48°Overcast

by Borderstan.com April 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0

"Borderstan""JCC"

“Traces of Memory: A Contemporary Look at the Jewish Past in Poland”” is at the Bronfman Gallery through May 21. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT]borderstan.com and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

A multi-year collaboration between photographer Chris Schwarz and scholar Jonathan Weber, the exhibition “Traces of Memory: A Contemporary Look at the Jewish Past in Poland” offers a new way of understanding a vibrant and extensive history left in ruins. The exhibition runs through May 21 at the D.C. Jewish Community Center’s Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery, 16th and Q NW.

In the decades following the Holocaust, images of its atrocities in Poland, most notably Auschwitz, overshadowed the rich Jewish history that began more than 800 years before the Nazis invaded Poland.

“Traces” provides a photographic response to the most infamous images to come out of Poland: those of death, destruction, and supreme evil. Schwarz and Weber make the case that, in order to fully understand what was lost in the past, we must confront it and compare it with what is left today.

As such, the exhibition feels less like art and more like history. Schwarz’s style of photography is journalistic and, because the subjects are all modern-day, the visuals provide little chronology or direction. It is Weber’s narration that gives the exhibit a sense of movement and a clear emotional arc. Weber provides context to a photograph of a ruined temple or anti-Semitic graffiti that mars a memorial — his narration gives us a fuller picture of the Jewish legacy in Poland than one image ever could.

That isn’t to say Schwarz’s photographs fall short — actually, they are stunning in both senses of the word. The contemporary nature of the images gives the exhibition gravity. While black-and-white historical photographs of atrocities might allow us to remove ourselves from the violence, images of the modern-day sites where these acts took place are somehow harder to ignore.

One memorable photograph shows Auschwitz’s barracks stretching to the horizon, where a very modern skyline awaits. Another image shows an idyllic pastoral landscape — perfect for a summer picnic — yet marred with a sign in the foreground bearing the bloody sword that denotes the site of a mass murder. I bet it didn’t look all that different back then, on that day, one thinks.

“Traces” fully transports the viewer away from Borderstan, making it an unusual exhibition to feature in this hyper-local blog. But the collaboration succeeds because it forces us to acknowledge the nearness of the Holocaust to our modern lives: how it happened in unassuming places, and how it caught most by surprise.

 “Traces of Memory: A Contemporary Look at the Jewish Past in Poland” is showing at the Jewish Community Center’s Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery at 1525 16th (at Q Street) Street until May 21.

Related Posts

Like Borderstan’s Arts & Entertainment stories? Get an RSS Feed for the A&E Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,326 1 Comment

"Borderstan" "U and 14th Street NW", Luis, Gomez, Photos, liquor, licenses, DC, nightlife

The 14th and U corridor has become of DC’s most popular destinations for restaurants, music and clubs. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT]borderstan.com and follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

Late last week, on April 25 news of an online petition opposing the possibility of an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) license moratorium in the 14th and U Street / MidCity neighborhoods landed in Borderstan’s email box. Bryan Martin Firvida created the petition on the site Change.org petition on Wednesday and it is already has almost 400 signatures as of Monday morning.

Martin Firvida is a past president of the U Street Neighborhood Association (USNA), elected president four times, 2002 to 2004 and again in 2010. He also served as chair of USNA’s Business Development and ABC Committee and served on the USNA Board of Directors. Martin Firvida also spent four years as a Special Assistant in the Executive Office of the Mayor and the Office of the City Administrator working on neighborhood issues.

In their comments, the petition’s signers overwhelmingly expressed their support for the growth, diversity and development of the U street area. Former president of the U Street Neighborhood Association, Martin Firvida, a resident of the U street area,  appears to have created the petition as a preemptive measure to the possibility of a moratorium.

Martin Firvida told Borderstan, “I set up the petition as a way for my neighbors to both proactively express their support for our neighborhood, and for addressing the issues we face in a smart and comprehensive way, while also registering their opposition to an ABC license moratorium. Just like any of the vibrant neighborhoods here in the District, we have a complex mix of quality of life issues that can really only be effectively managed through ongoing collaboration — which is accomplished by bringing residents, businesses and government to the table to work together. A moratorium does none of that.”

Another factor at play in the area is a current zoning restriction, which limits the total square footage of restaurant, club and lounge storefronts to 50%. This restriction was raised from 25% in 2010, and is part of an arts overlay district that was put into place a number of years ago.

