From Fox Deatry. Email him at fox[AT]borderstan.com.
As summer draws to a rainy finale, we bid farewell to the interns and tourists who came and pillaged the District for three months. They have grown to learn that you must never stand on the left side of the escalator, that you can order taxicabs through Smartphone apps, and that you must simply accept and never understand the traffic lights in Dupont Circle.
While we offer a momentary pause for the departed, I cannot help but wonder: Is there anything permanent in this supposed-transient city?
Come to think of it, the answer lies in a Borderstan legend who comes by the name of Shi-Queeta Lee. You might know her as Town’s famed Friday night headliner, a performer who ‘rolls down the river’ with Tina Turner, and a showstopper occasionally disrupting traffic as she skates along U Street — all part of her Sunday Drag Brunch routine at Nellie’s. (See The Making of Shi-Queeta-Lee.)
Shi-Queeta Lee has made DC her home and has made no reservations to represent the energy, diversity and grace of the city.
The ‘SHI’ in Washington
Here are some reasons Lee puts the ‘SHI’ in Washington:
- While DC might be a swamp and its high humidity gives you the Art Garfunkel curls, it bears a semblance of classic elegance due to its myriad of monuments and memorials. Shi-Queeta, sans the marble edifice and the presence of park rangers, bears the same quality. To some she might be a man in a dress, but to others she is a queen of hearts. Gurl-friend even invited the District’s prime drag queens to perform in her ‘Divas’ extravaganza at The Howard Theater. Now, that’s the kind of classic kindness and elegance we all want to see on the Reflecting Pool.
- While DC is no NYC or LA, and carrot tan bodies here are courtesy of sprays in tanning booths instead of natural UV rays, the District can be a party town. You don’t have to look beyond Borderstan to know since 14th Street is alive and jiving during the weekends. Now while I personally do not know Shi-Queeta, she seems like she could party ’til its tardy. After all, this Queen truly earns her dollar tips. She might even do cartwheels, pirouettes and synchronize swimming on land for entertainment. Naturally, all carried out with poise. She might be the total party girl, but she strikes yours truly as the kind of person who would puke with you yet make sure you get home in an Uber cab all safe and sound.
- While we sip our sweet teas, listen to crickets and debate all day long whether the District is the South, we cannot help but experience its southern hospitality. You don’t have to spend much time to know that Shi-Queeta exudes such. She’s a charm — the kind that can be bottled up like pecan preserves. Although I wonder whether she crosses her arms, exclaims ‘fiddle-dee-dee,’ and gives a lasting pout in times of annoyance and distress.
- While the West might have the Rockies — which my conspiratorial, drunken Saturday night mind reckons as the hiding place of America’s gold bars — the District owns another American treasure in the form of the Library of Congress. This gem feature books and ideas written by diverse thinkers. They are in every shape and form like Shi-Queeta’s stage acts. They represent high-minded, creative concepts brought together to engage, amuse and sometimes impart. Books might feed our mind, but Shi-Queeta Lee is a DC queen that feeds a spectator’s soul. That’s the kind of legend that sticks around.
On Tuesday, August 21, Tina Turner, Cher, Patti LaBelle, Beyonce, Diana Ross, Erykah Badu and Whitney Houston will grace the stage of the Howard Theatre — or at least their impersonators will.
That’s right, the world’s most famous divas will be replicated by some of DC’s top “illusionists” during the show, “Salute to the Divas.” DC’s own Shi-Queeta-Lee will direct and act in the first female impersonation show at the Howard since the 1960’s.
You might just swear they are the real thing!
From Michelle Lancaster. Tell me what I missed, talk to me on Twitter @MichLancaster.
VIDA Fitness U Street Opening June 30
VIDA Fitness says it will open its new U Street facility on June 30. A Facebook posting and email to members says the entire gym will be up and running at the end of the month (June 14 was the original opening date). The location on the 1600 block of U Street is where RESULTS Gym formerly had its flagship location. As for the rooftop pool, the VIDA message says, “The Penthouse Pool Club is still scheduled for August 9th opening. We can’t wait to share this amazing facility with you!”
Weekend Metro Hours Preserved
DCist has important news for all you bridge and tunnel people, as well as the millions of other D.C. residents that rely on Metro to get from place to place on the weekend. WMATA has decided NOT to extend the time between trains on Saturdays and Sundays. It would have saved money, but cost you up to 25 minutes. On to the next big idea!
