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The Going Out Gurus
of the washingtonpost.com Entertainment Guide
Thursday, October 20, 2005; 1:00 PM

Every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, washingtonpost.com's City 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 or read transcripts of past Got Plans? discussions.

The transcript follows.

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washingtonpost.com: What's up, D.C.? Welcome to your weekly Got Plans? fix. This is Julia and I'll be your host. We're sorry some of you got an error message while submitting questions earlier. Rest assured we got your question (two, three or fifteen times, in some cases). We're hoping that's all fixed and it won't happen again. On to the questions! Janet, Jen, Erin, Fritz, Rhome and David are all here and Anne should be up in a few. Away we go.

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The SE Nest, RFK: Hey Fritz and all DC United fans, just a heads up that the Screaming Eagles are having a HUGE viewing party for the DC United-Chicago Fire MLS playoff game on Friday, Oct 21 at Bailey's in Ballston Mall. Party starts at 8 p.m., kickoff is at 9 p.m. No cover charge, ALL DC United fans are invited.

Fritz: Vamos United...

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Washington, D.C.: PLEASE HELP! I want to do something really different for my husband's birthday next month. Maybe get a chef to come in and prepare a very romantic dinner or go somewhere really romantic and get all dressed up. Can your great minds give me any suggestions? Thanks so much.

Janet: How about taking a cooking class together? L'Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, or choose from this extensive list.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey GOGs!

Please help! My friends and I have tickets for the opening night performance of an opera at the Kennedy Center. My question -- do people still "dress" for the opera? What should we wear? I don't want to look too casual but I also don't want to spend on a dressy outfit if I don't need to! Thanks so much!

Janet: In my opinion, you should dress for the occasion. I'm not saying black tie or that you have to go out and buy something expensive. Chances are you have something in your closet that would be appropriate. A fitted jacket, camisole and a longish skirt maybe or something more tailored like a pencil skirt and feminine blouse. Hope that helps.

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Glover Park, Washington, D.C.: Hi GOGs, I read that Bourbon was going to open in Adams Morgan, and I wanted to know if that is a second location or if it is moving? Thanks!

Fritz: It's a new location. The one in Glover Park isn't going anywhere. I'll be curious to see how it plays out; when I talked to the GM (which you can read about on our blog), he didn't really have a set date for the transition, but the liquor license change has been approved by the ANC.

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Please help!!: If you were to watch a big college football game tonight in Bethesda, where would you go? Extra points for cheap beer!

Fritz: If you're a Maryland fan, you'll find friendly faces at Caddie's, Willie and Reed's, Uncle Jed's and the Rock Bottom Brewery. I think Willie and Reed's has $3 drafts tonight.

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Washington, D.C.: Not a question for this weekend, but do you know if any of the DC-area theaters will be holding adults-only showings of the "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"? My usual method of attending a late Sunday showing at the Cinema Arts in Fairfax to avoid the screaming rugrats will no longer work since I'm not a 1/4 mile away, and it'd be a bit of a haul back into the city at 12:30 a.m.

Jen: I don't know if any will have adults-only screenings per se (I kind of doubt it), but I doubt you'll have much trouble catching a late screening. "Harry Potter" will play on roughly eight jillion screens (again, that's just a rough estimate) and I'm sure they'll want to squeeze in as many times as they can. You should be able to find one near where you live. Once we get more showtime info on it, I can pass that along.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi Gurus, Happy Thursday! Just a little FYI in case the question about Halloween happenings arises today, and it most likely will, I wanted to let y'all know about the Halloween Bash at Continental Modern Pool Lounge in Rosslyn on Saturday, October 29. In addition to the Saturday happy hour that extends from 6-9 with $2 drafts and $3 rails, there will be $3 Captain Morgan's Tattoo (new recipe since last year's debut) and $3 Red Hook Blonde bottles ALL NIGHT! To further sweeten the pot (or gouldron, if you will), there will be a costume contest at midnight with prizes ranging from hefty bar tabs to indulge in to free pool for you and your friends. The night will be sponsored by Captain Morgan's Tattoo...and we all know what great parties the Captain throws! For more information you can contact Susie or Emil at Continental, (703) 465-7675. Thanks so much!

Fritz: I'll post the info for anyone interested, but I tried that Tattoo stuff and MAN is it awful. I don't understand why people drink it.

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Alexandria, Va.: I am hoping you guys can help. My family is coming into town (parents, aunt, uncle and three cousins) this weekend and we want to find a good place for brunch on Sunday. Georgia Browns and the Tabard Inn are already booked for a party of 8. Any other ideas? My cousin goes to GW so someplace near there or anywhere that is downtown and not in Va. or Md. would be great. Thanks!

Erin: I love Sunday mornings with the family. Firefly, Cashion's Eat Place in Adams Morgan, Old Ebbitt Grill and Circle Bistro should all be able to accommodate your 8 hungry stomachs.

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Washington, D.C.: Just wondering if you know of any good places to watch the Maryland-Virginia Tech game tonight. I would really love a place that will have the volume on and has a lot of Md. fans, but just a place with a lot of TV's will do. Any ideas on where to go in D.C.?

Fritz: Porters gets a good crowd for Maryland games, and I like the burgers. Beer is good, too. Just be careful, as it fills up early. Same deal with Ventnor Sports Cafe in Adams Morgan. Buffalo Billiard might be a good bet, as there's a lot of room, plus couches and big-screen televisions.

