Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

A Little Less Vanilla

When one bakes with diversity,

add 3 cups of humility,

and take a long taste of Chocolate City.

Listen to some go-go.

Watch a young man dance before the coffin of his grandma in a love show.

Hear the song of joy and grief.

Add 3 tablespoons of the river Anacostia.

The change in your pallette may very well cost ya

and there could be some heart burn

as you listen and re-learn

to really breathe

because trying to mute DC is a form of hypoxia.

What you been cooking up doesn’t make much sense.

It’s time to use some different ingredients.

Maybe a little less salt.

And a lot more pepper.

More chocolate.

Less vanilla.

Because this is more than grabbing a chili dog from Ben’s Chili Bowl.

What good is soul food if you’ve lost your soul?

Posted in Finding Frost's Road: Encounters with the Culture

Report #4 from The Washington Auto Show: The Automobile As Canvas

(The following is a reprint of an article I posted in 2008 which features photos and commentary from a visit to the Washington Auto Show. I will repost these reports over the next successive Saturdays as a KMLS PhotoShop feature).

Previous Reports:

Report #1

Report #2

Report #3

Report #4

The automobile has always been a place for the human to express his/herself, from bumper stickers to air brush masterpieces. The 2008 Washington Auto Show has some pretty amazing representations of customization and car art. The following are some of the examples:

Car Custom Front by KMLS
Car Custom Side by KMLS

Pretty impressive art, huh? Such work speaks for itself. I as the photographer am only the documenter. Here is a roadster that was next door to the funny car:

Face Custom Car by KMLS

And those flames, who can stay away from flames, and on a Fairlane no less.

Fairlane Flames by KMLS

I’ll leave you with a very interesting car called “Hip Hop.” This baby was decked out with beautiful art on the outside and included an amazing sound system on the inside complete with a DJ system so you can make your own grooves and have your own party wherever you go.

Hip Hop by KMLS

Tomorrow will be my final reflection. See you then!

Posted in Finding Frost's Road: Encounters with the Culture

Report #3 from The Washington Auto Show: The Past Is Beautiful

(The following is a reprint of an article I posted in 2008 which features photos and commentary from a visit to the Washington Auto Show. I will repost these reports over the next successive Saturdays as a KMLS PhotoShop feature).

Previous Reports:

Report #1

Report #2

Report #3

The theme of this year’s auto show is “Engineered for the Future.” Visitors are invited to see a piece of the future of automobiles. My first report took a look at this theme with an emphasis on new 2008 models and vehicles featuring green technology. But no auto show is complete without those beauties from the past. In this report I will feature “oldies, but goodies,” cars from history that still have the power to turn heads.

Since we’re talking about history, here’s some tidbits about the show: As far as I can tell this is the 66th year of the Auto Show. For 62 of those years it was held around Christmas and New Years to take advantage of visitors. But to make it a more world class show for everyone, especially residents of this fair city, Washington Convention and Tourism Corp (WCTC) and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association (WANADA), the primary sponsors of the show, decided to shift it to a later date.

Now for some shots of history:

Corvette by KMLS
Oldies by KMLS
Nissan Racer by KMLS

Below is the lowly, reliable Fiat, movie star of the ages and workhorse for eons, framed by a muscle car.

Fiat Juxtaposition by KMLS

And we’ll end with those sports cars that have had us salivating for years-Ferrari and Porsche.

Ferrari by KMLS
Porsche by KMLS

My next report will feature art on wheels. Stay tuned!

Posted in Finding Frost's Road: Encounters with the Culture

Report #2 From The Washington Auto Show: On The Inside And Fun With Filters

(The following is a reprint of an article I posted in 2008 which features photos and commentary from a visit to the Washington Auto Show. I will repost these reports over the next successive Saturdays as a KMLS PhotoShop feature).

Previous Reports:

Report #1

Cars Through Glass by KMLS

I never realized this before but one of the cool things about an auto show is that I get to sit inside cars that I will probably never see again, let alone afford to drive. I can do this at a dealership I know but it’s nice not to have somebody pressuring you to buy. I checked out a couple and I must say I was more impressed with the comfort of a “cheaper” American-made sports car than a Jaguar. Here are some pics:

Funky Pink Inside by KMLS
Car Interior PC Filter by KMLS

This report features photos with filters and manipulation through Adobe Photoshop. Automobile pictures lend themselves to very cool results due to light refraction and the intersecting lines and curves. Comment with your questions about specific filters used. Here are several more:

Car Collage 1 by KMLS
Car Front Neon by KMLS

Stay tuned tomorrow for my historical piece. This is your Slow Mover Reporter signing off.

