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Got Plans?

With the Entertainment Guide Staff
washingtonpost.com
Thursday, June 26, 2003; 1:00 PM

Every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, washingtonpost.com's Entertainment Guide experts share their best bets for local flavor, great dates and family fun. Got plans? Great. Need plans? Just ask. We have the skinny on the bars and clubs, concerts, kitchens, theaters and special events that keep life interesting. We're going out gurus, and we're at your service.

Of course, we're happy to answer questions about local entertainment, but we need to hear from you, too. Introduce us to the coolest DJ or the fastest bartender you've encountered. Sound off on the week's best concert or the city's best burger. Tell us about the best place to amuse little kids or a big art fan. Together we can plan fun ways to spend weekdays, weekends, dates and holidays. The pleasure is ours, and yours.

Each week a different guru will act as host or hostess, but the entire staff is at your service. If you're looking for more ideas, see the Entertainment Guide.

The transcript follows.

Editor's Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.

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The Going Out Gurus: Hello, it's us again folks. How these weeks roll by. Most of you, I'm sure, will be delighted with this weather. Please, after all the fuss about rain, let's not hear a peep about it being too hot. Lots going on, lots to discuss. So let's not waste time chatting. We're all on board. And I, Alexa, am captain.

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The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: A few weeks back, someone mentioned a Clint Eastwood filmfest:

http://www.cinemaonthecanal.com

I was looking forward to checking it out but the website leaves out one key bit of information: what time the films start. Anybody know?

The Going Out Gurus: We've got links to both Clint fests right here. The films start at 8:30 on Wednesdays at the Canal, and 8:30 Saturdays in Farragut Square Park. Enjoy. -- Jen

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Alexandria, Va: Hi. Did anyone go to "Air" last Saturday? Some friends and I went, and had mixed reviews. The courtyard is really pretty, and the furniture was great for people-watching, but the deejays were awful!; They kept playing techno and no one wanted to dance. Keep the venue, but get new music, please.

The Going Out Gurus: Hey, Alexandria. I was there on Saturday, and I think Air has tons of potential. I didn't mind the music so much -- it was more what I'd expect at Eighteenth Street Lounge or the Blue Room, though, instead of an outdoor patio with a huge dance floor. However, the promoter told me that the DJs on Saturday night were last-minute replacements; the threat of rain and travel arrangements meant that Air didn't have the headlining DJs it was supposed to. Fair enough -- I thought it was going to rain several times before midnight.

Anyway, Air promises that future events will have -- and I'm quoting here -- "More mainstream dance music that people can groove to ... less house and lounge music." And since the DJs are all I've heard anyone complain about, that bodes well for upcoming weeks. -- Fritz

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Alexandria VA: This is the N.O. girl who was looking for the Purple Haze and Turbodog. I found my beer, and I just wanted to thank the GOGs and all the people who respondned. Frankly, I didn't realize the people in this area could be so nice, and my little heart is warmed.

The Going Out Gurus: Cheers, Alexandria. Where'd you find them? And, more importantly, was Purple Haze on draft? -- Fritz

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Arlington, VA: GOGs, I'm going to a speed-dating event for 20-something professionals next week, I've never gone to anything like it before...what's a girl to wear??!; Please help!;!;

The Going Out Gurus: Arlington, it might depend where the event is, but I wouldn't worry too much. Try these stories about 3 minute and -- should you be the hardy type -- 6 minute speed dates on for size. -- Maura

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Clarendon, VA: Where in this area can one go to have some beers and eat free snacks-pretzels, nuts, POPCORN?
Cheap, dirty, Arlington or Downtown preferable.

The Going Out Gurus: What is it with you and the free nuts?

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Washington DC: Which are the best bars (in DC) that let you rent a room for free if you guarantee a bartab? I know about Childe harold, but what else?

The Going Out Gurus: Depending on the size of your crowd, try Aroma, Stetson's, Chief Ike's and the Blue Room. -- Fritz

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Cleveland Park by way of Buckhead: I just moved here from Atlanta, and right before I left, I read that DC was one of the "uglier" major cities (referring to the physical looks of its citizens.) Of course, this would be announced after I accepted a job here, and I rationalized that this news must be an exaggeration. Sadly, I have found in two months that there might be a bitter kernel of truth to this story. Yes, this is a superficial question/comment, but where are the beautiful people? Where do they congregate? Are they hidden away, on display at one of these museums or something?

The Going Out Gurus: Hello new to Cleveland Park. Sorry you're having trouble finding beautiful people in town. I know in my neighborhood there's a place called the Beautiful People Hair Salon. Maybe you park yourself outside and see who goes in and out.