The 14th and U/MidCity neighborhoods could prove to be a tricky area to navigate for any community group hoping to build support for a moratorium. The area includes blocks in Wards 1 and 2, at least three different ANCs (1B, 2B and 2F) and just as many neighborhood associations.

Five Moratoriums in Effect

The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) lists five moratorium actions in DC. The neighborhoods with liquor license moratoriums are Georgetown, Adams Morgan, Glover Park, Dupont West and Dupont East (17th Street NW).

The moratorium discussion and process begins at the level of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) or neighborhood association. Martin Firvida’s petition states, “Once again, we’re hearing the idea of a Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) License (a/k/a “a liquor license”) Moratorium being discussed for the Greater 14th and U Street Neighborhoods.”

The commercial corridors of 14th and U Streets have seen rapid residential development in the past few years and have, as a result, drawn many new restaurants and bars. New businesses that desire an ABC license must navigate their way through the choppy waters of the public protest process. In most cases, businesses end up signing the now ubiquitous “voluntary agreement” or VA and agree to limited hours in serving alcohol in order to expedite the process.

Related Posts

Like Borderstan’s Business stories? Get an RSS Feed for the Business Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 30, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

"Borderstan""Noah Karesh""Danny Harris"

Noah Karesh and Danny Harris from Feastly. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Mary El Pearce. Follow her on Twitter@CupcakesDC and email her at maryelp[At]borderstan.com.

Those of us who live in Borderstan know D.C. is on the up-and-up when it comes being cool. We’ve got our own music, food and fashion scenes going on, and more importantly, we’ve got an influx of fresh, creative ideas and people who like to share them with each other.

Feastly, co-founded by Danny Harris and Noah Karesh, is a great example of what’s happening in this new D.C. Not too long ago, Karesh was traveling in Guatemala and wanted a home-cooked meal to experience the culture, but he couldn’t find one.

That’s when he decided to start a business in DC that would facilitate meals in people’s homes, to be attended by “feasters,” or people who are a part of the Feastly community. He told the idea to fellow entrepreneur Harris, and the two launched Feastly this past January. Karesh is also one of the owners of Blind Dog Cafe, which operates out of Darnell’s Bar during the day at 944 Florida Avenue NW. Harris became known for his site, People’s District, which told stories of D.C. residents in the first-person, and for his focus on the importance of oral storytelling.

“We’ve created an online marketplace so people can engage in all kinds of food experiences that take place in the homes,” said Harris. “Do you want to have a meal where you carbo-load before a big race happening in town? Have a fundraiser for the political candidate of your choice? The food is the center and it goes from there.”

Since Feastly launched, they’ve hosted more than 15 meals with various chefs, including Harris’s mother.

“We grow up eating around tables in homes, and we move away from that,” Harris explained. “We can bring back the home-cooked meal and empower cooks and chefs who may not be able to bring their goods to market.”

To participate in one of the meals, simply sign up on the website then peruse upcoming meals every Monday in the weekly e-newsletter. Meals vary in price, anywhere from $25 to $50.

“Someone might want to do an Italian meal on his back porch,” Harris said. “People show up at a certain time. You schmooze for a few minutes. The chef comes out and talks you through the meal. Meals have gone on for hours.”

“There’s an element of intimacy you find in a home you can’t find in any commercial space,” Karesh said. “I met a 60-year-old artist the other night, and it was fascinating to talk with her and share that bond.”

So the next time you’re looking for a new restaurant, you might want to consider checking out Feastly instead. What better way to get to know your neighbors than to eat their food in their home? And not knowing who will join you at the table, there’s a great chance you’ll meet someone to share your great ideas with.

Borderstan: Why did you decide to start your own business?

Karesh: I’ve been in the tech and start-up industry pretty much my whole career in the mobile and Internet side, as well as food-based ventures. It was a natural progression for me to merge the online and offline world.

Harris: I came to the city to do public policy work and ended up doing entrepreneurial work focused around storytelling and community development. My passion is around connecting people and figuring out the tools to do that. D.C. is an incredible city because so many are new to the city and trying to find their people. It’s also a great food town. We see that the table is the original social network. As everybody is trying to figure out how many friends you have on Facebook or how many followers you have on Twitter, the reality is that you’re having dinner by yourself at home. Our goal is to create a real community in real time around the table.

