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Got Plans?

With the Entertainment Guide Staff
Thursday, July 17, 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.


The Going Out Gurus: Are you looking out the window, people? Days like this are what summer is all about. Thank goodness for the long days, because there's so much to do. I'm Anne, here with Alexa, Fritz, Janet, Jen, Joe and Kate, and we're all ready to hear your plans. Tonight, join the party for Keter Betts 75th birthday. There'll be live jazz and cake on the Hirshhorn's plaza. Because it's looking like a beautiful evening, it's also the perfect night for the free show at Fort Reno. The first local county fair begins this weekend in Fauquier County with a stupendous collection of tricks by farm people -- chainsaw carving, tractor driving, greatest Grandma and Grandpa -- and their animals: frisbee dogs, cow (pie) bingo. This is a place that appreciates mimes and pet goats. We'll see you at the "Hogway Speedway." And they're off!


Somewhere, USA: How do those Saturday shows on Penn. Ave. work? It says they run until 10:00, is it safe to assume that the "headliner" plays at the end, so like 9-10, or so?

Many thanks.

The Going Out Gurus: Hello somewhere, yes, you're correct. Headliner usually goes on around 9. But be there by 8:30 to be on the safe side and to give yourself some time to wiggle up closer to the stage. - Joe


Fairfax, Va.: Hi Gurus! I have a first date tonight and no plans yet. Any ideas for fun things to do either in Virginia or downtown? We'll probably have dinner (American or Italian, something easy and not too expensive), and then want something to do after that. What do ya think?

The Going Out Gurus: How does Georgetown sound? Pizzeria Paradiso for something easy and Italian, not expensive and not too romantic for the first date. You could wander by the canal afterwards. Or somewhere like Chef Geoff's, close to the White House and the rooftop bar at the Hotel Washington? -- Alexa


Shameless in Washington, D.C.: I'd like to throw out word for an event on Monday, July 21 at Politiki from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Yes, a little shameless, but it's for a great cause!

Best Buddies, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendship and integrated employment, is holding an inaugural happy hour for what will become a regular event -- a sister event in Miami has really taken off.

Happy hour features free appetizers; $15 at the door, and $10 in advance at https://www.bestbuddies.org/secure/ebuddies/dcbusbuds.asp . Please come out!

The Going Out Gurus: That's plug #1 for today. Let's also remind everyone that tomorrow night is the 161st and last Cocktail Charities event. The party's Friday at Anzu but you must buy tickets today.


A plug for a good cause: Hey Gurus, wanted to let you (and the other readers) know that the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is having its annual Limo Scavenger Hunt around D.C. next Thursday. The night is a blast -- teams of 10 people ride around in a limo (stocked with beer, some wine and Subway) to find answers to trivia questions and hit bar stops. The hunt starts and ends at Dream, and there will be great prizes (including tickets on America West) and raffle giveaways. It's $1,010 per team, but we're encouraging fundraising to defray the individual cost and raise money for a good cause...people interested should call the Society at 703.960.1100. Thanks for the plug!;

The Going Out Gurus: And number 2.


Washington, D.C.: What do you know about the Quiet Party coming to Rumors this Saturday? Any ideas about the age range that frequents these types of events?

The Going Out Gurus: The Quiet Party is at Recessions, not Rumors -- I wouldn't want you showing up there on Saturday expecting peace and quiet. This is the first one in D.C., so I'm really not sure what to expect, although I'm curious. The ones in New York have caught on and attract a range of ages, while most of what I've seen for D.C. is targeted at young professionals. You going? -- Fritz


Penn Quarter: Hi gurus. Went to the Screen on the Green last Monday and really enjoyed the Merry Melodies cartoon they showed beforehand. Do you know of any local movie theaters that have cartoon film fests? (Old school type, not anime or something). Could be fun, in that zany, regression kind of way. Many thanks.

The Going Out Gurus: I (Jen) don't know offhand of a theater that regularly shows cartoons, particularly not the Merrie Melodies variety. I do know that the Avalon recently showed one of Spike and Mike's animation festivals, and Visions will, from time to time, screen an animated flick or two. I suggest keeping your eyes on venues like that, and perhaps even AFI (which has an anime fest coming up, although I realize that's not quite what you're after). If others know how to help our cartoon-seeking friend, please chime in. That's all, folks.


Alexandria, Va.: Hi Gurus!

My question is a little off-beat and was hoping that if you smarties didn't have the answer then some of your helpful readers might. I have very thick curly/wavy hair that is in dire need of a good cut. So far I haven't been able to find anyone in the area that cuts hair DRY, which gives me the best cuts. Know of a curl-friendly salon or stylist that cuts hair without washing/wetting it first? Thanks for any help you can provide! Have a great day gurus!

The Going Out Gurus: Hi, Curly in Alexandria,

I don't know of any salons/hair cutters per se who are known for cutting curly hair dry. You could just ask the person cutting your hair not to wet it. Anyone out there know of a salon where they cut curly hair without wetting it?


BikeridingBabe:: Help...tomorrow I have plans to go bike riding down Rock Creek and hook up with the C&O Canal. Where is a good place in Georgetown to lunch where two sweaty, smelly bike riders would be welcome?

The Going Out Gurus: You'll think I'm crazy, but I recommend Dean & Deluca. It's right off the canal, and easy to sneak in the bathrooms in the back. If you stick to the tables toward the canal, you should be fine. I watched a whole pack of cyclists do this exact thing last Sunday. I've also crashed after a long workout at the Canal at the ol' reliable Booeymongers. But any inexpensive, counter-service place should be fine. -- Anne


UMD...: OH GREAT GURUS... Can you help me... I am trying to find a place where WOMEN can practice boxing, kickboxing, self defense something along that line!; I want something other Bally's, Golds Gym,etc..!; and has to be located in the MD/DC area...THANKS!; DID I MENTION YOU GUYS ARE GRRRRREEEAAATTT !;

The Going Out Gurus: Hi-yaaah! I have to recommend ThirdPower Fitness (202/483-8400) on 18th Street and spoke with Tekuma, the kickboxing instructor. He leads an open class -- for women and men and it's $15 a session. If you want one on one, it'll cost you, of course. He's a professional and his services are a cool $80 an hour. If you're serious about boxing and kickboxing you should drop in to one of his classes and ask him about ThirdPower's boxing camp -- take that! and that! and that! and you'll qualify for kickboxing camp. This place takes boxing seriously, they even have a roped ring in the center of the gym's first floor.

Anyone else have a kickbutt recommendation? -- Kate


Arlington.: Do you think you could put GOG in a "looks like you're doing work"-friendly format? I'm sick of my supervisor staring over my shoulder and frowning on Thursday. Nothing fancy, just put up a chart of some kind every once in a while.

The Going Out Gurus: Yes, I've long dreamed of a "boss chart" something Excel-y. Doesn't the new, clean starched background help any?
-- Kate


Penniless Perhaps: We're going to Atlantic City the first weekend in August. Assuming the worst, are there any cheap but cheerful places to dine?

The Going Out Gurus: Assuming the worst? How can you say that about AC. There are great cheap places to eat. Try White House sub shop on Arctic Ave. Excellent rolls and cheese steaks. Or Tony's Baltimore Grill on Atlantic Ave. Get the sausage pizza. You can't go wrong with either of those places. - Joe


Stuck at Work in DC: What would you suggest for a romantic, not a month's salary expensive restaurant preferably in DC? Thanks!;

The Going Out Gurus: Here's our top list of places we consider to have romantic moods. But why don't we ask the group for ideas. Folks? Your fave cheap little snug of a place? You know the thing: candles on the go, soft tunes, saucy pastas... -- Alexa


Beltsville: Thanks for last Weekend's article about non-ocean beaches.

Let me just add one additional suggestion: Lake Marbourg in Codorus State Park near Hanover, PA is only 1:15 from the I-95/495 interchange and is probably the closest place to rent a motorboat on a lake. Even though it's in PA, I'd call it Marylander's equivalent of Lake Anna.

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks for jumping in the swim. Here's that beaches-without-bridges story for those who missed it.


U Street: Where can one hear good Brazilian music in Washington? Be it samba, bossa nova, MPB, jazz...


The Going Out Gurus: Well, there are a couple of good places near you, U Street. We're fans of Pam Bricker, who performs weekly at U-Topia, as well as the bossa nova rhythms of Patrick de Santos, who performs at Chi-Cha Lounge. Paper Moon in Georgetown has occasional Brazilian nights, and there's a monthly Brazilian night at Dream nightclub -- the next one is August 9, and is advertised as a Brazilian dance festival. (If you ask me, they're more like Carnival than a serious music event.)

More suggestions? -- Fritz


Arlington, Va: What are the Fort Dupont concerts like? Crowded? Do I need to bring blanket or chairs?

The Going Out Gurus: Here's a link to the Fort Dupont Concerts. As you can see, the concerts are heavy on jazz and soul. Bring a chair, bring a picnic. - Joe


Adams Morgan: I'm having an engagement party in 2 weeks and need to find a cheap flower store in the area that can do pretty and unique arrangements. Any ideas?

The Going Out Gurus: Have you tried Sandy's Flower Shop on 18th Street. I think she does a good job. Don't know about the price.


Curly Hair: Fiddleheads is a salon in the Dupont area that specializes in cutting curly hair. I'm not sure if they cut it dry but they always do a fabulous job. Also check out www.naturallycurly.com for salon recommendations from people.

The Going Out Gurus: For the Ms. Curly Hair seeking a curly-hair friendly salon, here you go.


Re. Somewhere's comment: can you expand on the Saturday shows on Penn? thanks!;

The Going Out Gurus: Well, what do you need to know. The music goes from 4 - 10 p.m. There are usually about four or five bands. It's crowded. It cost $3 (donated to charity). Anything else??? - Joe


Bethesda, Md.: Going to try out the Royal Mile Pub tonight for the Scotch. Any particular ones you recommend? Also, how's the food -- any especially tasty or not-tasty dishes? Thanks!

The Going Out Gurus: Hey, Bethesda. I love the weekly Scotch tastings at the Royal Mile. They have a menu of flights, grouped by geography or taste (if, say, you want some peatiness). You'll do fine if you leave yourself in the hands of the experts (and regulars at the bar). The food is general Scotch-English pub food, and I think they do a good fish and chips. -- Fritz


Washington DC: Do you know anything about Bar Noir, the new lounge on Florida in Dupont? I've seen posters around and it looks interesting.

The Going Out Gurus: We'll know everything about it tonight, it opens at 7 p.m. The fine folks at Visions have redone the decor -- vamped up the cocktails menu (order a Hitchcock if you dare), painted over the "regulars" mural. They'll show film noir silently.

Tonight the party menu features $5 martinis and $1 PBR (way noir!), a DJ, cigarette girls and giveaways. As with (almost) everything at Visions, it's well worth looking into, but as it'll no doubt be crowded, that's all you might get to see. It'll be there for months to come. -- Kate


Silver Spring, MD: Hey, I recently found a good website that lists punk/indie/all ages shows across DC, Maryland and Virginia.

It's www.pheer.com.

They post a lot of shows at smaller clubs/houses that don't get listed elsewhere.

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks Silver Spring. Consider it plugged. - Joe


B-Day with a Friend: I'm taking a friend of mine out for her birthday and she would like a slice of good cake. Singing waiters are out. I'm willing to spend enough money so that the whole meal is good. Anything in the metro DC area is fine.

The Going Out Gurus: The place for you, kind friend, is the Majestic in Old Town. It's a fine restaurant with a Southern flavor where they feature a cake of the day that sits proud under glass at the host stand. It's always a beauty. That, I think, is the best idea. -- Alexa


Arlington, VA: Ok, not trying to be rude, but what is an intellectual disability? (my bro. is physically & developmentally....it's a new term to me)....

