Thursday, September 19, 2019

Family Fun & Movie Night this Friday at Tubman



Join your neighbors for an awesome night of fun this Friday, at the annual Tubman Family Fun & Movie Night! Bring your family and friends for face painting, moon bounce, food and music starting at 6 pm followed by a showing of the new Disney's Aladdin as soon as the sun goes down! 


This free event is made possible by the generous support of the community, Tubman Elementary, District Bridges, Encounter Church DC, and Viva the Life Properties

They are also still looking for additional volunteers to help out with set up, lending a hand at the various activity booths, and assist with tear down and clean up! 
Check out their sign-up page to see how you can help out! 


Check out the trailer for the new Aladdin movie here! Rated PG. 

Taste of the Dominican Republic is tomorrow

Join our friends at Movimiento Cultural Domincano del DMV for their annual Taste of DR tomorrow, Friday, Sept 19th in Columbia Heights.
"Ven a disfrutar una tarde cultural Dominicana y Sabor de nuestros platillos Dominicanos"

Come and enjoy an afternoon experiencing Dominican culture and food!


- Taste of DR -
Friday, Sept 20, 2019
4:00p - 8:00p
Columbia Heights Civic Plaza
1376 Park Rd NW, Washington, DC 20010

Friday kicks off a weekend of activities celebrating Hispanic culture across the DC area. Come show your support and experience the beauty of and diversity of Hispanic culture. Join in the music, food, crafts, and fun as we turn the capital Latina! Follow updates on social media with #fiestadc

For more information and updates, check out their facebook page or go to www.fiestadc.org


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Ambassador of Spain was among the audience on opening night in Columbia Heights - Calderón de la Barca's La vida es sueño (Life Is A Dream)

Scuffles, love scenes, comedy, and poetry to rival Shakespeare!

This Golden Age drama explores tyranny, fate, and free will.



GALA presents a new adaptation by Nando López of Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. Directed by GALA’s Producing Director, Hugo Medrano, the production is performed in Spanish with English surtitles from September 12 through October 13, 2019.


Its adaptation at the GALA Hispanic Theatre is both a labor of love and an effort to uphold and extend a cultural treasure. The Ambassador of Spain was among the audience on opening night in Columbia Heights, where the audience embraced the performances of the ensemble, some of whom are established TV stars in Spain.


Set in Poland in the 17th century when its influence and power in Europe had waned, Life is a Dream explores tyranny, fate, and free will. Weaving together the stories of Segismundo, who was imprisoned at birth by his father King Basilio to prevent the fulfillment of a prophecy, and Rosaura, who acts to restore her honor and control her destiny, this famous Spanish Golden Age drama addresses the universal question: “Who is the master of one’s fate?”

“The questions with which Calderón grappled,” states Mr. López, who adapted the play, “are as pertinent today as they were in the time the play was written. To what degree is our identity shaped by the environment in which we live and the world we inhabit? Do we choose who we are or are we merely marionettes in the hands of a higher power? Are we, like Segismundo, imprisoned in our own towers?” “Calderón,” adds Mr. Medrano, “challenges us to find the chains that bind us so that we can finally break free.”

Featured in the cast are Daniel Alonso de Santos as Segismundo; Mel Rocher as Clotaldo; Soraya Padrao as Rosaura; Delbis Cardona as Clarin); Peter Pereyra as Astolfo; Catherine Nunez as Estrella; Camilo Linares as a Soldier; Timothy Andrés Pabón as Basilio; and Leo Delgado as a Soldier.


PERFORMANCES & TICKETS: 
Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm.
Regular tickets are $45 on Thursday and Friday evenings, and $48 on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Senior tickets (65+), Student and Military tickets are $30. Groups (10+) are $30. 

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets. 

This production is made possible with generous support from the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC, SPAIN arts & culture, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Updates on 11th & Bark - Check out the possible design

Neighbors have been pushing the city to establish the Columbia Heights Dog Park - located at 11th & Park Rd NW - as an official city off-leash dog park. 11th & Bark, a neighborhood group advocating for the dog park, has been diligently working to promote neighborhood park and tipped us off to new concept renderings of what the park could look like. When the design is done, it will be led by DPR. We don't know if their design will resemble this at all. 


