Saturday, January 31, 2015

Open Houses in and around Bloomingdale for 02/01/2015

112 Seaton Pl NW is listed at $874,900. and will be open from 1-3pm on Sunday 2/1

The featured property shown above, located at 112 Seaton Pl NW and is represented by Suzanne Des Marais with 10 Square Team at Keller Williams Capital Properties.  You can find more information in the links below.

The list of open houses scheduled for Sunday in and around Bloomingdale can be seen here.  A map and directions to the same open houses can be found here.

*Agents, to have your open houses included in this weekly post, please have them tagged in MRIS by 10am on Friday.  If you don't see your open house in the links, feel free to add in the comments.  Also, if you would like your open to be featured with a picture for this post, please e-mail suzanne at 10 square team dot com by 10am on Friday before the open.

ABC7 news story on the pursuit of a moratorium on pop-ups (Bloomingdale not referenced)

See this tweet and the news story:

9:49 AM - 31 Jan 2015 

D.C. group petitions for moratorium on 'pop-up' houses

Residents have now launched a petition, calling for a moratorium on transforming rowhouses into multi-story apartments.
Tracy Hart is part of an effort called Stop the Pop DC and launched an online petition asking Mayor Muriel Bowser and the city to put a moratorium on such construction until the zoning commission develops regulations.
As a mayoral candidate last July, Bowser wrote a letter to DCRA, saying "I would encourage you to place a hold on any building permit request for such pop ups until the issue is settled at the zoning commission."
But Friday, Bowser seemed to back off her earlier position, telling ABC7 she wasn’t calling for a moratorium, but “I'm for action at the zoning commission. "
Anti-pop-up advocates think that’s a change
"We're just asking her to honor her own wishes," Hart said.

Langley Elementary School open house announcement -- Saturday, 02-07-2015

See this message from Bloomingdale resident David Tansey:

Can you include this open house announcement in your mailings this week? A team of parents and the school administration have been working to make this the big event.

Brookland resident Daniel Wolkoff: testimony to the HPRB on the proposed subdivision of the McMillan site

Brooklnad Resident Daniel Goldon Wolkoff testified Jan. 29, to HPRB on McMillan 

January 29, 2015
Written testimony to HPRB Case HP-15-133
Proposed Subdivision of McMillan Site
Daniel Goldon Wolkoff
McMillan Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture
1231 Randolph Street NE
Washington, DC 20017

McMillan is the only park where your kids can safely play and bike in a large outdoor open green space. 

Save McMillan Park, like a decent world class city,  with an honest government.

 The real issue is the theft, from the people of the city, and the nation, of a significant work of landscape architecture and industrial design, by it's own Mayor and City Council and submissive agencies who have failed to protect the people of Washington, and violated the law.
These officials, some already convicted felons, have committed theft, of the Historic protected work of turn-of-the-20th century master designers, brought to Washington by Senator McMillan, an important historic site, a critical public amenity, and a potentially important backup system for clean water.
Senator McMillan and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. must be turning in their graves, to see the dereliction of Historic Preservation perpetrated by the DC HPRB, the HPRB Staff, and it's collusion with DC govt. agencies, OP, DMPED, DC Zoning Commission, the Mayor's Agent , DC City Council and Mayor Vincent Gray(still un-indicted).
The HPRB and it's Staff, and all these so-called officials, have violated the DC Historic Preservation act since 1987, and the public trust they accept on gaining office, as the Vision McMillan Partners Billion dollar theft of public assets progresses ahead by institutional government corruption.
To understand the loss to our city and nation, please read your own nomination to the National Register of Historic Places by HPO 's Architectural Historian Kim Williams 