The Going Out Gurus: I was puzzled too, Arlington, but it's apparently the latest term for the condition known as mental retardation.


West End, Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus. Next week is my fiancee's birthday. I have dinner and entertainment planned but I wanted to rent a luxury convertible for the night as a surprise. All the major dealerships seem to have are Mustangs. Anyone know where in the D.C. area I could rent a BMW or Mercedes?

The Going Out Gurus: We know what used to be a good place to rent luxury cars in DC, Exotic Car Express, isn't operating in DC anymore. Most of the others do only limos. Do any readers have other suggestions?


DC: Which of the BBQ chicken places along 404 are a must-stop-and-eat-at?

The Going Out Gurus: I can't answer this. I've no idea. But let's ask the group...? -- Alexa


Alexandria, VA: Hey GOGs - my friends and I are trying to encourage another good friend (who's hilarious) to try stand up comedy. The DC Improv only lets amateurs try after they go through some ridiculous application process apparently. Do you guys know of any bars/clubs/cafes where he can try out some material in a decent (preferably low-stress) atmosphere? Thanks!;

The Going Out Gurus: I thought the Improv had occasional open mike nights. The Web site says all you have to do is send in a video or audio tape of yourself for consideration for that. Maybe there's more to it, but it's worth exploring in any case. There's also a comedy club in Laurel called Jokes On Us. You could contact them to see if they host open mikes or amateur nights. Anyone have other ideas? -- Jen


Washington, DC - wings: I have a wings jones on me, GOGs. My eyes have gone bright orange with hot sauce like that guy in Blade who got awesome at the end. I need wings. Who's got the best wings? Don't send me to Yums. I don't want to eat standing on a street corner.

The Going Out Gurus: OK, this is one for everyone to weigh in on. Where are the best wings in town. I opt for the ones at the Park Bench Pub in Cleveland Park, but I'm sure there are better out there. Anyone??


RE: Romantic Restaurants: I suggest Al Tiramisu (it's on that list that was posted). A very nice little italian place on the bottom level of a Dupont Circle shop. The service and food were both excellent when I went... they even refolded my napkin when I went to the bathroom.

The Going Out Gurus: I don't know what I feel about that napkin thing, but I'm with you on the overall mood. -- Alexa


Baltimore, MD: Thinking of going to the Ft Reno show tonight. Do I have to worry about parking? On street I assume? Also can I bring food/water? Anything else to worry about?

The Going Out Gurus: Hello Baltimore,

Parking isn't a problem and, yes, it's on street. You can bring food and water, but no alcohol. Nothing to worry about. It's a great place to see young local bands. I went and saw the excellent Carlsonics the other night and tonight's show (Canyon, Garland of Hours) should be great as well. - Joe


Re: Stuck at Work : I always found Tutto Bene in Ballston to be romantic.

The Going Out Gurus: More help for love birds...


For the curlyhead needing a cut: I have heard that there is a person at molecule who specializes in curly hair. Also, this elie guy at elie elie at Tysons uses the ouidad method for cutting curls. More info at elieelie.com... don't know about dry cutting. Also garrett johnson at fiddleheads at dupont circle is recommended on naturallycurly.com. Got this info from another dc publication, so I can't take credit but...

The Going Out Gurus: More curlyhead advice --


Cafe Toulouse Update?: Any info? It was me and my ex-girlfriend's favorite spot. Since we're trying to get back together, she suggested we go there? Is it back open YET? If not, what's some other jazzy places around DC for us to go to?

The Going Out Gurus: It wasn't open, um, two days ago, so I think you're out of luck. (Remember how long it was vacant last time?) If you're looking for cool jazz spots without cover, you can try U-Topia on U Street, Ellington's on Eighth, or, my favorite, Mr. Henry's on Friday night. The upstairs room is cozy and has the advantage of being smoke-free. You can also try the Absolut Jams jazz talent search at Zanzibar -- the surroundings might make a good impression. -- Fritz


curly hair: I haven't had my hair cut here yet, it's a bit on the expensive side, but Elie in Tyson's Corner is the only salon in the area that is certified in the Ouidad approach. It's supposed to do amazing things for curly haired folks.

The Going Out Gurus: Mmm. The Ouidad approach for curly hair. Anyone know what that is???


For Curly from Curly: She cuts it wet, but Vicki of VSL on Conn. just north of the circle does a marvelous job on my curly locks every time. I wholeheartedly recommend that you pay her a visit. Think her day off is Mon, although it might be Tues. Good luck!;

The Going Out Gurus: More suggestions for cutting curly hair...


Needsomehelp, VA: Hi guys - I have friends (2 couples) coming into town next weekend. One set is from NYC and one is from TX (college friends). We're going to take it easy on Friday night, but are looking for some advice for Saturday. Thought maybe we'd try the bar at the New Ritz in Georgetown for drinks, but where would you suggest we go to dinner? We are all 30, no kids, and we'll likely hire a car to drive us around. Do you think Neyla might be fun? Anything else?

The Going Out Gurus: Yes. I love that Neyla. I always sing its praises. Go, go, go.


Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: Hi GoGs,

Went to the first Screen on the Green this past Monday and had a wonderful picnic with friends. Our evening was somewhat tinged, however, when the movie started and several women sitting in tall chairs a few feet in front of us refused to sit on the ground (despite repeated polite requests from my group and people around us). Since we could not see the movie at all, we ended up leaving after 10 minutes. This situation would have been more understandable if we had been sitting along the edges of the crowd where there were lots of chairs. But we were right smack dab in the middle of the crowd, towards the front. Before the show, the announcer for the Screen on the Green asked everyone to lower balloons and umbrellas so that views are not blocked. I want to ask the producers to also request that people in chairs (especially tall chairs) to sit towards the edges of the crowd or to sit on the ground after they finish their picnic. Do you know how I can contact the producers? I tried on the Web site, but no luck. Thanks so much.

The Going Out Gurus: This is why organizers of most film fests ask people to only bring low chairs. One would also hope that fellow movie-goers show some courtesy on this front, but obviously that's not always the case. Here's my suggestion: when you go to the next screening, approach the announcer beforehand and ask if he or she can ask people with tall chairs to move toward the back. (Sounds like most people already were doing this, except for that one group.) If you run into the same thing again, e-mail me and I'll try to contact the organizers. I think it's best for someone to address this issue at the event itself. And who knows? Perhaps someone connected with Screen on the Green is reading this right now and will take your suggestion to heart. Sorry you had a bad experience. -- Jen


Alexandria, Va.: Gurus,

My life is over-booked with stuff (work, school, nutjobs, etc.). Sunday though I do see the entire day opening up to me, myself, and meeeee. What would you all do if you had one day to yourself a month, some decent money, and no one to report to? Thanks.

The Going Out Gurus: Choice, Alexandria. Let's see how long we can make you're free day last without over booking. Sleep until 9, can't underestimate the power of sleep, then get yourself to the U.S. Botanic Garden and take in the weird jungley majesty of the Amorphophallis, the world's largest flower, also the stinkiest. Admission is free and it's only blooming through the weekend.

Now it's time to load up on fat European magazines at the News Room in Dupont. Anything with a riche countess on the cover (absolutely no Demi) will do. If the weather's fine, call the Washington International Hotel (at Thomas Circle) on Saturday and book yourself a slot at their fab pool -- same architect as Miami's Fontainbleu. It's 20 bucks. Lunch is served poolside and if you promise to sip it slowly and not swim for 30 minutes (I'll need this in writing) you have to try their signature poolside cocktail (see Amorphophallis, theme emerging), it's cool and cucumbery (again, see theme).

The whole day should set you back no more than $40 but if you have an itchy $14 left over, get your nails done at Q West, they do a nice hand massage too. -- Kate


Rockville, Md.: Can you tell me about the Bethesda (I think) bar, "Parkers?" What is the scene there like? What is the typical age group?

The Going Out Gurus: Parker's is a weird spot, Rockville. Part sports bar, party wannabe happy hour hangout, part restaurant. In my experience, it's a little older than Uncle Jed's or Caddies -- certainly in the 30s -- and is okay for happy hour, but seems to die out earlier in the evening than most Bethesda bars.

Anyone else have experiences at Parker's? -- Fritz


kickboxing women: for the UMD person: the university of maryland's very own department of kinesiology (www.hhp.umd.edu/KNES) offers several for-credit martial arts classes (some self defense classes are women only). You can also take them in the campus rec center for no credit I believe.

go terps!;

The Going Out Gurus: Nice get, kw.


RE: DC Wings: Call me crazy, but I really like the wings at Harry's downtown (at 12th and E, I think, at the Hotel Harrington).

The Going Out Gurus: We've got a load of wing recs flying in...


Cleveland Park, DC: I want to pack (or have packed for me) a fancy picnic that does not need to be reheated for tailgating at the Meadowlands tomorrow. Any ideas?

PS-Are any of you Bruce fans? Are any of you going to Fedex to see him? Are any of you going out of town to see him? Bruuuuuce!;

The Going Out Gurus: Whole Foods has excellent food that's ready to go. Load up there. Or check out Alexa's picnics on the go. As for Bruce, I'm a huge fan, but can't stand FedEx field. So, I'm going up to Philly to see him on the 9th. - Joe


Wings: Old Ebbitt Grill, hands down.

The Going Out Gurus: Wing, oh wing didn't I think of that?


Re: Rent Luxury Car: Try Bargain Buggies in Arlington- they have some BMWs and Mercedes cars, maybe even a Jaguar. I think I saw a BMW convertible in the lot recently...

The Going Out Gurus: Vroom!


Romantic Places.... : Two Quail, Chez Francois, Tabard Inn, Taberna del Alabardero

The Going Out Gurus: Yes, yes, yes and yes.


Cleveland Park, DC: What does the basement at the Park Bench smell like? My friend says it's stale beer and cigarettes, I say it's old kitchen grease.

PS-Is there anything grosser than clear keg cups with an inch and a half of beer in them and 3-5 cigarette butts? EWWWWWWWW

The Going Out Gurus: I think you're both right. But during football season it really doesn't matter.


Fairfax, VA: I'm not sure you all will be able to help me out with this, but here goes. Do any of you all know of any good used CD stores in, preferably, the Northern VA area, but DC and the Maryland suburbs as well? I've had no success in finding one the past year I have been living here, and, being a movie soundtrack lover, used CD stores can be a goldmine for finding rare or excellent music for not too much cash. Thanks!;

The Going Out Gurus: My favorite used CD store has to be CDepot in College Park. Huge selection of used CDs, with many current releases in stock. That should be your first stop. I'm found some import and rock gems at Now! Music and Fashion in Alexandria, but it's really hit or miss.

Oh, and DCCD is cool, but maybe not for soundtracks. -- Fritz


Potowmack Landing?: Gurus, is there any scoop on Potowmack Landing? Used to be a great place in the summer for drinks, but lousy for food. Is the food any better?

The Going Out Gurus: Someone said it is, but I can't think who. -- Alexa


Alexandria VA: Have you guys been to that new bar in Old Town, Vermilion (where King Fish used to be)? Is it cool?

The Going Out Gurus: I've heard from two people about it this week, Alexandria, and I'm heading over there tonight. All I know is that it's run by the owners of the Evening Star Cafe, and that raises my expectations. As Alexa pointed out this morning, though, that building is a real black hole. -- Fritz


Reston: Since you so skillfully answered the kickboxing question, what about krav maga in NOVA or DC? Please?

