Saturday, December 23, 2006

MLK Ceremonial Groundbreaking on C-SPAN

C-SPAN will be airing an encore presentation of the Ceremonial Groundbreaking of the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial on Christmas Day, December 25th at 9pm ET. The Ceremonial Groundbreaking took place on November 13, 2006 in Washington, DC at the Memorial site.

Phase 2 of smoking ban takes effect on 1 January 2007

Effective 03 April 2006, phase 1 of Washington DC's smoking ban prohibited smoking in indoor public places such as restaurant dining areas, offices and apartment lobbies. On 1 January 2007, phase 2 of the ban will extend to bar areas of restaurants, taverns and nightclubs. The never before seen photo to the left was taken during the 3 January 2006 Freedom of Choice Bans Close Bars demonstration in WDC.

After assembling in Franklin Square Park, at 14th and Eye Streets, nw, the demonstrations would march down 14th Street to the John A. Wilson Building on Pennsylvania Avenue for a Rally on the steps of City Hall.

Not waiting for the full ban to go into affect, in October 2006, Mark Lee of ATLAS Events and one of the organizers of the Freedom of Choice demonstration shut down his popular weekly party, Lizard Lounge.

Click photo to view more never before seen images of the 3 January 2006 Freedom of Choice 'Bans Close Bars' Demonstration which also may be viewed in the entire collection.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday evenings @ US Botanic Garden / Savor the Season

During the month of December, Thursday evenings at the United States Botanic Garden is a very special place to be. Last Thursday, 14 December I'd capture the Virginia Ham Barbershop Quartet performing at the US Botanic Garden Conservatory.

Tonight, 21 December, from 6 - 8 pm Lox and Vodka will perform at this evening's holiday event 'Savor the Season'.

This year's holiday exhibit begins outdoors, where a model train landscape on the Terrace lures you to linger before you even enter the Conservatory. Indoors, in the West Orangerie, children of all ages will delight in a visit to enormous Snowcap Mountain – a picturesque mountain village busy with the to and fro of trains and defended by a magnificent castle at the peak.

Then venture into the Garden Court to find our National Mall in miniature – including enchanting replicas of the U.S. Capitol, The White House, and the Smithsonian Castle –completely constructed of natural plant materials such as willow, acorns, leaves, and bark. Continue to Savor the Season as you wander throughout the Conservatory, where our sumptuous Della Robbia-style visual feast includes a bounty of colorful poinsettias and other winter-blooming tropical plants. Then embark on a Five Senses Tour to discover some of the plants that produce the tastes, fragrances, and colors of the holiday season.

The trains, National Mall in miniature, and Five Senses Tour will be on exhibit through January 7.

The U.S. Botanic Garden is located at 245 First Street, S.W., Washington, DC.

Click photo to view my USBG 2006/07 'Savor the Season' photoset.

2006 National Christmas Tree Railroad on the Ellipse

Since 1994, the National Capital Trackers, a local model train club, have constructed the National Christmas Tree Railroad at the base of the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in President's Park South. Located just south of the White House's Rose Garden the trains will run from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily until the Pageant concludes.

The National Capital Trackers (Trackers) are an informal group of model train enthusiasts in the Washington D.C. area who share an interest in operating three rail O-Gauge trains. The members construct portable layout modules that are joined together to create the club's large operating layouts. The club's objectives are to provide a means for local train enthusiasts to operate O-Gauge trains; and to promote our hobby through the operation of our railroad at public events.

Click photo to view my 2006 National Christmas Tree Railroad photoset.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Flo Anito returns to Downtown Holiday Market @ 12n today

When passing through the 2006 Downtown Holiday Market on Sunday afternoon, 17 December 2006, en route to the 2006 National Hanakkuh Menorah Lighting, I had the pleasure of listening to bluesy pop artist Flo Anito performing at 2006 Downtown Holiday Market (pdf) entertainment stage.

Classically trained in voice, piano, and 'cello, Flo Anito began her singer/songwriter career at age 16 when she got her hands on her first guitar. Already rewarded for her musicality with All-State recognition and roles in Summer-stock theatre, songwriting came naturally to this young talent who has quickly proved herself a prolific writer of thought provoking alternative folk/pop songs.

To learn more about Flo Anito visit her website or myspace. And, by all means, stop in at the 2006 Downtown Holiday Market between 12 noon and 2 pm today, 20 December, which is when Flo Anito returns for a repeat performance.

And while there, perhaps, pick up a few last minute holiday gift items and/or get to know some of the exhibitors. Many who also participate in the Eastern Market Festival which is amongst my documentary projects.

With its last day on Friday, 22 December, there are just three days left for the 2006 Downtown Holiday Market.

Click photo to view Flo Anito photoset.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Beef Holiday Party @ Torpedo - Friday, 22 December

Beef! Holiday Party & membership giveaway on Friday, 22 December 2006. Hosted by Joe Soler / Menergy Productions. Membership cards will be given out at this event.

DJ Lee Majors

Torpedo Bar
2829 West Broward Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Phone 954-587-2500
See map.

Beef! will be a new weekly event at Torpedo starting at midnight to 4am.

DJ Lee Majors will be the resident DJ for these dance events creating a sexy environment for MEN to dance and socialize.

