Each week, WAMU 88.5's Metro Connection reaches across D.C., Maryland and Virginia to gather the sounds and stories that capture the current events, culture and personalities driving the Washington region.
Our culinary scene has long been compared to New York's, with some food critics concluding D.C. would be better off "if only it could be more like Manhattan." Turns out, we're on our way. Within the past few years, a flurry of NYC-based restaurants have migrated down the coast and set up shop right here in the District. Emily Friedman pops into a few of these eateries to find out what this trend means for the local food scene, and whether we're at risk of becoming New York's Greatest Hits....
Khadijah Ali-Coleman, a D.C.-born playwright, singer and poet, is "heartbroken" that many local artists leave this region to pursue their passions elsewhere. So she's created an online community where local artists can collaborate and commiserate. Jessica Palombo gets the scoop on Liberated Muse.
[Music: "Take Me or Leave Me (Karaoke Version)" from Rent Karaoke]
As we slog through D.C.'s hottest summer on record, we head to Virginia for the world's hottest peppers... visit the District's first fireproof house... and meet some local teens trying to stay out of hot water, after several brushes with the law.
But first: Washingtonians share their tips and tricks for beating the heat...
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks / "In The Summertime (Instrumental Track Without Background Vocal)[Karaoke in the style of...
You can find some of the world's hottest peppers growing in Tyson's Corner, Va. Tom Elder, the executive chef at harth, is cultivating his own organic peppers, from the Trinidad Scorpion to the Devil's Tongue to the world-renowned Ghost Chili. The peppers are all pollinated by Elder's very own bees, which, it turns out, work especially hard in the super-hot weather. Rebecca Sheir pays a visit to taste some fiery peppers, and lend a hand collecting honey from some heat-happy bees.
You don't have to be a meteorologist to know it's intensely hot in the nation's capital this summer. But why is this year more sweltering than most? And why does Washington seem to be among the hottest cities in the country? Environment reporter Sabri Ben-Achour goes in search of some answers.
[Music: "The Air That I Breathe (Made Famous By The Hollies)" by Omnibus Media - Karaoke Tracks from Great Ballads]
A Virginia woman is feeling the heat as she fights to get treatment for her four-year-old son, who has a rare form of brain cancer. Brennen's condition only responds to expensive proton radiation, but his mom was just laid off and lost her insurance. Now she's considering leaving the state to accept another position because she's so desperate to have benefits again. Courtney Collins talks with the family about how they're coping.
[Music: "Fire and Rain" by Various Artists from...
Here in the District, heat often goes hand-in-hand with crime. And for young people with little to keep them busy during the summer months, staying out of trouble is often easier said than done. Kavitha Cardoza met with two young men who've had brushes with the law, to hear how they're trying to avoid mistakes of the past.
[Music: "Fever (Instrumental)" by Essence from Eccentric Soul 009: The Big Mack Label]
What would you do if you lost a string of big-money breweries to fire? In the case of Christian Heurich, you build the city's first fireproof home. Rebecca Sheir visits the Heurich House, to see how extreme personal pyrophobia resulted in a remarkable 19th century house, which soon could become a National Landmark.
[Music: "Burning Down the House" by Tom Jones & The Cardigans from Reloaded - Greatest Hits]
On a blisteringly hot day, one of the most popular guys in town is the air-conditioning repairman. Emily Friedman tags along with an A.C. crew as they rescue homeowners and businesses from the summer swelter.
[Music: "Cool" by Andre Previn from West Side Story]
The tinkling music of an ice cream truck is an iconic sound of summer. But one local driver is serving up much more than ice cream to some of the District's poorest neighborhoods. Customers call him "Mr. Leigh," and as Lauren Landau finds out, he's something of a legend to the residents who visit the truck for guidance and advice.
[Music: "I Melt With You" by Richard Cheese from Silent Nightclub / "Hot And Cold (In The Style of Katy Perry) [Instrumental Only]" by Keynote Karaoke from...
What do a wooden gavel, a double-tiered baseball trophy and an 80-year-old restaurant menu have in common? They're among the 4,000 artifacts in the U.S. House of Representatives collection. Rebecca Sheir visits the Capitol to talk with the House's very first curator, who's tasked with tracking down, conserving and preserving the artworks and artifacts that give a human face to the federal government's lower legislative body.
[Music: "Dill Pickle Rag" by Flatt and Scruggs from Bluegrass...
Maybe you're trying to conserve energy this summer, and bravely turning off, or turning down, the A.C.? Or trying to save money, and forgoing your daily extra-tall-grande-venti iced coffee? Or thinking about digitizing old photos... bronzing baby shoes... transferring all your old vinyl to mp3? Whatever the case, we'll capture that spirit of Conserving and Preserving on this week's show.
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks]
The National Gallery of Art houses thousands of valuable paintings, all of them susceptible to damage from sunlight, humidity, grime, and natural aging. Kavitha Cardoza talks with the National Gallery's head of conservation about the science behind restoring a painting and why such painstaking effort is worth it.
[Music: "Sentimental Journey" by Juan Garcia Esquivel from Space Age Bachelor Pad Music]
New toll roads are cropping up around our region, and existing toll roads are increasing their fees. Transportation experts say this affects not just long-distance travelers but also commuters and, indirectly, neighborhoods. Transportation reporter David Schultz finds out what's behind this trend and how it could affect your travel budget.
[Music: "From A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "Freeway of Love" by Pepper Mashay from Electro House BOOM BOX]
Hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine recently donated $70 million to the University of Southern California. Many people are applauding their generosity, but some aren't so happy. Host Michel Martin speaks with Walter Kimbrough, President of Dillard University, about why he thinks an HBCU should have gotten the money.
What's more, when it comes to some nutrients, like vitamin C, canned peaches pack an even bigger punch than fresh, researchers say. The reasons have to do with how the canning process alters the fruit's cell walls. So eat 'em up!
Ohio Representative Marcia Fudge is still relatively new on the block. But she's established herself as the new head of the Congressional Black Congress. In the role, she's already been very vocal about whether the President is doing enough for people of color. Host Michel Martin talks with Congresswomen Fudge about her ideas for America.
A 3-D printer is being credited with helping to save an Ohio baby's life, after doctors "printed" a tube to support a weak airway that caused him to stop breathing. The innovative procedure has allowed Kaiba Gionfriddo, of Youngstown, Ohio, to stay off a ventilator for more than a year.
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