The Going Out Gurus: Gadzooks! I know nothing about this Israeli technique. But kravmagadc.com points to classes at the DCJCC. -- Kate


Wings: Ditto on your Park Bench recommendation, but I also found some great ones (surprisingly) at Lahore Kabob at 14th and U. It's a carryout/delivery place, but their wings are fantastic, even when delivered. Usually delivery wings are inedible but Lahore's are fantasticly big and with nice spice. They're not buffalo wings, per se, but rather tandoori.

The Going Out Gurus: Lahore Kabob? Interesting. I walk by that place on my way to Yum's. -- Fritz


U Street, DC: In reference to the "open mic" comedy night, I think staccato has something to that effect on sunday nights. I walked by there last weekend, and they had some folks outside talking it up to put together a good crowd. looked inside and didn't look half-bad. about the same draw as the "Sex in the City" fans next door at duplex.

The Going Out Gurus: Ah, cheers.


Elie Elie in Tysons: I get my hair cut there, and I don't think its expensive, compared with the other salons around. I think I pay about $50 right now, and I think they do a great job on my curly hair.

The Going Out Gurus: Another take on Elie's in Tysons Corner for curly hair ...


RE: Amateur Comedy: There is also a club in Tysons called Wiseacres Comedy Club (in the Holiday Inn). I've never been, but I hear they don't attract the A-list talent, so it might also be a good place to start as an amateur. They have an open mic on Wed. - 7:30.

The Going Out Gurus: Yes they do. Thanks. -- Fritz


College Park, Md.: What is going with Tarantino's new file being released in two parts? Has American "civilization" really declined to the point that three hours is an impossible length? "The Godfather" wouldn't pack people in today? I won't be paying twice to see one movie, which is a shame because I would have gone otherwise.

Too much greed, too much laziness.

The Going Out Gurus: Here's the story for those of you who missed it: Quentin Tarantino's upcoming film, "Kill Bill," will be released as a two-parter. The first portion comes in October, part two arrives at an as-yet undetermined time. Apparently, Mr. "Pulp Fiction" feels he can't edit the thing any further and Harvey Weinstein is letting him have his way because Miramax is the house that Quentin built. All I (Jen) know is this movie better be freaking great, otherwise I can't imagine anyone's going to come back for part two. I think he should just be a man and cut the movie. But that's me, and perhaps I'll be proven wrong.


re: parkers: Parkers doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. Its moving further and further away from being a sports bar and closer to just a nice restaurant with tvs. I went to watch a game there a few months ago and was surprised at the changes. We didn't feel comfortable really cheering there. For me, there are better restaurants in bethesda than parkers, and better sports bars (like caddies, willie and reeds, even montgomery's grill bar). And other places have better happy hours. Maybe they should turn parkers into a curly hair salon?

The Going Out Gurus: Yeah, that'll kill a few birds with one stone!


Alexandria, VA: Have parents' friends (late 50s) from London coming to stay with us for 4 days starting next weekend. What are your top 5 things to show the Brits/do in the DC or Alexandria area?

The Going Out Gurus: The Botanic Garden, Dulles Airport at dusk, Restoration Hardware, Five Guys and the Seven Foot House in Old Town. I'm a Brit so I should know. -- Alexa


Washington, DC: Gurus,
I need some shopping help. I'm looking for a place that would sell cribbage boards (you know the old-fashioned card game with the board with pegs for keeping score....)

Ideas? Either in DC or NoVa preferable....thanks!;

The Going Out Gurus: A couple of suggestions for looking, D.C.

Don't know for sure but try these: Takoma Underground

Restoration Hardware

Let us know.


RE: Potowmack Landing: I went a few weeks ago. The food was just OK... all meals were rather basic and lacking any special flair. The view is still the only real reason to go there, in my opinion.

The Going Out Gurus: Oh, so it wasn't you then.


re: Improv: Doesn't the coffee place on the far end of P St. near georgetown have an open mike night occasionally?

The Going Out Gurus: Don't know. Kids?


Re: Open Mike Nights: Soho Tea and Coffee in Dupont has open mike comedy nights every Monday. It's promoted by the Improv.

Also check www.dcstandup.com for other open mike locations.

The Going Out Gurus: Ah, nice suggestion. Thanks.


DC: Where is a record store where I can buy (and hopefully listen) CD's from local bands?

The Going Out Gurus: Try DCCD on 18th Street in Adams Morgan. They have a pretty big selection of local stuff and they'll let you listen to CDs before you buy them. (I think). - Joe


For the first date tonight...: How about Art Night on the Mall, followed by dinner in Penn Quarter, maybe Matchbox or Ella's Woodfired Pizzas?

The Going Out Gurus: Sounds good. Both pie houses are solid choices for a first date. Ella's might be quieter.


Entertaining parents: Hello. My boyfriend's parents are coming into town next weekend for 9 days and we are trying to find some fun but low-key activities for them. They are Portuguese and his mother doesn't speak a lot of English. Do you have any Spanish or Port or Italian restaurants you recommend? We're looking for a place that is lively but not loud, and maybe some sort of dancing and entertainment. Also, do you know of any low-key outdoor music or art festivals in the area?

The Going Out Gurus: That's easy. Tavira for Portuguese. Jaleo or Taberna for Spanish. -- Alexa


the thing about wings...: is you never know where you'll find a good set of 'em. i was shocked and elated to find great wings for 15 cents at the big hunt. of all places...

The Going Out Gurus: Hmm, the Big Hunt. We'll have to check those out. Of course, wings always taste better in proportion to how much you've had to drink.


Petworth: Oh please, please, don't send people to 2 Quail! I was taken there once by someone thinking it would be romantic. It's too fussy by a long way, and the food was NOT very good. Ok, now that I've dissed one, I should come up with a positive example of a nice romantic place, huh? I like Palena a lot. The food is great, the space is nice, and the service makes you feel pampered.

The Going Out Gurus: Alright, pet.


