Archive for service

Cause Its Good

Posted in DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by substanceandstyledc

175545_372083282869238_510260500_oIn a city where new becomes old very fast there is a U Street area bar and restaurant that opened several months ago that is only gaining in popularity. Why? Perhaps it is because it has a friendly staff, or because it has great food, maybe because it has cool cocktails and beer selections.  One might also think it is because all the profits from this philanthropub go to charitable organizations.  Located at 1926 9th Street NW, just two blocks from the U Street Metro station, Cause bills itself as a bar where having a good time helps a worthy cause.  Try it. Cause we know you’ll love it too.

An Eye on “I” in September

Posted in Culture, Politics, Reading List with tags , , , , , , on August 15, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

The first sub-Saharan African to hold the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan has led an extraordinary life of service to the global community. Wednesday, September 5 at 7:00pm at the Sixth and I Synagogue he will share some of his experiences and knowledge that he has memorialized in his new book, Interventions: A Life in War and Peace in conversation with David Ignatius. Immediately following Mr. Annan will sign books for a limited period of time. A single ticket for the event is $36 and includes one book. Two guests may attend for $45 and receive one book. This signing is being presented in collaboration with Politics & Prose. There will be no walk-up box office sales.

Thursday September 20 at 7:30pm international recording artist, actor and activist Wyclef will also appear in conversation at Sixth and I promoting his memoir Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story. His Washington stop on the book tour is one of the very few in which he will also perform a set of his latest music before signing books. Tickets are $35 and include 1 copy of the book. Doors for this event open at 6:30pm.

Living Legacy

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 13, 2012 by substanceandstyledc

In August 2011 the long awaited Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial situated on the National Mall first opened to the general public and was later dedicated in a formal ceremony in October of the same year. The beautifully carved stone monument was meant to be a great monument to a great man for the entire world to see. While the monument has received mostly praise since it’s unveiling, it has also received some criticisms for the quotes selected to line the walls that flank the likeness of Dr. King which is the monuments centerpiece. Some have even offered unflattering critique to the likeness of Dr. King saying that it is either too small, doesn’t look enough like him or that they would have preferred his facial expression to look different than the current rendering.

But as the country celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. King on the federal holiday in his honor, that has become a National Day of Service, ‘a day on not a day off’ I find myself reflecting once again on my visit to the MLK Memorial. I don’t remember a single quote and I faintly remember the size of the monument or the expression on his face. I do remember three things very vividly though about my experience.

It was a cool late summer afternoon in Washington. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The sun wouldn’t go down for some time after I left the office so I decided to walk down the green of the National Mall beyond the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial and venture ahead and to the left to see the MLK Memorial with my own eyes. The entire time I wondered what my grandfather and grandmother would have had to say about it if they were still alive.

When I arrived at the Memorial I was impressed by the hush of so many people who were gathered there. Hundreds of people were there but there was not a lot of talking or noise. It was mostly reverence. The most audible noise was the wind, inaudible you knew there were prayers of thankfulness being sent to God. Prayers for a number of reasons. The crowd was young and old, men, women and children and people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Quiet. Reflecting. Respectful.

I walked around for a few minutes before I heard someone call my name. It was a friend of one of my dear friends. He was sitting and taking in the monument for himself. He is African American, in his late forties and an out gay man who has lived in a domestic partnership with his life partner for nearly 20 years. We exchanged pleasantries.

I walked a few feet more and I felt a tap on the shoulder. It was a former colleague. She is a white woman, in her mid-thirties. She was there with her husband, an African American man who happened to be wearing his Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity sweater, and their handsome young son who seemed to be enjoying his time with his family and being outdoors. After I spoke to each of them I decided that I would head home.

As I headed out I heard my name called again. This time it was a young lady who once interned in the office next door to mine. She was excited to see me as I had always been a friendly face and offered her guidance when she asked. She explained that she did very well during her first year of college and that this semester she was home in Washington because she was interning in the Office of the Vice President. I was so proud of her.

Those three moments, those three people I saw are what I remember most about my visit to the MLK Memorial. I know that all three of their life experiences were greatly enriched by Dr. King’s work for equality in all areas of life. When we live our best life, love one another and take full advantage of the opportunities to serve and succeed, we each become living monuments honoring Dr. King.

Martin Luther King Day is every day. The true memorial to Dr. King is the way we live our lives.

Expand Your Local

Posted in Commentary, Culture, DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , , , , , on December 26, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

One of the most wonderful things about Washington, DC is that there is always something new to discover and someplace to go that you have never been. Whether you have lived in Washington for just a few months, a few years, or even your entire life, there are an abundance of opportunities, experiences and adventures that are to be had. So often, however, those of us that dwell in the DC metro area find ourselves bound by habits and routines of going to the same familiar places. We’ll eat at the same restaurants out of complacency. Likewise, we’ll patronize the same theaters, museums, parks and galleries. We will attend the same festivals in the summer year after year, if for no other reason than it’s what we’ve always done. It is convenient and less scary not to venture beyond our normal paths and neighborhoods that we know so much about. We behave this way because it’s easy and comfortable. It is effortless and doesn’t take much thought to do what we have always done or go where we have always gone. It also means, though, that we continue to see the city through the same lens which we have always seen it. But 2012 we can all challenge ourselves to do something different!