Ms. Williams  describes a remarkably intact, fascinating, even charming, engineering marvel, associated with public health and fresh water, our heritage. 
Our heritage, that you, the worshipers and servants of corporate profits, are asking to demolish and over build with 50 hideous, brutalist structures, 6 asphalt paved "private" streets, 3000 asphalt paved parking spaces and, destructively bringing 20,000 additional automobiles to congest our neighborhoods and pollute our air each day..
Why did HPO and staff achieve the historic designation, and it's protection of the site, only to play such an integral roll in the corporate effort to demolish it, and super urbanize the last large green space in DC, as crass suburban office and condo park, on our publicly owned land? 
The rational about VMP preserving the historic structures, and their mediocre plans, having a cohesive relationship to the original designated historic place, is ABSURD and OFFENSIVE, and every one of you KNOW IT!.
Most disgusting and offensive, is the corruption and malfeasance, surrounding this theft. How can all the evaluations, oversight, Zoning, Mayor's Agent, City Council and Mayor's " Surplus and Land Disposition" and all DC agencies charged with protecting the commons, be RUNNING concurrently, and not be declared COERCIVE and be rejected as corrupt?
Do you, HPRB et al.,  expect us to believe that these agencies have evaluated this humongous multi-billion dollar development plan, objectively? While simultaneously, the City Council is perpetrating the "public to corporate GIVE-AWAY" of  McMillan's  25 acres of prime central DC real estate to Trammel Crow, the powerful development conglomerate. And  as of  today, paying them over $150 million in public money, for still un-estimated engineering costs! All happening in the hottest real estate market in DC history, and smack on top of a disastrous infrastructure failure, of storm water runoff and human sewage flooding into area homes? 
Do you really expect us to believe you?
Not everyone  in this city is that naive, and we will see you in court!
Is this not corrupt COLLUSION as the Deputy Mayor is both applicant and regulator at the same time, and all evaluative agencies are under the same DC office?  Do you really expect us to believe the Mayor's Agent can carry out the DC Historic Preservation Laws objectively, and  protect our public interest, with this coercive pressure on his head? Please spare us the cynicism,  when he had not even heard the community opposition, while the DC Zoning Commission already approved the "Monstrosity on Michigan Avenue". Not Coercive, not a fixed process? Before the Mayor's Agent has made his decision, or has it been made for him perhaps, the City Council voted unanimously to "give away" our land, our money, $billions at McMillan to Trammel Crow. How did a City Council, who speak incessantly, and question intolerably, vote for the "land surplus and disposal" with no comments, and no questions, literally in 30 seconds, on the last day of Grays term. Vote with no questions asked and no comments at all!
What happened to Chairman Mendelson's letter to HPRB? To preserve the site and not demolish the historic structures, how does the same politician rush the vote, and award this miserable developer $150 million to demolish the historic structures, when altyernatives are suppressed that make demolition not necessary. Mendelson and the Council actually gave VMP a blank check, no one has estimated the costs as Deputy Mayor M. Jeffrey Miller admitted in City Council testimony.
A blank check with the people of DC's  signature on it.
Deputy Mayor M. Jeffrey Miller, also testified that no estimate or analysis has ever been done, to judge the potential of Saving McMillan Park, unlike NY, Seattle, Paris, Istanbul, and numerous real world capitols, with civic minded planners and historic preservation agencies. Not submissive fools to the Real Estate "Growth machine", selling out their own neighborhoods, their own children and grandchildren in gross violation of Historic Preservation's professional ethics. The VMP plan and the supporters in the government are making a mockery of our city.
Where is all this "protection of DC historic laws, and the public interest, when in December 2013, Deputy Mayor at DMPED M. Jeffrey Miller hired the Jamie Fontaine PR firm to "neutralize opposition",  "create the impression of community support for the development plan" and "muzzle the media"? When does the HPRB and it's staff do the job you are paid for, enforcing the DC and Federal Historic Preservation laws, to protect DC public wealth, the commons, by the people of DC for the people!

Long time activist for McMillan Park, landscape architect Mary Pat Rowan reveals the PR firm “astroturf campaign” in this City Council Committee "Oversight" hearing on Feb 11, 2014, with Muriel Bowser. In this "oversight" hearing, Deputy Mayor M. Jeffrey Miller lies to Chairperson Bowser's face, that the government did not pay for the "sleaze campaign"  in December 2013, but we have the invoice he siigned. She even acts as if it bothers her, she says it doesn't look good to the public, and then does absolutely nothing about it, some "oversight"!
                                          WHO IS MINDING THE FOX!


