The Prohibition Past: Drink It In
Washington, obviously, has a thriving night life, with bars, gastro-pubs and swanky lounges in just about every corner of the city.
It's hard to imagine that just over 75 years ago, it was dry as a bone (well, it was supposed to be, anyway) for a little more than 15 years.
Tomorrow and Sunday, the twice-a-year WalkingTown, DC walking tours across the city return, and one of the highlights will be the Temperance Tour, a three-hour jaunt through Washington's teetotaling history and the national push to quash booze. After you learn how a small group of religiously motivated do-gooders can change the course of a nation, the tour invites you to the famed Brickskeller Saloon to, you know, take the edge off (the Brickskeller is famed for its more than 1,000 varieties of beer).
The Temperance Tour was conceived and is led by Garrett Peck, a freelance writer for beverage industry trade publications and an author who just completed a book called "The Prohibition Hangover." The tour starts just outside the Archives-Navy Memorial Metro station at the Cogswell Temperance Fountain, a monument (once a working water fountain) meant to encourage people to drink fresh, delicious water rather than alcohol. From there, the tour heads north to Chinatown's Calvary Baptist Church, where the Anti-Saloon League held a national confab in 1895, before growing in size and influence and ultimately helping to enact Prohibition.
"They were like the National Rifle Association of their day. Very, very powerful," says Peck.
So what led Peck to create the tour, which he's doing for the second time with WalkingTown, DC? It all started a few Christmases ago, when Peck, a wine collector, was set to share a bottle with his mother and grandmother, and his grandmother not only refused, she turned up her nose. "She was just like, 'I don't drink.' " Peck realized the generational difference the temperance movement had left behind. "It was a light-bulb moment," he says.
He began working on the book, and the tours seemed a perfectly good way to promote it.
The Temperance Tour is set for tomorrow from 1 to 4 p.m. Free (But bring a Metrocard. Oh, and you're springing for your own beer at the Brickskeller, bub). Meet at Seventh Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. For details on the 80 walking and bike tours planned for this weekend, visit http:/
SAVE THE DATE
ON STAGE Kids in the Hall Forget YouTube. These Canadian comics have been making weird sketch comedy for television since they were young and awkward in the 1980s. And now? They are no longer young. And still awkward. But all five original members are on tour, and next weekend they'll be at the Warner Theatre. All that remain are $40 tickets. May 3 at 8 p.m. Warner Theatre, 13th and E streets NW. Get tickets through Ticketmaster, 202-397-7328, or the Warner Box office (call 202-783-4000 for hours).
CONCERT Art Attack It's the 25th year of this University of Maryland festival, and a little assistance from MTV (okay, its mtvU division) has helped garner an impressive bill this year -- all for the price of a movie. The Campus Invasion Music Festival will feature the Bravery, Simple Plan, Cobra Starship (who sold out the 9:30 club on their last visit to the area), the Spill Canvas and Wyclef Jean -- we know, it's a weird, um, eclectic bill, but you know how festivals go . . . . It's all at U-Md.'s Byrd Stadium next Friday. $10; U-Md. students, $5. Doors at 4 p.m., show at 4:30. University of Maryland, Stadium and Valley drives, College Park. For tickets, visit http:/
THE SCENE Flower Mart This annual garden festival returns to Washington National Cathedral next weekend, this time simultaneously celebrating South Africa with performances of Afro-Cuban jazz by the Bill Jacobs Ensemble and dance by Lesole's Dance Project. But the fest, sponsored by All Hallows Guild, which maintains the massive cathedral grounds, also has all the events people have come to love: the rock wall, the antique carousel, the Central Tower climb, and tons and tons of floral arrangements. Free (however: The tower climb is $5, and some rides have a fee). May 2, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; May 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. 202-537-3185.