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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Turkish Festival celebrates on Pennsylvania Avenue


At the Turkish Festival Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue, it was possible to be someone else. The Washington City Paper says it's"the best cultural festival in D.C."/Photo by Patricia Leslie
At the Turkish Festival Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue.  If you can't go to Turkey, why not let Turkey come to you?/Photo by Patricia Leslie
What is $20 for a fortune telling session to find out the outcome of the November 4 general election a month ahead?/Photo by Patricia Leslie
These dancers from the Yeditepe University Folklore Club are ready to show off their talents at the Turkish Festival Sunday but first, a pose or two/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Members of the Kardelene Dance Ensemble at the Turkish Festival on Sunday.  Dancers and musicians filled the stage non-stop for seven hours/Photo by Bianca Bahary
Members of the Yeditepe University Folklore Club at the Turkish Festival on Sunday/Photo by Bianca Bahary
While the professionals danced on stage at the Turkish Festival Sunday, these young lasses captured the street with their own dance/Photo by Patricia Leslie
The stoplight in the background elongates the dancer's body. Do you think the U.S. Capitol sprouted flags in celebration of the Turkish Festival on Pennsylvania Avenue?/Photo by Patricia Leslie
From the Embassy of Turkey came First Counselor and spokesperson, Aydan Karamanoglu, with his two sons, Fernando (left), 11,  and Daniel, 9, at the Turkish Festival Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue.  They have been here about a year, and the boys have adjusted well to their new school, their dad said.  Mr.  Karamanoglu's favorite part of the festival is the food. To  become an ambassador requires 20 to 25 years of experience, he said.  When asked about Turkey's role in the ISIS conflict in the Middle East, Mr. Karamanoglu smiled and said:  "That is political, and this is cultural."/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Jewelry for sale at the Turkish Festival Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Scarves and wraps for sale at the Turkish Festival Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue where 25 vendors sold goods/Photo by Patricia Leslie 
Yikes!  A heavy metal man! If you stared at him long enough he would bend and respond with a smile before his metal took over.  With girls his age, the statue flirted quite a bit and provided good humor at the Turkish Festival Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue.  The floral bouquet in his hands was heavy metal, too/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Turkish Airlines was a popular tent at the Turkish Festival Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue since it gave away two roundtrip tickets to where else?/Photo by Patricia Leslie
That is chicken and gyro on the left, and mixed beef and lamb on the right from Rudy's Mediterranean Grill in Columbia, MD.The butcher kindly gave me some samples which were exquisite.  I'll never miss the Turkish Festival again/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Grape leaves and hummus on pita, my favs at the Turkish Festival Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue, and everywhere.  Also for sale at the festival were doner kebab sandwiches with rice, lahmacun, vegetarian sandwiches, baklava with pistachios, sea bass, sea bream, anchovies, red mullet, and horse mackerel "fresh from the pure waters of the Mediterranean."  To die for.  I love to eat/Photo by Patricia Leslie

These food vendors dressed for the part at the Turkish Festival Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Alas, from out of the shadows or "behind the scenes" came Inspector Foodso from the D.C. Health Department, issuing citations to vendors who prepared food off-site, which is strictly prohibited, the inspector told me, because the preparation is not done under the watchful eyes of the Health Department.  What immediately drew my attention was a crowd of vendors dumping a vat of fresh (it looked like) untouched chopped lettuce and tomatoes into a large, black plastic garbage bag.  (In a low voice, Inspector Foodso told me it also had dressing.) We consumers appreciate what you do, I told the inspector, who replied:  "Not everyone does."  The vendors responded positively to the inspector who told one, "I'll be back at 1."  He told me every food tent had hand washing supplies for the help staff, and he was one of two inspectors on-site/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Anywhere is a good place to play bridge, like at the Turkish Festival in front of the Justice Department/Photo by Patricia Leslie
No one should miss all the fun and delicious food at the Turkish Festival on Pennsylvania Avenue. Can't wait for next year!/Photo by Patricia Leslie
 
 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Free 'First Wednesday' noon concerts debut Oct. 1 at St. John's, Lafayette Square



The U.S. Army Chorus
 
On October 1 the United States Army Chorus will inaugurate this season's First Wednesday Concert Series at St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, accompanied by Benjamin Hutto, organist and director of music ministry at the church.
 