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Washington, D.C.: GOGs- I thought I saw a small ad in the Express about a used book fair at the State Department this Saturday. Now I can't find anything about it on their Web site or your Web site. Any help?

David: Sure, it's an annual event at the State Department, and it's not just books that will be available. There will also be art, stamps, coins, postcards, basically anything that you can collect. Free admission, it's open 10 to 4 both Saturday and Sunday. Go to the State Department's C Street entrance to get in. Sunday is the last day (it actually started last weekend), and lots of items are discounted on the final day, so you may want to head down then.

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Arlington, Va.: Hey Gurus! Was lucky enough to catch U2 last night at MCI, but surprised to not see a review of the show in the Post today. I thought it was fantastic...totally worth all the hype. Did any of you all catch it? What did you think?

Jen: We have a number of U2-related queries, and I'll try to get to as many as I can.
I suspect the show ended too late for our music critic to file his review. But I admit I was disappointed, too. I'm sure there will be something in tomorrow's paper.
I caught last night's show and thought it was fantastic. Great energy from the crowd -- the "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" sing-a-long was superb -- and the sound, from where I was sitting, could not have been better. My only complaints: I would have liked to hear more from "Achtung Baby" and "Rattle and Hum."
I'm going again tonight and hoping -- nay, expecting -- more of the same excellence.

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Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C.: Do you know if there's going to be a cover for the Talib Kweli show at Bar Nun on Friday night? I tried calling the venue, but they've got a full v-mail box and a really long, outgoing message that doesn't answer my question at all...help please! Thanks!

Rhome: Bar Nun is really small and they do pretty good business on Friday nights when the cover can vary from $5 early in the night to beyond $10. This is HU Homecoming weekend though. Inflation is a given. The promoters themselves haven't even posted an admission price. My advice would be to get on their list (they haven't even updated it to reflect their departure from the Gardens yet), show up early and have at least a $20 bill in your pocket. Or you can wait until next month when Kweli plays the 9:30 Club for $40.

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Vienna, Va.: So don't hate me because I'm asking this question, but do you know of any place that is selling Christmas lights yet? I need the tiny 20-light strands and haven't been able to find them, yet...

Janet: I don't know for sure, but I'd be willing to bet Christmas Attic in Alexandria sells them year-round.

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U Street, Washington, D.C.: Hello GoGs! I read your discussion every week and hope you can answer my question. What is going on with the HUGE tent near Pentagon City?

Julia: Hey all, a bunch of you asked about this. This tent is going up for Cavalia, which looks incredibly cool. It's put on by the Cirque du Soleil folks and they really put on a good show. This one's like the Cirque, but with horses....

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Washington, D.C. I know this is a little early, but I just found out that my parents will be in town the first weekend of December and I am looking for some fun activities to do while they are here. My mom is looking to do something "Christmas-oriented." Are there any "can't miss" holiday activities going on in the D.C. metro area? (I'm thinking Kennedy Center, theater, tree lightings, etc.)

Also, any great restaurant recommendations in D.C.? They are fans of places like Vidalia, 1789 and Mendocino Grill, but would not be fond of anything too ethnic like Ethiopian. I am especially interested in a great place in Georgetown. Any advice would be much appreciated!

Erin: Whoa, Washington. We haven't even crossed the Halloween hurdle and you're looking to Christmas events? You're on top of things. First, hold tight because we will be releasing a super all-you-can-read holiday guide before Thanksgiving that will be full of all the holiday goodness you can stomach. If you don't want to wait until then, the Washington Ballet will be taking a crack at The Nutcracker (yes, I really did just type that) and the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington will be unabashedly celebrating its 25th anniversary season with fabYULEus.
We do indeed have tons of great restaurant recommendations. Cafe La Ruche is darling, Cafe Divan is a small walk from Georgetown proper, Sushi-Ko is great if your parents dig sushi (splurge on the fresh wasabi). Notti Bianche is a stone's throw from Georgetown and a nice upscale choice, La Chaumiere is hearty, but very suitable for colder weather. If those ideas don't suit you, Tom Sietsema's new dining guide is out for your reading pleasure.

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Washington, D.C.: Submitting early due to work. I am going to see Born Yesterday at the Arena stage this weekend, and I am wondering how dressed up people get. I am meeting friends for drinks after in Adams Morgan, and I don't want to be overdressed. What is a girl to wear? Thanks, gurus!

Janet: People don't seem to get very dressed to go to Arena. A pair of nice-fitting jeans go practically everywhere these days. Pair them with a feminine blouse and jacket and you're set for the theater and after.

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Washington, D.C.: Is it true that the one and only Club Red is closing its doors? Is there any place in D.C. that will take the reigns of House Haven?

Rhome: Yup. Bye-bye Red. Don't fret, house music in D.C. is in danger of taking a fall. I second the reader who suggested that everyone head over to Sanctuary on H St.

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MCI Center: Dearest GOGs, I took off work today so I could stand in line for U2 with my Fan Club Pre-Sale General Admission tickets. What time do you think should I get there? Do other chatters have comments about last night?

