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November 14, 1999


Dear Summiteers:

Last year, in the Democratic Mayoral primary, Kevin Chavous said that Tony Williams didn't know neighborhoods, didn't care about neighborhoods, and wouldn't do anything for economic development in neighborhoods. Well, it's a year into the Williams administration, and Kevin looks like a prophet. In the past year, all the economic development has been downtown. Williams has not shown any interest in advancing the concerns and interests of community groups and civic organizations, and has consistently championed special interests against community interests. The biggest potential economic development project in a District neighborhood this year and for years to come was proposed for Columbia Heights, and the Williams administration has done everything in its power to screw that up. This administration works with community groups only as a last resort, and only after citizen activists have beaten up on it for months, as happened east of the river both over the prison issue and over the city's move with the hospital's creditors to close Greater Southeast Community Hospital.

Well, it's a new day, the Mayor says, and that will be proven this coming Saturday by the neighborhood summit, the Neighborhood Action Initiative at the Convention Center. Expected attendance is way down, from the three to five thousand people originally announced by the administration to perhaps a thousand people. All the usual advocates of community planning, historic preservation, and so on will probably be there, but they aren't coming expectantly and hopefully. Instead, they coming out of self-defense, grumbling and doubting all the way. Williams claims that he's a champion of community planning, but at a press conference on November 5, the Mayor trashed the two-year long community planning process held in Columbia Heights — the best planning process held in this city in the past two decades — saying that it wasn't “scientific” and doubting its findings. And he couldn't and wouldn't give questioners any assurance that the findings of any other community planning process, including this Saturday's summit, would be given more weight or importance than the one in Columbia Heights.

As correspondents below write, the big question remaining about the summit is whether the administration and the special interest “stakeholders” at the head table have any intention to listen to their subordinates, the residents and citizens of the city, or whether the citizens are simply being invited as an audience for presentations. Will we be able to really talk to an administration that comes with open minds, or will we simply be asked to answer pre-written multiple choice questions? Will it have any impact at all? And what is on the table? Are we going to be able to demand — and get — real reform of the government's Departments and agencies that affect neighborhoods? And, after the summit, will anybody in the Williams administration ever pick up the telephone and return a telephone call? Stay tuned, and let us know your impressions.

Gary Imhoff


Hold That Stake!
Lea Adams,

How about we all carry signs to the Summit: “I'm not a stakeholder, I live here.” By the way, did anyone else notice the Common Denominator headline that alleged, “Mayor Moves to Quell Critics”? Well, it isn't true. I hear he decided not to move, after all.

On another (related) note, the Adams v. Clinton suit will need financial support in the event that our case goes to the Supreme Court. We also need the moral support of people who are ready to trade in their "resident" status for full US citizenship. Would love to hear from anyone interested in helping build a local/national/international campaign to let folks know we don't have to settle for half a loaf (just voting representation in Congress, without addressing the inequities of our status as disenfranchised colonial wards). The Twenty Citizens case Needs You!


Ed T. Barron,

The first thing I thought of when I heard the word “stakeholder” was the movie Dracula. The only way to get rid of Dracula was to drive a wooden stake through his heart. As a Stakeholder I sometimes feel like doing that with some of the people who are “managing”(?) some of the Departments in this city.

I have used, in my Team Building classes, the word “stakeholder” in the context that a stakeholder is one who has a piece of the action (and one who should be a part of any decisions made that affect him/her). I have since modified my characterizations of those who have a piece of the action as partners or teammates. As taxpayers, we don't really run the city. We get to choose our “leaders”(?) and we get to pay the bills for those we elect and those who are hired by the leaders. I don't want to be the Mayor. I don't want to try to run the city, but I do want those we elect to listen to us and to react (positively) when we say something stinks.


