I’ve been sitting here for the last 15 minutes trying to recall what department store once occupied the space across the street from the Friendship Heights Metro station. Was it JCPenney? Hecht’s? Both (maybe a couple switcheroos over the years)?

Either way, the block is crane city now; I counted four of those looming metal beasts this morning. And construction is constant in the area. But occasionally, something actually does get done and open. And when that happens, it’s time to celebrate. Or, at least, it’s time to give away some free stuff.

With that in mind, I took a walk down to the brand new Bloomingdale’s this morning to see if I could report on any fun giveaways or at least score a cup of coffee and a Danish.

When I turned the corner though, I saw a site that was wholly unexpected: an act that has performed with the likes of Jay-Z and Dave Chappelle.

Kanye West.

No, of course not. But, I was still delighted. It was 9:58 a.m. and the Howard University “Showtime” Marching Band—complete with flag twirlers and dancers—was doing a routine in front of the entrance. Their crowd numbered about 20, and roughly half seemed to be amused nannies with their charges.

Like a moth to flame, I joined them.

When I caught up with a spokesperson there, I asked him what the deal was.

“Cutting a rope is a little boring,” he said.

And with that, the band struck up Marvin Gaye’s “What’s going on?”