Borderstan: How have your lives changed since you started Feastly?

Karesh: It’s gotten a lot better. Hundreds of cooks approach us who want to do this. It’s amazing to me that there are all these people out there who cook professionally but want a more creative outlet.

Harris: What’s been most profound to me is we’ve been to almost every meal, and you see how people respond to the meals. They want this. They need it. People send handwrittten letters to the chefs afterward. They’re so thankful for the opportunity. They’re also thanking us. It’s unique to its users and founders.

Borderstan: What the biggest challenge of being a small business owner in D.C?

Harris: There was an assumption that the shareable economies hadn’t made their way into DC. But our growth shows us it’s the right city for us. People in D.C. may not be familiar with shareable economy and collaborative consumption, but they’re familiar with hosting dinner parties.

Borderstan: What advice do you have to anyone wanting to start a business?

Karesh: Do it. Don’t think about it anymore, just do it. You’ll learn more from executing than thinking about it. There are a million possibilities of what could happen. Don’t be afraid of failure.

Harris: It’s the most rewarding feeling to do something and show people what you’ve been thinking about doing.

Related Posts

Like Borderstan’s Business stories? Get an RSS Feed for the Business Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 30, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,174 0

"Borderstan" "14th Street Post Office"

The Post Office at 1915 14th Street NW closed Saturday. It may reopen as soon as late June in the Reeves Municipal Center at 14th and U Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The post office branch at 1915 14th Street NW closed on Saturday, April 28 in preparation for its eventual move to a new space at the Reeves Municipal Center. The sign on the door says that the post office hopes to re-open in its new location  at 2000 14th Street NW by late June.

For now, all parcels for zip codes 20009 and 20010 must be retrieved at the Columbia Heights Finance Unit at 3321 Georgia Avenue NW.

The post office at 1915 14th Street leaves its home – in a one-story post-1968 building – following a decision to transform the space into an apartment building with first-floor retail at the southeast corner of 14th Street and Wallach Place NW.

Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) announced on March 30 that the lease for the new post office branch was a done deal. Given the U.S. Postal Service’s budget deficit (and the closure of many branches nationally), there was a real possibility this branch would not be relocated.

Related Posts

Like reading Borderstan’s Politics & Government stories? Get an RSS Feed for the P&G Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 30, 2012 at 5:40 am 0

"Borderstan"'anokarina"

“On The Phone” is by anokarina from the Borderstan flickr pool.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, “On The Phone” was taken by anokarina on April 17.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from D.C.’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

Like Borderstan’s Arts & Entertainment stories? Get an RSS Feed for the A&E Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 28, 2012 at 8:00 am 0

Borderstan

Borderstan: News from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

Borderstan thanks this weeks advertisers for their support. Remember to Think Local First and support local businesses in DC and the Dupont-Logan-U Street neighborhood. Get information about advertising on Borderstan.com.

Chen Wen/Fairfax Realty: “Chen Wen has been a long time Dupont-Logan resident, having lived here since before Whole Foods was a reality. With more than 20 years of real estate experience, Wen takes pride in the fact that his clients keep coming back to him for their real estate needs.”

VIDA Fitness: “It’s Tax Day Fitness Refund month — $0 enrollment fee when you join in April. And… a get FREE 3-Day Membership to DC’s hottest fitness clubs! Start a new fitness plan or continue in your fitness journey with VIDA Fitness at any of our four downtown urban chic fitness clubs.” In the Borderstan area, VIDA is at 1612 U Street NW and at the Metropole, 1517 15th Street NW.

The Rutstein Group: A Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “In today’s market it’s important that your agent has the latest technology working for you! Drop us an email and tell us what you are looking for.” Office at 1606 17th Street NW.

Jo Ricks/City Houses: “Serving downtown buyers and sellers since 1979.This Realtor Is Not Your Average Jo.”

Rice: “I have collaborated with our two chefs, Phannarai Promprasert and Big Sriyuthana to create a menu that offers both traditional and contemporary Thai cuisine in a very simple setting with minimal decor in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC.” At 1608 14th Street NW.

Pizza No. 17 “Dinner Special, Monday through Friday (Dine-in only)… any bottle of wine and two personal 8″ Pizzas for $39.95.” At 1523 17th Street NW.

