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.
Cheryl A. Lofton's family has been nipping and tucking Washington's attire since the 1930s, when her grandfather opened the first African-American-owned tailoring business in downtown D.C. Cheryl moved the family business to a new spot in Shaw, and just opened a shoe-shine shop next door. Rebecca Sheir visits the operation to hear about the family's professional heritage, and how, in a few short years, Cheryl's business has changed the face of the neighborhood.
Last week, Metro announced it might start shutting down its rail system three hours earlier on weekends: i.e. midnight, instead of 3 a.m. This declaration didn't sit well with many of the region's night owls, who depend on Metrorail to get their party on on the weekends. But are weekend revelers the only ones who'd be at a loss if Metro goes to bed three hours earlier? As part of our weekly transportation segment, "From A to B," WAMU transportation reporter David Schultz finds out.
You could say the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts long has been a sleeping giant on the national art scene: i.e. big collection but little attention. But as Jesse Dukes tells us, many wonder whether that might change, now that the VMFA is opening a new exhibition of Pablo Picasso's works.
[Music: "Putting it Together" by Orchestra Manhattan from Digital Broadway]
In this rebroadcast from The Newcomer's Guide To Washington, Rebecca Sheir looks in to some of the myths and mysteries surrounding Georgetown... including why the neighborhood doesn't have a Metro stop. Theories abound, but which one is actually true?
[Music: "Man in Motion" by John Parr from St. Elmo's Fire Soundtrack / "Break Even (In the Style of The Script)" by Sunfly Karaoke from Karaoke Kool, Vol. 34]
Meeting your soul mate can be tough for anyone, but for some people with disabilities, it can be hard just to get out and form new friendships. That's why DateAble, Inc. started up in the D.C. area. Rebecca Sheir talks with one couple who found love using the service: Lynn Watson and her husband, Robert, who now runs DateAble, Inc. from their home in Brandywine, Md.
[Music: "Valentine's Day" by Bruce Springsteen from Tunnel of Love]
Date Nights D.C. is a month-long program for local businesses to lure couples out for Valentine's Day and boost business for the typically slower days of February. But will this city-wide promotion -- with all of its date ideas, directions and discounts -- be enough to entice romantics at heart in this slowly-recovering economy? Marc Adams heads out to get the sweet lowdown.
[Music: "First Date" by Thomas Newman from WALL-E (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture]
After raising more than $10,000 for the Children's Tumor Foundation in its inaugural, "Snow-My-Goodness" year, the Cupid's Undie Run is back! Rebecca Sheir talks with Tamara Forys, one of the race's organizers, about the 2011 fundraiser: from the many ways Washingtonians have shown their generous support, to how to keep warm when sprinting a mile in your skivvies.
[Music: "Run To You" by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from Symphonic Rock]
With just 2,500 Giant Pandas living in the wild, zoos are trying to get these animals to breed in captivity. The Smithsonian's National Zoo has one male and one female... and for the latter, mating season comes just one day a year. But mating isn't their strong suit, so Sabri Ben-Achour finds out how Zoo staffers help the couple... "perform."
[Music: "Knockin' Boots" by H-Town from Old School Mix]
The University of Maryland is trying to attract some of the world's top scientists to come work in College Park. But if the Purple Line is routed through campus, the trains' vibrations could affect the work of some of the school's quantum physicists, who rely on sound-proof, vibration-proof environments to monitor the behavior of atoms. David Schultz talks with Rebecca Sheir about what's going on.
[Music: "A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads]
A professor at George Mason University is offering the country's first academic course in wedding planning. She talks with Kavitha Cardoza about how weddings have changed dramatically from the 1950s, and how social media, movies and TV have influenced wedding planning. But one aspect of tying the knot, she says, has remained timeless...
[Music: "Marry You (in the Style of Bruno Mars) [Karaoke Version]" by Pocket Songs Karaoke from Karaoke - Marry You - Single]
For the second year in a row, the National Museum of Crime & Punishment in D.C., is offering its handcuffed tour of "Crimes of Passion." Lauren Hodges visits the exhibit to hear some local legends of lusty love...and to find out why passion and crime so often go hand-in-hand.
[Music: "Stop! In the Name of Love / Free Your Mind" by Made Famous by the Glee Cast from Karaoke Fun Time]
Just in time for President Abraham Lincoln's 202nd birthday, a historical tourist attraction is heading back to Ford's Theatre: the original overcoat the president wore when he was shot. Rebecca Sheir talks with National Park Service Ranger Yana Jaffe about the coat's new "time-share:" it spends half the year in conservation storage, and half the year in the Theatre's lobby for the public to observe.
We share e-mails sent by our listeners. This week: kudos for a D.C.-born opera star, and the inside scoop on that alleged MARC train happy hour car...
[Music: "A Message to You Rudy (Karaoke-Version) As Made Famous By: The Specials" by Charly Karaoke Group from Karaoke World: Here We Go / "I'm Yours (Karaoke Instrumental Track) [In the Style of Jason Mraz]" by ProSound Karaoke Band from Sing Like Jason Mraz]
Telemundo announced that its telenovelaEl Señor de los Cielos (Lord of the Skies) will be back for an unheard of second season. This is a radical departure from traditional telenovelas, which have a clear beginning and a definitive ending.
In a new poll, parents complain that their children are not getting nearly enough time for a basic school ritual: eating lunch. And that's worrying parents and administrators, given that about one-third of American kids are overweight or obese.
The Washington Post reports that the agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world. One official told the newspaper the NSA is getting vast volumes of location data by tapping into the cables that connect mobile networks globally.
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.