- Joe

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For last weeks camping question:: There's a great camping area in VA
Beach (about 3 1/2 hours away) called First Landing State Park - check out VA State Parks website for more info. They have a huge campground, camp store, playground, and a large number of well kept facilities. Depending on which camp site you choose (obviously some are better than others) you're walking distance from the beach. It's our Labor day and Memorial day ritual and our kids love it!; Oh and the best part is the price, around $20 a day. Definitely need to make reservations in advance, esp. holiday weekends.

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks. I hope the peeps in search of a drivable gettaway next weekend have their specs on.

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Washington, DC: OK, this may be more a travel Q but I figured you guys may be able to help. Need a cheap, beach-vicinity getaway for July 4th weekend... yes, yes, i know we left it late. Is driving out to the shore just too hellish for words? I've always stuck around here for the 4th in previous years. PLus, whats our chances of finding a B&B or someplace that hasnt been booked?

thanks!;

The Going Out Gurus: See above.

Anyone else have a supremely fantastic spot they're willing to share?

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Kensington, MD: Hey Gurus,

I know this isn't the perfect forum for this, but I've seen you guys answer shopping questions before. My question is, is there a store in the Maryland//DC area that sells quality vintage jerseys? I'm trying to get my boyfriend a birthday present - he's a huge Philadelphia fan. Thanks for your help!;

The Going Out Gurus: Sounds like you're looking for throwbacks, Kensington. In March, I (Jen) wrote this story, which includes names of numerous stores that might sell what you're seeking. Good luck.

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Work Skipper - Day Tripper: So, let's say I wanted to run away from cubeland. Any recommendations for picnic spots? Gravelly Point perhaps? Also, any word on theatres that will be showing 28 Day Later?

The Going Out Gurus: Here's a story that Alexa wrote about picnics -- it's got info on good spots as well as good eats. And here's the link to theaters showing "28 Days Later." You may want to check back tomorrow morning, as we sometimes don't get all the feeds on movie showtimes until later today or early tomorrow. Hope this helps. -- Jen

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North Capitol Street: I jogged by the National Mall about two weeks ago and it looked like they were building a golf course in the grass?? Now I'm seeing tents and people and lots of festivities. What's going on down there and should I check it out?

The Going Out Gurus: Indeed, North Capitol, there is a golf green on the Mall. The green, along with all the tents and people, are part of this year's Folklife Festival celebrating Appalachia, Mali and Scotland (birthplace of golf, don't you know). Experts from St. Andrews might even be on hand.

And by all means jog by again and stop in. Kate and I were over the moon on our visit yesterday, especially for the Dogon masked dancers and Ralph Blizzard. Can't wait to get back. -- Maura

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Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.: What drew the huge crowd to 1223 last night? And are you planning a Got Plans: Wedding edition again this year?

The Going Out Gurus: One at a time:
1. That was Flirt, the weekly hip-hop/open bar/dinner buffet/celebrity spotting party. Last night, they were celebrating the birthdays of the Redskins' Lavar Arrington and the 49ers' Julian Peterson, and the duo was actually in the club.

2. No plans to do Wedding Plans, but maybe if the demand is there. What do you need? -- Fritz

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Somewhere, USA: All the beautiful people are now leaving Cleveland Park.

The Going Out Gurus: And hanging out with Joe in Glover Park?

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RE: Cleveland Park by way of Buckhead: : This beautiful person is right here...often hanging out at Latin clubs with all the other beautiful salsa dancing people. I see them everywhere.

The Going Out Gurus: There's one tip for you CP.

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Arlington, Va.: The 7th Annual Beer Fest -- I can't find a list of participants. Dogfish and Old Dom. are the only two I know for sure. Others?

The Going Out Gurus: Hey, Arlington. I've heard at least 34 breweries are going to bring their wares to the Old Dominion Beer Festival this weekend, from locals like Shenandoah to regional beers (Delaware's Dogfish Head, Pennsylvania's Troeg's and Stoudt's) and even some national brands like Red Hook, who, I hope, won't bring the frankly appalling Sun Rye Ale. On Saturday, there will also be a tasting of beers from around the world, focusing on English and Belgian brands, I'm told. Should be a good time. I can't wait. -- Fritz

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Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.: I know this is technically outside your area of expertise, but I'm looking for rose water--like stuff that smells of roses (just roses!) that I can put on my clothes or wear as perfume. Hey, if it helps, it will make me smell better when I GO OUT, GURUS. Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: Because I know a little bit about food, I think I can help you, Dupont. The Lebanese Taverna Market sells it (in addition to orange water). And so, I do believe, does Fresh Fields -- in the baking and cakes department.
If you don't want to be seen buying your perfume at the grocery store, then they have some rosy-smelling potions more expensive than gold at Blue Mercury in both Georgetown and Dupont. I salute you. -- Alexa