Level One: “Level One is casual chic. The perfect place for the first date or friends meeting for dinner. Large parties are no problem, the music’s great and the atmosphere is pure energy. The venue has a large outdoor seating area and is located below Cobalt.” At 17th and R Streets NW.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe: “Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe is DC’s only full-service restaurant and complete bar combined with an independent bookstore.” Just north of Dupont Circle at 1517 Connecticut Avenue NW.

Hank’s Oyster Bar: And “Join us for lunch on Fridays, 11:30 am to 3 pm… and for late-night snacks! And, Hank’s Oyster Bar and Lounge now has two happy hour events a day.” At 1624 Q Street NW, just off 17th Street.

gallery plan b: “Gallery plan b, located in the exciting 14th Street arts corridor, provides a casual, hip space for a dynamic group of both established and emerging local artists to show and sell their art.” Current exhibition: “Paintings by Kathy Beynette” through May 11. At 1530 14th Street NW.

EatWell DC: April 24 is the Chesapeake Tasting Dinner at Grillfish; limited seating available (1200 New Hampshire Avenue NW). Then celebrate Cinco de Mayo on May 5 with specials at Commissary (1443 P Street NW) and The Heights (3115 14th Street NW).

DC Noodles: “Our noodles come from authentic Thai recipes that we love back home. Thailand may not be known as “noodle country” but when we think of food, we think noodles. Pad Thai anyone?” At 1410 U Street NW.

DCFoodBuzz: “DCFoodBuzz is a suite of services designed by ASAA Multimedia and Pleasures of the Table specifically for the restaurant and hospitality industry in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Our experience has shown that just having an online presence isn’t enough in today’s competitive market.”

Clean CurrentsGreen Passport DC. Shop Local + Support Green = Win Prizes Up to $2,000. Clean Currents is your local, independent green energy company, supplying wind power through the grid to residents and businesses in the Mid-Atlantic.”

Mike Brown/McEnearney Associates: “Every member of your family is important. If you and your pets are considering a move, learn more about our program today!”

Like Borderstan’s Business stories? Get an RSS Feed for the Business Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,094 0

"Borderstan""Sparragus"

Asparagus at the farmers markets. (Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com.

Do you ever wonder where foodie types get all their inspiration? It’s true, there are some among us who walk the stalls of the farmers markets every Sunday positively oozing with culinary inspiration. Some can reach back into the recesses of their minds and pull out recipes, recalling their time at culinary school or a cooking class or some recipe they saw in Gourmet magazine in 1997.

And then there’s the rest of us. Who might need a little prodding, some inspiration and likely a kick in the rear to set us off on our adventures. Having a bit of an insider’s view as to how this cadre of the culinary mafia develops recipes, I’m here to offer you a few tips for where we get our inspiration.

  1. Blogs – There are big national blogs to follow, but I prefer reading DC’s finest first. If you need a list to start with, take a look at our archive of weekly farmers market posts! We try to feature local food blogger’s recipes as often as we can. Don’t just read what they wrote this week though, look back to this month last year, or the year before. Most folks are blogging about seasonal trends, whether they’re from the farmers market or dishes featured in restaurants.
  2. Cookbooks – One of my favorite cookbooks is Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food. The reason I love this book so much is for its no muss, no fuss approach to ingredients. When I’m walking around the market, sometimes all I see are ingredients and I need an idea for how I can include them in a larger dish. Waters will help you do just that.
  3. Magazines Online – Gourmet is out of print, Saveur can be expensive or seem out of reach and subscribing to Bon Appetit sounds like a nice idea but you’re probably not going to use it as often as you should. Don’t fret, all these mags have superb online search functions. My first spot for searching recipes online is often Saveur.com. Saveur does a fabulous job of mixing their own articles/recipes with recipes from like-minded bloggers across the country. Also, their recipes are much more accessible and simple than you would think.
  4. Eating Out – Chefs are an artistic lot, so why not leech a little creativity off them? When dining out it’s important to be adventurous – whatever your definition of adventurous is. Even if it’s “not ordering chicken,” it’s important to try something new so you can try new flavors, a new herb or protein and see how one of the pros does it! Don’t be afraid to ask what’s in a dish, or even for the recipe. The truth is, these are aren’t state secrets and most chefs realize you will never make it as well as they do so many are willing to share.
  5. Traveling – My #1 rule for eating when I travel is this: if I can get it at home, I’m not getting it here. Why waste your money when you’re traveling on a chain or eating the same old stuff you get at home? If you’re in Chicago, go look for Chicago-style pizza! If you’re in Tucson, seek out the littlest hole in the wall Mexican food joint you can find. It takes some effort, but I promise, the internet is here to help. And you know, foodie types love telling stories about “that moussaka they had on a tiny island in Greece made by a little old lady” they’re always trying to replicate.
  6. Pinterest – Oh it’s just alllll the rage right now! You’re too cool for Pinterest! I know, you’re a hipster who’s already looking for the next Pinterest. But for the rest of us, this is a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration. Follow your friends, follow your favorite bloggers, search “kale” — there’s a bazillion ways to find new and interesting dishes to make. Heed these warnings though: things will look far more perfect and beautiful on Pinterest than they will in real life, and you do not have to put every dish you make in a mason jar.