Credit: Gronning Architects

Back in May, WMATA announced it was ending the auction to sell the park and entered into negotiations with the city. In that letter, WMATA anticipated the sale to close by the end of August and no later than Dec 31, 2019. 

Now that we're into September, 11th & Bark is pushing the Mayor's Office for an update. Here's an excerpt from the letter they sent to the Mayor's Office on Sept 3rd: 
"Saving the park is about more than just ensuring members of the community have a space for our dogs. It is about maintaining a valued meeting place where Columbia Heights and surrounding community residents are able to interact with their neighbors, make new friends and feel a sense of community. And it is also about preserving the green space in our neighborhood, which is already greatly lacking.  

We greatly appreciate your efforts to save the park and look forward to hearing an update. 11th and Bark, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and a partner of Green Spaces for DC, stands ready to assist in developing and maintaining this beloved park for the community."
Find out how you can get involved and keep updated on the progress here



Monday, September 16, 2019

Eat Chipotle today to raise money for Tubman Elementary


Make dinner a selfless act by joining us for a fundraiser to support Harriet Tubman PTO. Come in to the Chipotle on 14th St today from 4-8pm and show this flyer and 33% of the proceeds will be donated to Harriet Tubman PTO. 


Chipotle Fundraiser for Tubman
3113 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010
Monday, Sept 16th 
4:00 - 8:00 pm 

Bring this flyer, show it on your smartphone, or simply tell the cashier that you're supporting the cause and 33% of all proceeds will benefit Harriet Tubman PTO. You can find more info on the fundraiser page.


The new Tivoli mural is Magical!


A new neighborhood mural was just completed in the entrance of the 826DC's Tivoli's Astounding Magic Supply Co storefront on Park Rd & 14th. 826DC is a literary nonprofit, and purchases from their magic-themed store help keep all their writing programs and homework help 100% free for DC students.

Thanks to Sarah at 826DC for the tip!

"The new mural ties our mission in with magic and with symbols from Columbia Heights—be sure to check out my favorite one, the pigeon trying to blend in with the magician’s dove!
Other Columbia Heights tie-ins include the flower (just like the ones people sell over by the shopping mall), the bicycle (a nod to the bike racks), the green background color (for the green Metro line), and the white trim (inspired by the Tivoli Theater)."
The mural was done by local artist Kate Fleming, who has done several amazing public art pieces around the DMV.



Friday, September 13, 2019

Annual Celebrate Petworth Fest is this Saturday!


Celebrate Petworth is a free neighborhood festival organized by and for the residents of Petworth and surrounding neighborhoods, celebrating the creativity, diversity, culture, people and quality of life of our wonderful neighborhood.

The main stage will feature local musical performances, the Petworth Dog Show & Contest, and other events all day long. Check out the full line up here. The festival also includes the Taste of Petworth which offers the opportunity to try the menu of Petworth area restaurants like Cinder BBQ, Homestead Food & Bev, and more! 

You won't want to miss the Petworth Dog Show & Contest happening on the Main Stage at noon! 

The Petworth Dog Show & Contest has become an annual staple at the Celebrate Petworth Festival. Pups from all over the community will compete to win Best Dressed, Most Glamorous, Best Singing/Barking, Coolest Trick, and Look-Alike. Winners get prizes! The Humane Rescue Alliance will be on-site from 11am to 2pm with adorable, adoptable dogs and cats for you to meet! You can sign your pup up to compete here - registration of $10 per contestant. The Dog Show & Contest will run from 12:00-12:30pm on the Main Stage.


Celebrate Petworth 2019


Sat - Sept 14th from 11a - 5p


800 Block of Upshur St NW



Check out the festival website for a full list of activities and more information! You can also sign up to become a volunteer or a sponsor here.