Jen: I am insanely jealous of all you General Admission people. I would give my right eyeball to be inside the ellipse. Granted, that would make it hard to actually see the concert...
You probably already know this, but your odds of getting in the ellipse do not depend on how early you arrive. It's all random. However, the earlier you get there, the better position you're likely to get on the floor, whether inside the ellipse or not. I have heard that the doors for General Admission open around 6 or 6:30 -- GA people, correct me if I'm wrong. But if you've got nothing going on today, I'd say get there as soon as you can. Like now-ish. I mean, you took the day off, you may as well. If you're lucky, you might even catch some of the band members arriving for their soundcheck. Plus you can annoy everyone in line by making dumb comments like, "Have you ever heard that song 'One'? I think it's really awesome" or "Am I buggin' you? I don't mean to bug ya." They'll love it!

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Falls Church, Va.: Hey GOGs, Love the chats, really helps my Thursdays fly by.

Just wanted to know if any of you had checked out Play (new bar right by DragonFly and 1223)this past weekend? What is the verdict?

Fritz: I was going to go last Thursday, put the club hadn't opened yet. My weekend is already packed (Howard Homecoming events), but I'll try to get there eventually.

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Washington, D.C.: I'm aching to get a good massage but didn't find out about Spa Week until too late. Lucky me, every place is booked solid. Where is a good place to get a massage (45 min - 1 hr) that won't break my bank (under $75) but is still quality? I specifically want a deep tissue massage and prefer the D.C., Arlington or Old Town area. Thanks!

Janet: Sugar House in Old Town offers a variety of 50-minute massages for $80. Will that work?

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Washington, D.C.: Help!! They have changed Bricks Tavern!! They NEED to change it back. The walls that used to be light in color, making the sports bar friendly and welcoming are now an atrocious sleazy red. Gone are the nice, friendly bartenders and staff. The pizzas used to be big and loaded with toppings...now I paid $15 for a barely 12" pie with scarce toppings. Who are these new owners and what the heck are they doing?! The place is just bizarre. They still have TVs with sports, etc., but the food isn't as good, you get less of it for your money and the sleazy cigar bar atmosphere made me want to go home, shower, and never go back.

Fritz: Pretty strong views. I, too, was disappointed on a cursory visit. The dark paint job seems to be the only thing that's changed -- but at least it still has a lot of TVs for watching the game.

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Looking for the Great Pumpkin, D.C.: Submitting SUPER early this week! Going to a Pumpkin Farm on Saturday -- I know that much! Have the list from the Weekend Section, but there are SO MANY! Any ideas of one that rocks (or doesn't!) Would prefer to travel into Va., but not adverse to Md. PLEASE HELP!

Anne: If you prefer the extreme sports type of pumpkin patch, bet you would dig the enormous Cox Farms. I must admit that the slides, the hay bale mountains and the big swing over a foam pit were not exclusively used by children. I don't think there's pumpkin chucking, but other than that, Cox checks off your standard pumpkin patch expectations: hayride, farm animals (and baby ones), produce, baked goods, etc.

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U2: Hey Gurus! I am one of the lucky folk that have tickets to U2 tonight, and I'm trying to figure out timing. Does anyone know what time the band actually went on last night? I have dinner reservations at Corduroy at 6:30, figuring that would get me at the MCI Center by 7:15 or so. I have non-gen admin. seats, and don't care much about the opening act. I just want to make sure I get there in time for that luscious Bono. Thanks for your advice!

Jen: People, this chat is all U2, all the time for me.
Damian Marley came on last night right at 7:30. He was pretty good, actually, so you might want to catch at least some of his performance.
U2 came on at around five minutes until 9. Your 6:30 reservation, assuming the wait staff is efficient, should work fine. But take some advice from me: If you're in a long line for drinks at MCI, get the heck out of it by 8:45 or 8:50. I just made the beginning of the show last night after bailing on my attempt at a beverage. No $7 MGD is worth missing Bono for.

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Herndon, Va.: Some friends and I are heading to Black Cat to see Nikka Costa Friday night. Since I've never been there, I have NO idea what to wear. Any suggestions? Heels or no? Extremely casual or just slightly? Please help!

David: Extremely casual. Unless you really want to wear heels, don't. I usually wear pretty ratty clothes when I go there since they become infested with smoke. Seriously, don't spend more than a few seconds debating what to wear.

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20005 Wise gurus, do you know of a reliable location to get a men's haircut in the McPherson Square area in the $15-20 range? Many thanks.

Janet: I think a reliable place would be Bubbles on K, but the price is $25. Anyone have a good barber out there?

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Washington, D.C.: Hi call me "IZZY." I just came out very bad relationship and I am feeling getting back to the date again. It was long time since I went out or any date because I was in relationship for three and a half years. I want to know some nice places where I can go to meet new people. I don't want to go to every nightclub in the city. I am done going nightclubs, so please let me know. I want to bring back old IZZY. I need to know places where I can find someone I can have a good conversation or a nice talk. I hope Gurus will help IZZY come back to the game again. I hope so. Thanks, IZZY

Rhome: Word to a mixed 1st and 3rd person narrative!
I would tell IZZY to go to places that cater to IZZY's interests, that way there will be a built-in pool of people with whom it would it will be easy to break the ice based upon a shared interest. What does IZZY like to do?

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Arlington, Va.: Oh Wise Ones! Restaurant needed! I'm having minor surgery next month and my mom wants to take a couple of my friends and me out to dinner the night before my surgery since I'll be cooped up for the following couple of weeks. We'd like to go somewhere nice, but not too expensive since she's going to be paying for all of us. The Arlington/Alexandria area is preferable. And a place with ample parking would be a plus. Maybe Talulla's? Alpine? Please help!!!