Formed in 1956 to join the U.S. Army Band, the U.S. Army Chorus regularly sings with the National Symphony Orchestra on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and at other patriotic events, and performs for visiting heads of state.  Choristers speak more than 26 languages and dialects, and most hold advanced music degrees.

Their repertoire includes traditional military music, pop, Broadway, folk, and classical tunes. 

Also known as "Pershing's Own," the U.S. Army Chorus is one of the few professional male choruses in the nation, and it sings with symphonies and in concert halls across the U.S.

This year's concert series includes several firsts:  the first jazz concert (Feb. 4, 2015), first concert with bagpipes and organ (Mar. 4, 2015), and the first "complete works" (Jan. 7, 2015).
St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square/Photo by Patricia Leslie
 
St. John's, known to many Washington residents as the yellow church at Lafayette Square, is often called the “Church of the Presidents.” Beginning with President James Madison, who served from 1809 to 1817, every president has either been a member or has attended services at St. John's. A plaque at the rear of the church designates the pew where President Abraham Lincoln often sat when he stopped by St. John's during the Civil War.

All concerts will start at 12:10 p.m. (with an exception in April), and last about 35 minutes. Food trucks are located at Farragut Square, two blocks away, for those on lunch break.

Who: The U.S. Army Chorus

What: The First Wednesday Concerts

When: 12:10 p.m., October 1, 2014


Where: St. John’s, Lafayette Square, 1525 H Street, NW, at the corner of 16th, Washington, D.C. 20005

How much: No charge

Duration: About 35 minutes

Wheelchair accessible

Metro stations: McPherson Square (White House exit), Farragut North, or Farragut West

Food trucks: Located two blocks away at Farragut Square


For more information: Contact Michael Lodico, St. John's associate organist and choir director, at 202-270-6265

Future dates and artists of the First Wednesday Concerts are:

November 5: Greg Morris, associate organist at London's Temple Church, plays A London Portrait

December 3: Madrigal Singers from St. Albans & National Cathedral schools directed by organist Benjamin Hutto, sing seasonal music

January 7, 2015: Iris Lan plays the Complete Sonatas of Paul Hindemith on the organ


February 4: Lena Seikaly, jazz vocalist, with the Dan Dufford Trio performing works by Duke Ellington and friends


March 4: Jared Denhard, bagpiper, assisted by Michael Lodico, St. John's organist and choirmaster, performing Pipes and More Pipes

April 19 (Sunday), 4 p.m.: Spring Concert by St. John's Choir

May 6: The U.S. Air Force Strings accompanied by Benjamin Hutto performing a Handel organ concerto and other pieces

June 3: Benjamin Straley, organist at the Washington National Cathedral


patricialesli@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

People's Climate March photos and a nomination

Marchers from Virginia were well represented in the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014 in New York City.  Under the stellar direction of Susan Bonney, the Sierra Club chartered 12 buses for 700 Virginia members and friends.  This was a scene on Central Park West /Photo by Patricia Leslie
The sign says: "Dear Big Oil, Our love affair is over.  You make me sick."  Along Central Park West with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Along Central Park West with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
From the steps of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church at the corner of W. 65th St. and Central Park W. The church generously opened its doors to marchers who needed bathroom facilities and maybe, a place to worship/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Along Central Park West with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014.  Instead of metal and plastic posts for signs, the city approved cardboard signs and posts which the Earth liked better, too/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Along Central Park West with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Along Central Park West with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Along Central Park West with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014. The police were well-behaved all day; some even smiled.  The People's Climate March had plenty of staff on hand to guide participants and answer questions.  Talk about organization!  The U.S. Congress would do well to take lessons from the People's Climate March. Think about it:  Who/what else could bring 400,000 together to march in an orderly fashion and deliver the most important message on Earth? More than kudos to the People's Climate March organizers! I nominate People's Climate March for the Nobel Peace Prize/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Looking up Central Park West with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014.  Everywhere, all day long were people.  People up Central Park West, people down Central Park West.  We never saw the beginning nor the end of the People's Climate March. The people spoke.  And chanted. And sang and shouted, and chatted amongst ourselves.  And after two minutes of pre-planned "silence" at 12:58 p.m., 400,000 musicians blew horns, whistles, trumpets, and made merry with cymbals, strings, shouts, clapping, and bells at 1 p.m., in an explosion of sound which rolled up and down the streets, a wave of cacophonous medley unlike anything I have ever heard/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. stopped to shake hands at W. 65th St. and Central Park West at the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
There they go, the new Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., up W. 65th St., at the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
A moving statue on Central Park West in the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
The Earth rolls along Central Park West in the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Students from Drew University attended the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014.  Topless women with chests decorated a la Miley Cyrus came, too/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Along Central Park West with Green Mountain College in the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Vegans were numerous in the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014 in New York City.  About two trillion pounds of animal waste are deposited annually in the U.S., polluting drinking water, the environment, and people. My "bus buddy" was a vegan who educated me about the practice. What's life without cheese, butter, beer, and ice cream, I pondered.  He said some vegans shun honey because it comes from bees.  So, that's where they are. Bee waste.  I tell you, it's a problem. (He ate some of my honey-roasted nuts, and the chocolate cookies and breakfast bars Susan passed around, hidden that he was by the tall bus seats which provided cover from vegan scorn.  (Google that.) There was more than one vegan on the bus. Are you kidding?  This was the Sierra Club.)
To solve the problem and discontinue harmful consumption, why don't we just all starve and save the Planet?Photo by Patricia Leslie
The signs say (left) "All we are saying is GIVE EARTH a CHANCE" and (right) "A Fried Earth is No Yolk." The best sign of the day:  "There is no PLANet B."  Along Central Park West with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
"Where's my daddy?  Where'd my daddy go?"  Along Central Park West with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
"There's my daddy! And my mommy."  Along Central Park West with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
The Donald did not come out of his hotel to greet us on Central Park West with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Hold it!  Hold it right this minute for a ritual mid-street on Central Park West with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
This couple played their guitars on Avenue of the Americas, and marchers joined them to sing "This land is your land" in the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014.  Not far from here was the Bank of America building, protected by barriers, where marchers directed a loud, constant chant: "Bank of America!  BAD for America!" /Photo by Patricia Leslie
The sign says:  "Say No! Fracking, Keystone.  Say Yes! Wind, Solar" with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014 on Avenue of the Americas/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Along Avenue of the Americas with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014, and the Earth rolls along on top/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Along W. 42nd St. with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
On W. 42nd St., he said he had accidentally rubbed his horns into a woman who was not injured, in the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
"Concerned Families of Westchester" with the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
On 11th Avenue, maybe it's a big tree root with nest on top, powered by men on four sides riding parts of two bicycles, front and back, in the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014.  Following them not far behind, an elderly couple stopped and asked us if we had seen an "ark" going by.  Maybe this was an ark?  It was easy to get separated from your party since just about 400,000 showed up to make a big statement/Photo by Patricia Leslie
A large tent lady on 11th Avenue in the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
The smartest people of the day, two women, natch, rode in style in the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
On 11th Street in the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Alas, all good things must come to an end.  For Asheville, N.C. participants, the final leg of the trip was just another 12 hours on the bus, but what's 24 hours inside a tube when the Earth is at stake?.Besides, 12 hours was probably enough time to sing"1000 bottles of beer on the wall." Along 11th Street in the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014/Photo by Patricia Leslie