Celebrate Petworth started in 2014 when a group of community organizers in the Petworth neighborhood came together to create a new kind of neighborhood festival: one that seeks to bring together the residents of our neighborhood through the creation of new opportunities for collaboration, partnership, and engagement between local businesses, residents and community-based organizations. And it's been a hit in the neighborhood ever since! 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

"Captain America" Chris Evans spotted at Maydan yesterday


Wow! A tipster spotted Captain America actor Chris Evans at Maydan last night, where he was enjoying some dinner. It's not clear why Cap was in town, although he previously met with senators, and of course visited our fine city a while ago while filming Captain America: Winter Soldier. Maydan is excellent, so who can blame him.

Evans isn't the first celebrity to visit Maydan, as Michelle Obama was spotted there a while ago. Amazon's Jeff Bezos has also been spotted at Queen's English on 11th a few times. A few months ago, a tipster reported that Parks and Recreation actress Aubrey Plaza was at Room 11 as well. And of course, both Obamas recently filmed a short at The Coupe about their new documentary American Factory.

Here's our full coverage of celebrities and famous people who visited our area. My favorite may be Drake eating at Z-Burger.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

ANC 1A Meeting Tonight - Sept 11


Columbia Heights & Park View

MONTHLY MEETING TONIGHT
September 11, 2019 @ 7:00 PM
Harriet Tubman Elementary School
3101 13th Street N.W. (Gymnasium)

A few items of note that will be discussed at tonight's meeting...
  • A resolution opposing the installation of a Child Detention Center in Ward 4
  • Updates on the Crosstown Protected Bike Lanes Project
  • Open Streets Event on Georgia Ave (DDOT to present)
  • New pedestrian safety and traffic calming measures for Irving St NW, Columbia Rd NW, Georgia Ave NW, Park Rd NW, and Lamont St NW
You can check out the full agenda here.

* * * * * * * * *
UPCOMING COMMITTEE MEETINGS
Note: all committee meetings are held at the District Bridges/ANC 1A office, located at 
3400 11th St NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20010

Education Committee
Meet and Greet event with local youth-focused educational organizations scheduled for Thursday, September 19, 2019 from 7:00-9:00 pm.
Public Safety Committee
Wednesday, September 4, 2019 meeting is being rescheduled, new date and topic TBD. The Education and Public Safety Committees will hold a joint meeting in October 2019 focused on school and student safety, date TBD.
** The Public Safety Committee is seeking resident input to determine the guests they would like to invite to the September Committee meeting. You can find the survey here.

Transportation Committee
Tentative next meeting date: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 from 7:00-8:30 pm to discuss the 14th Street Transportation Project with representatives from DDOT.

Zoning, Parks, and Planning Committee
Next meeting date: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 from 7:00-8:30 pm.
* * * * * * * * *

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

In Remembrance of Margery Magill - Tonight, Sept 10th

Join the community in remembering and celebrating the life of our neighbor Margery Magill. Services to be held in her honor this evening, Tuesday, Sept 10th. 


Margery Magill via TurkishWIN
From our neighbors in Park View: 
"Please join us in honoring and remembering the beautiful life and adventurous spirit of Margery Magill, the victim of a tragic crime in NW DC. We invite you to celebrate and cherish her life through a candlelight vigil and words from loved ones. Following the vigil, there will be a gathering at The Outrage, one of Margery's favorite woman-founded businesses."


September 10th, 2019

6:30 PM - Candlelight Vigil
Meridian Hill Park
16th St NW & W St NW, Washington, DC 20009

8:00 PM - Gathering
The Outrage
1722 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009



Neighbors and community members are encouraged to join in celebration, remembrance, and to show support for Margery's family and friends through this incredibly trying time.  

On Aug 27, Margery Magill was making her regular rounds walking dogs for Park View residents when she was brutally attacked by the stranger. You can read more about the truly tragic loss here

Friday, September 6, 2019

Things to Do in the Neighborhood This Weekend - Sept 6-8

Summer is winding down, the temperature is FINALLY dropping, kids are back in school... Seems like fall is just around the corner! If you're in town this weekend, here are some exciting events happening around the neighborhood.


Friday, Sept 6th

Art Park Kick Off
Rhode Island Ave

MidCity is hosting a community event at the RIA parking lot this Friday! Bring the family and grab dinner! MidCity, Nonstop Art, the DC Public Library, and The Phillips Collection have formed a partnership to bring free interactive art and technology workshops to community members at their new DCPL container lab in the RIA parking lot. Each month they’ll host a workshop like community mural painting, mixed media collaging, mixed media sculpting, digital collaging, screen printing, etc. 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM. 1325 Rhode Island Ave NE. FREE. 


