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.
Dominick Cardella has been selling eclectic African and Asian wares for 40 years at the Artifactory, right by the National Archives. But now the longtime Washingtonian is closing shop. Rebecca Sheir talks with Cardella about how he's seen the neighborhood change outside Artifactory's doors.
[Music: "Seems Like Old Times" by Guy Lombardo from You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To]
While many people think Washington and federal jobs go hand-in-hand, there's a lot of disparity from ward to ward when it comes to unemployment. Courtney Collins speaks with the Department of Labor Services and frustrated job seekers about common obstacles to securing a job and what kind of support is available along the way.
[Music: "Dirty Work" by Steely Dan from The Definitive Collection]
Gulping, slurping, chewing, and crunching... we do all that and more this week, as we dig in to the region's food scene. But first, we hit the streets to ask Washingtonians: "What specific foods do you associate with Washington, D.C.?"
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks]
It might be hard to pin down the quintessential "D.C. dish," but award-winning chef Scott Drewno of The Source has his own ideas on cooking "distinctively D.C." cuisine. Rebecca Sheir visits The Source's kitchen to dish with Scott about the D.C. food scene, and to cook up an entree that combines local ingredients with the District's international flair.
[Music: "Maximum Consumption" by The Kinks from Everybody's in Showbiz]
The federal government has long been involved in what we eat. It sent food explorers to the farthest regions of the globe in search of new crops, and was encouraging healthy eating long before the creation of the now-obsolete food pyramid. The National Archives is exploring this little-discussed piece of U.S. history with the exhibit "What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?" Sabri Ben-Achour visits the Archives for a sneak peek.
[Music: "Sing For Your Supper" by Benny Goodman from Smoke House...
Gusty's... Danny's Bakery... Paul Young's... Little Taverns. For longtime Washingtonians, these names conjure up D.C. food memories of yore. Rebecca Sheir visits a standby that's been around more than half a century, Silver Spring's Blair Mansion Restaurant, where she walks down memory lane with Sheilah Kaufman of the Culinary Historians of Washington, D.C., and Ramon Zeender, whose family runs Blair Mansion.
[Music: "Dinner Bell" by They Might Be Giants from Apollo 18]
Korean tacos, whoopie pies, cupcakes, milkshakes... you can get all this and more at D.C.'s food trucks. Now that the District's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs is releasing new regulations for the booming industry, a food fight between the trucks and local restaurants could be in the works. Transportation reporter David Schultz speaks with both sides, to see what they're hoping the city will do.
[Music: "A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "Taco Wagon" by...
For all D.C.'s farmer's markets and groceries, you'll still find quite a few "food deserts" in the midst. A local nonprofit is trying to bring farmer's markets to communities that need them most by converting an old school bus in to a vegetable-oil-run, movable market. Reporter Marc Adams hopped aboard to find out more...
[Music: "Caravan" by Rachel Portman from Chocolat: Music From the Miramax Motion Picture]
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...
Leah Chase's restaurant in New Orleans has served the likes of Thurgood Marshall, Sarah Vaughn and Duke Ellington. Now the legendary chef has earned the Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award. Host Michel Martin speaks with Chase about her latest accomplishment.
President Obama is once again calling for the prison at Guantanamo Bay to be shut down, even though new polls suggest most Americans want it to stay open. But the chorus of critics has gained one surprising member: former Guantanamo Chief Prosecutor Morris Davis. Host Michel Martin talks with Davis about why he now feels the facility should be closed.
Amazon is piloting 14 possible shows for its streaming video service. The audience will vote on which shows it likes best. TV critic Eric Deggans says the process and the shows would like to be breaking ground for a new media — but they aren't.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.