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Archive - 2015

December 7th

Community to Weigh in on Union Station Expansion

Two Public Meetings Dec. 7 Will Welcome DC Residents' Comments on the Proposed Project

Community members can voice their concerns and suggestions for the Washington Union Station Expansion at a public meeting Dec. 7 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the station’s east hall Presidential Room. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will host the open house at the station on the unit block of Massachusetts Avenue NE.

Musical Gift Guide 2015

Some Choices for all the Music Lovers in Your Life
Chillin’ In Batumi •••
Beka & Logic Project, Exitus Entertainment eclectic collaboration of musicians making extensive use polyrhythms over fusion jazz. Full of passionate joy and endless dance rhythms, the folks heard here are DJ Logic from the Bronx, Jaleel Shaw on alto saxophone, James Hurt on electric piano, Justin Brown on drums, Lamont McCain on electric bass, Butterscotch on vocals, and Beka Gochiashvili, the young and upcoming jazz piano phenom from Tbilisi, Georgia.

All CDs and DVDS reviewed in this article are heard through Bowers & Wilkens Nautilus 801 speakers and ASW 4000 subwoofer, and Rotel Preamp 1070, amplifier 1092 and CD player 1072. B&W speakers are now available at Magnolia, Best Buys (703.518.7951) and IQ Home Entertainment (703.218.9855). CDs are available for purchase through For more information about this column, please email your questions to

The Poetic Hill

Judy Leaver frequently uses the view from her living room on Lincoln Park as her poetic muse. In this she has something in common with former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins.

If you would like to have your poem considered for publication, please send it to (There is no remuneration.)

The Literary Hill

The Joy of Cooking

Jonathan Bardzik wants you to feel joy. Not the fleeting pleasure of “the flavorless strawberries that fill grocery stores in February,” but the true joy of gathering with friends and family around the dinner table.

His new book, “Seasons to Taste: Farm-Fresh Joy for Kitchen & Table,” makes that an easy proposition. Filled with more than 300 pages of recipes, reminiscences, tips, and instructive asides, it’s a delight from its luxurious padded cover to its last luscious photograph.

Garden Gifts

Many of our perennial gardeners may be lacking that special gardening gift from their loved ones this year, so my holiday roundup is focusing on items that are must-haves for me to get through both the cold winter months and the gardening year to come. These are gifts that will be appreciated and enjoyed in and of themselves, not because the pressure of holiday giving has forced you into the purchase.

Amaryllis Bulbs

Derek Thomas is principal of Thomas Landscapes. His garden designs have been featured on HGTV’s “Curb Appeal” and “Get It Sold.” Known as “The Garden Guy,” he can be seen on YouTube and Fox Five and reached at or 301-642-5182. For great garden tips, Thomas Landscapes can be found and friended at Facebook/Thomas Landscapes and followed on Twitter @ThomasGardenGuy.

Holidays on The Hill

Oh, December! It brings out all the feelings, doesn’t it? Some people have been commuting to Christmas music since mid-October, while others mumble a mantra to tolerate the tinsel and rampant consumerism with as much grace as they can muster. I pass no judgment either way. We all travel different paths, and they need not be made of gingerbread. Full disclosure: I lean toward the gingerbread, though I don’t bust out the John Denver and the Muppets until after Thanksgiving. Someday my children will appreciate the Peace Carol as sung by puppets.  

Jen DeMayo has been a waitress, an actor, and a puppeteer. She worked for many years for the Atlas Performing Arts Center, which has resulted in her being a relentless H Street booster/streetcar apologist. Originally from the New York-New Jersey area, she is one of the many who whine endlessly about DC’s lack of good bagels and pizza. She is the mom to two boys who attend DC Public Schools (off the Hill). No matter what she may end up accomplishing in her life, she is sure that her obituary headline will say she was the founder of Moms on the Hill. Contact Jen at

Home for the Holidays

D.C. Theaters Serve Family Fare
Photograph By
Margot Schulman

Washington is a hub of earnest, provocative, relevant theater—where even the classic American musical or Shakespearean comedy is infused with at least a thread of social commentary. But by December, even Washington’s theaters take a break from consciousness-raising to embrace the holiday spirit and indulge in some comfort food. It’s time to enjoy heartwarming fare for the whole family.

Barbara Wells is a writer and editor for Reingold, a social marketing communications firm. She and her husband live on Capitol Hill.

Busy as a Bee

Community Fixture Juanita Britton and the BZB Holiday Gift and Art Show

“Hey! Admission is a smile!”

A smiling, effusive Juanita “Busy Bee” Britton is sitting inside the doorway of the Shiloh Family Life Center in Shaw. The church is brimming with energy; people perusing hundreds of African artisan crafts and gifts.

Britton has organized the BZB Holiday Gift and Art Show “Shop til Ya Drop” event for the past 25 years. The annual event has grown from ten or twelve vendors to upwards of 70 across two floors.