Sip & Thrift at Fia's
Petworth

DJ Rita B is back!! Join the team at Fia's Fabulous Finds for their monthly First Friday's Happy Hour! Enjoy live music, complimentary margaritas and 25% off everything in the store! Now that is thrifting at its best! 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM. 806 Upshur St NW. FREE. Go here for more info or to RSVP.



Saturday, Sept 7th 

Neighborhood Cleanup & Community Gathering
Park View

Georgia Avenue Thrive volunteers will meet at 10 a.m. at the corner of Georgia and Kenyon. Volunteers will spruce up the streets until about 11:15 a.m. Then we’ll gather at Hook Hall, which was nice enough to reserve us a table for conversation. Additional thanks to District Bridges and the Lower Georgia Ave Main Street; volunteers will be using the brand new, third-generation trash pickers made possible by these donors!
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM. Georgia Ave NW & Kenyon St NW. 


Neighborhood Block Party
LeDroit Park

The LeDroit Park Civic Association is throwing its annual Neighborhood Block Party this Saturday. Thank you to All neighbors and friends are invited to enjoy food, soda, and fun with the whole community!
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM. 300 Block of T Street NW. FREE. More info here. 


Sunday, Sept 8th

Adams Morgan Day
Adams Morgan
Stop by the 41st Annual Adams Morgan Day is this Sunday starting at noon and going into the evening! The festival will once again be held on 18th St NW between Columbia Road and California Street, which will be closed off to vehicles for most of the day to accommodate the event. Highlights include a music stage at 18th Street and Columbia Road curated by Songbyrd Music House; a family fun zone with an obstacle courses and games at Marie Reed Elementary; an artists’ market with paintings, prints and photographs for sale; and parties on sidewalks of local businesses. Don’t miss the special Adams Morgan Festival IPA, a collaboration between Atlas Brew Works and Roofers Union, which will be available on tap at neighborhood bars while supplies last. Check out the full list of deals as well as live performance line-ups at the official AdMoDay page. 
12:00 NOON - 6:00 PM. 18th St NW. FREE.

La Fiesta del Barrio
Mount Pleasant

Join the Mount Pleasant neighborhood for the second annual La Fiesta del Barrio presented by La Clínica del Pueblo. In addition to providing free health screenings, the festival will include dancing, art, music, food, and local vendors all coming together to celebrate the passion and diversity at the heart of Mount Pleasant! Live performances include La Marvela, 123 Andres, Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers, and dance lessons led by Salsa with Silvia
"What are you waiting for? Join us in creating lasting connections - 1 is company, 2 is a crowd, 3 is a party, but 4 is a Fiesta! So grab your friends and let's make memories that last a lifetime!"
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM. 3166 Mt Pleasant St NW. FREE. Get raffle tickets here



Have an event happening in the neighborhood? Send it to us at newcolumbiaheights@gmail.com 

DC Bus Improvements are Coming!

DC residents have been asking for some major bus infrastructure improvements and yesterday was a huge step forward with the release of the final Bus Transformation Strategy by the Washington Area Bus Transformation Project!

From the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG): 
“We need to start right away on prioritizing buses,” said Cheryl Cort, Policy Director for CSG. “Our study with MetroHero of DC bus performance confirmed the concerns in the Bus Transformation Study – buses were moving slower and becoming less reliable, scoring a ‘D’ in our analysis. The recommended solutions in our companion report track closely with those in the Bus Transformation Study and the Greater Washington Partnership’s transit report.” 
“The public is strongly supportive of better bus service,” said [CSG Executive Director Stewart] Schwartz, “The Bus Transformation surveys of over 8000 area residents and riders found that people overwhelming want to see dedicated bus lanes, more frequent service, free transfers from bus to rail, and more affordable fares.”
Based on the study and analysis, the committee identified four key recommendations to improve bus transportation and use in the city: 

1
Frequent and Convenient Bus Service 
Provide frequent and convenient bus service that connects communities and promotes housing affordability, regional equity, and economic growth. 
2
Bus Priority on Roadways 
Give buses priority on roadways to move people quickly and reliably. 
3
Customer Experience 
Create an excellent customer experience to retain and increase ridership. 
4
Task Force to Implement the Strategy 
Empower a publicly appointed Task Force to transform bus and lead the implementation of a truly integrated regional system. 