Special Interests @#$$&*# Out
Citizen Alan Abrams, Takoma DC,

Although I share the apprehension that the interests of the “special interests” could be a top-heavy factor in a neighborhood summit, I support the notion of inclusion of the business community in determining policy regarding neighborhoods. To quote Lyndon B. Johnson, “Ah'd ruther have'em in the tent, @#$$&*# out, than outside the tent, &*$$*%# in.”


Neighborhood Action Meetings and “Emergent Behaviors” in Revitalization
T. Jr. Hardman,

For what it's worth, I'll be at the Neighborhood Action Citizen Summit kick-off and at the summit itself. I rather expect that it will in fact largely begin as the powers-that-be doing a bit of pontificating, whether they will afterwards be willing to listen as well as to speak remains to be seen. Also remaining to be seen is whether or not those who actually listen will be willing to also allow the marketplace of ideas to amend its own charter, so to speak — will anyone be willing to amend their own agendas? This being DC, I won't dismiss the possibility, but the prospects of that seem dubious at best.

That said, I hope to give a little speech on “emergent systems” and “emergent behaviors” as a primary aspect of Revitalization, should the opportunity present itself; and to pass out a little manifesto should the opportunity of speech not occur. Don't expect me to be much up to question and answer in any case, I am shy and retiring and far from glib in person. It will go something like this: Emergent systems, or emergent behaviors, are the complex results of interactions between systems, or elements of systems, which are already complex. A good example of an emergent system would be a flock of birds; the emergent behavior would be how the birds flock. Of course, the parallel of a city springs readily to mind; in fact, the city of Washington DC is an emergent system par excellence, comprised of a bewildering panoply of other emergent systems. About the only aspect of District life which is not an emergent system is the physical infrastructure — yet as the infrastructure becomes more digitally correspondent, it too becomes more emergent. This is of course a time of rebuilding, and more importantly a time of “re-emergence.” One sees a flock of birds, and it's easy to recognize what flocking is: all they have to do is to head more or less in the same direction and not crash into one another. But what is the impetus of flocking? Is there one bird that decides “let's flock, y'all” and the rest just follow? Can the Mayor of Washington simply start moving in one direction and expect everyone else to follow?

The Mayor, as it were, is not the lead goose of a flight headed south. In fact, he's at the center of the flock, and if he changes direction, there are going to be a lot of birds still headed the same old direction, and those located “behind” him are going to pile up in something of a train wreck if they cannot pick another direction, and as they change direction the paths of the rest of the multitude is also redirected. Yet it is noted that flocking birds seldom swirl so as to inevitably collide with even one member with obstacles. And though the foremost flier of the instant isn't usually the leader, it does in fact bear — for the single instant that it is foremost — the responsibility for determining how to avoid any obstacle in the way, and to direct its own motion so that those who observe its path will know where the obstacle lies, even if they cannot see it directly. Even though it's only avoiding its own wreck, the fate of the flock or large portion thereof depends, for that instant, upon its own choice of paths.

[This message continues for four more paragraphs. I'm going to try something for the first time with a long message; let me know if you think it works. I've cut the message here for E-mail, but it is printed complete in the web based version of this issue, at — Gary Imhoff]

We must recognize, therefor, that as an emergent system, the Region depends for success less upon the capabilities of any one member, or group, but rather more upon the ability to discern where others are headed, so that we can find our own paths to fly. This requires visibility. This requires, in human terms, openness. If personal accessibility isn't possible, people have to stand out. They have to be seen. If you've got an agenda, let the rest of the birds know where you're headed so they know to avoid the pitfalls.

Emergent systems' behaviors are dependent largely upon the degree of communication between the members, not one at a time, nor as any member addressing groups or as groups addressing members — each bird in flight really needs to be able to see all of the others, at once. So I will propose that one of the foremost agendas on any emerging city plan will be to increase the ability of any and all to share their informational resources in the most visible manner praticable.

