Santa, Smart Phones, Radio Legends, and Shopping

Holidays on Barracks Row
Engine Company 18 Escorts Santa to Barracks Row. Photo: Barracks Row Mainstreet

A snowy winter is forecast for 2012-13, but the weatherman advises us not to count on the magical white stuff appearing by Saturday, December 15 when Santa makes his annual appearance on Barracks Row. This year’s lack of snow will force Santa to leave his reindeer and sleigh at the North Pole. However, Barracks Row firemen from Engine Company 18, 414 8th Street, SE, have volunteered to transport Santa by fire truck to the corner of 8th and G Street, SE, so he won’t miss his visit.

Come by on December 15 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for Santa Arrives On 8th Street, produced by Barracks Row Main Street and held outdoors at old City Bank building (now Oheme von Sweden) at 536 8th Street, SE.  Kids and pets tell Santa what they want this holiday season while our photographer captures the scene. The shots are uploaded to the Barracks Row website for parents to download. Refreshments will be provided by Ted’s Bulletin. It’s all free, but bring along an unwrapped new toy for the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots collection box.

After Santa, continue your day on the Row with shopping. The Small Business Administration recently selected the Barracks Row corridor as an ideal representation of small businesses nationwide. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 24, SBA Deputy Administrator, Marie Johns visited our corridor touring Sweet Lobby, 404 8th Street, SE; Hill’s Kitchen, 713 D Street, SE; Homebody, 715 8th Street, SE, and tabula rasa, 731 8th Street, SE with an entourage of dignitaries. Small Business Saturday was developed to parallel Black Friday, when malls kick off holiday shopping. Shop On!

Invest in Rose’s Luxury – Play to Pay at CHAW

With 40+ restaurants on the Row, you can drop by without reservations during the holidays and still find plenty of choices for brunch, lunch or dinner.  One eatery, not yet open, is even hoping to recruit your contributions.  Chef/owner Aaron Silverman of Rose’s Luxury, opening soon at 717 8th Street, SE, just launched a project with Kickstarter to raise funds for the design phase of Rose’s Luxury courtyard dining area and some special indoor amenities. Support levels start at $5, but get much more interesting at $75 where contributors are guaranteed one five-course dinner once Rose’s opens. For a $1500 investment, the chef will do dinner for eight at one his DC pop-up locations. Learn more at

At Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th Street, SE, on Wednesdays through Sundays until December, dog and pony dc, an ensemble theater company, needs your help to complete the story at each performance of The Killing Game. A mash up of Orsen Well’s 1938 classic radio spoof, War of Worlds, Eugene Ionesco’s Killing Game, and the card game Fluxx, the show follows twists and turns put forward by the audience.

The Killing Game explores what can happen when a mysterious plague visits a city that bears a striking resemblance to DC and the hype that surrounds modern crises. Use of cell phones, smart phones, and tablets during the show is highly encouraged. The ticket price online is $17, but at the door play-to-pay prevails: prices range from $5 to $40 depending on the outcome of a fast board game played right there at the gate. The production is partially funded by a grant from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, 419 East Capitol Street, SE, and by Labyrinth Games, 637 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Now Open – uBreakiFix and Exclamation Point

With smart devices embedded in our daily lives and even crossing over into dramatic productions at CHAW, it’s consoling to know a true electronics emergency room just opened at 413 8th Street, SE, 2nd floor, right above Popeyes. Look for the sidewalk sign: uBreakiFix. Owners Matt Allen and Adam Nations are on hand to diagnose and repair cracked screens, water damage, chip issues and more in smart phones, tablets, game consoles, and laptops.  uBreakiFix aims for 24 hour diagnostic turn around. Prices run about half of corporate repair services.

Throughout the entire month of December no trip to Barracks Row would be complete without visiting The Fridge, 516 8th Street, SE, Rear Alley. The mural on the exterior will be changing in December and, inside, Fridge owner, Alex Goldstein’s “Streets of New York”-graphics-inspired art will be for sale in a show entitled Exclamation Point. The Fridge is open noon to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Admission is free.

Susan Stamberg of NPR’s All Things Considered at Hill Center

On Tuesday, December 11 at The Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, it’s story time. Listen as two of the best voices on radio read specially commissioned Hanukkah tales. Susan Stamberg, founding mother of National Public Radio and Murry Horwitz, past VP of NPR’s cultural programming, present their popular NPR holiday broadcast live in the Lincoln Room beginning at 7 p.m.  Admission is free. Then, on Thursday, Dec 13, The Hill Center hosts flautist Joseph Cunliffe (known in DC for his work with Barnes and Hampton Celtic Christmas) along with guitarist Giorgia Cavallaro in a children’s holiday program beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Two high-powered local sensations perform at The Hill Center on Sunday, December 13. Washington Youth Choir at Eastern (formerly the Eastern High School Choir) opens the show at 4:00 p.m. followed by internationally acclaimed Eastern High School Alumni Choir. Tickets are $25 online at Proceeds benefit the Washington Youth Choir College Scholarship Fund, which has awarded over $1,000,000 in scholarships to Eastern High School Choir members since 1989.

DC Pops At The Folger Library and Corner Store

Six hundred years ago, well before Columbus discovered America, a pop music scene emerged in Florence, Italy.  Inspired by troubadours of the Middle Ages, this was not church music, but songs by and for everyday people, including love songs.  From December 14 to December 23 The Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, hosts holiday music from this break-out moment, Florence, Christmas Music of the Trecento. To achieve authentic, early 1400’s sound the musicians plsy period instruments.  Tickets are $50.00; for show times call the Folger Library box office at 202-544-7077.

Since 1400 pop has crossed the pond, splintered, merged and continues to reinvent itself.  Sample pop’s New World diversity at Corner Store, 800 South Carolina Avenue, SE, at 7 p.m. on December 7 and 8 with rootsgrass band Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys - a distinctive fusion of swing, jazz and bluegrass. On December 8 (following Lindsay Lou) Jonathan Byrd, out of Carrboro (near Durham), North Carolina, performs his own brew of New Folk with tales of love, life and death in the USA. Corner Store ushers in Christmas on Sunday, December 23 at 4:00 p.m. with a concert/sing-along featuring pianist choirmaster Peggy Stern of Capitol City Voice Jazz Chorus who will preside over an evening of hot cider, music and cheer. Performances are $15 in advance or $20; Christmas sing along is $10. Cheers!

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