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Dupont Circle, Washington DC: Hi,

I'd really like to get out of town for awhile over the 4th, but don't want to go to the beach or camping -- I want to avoid the crowds, at least a slight bit. Are there any festivals or anything nearby that I could just drive to for a quick overnight? Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: Does Fredricksburg, VA, boyhood home of George Washington, tickle your fancy? The drive will take about an hour and a half. I've recently been turned on to this pretty little town. My top five reasons to go: 1) the town has organized a fireworks display on the 4th 2) diners: there are several to choose from including a vegetarian-friendly Sammy T's 3) Putt-Putt, a mini-golf course studded with concrete animals and waterfalls on the less attractive strip mall outskirts of town 4) Carl's, an old-time fronzen ice cream place (a small cone will set you back about 1.09) and 5) in addition to a pretty Southern college and historic homes along the Rappahannock river front, the Fred is also famous for its ghosts. Why don't you sift through escapes. - Kate

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New York, NY: Not sure of the appropriateness of the question, but we're throwing a bachelorette party in DC for a girlfriend. She has hinted personly that she wants us to hire a male stripper, but we're all strapped for cash. Do you know what the cost of this might be? Thanks much!;

The Going Out Gurus: Fritz says he'll do it for $35.

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Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: If it's ok, I have TWO questions:

Do you have any suggestions for off-the-beaten-path 4th of July activities/festivals?

And, what wineries would you suggest (close-ish to DC) for touring and tasting?

The Going Out Gurus: Are you looking for events with a small-town feel or a day-trip/celebration in one? In Great Meadow, the folks throw an old-timey carnival (with pie-eating contest) and fireworks show. At Horizon Organic Dairy Farm in Maryland, festivities include a dunking booth, Slip-N-Slide and hayrides, along with fireworks and an evening screening of "Grease." Be sure to check our Fourth of July Guide for more ideas. For wineries, let's hear from some readers on their favorites. -- Anne

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Dupont Circle, DC: Is there a smoking section at Zaytinya? Or is it too ooh-la-la for that?

The Going Out Gurus: There's smoking at the bar.

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Arlington, VA: I am going to Dewey/Rehobeth for a weekend in September for a particular event. There will be 3 couples, in their 30s. We are not into the major party scene, and the hotels all look so beach cheesy!; For logistical purposes, we have to stay pretty close to Dewey/Rehobeth. Any recommedations on the hotels we have to choose from? We would rent a house, but most are still on their weekly rental schedule at that time.

The Going Out Gurus: I (Jen) haven't been there, but the Bellmoor Inn is a spa, and appears to be fairly non-cheesy. (See this article for more info.) You might also try the Henlopen Hotel on the Rehoboth boardwalk -- I'm staying there in September for a wedding and from what I've seen and heard, it also goes easy on the cheesy. These may be a bit more expensive than other hotels you might find, but I'm assuming that's OK with you. Also, look around on the Web for B&Bs. There are quite a few in the Rehoboth area that may suit your needs perfectly. -- Jen

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Former Washingtonian subscriber: In line at the grocery store this weekend, I flipped through the new edition of Washingtonian... do locals really think that Elliot in the Morning is the best morning talk show host? And that major chains - Papa John's, Gold's Gym, IHOP, to name a few - are the best in the area? IHOP has the best breakfast in DC? Really?!;

I'm embarrassed... Did any of you see it? Here's hoping that the Post.com poll results are a little more diverse.

The Going Out Gurus: It's up to yous guys. Best Bets 2003 is readers choice. Looking at the top-ten nominees, our readers really know the city. The voting phase went live yesterday morning. Check it. -- Kate

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Washington, DC: Hello, maybe you have some thoughts...
I was really disappointed when I couldn't find ANYTHING on DC's Caribbean Carnival -- which is taking place THIS weekend on Constitution Avenue (used to take place on Georgia Avenue) -- anywhere in the Washington Post. Granted, I was only looking yesterday and only online, but I should have found something. This is a huge event in its tenth year!; People come from all over the country to take part and DC has an enormous West Indian population. There will be concerts, costumes, and food. And, at the very least, people should be warned not to to try to drive downtown!;
Seems to me someone needs to mention it somewhere.

The Going Out Gurus: We heartily agree, DC. Here it is, it's been here all along.

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Rosewater: The lemonade at Leb Tav has rosewater in it. You might spritz a little of that on you, since it's certainly not any good for drinking, unless, of course, you enjoy the taste of your grandma "all the way down."

