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On the road again

DC2NY adds summer Delaware service

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Gay News, Washington Blade
Gay News, Washington Blade

Company owners and life partners Asi Ohana and Richard Green of DC2NY bus service parked in downtown Rehoboth Beach. (Photo courtesy DC2NY)

Tens of thousands of travelers have already experienced the convenience of going back and forth between Washington, D.C. and New York, complete with WiFi, complementary water and a first-class experience thanks to the DC2NY bus company.

Company owners and life partners Asi Ohana and Richard Green operate with a mission to provide an upscale experience based on comfortable buses with clean restrooms from convenient locations.

“Small businesses, especially when owned by a couple who are life partners, sometimes make formal goals and sometimes make informal goals. Our short-term goals were to be profitable within the first year of business, and we were very fortunate that we were profitable within 90 days,” Green says. “We are currently carrying about 120,000 people a year and are definitely ahead of where we thought we would be.”

The genesis of the company dates back five years to when Israeli-born Ohana was working dispatching buses from D.C. to New York for Vamoose, and quickly learned the ins and outs of the bus business.

His career was moving up and soon, so was his love life. Ohana met Richard Green, a hospitality veteran working for Marriott, and they started dating. It didn’t take long for the two to decide to share a life together.

Taking what he had learned, Ohana wanted to start his own bus business, complete with a better payment system, guaranteed reservations and seat, providing a bottle of water to customers and most important, on-board internet access. He convinced Green to join him in his venture (Green has a 20 percent ownership share because he continues to work for Marriott full time) and the rest is history.

“Asi was the first to figure out how to put Internet on the busses and he knew that would differentiate the company,” Green says. “My thought was to give a little extra, which is why we started with the cold water given upon boarding.”

The Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission overwhelmingly supported DC2NY’s application for curbside pickup at Dupont Circle and in July 2007, Ohana and Green joined forces to start DC2NY, running routes between Washington, D.C. and New York City.

“We tend to be priced a little more than our nearest competition but that says that people are OK to expect a little more,” Green says. “We don’t let our clients touch their luggage once they put it on the curb, the drivers and dispatchers do it for you.”

The gay-owned company understands that the LGBT market is one of its niches—after all, its most popular stop is Dupont Circle—but to be a success it has catered to all people, young and old, different social classes, and multi-ethnicities.

“We are both gay, and like to think we’re the bus of choice for the community, but we don’t cater to it,” he says. “We had a bus in the Gay Pride Parade this year. We do sponsorship at certain events in Rehoboth, and put the brand forward for two dances that are fundraisers for Camp Rehoboth.”

The company has grown from three stops to a total of seven stops—one in New York, two in D.C., two in Virginia and two in the Delaware beach towns of Rehoboth and Dewey.

It started service to the Delaware beaches from D.C. a few years ago and just expanded service from New York City to Rehoboth. “The Beach Bus” runs from New York’s Penn Station to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware weekends beginning June 28 at 3:30 p.m., and includes one stop in Wilmington and drop-offs at the gay-popular Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches. Tickets are $45 each way from NYC.

“We’ve been doing the Rehoboth/D.C. route for four seasons and we started it because another company ran Rehobus, but stopped running it and we thought it made sense to pick up that opportunity to serve not only our gay clientele, but all people who want to go to the beach and not drive a car,” he says. “Our New York passengers started to request a bus that leaves out of New York, so we are running this as an experiment, and will run right up to Labor Day and see how we do.”

There will also be a stop at the Amtrak station in Wilmington to take advantage of the market in Philadelphia.

Separating their personal and business lives isn’t always easy, but Ohana and Green have found a way to make both a success.

“It’s fun to build something together with your life partner. Our board meetings often happen at the dining room table,” Green says. “We work off-hours, weekends, driving to the beach, vacationing. It’s hard to put boundaries around that. I look at it as I don’t have to put all my eggs in the small business basket and the rewards feed my entrepreneurial spirit.”

New routes that may happen in the next year include journeys from D.C. to Philadelphia and Boston and one from Baltimore to New York.

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Theater

‘Rose: You Are Who You Eat’ an irreverent romp at Woolly Mammoth

Solo performance by John Jarboe offers much to consume

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John Jarboe in ‘Rose: You Are Who You Eat’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. (Photo by Teresa Castracane)

‘Rose: You Are Who You Eat’
Though June 23
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
641 D St., N.W.
$60-$82
Woollymammoth.net

With “Rose: You Are Who You Eat,” a solo performance by John Jarboe (she/her), now at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, there’s a lot to uncover and consume.  

