Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stoney's Bar & Grill on P Street in Logan Circle area

I haved photographed the windows of the P Street Bistro Cafe, in connection with my ongoing Windows of Logan Circle project since June 2005 focusing, first, on the table settings while in recent months shifting more to the customers who sat on stools or stood in front of the the windows ... I did not realize until putting together my FLANEURISM: Friday Photo Walk - WDC - 13 July 2007 photo montage projections project the sign "Stoney's" that appears above the bay window and entrance.

So, during my brisk Wednesday photo walk along the Logan Circle P Street stretchI stopped in at Stoney's to inquire as to when the establishment had changed its name. Which is what I also had done, a few months or weeks before, in the cases of Jack's Restaurant and Bar and the 17th Street Cafe. Which before had been known as Le Pigalle and Cyber Stop Cafe, respectively.

Since, the fact that I was a black male ... standing in the door ... aroused unneeded suspicion I explained further to the young man and, perhaps, maitre d' that as part of my ongoing Windows of the World project I had often photographed the windows of this establishment and having observed, recently, that it is no longer the P Street Bistro Cafe I asked when had it changed to Stoney's.

He said November of last year.

Since as a documentary photographer these kind of details are important to record ... and as I have done with Jack's Restaurant which changed ownership in January 2007 and the 17th Street Cafe which changed in June 2007 ... I will go through my photographic archives and make sure that any images that were taken of the 1433 P Street location after November 2006 will be annotated as "Stoney's Bar & Grill". As opposed to "P Street Bistro Cafe".

Details. Details.

Washington Post article "At Stoney's, Everything Old Is New Again", dated Friday, 19 January 2007 by Staff Writer Ellen McCarthy sheds light on Stoney's history. And, perhaps, future.

Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist Donnell Robinson

Born in Warrenton VA, 50-something Donnell Robinson began his 'drag diva' career in 1976 when as Hurricane On Heels he took his first job as a female impersonator at the DC bar, "The Plus One".

Regular performances at The Rogue and The Other Side preceeded his almost 30 year extravaganza at Ziegfelds in SE WDC. Which is where he performed as Ella Fitzgerald, The Illusionist, from 1980 until its April 2006 closing.

Though Robinson has attended all the DC Pride celebrations since 1975, "Ella" did not take to the stage until 1979 which was the year that Donna Summer released her Bad Girls album. "Ella", of course, performed 'Bad Girls' and 'Hot Stuff'.

I first photographed Ella Fitzgerald, The Illusionist, during the 1994 DC Pride Parade. And while many oif the images are not on flickr the Pride 1004 images launched my now ongoing Ella Fitzgerald, The Illusionist, project.

Ella Fitzgerald, The Illusionist, has not only been the recipient of several community awards but as a professional makeup artist and hair stylist, Donnell Robinson is considered as one of best in the fashion industry.

I suspect that when I took this series of photos of Donnell Robinson during my 15 August 2007 Wednesday evening photo walk that he was en route to VSL Hair Design at 1607 Connecticut Avenue, NW, which is where he has worked for almost 12 years.

Friday's Photo of the Week . 17 August 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cathy Hughes' "Family" Stone Soul Picnic Concert Series

Though I had never heard of the annual Stone Soul Picnic until Saturday afternoon when en route to the National Pow Wow at the Verizon Center that I happened upon a neighbor and his daughter waiting on the platform at the Waterfront - SEU WMATA Station in SW WDC for the next Greenbelt Green Line train.

When he inquired if I was heading to the Stone Soul Picnic replying that I had never heard of it I said that I was en route to the National Pow Wow at the Verizon Center. Surprised that I had not heard of the Stone Soul Picnic he explained that it was founded by Cathy Hughes of Radio One and that it was celebrating its 17th year.

I explained that having photographed two recent events associated with the Smithsonian National Museum of the Native American the National Pow Wow would be included in my ongoing Native American Heritage Collection. Reflecting on the experiences that I have had, in the past, when visiting or photographing at the National Museum of the Native American I said that had I known of the Stone Soul Picnic event I certainly would have made plans to attend it rather than the Pow Wow since, in the past, my experiences at the National Museum of the American Indian dating back to its September 2004 grand opening, as well as other scenarios when dealing with organizations or groups of Native Americans had often been marked by forms of outright racism directed towards me.

Which always brings to surface reflections my great grandmother, Violet Emma Dove Biscoe. who of Native American descent was married a Negro man, Thomas Walter Biscoe.

After photographing and videotaping the 2007 National Pow Wow for more than an hour I decided that the 17th Annual Stone Soul Picnic was exactly the kind of Afro-American event that I would be an important addiction to my ongoing Afro-American Heritage Collection.

While WDC may have celebrated its 17th Annual Stone Soul Picnic last weekend the Stone Soul Picnic Concert Series, founded by Cathy Hughes in 1991, is an important annual summer event in, I believe, nine other 'markets' associated with Radio One. Which Cathy Hughes refers to as "Family Members".

Other cities which host annual Stone Soul Picnics are Omaha Nebraska and Baltimore Maryland. In fact, Baltimore's 16th Annual Stone Soul Picnic will be held next weekend on Saturday, 18 August 2007 at Druid Park.

Click the above photo to view my 2007 Stone Soul Picnic at the RFK Grounds photoset. Here are video clips #1 and #2 of Kelly Rowland whioch were difficult to shoot with such a large crowd.

Depending on my schedule next weekend, I may take an overdue trip to Baltimore and capture Baltimore's 16th Annual Stone Soul Picnic at Druid Park.