Any city agency not bound by legitimate security considerations, any action group, and neighborhood or charitable organization — all should make available to everyone such information as they possess. This includes business, as well, insofar is it won't render it noncompetitive. If Bell is laying fiber, every block they wire should have a semi-public port installed now, not later. If the Office of the City Planner develops an information base such as a city model, we the people and not just developers need access to it; overlay that model with crime statistics and utility-company “cut under” permits and road-closing information, and everyone will know (and know easily) where to drive, where not to park. Overlay on top of all of that additional information about which churches are doing which charitable function and it's rather like the birds in the flock can speak fast languages, instead of relying on sight to choose their course, or flying blindly through the darkness amidst others doing the same.

Emergent systems result from the interactions of complex members. We're not just complex, we're intelligent — we must increase our awareness of how our complex behaviors affect the ultimate emergent behavior of the Region — we may sink or swim due to however well we all look to the fore instead of to our own personal agendas, and recognize that whether or not we're officially leader, we may at any moment be the one in the lead position of the momentary course of the flock, and as we crash and burn, so may all who must follow. So let's everyone keep their eyes open, watch the way ahead but keep your eye on where everyone else is headed as well, and we may all arrive alive at the intended destination and put on a memorable show as we do.


A Rider Here, A Rider There, Congress Rides DC Everywhere
Mark Richards, Dupont East,

The DC budget veto drama currently playing on the federal stage will close after months of DC's local tax money being held hostage by Hill mobsters. The President and Congressional Republicans will declare victory, but DC will still be the loser. It's a futile game, because we CAN'T win. We can get a bit of TV/media R&F (reach and frequency) out of a good brawl focused on a few hot button issues. But the word rider is too amorphous. They are oh so much more — 81 unfunded mandates, obligations, restrictions, constraints, and all round “screw DC” provisions. Not 4 or 5, but 81 or so of these “chokers” put around DC's neck by the Kings and Queens of the Hill. DC can't count on Congressional goodwill as the founders had expected — DC can't even count on restraint. Abuse is what DC can count on. All time spent by DC's elected officials and activists in the losing battle to keep Congressional paws out of DC's cookie jar should be billable hours — Congress is running up our bill, they should pay.

My “favorite spin” came from The Times (11/3). They argued that that “Mr. Clinton,” in vetoing the bill is sending the message to the “average” DC taxpayer that all those taxes they pay do not matter to the White House. “When Clinton Democrats come begging for D.C.'s presidential votes in 2000, district residents should remind them of their selective interest in city voting habits. D.C. residents cast votes for change that the administration is now holding up. The question is whether the city will hold up future political support for Democrats.” Somehow, the Times forgot that DC has elected officials. Their editorial in opposition to Catania's plan to give more authority to the ANCs (“Does D.C. need ANCs?” 11/5) apparently fits their editorial philosophy — the fewer elected officials the better, right? Who needs 'em when you can go to one of the 535 Kings and Queens and get a rider added?


AAA Response in DC
David Sobelsohn,

I had a experience similar to that of Pat Hahn regarding AAA response in DC. Last May, I had an accident with my car at the corner of M and South Capitol. The DC police urged me to let their own contract tow truck tow my car, but I insisted on calling AAA, since I was a AAA member. I explained to AAA that my car had just had an accident and was blocking an intersection. They promised to send a tow truck right away, within the proverbial 20 minutes. That was 12:45. I told the police officers AAA would be along in 20 minutes, and they just laughed. They knew better than I. I had to call AAA twice more before a tow truck finally arrived at 3 p.m.

Perhaps AAA has a generally different approach in cities. The summer before last I had a flat tire in Baltimore. I called AAA, told them I had a flat tire and that I thought the spare was underinflated. I asked if they could send someone with an air pump. Half an hour later a service truck arrived. Its air pump was broken. We crawled to the nearest gas station, inflated the spare, and changed the tire. I am no longer a AAA member. $40/year isn't worth it just for maps.


Three A’s — Aggravating, Annoying A...
Mike Hill,

I hate to beef, but after three years of “service” I am seriously considering canceling my AAA membership. They have never arrived in less than two hours, and the tow trucks and locksmiths tend to be a surly, ill-tempered lot (possibly because they drive around all night in a smelly truck in all kinds of weather). Add to this the fact that the operators have no idea where the drivers really are or when they will get to you, and it's a recipe for disaster.


