Where Mia Lives
By Darren Cambridge
You will see Mia frequently at the Anti Boredom Corporative headquarters, but the details of where Mia lives have been a closely guarded secret. Until now.
When Mia isn’t traveling across the world and cyberspace in search of readers and books, she makes her home deep within the Uline Area in Washington, D.C. Strategically located close to D.C.’s geographic center—a short walk from the metro (Red Line NoMa stop), the trains (Union Station), and the bike paths (Metropolitan Branch Trail)— Mia is positioned to get wherever she needs to be in the physical or virtual world, fast.
Mia isn’t the first international celebrity to practice their arts in the Uline (also known as the Washington Coliseum). In fact, the Beatles played their first concert in the United States here in 1964 (joining the likes of Nat King Cole, Bob Dylan, the Temptations, Dave Brubeck, and many other artists who have performed within these walls.) President Eisenhower held an inaugural ball here. When Earl Lloyd became the first African-American to play in an NBA game in 1950, it was here, where Red Aeurbach later coached, and boxing legend JoeLouis make his debut … as a professional wrestler! Malcolm X and Elijah Mohamed spoke to crowds under its arches, and the police used the building as a holding pen for 1200 people arrested protesting the Vietnam War in 1971.
The Beatles Perform at the Uline Area, February 11, 1964
The building has served as an ice rink, megachurch, parking lot, and illegal waste transfer station before being placed on the National Registry of Historic Places and renovated into today’s state of the art facility. Like Mia, the Uline Arena was saved by a great story.
Another thing the Mia loves about working here is her amazing neighbors. Down the hall are the Relay Graduate School of Education, the Biden Cancer Initiative, and REI’s flagship store (handy when Mia needs to gear up for a mission at the last minute). The creative people at the District of Columbia Publics Schools Office of Teaching and Learning are down the block, as is the headquarters of National Public Radio (producers of Mia’s current favorite podcast, Wow in the World). Close by are Reading in Fundamental, an ally in the mission to put great books in the hands of kids, and Two Rivers Public Charter School, a pioneer in support inquiry-based learning for students from across the District.
The team of crack professionals who work behind the scenes to support Mia’s mission can also be found here most days. Darren Cambridge bikes here down the Metropolitan Branch Trail from his home in Eckington. Raaziq Brown walks from the campus of Howard University, from which he’s just graduated with a degree in Human Development. (Mia asks that we all congratulate Raaziq!) Kathleen Perez-Lopez and Puneet Puri take the metro in from Falls Church and Bethesda. Our writers are all deep undercover in the field, but they come in from the cold to debrief at the Uline from time to time.
We’re sorry we can’t show you Mia’s underground command center—it’s location with the Uline Arena must remain Top Secret Restricted to ensure the integrity of work—but we hope you enjoyed this glimpse of her headquarters. If you’re ever in town, all of us on Mia’s support team would love for you to stop by for a tour.
Mia’s support team frequently field tests books she is evaluating for her clients. The Uline allows them to measure performance in a wide range of reading environments.