The Going Out Gurus: How rude. I'm a big fan of that lemonade. -- Alexa

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New to Silver Spring: My spouse and I have just moved to Silver Spring, where do you suggest we go out for drinks without making the trek to Bethesda or DC? Thank you.

The Going Out Gurus: As a former SS resident, enjoy the 'hood. Where I'd send you depends on where you live. Downtown, I'm very partial to the Quarry House Tavern, which is one of the best "neighborhood bars" in the area. You'll become a regular in no time. Also, Dietle's Tavern is a must-do, especially if you like cold beer and pickled eggs. Oh, can't forget the mojitos and drinks at Cubano's.

North of town -- edging towards Wheaton, etc., I love the Royal Mile Pub, which has an astounding amount of single malt Scotches and great bartenders. -- Fritz

P.S. - You now officially have the right to get snotty with people who say "Silver Springs."

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Alexandria, VA: Sorry but must submit early. My parents are coming in from out of town of the 4th of July weekend. Since they have been here many times before, I am trying to think of something that is a bit more unusual maybe a day trip. One thought is Fredericksburg. Anything not to miss there? Thanks as always.

The Going Out Gurus: Alexandria, Civil War tours are an option (check out one example right here, but give this Fredericksburg primer a try. Any readers out there with Fredericksburg tips? -- Maura

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Springfield, Va.: Going to NY this weekend. Where could we buy broadway tix on the cheap? Restaurant suggestions?

The Going Out Gurus: For cheap Broadway tickets, try the TKTS booths - here's the Web site, which should provide all the info. There are two booths, the one in Times Square and another in lower Manhattan. As far as restaurant suggestions, I've eaten out in New York many times, yet cannot remember the name of a single place I've been. My memory's impressive, isn't it? Therefore, I'm throwing that part of the question out to the group: kids, ideas? -- Jen

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Washington, D.C.: Have any of you guys been to the Old Dominion Beer Festival in recent years? I am intrigued...What's the crowd like? Is it worth the drive out to Ashburn? Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: Yes, it's worth the drive, if (a) you like beer and (b) you have a designated driver, because 60-some beers x 6-ounce tastings = bad news. It's a wide-ranging crowd, thanks to the kid's area, with rides and games, and all the live music -- I'm sure the Last Train Home groupies will be out in force. Of course, you get your caricature beer geeks, but you also get people who just like trying new beers. -- Fritz

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Silver Spring, Md.: Went to the Clint Eastwood Hang Em High movie in Georgetown last night & highly recommend it! Bring a blanket or chair & and pack a picnic. Very romantic date & FREE

The Going Out Gurus: Glad you enjoyed it. The freeness makes it that much better, doesn't it?

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Rockville, MD: Hi!; Thanks for taking my question. I was wondering if anybody could help me find out about dragon boat racing in the DC area. I was in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago during the Alcan Dragon Boat Race and people were telling me that DC has some teams. I even came home to find out that a friend of mine tried it a while ago (she was too tall). I've tried searching the web but not luck.

The Going Out Gurus: There were big dragon boat races on the Potomac around Memorial Day for the past two years. Any paddlers out there want to share their favorite place for classes? The University of Maryland University College participated in last year's races -- perhaps they will be a good lead for you.

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Beautiful people: Where do you work? If you work for a Federal agency, you can forget about it. Feds are notoriously frumpy, dumpy, and non-stylish. Try the Hill or law firms. Private sector is always best.

The Going Out Gurus: Ouch. Any of you beautiful feds want to defend yourselves?

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Formerly Ocala, FL: I will never be able to stop putting the "s" on the end of Silver Spring.

The Going Out Gurus: You and me both.

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Eating out in NY: Look up a copy of The Unofficial Guide to NY. I've never had a bad meal based on one of their recommendations, which come in all price ranges.

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks. You listening, New York-bound reader?

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Beautiful Fed Here: I'm government, I'm beautiful, and I'm offended at the assumption!;

The Going Out Gurus: Beautiful feds unite!

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New York, NY: I'll be in DC Friday night, where can I go by myself without feeling like a lonely loser? I hate the thought of sitting in my hotel room with nothing to do, but don't know anyone in town and won't have a travel companion this time. Any suggestions for dinner, bars, etc. where other people in my circumstances may hang out? Thanks.

The Going Out Gurus: If you're staying downtown, cab it to Cafe St. Ex or the nearby Black Cat. Also good, some of the busier hotel lounges: Helix or Rouge. Read the profiles and decide which one (or two) fits your vibe. -- Kate

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Another speed dater...: I think I'm going to the same event as the poster above, it's at the Hard Rock in DC. You're all used to on-the-spot answers, can you recommend some good conversation starting questions for me?