The DC government is an international embarrassment, and so are all these collusive, manipulative, deceptive, dishonest and  corrupt agencies, departments and review boards! 
Our city could be a world leader in culture, and art, and provide the long term planning that a world class city requires, but for the destructiveness, mediocrity and hypocrisy of your work!
For our children and the future of our city, you can be ashamed, because, stolen here, is the possibility for a badly needed world-class cultural and recreational facility.
Why exactly does Bethesda and Potomac, deserve a Glen Echo, magnificently restored historic 1890's and art deco 1930's community campus for education and the arts?  Why can't DC  similairly for their families and young, with activities and classes 365 days a year, a 95 page course offering?
You, the OHP staff and HPRB VIOLATES the DC historic Preservation laws you are required to uphold, and YOU facilitate this THEFT of public assets by Trammel Crow. Their VMP plan is NOT a  project of "special merit", it is a GOD awful  environmentally destructive  carbon emitting heat island, and I wonder what exactly is your reward for such subversion of the public interest. A futuire job with Trammel Crow, like DMPED McMillan project director, Shiv Newaldass, alreeady moving up to work with developer Menkiti Group? A revolving door that would be illegal in the Federal government!
Peter Byrne, Anthony Hood, David Maloney , Jair Lynch, Akash Takkur, Steve Calcott, M.Jeffrey Miller, Victor Hoskins, Vincent Gray, Harry "Tommy" Thomas Jr., Michael Brown and Kwame Brown, Neil Albert, and "proud" of this, Anne Corbet, abusing power and using Jamie Fontaine, and hot shot lobbyists The Carmen Group,  to subvert the public will. 
Time to slap yourselves on the back, corruption, "business as usual", campaign fraud and complete absence of informed consent of the governed, has won again.
This is the list of criminal, and embarrassing DC govt. officials you have joined. 
At McMillan, after you HPO and HPRB, failed to do your job, to enforce the historic preservation laws for 27 years, why don't we FINALLY have a real project of "special merit", a place for DC youth to keep engaged in healthy activity, a skating rink, a Wolf Trap in DC for outdoor concert stage,  libraries, and community building activities, demanded by the people of DC since 1945. 
The HPRB participation in the  demolition of the site's underground water filtration vaults is a crime against our clean water security, as our water and sewer system are in collapse, what a subterfuge! That violates the  international movement of sustainable adaptive-reuse, the environmental ethic, you hypocrites never stop talking about, the most green building is the one "already built"! Wake up HPO, it's not too late, back off, like real civic minded honest professionals, experts in your field, not an embarrassment.
We can save the water filtration cells, the historic structures you are charged with protecting, and save the surface park for posterity, our own public health and for our children, WE MUST STOP VMP and corrupt city officials now.  IT IS SIMPLE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE MUST BE SERVED!
The critical preservation, NOT DEMOLITION, of the 20 acres underground, allows for saving the entire 25 acre surface park for our children, and provides a smart back up system for clean water and numerous public activities in adaptive re-use.
A "project of special merit" is when we move into 21 century  urban planning, save our architectural heritage the underground filtration vaults, and in adaptive re-use incorporate numerous healthy activities like "vertical indoor agriculture", , and produce millions of pounds of organic fresh vegetables and tilapia. Create local food security as draughts in California, Central America  and mexico threaten our food suply and depend on polluting wastful truck transport.
With proven vertical indoor growing technology we could convert the McMillan/Olmsted Park underground vaults  to a fully functional, local food production facility, making it a truly sustainable site. Imagine superior organic fresh fruit, vegetables and Family Farmed Fish freshly produced right here in
This special site needs to be preserved for public use. The declaration by Mayor Gray, to comitt this Theft, called "surplus land and disposal", that “there is no longer any public use for the land”, is an insulting lie and abuse of power, after 27 years of "gross malfeasance in office. Consecutive DC govt. administrations committed "theft of enjoyment" , incalculable value robbed from our population, and now this tiny group of arrogant, self important, appointed and barely elected DC officials, some in prison and convicted of felonies, some to be charged with crimes soon,  must be stopped and democracy and citizen participation decide, in a real open community based process.
Now we have no checks or balances!
Muriel Bowser and David Catania called for Gray to resign upon the discovery of his massive conspiracy to commit electoral fraud, and now they both carry out his theft of public assets, an international embarrassment, and HPRB, and staff, your participation is critical to this crime.

