We are surrounded by an unbelievable array of talents in this neighborhood. Artists, entrepreneurs, activists: Our neighbors can do it all – and they do. These are some of the people we met in 2015.
A designer turned toymaker: It’s a toy, and as toys go, it’s pretty simple. It’s a cube.
Food as art: Who would have thought that a few spoonfuls of yogurt in a blue bowl would stir such emotions about a simple truth – that life and its gifts are beautiful.
The Swedish artist: Karin Lithell was not fazed at all by her family’s unusual introduction to the neighbors.
Parkinson’s diagnosis turns Forest Hills woman into national research advocate: When winter weather hits the District, it often reveals two kinds of people: Those who huddle inside to wait until it passes, or those who venture outside to explore the frozen landscape. Patricia Davies is one of the adventurers.
Robin Rose, artist and ‘frustrated curator’: When Robin Rose met me at the door to his home, he seemed to me like a kind of St. Nicholas, albeit one with a neatly cropped beard, a southern twang, and a blue plaid flannel shirt and jeans in place of Santa’s signature red suit. And like that magical character, Rose seemed to sense my approach. He opened the door before I had a chance to knock or ring the bell.
A gardening business takes root in Forest Hills: A neighbor has launched a new business that puts her green thumb to work. Adriana Delgado, who is also a Murch parent, specializes in designing vegetable and ornamental gardens that are pleasant for humans and attract wildlife that will entertain you through the seasons.
‘La Magdalena’ and the language of Flamenco: When she dances and teaches the art of Flamenco, she is “La Magdalena.” The rest of the time, you can call her “neighbor.”
Beverly Rezneck, photographer of flowers and the famous: As I turned the corner into the photography studio, a pair of eyes on my left immediately caught my attention. On the wall hung a photographed portrait of a girl, perhaps 13 or 14, wearing a deep burgundy dress and a single strand of pearls. Her face is a swirl of light emerging from the darkened background, evoking the mood of a Rembrandt painting or Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”
Neighbor Aviva Kempner’s film “Rosenwald” opens to rave reviews: He was inspired by the Jewish doctrine of “tikkun olam,” repairing the world. [Julius] Rosenwald was so moved after reading Booker T. Washington’s “Up from Slavery” and seeing the racial injustices in America that he concentrated on addressing the ills of racism.
RaReR, an upcycled furniture business: Formerly a lawyer and an architect, they now spend their days repurposing furniture… As word of the business has spread among their friends, they often receive gifts of old furniture on their doorsteps – items people find on the street or are trying to get out of their homes. As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
The doctor who prescribes Esperanto: The joy she exudes while speaking Esperanto on the phone with her friends is nothing less than contagious. There is a real sense of community surrounding the language, and she is very passionate about it. Her desk is lined with Esperanto novels, and best of all the green-and-white flag of Esperanto is hanging from the adjacent stand.