The final Bus Transformation Study relied heavily on feedback and insight from stakeholders, riders, and the public as well as extensive research and analysis from experts. The overwhelming conclusion has been that the Washington region needs a more cohesive area-wide system that works with multiple modes of transportation. Or, as the team at NoVa Transit puts it, "Transforming buses means doing the basics better - fast, frequent, reliable, and affordable."
“We urge elected officials, transit agency directors, and government staff to put the bus first! We strongly support priority bus lanes, more frequent and reliable service, a better customer experience, and more affordable fares for those who need it,” said Schwartz. “We also believe that route redesign studies incorporating both WMATA and local buses are essential to developing a network that provides more frequent, reliable service with higher ridership while not sacrificing the coverage for those most in need.”
Check out the Bus Transformation Project website hosts the Executive SummaryFull Report and supporting documents.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Ward 1 Public Safety Planning Meeting - September 5 - 6:45 pm

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The second public safety coalition meeting is being held TODAY, Thursday, September 5th from 6:45 pm - 8 pm at District Bridges located at 3400 11th St NW Suite 200.





At the first coalition meeting a group of broad and diverse community members were able to come together and start the process of building a safety coalition here in Ward 1. We discussed the concept of ‘public safety’ and the need for community reactions to the ills in our neighborhoods. We are excited to build a collaborative infrastructure to protect our youth, our seniors, our parents and teachers, our over-policed streets, our immigrant brothers and sisters, and all those who call Ward 1 home. We hope you can join us.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

On The Block Or By Bike, Meet The Two Legendary Music Men Of Columbia Heights

See below, this awesome article written by one of our very own, Leigh Giangreco!