The lack of such amenities, especially open green space, in this part of the city and the contrast with the number and quality of parks in the NW quadrant is another important aspect of the scandal. Blatant racial and economic class discrimination from all DC govt. officials is exactly the reason the land was never opened to the public. Had McMillan been located in Georgetown or Chevy Chase, would it have been fenced off with barbed wire for 27 years? 
Please don't be ridiculous, racism against the community East of 16th street is still going on, and this theft of public land would not happen in upper NW, 
or if the VMP Plan is so "special", should we get a nice section of Rock Creek Park ceded to the district, for another massive hideous development,  a bigger one!
This staff report below,  is offensive double speak and must be rejected. The staff and HPRB are violating their legally required protection of DC historic site at McMillan. They failed in their role since 1987, and now this final obnoxious indignity to our heritage is being committed, to move our wealth , $billions and our land, and park space, to mediocre development conglomerate headed by Trammel Crow.
HPRB and Staff are abusing their public trust, their professional experience and participating in a massive theft of public wealth. OWN THIS! 
David Maloney "State Historic Preservation Officer" wrote a letter to DC Zoning to bypass the Federal Historic Covenants placed on the site, that letter was absurd double speak, and David Maloney should be fired, along with any staff that is participating in this THEFT OF PUBLIC LAND.
No public hearings had taken place at HPRB, and the staff had already decided" the developetrs tell us the the site is too deteriorated for restoration, unfortunately we recommend demolition and development". Unfortunately DC agencies are corrupt, and willing to lie, manipulate, hire unethical PR firms to pollute our process, avoid informing the public,  and bend over for the profit of powerfyul corporations, unquestionably to the detriment and expense of the public good, the commons are not safe in DC! 
Nor is our future , our health and our quality of life.
This recommendation is double speak garbage, an affront to common sense, you corrupt manipulation and we reject this.
"The HPO recommends that the Board find that the subdivision
of the McMillan Sand Filtration Site is incompatible with the character
of the landmark but reconfirm to the Mayor’s Agent that the master 
plan has been developed to mitigate many of the adverse effects
of the subdivision in the event that the project is found to be one of
special merit."
HPRB staff and review board, do you really believe it was worth this treason against the public interest to keep your jobs? 
Has a lucrative job been offered to you? How many are  going to VMP, EYA, Jair Lynch or Trammel Crow or Holland And Knight, like Neil Albert did after he moved the McMillan project into his agency? Or Jeff Miller did when he left Trammel Crow and then got his position at DMPED and supervised his former corporations  "Entitlement"  to make $100's of millions on the DC public?
HPO, and HPRB, your profession is diminished by this insult to it's integrity, as you like wise bring shame to our city.
Daniel Goldon Wolkoff
McMillan Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture
1231 Randolph Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017
Tel: 202-232-8391

Friday, January 30, 2015

Xtra Pair of Hands price change notification

Are you familiar with LeDroit Park-based Xtra Pair of Hands?

Subject: Xtra Pair of Hands DC - Price Change Notification
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 23:48:28 +0000

An update to my clients.
View this email in your browser
Xtra Pair of Hands DC
Due to increasing labor and expense costs, Xtra Pair of Hands has decided to increase its fee from $25 per hour to $30 per hour. The price change will take effect on March 1, 2015. Please let me know if you have any questions and/or concerns. Xtra Pair of Hands greatly appreciates your business and we look forward to working with you in 2015 and beyond!
Xtra Pair of Hands DC
http://www.xtrapairofhandsdc.comTwitter @xtrahandsdc
Copyright © 2015 Xtra Pair of Hands DC, All rights reserved.
You have hired or inquired about Xtra Pair of Hands DC in the past.