Erin: Help's (hopefully) on the way. I think that Tallula is always a good group bet (along with its sister restaurant, Del Ray's Evening Star Cafe. If you're looking to try something new, Sette Bello, the spanking new place by one of the men behind Sette Osteria, offers Italian sushi and Southern Italian cuisine with some gourmet pizza options.
Actually, I might head for Crystal City and, surgery permitting, throw back some sangria or margaritas at Jaleo or Oyamel. Best wishes on your surgery, Arlington.

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West End, Washington, D.C.: Some friends and I want to do a pub crawl this weekend in the Dupont Circle area. Any suggestions on where to stop and what to order?

Fritz: I'm giving myself five close-together stops here (you may have time to do more), in no particular order
The Big Hunt (whatever looks interesting)
Cafe Citron (Sagres, a Portugese beer, or Mojitos)
Kramerbooks (Brooklyn Pennant Ale or another interesting micro)
Bistrot du Coin (Leffe Brune or another Belgian beer at the bar, plus foosball upstairs)
The Brickskeller (order off the drafts upstairs if you can.)

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Washington, D.C.: Gurus, My hair is out of control and my hair stylist recently left the area! Do you know where and who I can go (metro accessible) for my coarse and thick Asian hair? Also, I don't want to spend more than $45 on a haircut.

Janet: There are a couple of stylists at the PRat Partners downtown who charge $45.

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Washington, D.C.: Do you have information on the Sweet Honey in the Rock MLK concert? Last year, it was sold out by the time I heard about it. Thanks.

David: It's going to be Saturday, Jan. 14 at Peoples Congressional Church. This is the annual show that's geared towards children -- lots of sing-alongs and participatory stuff. Tickets are available now through the Washington Performing Arts Society.

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Arlington, Va.: Hey GoGs, love the chat. What is your opinion of Porter's Saloon in Midtown? I have never been but there is some tasting held by Eggman Productions there on Oct 28th. What can I expect, what kind of crowd hangs at Porters? Thanks.

Fritz: I enjoy it during the week, or for watching sporting events, but the dance party on weekends can be kind of cheesy. My full review is here

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Washington, D.C.: Fritz,
I met you last week when I saw your name on the iPod DJ list at St. Ex. You may remember that we discussed the tragic departure of the Townhouse's bartender Johnny. Anyway, I wanted to let everyone know that the Townhouse is still rocking, and Friday night they're having a special from 8-10: $2 Jaeger pops and $2.50 baskets of Tater Tots. It'll be a great way to start out anyone's evening. I mean, where the hell else are you going to get Tots in this town? Townhouse 4 life.

Fritz: Jager Pops?
That sounds incredibly nasty, yet I'm curious.
Tater tots: I love 'em at Tonic and Bar Pilar.

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Arlington, Va.: I know you have answered this before, but searching old chats is not easy. Do you know a good shoe repair shop in Arlington? Thanks. You guys are great!

Janet: We're all looking for good shoe repair shops -- all over town. Chatters, send in some ideas, please.

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Alexandria, Va.: To last week's Notre Dame fan who wanted someplace to watch the Fighting Irish - most ND fans in the DC-VA area all head to Sine at Pentagon Row at gametime every Saturday. Every TV is on the game and the place is filled with lots of ND alumni and fans. It's awesome.

Fritz: Yes. I've actually been down there for a Notre Dame game, and it was CRAZY.

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Hokie Nation: Hi GoGs. Thanks for the chats! Quick question - Where is the best place in Arlington to catch the VT/MD game tonight? (preferably with a pro-Hokie atmosphere!) Thanks!

Fritz: Did you read the Nightlife Agenda today? The Hokies are throwing a free party at the Arlington Cinema N' Drafthouse.

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14th/U Street, Washington, D.C.: RE: Howard Homecoming, will most U/14th St. bars & restaurants be packed this weekend? Should I try to make reservations now, or is it already too late?

Fritz: Hurry. Hurry. Hurry.
It's going to be packed with folks bar hopping and hanging out.

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The Beacon?: Heading out with a couple girlfriends tomorrow and wanted to try something new. A nice place that's not a club to enjoy a few drinks and catch up with the girlies. Heard Beacon might be fun, how about a few others? Looking for NW DC. Anything's game. Would love your advice.

Rhome: The Beacon is nice enough but I haven't really seen any energy in the space. If you're just trying to gab with the girls that shouldn't be an issue. Maybe I wasn't there on the right day of the week. You might also want to try Firefly and 15 Ria. If you want to get cute, have some fancy cocktails and take in some eye candy as you chat (and get checked out too) then maybe Zola, Poste or Zengo will suit.

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Arlington, Va.: For all those out there that didn't have a chance to see U2 at the MCI center last night (it was an absolutely amazing show), you can probably still get tickets today for the show this evening.

Ticketmaster had a ton of tickets online yesterday and if you're looking for some general admission tickets, go to the box office, they had some yesterday (but get there early!)

A belated thanks to the GoGs, your tip on Saturday to check Ticketmaster was the reason I was able to go last night.