From Michelle Lancaster
Two weeks ago we talked with Borderstani Julie Mason, White House correspondent, dog owner and neighbor — and she gave us some interesting insights into Logan Circle. For the second in our series on Interesting Bordertanis, we talked with Miss Shi-Queeta Lee. We will continue to profile some of the unique, inspiring and downright interesting folks that are all around you in the place you call home.
Meet Shi-Queeta Lee !
If you have yet to encounter the fabulous Miss Lee, you need to adjust your social calendar! You may have been entertained at TOWN Dance Boutique every Friday and Saturday (show starts at 10:30 pm). Perhaps your glimpse of her was at Nellie’s Sports Bar for Drag Bingo on Tuesdays at 8 pm or Drag Brunch on Sunday at 11 am.
Check out Shi-Queeta’s slide show at the bottom of the story.
She’s about to take the world by storm with her two shows for 2011 — “Spill Da Tea with Shi-Queeta-Lee”, a variety talk show on BlogTalkRadio, and Drag City DC: Hair and Paint Make a Man What He Ain’t, a reality show based on the Real Housewives series, but with six drag queens.
The diva, in her own words:
17th Street Festival organizers have added two more performances to the live music stage planned for 17th and Church: Singer and songwriter Eric Himan… and Shi-Queeta-Lee, Ba’Naka, Jessica Spaulding-Deverreoux and the X-Faction Dancers from Town.
They join Djesben, Double Life and Tom Goss. Full details below. The stage will be near JR’s Beer Garden.
The festival–from P Street to Riggs Place NW–will feature 56 local artists (10 more have signed up) who will have vendor stalls along 17th Street–a great opportunity to support local artists.
The Festival will also include restaurants, The Pet Zone, kid’s activities and an auction tent.
- 2 pm: Djseben. The band’s name (pronounced JESS-ben) comes from a 1920s word meaning “jazz band.” The band says their music style has been described “Rock and roll for little kids,” “Iconojazz,” “subtle, like honey mustard sourdough pretzels” and “Massage table music.” You can check out Djseben’s music on YouTube.
- 2:30 pm: Singer and songwriter Eric Himan was added to the Festival lineup this week. He is also in town Saturday night to perform at Z Lounge to benefit The Trevor Project, the leading national organization for suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.
- 2:45 pm: Shi-Queeta-Lee, Ba’Naka, Jessica Spaulding-Deverreoux and the X-Faction Dancers from Town.
- 3 pm: Double Life. This six-member group covers songs ranging from Maroon 5 to Natasha Bedingfield to Queen and George Michael, and utilizes innovative vocals and intense instrumentation–“two couples, a twist of B-school and shake with a few degrees of separation, and you’ve got Double Life.”
- 5:20 pm: Tom Goss. The young Wisconsin native “offers up dynamic acoustic rock featuring muscular guitar, hooky melodies and a uniquely powerful voice.” Goss has releases The Politics of Love, which he describes as “ore than an EP or music video, more than one person. The Politics of Love is a broad curriculum that gives you the tools you need to teach marriage equality where you are. Perfect for college clubs, church congregations, high-school classrooms and even your home….” Goss has cuts on his website… check out his Facebook Page.
The number of local artists will have vendor tables and displays at the 17th Street Festival is now up to 56 (10 more since Monday). Check out the list at the Festival page.
Festival organizers (Ross School PTA is the lead organizer) are promising a kid-friendly event this Saturday with a “Kids Zone” on the grounds of Ross Elementary School, 1730 R Street NW. They promise games, arts and crafts, food and other activities for current Ross students and parents as well as prospective students/parents and children. There will be a meet-and-greet at 2 pm at Ross School with the principal.
Sponsorships and Beneficiaries
The 17th Street Festival (also on Facebook) is being organized by the Historic Dupont Main Streets project, Ross Elementary School PTA and the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA). Festival organizers are selling sponsorships to individuals, businesses and organizations. Items are also being solicited for a raffle.
Proceeds from the sale of festival sponsorships will be used to purchase flowers and plants for 17th Street’s of tree boxes, as well as flags for the new light posts. The light post flags will promote local groups, organizations and upcoming events.
Additional funds from sponsorships will go toward a fund for future 17th Street projects and festivals, as well as to the Ross Elementary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Anyone interested in making a raffle donation should contact Nina at [email protected]. Potential festival sponsors should contact Jennifer at [email protected]