Month: January 2016

Andrew in 2005

Still singing

(Editor’s Note:  Candice posted the following on her Facebook page earlier today.  I’m putting it here on More to Come… as she wrote it.) In 2001 at the age of 8, Andrew began singing at the Washington National Cathedral as a novice boy chorister. In 5th grade, he joined the boy choristers and went on to become head chorister in 2007. Pictured here is Andrew in 2005 with Leonard Slatkin of the National Symphony Orchestra when Andrew was the treble soloist for the Chichester Psalms. Those were exciting years. Today, Andrew sang for the first time as one of the men of the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys. The second picture shows Andrew this morning as the choir was ready to process into the service. It’s been a great ride, Andrew, and we are excited to see where life, your talent, and your dedication takes you next. More to come… DJB Image: Andrew with Leonard Slatkin in November 2005 after singing the treble solo in the Chichester Psalms

Walking as an act of citizenship

I love the fact that smart phones now have built-in pedometers. Knowing I can count my steps has encouraged me to find opportunities to walk around the places I live and work each day. In the process I’ve become much more familiar with the Foggy Bottom Historic District (near the Watergate where I work) and Silver Spring (near my home).  In snowy weather, as we’ve seen this weekend on the east coast, walking is sometimes our only reliable means of transportation. Fred Kent, the founder of the Project for Public Spaces, has noted that “If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.” Walking doesn’t have to be for any great purpose.  The BBC News Magazine had a recent article that highlighted the “just to walk” stroll – titled appropriately The Slow Death of Purposeless Walking. “But the same study found that a mere 17% of trips were “just to walk”. And that included dog-walking. It is that ‘just …

Observations from the Road: The “There are Worse Places to Spend a Blizzard (Day 2)” Edition

After 27 inches of snow fell in Central Park over Friday evening and Saturday, Sunday dawned bright, clear…and cold!  So after being fortified by breakfast, I decided to wander out to see how New York City was faring as a follow-up to yesterday’s There are Worse Places to Spend a Blizzard.  First, a check of 5th Avenue at 54th Street.  When I was at that intersection last evening, it looked like this: While the hustle and bustle in the roadways hasn’t picked up, there are many more people out walking through this part of the city by mid-day on Sunday. It was great to be out with the “crowds” (using that term loosely).  I saw dog walkers…and (small) dogs wearing booties.  I saw people gawking at the Trump Tower.  I saw men (mostly) doing the hard work of shoveling snow (with the main culprit in bad sidewalk maintenance being the luxury store Bergdorf Goodman.) I stopped by and saw the handiwork of old friends George Taylor and John Boody – Opus 27 – built by …

Observations from the Road: The “There are Worse Places to Spend a Blizzard” Edition

I came to New York City this weekend knowing full well that some of the meetings I had scheduled could be changed or cancelled due to the snow.  But the predictions were off significantly, and the blizzard that blanketed Washington came right up the eastern seaboard to New York. However, our team made the best of it, and we were fortunate to have two of our members here from New Orleans.  So they just did what they always do in the face of natural disasters, and we ended up having a great “hurricane party” in their apartment about a block from our hotel. What a wonderful way to spend a blizzard in New York City. More to come… DJB  

Observations from Home (The It Is Still the Christmas Season Edition)

If it is the Christmas season, it means that the Browns are likely to have a new family photo taken by our friend John Thorne. (Blog interruption:  For those who may be wondering about the use of Christmas language after New Year’s Day, just think of the 12 Days of Christmas.  That’s how we celebrate at the Brown home.) I’ve written before about the fact that we wouldn’t have family photos if not for John.  Thankfully, he showed up at church on December 20th and asked if we would like a family picture.  All four of us were there, and it was also Andrew and Claire’s 23rd birthday.  A perfect day to capture the family for 2015! John used two settings, with two different cameras.  At the top you see us in the church yard, while the photo below shows the Washington National Cathedral in the background. What a wonderful gift for the Christmas season.  Thank you John! Speaking of getting the family together:  I’ve been hinting over the past couple of months that I’d …

Farewell 2015, Hello 2016

Once again, the New Year puts me in a reflective and optimistic mood. As in the past, I’m taking to More to Come… to reflect on the year just past, account for my resolutions, and look ahead to 2016. 2015 was the year that both our children graduated from college, my father turned 90-years-old, and Candice and I had blessings too numerous to count. While our family has been blessed on many fronts, the same isn’t true for so many of our fellow citizens of the world.  The news we hear on a daily basis seems overwhelming in the nature and scope of the issues we face as a planet.  As an example, my recent reading (the subject of an upcoming post) has focused on our country’s seeming inability to come to grips with our terrible history of racial divide and hatred. But I could just as easily be reading on  income inequality, climate change, fake news, our increasingly broken political system, increases in poverty, or other similar challenges we face in this country and …