The Going Out Gurus: Yes we can. How about:

"Where'd you get that tattoo?" or "Would you like to spend the rest of your life with me?" or "Can I borrow 40 bucks?" or "So, who did your botox treatment?" Those will be sure to start things off well.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi, Gurus!;!; My dad is here from Arizona 'till Monday morn. He's been in DC a ton, so there's not a lot he hasn't done/seen. I've lined up tickets to the Spy Museum and an Orioles game, but what else?!; We've got all of tomorrow in the city to goof off. What's something new and exciting for a weekday? Also, do you have a list of walking tours? Thanks!;

The Going Out Gurus: Hi, Washington. As for walks, Washington Walks runs a capital hauntings tour on Fridays, I believe. Cultural Tourism DC also sponsors walks, but mainly on the weekends. I'll stress again that this year's Folklife Festival is a must-see. If you're at the Spy Museum, it's an easy stroll down to the Mall. Our summer guide is chock full of more ideas. Check it out. Have fun. -- Maura

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Potter Painter in Training: I'm looking to redeem a b-day gift at an area "paint-your-own-pottery" place on the next rainy day. Where could I go in the Arlington/Alexandria area that you recommend? Thanks!;

The Going Out Gurus: Made by You is in Arlington; Paint Your Own Pottery is in Fairfax. Both should set you up just fine.

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For Ny goer:: I just came from NY this past weekend having finally caught The Lion King (absolutely fabulous, btw). We found this really tasty, and extremely friendly, Italian place off of 57th and 7th (at the corner there is this bagel place). Can't remember the full name but it started w/ Trattoria something. The cheese stuffed roasted chicken and spinach and ricotta filled pasta are delicious. And don't forget to try the lemon-pie dessert. Umm, ummm good. It's about a 3 minute ride by cab from the theatre district. On a nice day you could walk it in about 10.

The Going Out Gurus: Umm, perhaps not even the best New York City cabbie can find it. Have you tried CitySearch NYC?

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Capitol Hill: So, I'm an intern and have been in your fair city for about a month now; tell me if this is pretty much how it goes for Friday and Saturday nights:

Adams Morgan for the teenage/college set,

Golden triangle for the international set,

Georgetown for the preppy/white-bre(a)d set,

and Dream/VIP for shot-callers, wannabe ballers, Hip-Hoppers.

Is this close? Your comments and that of the group will help me navigate DC nightlife for the next two months; many thanks.

The Going Out Gurus: Okay, Capitol Hill. You've figured out the city. You can go home now.


Seriously, I'll go easy on you because you're new to the city. I disagree with you, and use your own neighborhood as an example: the people at Bullfeather's, Remington's, the Irish Times and Lounge 201 are not part of any one "set" -- except one defined by geography. In Adams Morgan, you have people dropping $15 for a cocktail at the Blue Room and Spanish-speakers dancing salsa at Habana Village as well as folks hitting $1 shooters at Mille and Al's. (And virtually no one in Adams Morgan these days is a teenager, at least officially.) In the Golden Triangle, people at Red dancing to excellent house music until 5 a.m. are not the same as the beautiful people lounging on "beds" in Spank or the mad post-collegiate hook-up action around the corner at Sign of the Whale. I'd like to hope that D.C.'s nightlife neighborhoods are diversifying -- the Firehook punk rock shows were bringing anything but preps to Georgetown -- so that we can dispense with broad-brush stereotypes like these.

There are hundreds of bars in D.C. Spend your last two months here exploring them. Pick a new neighborhood every weekend and try to visit at least two spots a night. That's how you'll figure out who goes where. -- Fritz

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NYC Good eats: Lupa is a terrific and cheap Italian place on Thompson St. in the West Village. I also like Home, Cornelia's. The East and West Village, as well as the Lower East Side having great cafes. Just stay away from the main (tourist-y) streets like B'way.

For amazing Indian, take the 7 train out to Jackson Heights.

The Going Out Gurus: I agree. I've eaten very well at Lupa (for dinner)and at Home (for brunch). The former certainly requires a reservation. -- Kate

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A certain federal agency: What's wrong with sandles and socks?

The Going Out Gurus: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

No, really. At least ESL is still safe.

