Columbia Heights crew


We kicked off Metrocentered last issue at Gallery Place/Chinatown. This time, we hopped on the green line and headed to Columbia Heights, where AU has a plethora of neat connections:

  • Farhang Erfani who, when he isn’t teaching Western Democracy or Theories of Democracy in the Department of Philosophy and Religion, is baking baguettes and brioche at his family-owned Le Caprice D.C. Cafe and Bakery on 14th Street
  • Chris O’Brien, AU sustainability director, who keeps bees in the yard of his Victorian house (Chris also brews his own green—eco-friendly, not Irish—beer)
  • Sophomore Vanessa Moyonero, who interns at D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s Office on Latino Affairs, where she works with business owners in Columbia Heights
  • Alumnus Daour Diawara, Kogod/BSBA ’05, business development manager with the Washington, D.C. Economic Partnership, who lives in the neighborhood and plays soccer at Harriet Tubman Elementary School
  • Alumna Lauren Ober, SPA/BA ’00, who rides her bike, Colonel Mustard, from nearby Mount Pleasant to the Columbia Heights Metro station

And those are just the folks we included in the picture. Did you know that Rose Donna, owner of The Wonderland Ballroom, and Constantine Stavropolous, owner of The Coupe and three other D.C. eateries, are both Kogod alums? Or that AU students volunteer at more than a half dozen sites across Columbia Heights, including CentroNia, Next Step Public Charter School, and the Central American Resource Center?

Digging up the AU connections that criss-cross Columbia Heights was easy. Actually taking the photograph was trickier.

Since the magazine hit mailboxes in late April, we didn’t want Vanessa, Daour, and the others to be wearing winter coats. But Mother Nature had different plans. We postponed the shoot at least three times due to cold and rain. Finally, we scheduled the shoot for the first Saturday in April—rain or shine. Thankfully, we got lots of the latter and Jeff Watts’s photo turned out beautifully.

Oh, and there’s one more person I’d like to point out in the photo: my 10-month-old Owen (AU Class of 2034), whose stroller is angled such that you can’t see him in the black and white photo. But here he is with the rest of the gang in front of the historic Tivoli Theatre on 14th Street after we got our shot: