Category Archives: DC

Ferguson and shining a light

woman standing in front of bas relief sculptures with protest signs

A woman stands in Judiciary Square at the endpoint of the Justice for All March in Washington, DC.

 

Police-involved shooting.

That’s the term I see often now. It attempts an objective tone, a tone I tried to evoke with my classes following our first discussions of Ferguson and my recent post. I wanted to shine a light on this issue dwelling in our minds.

As I light the Hanukkah candles this week, I’m reminded how every light casts shadows. I have opinions and bias. And more observations. I want to follow up on those now.

Talking in class

In the week following the grand jury decision not to indict then-police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Ferguson resident Michael Brown, I talked to my students and tried to listen. I was impressed with their knowledge of the case. They had been following the news, not just Facebook rantings or snippets on CNN. Continue reading

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Filed under Blog, DC, Events, Jewish community, Teaching

Publication: Morsels on Morse in The Washington Post

Please ring bell door sign

This sign inspired the lede of my article. Photo by moi.

My article in this week’s Washington Post Food section opens:

A sign on the door of Best Kitchen Supply on Morse Street NE asks patrons to press a buzzer to get in, but regulars know the truth: The door is rarely locked. Within, they find more insider secrets in the form of kitchen treasures of every kind, their prices as inviting as the open door….

You can read the full article online now and catch it in tomorrow’s print edition.

What a fun process this was–really an excuse to bum around some of my favorite shops in D.C. and pick the minds and hearts of the people in them. I focused on three places: Best Kitchen Supply, A. Litteri, and Afrik International Market. I both hope and worry that these morsels on Morse won’t stay a secret for long.

My reporting, as well as my 11-year history as a shopper of Florida Avenue Market businesses, all come together in this piece, and will be tested by readers in the online chat. Tune in to Free Range on Food on Wednesday, 7/23, at noon. I’ll share the virtual Q&A with, among others, a 10-year-old chef-to-be.

Thanks, as always, for reading!

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Filed under Blog, DC, History

Five percent for empowerment: Supporting a community kitchen

Zucchini by Rhea

Zucchini by Rhea

Today, 5 percent of all grocery bills at Whole Foods in Silver Spring will go toward empowerment. That is because those dimes and dollars will support the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Shared Use Community Kitchen.

Not all 85 subscribers to this blog live in the D.C./Maryland area, so I won’t go into detail about the 5 percent day (though if you are in the area, you should go!) Instead, I’ll tell you about this kitchen. According to the project site:

For the past three years, a group of dedicated individuals have been working hard to renovate and reopen the commercial kitchen located in the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church.

Once completed, the kitchen will be available as:
1. an incubator for entrepreneurs to start small food-based businesses,
2. a classroom for teens, seniors, and anyone to learn about healthy eating, and
3. a production space where donated food can be prepared to be sent to local food banks and homeless shelters.

I’m proud to be a part of this kitchen as a board member of the Crossroads Community Food Network, one of the partners in launching the new space. Crossroads is all about food access and empowerment  — empowerment to eat healthier food (through the Crossroads Farmers Market and Healthy Eating Program), to earn a living wage from preparing food (the Community Kitchen and Microenterprise Program), and to embrace the cultural foods of your own community and others’ (all of the above).

I look forward to the funds and attention this day can bring, and appreciate the community contributions and support we receive. By reading this post, you’re already part of the empowerment. So thank you!

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New food writing: “Passover, with a strictly biblical flavor”

I’m pleased to share my article “Passover, with a strictly biblical flavor,” my first piece in the Washington Post Food section. I hope you enjoy it!

As I mentioned before, you can also catch me tomorrow from noon to 1 in the weekly online chat Free Range on Food. I’m honored to be invited, even if my fingers shake on the keyboard every time I think about it! Softball questions welcome.

Many thanks to the gracious and knowledgeable people I interviewed, the daring friends who tasted my recipe trials, and to everyone who gave me feedback.

Thank you for reading, and happy Passover!