Our mailing address is:
Xtra Pair of Hands DC
331 U Street, NW
WashingtonDC 20001


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DC Water: neighborhood message re fencing on V Street NW

Subject: Neighborhood Message Re Fencing on V STREET
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 20:24:00 +0000

Dear FST Stakeholder,
DC Water’s Contractor Skanska-Jay Dee (SKJD) has successfully established the large crane at the intersection of First and V Streets NW.  The next step will be to begin excavating the drop shaft at the site. Excavation will start next week (the week of February 1) and will continue until late June or early July. The shaft will be approximately 80 feet deep and the soil removed from the interior of the shaft will be placed on trucks within the construction staging area and safely removed for disposal. To ensure public safety and the success of the operation, the west side of V Street will require fencing. 
DC Water has contacted all direct abutters and informed them of the need to add fencing to the work area.  All have agreed that for the safety of the general public, especially the children living near that section of V Street, the security fence is necessary and will be an improvement. Extending the fenced area will impact 6 on-street parking spaces in the 100 Block of V Street. Consequently, we are encouraging neighbors to take advantage of the Alternate Parking Areas (APA). Registration for APA parking is required.  Please visit the First Street Tunnel Webpage for your application:
Also, for more information about the project, check out the recent PowerPoint presentation to the Tunnel Forum dated 1/22/15:
Thank you for your continued cooperation with this important flood control project. As always, if you have any questions or would like more information please contact the 24/7 Hotline at 24/7 Hotline 1-844-FST-INFO [1-844-378-4636].
Sincere Regards, Tom
Tom Lindberg, DCCR First Street Tunnel - Public Outreach DC Clean Rivers Project | DC Water 5000 Overlook Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20032 t (202) 787-4738 f (202) 787-4478 | Email: | FST web page:
Vickey M. Wilcher | Public Outreach Officer DC Clean Rivers Project | DC Water
| (202) 787-4717

Ward 4 resident Andrea Rosen: "Carving up McMillan Park"

Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 09:33:34 -0500
Subject: [HistoricWashington] Carving up McMillan Park

On January 29, the Historic Preservation Review Board held hearings on two matters concerning historic landmark McMillan Park:  one, regarding its subdivision (HPA 15-133); and the other pertaining to a new, larger design for a residential mixed-use building (HPA 15-o90).  I submitted testimony regarding the subdivision, which I am posting here in revision.
As someone untrained in law and the doublespeak that is part and parcel of that profession, I continue to believe that the proposals put forth by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Vision McMillan Partners for the McMillan Park Reservoir historic district are illegal.  It boggles the mind that HPRB continues to consider and rule on the intensive redevelopment of McMillan Park, given its own finding in 2013 that the proposed demolition required by the redevelopment master plan is “inconsistent with the purposes of the Preservation Act, as it will result in the demolition of important character-defining features of the McMillan Park Reservoir landmark.”  To build a case that the demolition and development should go forward on the shifting sand of such a finding inexorably brings to mind the phrase “house of cards.”
Historic Preservation Office staffer Steve Callcott at least partially recognizes this inherent contradiction in his report on DMPED and VMP’s application to subdivide the McMillan Sand Filtration Site,, which he describes as “a single unified site that still maintains its original boundaries and site organization.”  Like the proposed demolition of the underground cells, the subdivision of Lot 801 “into multiple parcels for the purpose of redevelopment is not . . . compatible with the goal of retaining and enhancing the landmark.”   Looking for precedents in rulings by the Mayor’s Agent on subdividing historic sites that were “single unified site[s] that still maintain [their] original boundaries and site organization,” Mr. Callcott comes up with only one, Tregaron, the 20-acre early 20th-century estate in Cleveland Park that, like McMillan, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  But there, any similarity between plans for the two properties ends.  
The Mayor’s Agent approved the development of Tregaron, according to Mr. Callcott, because “the conceptual proposal was exemplary in terms of its architecture and land use planning.”  At Tregaron, the 20-acre landmark was divided into two large lots:  One lot, of six acres, is home to the several buildings of the Washington International School.  On the remaining 14 acres are three single-family residences built on established streets (two on Macomb Street; one on Klingle Road), clustered on a single acre hugging the property’s edge; and 13 acres never to be developed, where the historic parkland is being restored.  Thus 65 percent of the original 20 acres is preserved as contiguous green space; the remainder is subject to low-density development.  Now that’s a project of special merit consistent with the Preservation Act and the Comprehensive Plan!
At McMillan, about 6 contiguous acres out of 25 acres of open space (less than 24 percent) are retained, at the southern end of the site.  One does not need training in historic preservation or architecture to see at a glance by comparing VMP’s renderings with photographs of McMillan as it stands, largely unchanged except for the absence of trees (shorn by our city government), that the intensive development of the remainder of the McMillan Sand Filtration site obliterates the site’s defining characteristics above ground, and—as has already been established--below ground.  
“[T]he subdivision of the McMillan Sand Filtration Site is  incompatible with the character of the landmark ,” to again quote Mr. Callcott’s report, and furthermore, it is inconsistent with the purposes of the Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act, which are “to retain and enhance historic landmarks in the District of Columbia.”  To first demolish more than 80 percent of the subterranean structures that won the protections of the Preservation Act, and then to build on almost 80 percent of the open space that is a defining characteristic of the 25-acre greensward, cannot be “consistent”—or in Zoning Commission-ese, cannot be “not inconsistent”--with the Preservation Act.  To describe it as such would be Orwellian.  The Board should take a field trip to McMillan and kick a ball across an acre or so.  The great open spaces are pure exhilaration, and not to be replicated or even sensed at VMP’s 1960s-era planned community.
So I must take issue with Mr. Callcott’s recommendation that despite the incompatibility with its character of subdividing the landmark, the HPRB ought to reconfirm to the Mayor’s Agent that design choices mitigate this incompatibility.  Such a position strikes me as akin to admiring the clothes of the naked emperor.  It seems that only in the tripartite division of the site, consisting of, from south to north:  (1) lawn; (2) low-, medium-, and now, high-rise buildings; and (3) high-rise “medical” office buildings, can real-estate development boosters use jargon to paper over the fact that nothing will be left of the historic McMillan site.   (As someone trained in Art History, I know how verbiage can be convincing even when its empty.)  Our HPRB apparently considers the continued use of such terminology a real triumph in historic preservation.  But those who know the iconic place now will not recognize it after VMP is done with it.  People who have not had a chance to visit will have no clue what preceded VMP's suburban outcropping.
The HPRB should not act as an arm of DMPED, despite its misbegotten position in the hierarchy of that office.  I urge the Historic Preservation Review Board to remember its regulatory function as steward of the District of Columbia’s tangible history and to deny the subdivision of McMillan Sand Filtration Site.
Andrea Rosen