Posted in Finding Frost's Road: Encounters with the Culture

Report #1 from The Washington Auto Show: Introduction and Concept Cars

(The following is a reprint of an article I posted in 2008 which features photos and commentary from a visit to the Washington Auto Show. I will repost these reports over the next successive Saturdays as a KMLS PhotoShop feature).

The Washington Auto Show up is happening January 23 through 27 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Today was Washington Post Day which more than receiving a plastic bag with some trinkets meant that I got $4 off at the door (reg $10) with a coupon from the Post. (P.S. Print a page from AutoTrader.com and get $4 off for Friday).

I’ve never been to an Auto Show before and I figured I should go as your Slow Mover Reporter. (And to take a plethora of cool photos). So here’s Report #1.

Crushed Car by KMLS

No, this is not a booth on the dangers of drunk driving. It was at the Washington Post Booth on Level D. Guess the make and model of the car and get free gas for a year. I didn’t try. But I thought it’d make a cool pic. (Some guys talking behind me thought it was a Mazda, 1987 maybe?). What do you think?

Car Supended by KMLS

Here is an interesting display set up featuring two 2008 GM Pontiac Firebirds. I noticed no one was getting into the one underneath.

Close Up Chevy Volt Concept Car by KMLS

The 2008 Show features the latest in green technology. The Chevy Volt (above) is a concept car with the E-Flex System. It uses batteries alone for a 40 mile radius before the auxiliary engine starts and can adapt to alternative fuels including diesel or hydrogen fuel cell. Also, it has a transparent polycarbonate roof for all around visibility.

The following are several other concept cars:

Fuel Cell Car by KMLS
Ford Hydrogen by KMLS
Engine and Car by KMLS
Buick Enclave by KMLS

And I’ll leave you with a final reflection. Until tomorrow, this is the Slow Mover Reporter at the 2008 Washington Auto Show signing off!

Funky Close Up by KMLS
Posted in Longreads and Essays

Beyond Abracadabra – Peace Through Intentional Action – Changing Bullets to Wizards

One of the professional sport franchise owners I deeply respect and admire is the late Abe Pollin, former owner of the NBA’s Washington Wizards. While he led the efforts to bring professional sports back into city centers to help revitalize downtowns rather than suburbs, I am most appreciative of the amazing stand he took against violence.

Most owners, and people for that matter, don’t like to go against the status quo. Change is scary. “Tradition! Tradition!” goes the Fiddler on the Roof anthem. Pollin was the exception.

He had been thinking about changing the name of the Washington Bullets for many years. He felt like it sent the wrong message in a city that was dubbed the murder capital of the world.

“I’ve thought about it for 31 years….Bullets connote killing, violence, death. Our slogan used to be, ‘Faster than a speeding bullet.’ That is no longer appropriate,” Pollin said in an interview with the New York Times.

But it was the assassination of his friend Yitzhak Rabin in Israel that brought Pollin from an idea to action.

“I just came back from Israel, where I attended the funeral of my good friend, Prime Minister [Yitzhak] Rabin,” Pollin said. “My friend was shot in the back by bullets. The name Bullets for a sports team is no longer appropriate…..”

“It was a peace gathering. He was about to leave, but he walked back again. They were rejoicing for peace. I walked those steps. I realized it was time to get this done.”

“I have asked our staff to implement an entirely new community relations program, an anti-violence initiative that will begin this season,” Pollin said. “All that we do in the community will be focused on an anti-violence message with a conflict resolution theme. Our name change will go hand-in-hand with the Bullets’ anti-violence campaign.”

So Pollin and his staff sponsored a naming contest and the Bullets became the Wizards.

There is nothing magical here. The switch was a matter of image, yes, and a chance for the team to turn over a new leaf, to start anew. But I admire Pollin for his willingness to act, to move beyond tradition to a place more reflective of peace and justice.

As the late owner said, “If I save one life, make a change in one life, it’ll be worth it. The Bible says that if you save one life, you save the world. Hopefully, we’ll save many more than that.”

(Another owner of a professional franchise in Washington would do well to follow Mr. Pollin’s example).

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2010/02/why_abe_pollin_went_from_bulle.html

Reprinted from original post from 02/29/2012

Posted in Longreads and Essays

Beyond Abracadabra – Peace Through Intentional Action

One of the professional sport franchise owners I deeply respect and admire is the late Abe Pollin, former owner of the NBA’s Washington Wizards. While he led the efforts to bring professional sports back into city centers to help revitalize downtowns rather than suburbs, I am most appreciative of the amazing stand he took against violence.

Most owners, and people for that matter, don’t like to go against the status quo. Change is scary. “Tradition! Tradition!” goes the Fiddler on the Roof anthem. Pollin was the exception.

