Friday, November 8, 2019

Washington A Woman's Town?

   

         A remarkable time in the capital city, a trend of amazing proportions that has yet to be given much attention. How it has come about that the heads of many major museums and government institutions in town now are women. Suddenly, it seems. Notably the Kennedy Center, the Hirshhorn, the National Gallery of Fine Art, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and its neighbor the American Art Museum, as well as the often overlooked US Botanic Garden (NOT the often mentioned Arboretum) are being so capably managed by career professionals  whose credits do not include (at least unproved as such) simply being a woman in a time of @metoo.
          Not to forget the private institutions such as the Phillips Collection, founded by a man and now run by Dorothy Kosinski.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Oh those terrible service calls - ie people, their annoyance - finally reversed



         I write to save the reputation of some 'folks' called upon to get us through life but who are often resoundly cursed. The  infamous forever on holds, survey questions, rude and brusque exchanges  for no discernible purpose other than to cause unnecessary friction in our lives.
         Because the opposite also can be true: really competent experts who do their job and are seemingly pleased to do so. Take Tyler, the Miele dishwasher repair man come to rescue me from my incompetence with the beautiful piece of German machinery I own. A staple that has been stable for a decade or more - probably more - then suddenly shifts moods. He is the son in a family designated by Miele to resolve all such company complaints in the greater Washington area. Or so I figure when I can find no other resource. He was seven years old when he set out to learn his trade, and has kept at it under the tutorship of his father. His mother generally answers the phone; his father takes messages and I think then consults with his son on scheduling. I hear Truths from Tyler that doubtless no other professional would offer: Miele really is  better than Bosch (and both are owned by the same company) but developers, etc. put Bosch appliances in new luxury buildings because they are less expensive Miele can stand up under the assault I have been handing it - my way of repair was to shove, push harder to get the thing to start. All in vain. It is an item meant to last. Just be sure to give it a cleansing periodically -  buying online the curious little canister needed to run with a single empty washington.
     How happy I am when my Miele is humming quietly, doing its job, a reassuring sign that my house is in order, at least for the moment.

        Another 'service provider' of unusual talent very worthy of mention. I'd give him a prize if I could find the right trophy. That is the man distinguished for his  loving, longtime care and concern for hair. You won't find him in any advertisement, though he once ran a downtown DC salon called simply 2000 because he opened it that year. Previously he had been boosted up the competitive ladder of styling professionals by his association with the late Londoner Vidal Sassoon. He was to be made a 'hairdresser to the stars' in Hollywood, invited to live the wild life in the town of angels, but something (much of which was his wife) pulled him back. He didn't need the call of fame and fast living he decided - abandoning tinseltown in favor of the Virginia suburbs and then eventually a roost of his own on the first floor level of the Westchester  housing complex on Cathedral Avenue in DC. There he caters for men and women, often many of advancing age, giving them loving attention and a bevy of charm.