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Arlington, VA: Hi Gurus -- do you know of any cool places to hang out in ocean city, MD on a Saturday night? We're ages 23-25. thanks!;

The Going Out Gurus: Hi, Arlington. There are tons of bars in Ocean City; as to which ones are cool, that really depends on your definition of cool. The best places are mostly on the bay side. I've enjoyed hanging out at Fish Tales and Mellow Beach. And of course, there's always Seacrets, which can get pretty cheesy. (Then again, you may be desperately seeking cheesy.) If you're looking to dance, there's also Fager's Island. I recommend taking the handy Ocean City bus, which conveniently takes passengers up and down Coastal Highway. Makes for easy (and safe) bar-hopping. -- Jen

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Arlington, Va: GOGs,

Has anyone (GOGs or chatters) seen "Donna Q"
at the Signature Theater on Four Mile Run in
Shirlington? I drive past that theater a lot and
there seem to be lots of happy-looking people
coming in and out, so I'm intrigued. Looking to go
there on Saturday night, but haven't heard much
about this play....can anyone help me out?

The Going Out Gurus: I (Jen) haven't seen "Donna Q" but I have been to Signature and they generally do good work. Anyone out there who's seen "Q" and can speak about it more specifically?

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Virginia: So what do you guys know about this Korean American Peace Festival at RFK Stadium on Saturday? The Going Out Gurus: The Korean American Centennial Peace Festival starts at RFK at 1 p.m. with speakers, food vendors and dance performances, and the concert of Korean music kicks off at 7 p.m. Are you gonna be there?

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Good wineries: I highly recommend Rappahannock as a great winery to visit- family-owned and run, and the wines are superb and reasonably priced!; Plenty of room to spread out for a picnic as well.

Linden's balcony/lawn is nice (though the pourers can be rude), and Naked Mountain is cool (watch out for the blind curve going in though!;). Their place is like a ski chalet, and the last time I was there a black lab was hanging out with us. There are better places than Oasis out there!;

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks for the info.

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Takoma Park, Washington, D.C.: I think I'm going to be brave and venture out to - gasp - Virginia this weekend (usual nightlife has been solidly within the District) in a kind of "reverse osmosis." Problem: I don't know where to start. To give you a "feel" for what I'd go for, my usual DC haunts are ESL, Ozio, Blue Room, and Chi-Cha. What might be some Fairfax County equivalents to these?

The Going Out Gurus: Bravo, Takoma! Now, um, there really isn't an upscale lounge scene in Fairfax. Really. Why not try something you can't do in D.C., like the Bop N Bowl Saturday at the Falls Church Duckpin Bowling Lanes, with live rockabilly and roots rock bands, Schlitz in a can and all the duckpins you can handle? Or hit JV's, one of the coolest dive bars in the area. Or croon Sinatra tunes at Pistone's Italian Inn. More suggestions, readers? -- Fritz

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Free food searcher...: You Clarendon: Go to Harry's on E St. downtown. Great after work touristy bar with free/endless bowls of super-salty popcorn during happy hour.

The Going Out Gurus: Yes. Gotta love Harry's.

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Re: Rehoboth Hotel: We've stayed at Avenue Inn & Span in Rehoboth (2 blocks from the beach) several times and have always liked it a lot. The second floor rooftop hot tub will be great in September!;

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks -- I was trying to remember the name of that one. Might be another good option for the non-cheesy hotel-seekers.

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Rose water: Mediterranean Bakery on S. Pickett in Alexandria has tons. Along with tons of other supremely cool stuff, edible and otherwise.

The Going Out Gurus: Yeah, we love it there.

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Old Town, Alexandria, Va.: Hello GOGs! I checked your Fourth of July link to area events and could not find any scheduled fireworks in Old Town on the weekend of the Fourth? Is that really the case this year? As I recall last year there were a few nights of fireworks in Old Town around the Fourth........Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: Alexandria usually shows the 'works a little after the 4th, because the city likes to celebrate its own birthday, too. This year, for some reason, they're over a week after Independence Day. You'll have to wait til July 12 for the Alexandria Birthday Celebration. -- Anne

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Adams Morgan, Washington DC: Hey gurus, I'm looking for a place to go this Friday or Saturday evening where we can be dressed up and dance tango and salsa all night long. Suggestions?

The Going Out Gurus: Sin Miedo is now performing every Friday night at Saveur in Georgetown after 11 p.m. Great band, nice space. -- Fritz

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Washington, D.C.: Anyone been to the City Museum? I see signs but don't know what their deal is. So, um, what's their deal?

The Going Out Gurus: Washington, yes, I've been and I truly enjoyed myself. The DC Historical Society took over the old Carnegie Library on Mount Vernon Square and opened the City Museum this May. It's all about Washington "beyond the monuments, as they say. The museum touts their multimedia show as the big ticket, but I much preferred the exhibitions -- the one on DC sports history in particular. More exhibitions and a cafe will open over the summer, but by all means go now. There's plenty to keep you occupied and the building is spectacular.

