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.
Virginia resident Ron Ball was as excited as could be about buying a brand-new, all-electric Chevy Volt. But after he drove it home from the lot, he began running into some unexpected problems. Where to charge the car? And how to install a charging station at his condo? Transportation reporter David Schultz talks with Ball about the ups and downs of being an early adopter of new technology.
[Music: "From A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "She's Electric (In The Style Of...
The D.C. area has been the birthing ground of some famous innovations, invented by some not-too-famous innovators. Rebecca Sheir shares the stories of two Washingtonians whose names may not ring a lot of bells these days, but whose creations have helped shape the modern world: Herman Hollerith and Emile Berliner.
[Music: "I've Got a Great Idea" by Harry Connick, Jr. from We Are in Love]
Artist-Centered. Exciting. Affordable. That's the credo of Taffety Punk, which has been turning the D.C. theater scene on its head with an inventive, low-budget, high-creativity approach to producing plays. Rebecca Sheir visits a rehearsal of Taffety Punk's newest effort, The Car Plays, to find out what makes these artistic innovators tick.
[Music: "Old Times" by The Most Secret Method from Get Lovely]
Traditional Appalachian square and contra dancing are enjoying a resurgence among young people in the D.C. region. Rosslyn's Artisphere often attracts 100 participants for monthly contra dances set to the backdrop of electronic music and indie pop. And a recent square dance in Mount Pleasant attracted 200 youthful dancers on a recent Saturday night. Jonna McKone explores this reinvention of an old form of dance.
[Music: "Just Dance (Instrumental)" by Lady Gaga from The Fame]
When Dorothy arrived in the Land of Oz, she quickly realized there was no place like home. But back in the real world, home is rarely the idyllic paradise Dorothy imagined. In this edition of the show, we explore real stories of house and home. We'll meet the developer who built an entire town from scratch, chase off some scary home invaders, and spend time at a shelter for homeless veterans.
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks / "Over the Rainbow" by...
The White House is a symbol of American power all over the world. But for many African-Americans, this most famous of American homes also represents a rarely discussed history of exclusion and inequality. Rebecca Sheir talks with Clarence Lusane, author of The Black History of the White House, about the ties between the White House and people of African descent, from the slaves and servants who worked there, to the activists who...
Home is where the heart is. It's also where the stink bugs live -- crawling out from cracks and crevices and finding their way into your shower or kitchen cupboards. They're a major nuisance to farmers, and the USDA is now experimenting to see if the invasive insects can be brought under control by importing their natural predator, a parasitic Asian wasp. Sabri Ben-Achour takes a look.
Real estate magnate Bob Simon is known as the father of Reston, Va. In the early 1960s, he bought up the Fairfax County farmland where the bustling suburb now exists and created a community from scratch. David Schultz talks with Simon about his vision for Reston, and what it's like to live in a town that contains a bronze statue of yourself.
[Music: "A to B" by The Futureheads from The Futureheads / "Pink Houses (Karaoke Version)" by Stingray Music (Karaoke) from Karaoke - in the Style...
The burst of the housing bubble had a big impact on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and coastal Delaware. Realtors say they're closing more deals, but many of the homes they're selling are foreclosures. Coastal reporter Bryan Russo talks with host Rebecca Sheir about how the end of the housing boom is affecting the market for vacation homes.
[Music: ""Sea of Love" by Tom Waits from Brawlers / "Beach Side Property" by Modest Mouse from This is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to...
For many people, having a place to call home is a far-off dream. An estimated 12,000 homeless people live in the Washington region, and many of them served in the military. With Congress divided over funding for veterans, the problem threatens to grow. Lauren Hodges visited a homeless shelter in Alexandria, Va., to learn more about the challenges facing homeless veterans.
[Music: "Home (Karaoke Version)" by The Karaoke Channel from Karaoke - In the Style of Sheryl Crow - Vol. 1]
The 12th annual Bethesda Literary Festival kicks off April 15, and this year the celebration of modern literature received a record number of submissions in its Youth Writing Contest. The topic was "A Beautiful Place," and Rebecca Sheir heads to a local bookstore to meet two of the hometown winners.
[Music: "Paperback Writer" by Pickin' On Series from The Fantastic Pickin' On Series - Bluegrass Sampler]
As food prices shoot through the roof, local organic farmers are sensing an opportunity to grow their businesses. Armando Trull visits a mother running a small farm in Spotsylvania to find out how she's making her homegrown operation work.
[Music: "I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket" by Stacey Kent from Let Yourself Go: Celebrating Fred Astaire]
The D.C. region is home to people from all over the world, but it's also a bastion of a distinctly American musical tradition: bluegrass. Next week, WAMU's Bluegrass Country will host the Second Annual D.C. Bluegrass Festival, and festival-goers will see a music legend receive the Washington Monument Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her name is Hazel Dickens, and as Andrew Hiller tells us, at age 75, she's still going strong.
[Music: "Our House (In the Style of Madness)" by Zoom Karaoke...
This week we're all about firsts, starting with the Washington Nationals' first home game of the season. A few days before the opening pitch, Rebecca Sheir heads to home plate at Nationals Park to hear about the exciting "firsts" we'll see with the team -- and at the stadium -- this season.
[Music: "Every Little Bit Hurts" by John Davis from Title Tracks / "Nuts About the Nats" by Charlie Brotman]
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