Jen: I posted that tip late Friday afternoon. Glad it helped you get tickets. (Thanks again to my super-secret resource -- he knows who he is -- who gave me the tip.)
I heard someone on the Metro last night saying more tickets were being released today at 10:30 a.m. I checked Ticketmaster online for the heck of it and nothing came up, but that doesn't mean nothing will this afternoon. If you're in the vicinity of MCI Center, stop by the box office, too. Can't hurt.
Of course, you might start getting greedy if you actually get last-minute tickets. You might think, "Maybe if I search Ticketmaster again, I can get general admission tickets. Or maybe I can get a special seat on the stage. Maybe I can watch the show from inside Bono's brain if I can just type that stupid Ticketmaster password fast enough!" Not that I've ever thought this...

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Washington, D.C.: Thank you for all your great advice in the past; I've gotten some fantastic plans and ideas from your online chat. I'm hoping you can help me out with a date night this Friday:

My husband and I have been lacking in quality time spent together because he's studying for the GRE exam. He studies on the weekends and late during the week -- not to mention the stress and worries he has about taking it (which he'll ace anyway because he's a genius).

Friday night he has agreed to take a break from studying and go out on a date night. I want to plan something fun and unique in the city. We are in our late 20s, and not interested in crowds or the bar scene at all. Any suggestions for something different & romantic in DC??? Thank you for your help!

Erin: I love the Little Fountain Cafe or the roof of Straits of Malaya for romantic. How about checking out Pieces of a Dream at Blues Alley and food at Bistro Lepic or Au Pied Bistro?

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Washington, D.C.: Halloween!!!! Who, what, when, and where? I have some friends having a small-ish party I'd like to attend and go to a big party at a bar after, but last year I went to the Clarendon Ballroom late (around 11) and stood outside in line for an hour. Is everyplace going to be a tradeoff of either arriving early or waiting in a long line? I'd love to know what's going on in the District proper, and which places have the best costumes.

Fritz: This is what happens when something is popular: Lots of people want to go. Lines ensue. I like the Nightmare on M Street in Dupont on the 29th, a bar crawl that takes in everything from huge dance clubs (Five) to martini lounges (Ozio) to the usual happy hour hangs (Front Page, Bottom Line, etc.), with $2 beers from 6 to 1 a.m. You can get tickets in advance from lindypromo.com.

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Annandale, Va.: Hi, Gurus! My 8th grade son is taking a Spanish class in school. His assignment is to participate in a local Latin activity of some kind and then write about it. He and his fellow Spanish student friends would like to take a salsa class. Any ideas of where I could find a lesson for them? They don't want to do a 10-week class, just a single lesson that would get their feet wet. In lieu of that, any other suggestions from you or other chatters for a local Hispanic experience that might be fun for a group of young teenagers?

Anne: Chevy Chase Ballroom comes to mind, especially since the studio is offering classes inspired by Mad Hot Ballroom, for fifth through eighth graders. For plain immersion, what about a visit to a Central/South American market, perhaps one with a lunch counter. Chatters, anyone know of a salsa dance studio closer to Annandale?

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RE: IZZY: Why does this person try to sound like Gollum from LOTR? Very bizarre

Rhome: Stop hating on IZZY.

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Arlington, Va.: Hey guys, Can you suggest any dive bars other than the ones in Adams Morgan? The more run-down the place, the better I like it.

Fritz: Then you'll love the Raven and the Lil' Pub.

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Re: Opera: Just a note, opening night tends to be dressier than an everyday performance - there'll still be people there in jeans, but no one wants to be one of those people.

Janet: Opera goer,
Take note.

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Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: I don't like all the crowds in my hood on the weekends. So, what's the scene like at Bossa, Bukom, Ghana Cafe, Felix and Blue Room during the week? I tend to like Hip Hop, Reggae, and ESL-type lounge music. Thanks!!

Rhome: Ummm... Weeknights are the ONLY time I hang out in Adams Morgan. Everything is 10 times better, especially for the scene and types of music you're talking about.

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Halloween Town:
Are there any happenings on the 31st, or are most places holding their Halloween events that weekend?

Also any haunted houses in the area worth checking out?

Thanks

Fritz: Most Halloween events I've gotten (bars and clubs) are on Saturday.

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Patuxent River, Md.: I am going to the U2 concert tonight. Are there any Irish pubs or bars around the MCI center that are having a pre &/or post concert party?

Fritz: I'd say Fado (pre) and the Irish Channel (post).

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VA Tech fans?: And what if VA Tech fans want to go watch the game?

Fritz: Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse (see above), Greavey's, Bailey's, Crystal City Sports Pub, Champps Americana ... what am I leaving out, Hokies?

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RE: Cavalia Tent: Oh my god! I saw Cavalia in Santa Monica last year and it was amazing. It's worth the "steep" ticket prices. You'll never see better riding or more beautiful horses. Even if you don't like horses (like some of the people I went with) you'll love it!

Julia: From the horse's mouth.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey GOGs, Fairly new to D.C. and the Dupont area specifically. Thanks for all the heads-up info each week. Anyway, my girlfriend is a big lychee martini fan. Know of any good spots in the Dupont area that serves them?

Fritz: I like them at Cloud, where the cocktail menu is about the only thing worth mentioning. The blood orange martini is pretty good, too.

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Anonymous: rock on with your bad selves. just sayin...

David: After much internal Guru discussion that featured some exceptionally heated exchanges (Erin and Janet against, Rhome and Jen for) we have decided to heed this advice and we will, indeed, continue to rock on with our bad selves.

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Reston, Va.: Any good chow places near Lisner Auditorium? I'll be there tonight for the Stephen Lynch show, and am looking for a place with good beer and food for before the show. Thanks!