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Washington, D.C.: Were any of the gurus brave enough/old enough to venture out to Merriweather for the Neil Young show last night? The first hour and 1/2 was a frightful (as in frightfully sad/funny) staging of his newest album/rockumentary -- best described as a modern interactive performance of the Emperor's New Clothes. It sucked yet much of the crowd cheered madly (fearing that if they booed Neil wouldn't stick around to play the songs they came to hear). I know he's crazy, but wow -- the pink suited rockabilly tour in the mid 80s was a virtuoso compared to this.

The Going Out Gurus: Wow, sounds bizarre. I had every intention of going to that show but ended up at the Dixie Chicks instead. Neil is always off on some unexpected path, but your description makes it sound like he should have gone elsewhere. - Joe

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Landover: Do you like my haircut? Does it make you feel all suishy inside?

The Going Out Gurus: What?

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Arlington, VA: Hi GoGs!;
DC Parking question here: I have my grandparents in this weekend and want to do museums minus the Metro. Where is there to park near the American History museum?

The Going Out Gurus: Hi, Arlington. I wish I had an easy answer. Arriving early is your best bet. Keep in mind American History opens at 10am on Sundays, but also know the Folklife Festival is in town and it might be even more hectic than usual. There are also paid lots open on weekends on the other side of Pennsylvania. Good luck. -- Maura

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Fredericksburg!;!;: FredVegas is a wonderful little place!; If you go, you must walk through downtown Fredericksburg- Caroline street is awsome and quaint with tons of shopping.

Also, definitely try Lee's homemade ice cream over Carl's. Trust me.

For an amazing meal, head to Jake and Mike's on William Street. These two brothers do spectacular things with food.

The Going Out Gurus: Good to hear, Fredericksburg.

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capitol hill: how come in the weekend item about firehook, no one mentioned that the place was going out of business? it closed last sunday for good, but there had been talk of it closing for the past 6 months. way to go!;!;!;

The Going Out Gurus: Well, Capitol Hill, before I wrote about the Firehook concerts, the owner(s) and manager assured the event organizers, the bands and -- eventually -- me that Firehook was not going to close until August or September. I have that in my notes, and the manager of Firehook had concerts booked through the end of July. I haven't gotten an answer about why Firehook shut its doors so suddenly, but I'm trying, and the promoters are trying to find a similar all-ages venue ASAP. If you know of one, let us know. -- Fritz

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Fairfax suggestions for Takoma Park: I don't think someone who normally goes to Ozio is going to like Schlitz in a can or Bop-n-Bowl.
My recommendations, while not specifically limited to FAIRFAX County, would be: Guarapo (in Arlington), Cities (in Tysons), Iota (Arlington), Clarendon Ballroom (Arlington), or The Tavern at Great Falls (where else? G. Falls).

The Going Out Gurus: Good advice, I guess, but I'm all for getting out of your hood and out of your element. -- Fritz

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Third of July, D.C.: Is it worth it to see the rehearsal on the third of July, on the lawn of the Capitol, to avoid the crowds on the 4th? If so, when should I arrive?

The Going Out Gurus: I'll see you there. I would highly recommend the rehearsal for the Capitol Fourth Concert, but remember that the security restrictions will be just as tough -- this year, they're only letting a certain number of people in. Once the area is full, no one else can get in, even if your buddies are inside. In other words, saving seats doesn't play. It all depends on the weather, really. If it's nice, you'll need to arrive early (gates open at 2:30) and it could be a long wait for the concert to start, so bring lots of water and yummies. The benefit is that there's fewer people so you can see better. Check the link above for full details on security. -- Anne

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Reston, VA: Not sure if this is an appropriate question or if anyone of your Gurus know anything about this, but I heard on the radio that Puppetry of the Penis is coming to town. Heard about these folks while I was in London a while back and also on TV. Anyone know anything about the show and if it's worth going to see? Tickets are pricy so want to make sure it's worth it.

Thanks

The Going Out Gurus: Don't be fooled by the small cast, this is a big show. Fritz and I attended, nay oggled, a preview (oddly, t'was staged in a suite at the Willard) on Tuesday. We giggled like school girls.

Tickets for Puppetry of the Penis -- insert joke here -- are pricy-ish ($38-$42) but this is no indie show: POP (born of beer and dare in Australia was the hit of the Edinbourgh Festival some four-five years ago) has companies (a la Blue Man group) in five cities worldwide. If you're intrigued, perhaps you can still worm your way into a preview performance ($29). I hear tickets are going fast. I'll bet my pants they extend their run at the Spectrum. -- Kate

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Government Tool: Hey, did anyone catch Nicola Conte at St. Ex? I couldn't make it but was wondering how it went.....