AAA Road Service
Malcolm Wiseman,

After umpteen years with AAA I recently canceled my membership. AAA service in my Petworth area of DC has been spotty for the last 14 years. In spite of specific towing information being on computer file, they never once on first try sent a truck that could tow my '86 BMW. (Though this didn't happen all that often.) I always had to wait for 2 or 3 trucks to arrive before we got going. One night in front of the Chinese Embassy, I fiddled with AAA from 2 am 'til daylight, sleeping in my car and eating donuts offered by (yea!) DC Police. All this time with AAA Plus, no less. Recent episode made them history.

So, my Six and I are looking for AAA's competition. I'm also in the market for a '93 325ci !


SW Inspection Number
Taylor Simmons,

[Judie Guy wrote about the SW auto inspection station in the November 3 issue.] So what was the phone number for the SW inspection station? (I think they only answer 727-1000 with a live voice during the work week.) Do you think they would tell me how long the line was when I called? Alternately I wonder if we could get one of those web site traffic cameras like they have out on the beltway and 66.


Water Over the Road
Steph “WASA Is All Wet” Faul,

I got water leak results by calling Kathy Patterson's office at 724-8062. Michelle Cole, the constituent services person, really got on the case after my second call and made sure the problem was fixed. (Last night I noticed another leak on Belt Road that has been running for some time and will probably start the whole process over again.) As to the crash caused by ice from a water leak on Reno Road last year, the most recent Post article I found said that the rabbi was in a coma but came out of it. Either way, she and her family have been permanently harmed because of WASA's inaction. Water leaks in winter are especially serious business.


Twelve Years Ago, Today
Ed T. Barron,

It was just 12 years ago today that I drove from L.I., NY to move into our new house in NW D.C. It was snowing like mad when I left L.I. very early that morning. I was driving my Scirocco and towing my 14 foot sailboat. I had all my luggage, a beach chair and a cot in the boat and two long haired Dachshunds and a bunch of large house plants in the Scirocco. A trip that would normally have taken about five and a half hours became a ten hour ordeal. When I came out of the Baltimore Tunnel there was already about eight inches of snow on I-95 and the traffic was getting pretty light. Cars and buses were spinning off the road and I just kept on chuggin’. I made it to Massachusetts Avenue from Connecticut Avenue where there was not a soul in sight. I lined up my rig across all four lanes of the deserted street to blast my way backwards into the driveway and garage. I had no shovel. After three or four tries I had blasted my way into the tandem garage with the boat and car through about thirteen inches of fresh unplowed snow in the driveway.

It continued to snow as I set up camp in a big empty new house with my loyal friends, Charlie and Bo. A total accumulation of 16 inches of snow was recorded outside, a record for Washington in November. As I watched the news on the small TV that I had brought, I saw a video clip from one of the local channels that showed my Scirocco and boat on Connecticut Avenue at the height of the storm. The newscaster was saying “Here’s a chap looking for someplace to go sailing.”

Little did he know that I was planting roots here that day in D.C. and was one of the few folks in this area who knew how to drive in the snow. Later that evening the next door neighbor, Carrie, let me borrow their snow shovel so that I could clear the way early the next morning for the movers who promised to arrive at 8 am. I started at about 4:30 am and shoveled for almost four hours to clear a path into the garage, a path to the front door (up sixteen steps and 90 feet of path) and finished at 8:15 am as the moving truck arrived. The movers had driven all night, had but 2 hours of sleep, and managed to unload all the stuff safely in about six hours. Carrie came over with coffee that morning, which was much appreciated by the movers. By later that evening I even made a foray out to the furnished apartment I had been renting in Reston to clear it out for the next tenant. What a way to start living in my new home in D.C.