Beef! memberships will get you discount prices for future Beef! special events among other things being planned.

Make sure to come out and get your membership card for this new and sexy dance event.

Visit or email Joe Soler at

Learn more about the world through PhotoFrom

When searching the web for Elvert Barnes I recently came across one of my photos posted to PhotoFrom which I had not ever heard of.

While my focus is to capture moments in time that can not ever be again, when photographing my hope is to not only document history but in the process also shed light on my personal story.

Similarly, the underlying theme of PhotoFrom is to learn more about the world through photography.

Mow many men does it take to change a flat tire?

Moments before taking this picture of 5 men changing a tire at the corner of 14th and E Streets in NW WDC and for the second time in a week I had captured ice skaters at Pershing Park in connection with a new documentary project that will focus on Ice Skating in Pershing Park.

During which time I would reflect on the second time that I had ever ice skated which, in 1979, was when I would join Frank, Rae Ann, Eason and Inny at an ice rink that was then situated just one block east of Pershing Park and directly in front of the National Theater, in what is known as Freedom Plaza. To the echos of many who proclaimed that I was 'acting white'.

In 2006, and as a 53 year old black man who, over the years practiced integration I also realize that many regard my interest in photography and, in particular, the manner by which I photograph as "acting white!".

When folks see me with not just one but two cameras, their first and last reaction is to police, oversee and negate me. And while I experience racism everywhere that I go, there are differences in the manners by which various groups of people project their racism upon me.

For the sake of this photoessay and pertaining to my experience when photograpong ice skating at Pershing Park on Sunday evening, 17 December I now speak on black on black racism.

Earlier in the day when photographing at the 2006 Downtown Holiday Market I would confront a similar reaction from several of the black exhibitors. When one black female exhibitor, threw up her hands, and then ran inside of her booth when she saw me candidly photographing. A few days before, another black female exhibitor yelled at me, 'You shouldn't do that ...'. And when I would explain to her that I had been invited by the event organizer, and as often is the response from many, she said 'Well, I don't want you getting paid and making money off of me ... or stealing my ideas!".

My response was "Negro, please!".

As I approached the Pershing Park Ice Rink staff members and skaters and people in the area began to watch, police and oversee my every move. Taking picticular note of where I amed my camera and whe nI walked near a table or someone's belongings several would run over to where I was standing. In the same way as had been done, earlier that day and each time that I have visited the 2006 Downtown Holiday Market.

A young black male would stand behind me, gesturing to subjects that I may would photograph. And a black teen girl who was skating, threw her hand up, and snapped at me "Don't take my picture ...!".

It brought to mind the racism that I had experienced in 1979 when Frank, Rae Ann, Eason, Inny and I skated in this very same park, when I was labeled as "acting white!".

So, when the young black male staff person walked up to me, a grown ass black man, in the exact same way as have the young white boys who skate in Freedom Plaza ... I turned and said "Had I been white ..."!

At which point I'd turn and walk away where at the corner of 14th and E I'd happen upon five men changing a tire. Saying that one of my foci is street photography I inquired if I may photograph them. They sure 'Sure!'.

for first thought for a possible caption was "How many men does it take to change a tire?"

After taking a series of photos I'd thank them and walk away, reflecting on the fact that, in 2006, I have less freedoms now than I did in 1979.

How many more years will it take for the change to come?

If in 2006, blacks young enough to be grandchildren have been conditioned to police, oversee and negate black men ... the changes will never come. At least, not enough for me!

How many men does it take to change a flat tire?

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Performance Place/Fredericksburg VA performs @ White House Peace Pageant

When on Sunday, 17 December that I would visit the White House 2006 Holiday Celebration at President's Park on the Ellipse for the purpose of documenting the 2006 National Hanakkuh Menorah Lighting Ceremony I'd also have the pleasure of capturing The Performance Place of Fredericksburg VA perform a 1/2 hour excerpt of The Nutcracker ballet at the Christmas Pageant of Peace Evening of Music Program. Which featured a duet by husband-and-wife team Vadim and Regina Bogomolov who are listed as faculty members at The Performance Place.

Nightly outdoor musical and dance performances are presented on a small stage near the National Christmas Tree. The performances are free to the public.

Click here for the schedule of the 2006 Christmas Pageant of Peace Evening Music Program which began on Saturday, 9 December and will continue through Saturday, 23 December 2006.

The Performance Place is located at 4521 Plank Road, Ste 2, in Fredericksburg VA 22407. Thelephone at (540) 548-8626 [ map ].

Click photo to access The Performance Place / Peace Pageant photoset.

Downtown DC BID (SAM)

The District of Columbia Building Industry Association (DCBIA) is a network of professionals working to promote real estate development as an engine of economic growth and prosperity in the nation's capital.

While the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) spans 42 blocks from the White House to Dupont Circle and 16th Street, NW to 21st Street, NW., the Downtown DC BID encompasses the Penn Quarter, Gallery Place, Chinatown, McPherson Square, Federal Triangle, Midtown and Franklin Square neighborhoods.

The above photo, taken on 17 December 2006, depicts a Downtown DC SAM staff person assisting two people during the 2006 Downtown Holiday Market.