ink & acrylic on silk
30″ x 20″
ink & acrylic on hanji
15″ x 22.5″
ink & acrylic on hanji
15″ x 22.5″
Last fall, my buddy Sean, who lives in NYC, called to say that his friend Meeghan Truelove (what an excellent name!) was on her way to DC to do a story about the U Street Corridor for Travel & Leisure. She’d asked him for ideas on what was new and interesting in the neighborhood but he didn’t really know because he hadn’t lived here in a while. So he told her to talk to me. I met her over brunch the next day and shared my thoughts with her. Following is an excerpt from that story that appeared on cnn.com last week.
In October, Where magazine published a piece I wrote about ambling aimlessly around Logan Circle. I posted a link to the article at the time but it’s not available anymore so thought I’d reproduce the text here. Above is the picture that appeared in the table of contents. That’s me gazing at some lovely art at one of the galleries I recommended, Adamson.
Each January, the town of Breckenridge celebrates Ullr Fest, which pays homage to the mythical Norse God of Snow, also known as the “Phat Man of Winter.” A week-long schedule of events range from the Ullympics to the Ullr Bonfire to the Ullr Fest Parade down Main Street to good old-fashioned beer drinking. We were lucky enough to have arrived in town just in time to catch the King and Queen of the parade float past. Viking horns highly encouraged.
Washington is a white-marble town. The buildings are proud but staid, except when they’re shabby. It’s a working place filled with workers who talk a lot about how hard they work. They jog, and then they finish marathons. They check that off the list. They have important neighbors, but not so important as the neighbors in the next neighborhood over. At parties they say, “Nice to meet you, we should connect. Let me put you in my BlackBerry.”
Relax for crying out loud. Stop taking yourself so seriously and have some real fun. And take an improv class. Never thought of yourself as funny? Well, you are! According to my good buddy Shawn Westfall, an improv teacher and funny fellow and goofy lookin’ guy pictured above, “improv is very easy. You’re already a gifted improviser. It’s what you do from birth to death.” Improv isn’t about being a comedian and throwing down the one-liners. It’s about letting go of your inhibitions and conquering your fears to reveal your true self, which is really funny . . . in a really good way.
If you’re interested in taking an improv class, read this article in the Washington Post, which features Shawn, to find out more about improv in DC. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/11/AR2007011100711.html?sub=AR. Shawn teaches at DC Improv and you can contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for one of his classes.
Shawn’s bio: http://www.dcimprov.com/college/shawnbio.htm
“When a comedian is being funny about something, he’s being quite deadly serious about something, too.”
Last spring, Fox Morning News did a series of live, on-the-scene reports about various DC neighborhoods. They interviewed me for the Logan Circle piece. My tech savvy friend Jonathan tivo’d the spot and saved it on a disk for me. He recently showed me how to upload it to YouTube and then link to it from my blog. Take a look for a good laugh!
Most people I know didn’t see the interview live because most people I know wouldn’t watch Fox news. Although a few friends called to say they’d seen it, the usual Republican suspects.
Click here to go to YouTube to watch it:
Back in April, I was interviewed for a film by documentarian Jessica Tomiko Anders for a film she has been creating called Mergence. The film explores multi-racial identity through interviews with folks like me. We got to view a rough cut in August and silly me only now noticed that Jessica put up a clip from my interview on her website. Take a look: http://www.thealloyproject.com/film.html.