When 911 Doesn’t Answer
Nick Keenan, Shaw,

Don't let anyone tell you the staffing problems at 911 are solved. On Tuesday evening I called 911 after I watched a domestic dispute turn into domestic violence on the sidewalk outside my house. I stood with the phone against my ear ringing and ringing for what seemed like five minutes, while I watched the protagonist assault two passers-by who came to the assistance of the victim. He then turned towards me, saw I was on the phone, and started screaming threats and obscenities. Finally 911 took my call, and shortly after that the cops showed up, but it was a long, uncomfortable wait that easily could have been uglier.

In the past two years I have called 911 exactly twice. Both times I have experienced long, long, waits before someone answered. This time at least the cops eventually came. How does this compare to everyone else's experience? It is me? Is it my neighborhood? Or is it our city?


Cellular Phone Use. Period.
Joan Eisenstodt

The cell phones in Rock Creek debate is coincidentally going on at the same time one on a listserv (for which I am “listmistress”) for the hospitality/meetings industry rages. It started because cell phone users were frustrated because there are so many “dead zones” in hotels, especially those with underground meeting space. Heated doesn't describe the conversations! There are those who, like I, believe cell phones should only be used for emergencies and never in meetings, and those who believe it a “necessity” to stay in touch at every moment. The highlight was a post from an industry supplier (in the audio visual community) who said the president of the company said, at a sales meeting, that if anyone's cell phone rang [it was permissible to have them on but turned to “silent”] during the meeting, the person would be fired if the person hadn't “registered” an emergency with the meeting planner. Ah me, my kinda guy!


I Must Defend Myself
Peter Luger,

Regarding my mobile phone thoughts, I did point out that my opinion was based upon the notion that it IS legal to phone and drive, so I based my ideas on that assumption. Should it be illegal to phone and drive, maybe, but that's not the issue regarding the cell towers. And perhaps the police should control the speed of traffic in Rock Creek Park better rather than saying that motorists driving with the flow of traffic are somehow dangerous. It's not my fault everyone is driving 40 mph in Rock Creek. And, finally, I happen to be a single District dweller who does not need extra time with my kids, nor do I require the use of my cell phone while commuting. I was just trying to see the other side of the argument, which is a good way to understand an issue rather than only caring about how it affects you.


Dupont East, My Operatic Neighborhood
Mark Richards,

Sam Smith shared a cassette tape of the song “Washington, My Home Town,” part of “DC: A Hometown Revue” by Rebecca Denney, Kathy and Sam Smith. It's really great. [After the songs there are some pieces from the 60s, when Glen Echo amusement park was closed to African Americans ... listening to the interchange between an “American Negro” and the guard is incredible, a reminder of what it takes to achieve change.] I especially liked the song about Boss Shepherd (“I'm the boss, I'm the boss of Washington, Don't get cross at what it costs to get things done...”) and the snappy tune that follows with Congress saying “Well, that's it, now you've had your chance; We want the city back again; If you want any more of our finance, You'll do what we say and when You say you like your freedom, well
just listen to me, You'll do what we say or you'll do it for free, Well that's it, yes, you've had your chance, Now we want the city back again...”

Speaking of musicals, JR's on 17th St. could easily recruit a group to do a number ... they have Monday night show tune night, and it's not uncommon to see a crowd of gay boys singing along. JR's has been in the neighborhood forever and they're not a problem pub. Annie's was in that space before she moved up the road, and before that it was a grocery store run by Angie's grandfather. Angie's was the flower shop that closed because she got tired of working ... that is the space next to JRs into which they would like to move. There's another empty space on the other side. JRs has been a sort of lightening rod lately, almost like a line in the sand for neighborhood activists, some of whom are my friends. I understand their concerns, have listened at ANC meetings and discussed with both. But I don't support the way the discussion is carried out in abstractions. The people at JRs are real and have a specific history in the neighborhood, they serve many neighbors. They've largely played by the rules, they pay taxes, donate to community organizations, manage the customers to control noise, keep a clean place inside and out, and keep the sidewalk alive — which translates into safety. They run a tight ship. They're setting up valet parking, want to add a non-smoking section, and a behind-the-pub enclosed place to sit down without music. I don't want my little operatic neighborhood to become a Big Easy or even Adams-Morgan — the commercial balance is very important, we all agree with that. But I support their expansion into the building next door and do not think they should be punished because they are successful and there are abstract fears of losing the hardware store. The JRs staff, one lives in my building, are my neighbors. I'm glad they're successful and can stay on 17th. The businesses on this block have held out through some rough times and haven't sold out to developers. The more full spaces, the better. And if a neighbor wants some other kind of shop — recruit or open it, but don't blame the pubs. It's silly not to work together, but then conflict does create group cohesion, doesn't it?