I think it goes without saying that inspiration can be found just about anywhere — maybe in some art or from your mom or friends. Sometimes we forget an idea is likely just a tweet, phone call or Google search away.

Where do you guys get your cooking inspiration from? I’m always looking for new places to poke around for recipes and ideas, so please share in the comments! And don’t forget, if you have cooking or market questions, ping me on Twitter — I’m @frijolita.

Like reading Borderstan’s Food & Drink stories? Get an RSS Feed for the F&E Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm 0

"Borderstan""Shaw Dog Park"

Saturday, 10 am: Shaw Dog Park cleanup. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Borderstan

The spring Shaw Dog Park Cleanup Day is this Saturday, April 28 from 10 to 11 am. Shaw Dogs asks that you bring garden tools, wheelbarrows and rakes (remember to wear gloves). Tasks will include picking up litter in and around the park, raking gravel, filing holes, tending the tree boxes and performing some basic repair work.

The park is on 11th Street between Rhode Island Avenue and R Street NW, and is run by the Shaw Dog Park Association, a non-profit organization, which holds monthly meetings.

Related Posts

Like Borderstan’s News stories? Get an RSS Feed for the News Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,079 1 Comment

From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.

Federal and local criminal justice leaders met at a public forum on Tuesday night to present plans for interagency efforts to address crime and increase public safety. The meeting at Shiloh Baptist Church at 1510 9th Street NW, was organized by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), an independent D.C. agency designed to promote public safety through partnerships.

"Borderstan""Borderstan Accident""16th Street NW"

The DC Police Summer Crime Initiative kicks off May 2. (Borderstan file photo)

The meeting included presentations on interagency efforts in a number of areas including reducing the number of outstanding warrants, integrating substance abuse and mental health services, promoting alternatives to incarceration, improving the juvenile justice system, and ensuring citizens returning from jail and prison are able to reenter successfully.

MPD Chief Cathy Lanier discussed the 2012 Summer Crime Initiative, an effort by the Police Department to focus extra resources on five high-crime areas in order to reduce violent crime. Lanier noted that last year’s initiative successfully reduced homicides in the target areas by 71 percent, robberies and assaults with a deadly weapon by 20 percent, and overall violent crime by 20 percent. This year’s initiative kicks off Wednesday, May 2, and runs through the end of August.

Attendees included Lanier, U.S. Marshal Michael A. Hughes, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Chairman of the U.S. Parole Commission Issac Fulwood, and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul A. Quander, Jr.

The summer crime initiative will use focused prevention and targeted enforcement to address violent crime. Strategies include using intelligence and special units to target high-rate offenders and gang leaders, providing outreach activities to keep youth out of trouble, and using call-in meetings to put offenders under supervision on notice about the consequences for re-offending. These call-in meetings are designed to let parolees and probationers know that if they engage in criminal activity, they will face a swift and severe response from criminal justice agencies.

One of the five target areas for 2012 includes a small portion of Borderstan in Police Service Area 308. The North Capitol and O Street target area covers parts of three police districts (First, Third, and Fifth), and includes the eastern edge of Borderstan, from 7th Street NW to 9th Street NW and from N Street NW up to R Street NW. This target area is being overseen by Third District Captain Juanita Mitchell.

About 50 people attended the CCJC meeting. Interestingly, in a survey of attendees at the start of the meeting, about 40 percent of respondents said they were from Maryland with 20 percent living in Ward 1 and 2 percent in Ward 2. The meeting was taped by the Office of Cable Television and will be shown later on Channel 16.

