Friday, February 03, 2006

ANN ARBOR: Did Edward Said Like Mavi Jeans?

I'VE BEEN EXCHANGING E-MAILS with Jessica Coen after my post last weekend about her letter to the editor that was published in The Michigan Daily when I was editorial page editor back during my Ann Arbor days. From the letter, I thought that the article "Mavi Jeans so many varieties" was likely published in the Daily's Weekend, Etc. magazine. But Coen was convinced that it ran in the Daily's A section. Doing some additional archival research, it indeed ran in the Arts pages of the A section. I stand corrected.

But as an additional mystery, the Caitlin Friedemann Mavi piece has an accompanying interactive forum if you closely examine the archived webpage.
kindly accept my heartiest condolence of sad demise of professor adward w said a great thinker and also noble person of modern journalism. he was champion of palestini cause and always fight for democratic rights of people of all over the world....

Even the New York Times obit did not gloss over the fact that Edward Said threw a stone at an Israeli army outpost in 2000, which constituted an act of aggression, "symbolic" or otherwise, and for which he received much criticism from his faculty colleagues at Columbia....
So it is slightly unclear why the late Edward Said got tied up into the whole Mavi campus controversey sparked by Friedemann's article. Stranger thing have happened.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

ARCHITECTURE: Don't Forget Friday's Tour

I THANK ALL THOSE WHO have been spreading word of Friday's emergency happy hour and open house to help raise awareness of the financial plight that faces the Heurich House, especially my old colleagues at DCist, who have lent their support to the effort.

So do swing by the Heurich House between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. for a tour. I'll be hanging around the house and then will head over to happy hour at Buffalo Billiards around 8 p.m. As Rock Creek Rambler said on Wednesday: "Bring your checkbook. Don't worry, it's tax deductible."

The house is a block south of Dupont Circle where New Hampshire Avenue intersects 20th Street NW and Sunderland Place.

Monday, January 30, 2006

SHERIDAN-KALORAMA: Odd Celebratory Noises Coming From the Chinese Embassy

THIS WHOLE WARM WEATHER THING is starting to grow on me. So on my way back home from Virginia last night, I decided to skip the whole Metro Center transfer to the Red Line and walk up to Woodley Park from the Farragut West station. It was pleasantly not cold out, so I made my way up 19th Street to 22nd Street and onward to 23rd Street in the heights of Sheridan-Kalorama. After walking past the federal protection unit stationed outside a noted Bush administration cabinet official’s residence, I heard an unearthly noise as I approached the Portuguese ambassador's residence on Kalorama Road. It sounded like sirens, but then it sounded like a fog horn. But then it turned to wailing. I continued forward, curious.

BUT THEN IT SOUNDED LIKE OPERA with punctuations of laughter. As I approached the Chinese Embassy at the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Kalorama Road, I could tell it was. Someone was holding a party in their dormitory room. It was, of course, Lunar New Year, and embassy staffers were likely celebrating the Year of the Dog.

CHINESE EMBASSY STAFFERS aren't known for being all that social in the city, even among diplomatic circles. They keep to themselves and stay close to their quarters on Connecticut Avenue or their Wisconsin Avenue annex on the back side of the Naval Observatory. (When I lived in Glover Park, on the morning of the big North Korean Ryongchon train explosion in 2004, I ended up sharing a cab with a Chinese embassy staffer rushing to Connecticut Avenue. She was very tense, running late and not very friendly to the cab driver, angered that I was being dropped off first at Dupont Circle. She stared back at me from the front passenger seat through the side-view mirror.)

So last night, it was a big surprise that I was able to catch some members of the Chinese diplomatic corps having fun for once. I wonder if this post will get picked up by Google in China?

Sunday, January 29, 2006


I PENNED AN OPINIONIST PIECE for DCist on historic preservation and facades. Go check it out here.