Published on 9/4/19 on DCist.com

George Whitlow, pictured with his trademark music-playing bicycle has become the de facto mayor of Columbia Heights.
Leigh Giangreco / DCist
It’s close to 8 p.m. on a recent weeknight, but at Anthony Burley’s home in Columbia Heights it’s “Round Midnight,” or at least it is on his stereo.
The sun is setting over Rock Creek Park, enveloping the rowhouses on Park Road in a pink glow. With the sound of Miles Davis echoing down the road, everything seems rosier than usual: the salmon-colored house across the street, the pink button-down that Burley wears with a paisley pocket square peeking out, and, it seems, the neighborhood’s mood.
If you’ve ever walked down Park around dusk, you’ve no doubt heard Burley’s music projecting from his front porch. If you had air pods jammed in your ears, then you’ve at least seen an African-American man with a manicured mustache, likely wearing a colorful suit, lip-syncing along to Dean Martin, Doris Day, or The Temptations.
Elsewhere in the neighborhood, perhaps you’ve run across George Whitlow, a 72-year-old Petworth resident who blasts music from a distinctive bicycle, replete with a homemade stereo system and pulsing lights .
Kevin Lambert, a Columbia Heights resident for the past 20 years, says he loves hearing James Brown as Whitlow winds his way through the Malcolm X drum circle or Tivoli Square.
“My daughter grew up coming to the square with me and having her day brightened and my day brightened by this gentleman,” Lambert said. “There are certain characters in the neighborhood that make it more lively.”
While the two have never had a conversation, save a friendly wave as Whitlow passes by on his bike, the pair have nonetheless become the neighborhood’s legendary music men.
George Whitlow pedals around the neighborhood to spread happiness with funky tunes.Leigh Giangreco / DCist
There are few more distinctive sights in Columbia Heights than the roving spectacle of George Whitlow, his lanky frame pushing a bike blinking with red, yellow, green, and orange lights and pumping the bouncing beats of Chuck Brown and Michael Jackson.
Born in southern Virginia, Whitlow has lived in Petworth for more than 40 years. He retired about five years ago after working in a printing press for Columbia Federal Savings & Loan Bank and later as a bike courier. During his years delivering messages and packages, Whitlow says his status as something of a city celebrity gave him easy access to government buildings and offices.
“I’m a local and I know everybody,” he said, sporting a t-shirt featuring a photo of himself embracing former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, whom he called a friend. “I knew how to get in, they didn’t ask me a whole lot of questions.”
Whitlow started cycling seriously in his forties, and he says he still logs about five miles per day along different routes that cross the Anacostia River, Maryland, and Virginia borders. He owns six bicycles now, including his famous musical bike, and has amassed an arsenal of tools so that he can fix everything himself.
“I have never gone to a bicycle shop to spend money on my bike,” he said. “Because I know how to work on the bike completely.”
Between his unforgettable ride and regular appearances by the Giant on Park Road, Whitlow has become a de facto mayor of Columbia Heights, so much so that our interview was regularly interrupted by neighbors and policemen walking the beat to say “What’s up, George?”
Even with Whitlow’s music turned off during our conversation, a Giant employee nodded to him and did a little dance as he walked by.
“If they didn’t see me yesterday, they say ‘George, where you’ve been? I’m glad to see you, man,’” he said. “They can’t resist dancing. Every time they pass by with their kids, older people, everybody.”
After Whitlow strapped a radio to his bike one day about a decade ago, he decided to create a more professional sound system. He’s been a mobile music man ever since, with the sole purpose of spreading happiness across the region.
His taste leans on the funky side, and on a recent evening he wooed Metro commuters with Kool and the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie” and Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me.” People have offered him money for his playlists, which he refuses, and have invited him to play at neighborhood parties, which he obliges, as he did when he played “Bustin’ Loose” from his bike at the most recent Chuck Brown Day in D.C.
“When people smile, that’s my money,” he said, adding a slight caveat (“Check this out, if they keep insisting, I’m not going to say no.”)
But like Willy Wonka guarding the recipe for his euphoria-inducing chocolate, he will never reveal the secret to his homemade stereo.
“My project is my project,” he said. “They want to duplicate it, but I want to be the one who makes people happy.”
At the close of our interview, Whitlow turned his music back on. He fiddled with the cluster of speakers cloaked in knit sacks before asking me for a pen. There’s another speaker on the rear rack housed in a metal cage that’s topped by a Toyota medallion and pulsing with tiny lights. He took off the pen cap and stuck the fine tip through a small hole punched in the cage.
“What does that do?” I asked.
“Ahh,” he smiled at me, wagging a finger at my question.
Anthony Burley plays music from his stoop for his own enjoyment, but he’s nonetheless become a neighborhood fixture.Leigh Giangreco / DCist
While Whitlow’s location varies, Anthony Burley adds his own, no less distinctive contribution to the Columbia Heights’ soundtrack from his stoop on Park Road.
Burley will tell you that he is not your friendly neighborhood DJ. He is not here to play music for you. He is not actually waving at you; that greeting is meant for his neighbor’s kids across the street.
Burley is on his porch because he invested in a hi-fi system for his home several years ago and his wife told him that if he blared that music, it would ruin his children’s ears.
So he took his tunes outside, where he could relax after a long day at work or just kick back on the weekend with a book. But even though Burley says he’s doing this for himself, he has nevertheless become a neighborhood fixture.
“The funny thing is, I’ll get compliments or I get nasty stares. There’s nothing in between,” Burley said one evening sitting on his steps. “I’ll have a random person say, ‘Hey, thank you for that song!’ or ‘Man, you make me happy.’ You’ll get a neighbor, and they start looking at me really hard, it’s the weirdest thing. I’m so tickled by it.”
The most extreme response to Burley’s music came a decade ago when four cop cars pulled up to his home and told him to cut his music off. Burley looked up the noise ordinance after that incident and hasn’t had a problem with the cops since, with the exception of one officer who couldn’t say whether she was asking him or telling him to turn his music off one day.
“If she said, ‘I’m asking you,’ I would have done it, but the mere fact that she couldn’t answer that question, it was disturbing to me,” he said. “I would prefer a neighbor who doesn’t like it say turn it off or down. That I would do right away.”
The D.C. Council attempted to legislate amplified sound last year, amid complaints from downtown residents, but the emergency legislation was pulled. A new bill is still making its way through the legislative process.
While Burley hasn’t experienced the same friction with his neighbors over his stereo sound as other longtime D.C. residents, his outdoor performances do often perplex pedestrians. In addition to the sound, the sight of Burley does demand a second look. He doesn’t set out to follow a certain dress code, but someone once told him that his mix of patterns and Victorian apparel could be described as “Black Dandyism.”
One day, while sporting a top hat and cape, the director of software development for the tax division of the Department of Justice was mistaken as the master of an older profession. (“This lady said, ‘Oh my god, a pimp!’” Burley said, laughing. “I thought it was hilarious.”)
But he doesn’t see a connection between his eye-catching attire and the way he puts himself out there with his music.
“I hope not. I’m going to do who I am and what I like, as long as I don’t hurt anybody,” Burley said. “What I’ve learned over the years working in the federal government, people love conformity and if you’re an individual and you’re not afraid to be an individual, it bothers people.”
The music that streams from Burley’s stoop also doesn’t conform to genres or eras. He loves the flow of Biggie Smalls and Bad Bunny. He plays bebop when he’s reading. He adores vocalists, from Hall & Oates to Anita Baker, and when he looks like he’s singing outside, he’s either lip-syncing or trying to imitate their voices.
Ask him to list his favorites and Burley doesn’t rattle them off; each one is lovingly enunciated as though he were closing his own radio program.
“Ella [Fitzgerald] is in a category all by herself,” he said. “I think Doris Day is highly underrated. Probably because she was also an actress and that girl next door, but if you listen to some of her music, she had a beautiful voice.”
Burley’s playlist crosses so many generations and genres because it’s guided by his mood. He doesn’t invite requests, though he will sometimes take them, as he did when he decided to play Salvadoran music for his neighbors or an SWV song for a passerby.
“She was so nice, she said, ‘Can you play this song by SWV and I’ll leave you alone?’” he said, and told the woman it wouldn’t bother him at all to play it. “I think music is a healer. Music can actually take you to another place.”
Burley also uses music to heal himself. The Monday after the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, he biked to work playing only Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s in Need of Love Today” throughout his 20-minute commute.
“It’s a song that people need to listen to, “ he said. “Something about those two shootings, I decided to play that song. It was the song that was on my mind.”
The reasons behind Whitlow’s and Burley’s public performances certainly vary, but the results are often the same.
One Saturday evening, I passed by Burley’s home as Ella Fitzgerald’s “S’Wonderful” rang out over the block. It was overcast and it had been a long week, but I smiled as I turned at the intersection and the music carried me home.