Like reading Borderstan’s Crime stories? Get an RSS Feed for the Crime Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 27, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,053 9 Comments

Scotts Parents

On June 25, 1949, Robert Thompson married Juliette (Judy) Hance. Sixty-three years later, after raising two sons and 6 grandchildren, they are still married and live in Elmhurst, Illinois, in a home directly across from Elmhurst College, where they first met. (Photo from Scott Thompson)

From Scott Thompson. Follow Scott on Twitter @foureyedblond or email him at thompson[AT]@borderstan.com.

This past weekend, I watched the film, The Iron Lady.

I had seen the film once previously, back in January during Oscar nomination season. At the time, I was awed by Meryl Streep’s performance, but I found the overall tone of the film flat — undeserving of the complex political life on which it was based. This time, however, the point of the film resonated with me in a new way — the way I believe its filmmakers had intended.

Rather than an in-depth analysis of political events, The Iron Lady focused on something that affects each of our lives:  the reality of memory, of looking back. Regardless of whether we are Prime Minister or pauper, 90-years-old or 30-years-old, each of us goes to bed at night in the same manner — alone with our thoughts, alone with the memories, the faces, the regrets, and the joys that define our lives.

As I watched the film, I immediately thought of my grandparents Robert and Judy, of the “movie” they must experience as they look back on 60 years of marriage, and 90 and 88 respective years of life. What memories stand out most to them? Most importantly, what have they learned — what lessons could they share?

It’s easy for those of us living in big cities to forget that the greatest lessons available to us often lie within the memories of grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles — the people that we forget to call as we bury our noses in books, music or the internet to find meaning and direction.

This week, I took that realization to heart and called my grandparents — not simply to ask about their day, but to ask about their lives.  They are members of what is known as “The Greatest Generation” — children of the Great Depression and the Americans who won World War II.  Will our generation carry the baton?

Below are excerpts from my conversation with them.

"Borderstan"

Scott and Grandpa Bob, in full 1980s regalia. (Photo from Scott Thompson)

After 90 and 88 years, what is it that makes you excited to wake up each day?  What keeps you going?

Robert:  The key is to always have something to look forward to – and if you don’t have anything, make something, whether it’s a vacation or just a dinner date.

Judy: That’s why I always keep my calendar near the phone — to pencil in something to look forward to, be it tomorrow, next week, or next month.

When did you know each other was “the one?”  Do you believe in the concept of “the one?”

Robert: I wanted to go steady with your Grandma because we laughed and had fun wherever we went. It didn’t hurt that she was a good looking, sexy gal, too!

Judy: I had gone on dates with several gentlemen during college. However, when I met your grandfather, it seemed so natural – and I couldn’t imagine going out with anyone else after that. Today, I think young kids are so nervous about everything. We didn’t have any money when we met, but we took the bull by the horns and went for the moon. When I walked down the aisle, I was not apprehensive at all — I knew I had made the right choice. It really is about finding someone you love to be with all day long — who makes you laugh — who is your friend. That’s what I think at least.

Robert: And we still cuddle up in bed. The other night your grandmother had a nightmare, woke up, and hit me with a pillow. I sat up, turned to her, and yelled “what on earth do you think you’re going to do with a pillow?” We still make each other laugh.

After fighting in World War II and seeing the horrific side of humanity, were you nervous about bringing children into the world? 

Robert: No, because when I remember the war, like most things in life, I remember the good times. I don’t remember the bombs – I remember the baseball games, or the songs, or laughs on the ship. The good memories always rise to the surface if you let them.

How important is money to happiness?

Judy: It certainly helps, especially as you raise kids and when you’re older. When your grandfather retired, we loved being able to travel, to go to the symphony, to do the things we loved. But when we started out, we were just like you kids. We only had two pieces of furniture and lived on what money we had. It was very hard to save anything. Our favorite night was potluck night with our friends. I could perform miracles with one pound of ground beef in those days!

Robert: There is a line that goes something like “From the cradle to the grave, the money that matters most, is the money you gave.”  So you may laugh when your Mom sends you a gift or when I give you a $10 bill before you go to the airport, but we do it because there is joy in it.

What is one day you wish you could live over again?

Judy: Our 50th wedding anniversary — being surrounded by our children and grandchildren.

What is your biggest regret?

Judy: I can honestly say I don’t have any regrets — I have lived a very full life.