For much of the show, you might think the appealing Jarboe is playing dress up in a pair of tighty-whities and sparkly go-go boots, but it’s something else and she’s ready to go there. 

Jarboe is a cannibal. Not in the usual sense. She learned from a well-meaning aunt that while still in the womb, she ate her twin, and that’s what made Jarboe the way she is (a reference to gender queerness).

Despite the aunt’s awkward delivery of family dish, the prenatal news struck a chord with Jarboe: the vanishing twin who would have been named Rose, became increasingly connected to her own identity. Along with the inevitable jokes about eating her sister’s spaghetti thin hair and tasty eyeballs, there’s meaty matter unfolding onstage. 

Not entirely unexpected, Jarboe also harbors mommy issues. Mom, here referred to as “Mother” for the sake of anonymity, is a buttoned-down tax accountant who the more perturbed she becomes the wider her forced smile grows. And while Jarboe needs to have that long overdue talk with Mother, something always seems to get in the way; invariably it’s tax season.

Assisted by some primary source props (a baby book, notes, a string of pearls filched from Mother’s jewelry box), Jarboe further digs into gender expression and identity. Her performance career began in her child bedroom closet with a flashlight and makeshift costume, an obsession to which her parents initially subscribed, later not as much. 

Among the 75-minute-long show’s highlights are five or so songs, rock numbers and redolent ballads composed by Jarboe, Emily Bate, Daniel de Jesús, Pax Ressler and Be Steadwell. 

It’s definitely a solo show conceived and delightfully performed by Jarboe; however, she’s supported by a terrific four-person band (costumed in what appeared from Row D to be rosebush inspired jumpsuits) including Mel Regn, Yifan Huang, Daniel de Jesús, and music director Emily Bate. Bate is a singer, composer and performer who runs a queer and trans community chorus in Philadelphia called Trust Your Moves, an experiment in collective singing designed around liberation and co-creation.

As Jarboe moves into her 30s, she celebrates and incorporates her lost twin as part of herself with a new intensity. She writes letters, yearning for even the most tepid reply. Her obsession with Mother remains a thing too.

Dressed in a sylphlike rosy red gown (by costume designer Rebecca Kanach) Jarboe uses call-and-response (with the audience standing in for Mother) in search of some resolution. It’s beautifully done. 

With various kinds of backing coming from CulturalDC, the Washington Blade, Capital Pride, the Bearded Ladies Cabaret and other New York-based groups, there’s nothing itinerant cabaret looking about “Rose.” Directed by MK Tuomanen, it’s an elevated, visually engaging production. 

For instance, set and video designer Christopher Ash’s projections shown on both a serviceable scrim and later a wondrously huge toile curtain, beautifully feature photos from an ostensibly idyllic Midwestern childhood. We see a young Jarboe not only enjoying hockey, fishing, and hunting, but also pulling off a strikingly girly, cheesecake pose.  

At the top of the show, there’s live video of Jarboe’s outsized mouth devouring wings fished from a bucket of fried chicken. Hints of cannibalism? 

“Rose: You Are Who You Eat” is an irreverent romp, deeply personal yet relatable. It’s an evening of poignantly performed moments, off the cuff laughs, and some awkward/sexy audience interaction. 

As a performer, Jarboe lays herself bare, exposing strengths (rich melodious voice, presence, ingenuity) and weaknesses (garrulity and more than a few un-landed jokes) in equal turns. 

Hers is a world that invites audiences to just let go and go with it. Jarboe’s intrepid journey melds the familiar and the startling. In short, it’s a trip worth taking. 

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Photos

PHOTOS: Capital Pride Festival and Concert

Keke Palmer, Billy Porter among entertainers

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Billy Porter performs at the 2024 Capital Pride Festival on Sunday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The 2024 Capital Pride Festival and Concert was held along Pennsylvania Avenue in Northwest D.C. on Sunday, June 9. Performers included Sapphira Cristál, Keke Palmer, Ava Max, Billy Porter and Exposé.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key and Emily Hanna)

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Out & About

Get ready for Baltimore Pride

Events scheduled throughout weekend

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Baltimore Pride Parade (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Baltimore Pride begins this weekend on Friday, June 14 in the heart of the city.

There will be a variety of events, the main ones being Mt. Vernon Pride on June 14 at 2 p.m. on the 200 Block of W. Read St., the Parade and Block Party on Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m. on N. Charles St., and Pride in the Park on Sunday, June 15 at 3 p.m. at Druid Hill Park.

For more event details, visit Baltimore Pride’s website

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