Click HERE to read the original article. 

2nd Annual La Fiesta is this Weekend! Sun, Sept 8


Join the Mount Pleasant neighborhood for the second annual La Fiesta del Barrio this Sunday, Sept 8th, 2019!

From our friends at La Clínica del Pueblo:
"La Clínica del Pueblo is excited to announce its second annual community festival: La Fiesta del Barrio! La Fiesta is an exhilarating celebration of traditional music, arts, and dance that offers a snapshot of our community's identity.  
We hope you'll join us for another year of free health screenings, dancing, art, music, food, vendors and fun! We couldn't think of a better way to express who we are than to spend it with all of those who make out mission come to life each and every day. Together, we will celebrate the passion, achievements and culture that run deeply through the roots of our diverse Mt. Pleasant pueblo.  
What are you waiting for? Join us in creating lasting connections- 1 is company, 2 is a crowd, 3 is a party, but 4 is a Fiesta so grab your friends and lets make memories that last a lifetime!"

The festival program includes live performances by La Marvela, 123 Andres, and Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers as well as exciting events like dance lessons from Salsa with Silvia and a community raffle! 


La Fiesta del Barrio 2019
Sunday, September 8th
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
3166 Mount Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010
Bring your friends, family, and dancing shoes

Get the full schedule of events and more details on the Facebook event page!