St. George's Episcopal Church presents Daughter of the Struggle -- Sunday, 02-15-2015

Subject: St George's presents Daughter of the Struggle
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 04:20:56 +0000

World Missions Extension Center citywide prayer meeting rally -- Saturday, 01-31-2015

Dr. Joann Perkins of World Missions Extension Center, 1720 1st St NW, passes along these two items:

1) the flier for the Saturday, 01-31-2015, World Missions Prayer Meeting Rally, and
2) the World Missions Rally Schedule for 2015

Conscious Film Night "KARMAGEDDON THE MOVIE" and book release party at Samsara House 2023 -- tonight, Friday 01-30-2015

Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:49:28 -0500
Subject: Conscious Film Night "KARMAGEDDON THE MOVIE" and Book Release Party at Samsara House 2023, 7:00PM Friday 1/30/15

Conscious Film Night


and Book Release Party

American Veda:  
From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation

How Indian Spirituality Changed the West
Book Review: click here
Film Review: click here

Friday, 1/30/15 - Doors Open at 7:00PM

Film Starts at 9:00PM

View Trailer:

Come join the first Conscious Film Night of the year at Samsara House 2023!  This month, we are also celebrating the release of American Veda, an exciting book which documents the colorful history and extraordinary influence of India's spiritual legacy on Western culture.  The potluck party starts at 7pm and Gregg Demammos of The Relationship Circle ( will co-host the evening.  The film start
 at 9pm.  The first 13 people who pay in advance in will receive a complementary copy of the book.

Warning: You don't want to miss this.

The Film:
KARMAGEDDON- about Soulshaping author Jeff Brown's spiritual journey with Bhagavan Das (Be Here Now). Also starring Ram Dass, Seane Corn, Deva Premal & Miten, David Life, Wah!, David Newman, Robert Gass, Karmageddon inspires and inquires into some of the deeper questions of spiritual journey and guru-devotee relationship.
Karmageddon is a personal examination of the spiritual journey featuring 1960s counter-culture icon and chanter Bhagavan Das and Jeff Brown, former lawyer turned spiritual author (Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation).
Bhagavan Das came to fame in the best-selling book “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass, the Harvard professor fired with Timothy Leary for their LSD experiments in the 1960s. He is the seeker who led Ram Dass to the feet of his guru- Neem Karoli Baba. “Be Here Now” was a key document in the hippie movement and in 20th century spiritual literature, helping to bring Eastern spirituality to the West.
While writing his first book- Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation- spiritual seeker Jeff Brown became connected to Bhagavan Das. Profoundly impacted by the effect of Bhagavan Das’ chant on his inner life, Jeff invited him to stay in his home when he was coming to Toronto to lead a Nada Yoga workshop and Kirtan Chant at Jivamukti Yoga. Soon thereafter, Jeff and his best friend, Paul Hemrend, agreed to make a film about Bhagavan Das and Jeff’s relationship to him. Shot in home spun, they began filming Karmageddon in June, 2005. With brilliant appearances by Ram Dass, yogis Seane Corn, David Life, David Newman, and chanters Robert Gass, Wah, Deva Premal and Miten, Karmageddon is an unforgettable P-O-V investigation of contemporary Western spirituality.
Karmageddon is not a sleepy documentary. You can leave your pillow at home.
The Book:
In February 1968 the Beatles went to India for an extended stay with their new guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It may have been the most momentous spiritual retreat since Jesus spent those forty days in the wilderness. 

With these words, Philip Goldberg begins his monumental work, American Veda, a fascinating look at India’s remarkable impact on Western culture. This eye-opening popular history shows how the ancient philosophy of Vedanta and the mind-body methods of Yoga have profoundly affected the worldview of millions of Americans and radically altered the religious landscape. 

What exploded in the 1960s actually began more than two hundred years earlier, when the United States started importing knowledge as well as tangy spices and colorful fabrics from Asia. The first translations of Hindu texts found their way into the libraries of John Adams and Ralph Waldo Emerson. From there the ideas spread to Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and succeeding generations of receptive Americans, who absorbed India’s “science of consciousness” and wove it into the fabric of their lives. Charismatic teachers like Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda came west in waves, prompting leading intellectuals, artists, and scientists such as Aldous Huxley, Joseph Campbell, Allen Ginsberg, J. D. Salinger, John Coltrane, Dean Ornish, and Richard Alpert, aka Ram Dass, to adapt and disseminate what they learned from them. The impact has been enormous, enlarging our current understanding of the mind and body and dramatically changing how we view ourselves and our place in the cosmos. 

Goldberg paints a compelling picture of this remarkable East-to-West transmission, showing how it accelerated through the decades and eventually moved from the counterculture into our laboratories, libraries, and living rooms. Now physicians and therapists routinely recommend meditation, words like karma and mantra are part of our everyday vocabulary, and Yoga studios are as ubiquitous as Starbuckses. The insights of India’s sages permeate so much of what we think, believe, and do that they have redefined the meaning of life for millions of Americans—and continue to do so every day. 

Rich in detail and expansive in scope, American Veda shows how we have come to accept and live by the central teaching of Vedic wisdom: “Truth is one, the wise call it by many names.”
RSVP Required - Space Limited to 25 Guests
Cost: $12 in advance $15 at the door
The first 13 people to pay in full in advance receive a
complementary copy of the book "American Veda"


Hosted by Samsara House 2023
36 R Street NW
Washington DC 20001
Contact: 202-505-0735

What to bring: Bring a potluck, your own dinner or a snack to share (no obligation) Tea will be served.

Parking: 2hr Street parking on R Street NW, Best to park on Quincy or S Street NW
Metro: NoMa New York Ave Red line stop or Shaw green line for a short walk, or get off at Chinatown and take the P6 to Randolph Rd or the 80 to Lincoln and R Street NE (both stops 1 block from R Street NW).

Twitter: @samsarahouse
Google Event Calendar/E-mail:

Shift Happens at Samsara House 2023