Robert: It’s not a regret I think about — but I suppose I could have taken more advantage of those opportunities when I easily could have seen something new, be it a new city or a new museum or a new play. I always wanted to come home right away after business trips to be with my family, but looking back I am sure there were moments when I could have adjusted my schedule a bit, even if just for a few hours or a day, and could have seen more of the world while I had the chance.

If you had your 30-year old body back and a free Saturday with nothing on your schedule, what would you do?

Judy:  I always loved when your grandfather and I would go to our local club and go dancing. I would like to go dancing again.

Robert: My 30-year -old body? Well it would depend on who I was with and what time of the day it was!

Judy: Bob!

What is your favorite memory of your mothers?

Robert:  I remember my mother coming in each night to give me a kiss goodnight.

Judy: I loved watching my mother bake Christmas cookies. She was a widow during the Depression and worked during the day, but she would stay up all night to make sure we had a beautiful Christmas.

Robert: You’ll find, at some point, there comes a time when you end up taking care of the person who always took care of you. And you shouldn’t fear that day – you should appreciate it and look forward to it.

Most of us in our twenties and thirties are constantly worrying — about dating, about jobs, about money, about the future. What advice would you give?

Robert:  I have complete empathy with your group, because I remember exactly what it feels like to be that age. The challenges you face these days may be different than our generation, but they are still challenges. In the Navy, we had a guidebook called The Bluejackets Manual — and there was a line in it that said, “For all your days be prepared, and meet them ever alike. When you are the anvil, bear — when you are the hammer, strike.” In other words, there will always be bad times, and when they come, you bear them and keep going. And when the good times return, you need to enjoy them.

Judy: Life is fun. Be yourself, enjoy life, enjoy your friends — enjoy the moment.

Robert: And do what you can to make people smile. Smiling faces always find a welcome.

Like reading Borderstan’s Lifestyle stories? Get an RSS Feed for the Lifestyle Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 27, 2012 at 8:00 am 0

Think you might be in the 1% in DC? Think again. (Borderstan)

By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.

D.C. and the surrounding areas are often deemed part of the ‘elite’ by politicians running against incumbents. Most of us who live here take some small bit of pride in that, too.

But if you thought that automatically qualified you as both elite and a 1-percenter in terms of income, you had better check that W-2 from last year. Even if you make a lot of money, chances are you are in the 99%.

The Washington Post reports the 1-percenters in our region must earn more than $500,000 in household income (the national average for 1-percenters is $387,000). Specifically, in D.C. you have to earn even more — $617,000. Plus, more than 13 percent have household incomes of over $200,000.

Surprised? Some of the top earners feel they have been unfairly targeted by ‘political rhetoric’, which is perhaps less surprising.

And, yes, let me remind you again: We live in a bubble within a bubble. Unemployment rates for the Dupont-Logan-U Street area are not only much lower than national averages, they are far below D.C. levels for other areas of the city.

Like Borderstan’s News stories? Get an RSS Feed for the News Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

 

 

by Borderstan.com April 27, 2012 at 6:00 am 0

"Borderstan""Meridian Hill Park"

“Tight Rope” is by MichaelWalkerPhotos from the Borderstan flickr pool.

Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.

Today’s photo, “Tight Rope” was taken by MichaelWalkerPhotos on March 25 at Meridian Hill Park.

If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from D.C.’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.

Like Borderstan’s Arts & Entertainment stories? Get an RSS Feed for the A&E Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm 0

"Borderstan""Theaters"

There are shows at five Borderstan theaters this weekend. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos on Picplz and at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

Check the listings below for full details at six neighborhood theaters, including the newly reopened Howard Theatre. And Chuck Berry in the neighborhood? Is that bigger than the Veep Joe Biden at the Howard? BTW, Berry turns 86 later this year.

Howard Theatre, 620 T Street NW

Keegan Theatre at Church Street at 1742 Church Street NW

  • Working – A Musical, runs through May 13: “The hopes, dreams, joys and concerns of the average working American are the focus of this unique, extraordinary musical. That the everyday lives of “common” men and women should be so compelling and moving will surprise and inspire anyone who has punched a time clock.” (Keegan Theatre)