Erin: Hmm. I could go for beer and a burger at Red Lion. For nicer food experiences, try Dish, Grillfish, Kaz Sushi and Nirvana aren't too far.

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Washington, D.C.: Have you heard anything about a Halloween bar crawl involving the Raven and Wonderland? I've been hearing rumors, but nobody seems to have any details.

Fritz: Have not heard anything, but a warning: Last time I was at Tonic, I was hearing horror stories about folks getting mugged while walking between Wonderland and Mount P -- one ex-Tonic employee was stabbed in the butt during a botched robbery.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey GoGs. If you wanted to go bowling and also have a fun, casual, not-too-spendy dinner nearby (walking distance) in the D.C. area, where would you bowl and where would you eat? Thanks!

Rhome: Your options are slim. There is no bowling within D.C. city limits and the spots in the 'burbs aren't near any nice dining. Bombay is kind of close to a bowling alley if you're thinking in non-urban distances.
You might just want to try Strike Bethesda.

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pub crawl: Thanks, Fritz. That sounds great!

Fritz: Other folks can chime in with suggestions, too.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi GoGs! Thanks for all of your great advice; don't know what I would do without these amazing chats. So, I'm headed off to U2 tonight... cannot wait! Where should I go for dinner and drinks before the show? Anywhere that I won't have to stand in line for hours waiting for a table?

Jen: My suggestion? Go early. A friend and I had reservations last night at IndeBleu at 6:15. When we got there, there was plenty of room in the bar area and a good number of open tables. (Not sure if those were being held for reservations or not.) It might be harder tonight since it's a Thursday (more of a traditional going-out night), but if you show up at IndeBleu or Zaytinya before 6:30, you may score a table without too much trouble. There are lots of other options nearby -- Matchbox, Rosa Mexicano, Zola -- too.

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Opera: To the person worried about opera attire: also consider where your seats are. If you're up in the 2nd balcony, a skirt and blouse is fine. If you're in a box or the middle of the orchestra, something a little more formal might make you more comfortable but still isn't necessary (unless it's opening night of the entire season, which it's not). (But no flip-flops ever!!)

Janet: More comments on what and what not to wear for opera goers.

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Washington, D.C.: Any scoop on Zengo by the MCI Center? Is it more restaurant than bar? Happy Hour specials? Keep up the good work...

Erin: I stopped by Zengo last week and blogged about it. It is definitely more restaurant than bar. They have a bar/lounge on the bottom floor, but the main draw is the restaurant upstairs. They do have a nice drinks menu with some variations on the mojito, a tasty raspberry caipirinha and a long and satisfying wine list. As for happy hour, they do not currently offer any happy hour specials.

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Houston Astros Fan: Where are all the Houston Astro fans going to be to watch the game on Saturday night?

Fritz: Dunno. Where y'all at? (Capital Q would be the obvious choice, but they're not open that late.)

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MCI Center: Thanks Jen! Will put down my chicken soup and head over to MCI ASAP!

Jen: Excellent -- if you speak to Bono, please tell him how awesomely cool I am.

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RE: Jaeger pops: In Townhousespeak, pop = shot. If you order a shot, you're going to get a double.

Fritz: Cool, thanks. Having never done a shot at Townhouse, I had no idea. I usually stick with the Yuengling.

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Shoe repair recommendation: I just got 6 pairs repaired at Best Foot Forward, over by the World Market behind the Pentagon City mall. I was very happy with the work.

Janet: Shoe repair seeker, check this one out.

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NW D.C.: UK Soccer - Just to let people know that Bar Pilar on 14th St. are showing Premiership games - no cover. I watched the Liverpool - Chelski debacle a couple of weeks ago, and it was fairly decent craic. Better menu than the Lucky Bar as well...Ring of Fire in DC...YNWA!

Fritz: Yep. I think I blogged about this a while back. Only problem is that there's just one tv, so you may not have a great view. I like the brunch, but would never, ever want the "food" at Lucky.
Fado's menu is pretty good, too.

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Alexandria, Va.: Afternoon, all! I'm meeting some friends at Busboys & Poets tomorrow night; have you been? What should I expect?

Rhome: A bustling mix of interesting people, novice servers that compensate by being very attentive and accommodating and a great looking space. Depending on the size of your group, you probably won't be able to be seated immediately because of its current popularity. Call ahead then read more here. Remember, U Street is going to be a zoo this weekend. Go early.

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Dupont Circle: Can you help out with this one - who does a nice Saturday, not Sunday, brunch? I'm looking at a party of about 6, probably. Thanks!

Erin: Poste, Cafe Atlantico, Aroma and Belga Cafe in order of my preference.

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Washington, D.C.: What's the word on fun open events for Howard's homecoming?

Fritz: Check the Nightlife Agenda for a big rundown. I don't think you can go wrong with the Diddy party at H2O, any night at Love or the Gardens, or Talib Kweli.

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Arlington, Va.: My girlfriends and I are thinking of going to the Off Broadway show "Awesome 80's Prom" in Baltimore. We are in our mid-20s and are just wondering if you have heard anything about this? Fun? Cheesy? What's the deal??