The Substance & Style 2012 challenge to each Washingtonian is to spend an entire day in a ward of the District of Columbia where you do not reside, work or frequently play. Take the time to get to know and enjoy the city in a new way. From Dupont Circle to Fort Dupont, there are numerous parks to picnic, play or relax in. Art galleries like Honfleur and Morton Fine Art are great examples of the numerous galleries on either side of the Anacostia River that offer visitors visual treasurers. The DC Public Library also offers an array of programs and activities in libraries across the city. Cultural Tourism DC’s Neighborhood Heritage Trails provides self-guided walking tours of neighborhoods including Deanwood, Mount Pleasant, Tenleytown and Barracks Row. The walking tours are directed by signs that provide a great deal of history, stories and photos while you walk and create your own memories In every Ward of Washington, there lies something to enjoy and new people to meet. We simply must seek the opportunities to do so.

Visiting the cultural and civic sites in other neighborhoods can be entertaining, educational and empowering as it also is a chance to support many of the small and locally owned businesses that are the heart of the local economy. Building community and sustaining it requires us to make conscious efforts to shop and support local entrepreneurs. Substance and Style’s charge to you is to expand your “local” in 2012. Don’t just cross the street, cross the river. Spend a day on Barracks Row and an evening on U Street NW.  Reach beyond your ward. Celebrate the diversity of the city. Expand your local!

Sweet Thanks Giving

Posted in DC: Dining & Cocktails with tags , , on November 10, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

The Thanksgiving holiday is always a delicious time for gathering with family and friends to acknowledge your many blessings. It is also a time of year when we are encouraged to share our bounty. For several years two local charitable organizations have held Thanksgiving fundraisers that are great for your heart and your stomach. This year is no different.

Through November 17, Food & Friends, dedicated to providing meals, groceries and nutrition counseling to people living with life-challenging illnesses such as AIDS and cancer will be taking orders for their annual Slice of Life pie sale. The purchase of a pumpkin, apple crumb, sweet potato, pecan or creamy chocolate covered cheesecake pie priced from $25 to $40 will provide one full day of meals for someone in the DC area in need. After purchasing your pie online it is available for pick up November 22 from 11am to 8pm at one of 26 CVS stores in the metro area.  The pies are a delicious addition to your dessert spread and simultaneously can spread joy to another family by providing nourishment.

If buying a pie doesn’t tempt your taste buds for giving, try the cookies prepared and sold by DC youth ages 7 – 18 through the Cookie Time!! program of Kid Power. Kid Power is a civics-based organization that provides academic, nutritional, and service learning opportunities in under-served neighborhoods in Wards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8. For the Cookie Time!! project, young people are assisted by Cake Love Bakery, in operating a small baking business and use their profits to fund local community projects and service trips outside the District of Columbia. Cookie Time!! holds several cookie sales each year. The next one is Sunday, November 20 from 2pm – 5pm at Calvary Baptist Church, 755 8th Street NW.

We Will Remember

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 2, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

It is a day that will never be forgotten and perhaps the defining moment for the United States in the first half of the 21st Century. The unprecedented attacks on American soil that took place September 11, 2001 are being remembered by Washingtonians and the rest of the world in a number of ways.  September 3 through September 11 the National Museum of American History will show a selection of objects at the museum on open tables, without cases, and with short labels in what it is calling Remembrance and Reflection. According to press notes the intent is to give visitors an intimate experience that will help make this historic day more real in their memories and stimulate them to reflect on its significance. This is just one piece of a multi platform 10th anniversary commemoration.

First Lady Michelle Obama along with the National Corporation for Community Service are encouraging Americans to observe September 11 as a National Day of Service. In many areas, volunteers will honor veterans, soldiers, or first responders by collecting donations, assembling care packages, and writing thank you letters. If you would like to volunteer, please you can find a location near you here. An additional resource is the official website for the “I Will” movement.

Locally, on Sunday, September 11, HandsOn Greater DC Cares and Serve DC – the Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism will commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by hosting Tribute to Service – Honoring the Victims, Survivors, and Heroes of 9/11 at Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, DC. The tribute serves as a time for community members to rekindle the spirit of service that emerged following the attacks of 9/11. Attendees will have an opportunity engage in onsite service projects, connect to volunteerism throughout the year by participating in our volunteer fair featuring nonprofits from Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia and participate in our tribute program.  Ironically, or perhaps intentionally the Washington Redskins will host the New York Giants at FedEx Field.

Brand U.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 10, 2011 by substanceandstyledc

After serving on Capitol Hill as press secretary for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, David Baldwin Barnes (above center) has turned his attention to a domestic policy agenda. His new venture, Gait Consulting offers image and communication consult to professionals looking to enhance their personal and professional brand. Baldwin is a firm believer that the way you present yourself to the world is an extension of your personality and understands the intimate relationship between self-esteem and image, and infuses every aspect of his services to cater to the whole person, not just the clothes. Are you ready to take your personal style to the next level? Contact Gait Consulting for an initial consultation. Also check out his latest contribution to Gen Juice.

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