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.
If you could pour the nation's capital into a glass, what would it taste like? Rebecca Sheir seeks answers to that pressing question with mixologist Adam Bernbach, who concocts a Berbere-grappa cocktail that represents some colorful aspects of life in Washington.
[Music: "Punk Covers - Cheers Theme" by Less Than Jake from Covers]
They exist on the fringes of the local food movement: A group of unlicensed and uncertified food vendors who sell their wares at "grey" markets around the city. Kavitha Cardoza tells us about the growing popularity of these alternative markets, how they ensure their food is safe to eat, and why cake lovers everywhere might have a reason to rejoice...
[Music: "Knock Me a Kiss" by Louis Jordan from The Very Best Of]
Nearly 400 years ago, Dutch and French art collectors were wild about Gabriel Metsu. But it's taken much longer for his work to turn heads in the U.S. A new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art is his very first in the country. NPR special correspondent Susan Stamberg -- who will be joining us regularly here on Metro Connection -- recently checked it out.
[Music: "Art" by The Meters from The Meters / "I Want Candy (Made Famous by Bow Wow Wow)" by Karaoke Superstars from 70s...
This week we introduce you to people who think differently, and ideas that go beyond the same old, same old. From a new theater award that shines the spotlight on the audience, to an innovation in Virginia that could actually make our local roads quieter. Plus, we'll meet a woman who has a rather distinctive spin on Shakespeare, or Shakesqueer.
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks]
Washington, D.C. has one of the nation's highest HIV rates, and many of the newly infected are people using dirty needles to inject drugs. A small number of local nonprofits provide clean needles to drug users, but the main provider, PreventionWorks, closed earlier this year. And now another program is picking up the overflow. Rebecca Sheir pays a visit to HIPS (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive), which doesn't just provide clean needles for drug users, but for transgendered people who...
Hear that? What? You say you don't hear anything? That's the sound (or lack of sound) made by a new blend of pavement designed to absorb car noise. Virginia Department of Transportation officials have tested it out on one road in Manassas and are testing it out on several others. If they're successful, this new pavement could be all over the state, maybe even the country.
[Music: "A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "Ease on Down the Road (In the Style of The Wiz Movie...
Queer theory challenges all sorts of things, especially our ideas about our "natural" identities. American University literature professor Madhavi Menon takes this outside-the-box thinking and applies it to William Shakespeare in her new book, Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare. Rebecca Sheir talks with Menon about how she feels Shakespeare can be "queered," and how, in turn, queer theory can be "Shaken."
Decades ago, Montgomery County set a national example by preserving a third of its space for agriculture. Now, as more and more people move to the county, there are questions about the costs and benefits of setting aside so much land in an increasingly booming suburban community. Sabri Ben-Achour visits the Agricultural Reserve to learn more about how it was created - and whether something similar could ever happen again in the Washington region.
The deep sand of Ocean City's beaches is generally an inhospitable place for a person in a wheelchair, but that's changing. Disabled vacationers now can borrow beach wheelchairs at specially-designated points along the boardwalk. Coastal reporter Bryan Russo talks with host Rebecca Sheir about the program and how it's changing people's lives.
[Music: "Sea of Love" by Tom Waits from Brawlers / "Umbrella Beach" by Piano Tribute Conservatory from Piano Tribute to Owl City]
Many awards, such as the D.C. region's Helen Hayes Awards, pay tribute to theater professionals for their outstanding work on the stage. But a new award in Washington is applauding a different set of theater people: the audience. The Gary Lee Maker Audience Award is named for one of Washington's most loving theater supporters, who recently died of cancer. Rebecca Sheir meets the very first winner, who will be presented with the award on June 11, along with the people who decided to start...
We often hear talk of what's wrong with public education. But figuring out how to fix those problems is a lot harder. Education reporter Kavitha Cardoza talks with local Teach for America alumni about what they'd do to improve D.C. public schools.
[Music: "School Day" by Chuck Barry from The Best of Chuck Barry]
We cross over them, we pass under them, we build them to connect people, places and phases of our lives. On today's show we'll find out why all that traffic on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge might be a good thing, and visit a rooftop garden bridging the divide between city dwellers and their food. Plus, local bridges that could use an extreme makeover, and some rather distinctive companies helping people cope with bridge phobia.
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title...
Seven bridges cross the Potomac River in our region, and all of them are major traffic bottlenecks. There's occasionally talk of building a new bridge over the Potomac, but it invariably gets shot down by a lack of funding and neighborhood opposition. Transportation reporter David Schultz hits the road to find out how we were able to build the bridges we have now, and whether another bridge is a pipe dream.
[Music: "A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "Get Up I Feel Like...
Summer youth programs often serve as a "bridge" between the academic years. But funding for the District's summer school, jobs program and enrichment activities has been slashed in what nonprofit groups are calling a "perfect storm." Many District leaders worry thousands of kids are heading into the long, hot months with nothing to do. Kavitha Cardoza takes a look at the situation and what it means for students.
[Music: "Suddenly Last Summer, Karaoke Version" by The Karaoke Channel...
China is on a spree to build world-class museums and has opened about 100 of them annually in recent years. Two of the biggest opened on the same day last fall on opposite banks of Shanghai's Huangpu River. But filling these museums — with both art and visitors — is proving more challenging.
The nation's largest group of nutritionists is urging the FDA to reject the dairy industry's petition to change the definition of milk. The petition aims to allow aspartame or other alternatives to be used to sweeten milk in an effort to boost consumption in schools.
Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division dealing with nonprofits seeking tax-exempt status, will not testify on Wednesday despite a congressional subpoena, her attorney says. She is accused of closely scrutinizing conservative groups that sought tax-exempt status.
Microsoft unveiled its new Xbox One Tuesday, displaying a device that takes new steps in game consoles' journey into becoming all-purpose entertainment and communication devices. The new console replaces the Xbox 360, which has been on the market for more than seven years.
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