Mount Vernon Triangle

The opening of Chris Earnshaw’s exhibit DISTRICT. Photo: Jeff Malet

Making a Difference

Mount Vernon Triangle resident Pooya Rezai is heading to Greece this month, but it’s not to escape the winter weather. Instead, this tech entrepreneur and former ocean lifeguard will spend several weeks helping refugees.

Like many of us, Rezai was moved by the photo of the young Syrian boy who drowned off the Turkish coast. “As a former Ocean Lifeguard from California, it is very difficult for me to keep seeing people drowning, especially on the shoreline where a beach lifeguard can make a lifesaving difference,” Rezai shared. “I’ve also learned that there is a shortage of Farsi/Dari speakers.”

Rezai and his family left Iran during the war with Iraq when he was just 10 years old, finally settling in southern California. “My father told us that America is best place in the world for a family who had left everything to bring their culture and religion and be able to practice it to its fullest freedom,” Rezai remembered.

Rezai moved to DC for a job in 2003 and bought a condo in MVT in 2009. "I really love my neighbors and the community feel,” Rezai said.  “I also like the ease of access to Maryland and Virginia along with the luxury to walk nearby for coffee, chai, dinner, or drinks with friends.”

After working as an analyst and business development manager for many years and earning a master’s degree from John HopkinsKrieger School of Arts & Sciences, Rezai co-founded a social enterprise called NooshTube named for the Farsi saying, “Nooshe jan,” or “may your soul be nourished,” similar to “bon appetit.”

“Our goal is to create a ‘safe-kitchen’ where users can create their family recipe books and curate it with their associated memories,” explained Rezai. “Think of it as a hybrid between Ancestry.com and a multimedia Pinterest.”

NooshTube enables families to record and share their culinary traditions, and Rezai hopes the site will inspire a new approach to diplomacy and cross-cultural understanding. For the next few weeks though, his focus will be helping refugees.

“The lifeguard just saves lives,” Rezai explained. “He or she does not check someone’s heritage or national status before saving a life. To me, it's one of the purest and most indiscriminate forms of lifesaving, so basically by going out there, I'm being allowed the honor of saving a life.”

Contact Pooya Rezai via NooshTube at nooshtube.comor at pooya@nooshtube.com.

 

Preserving DC’s Past

The photography exhibit DISTRICTcaptures how life in DC was changing during the 1960s and 70s. Native Washingtonian Chris Earnshaw photographed the demolition of many historic buildings and, in the process, preserved a piece of the city’s past.

In addition to the 54 framed prints and 100 Polaroids and Instamatic drugstore prints, the exhibit also includes pieces of demolished buildings Earnshaw saved, his original cameras, and even an activity for visitors to match photographs to their relevant captions. Each part of the exhibit contributes to the importance of bearing witness to a bygone era in DC.

Many of the captions on Earnshaw’s photos include the words “lost,” “demolished,” and “razed.” One of the photos has the following caption:  “Fire-ravaged buildings on the northwest corner of 7th St. and Mount Vernon Place, NW, a consequence of DC riots. Picture taken on morning of April 6, 1968.”

This exhibit is a collaboration with Joseph Mills, a fellow artist and archivist who works at Dumbarton Oaks. Mills, who’s known Earnshaw for many years, scanned, digitally enhanced, printed, and framed the photos.

Earnshaw’s artistic endeavors also extend to writing and playing music, specifically the blues which seems like an apt soundtrack for this exhibit. His current photography project is using a camera phone to document the old trees of Washington that are disappearing.

The exhibit, which runs through February 26, is at the Historical Society of Washington, DC at the Carnegie Library. The Society was founded in 1894 to preserve DC’s history and includes temporary shows, a permanent exhibit entitled Window to Washington, which chronicles the development of the capitol city, and the Kiplinger Research Library.

Visit the Historical Society of Washington, DC at 801 K St. NW, at www.dchistory.org, or call 202-249-3955.

 

Firing Up Your Appetite

Sixth Engine’s extensive food and drinks menu has rescued many Mount Vernon Triangle residents. In the four years since it opened, this firehouse-turned-restaurant has become a neighborhood staple for creative culinary concoctions and old standards.

Founded in 1855, Sixth Engine is the oldest firehouse in DC and is one of the 11 remaining buildings designed by architect Adolf Cluss, who was responsible for nearly 100 buildings in the city, including Eastern Market.

Restauranteurs Jeremy Carman, Gavin Coleman, Paul Holder, Paul Madrid, and Tim Walsh bought Sixth Engine after it sat abandoned for nearly 40 years. This group brought their experience of operating Town Hall in Glover Park and the Dubliner to this venture. 

In addition to bar standards such as cheeseburgers, fries, and wings, Sixth Engine’s menu also includes lamb pasta, shrimp and crayfish, and broccolini. There are several vegetarian options including pasta primavera, red beans and rice, and quinoa salad.

Among their signature cocktails is the Sixth Engine, a combination of Great King St.scotch, Ruby port, and an Angostura Peat Monster scotch float. The bar also features several local beers and a variety of wines by the glass and bottle.

Sixth Engine has happy hour and late night specials as well as weekend brunch. While the 50-seat patio is the perfect hang-out once the weather warms up, the main bar and upstairs dining room are cozy spots to while away the winter.

Visit Sixth Engine at 438 Massachusetts Ave. NW, at www.sixthengine.com, or call 202-506-2455.


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