Playing hooky in DC
If you were taking the day off to hang out with a friend on Friday, what would you do? Specifically, what, if anything, am I missing out on because I am normally at work during the weekdays?
Lavanya Ramanathan: The secret to playing hooky, in my humble opinion, is not to dig up some special only-on-Friday event, but to do the things that are infinitely more complicated on weekends because of tourists/crowds/filled reservations.
For me, that means seeing the latest hot exhibition, like the upcoming "Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes" at the National Gallery, without having to jockey for a sightline. (While you're there, you can indulge in a lunch-only buffet themed around the exhibit, created by Michel Richard). Or head to the National Cathedral's Flower Mart, when plenty of petals are available for purchase.
It's also a great time to do the touristy things you neglect as a longtime resident, like finally checking out the MLK Memorial, or making it to the top of the Old Post Office Tower. For lunch, go check out Union Market, when the baristas at Peregrine and Nathan Anda of Red Apron will have a little more time on their hands to talk with you about their wares. For something more posh, Proof's Lunch Crush is a fun option, since the $14 feast includes a glass of house wine, and daytime drinking isn't an option for a workday. In Old Town, Restaurant Eve's Lickety Split lunch offers a similar option with choices such as risotto, plus a chance to sip one of Todd Thrasher's pitch-perfect cocktails for $15. Better? Fiola's multi-course power lunch, which sounds like just the kind of thing to do for an hour and a half while the rest of Washington is stuck at the office.