Friday, October 5

DC FRIDAY

STUPID NY TIMES ARTICLE ABOUT DC OF THE WEEK

HELENE COOPER, NY TIMES - Washington, D.C., is many things -- the center of the universe, the destination of all political protests, the site of some spectacularly balmy, mosquito-free nights every fall. But hip? Get real. One of the exhibits right now at the National Portrait Gallery features 25 paintings of the former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor. When Hillary Clinton dared to show a microscopic hint of cleavage on the Senate floor, the local press gasped. And the Capitol police still give tickets for traffic infractions of the two-legged variety.

Still - the white men in blue suits have suddenly woken up to discover that the gate-crashers have not only broken into their old boys' clubs but are starting to run the show. Nancy Pelosi tore down one wall in January when she became speaker of the House, and Clinton and Barack Obama are fighting over which one of them might get to tear down the next one.

Similarly, after waiting decades for some of its blighted neighborhoods to amount to something other than block after block of boarded-up abandonment, Washington is buzzing with energy. The H Street corridor is starting to hum, with cafes and bars including the Rock and Roll Hotel, a new music club that hosts bands like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Solillaquists of Sound.

Gentrification along U Street as well as the adjacent areas of Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights means that the neighborhood known to Washingtonians as Adams Morgan - formerly the closest the city really got to trendy - has spread its tentacles almost to New York Avenue, the artery used by residents trying to get out of town. Here you can find popular hangouts like Busboys and Poets, a cafe and bookstore that holds Peace Corps "meet and greet" cocktail hours. . .

"The city has exploded," says Mary Elizabeth Albaugh, the founder and owner of Betsy Fisher, a well-established boutique on Connecticut Avenue. Albaugh opened her store because, she said, "Washington was a ghost town when it came to shopping. There was Ann Taylor and there was Alcott & Andrews," a rather staid office-wear chain that was home to floppy bow ties and boxy jackets. Not anymore. . .

IN FACT, DC LOST MUCH OF its hipness - a term rooted in alternatives to vacuous consumption - as gentrification forced out artists, musicians and others who can't afford the rents of a new class whose greatest creativity was in dreaming up narcissistic fantasies about how wonderful it was.


MISSING IN ACTION


Jeffrey Weiss, curator and head, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Art, to be director of the Dia Foundation.

Olga Viso, director of the SHirshhorn Museum to become director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Jay Gates, director of the Phillips, leaving next year.

Leah Dickerman, curator of last year's NGA Dada show, to New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Judy Larson of the Women's Museum leaving without explanation.


LANIER GETS OWN TV SERIES DESPITE CRIME RISE

[The homicide, theft, robbery and arson rates are all up this year, but in show business that's not what counts]

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER -
Fox has pacted with producer Bob Cooper for a drama project inspired by the story of Cathy Lanier, the newly appointed chief of police of Washington. Tony Piccirillo (USA's "Kojak") is writing the untitled project for Cooper's Landscape Entertainment and Fox TV Studio.

Lanier, a 39-year-old white single mother who dropped out of high school after getting pregnant at 14, became D.C.'s first female police chief and one of the youngest heads of the 3,800-member department dominated by black male officers. In addition to dealing with the city's high crime rate, Lanier also has to deal with about 100 other law enforcement agencies operating in D.C. "Here's a white woman in a man's world and an African-American world, working with agency after agency in a complicated jurisdiction like Washington, D.C., and she's a single mom," Cooper said. "This seemed like a rich area to look at."

IN BALTIMORE, they were a little more careful - not choosing DC's last police chief - the dubious Charles Ramsey - to run their department. Smart move.


DC SHORTS

THE TOWER OF INVINCIBILITY is worse than we thought. Reports the Examiner, "Jeffrey S. Abramson, a partner in the Bethesda-based Towers Cos., said he plans to build a 12-story, 20,000-square-foot marble monument that will house multimedia exhibits teaching visitors 'technologies of consciousness' that include Transcendental Meditation, a mental technique that involves silently repeating a mantra for 20 minutes twice a day. . . "It will represent scientific principles and universal knowledge as to how to secure America's freedom, peace and sovereignty." . . . Abramson is soliciting suggestions from the public for the site of the monument and said the two most popular suggestions e-mailed to his Web site so far are the National Mall and the Pentagon. Building on either of those spots would require approval by the federal government. . . Others are proposing to build Towers of Invincibility in Germany, France and New Zealand, according to Abramson. "Everywhere it's coming up to be a fashionable political feature," he said.