Foggy Bottom, DC: Not sure about those bbq chicken places on 404, but I have eaten at the Kiwanis chicken stops off the highway, and the experience is often less-than-fun. If we're talking great eats on 404, Jimmy's Grille in Bridgeville is money. the best fried chicken I've ever had and an assortment of homemade, down-home pies to die for.

The Going Out Gurus: Fowl comments.


RE: The Boss: Saw him Tuesday night at the opening show at Giants Stadium. He's still got it... 3 hour show with three encores. It was worth the trip up there.

Tailgating ideas - Safeway actually has a great gourmet deli section. Their sandwiches are great!;

The Going Out Gurus: Good to know. Thanks for the tip.


Eye St. NW: I am going to a DC Society of Young Professionals "Profile Dinner" tonight. What do you all know about the group and their activities? Am I crazy for going?

The Going Out Gurus: Wellllll ... here's a previous article on their profile dinners. Talk about truth in advertising -- the DC Society of Young Professionals puts on social activities for the 25-40 set, and they do have a startling array of activities, from embassy dinners to singles events to day trips to Baltimore. I've been to a few events, and while they're not really for me, they are a good way to get out of the house, meet new people and try things you might not do otherwise. -- Fritz


Re. Used CDs: How about Joe's Record Shack in Rockville,MD? I perused a bunch last time i was there and found a few soundtracks to take home (for a cheap price!;)

The Going Out Gurus: OK, thanks. There's also a Joe's Record Shack on Route 1 north of Baltimore. Are they related?


Washington, D.C.: I'm new to the area and would like to join a sailing club to sail and meet people. I tried the Sailing Club of Washington (www.scow.com), but when I went to a meeting, I was the youngest one there (by a good 40 years!). Are there any sailing clubs in the area that would be good for this? Thanks

The Going Out Gurus: These sailing schools may have some suggestions for you. And fellow sailors, float us your thoughts on some under-40-friendly clubs.


Arlington: So I am curious about the scene at the Smithsonian jazz concerts. I love jazz, of course, but I was also wondering if there's any opportunities for.. ummm.. socializing at these things (perhaps chatting up a nice fella)? Or is it mainly people just watching jazz (which is also fine too)? Do they serve drinks? Feeling a bit broke this month but looking for fun, possibly artsy/funky, things to do at night, especially if I can socialize a bit. Not into the "young professionals" scene.

The Going Out Gurus: There's no bad place for, umm, socializing is there? Go for it. Chat up a nice fella or two. I'm sure they'd be happy to be chatted up.


Alexandria, VA: Whats the seven foot house? I live in Alexandria and am a Brit and have never heard of it. Know that Five Guys tho, and all my visitors from back home looooove it!;

The Going Out Gurus: Actually, it tends to be my American mother-in-law who is most intrigued. It's what I say -- a seven foot wide house. But it is lived in. So you can only stand and look from the outside. Cute as a button.


Bingo is my name-O: Hi
Do you know of any place I can go play bingo, where people aren't in drag? A more traditional bingo hall, if you will. Thanks!;

The Going Out Gurus: Yes, but it's a bit tricky as most of these are advertized in community papers like the Post's county extras and for the moment, these listings aren't available online. We're working on it. There's not a trad bingo hall in the District although Keno's here now. Does that count?

This Sunday, there's cow pie bingo at the Fauquier County Fair. To call "bingo" on the field, well, I can only dream. -- Kate


Bethesda?: After several years living in downtown DC and a couple away from the metro area, I'm living in Bethesda for the summer. What I haven't figured out is if there are any bars without restaurants attached where one can go to just have a couple of drinks.

The Going Out Gurus: Of course -- I love to have drinks (not eat) at Uncle Jed's and the Rock Bottom Brewery. Pacific Grill (formerly Grillfish) has a great happy hour with half-price cocktails and snacks, and it's set away from the main dining area. You can also just hit the bar at places like Caddies or Willie and Reeds without feeling pressure to buy dinner.

Oh, and Montgomery's Grille, too, but the bar is so small and smoky that I only like to go in nice weather so I can drink on the terrace. -- Fritz


re: Romantic Restaurant: I am happy to see that Little Fountain Cafe in Adams Morgan made your list. A great place for a birthday, or even just a nice date. Wednesday is half price wine night on any bottle, too.

The Going Out Gurus: I'm happy too.


Washington, DC: Hey speaking of great old classics, where else throughout the year can I see cool indie flicks? I only have hit up the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. Great idea to have drinking and boozing while you watch a great flick. Any other advice?

The Going Out Gurus: Arlington Cinema is good for eating and drinking and cheap movies, though it doesn't screen many indies. If indies is what you want, you're in luck: there used to be only a few places in D.C. to see them. Now there are lots, which is great. Among the theaters that come to mind: Visions, Silver Theatre, Avalon, Landmark Cinemas in Bethesda, P&G Old Greenbelt, Cineplex Odeon Outer Circle, Cineplex Odeon Shirlington and Cinema Arts. That's not even all of them. Still, it's a pretty good list, no? -- Jen


mount pleasant: hey gurus!; any sure fire places for hip hop and dancing tonight? we were thinking of starting at chief ike's and then heading over to five. what do y'all think? thanks for all the great info.

The Going Out Gurus: Sounds good to me. I really dig the DJ Eurok and Reunion Thursdays. Five's hip-hop night is cool, but I wish they'd do more DJ/MC battles again ... -- Fritz


For amateur standup: For the friend of aspiring comic - it may sound strange, but there's a decent comedy club in the Best Western over in Tyson's. The club is called Wiseacres, and I think their open mike is on Wednesday nights. I've only been on weekends to see the headlines, who are national acts, all really good. I've heard open mike is very laid back there.

The Going Out Gurus: That's an excellent suggestion. Where better to make your start than a Best Western, right?


re: Sailing Club: Another option is volunteering to coach/help out with GW's sailing team. I hear they are looking for some help. Sounds like fun to me!;

The Going Out Gurus: A first-rate idea, mate.


