Photo Phriday: Endangered Places

Washington D.C.’s  “Most Endangered Places” stand quietly in plain view. Often wedged between twinkling new buildings whose glass and steel facades deflect and detract one’s gaze, these patiently neglected, sometimes scarred, sites take notes for us on the city’s ongoing rapid transformation and provide us with a fading glimpse of a metropolis past. Other sites lie in wait, still far enough away from the bustle, still far enough from becoming a temptation for developers, yet still within eye shot of the cranes, the steel beamed birds, temporary imports, that arrive overnight, stretching themselves high above the city at daybreak to start their new construction jobs.

Beginning in 1996, The D.C. Preservation League devised a list of ‘Most Endangered Places’ to highlight the city’s “historically, culturally and architecturally significant places that may be threatened with ill-advised alteration or demolition through neglect or abandonment. While many properties have been saved, many others remain in peril.”

About a year ago, I became drawn to Southwest D.C., the smallest quadrant in the city. Tucked away from downtown, separated from other neighborhoods by a freeway, and dotted with a combination of Brutalist architecture, mid-century modern gems and lots of trees, it captured my attention because of the ongoing redevelopment that will, no doubt, morph its character again, one that underwent a radical change only a mere half century ago.

Below are photos of Benjamin Banneker Park, a circular park ringed with benches, perched atop a hill at the end of a long, mostly unused promenade. The park is included on the List of Most Endangered Places and overlooks the Potomac River and D.C.’s famous fish market. It watches the activity taking shape at the bottom of the hill, the riverfront’s transformation, where the cranes are busy at work.

20140720_ 2014_02_16_SW

For readers in Washington, D.C., The Carnegie Library will be showing artworks, including the photos above, from a mix of artists on D.C.’s changing landscape in its upcoming exhibit For the Record: Artfully Historic D.C. from April 22- May 27, 2015. For more information, see http://www.dcpreservation.org/for-the-record/

Tickets to the opening reception are available at: http://www.dchistory.org/events/for-the-record/

All photos taken and copyrighted by Verena Radulovic

Writer’s Block 2: Bigger and Blocker

There comes a time in every Wheelhouse Review writer’s career that they dread: extreme writer’s block. Nothing comes to mind save for some half-assed ideas that are no longer than a sentence or two. And that’s if you’re lucky. Other times you are staring at a page as blank as your mind.

We’ve all dealt with it. And we’ll all continue to deal with it. Fortunately, I have a nice long list of these half-assed ideas to share with you. And maybe if I couldn’t get a post out of it, you could.

from Bill Watterson

Continue reading

The Growing Season: Merritt Learns to Garden- Part 2

This is the latest installment of The Growing Season. For the other installments please click here.

“Where do we start?” I ask, still standing behind the gate awkwardly, not knowing what to do with my hands. Or any part of myself, for that matter.

“We start with a vision,” she tells me. “Come on inside and take a look around. Then imagine the garden you dreamed of as a child. And tell me the differences between that and…this.”

I open the latch and cross into the garden, where branches reach out to me from every direction and scratch my clothes gently. The ground is covered with dead leaves and pine straw, and any leaves that haven’t fallen from the surrounding branches look about a breath away from doing so, hanging on by a thread of dried twig. This pocket of land looks more hopeless up close, and I immediately feel despair set in. I’m not up to this task.

“Tell me what you’re thinking,” Mirabelle demands, staring at me.

I snort. “Like you don’t know already?”

“That’s not the point,” she says. “I want to hear you say it. It’s not like it’s fun for me to have to read your thoughts, you know. I’d much rather you trust me enough to give them a voice.”

Continue reading

Race to the Finish: Black(ish)

Welcome back! This Sunday my long run was an extra mile longer, and it was a rough six miles. Shout out to Kevin for helping me get up the 14th Street hill. The fundraiser for Puncture the Silence is up and running, and there’s exactly two months between now and race day! I want us to raise $1,000 to help this group in their work for justice. They’re organizing a Shut Down day in about a month to help the public remember what’s been happening in Cleveland and nationwide – let’s see if we can help them out and make that a great event!

My long run this week was distinctly not fun. I was reminded of the importance of getting enough sleep and nutrition (I also ate pie all day Saturday for Pi Day, which probably didn’t help). So I’m talking this week about something I think is a lot of fun: the new show Black(ish)!

Courtesy of abc.com

Courtesy of abc.com

Continue reading

The Realistic Dietitian #4: It’s Easy Eating Greens

In honor of St. Patty’s day, I decided to make green-focused foods and some Irish treats: goat cheese and avocado grilled cheese, skillet lemon chicken or tofu with green beans, lightened-up broccoli-cheddar soup, Irish soda bread, and Irish potato candies. If you have never had Irish potatoes before, you’re in a for a wonderfully delicious treat!

First, a few thoughts on veggies. Dark-green leafy vegetables are some of the healthiest foods around, but Americans just don’t get enough of them. Leafy veggies are great for weight loss because they fill you up without filling you out, and are very low in calories and fat. They are rich in dietary fiber, folic acid (which reduces the risk of neural-tube birth defects) vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin E, vitamin K, beta-carotene, and a bunch of other phytochemicals that may reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease. Studies have shown that a diet rich in green leafy veggies protects against coronary heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

Aim to eat at least five servings of veggies a day (about 2 1/2 cups). But really, the more the better! When you are plating your meals, a good rule of thumb is to try and fill up half your plate with non-starchy veggies. Green leafy veggies include arugula, collard greens, endive, escarole, kale, green- or red-leaf lettuce, broccoli, spinach, Swiss Chard, turnip and mustard greens, and watercress. Steam or sauté your veggies; don’t boil them. Boiling reduces the nutrient content of vegetables because the water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. The longer the vegetable is submerged in water, the more nutrients seep out. Have you ever noticed that the water turns green when you drain vegetables after boiling? That’s a whole lot of vitamins being thrown out with the water.

Enjoy some delicious veggies in the recipes below! Continue reading