Jen: Lord knows I love the '80s -- and I REALLY love them in 3-D -- but this show always struck me as kind of cheesy. This is based on nothing but my impression. I've never seen it, nor do I know anyone who has.
If you are in the right frame of mind, if you can embrace the cheese, then you might have a great time.
Anyone else attended the "Awesome '80s Prom"? Is it really awesome? Or, in the words of Steph from "Pretty in Pink," is it, was it and will it always be nada?

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Washington, D.C.: My mother is coming into town this weekend and she hasn't been to D.C. since she was in high school. She is really excited and I'm worried b/c the weather forecast isn't great. Any suggestions for exciting/interesting indoor activities? Keep in mind that too many museums in one day can be painful! Thank you!

Anne: That's great that she's excited to visit. The National Museum of the American Indian will definitely be new to her, and it's a reason to be on the Mall and give her a chance to see that view again. You can get there quickly from a Metro even if it's raining. NMAI has a modern cafeteria, so could get a snack there, too. Definitely, no need to spend all day museuming. Sunday there's a lesser chance of showers, so if the weather holds, you can explore the Knit Out and Crochet on the Mall that day. Later, you could walk up toward Gallery Place, eat at Teaism. She may be stunned to see all the development changes downtown.

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Washington, dc: Are there going to be any lower key events for HU Homecoming, one where a girl doesn't have to pay $40 to scope out some cute alumni.

Fritz: Stick with the smaller options (Bar Nun, the Gardens, Duke's City) and you won't get hit too hard.

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Fado: Fado had a HUGE line to get in pre show last night, not sure if it will be the same tonight. RFD was much easier to get into

Jen: No surprise there. People love their Irish pubs before a U2 show. Maybe you could go against the grain and order a Red Stripe somewhere else since you're also seeing Damien Marley?

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Washington, D.C.: Fritz, I think I remember you saying last week (2 weeks ago) that you hadn't gone to the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg yet, but were curious about whether they have the DFH spirits there. I went there this past Saturday and can report that the vodka is there. I didn't see their gin or rum, but the labels on those bottles may have been facing away from me. I was too busy nursing my 90 Minute IPA anyway.

The food was good, the beer better. The waitstaff needs to iron out some kinks, but they did just open...

Fritz: Thanks. I absolutely cannot wait to get up there, but I'm giving them time to settle in. (And I don't have a car.)

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Bowl -n- Eat: There's a good bowling alley on S. Pickett Street off Duke in Alexandria. Then, just a short bit away is the Van Dorn/Edsall Shopping Center where you can eat: Thai, Japanese, Afghan, Italian, VietNamese, and I am forgetting some. You go in and the places are packed with people from the country so you figure they know what is good. Also, up a bit on Van Dorn is Edgardo's which is fantastic Italian.

Rhome: Chatter to the rescue!

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Washington, D.C.: Hey I hope I'm not too late! I'm going to Restaurant Eve on Friday night. Any recommendations? Thanks!

Erin: Definitely try the cocktails there. As Fritz once wrote, the bartender takes great care in concocting amazing beverages and even makes his own tonic water. I haven't been to Eve in a few months, so I cannot say what's on the menu right now, but the servers there are amazingly helpful. They will be able to offer some great recommendations. Take advantage of their seasonal items (hopefully scallops will be on the menu) and, by all means, save room for dessert.

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VT/MD game in Arlington, VA: Mackey's pub in Crystal City. Hokies fans of the C-City chapter will unite.

Fritz: Thanks.

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Celeb Spotting: See anyone cool at U2 last night? I saw a bunch of the expected bold names, but one I didn't think I would see was Eunice Kennedy Shriver rocking out (mildly) 3 seats over from me. Go Eunice, get down with your bad self!

Jen: I was looking, but didn't see anyone. This is a great question, though ... anyone else spot anyone of interest? Where was Eunice Shriver sitting? Did she go nuts during the shout-out to Bobby Shriver? I hear Eunice loves a good shout-out.

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Anonymous: "There is no bowling within D.C. city limits"

Yes there is!

There's a bowling alley at the Marvin Center at GW. (No beer, which I consider a MAJOR deficiency, as I can't bring myself to bowl sober. I need an excuse for how bad I am.)

Rhome: I guess I'm getting old and forgetful.
I thought that bowling alley was only open to students but Erin and Fritz claim the contrary.
Are you a GW student or alum, Anonymous?

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Washington, D.C.: What is the name of the restaurant in the movie theater in Chinatown? I think its a Thai place but not sure.

Erin: I believe that it's Thai Chili.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi! So, I'm trying to get a jump on Halloween activities and here's my question: My husband and I are planning on going to the Kennedy Center for the Phantom of the Opera showing on the 31st. I want to do something else on the Friday or Saturday before. I want something actually scary -- any ideas? Thanks! Need to be Scared

Jen: I've said it before, but I don't mind repeatin': Check out the Markoff's Haunted Forest in Darnestown. A co-worker just informed me that he went last weekend and was suitably scared.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus, I'm planning to go to Right Round this Friday at 9:30 club. I went last month and really enjoyed the music they had. Are there any other similar nights like Right Round around the District or at least Metro accessible? Thanks for making D.C. fun!

David: Right Round is at the Black Cat, not the 9:30 Club, just want to make sure you get that straight. The Black Cat has lots of similar dance nights on the weekends. DC9 has some. Zucchabar sometimes. Really, who isn't doing alt-'80s dance nights, that might be a better question.

