360,000 $1,400,000 $1,100,000

1 0 2 2

2 2 2 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1


$195,000 $195,000 $149,900

2 2 1

SHAW 515 Q ST NW #1 1111 11TH ST NW #610

$585,000 $349,000

CONDO LOGAN U STREET 1300 13TH ST NW #406 $679,000 2 2100 11TH ST NW #G-07 $422,000 ADAMS MORGAN 1300 N ST NW #615 $475,000 2 1923 12TH ST NW #3 $826,000 2410 17TH ST NW #311 1811 WYOMING AVE NW #4 1855 CALVERT ST NW #502 1801 CALVERT ST NW #408

3 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 0 2 1 1 2

1920 12TH ST NW #1 2125 14TH ST NW #526


$775,000 $615,000

2 1

1 2 2 2

Garden Fairy by Frank Asher The Changing Seasons

The seasons seem to change rather quickly this time of year. Once fall hits, the holidays just keep coming in like meteors, one after another. Most experienced gardeners begin to sense when to start planting bulbs, or cutting back perennials and pulling out summer annuals. I call it “putting the garden to bed for winter.” I started gardening in the District in mid 2000. I remember that fall was super busy from mid-September to early November. Everything needed to be done before Thanksgiving. I did it all and then patted down my gardens with mulch and waited for December to arrive. It is so different now in 2012. With December around the corner, I am still planting bulbs for clients. I am still adding trees and shrubs. I am even keeping a few plants in the ground that were once called tropicals. As a matter of fact, the USDA Hardiness Zone in our area has changed from a 6 to a 7 over the last 15 years or so. If you ask me, as a gardener, our climate is getting warmer, even more so in the urban environment.

The Hot Debate

First, let me ask: Why wasn’t there more debate on this subject? The Presidential candidates really

didn’t mull on it too much. It has been kept for the sideshows. I can only speak as a man who works outdoors under the sky with the plants and soil at my touch. This shouldn’t even be a debate. The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration reported that this past October was the 332nd consecutive month with aboveaverage temperature. If you were born after April 1985, if you are now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average. Did you know that the US has just witnessed its worst drought since 1954? Even Monsanto Corn couldn’t cut the waterless, overheated land. Is it a coincidence that Ken Burns just did a documentary called “Dust Bowl”?

What to Do?

For starters, it’s time to get your outdoor space ready for cooler weather. Cut back dead branches and cut down perennials. You can even bury some of your annuals, roots and all, right where they are. A little negative space is good for winter. The buried plants decompose and help the soil for the following spring. Plant bulbs if the ground hasn’t frozen up yet. Be mindful of microclimates. They are variations of the climate within a given area, usually influenced by hills, hallows, structures (walls and buildings), or proximity to bodies of water. For example, certain “topical plants” or a pot of bulbs might survive if they are placed near a warm wall of the house. Plants close to a body of water can sometimes survive the winter without much watering. Also, put down a good layer of mulch, whether your plant is in a pot or on the ground. It just keeps things protected. If you really want to do something outside the garden regarding these changes that have an impact on all of us, check out Frank Asher is founder of Fairies’ Crossing, est. 2000, and owner of Old City Green, est. 2008, Where People and Plants Come together. Especially for Christmas!; u


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A Year in Pictures by Alexander M. Padro; Photos by Pleasant P. Mann and Alexander M. Padro


he pace of the revitalization of central Shaw quickened dramatically in 2012, as cranes went up, holes were dug, and some buildings were finished, and ribbon cuttings for new businesses were taking pace every month along 7th and 9th Streets, NW. Fun events like the new the Shaw Art Walk and the second Shaw Bar Crawl drew visitors from around the city who joined residents in exploring some of the exciting new businesses the neighborhood has to offer. But as much as change was in the air, some traditions continued to be observed and enjoyed. The Kennedy Recreation Center held


(4) (5)

its annual Summer Kick Off event with food and fun for kids. The French Street Neighbors Association held its 20th annual holiday tree lighting the longest running community tree lighting ceremony on the city. – Alexander M. Padro is executive director of Shaw Main Streets and chair of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2C. u



(6) (1) The first ever Shaw Art Walk featured a tour of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center’s $7 Million art collection and visits to neighborhood art galleries, ending with cocktails at The Passenger (February 8 , 2012) (2) After being closed for decades, the Howard Theatre reopened as a performing arts venue, with a new statue of Jazz legend “Duke” Ellington watching over concertgoers as they line up to go inside (April 9, 2012) (3) TV celebrity style guru Paul Wharton played MC at Shaw Main Streets’ Shaw in Bloom Gala at Long View Gallery (April 18, 2012) (4) A new world-class soccer and softball field, as well as a dog exercise area, at Bundy Field brought new recreation opportunities for children and dogs of all ages to the neighborhood (May 12, 2012) (5) New York Avenue Beach Bar, the city’s first in-town, complete with sun, sand, and 44 u Midcity DC | DECEMBER 2012

umbrellas, brought an island vibe to New York Avenue, with open air events all summer long (May 25, 2012) (6) The Kennedy Recreation Center Summer Kickoff brought moon bounces, snow cones, cotton candy and more to delight kids on a warm sunny day (June 9, 2012) (7) DC fashion was on display at Shaw Open House/Cultural Couture, with two outdoor runways and dazzling models and designs (June 23, 2012) (8) Volunteers stripped and primed historic fire and police call boxes in preparation for painting by artists and the installation of neighborhood history plaques (September 9, 2012) (9) The Shaw Halloween Bar Crawl brought together a large cast of characters, including Prince of Petworth, George Washington, The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen , and Katy Perry, for a 6 hour tour of the bars in Shaw (October 27, 2012)

(9) (10) A generous donation from Douglas Development made possible the delivery of Thanksgiving turkey dinners to residents of Second Northwest Coop and other complexes throughout the city. (11) Community leaders and kids lit a 10 foot tall holiday tree at the French Street Park, a 20-year tradition on the block (December 1, 2012)

(10) (11)

d s e e

r y u 45


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Midcity DC Magazine December 2012  

News from the uptown and Northwest DC areas of Washington, DC.

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