UNION CITY - Washington Gas blinked. A months-long campaign by gas company workers paid off when the utility was forced to turn over a copy of a contract this week that will outsource hundreds of workers at the gas company's call center. "What are they hiding?" OPEIU Local 2 President Dan Dyer asked after the news broke in the Washington Post, noting that Local 2, which has been pushing for release of the contract, has yet to see a copy. "Faced with a fine growing at a rate of $5,000 a day, Washington Gas Light's parent company has turned over a copy of a controversial outsourcing contract to the District's Public Service Commission," reported Steven Mufson in the Washington Post. "The commission imposed the fine Friday -- starting at $350,000 -- after WGL Holdings refused to supply it with a copy of a $350 million agreement the company had made with Accenture that would mean laying off about 300 people in the Washington area. OPEIU Local 2, which represents 160 workers who received layoff notices, has warned that Accenture, a consulting and outsourcing firm based in Bermuda, will move customer service call centers overseas, potentially creating hazards if people unfamiliar with the area are fielding calls from customers reporting gas leaks or other problems, Ken Thomas of Local 2 told the Post.


BULLETIN BOARD

OCTOBER 7

The Takoma Park Street Festival, celebrates it's 25th year with 3 stages of music, arts and crafts, diverse foods, community organizations, activities for the kids, and lots of Old Takoma fun and hospitality. Music line up includes JP McDermott and Western Bop, Mike Tash and the Bad Influence, Waverly Milor and the Acme Blues Company, Elikeh, The Nighthawks, and more.

OCTOBER 9

The Humanities Council of Washington DC is pleased to announce: Conversations on Great Streets with Don Murray, "Exploring Ethiopia's Past as a Means for Imagining its Future," on October 9 from noon-2pm at Dynasty Ethiopian Restaurant (2210 14th St NW, Washington, DC, between W and V streets). The cost of lunch is $15.00, to be paid at the door. Please make checks payable to Humanities Council of Washington, DC. Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP to rsmith_consultant@wdchumanities.org. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Robin Smith at (202) 387-8391. Also, please let Robin know if you have any special dietary needs.

OCTOBER 10

Historic Photos of Washington, D.C. by Matthew Gilmore and Andrew Brodie Smith.
Book talk Wednesday, October 10 at 6:30 pm. The volume captures unique and rare scenes through the lens of hundreds of historic photographs. Published in striking black & white, these images communicate historic events and everyday life over two centuries of this unique city's history and growth. Washingtoniana Division DC Public Library Room 307 901 G St NW For more info: 202-727-1213

OCTOBER 19

THE STAND UP FOR DEMOCRACY in DC Coalition will observe its 10th anniversary as an advocate for full democratic rights for DC residents at a gala celebration, fundraiser and historic overview of the DC full democracy movement on Friday, Oct. 19, 6-9 p.m. The event, to be held at the historic Carnegie Library, 801 K Street NW (Mount Vernon Square Metro) will commemorate the past decade in the struggle for full democratic rights and statehood for the District since the coalition's founding on July 31, 1997. Speaking at the event will be founders of Stand Up and other leaders of the DC democracy movement. The event will include the presenting of awards to heroes of the movement, as well as food, drink and entertainment.


DC ALMANAC

THE 1834 SNOW RIOT

CULTURAL TOURISM DC
- Beverly Snow was one of a number of black entrepreneurs who owned businesses in the downtown area. His success was evidence of the strength of Washington's free black population. One of the sparks for the riot may have been an assault by an enslaved man against Anna Maria Thornton, wife of William Thornton, white architect of the U.S. Capitol. Snow may also have been a target because it was alleged that he spoke disrespectfully about the wives and daughters of white Navy Yard mechanics. One historian suggests that rioters associated Snow with his regular patrons, the wealthy white men who wielded considerable power over the white working classes. Whatever the reason, Snow was forced to flee as an angry white mob took over and ransacked his restaurant. White mobs also attacked school houses and other structures associated with the free black population.

FRANCIS SCOTT KEY AND THE SNOW RIOT


DC TIMELINE

1846

Alexandria and what is now Arlington are retroceded to Virginia.


DC BOOKS

BOOKS ON DC NEIGHBORHOODS

BLACK GEORGETOWN REMEMBERS: Lesko, Babb & Gibbs.

GREATER U STREET Paul K. Williams.

THEN & NOW: ADAMS MORGAN

WASHINGTON AT HOME: An Illustrated History of Neighborhoods in the Nation's Capital. Kathryn Schneider Smith ed. Out of print.

TENLEYTOWN, DC: Country village into city neighborhood. Judith Beck Helm

ANACOSTIA STORY, 1608-1930. Louise Daniel Hutchinson

THE CHRONICLES OF GEORGETOWN, D.C., FROM 1751-1878. Richard P. Jackson

BLACK GEORGETOWN REMEMBERED, Kathleen Leskim editor.

IMAGES OF BROOKLAND. George W. McDaniel, John N. Pierce editors

PORT TOWN TO URBAN NEIGHBORHOOD : THE GEORGETOWN WATERFRONT OF WASHINGTON, D.C., 1880-1920 Kathryn Schneider Smith

SEEING DC

NAKED DC: THE STRIPPED CITY

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