Lincoln Theatre at 1215 U Street NW

Source at 1835 14th Street NW

  • Every Tuesday night at the Source is Harold Night! with the Washington Improv Theater: “Each week is a demonstration, celebration and experiment in the world-famous improv longform, Harold. It starts with an audience suggestion and explores whatever themes emerge through a series of scenes. All of the action is brought to life by WIT’s own Harold Teams right before your eyes.” (WIT)
  • The Source Festival is coming: June 8 to July 1: “Each summer Source Festival employs more than 200 artists to present 25 new works over 3 weeks in June and July. The Festival incorporates theatre artists, visual artists, dancers, musicians and more.” (Source)

Studio Theatre at 1501 14th Street NW

  • Dogugaeshi opened April 11: “Twist unfolds an intimate, abstract, contemporary journey of images and emotions influenced by the rarefied tradition of Japanese dogugaeshi stage mechanism technique and his own encounters with the remaining rural caretakers of this once popular art form. This hour-long performance features original shamisen compositions created and performed live by authorized master musician Yumiko Tanaka. The multidisciplinary production blends Twist’s signature puppetry with video projection design by Peter Flaherty, Lighting design by Andrew Hill and sound design by Greg Duffin.” (Studio Theatre)
  • The Big Meal opened April 25: “From the vantage point of a single restaurant table, five generations share the moments, both epic and intimate, that make a life. Called “one of the more emotionally consuming experiences of recent decades” (Chicago Sun Times), The Big Meal explodes from the mind of one of the country’s most intriguing playwrights.” (Studio Theatre)

Theater J at 1529 16th Street NW

  • The Whipping Man opened April 18 runs through May 20: “1865; Richmond, Virginia: Two newly freed slaves and the son of their former master–a Jewish Confederate soldier who has retreated to the burnt remains of his home — inhabit the disordered aftermath of the just-concluded War between the States. As the three men celebrate a most unconventional Passover Seder, they uncover a snarl of secrets and examine what it really means to be free.” (Theater J)

Like Borderstan’s Arts & Entertainment stories? Get an RSS Feed for the A&E Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT]borderstan.com and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

By this point, you’re probably used to the idea of mobile vendors bringing delicious lunch options to within blocks of where you work or live. Korean BBQ, fish tacos, and so on. But beginning this spring, you can add couture to the menu (to wear, not eat).

Violet Boutique, 18th Street NW, Urban Expressions

Not from the Styleliner, but they do sell handbags. Featured items are from Violet Boutique on 18th Street NW. (Borderstan file photo, courtesy of Violet)

Yes, starting May 4, local fashionistas (sorry gents, not for you, yet) can experience the mobile boutique already creating buzz in New York and Miami, the Styleliner. The so-called “treasure chest on wheels” will offer clothing, jewelry, and accessories in a setting owner and creator Joey Wolffer calls an “80s nightclub” vibe.

This is not the first fashion rodeo for Wolffer, who cut her teeth as a designer in New York and the UK, but the Styleliner is the first of its type to cruise the streets of D.C. Wolffer says she was inspired by the lesser-known fashions she encountered in Europe that she wanted to bring to the U.S. in an innovative way.

The Styleliner’s base of operations will be next to the PNC Bank on M Street in Georgetown, where it will operate Thursday to Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. The fashion truck can also be found outside the W Hotel from May 10 to 12, but will leave the District entirely on June 17, when it heads to the Hamptons for the summer.

Like Borderstan’s News stories? Get an RSS Feed for the News Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

by Borderstan.com April 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm 0

From Khelan Bhatia. Follow Khelan on Twitter @KhelanB or email him at khelan[AT]borderstan.com.

Into pop music with a sly, sardonic wink yet an earnest sensibility? Yearning for the audible love child of the Black Kids and the Backstreet Boys… without even realizing it?

Well, have I got a treat for you this Friday.

Rather than going to the same bar to see the same people you see every week, come join me at AVAN LAVA at DC9’s Liberation Dance Party (thanks to fine folks at Kick Kick Snare for bringing them down). Tickets are only $8, which, frankly, is less than you paid for that watered down vodka soda/tonic/cran/hemlock/whatever at (Insert-name-of-generic) bar. And I have it on good authority that the band throws. One. Hell. of. A. Party.

Still not convinced? Ok, well, let’s if moving pictures and music can succeed where my words have failed:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emKQrMSbTm4?rel=0]

So I guess I’ll see you at DC9 tomorrow. Location is 1940 9th Street NW, just south of U. Doors open at 9 pm, show at 11 pm.

Like Borderstan’s Arts & Entertainment stories? Get an RSS Feed for the A&E Section, or an RSS Feed for all Borderstan stories.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list