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Free Range on Food, with yours truly

The table is set for an online chat about food and maybe even my own recipes and writing on Wednesday, April 9. Pictured here are Karaite-style matzah and a green take on maror.

The table is set for an online chat about food and maybe even my own recipes and writing on Wednesday, April 9. Pictured here are Karaite-style matzah and a green take on maror.

Friends,

I’m pleased to announce that on Wednesday, April 9, I’ll be a guest on the Free Range on Food chat with The Washington Post. This weekly online Q & A features WaPo food editors and staff writers, as well as the occasional freelancer like myself. An article I wrote about Passover will appear in the newspaper that same day. Readers can tune into the chat from noon to about 1 to ask about food, drink, and maybe even my piece.

Here’s the site to bookmark: http://live.washingtonpost.com/free-range-4-9-2014.html. And here’s what you’ll see when you go there before the chat:

Joe Yonan is editor of the Food section; joining us today are deputy editor Bonnie Benwick, staff writer Tim Carman, Spirits columnist Carrie Allan, Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin and Beer columnist Greg Kitsock. Guests: Washington Baker Teeny Lamothe, author of “Teeny’s Tour of Pie: A Cookbook”; freelance writer Rhea Yablon Kennedy.  [<—Yep, that’s me right there, just a few phrases removed from the editors of the Food section]

Check out past Free Range sessions if you’re curious about what they look like. See you there Wednesday at noon!

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March 2014: Videofreex go to Washington

A picture of my dad, Chuck Kennedy, throwing snowballs in Lanesville, NY, circa 1970. Gotta love the snow suit.

My dad, Chuck Kennedy, plays in the snow in Lanesville, NY, some time in the 1970s. Gotta love the snow suit. Photo courtesy of Bart Friedman.

No one knows whether springy or snowy weather will greet these events, but I look forward to going. Cross posted from Videofreex.com.

Videofreex and friends are coming to Washington, D.C. in March. Join us for two events.

1) On Sunday, March 9, the National Gallery of Art will host a screening of Videofreex material and a talk by Videofreex members Skip Blumberg and Parry Teasdale, along with Tom Colley of Video Data Bank.

Early Video Pioneers: Videofreex with Portapaks

Sunday, March 9, 4:00
 p.m.

East Building Auditorium, National Gallery of Art

6th St. and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC

FREE

2) The next day, the work of the Videofreex and their contemporaries comes to the DC Arts Center. The event will debut a new edit of the compilation Videofreex Pirate TV Show and feature video from the landmark May Day protest of 1971.

Videofreex and the May Day Video Collective at DCAC (Facebook event)

Monday, March 10, 7:30 p.m.

DC Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW,  Washington, DC

Tickets: $8    Ticket reservations: 202-462-7833

After party to follow nearby. Contact us for information.

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Alternatives to Black Friday

A crowd shuffles into Target at the DCUSA mall in Columbia Heights. Photo by Gridprop on Wikimedia.

A crowd shuffles into Target at the DCUSA mall in Columbia Heights. Photo by Gridprop on Wikimedia.

Last week, an international student in my class declared that Thanksgiving is a terrible holiday — a time when people are killed.  “What do you mean?” I asked, madly searching for some explanation. I recalled that suicide rates spike during the winter holidays, but I didn’t think that was it.

The student then explained that she’d learned about the origins of Thanksgiving and how it arrived amidst a virtual genocide of indigenous Americans. The other students and I had to admit that was true. This mortality-Thanksgiving connection is, indeed, part of U.S. history. Then, as the discussion continued, another student helpfully pointed out that it wasn’t just a dark spot in our past.  In very recent memory, post-turkey shopping turned deadly.  It happened again last year. The international student wasn’t at all surprised.

“Will you have a chance to experience a Thanksgiving dinner in the U.S.?” we asked the foreigner. Perhaps. She’d been invited to one, but said she feared to venture out of her dorm room that day. The international student was only half kidding. Continue reading

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Filed under DC, Events, International, Sustainability, Teaching