I Don’t Think She’s Crotchety
Peter Luger,

I'd like to thank Kirsten Sherk for noticing the miscount on liquor serving establishments on 17th Street between P & R. I completely understand why she would be upset that small, cool, alternative kind of stores can't make it on 17th Street. But I still don't understand how allowing JRs to expand, for example, has anything to do with a pet food store relocating or a plant shop closing. The neighborhood association is choosing to have businesses that fail or abandoned store fronts over the demands of the consumers in the area. We're not talking about CVS taking over classic movie theaters by making offers to the property owners that they can't refuse. We're talking about business people taking advantage of a busy area that likes to spend money at night on food and drinks by moving into or expanding empty and failing space. With all due respect to Angie's Plant shop, apparently there is not a large enough demand for that type of business on 17th Street between P & R. This morning, I heard that the ANC turned down JRs last night at their meeting. That's great. Now Angie's is out of business and that storefront will be abandoned for who knows how long. Plus, rumor has it that Elite on 17th (next to Angie's) is closing soon. Maybe a “Make your Own Pottery” place could move in. That'd probably be a big hit!


Dog Poop, Cut Flowers, and Bill Rice
Larry Seftor,

There are a lot of major issues that affect our lives in D.C. (e.g., voting rights, schools, taxes), but day-to-day it is the little things that determine quality of life. Here are a few samples. 1) I had thought my neighbor to the right availing himself of my supercan — while it was sitting in my back yard — was a little rude. But it was nothing compared to my neighbor to the left who got tired of a dog walker who would deposit dog litter in his supercan 6-7 times a week. When he moved the trash can into the yard behind a fence the dog walker simply threw the dog poop over the fence into his yard. 2) I read with interest about D.C. cops looking for flower thieves because it reminded me of an incident several years ago. My wife purchased and planted beautiful bulbs for the front of our house. We enjoyed the flowers, as did many who walked by the house. Unfortunately, some person decided that flowers outside my house (but on my property) were available for the picking. The clean cuts showed that the flowers were not plucked, but cut by a blade. Our solution: no more flowers for the front. 3) Bill Rice apparently grabbed E-mail addresses from themail for his mailing list. I know this because the other recipients of the spam I receive from him are E-mail addresses of other posters to themail. Mr. Rice, just because I have an E-mail address doesn't mean that I want E-mail clutter from you, anymore than my neighbor wants someone else's dog poop.


Web Site on DC Public Schools
Mary Filardo and Barbara Frank,

While some of you have been wondering in the themail about how to get information about the DC public schools and public charter schools, such as neighborhood school boundaries, performance data, telephone numbers, and programs, we've been working with DCPS, WMATA, FOCUS, the DC Public Charter School Board, the DC Office of Technology, and individual school principals, directors, and parents to develop a comprehensive, on-line guide to the DC public schools and public charter schools. is now ready for you to log on! This web site opened to the public on Monday, November 15. You may have seen news of it on TV and in the local newspapers. is part of a three-year study about how access to information affects the choices of parents and students. The research focuses on the District of Columbia's 160 public and 30 public charter schools and their parents, students, and staffs. The information and data collection process started a year ago and is still continuing. We are excited about creating a central source of data about the schools. It is a place where you can get to know your DC schools and discover that they have a lot to offer. We look forward to your contributions and comments.