He had been thinking about changing the name of the Washington Bullets for many years. He felt like it sent the wrong message in a city that was dubbed the murder capitol of the world.

“I’ve thought about it for 31 years….Bullets connote killing, violence, death. Our slogan used to be, ‘Faster than a speeding bullet.’ That is no longer appropriate,” Pollin said in an interview with the New York Times.

But it was the assassination of his friend Yitzhak Rabin in Israel that brought Pollin from an idea to action.

“I just came back from Israel, where I attended the funeral of my good friend, Prime Minister [Yitzhak] Rabin,” Pollin said. “My friend was shot in the back by bullets. The name Bullets for a sports team is no longer appropriate…..”

“It was a peace gathering. He was about to leave, but he walked back again. They were rejoicing for peace. I walked those steps. I realized it was time to get this done.”

“I have asked our staff to implement an entirely new community relations program, an anti-violence initiative that will begin this season,” Pollin said. “All that we do in the community will be focused on an anti-violence message with a conflict resolution theme. Our name change will go hand-in-hand with the Bullets’ anti-violence campaign.”

So Pollin and his staff sponsored a naming contest and the Bullets became the Wizards.

There is nothing magical here. The switch was a matter of image, yes, and a chance for the team to turn over a new leaf, to start anew. But I admire Pollin for his willingness to act, to move beyond tradition to a place more reflective of peace and justice.

As the late owner said, “If I save one life, make a change in one life, it’ll be worth it. The Bible says that if you save one life, you save the world. Hopefully, we’ll save many more than that.”

(Another owner of a professional franchise in Washington would do well to follow Mr. Pollin’s example).

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2010/02/why_abe_pollin_went_from_bulle.html

Posted in Finding Frost's Road: Encounters with the Culture

Street Secrets

street-secrets by kmls It is Friday night, almost midnight, and I hobble home down the cracked and broken sidewalks of a sleeping city. She sleeps, but it is with one eye open, like a great cat. Here and there a yellow eye stares out from a dark apartment building. A lone light bulb hangs from the ceiling and casts an eerie glow on the figures in the windows. A woman catches one last breath of the night breeze. Lovers embrace. A man reads a book. Pupils in the iris of this creature who dreams in the lap of Morpheus. On a heating grate outside the Federal Court of Appeals, a blanketed figure turns restlessly in his sleep. I stumble past the churches, towering up into the night sky. I, lone priest who presides over a Mass of concrete and steel. No lights shine from these silent giants save those of the clocks and the spotlights on the steeples. There are fences here as well, with gates locked and doors bolted. In the cold darkness inside, the gold on the altar glimmers in the faint light of a passing star which shines through the bars of a stained-glass window. These stone temples remind me of the office buildings downtown, open for a few hours every week and then abandoned to whatever Lonesome God chooses to creep between the pews and computer terminals. Across the street lie the embassies, surrounded like prisons by steel gates and iron-wrought fences. Flags hang limp from aluminum poles, forgotten wisps of lands faraway. On stuccoed walls, vines creep, thick and green, and push up and into the window where the diplomat sleeps. A coupe d’état of leaves. And grass and trees. The woman closes the window.  A lover reaches back and pulls down the shade.  The man glances at his watch. Two lights go out.  One eye remains to watch the night.  The man reads on . . I cross the street and step into the shadows of the park, past the tree where the pigeons sleep, their heads tucked under wing. A dark form scurries across the cobblestones. It is a large rat braving the claws of this city. He feasts on crumbs fallen from the plates of the homeless who a few hours before stood in line here for a free meal. Rodent’s Communion on a table of stone. A piece of plastic, ghostly white, blows up from the street in a vain attempt at escape from reality. Rising ever so slowly, it hangs for a precious moment in the wind before a passing car smashes it to the pavement again. Tomorrow, a black man in a dark blue uniform will come to this corner, pick up the plastic, and place it carefully in the heavy brown paper bag that is the garbage. Then he’ll place the bag on his creaky, bicycle-wheeled cart and move on to the next piece of white trash. Around the corner, another piece of plastic hangs like a phantom from the limb of an oak. Unlike her brother, she has tasted freedom and she swings and sways in the breeze as if to mock his fate. She dances, unaware that hers is an eternal crucifixion. For as her brother burns, she must forever be, trapped in the tree and taunted by the wind, but never really free. As I reach the steps of my home, the wind rises up. A piece of paper scrapes across the street. Rustling of a page and the man slowly closes the book. He yawns, stretches, and reaches for the light. One final yellow eye flickers, goes out, and the city surrenders herself to the night. Written Mar. 27, 1992