The Going Out Gurus: Yep. Had a great time and loved hearing Conte spin, even though there was a long line to get downstairs -- they were at capacity, which is a rarity for Saint-Ex. Cool mix in the crowd -- the regular neighborhood folks as well as Eighteenth Street Lounge Lizards. I expect you'll be seeing more of these kinds of events at Gate 54. -- Fritz

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The City Without Dogs: Where oh where is there a good (or even a bad) corndog in this city? I tried Ben's, I've tried Loeb's. Even the esteemed Entertainment Guide Search Engine.

Where can I find a corn diggidy?

The Going Out Gurus: Hotel Helix's snazzy lounge does a great modern take on the corndog-on-a-stick. -- Fritz

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Desperate: Hello,

Now that the weather has finally turned to summer all I can think about is lounging by the pool. But I live in a rowhouse in Mt Pleasant. No pool. No access to pool. No suburban friends whose apartment complexes include pools. What's a sun- seeking gal to do? I looked into the Washington hilton, joining the gym there, but they know they have a good thing going and the initiation fee is $300! I know there's a public pool in Georgetown - what's that like? Too many screaming kids or can a lounger be comfortable there? Any other private pools in NW? Or, any private pools in NW that allow you to join besides the Hilton? Thanks for helping me out!

The Going Out Gurus: Georgetown's pool is fine, West End public pool is even better. Nicer changing facilities, newer lockers, fewer childrens.

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K Street, Washington, D.C.: Hopefully the second time is a charm, Guru's where is Rhome? I want him to DJ my highscool reunion. If he's not around can you point me to a good person/company, and I am not looking for Davis DJ's! Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: Send me (kate.gibbs@washingtonpost.com) your e-mail address and I'll get you in touch with Rhome. He's an awesome DJ.

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Washington DC: I love your chats and read them religiously so really hope you would answer this question. A friend and I will be attending 8 minute dating event this coming Monday at the Hard Rock Cafe for 21-29 Young Professional Singles. What do we wear to something like that? (by the way, we are females in our early 20ies). Thank you so much.

The Going Out Gurus: From a male perspective: Something that would make the guys want to talk to you for more than eight minutes. Don't look like you just got out of your 9-to-5 office job, but don't look like you're gonna go dance at Dream as soon as the event is over.

Um, how's that? Damn, I wish Rhomey was here. -- Fritz

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Washington, DC: So...what do you guys think of a happy hour place in Adams Morgan tonight? People have been talking about Tom Tom recently, What's the word on that. Thanks Guys.

The Going Out Gurus: I don't mind Tom Tom, to be honest. Tonight's the 4 beers and 4 shots for $10 deal or something, right? Actually, the happy hour at Soussi (half-price beer and wine until 7) has had my attention recently. -- Fritz

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re: bachelorette party: Does Fritz take plastic?

The Going Out Gurus: No plastic or personal checks -- C.O.D. or money orders only.

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Rockville, MD: My friend and I wanted to check out the Art Night out at the Hirshorn tonight...do you know anything about this and how it is or is not related to the Folklife Festival going on? Thanks!;

The Going Out Gurus: Art Night is wholly separate from Folklife, except they're both under the auspices of the Smithsonian. Every Thursday evening -- tonight through Aug. 28 -- the Hirshhorn, African Art Museum and Freer and Sackler galleries stay open late with all types of activities. Tonight there's jazz by Ericka Ovette and the Larry Eanet Quartet on the Hirshhorn plaza, a tour of the sculpture garden and a screening of Japon. -- Maura

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K Street, Washington DC: Help! I need a place to hold a reception for 150 people THIS SATURDAY NIGHT!. Plus, it's a foreign delegation so they want to have their own caterers for traditional food. Any ideas?!!? Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: I'd call a large hote like the Grand Hyatt. The Hilton on Connecticut Ave. can set up a private barbecue too. You're going to need professionals with a large, flexible space and kitchen. Good luck -- Kate

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Rockville, MD: Hey Gurus,

I'm currently looking for a rare foreign beer, specifically Gambranis Beer from the Czech Republic. Do you know of any shops anywhere in the area, MD, DC, or VA, that may specialize in imported beers?

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!;

The Going Out Gurus: Wow. That's a tough one. I don't recall seeing it around here. Try Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits in Northwest. They're my go-to shop when I can't find a certain beer. -- Fritz

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The Going Out Gurus: That's in from us, girls and boys. See you next week.

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