Glimmers of Hope in the ’99 DCPS Test Score Trends?
Len Sullivan,

NARPAC has looked at the latest DCPS test scores to see if there are discernible trends. Percentages seem somewhat sterile, so we converted selected data for high and junior/middle schools into approximate numbers of individual students shifting from one category to another (using scaled-down '95 per-school enrollment data). One can be appalled by the lousy baseline, or encouraged by the improvements in the past two years: About 11,000 kids attend DCPS junior/middle schools: some 2800 of them read “below basic” level, and over 6400 test “below basic” in math. However, almost 900 kids have climbed out of the bottom category in reading, and 1100 in math since '97. Further up the scale, nearly 2300 kids test "proficient" in reading but only about 1000 in math. But these include 340 newly proficient readers, and 220 new good math students.

Progress is slower for the 12,000 or so high school students: over 6500 test “below basic” in reading, about 9750 in math. These are fewer (better) than two years prior by some 200 in reading and almost 1600 in math. At the “proficient” level, there are roughly 1000 good readers and 550 good math students — an insignificant change in good readers from '97, but almost 400 more kids good at math.

Unfortunately, DC's (many) poorer schools are improving more slowly than the (fewer) better schools. Altogether, over half of DC's school kids are being left behind — many for reasons beyond their control. But a finite number — as many as 1000 — already have a significantly better chance to get jobs, and several hundred more might try for college. The trend is right and the progress seems real — albeit frustratingly slow.



Traditional Swedish Bazaar
Cecilia Kullman,

Traditional bazaar organized by Svea, the cultural association of Swedish-speaking women. Saturday, November 20, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at St. Columba's Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle St., N.W., (one block west of Hechingers on Wisconsin Avenue and close to Tenleytown Metro station). High-quality products at very attractive prices imported directly from Sweden. Crystal and glass from Orrefors, Kosta Boda, Strombergshyttan, Nybro, Sea and other glassworks; hand-made crafts; beautiful textiles; books; home-baked goods and other delicacies. Great Swedish cafe with Scandinavian-style open sandwiches. Free admission. For information, E-mail me or call (202)667-0425.


MUD, A Play
Catharine MacIntosh,

The Exposed Brick Theatre Company presents “MUD” at the Warehouse Theater, 1021 7th Street NW (across from the hole for the New Convention Center, approximately 7th and New York Avenue).

MUD is an extremely intense drama about the lives of three individuals whose struggle is ultimately simply to live a meaningful, loved existence. Mae, in search of something more, tries desperately to manage the small impoverished home she shares with Lloyd. Mae presses clothes and is in school to learn to read and do arithmetic. Lloyd looks after the pigs but is ill and needs to go to the clinic but won't. Mae goes for him, is given a pamphlet but neither can read it. It is here that Henry, the older, educated man enters the scene to assist. Mae sees Henry as their Savior and Lloyd sees Henry as competition for his place in their home. Mae invites Henry to live with them. He sleeps in her bed. Lloyd sleeps downstairs on the kitchen floor. This arrangement does not last long, and the three find themselves in a desperate and inescapable situation. This play is riveting, bold, vulgar, shocking and tragic, all told in the subtly elusive manner of plain, everyday life. Fornes, the playwright, brilliantly defines the harshest realities of life through the angst and misfortune of her characters. She keeps it simple in order to convey the most complex of human conditions. The price is only $15, and the play runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 7 pm and Sundays at 5 pm until December 4th. For reservations call DCAC at 462-7833.



Computer and Hedge Cutter
Jonetta Rose Barras,

Compaq Presarrio computer with external modem and an electric hedge cutter with long utility cord looking for homes. Will accept best offer, since I am moving. Stop by 4712 Piney Branch Road NW, Tuesday between 10 a.m. and noon, or call (202) 882-2838 to arrange a time to see the items.


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