Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC’

Bohemian Caverns, 1928 — 2016

March 28, 2016

Legendary jazz club Bohemian Caverns has expired, the victim of a suffocating live entertainment climate. Founded in 1926 in the basement of a corner drugstore on U Street, Washington’s “Black Broadway,” it became DC’s hip jazz spot in the 1960s, a place where the “in crowd” could see and hear Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Shirley Horn, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Bobby Timmons, Nina Simone, and Charles Mingus.

The Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded a live album in the Caverns in 1964, returning the next year to interpret Billy Page’s “In Crowd,” a pop hit for Dobie Gray. The RLT’s live version became a hit single as well.

More:

“Last of the Bohemian,” Michael J. West, Washington City Paper

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Cherry Blossom Webcam

March 24, 2016

Cherry Blossom Webcam

Cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin; that’s springtime in Washington, DC. The National Park Service says we’re entering the peak bloom phase. If you can’t get down to the Tidal Basin today, keep track of blossom progress on the Cherry Blossom Webcam.

NPS Tidal Basin cherry tree locator map

National Cherry Blossom Festival website.

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Image (“Cherry Blossom Webcam, after After Hiroshige”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Cherry Blossoms Dawdle in DC

March 18, 2016

Cherry Blossoms Dawdle in DC

The National Park Service oracle says the Tidal Basin cherry blossoms will not reach peak bloom today after all due to recent cold snaps. Look for beautiful blooms on March 23-24.

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Image (“Cherry Blossom Viewing at the Tidal Basin, after Hiroshige”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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DC Politics: Underwood, Underground

March 3, 2016

DC Politics: Underwood, Underground

Navy Yard Metro Station, March 3, 2016.

Update:

“’House of Cards’ Season 4 Is Less Vulgar Than Real Politics,” Ian Crouch,” The New Yorker

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Snapshot by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Numbers Game

January 14, 2016

“The Numbers Game,” by Thievery Corporation ( Eric Hilton, Rob Garza, et al.), sung by the immortal Chuck Brown on a cruise through DC’s Southeast.

I’m talking people about the same old game
Their running them numbers and the winners never change
The dice is loaded, the deck is stacked
The game itself will hold you back
Check out your mind and don’t be blind
To the numbers game

Chuck Brown Band website

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Hello Mr. New Year

January 1, 2016

“Hello Mr. New Year,” recorded in 1958 by the The Coolbreezers, of Washington ,DC: Joe Reuth, Richard Steward, Bob Armstrong, William Primrose, Earl J. Williams, Sonny Williams. Like many African American harmony groups, the ensemble originally sang Gospel music. The Coolbreezers recorded for Bale Records, a short-lived venture of long-time DC R&B empresaria Bea Williams, sister of two group members.

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Pope in the USA: Punk’d by a Tea Party Saint, Hugged Gay Guys

October 3, 2015

Pope in the USA: Punk'd by a Tea Party Saint, Hugged Gay Guys

When Everybody’s favorite pontiff, Pope Francis, visited Washington DC in September he had a secret meeting with intolerant, oath-breaking Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her current husband. It was a secret to His Holiness, anyway, who had no earthly idea who Mrs. Davis is. She was apparently one of many people he greeted during his Vatican Embassy stay.

Pope Francis didn’t set up the meeting; it was arranged by papal nucio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Vatican’s envoy to the US, who was sent to the States by former Pope Benedict XVI to keep him from meddling in Vatican City politics. Archbishop Viganò turns 75 in a few months and is expected to be “retired” by the current pontiff.

While in DC Pope Francis met with a same-sex couple, Washington caterer Yayo Grassi and his long-time partner Iwan Bagus. His Holiness had personally invited Mr. Grassi, his former student at Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepción in Argentina, to a private audience, and there were hugs all around.

Lawyers for Kim Davis from the Falwell-affiliated Liberty Counsel claimed that the Pope’s off-the-cuff comments on conscientious objectors referred to their client, but the Vatican denied this, and many have observed that the county clerk is not a CO since she forced her beliefs on her deputies rather than letting them act on their own. Papal spokesmen have emphasized that the Papal greeting was not a show of support for the delinquent Rowan County clerk.

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Pope Francis Visits DC, September 22 to 24, 2015

September 18, 2015

Pope Francis Visits DC, September 22 to 24, 2015

Everybody’s favorite pontiff, Pope Francis, will visit Washington DC for three days. Unofficial schedule:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
4:00 PM: Pope Francis arrives via Alitalia at Joint Base Andrews from Havana, smokes big cigar on the drive from Maryland to the Apostolic Nunciature on Massachusetts Avenue NW.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
9:15 AM: White House Welcoming Ceremony; Pontiff shoots hoops one-on-one with President Obama before posing for pics on the Truman Balcony

11:00 AM: Popemobile Parade along the Ellipse and National Mall; brief stop to buy Astronaut Ice Cream at Air & Space Museum gift shop (mirabile dictu!)

11:30 AM: Midday Prayer with U.S. bishops at historically ugly Saint Matthew’s Cathedral in DC; side trip to the Indiana Jones exhibit at nearby National Geographic Museum. His Holiness will address the bishops in Spanish, and many expect him to “no dejar titere con cabeza” (kick butt).

4:15 PM: Greets Native American demonstrators before celebrating Junipero Serra Canonization Mass — in Spanish — at the East Portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at Catholic University (leave your selfie stick at home).

Thursday, September 24, 2015
9:20 AM: Speech to Joint Session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol (in English); crowds gather to watch it on Jumbotron screens on the National Mall (and listen to Spotify’s Pope Playlist while they’re waiting)

11:00 AM:  Brief appearance on West Front of Capitol (possible photo op with former altar boys Biden and Boehner?)

11:15 AM: Visit to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in DC and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, site of the Homeless Jesus sculpture (artist: Timothy P. Schmalz). His Holiness will meet with — and feed — the charities’ clients.

4:00 PM: Departure from Joint Base Andrews for New York City and a decent slice of pizza.

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Bagel Day

September 11, 2015

Bagel Day

Tuesday was Bagel Day at the software development center, and I favored Bagels & Baguettes near Stanton Park. There was a line when I got there, around 8:30 AM. The shop is near the Senate office buildings and the Heritage Foundation, so there is a TV tuned to CNN to keep news-obsessed customers occupied.

By the time I got my two dozen hot bagels, the damnedest thing was on that television. An airplane had crashed into a World Trade Center tower in New York, and the building was on fire. It was September 11, 2001.

I went to the office break room and put out the bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon. I guess I was making coffee when the second plane hit the other tower. I figured people still had to eat.

The developers were plugged into the Web, and learned as much – or as little — as anyone that morning. We knew a third plane hit the Pentagon and heard the false report that a fourth had hit the White House. There was a rumor that a plane had hit the Capitol, but we were two blocks away and would have heard that.

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Death of a Young Black Journalist

August 2, 2015

Death of a Young Black Journalist

“The most basic instinct of a local reporter is to take the importance of her neighbors as a given. In a community like Anacostia—where more than ninety per cent of residents are African-American, one in two kids lives below the poverty line, and incarceration and unemployment rates are among the nation’s highest—this is another way of saying that black lives matter.”

— “Death of a Young Black Journalist,” Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker

More:

“Charnice Milton Was Killed in Community She Loved,” Richard Prince, The Root

“Charnice Milton,” NotionsCapital

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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