Arlington, VA: Couple of things... For stand-up comedy open mic, try Dremo's on Thursday night. There's an excellent and free open mic hosted by the fabulous Courtney Totushek (Check her out at http://www.totushek.com), and she allows stand-up comedians as well as acoustic AND electric musicians. It's a fun evening, gets started around 9 or 9:30 I think. Down by the pool tables.

Also, on the Screen on the Green chairs thing, fact is that even the low chairs boost people up far enough that they block the view of people sitting behind you on the ground. The new location this year is beautiful--the Capitol backdrop is just lovely--but instead of having a nice slope down to the screen, it's all flat, so it's hard to see over people's heads sometimes.

Also want to put in a huge (and random) plug for Arlington's Luna Park Grille's (http://www.lunaparkgrille.com) cheese fries. I am generally not a cheese fry fan, because they often come with that gloppy gross cheese, but these come with actual real shredded cheese broiled on top with bacon. Yummy. I may need to get more tomorrow night when my band plays there!

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks for your suggestions and random plugs. As for Screen on the Green, that's all the more reason for chair people to hang toward the back.


Wash, DC: Help!; NoVa-ians and Washingtonians want to get together for a cheap but fun happy hour location, in the Rosslyn or Foggy Bottom area. (Not too intern-y or college-y please)Does such a place exist?

The Going Out Gurus: No problem -- head for Rosslyn and Continental. Yes, it's primarily a pool hall, but it's oh-so-stylish and offers $2 beers and half-price tapas until 8 p.m. Clearly the best option in either neighborhood. -- Fritz


Re: Alexandria, VA: A friend of mine (who also happens to be the door guy at the Improv) recently started an amateur comedy night at Soho coffee shop on the corner of 22nd and P. I think the process for getting in is fairly simple - basically just letting him know you want to participate. Check out the show on Fridays at 8pm. Hope this helps!

The Going Out Gurus: It certainly does!


RE: Parkers: I eat there frequently and think of it mainly as a restaurant (relatively cheap and the burgers are GREAT, among other things), but they also have open-mic and stand-up nights.

I'm from Bethesda......who would want to go to a bar there anyway, unless you're gonna eat, too?

The Going Out Gurus: Because the beers and atmosphere at some places is far better than the food? Because you're going to the theatre? Because you think most of the restaurants in Bethesda are overrated? Because you live in Bethesda and are too lazy to come to D.C.?


Arlington, Va.: Do you kids know of a bar with shuffleboard anywhere in the D.C. area? Not your grandma's cruise-ship-style shuffleboard, but the fun, drunken, sawdust on some long boards kind of shuffleboard. I haven't found a table anywhere. And if that selfsame bar had Pabst Blue Ribbon, it would be heaven. Come to think of it, my corollary query is if you know any bars with PBR on tap? Any ideas?

The Going Out Gurus: Yeah, Arlington -- try the Grand Slam Sports Bar in the Hyatt downtown, Buffalo Billiards and Dave and Busters for starters.

Now, I had PBR on draft in Baltimore recently -- we were alternating rounds of that and Natty Boh -- but I don't think there's a distributor for draft kegs in D.C. Anyone?

By the way, PBR is $1 a can at the grand opening of Visions' new Bar Noir lounge tonight. Drink up! -- Fritz


Young Sailors: You're out of luck. I've been sailing all my life, and I'm always the youngest one. Now, 24, my best best is Annapolis. Still normally youngest by 10 years, but 10 is better than 40. Check out the Boatyard Bar and Grill in Eastport on Wed. nights for post-race drinks, films, and lots of sailing (racing) talk.

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks for the straight-steering, cap'n.


Dr. Dremo's : I hear Dremo got condemned.

The Going Out Gurus: I'll believe it (when I see it), but they swear they're only closed for repairs in reopening in a few weeks. -- Fritz


404 Chicken!;: The little Kiwanis chicken BBQ shacks that fire up the pits on weekends are really the best place to go. They often sell out completely later in the day. Just look for the signs (there are two on the road to Rehoboth/Dewey if I recall); failing that, keep your eyes peeled for the columns of smoke and rows of cars pulled over to the side.

The Going Out Gurus: 10-404.


For Sailor Wannabe: Come out to Annapolis. I don't know if you want a school or a club, but go to the bar in the Boatyard and start talking to your fellow sailors.

The Going Out Gurus: Boatyard is great. Friendly people, good beer and seafood. I think I'd rather hang out at Davis' Pub if I'm going to be in Eastport, though. -- Fritz


Dupont Circle, D.C.: Actually, Fritz, my friends and I were at Visions last night (where the bar had more or less already "become" Bar Noir) and they have PBR on tap. Didn't ask the price but the bartender was very excited to have it.

The Going Out Gurus: Really? That's incredibly rad. I know some bar owners and GMs who were desperate to get PBR on draft but couldn't manage to do it, so they settled for cans.

Of course, PBR is so been-there, done-that ... -- Fritz


Alex Va: 1. dirty bicyclists looking for grub - concur with GOGs - many teams start out from there for weekly rides and go back for food.

2. Tried Vermillion - ate upstairs, good was alright, downstairs looked comfy, still some kinks to work out (we were told they weren't open THREE TIMES and the time they opened changed - also took over an hour for food to come out- only about four people in the place...) but has a lot of potential.

3. Any updates on whether or not there will be a GO POSTIES party for the Tour? (and on a side note - how the heck is tyler hamilton staying in the top 5 with a broken collar bone??)

The Going Out Gurus: 1. Thanks.

2. Thanks.

3. No word and no idea. If they win, there better be a party at the Post Office Pavilion. That's all I'm saying. -- Fritz


WS disappointment: well, now I know what I'm NOT doing next saturday night...any word on refunds for the White Stripes show? Or when it will be rescheduled for? Or what happens if you can't make the rescheduled date? (besides cry a lot)

The Going Out Gurus: Well, I know a lot of White Stripes fans are disappointed, but I'm selfishly happy about the cancellation as I was going to have to miss their show. I'm hoping to make it to a rescheduled show. No date has been announced for that yet, but we'll keep you posted. - Joe


Washington, D.C.: Does anyone know of a good day spa around D.C./Baltimore where 3 women can get facials and manicures for under 300? Thanks.

The Going Out Gurus: Hi, D.C.,

Janet here. I suggest Serenity Day Spa.


Re. used CDs again....: Oops!; So its called Joe's Record Paradise (I swear it was shack before but...??) Here's a link (and it says there's one in baltimore too!;)

The Going Out Gurus: Okay, thanks.


Best Wings: I am not a connoisseur of these things, but I checked with my friends who are. They tell me that the best wings you can get are at Cluck-U Chicken in College Park or at the Rock Bottom in Bethesda which has less selection of sauces but is a more respectable establishment, and they serve beer.

Hope this helps!;

The Going Out Gurus: Mmmm. Wings.


bored at work, DC: doesn't have a whole lot to do with "going out" but, along the lines of the kickboxing question, any good pilates classes in the area that aren't affiliated with a gym (don't have a membership anywhere, don't want to join). I've only found 2 places in my search and there's a waiting list. thx.

The Going Out Gurus: For Bored at Work,

I happen to belong to Metro Fitness on Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda. They offer Pilates classes and you don't have to be affiliated with the gym to take them. Also, I don't there's much of a wait.


Arlington, VA: Oh, Dremo's is definitely condemned - walk by and you'll see the sign with your own eyes. But if you go to their website, it still says they'll reopen soon. My fingers are crossed.

Question: White Stripes were supposed to be my birthday celebration. Now it looks like time to come up with a Plan B. Any suggestions for next Sat., something good and festive? There's this "New Wave Anti-Prom" at the Cat, but not sure whether that would be cheesy enough to be cool, or just cheesy. Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks!;

The Going Out Gurus: Wow. I'ma go check that out as soon as the chat is over.

As far as the Anti-Prom -- I'm actually looking forward to it. The DJs are Lil'E (from Right Round, the Black Cat's monthly '80s night) and Steve EP (who puts on the Smiths-vs-Cure and Depeche Mode parties). They're promising photo backdrops, prizes and more. Should be a cheesy (in a good way) night. -- Fritz


Re: Bethesda Bars: I like Black's Bar and Grill - there's a glass wall between the bar and restaurant and always a good crowd.

The Going Out Gurus: Yeah, but it can be so hard to get a seat there.


wings: my boyfriend wants to recommend the wings at froggy bottom, but he's too shy to post.

The Going Out Gurus: don't be shy boyfriend.


Arlington, VA: Wings: I really liked the wings at Froggy Bottom Pub on Pennsylvania Ave NW between 21st and 22nd Streets NW.

They aren't traditional Buffalo Wings because they aren't slathered in hot sauce. It's more like spicy fried chicken, but they were REALLY good.

The Going Out Gurus: Wow, he got over that shyness in a hurry.


Norfwest, DC: Went to health bar on u last weekend for brunch. First time there, pretty good food and awesome smoothie selection. First, is that owned by results the gym (same building)? Second, I saw they had a full bar...does anything go on there at night?

The Going Out Gurus: I agree, Norfie. Breakfast at Health Bar is fine but their smoothies rule. Health Bar is a separate business -- it's an off branch of Cap City Brewery. Mondays (half price burger 4 p.m.-close)and Fridays (drinkydoo's) there are specials. Their bar is fairly popular in the evenings serving power shakes and cosmos, mostly to Results clientele and neighbors confident enough to eat and drink among the uberfit. -- Kate


DC: Mark at Subairi (Dupont, 17th and R) is great with curly hair. He cuts mine and even tamed it for my wedding. Definitely try him.

The Going Out Gurus: Nice curly tip!


soundtracks: Plan 9 in Richmond. DC has some good-but-limited record stores (like the ones mentioned above plus Smash!). but on the whole, DC is pretty bad if you like music other than indie, hip hop and electronic.

The Going Out Gurus: Plan 9 is it.


Used CDs: For used CDs in VA try Orpheus Records at Clarendon. Mostly records but they have a decent number of used CDs as well, including soundtracks.

Also, there are a few used CD vendors at Eastern Market.

The Going Out Gurus: More news you can used.


Curly Hair, Dupont Circle: I checked out the recommendations on the curly hair site, and can also recommend Robert or Bing at Last Tangle. They have gotten a little expensive, IMHO. So I have tried PR - Partners and gotten good results at the Mazza Gallery location, last time with Jen. I am growing out my gray hair after years of coloring it, and it was two-toned. She really went at it, and cut into the curl and gave me a beautiful soft look. I like PR cause your stylist also washes your hair, so they really get the feel of it.

The Going Out Gurus: Thanks for the tip on the wash 'n' cut stylists.


Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.: OK, a little advice needed here. We are two cute single girls (mid - late 20s)who have been working on the Hill/in the administration for several years. We seem to be in a rut -- always visiting the same bars/restaurants with the same people, and are looking to diversify. We would really like to meet some new people... any suggestions for us?

The Going Out Gurus: Congratulations, Capitol Hill. It's really cool to hear about people who want to expand their horizons. Now, the question is, where do you usually go? What do you usually do? What haven't you done lately? Then pick something from, say, This Week in Nightlife or a show from Soundcheck. Choose a museum social event or a wine tasting and just go. Don't look back. Or pick a neighborhood -- Arlington, maybe? Falls Church? Foggy Bottom? -- and jump on our site. Do a search for "all bars" or "dance clubs" or "all restaurants" in an area, pick a review that sounds interesting and just go for it.

Sorry if that sounds long-winded. But you'll be glad you tried something new. -- Fritz


Gold Stars for All: Great Chat Today GURU's.


The Going Out Gurus: For all, indeed. Thanks for the ideas today. Talk to you next week.


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