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Washington, D.C.: Re: IZZY-- assuming nothing is "wrong" with you, start by frequenting a bar or coffee spot in your 'hood or near work/school-- and make friends with the bartenders/server staff. Be upfront, tell them your deal, and they are a great resource for hooking you up with new people (or at least helping you break the ice). Just be sure to show them the love back.

Also, check out Saturday's rooftop mixer for 35+ single professionals (I'm sure other ages are welcome too) at the Hilton Washington Embassy Row (scene of many a great mingle event over the summer)

http://prosinthecity.com/index.cfm?action=events#Event969

Rhome: Thanks, Slick!
The plug only slides because you saved me from having to come up with a new way to spin my standard advice on this topic.
And people often ask about this organized single professional mixer thingies, although I don't know if the weather is going to be kind to you all this Saturday.

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Houston, Tex.: First time in D.C. and will be staying four blocks east of the Convention Center. It will be three of us, 26, 28 and 21 years old. What bar/club do you recommend for midnight Thursday when we arrive? Some already recommended locals for our weekend include, Old Glory (the BBQ place?), Rumba Cafe, Tom Tom's, and Sequoias. Could you please give me your take on these places?

Finally, where can we catch the ASTROS? Any recommended sports bars or pubs? Thank you!

Fritz: Four blocks EAST of the Convention Center? Wow. That's not the best neighborhood ... Don't know what you're like or what scene you're looking for, but guessing from the other recommendations, head for someplace like Lucky Bar or the Front Page and you'll be fine.
Old Glory -- Good barbecue, great bourbon selection.
Rumba -- not worth it, in my option. Crowded, mojitos are blah. Try Cafe Citron instead for a lively, Cuban-influenced scene.
Tom Tom -- popular with college students and those just out, a zoo on weekends, cheap drinks for groups and decent-enough DJs. Head for the lounge upstairs.
Sequoia -- overpriced, but the best spot on the Georgetown waterfront for drinks and mingling.

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Tysons Corner, Va.: Fritz, from talking with a couple friends who have worked to get it ready, sounds like the Temple Bar in Sterling will be opening on Nov. 15th. And if it's half as good as what I've been told, this should be a very good spot for those not wanting to make the drive into DC for a true club night out.

Fritz: I'll be out of the country then. But I'm very curious to see how this works out...

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Woodley Park, Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus -- My husband loves to pick through the beer selections at Whole Foods in search of dark, unusual brews. I'd love to take him to a beer tasting where he could sample a wide variety (preferably in a nice, cozy kind of atmosphere). Any suggestions? Many thanks!

Erin: The Brickskeller is always a good spot for sampling. I had a nice sampler assortment at John Harvard's a few weeks ago.

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Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.: So did U2 rock last night like never before? Anxious fans with tickets for tonight want to know!!

Jen: Capitol Hill, do not fear. As we've established earlier in the discussion, they did. Like never before? I don't know about that ... they've pretty much rocked every time I've seen them, so it's hard to distinguish.
Point is, you'll have an awesome time. You'll be rocking out Eunice Shriver-style.

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Petworth: "Are you a GW student or alum, Anonymous?"

That wasn't supposed to be anon - sorry about that!

Anyhow, I'm an alum, but you no longer need to be a student or alum to bowl at Marvin.

http://hippodrome.gwu.edu/HippodromeFAQ/

It's just a bit more expensive for non-GW folks.

Rhome: The buck stops at Petworth.
Word to investigative reporting!

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Celeb Sighting: We saw Former Senator Tom Daschle walking backstage w/ his vip badge...

Jen: Nice!
Wait, how did YOU get backstage? Is this Larry Mullen, Jr. posting to the chat again? Larry, shouldn't you be warming up for the show?

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Last Minute Help!: Going to see Kiki and Herb at Wooly Mammoth tonight. Any good/relaxed places for dinner around there? Thanks!

Erin: How about Matchbox, Signatures or Ella's?

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Washington, DC: Hey GOGs - I have unfortunatly missed all the Octoberfest functions thus far. Do you guys know of any that are left from now to the end of the month?? Thanks.

Fritz: You can still make the trip up to Blob's Park on Saturday or stop by for a happy hour Mass (a one-liter mug) of Hofbrau from Munich at Cafe Mozart.
And while it's not traditional, big up the Reef for having five Oktoberfest beers on draft and serving them in the proper glasses. (Ayinger, Hofbrau, Paulaner Otter Creek, Dominion.)

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Gollum: No, no my precious! IZZY sounds nothing like poor Gollum! We hates it, IZZY, we hates it forever!

Rhome: Smeagol! Holla you boy! Tell Peter Jackson not to drop the ball on "King Kong" or else I'll send Jen Chaney to chop him in the neck.

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GA Tickets for U2: I saw the show last night with GA floor seats. Um, AWESOME! My ears are still ringing. Anyway, we got there around 4:00 yesterday afternoon and we were maybe five feet from the elipse stage (dead center). The floor didn't get really packed until after the opening act. I think if you get in line before 5:00, you'll be well positioned.

Jen: You lucky, lucky person.
Thanks for the heads-up. Unfortunately, based on my previous advice, I think our GA-question-guy dropped his soup and ran to get in line already.

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Bethesda, Md.: Hi Gurus. My parents will be in town this weekend and I was looking for something to do with them during the day on Saturday. Had hoped to do a neighborhood walking tour -- but looks like we might be rained out -- and I think we are too late for most of the house tours. Any thoughts for interesting indoor events? They have already made the rounds to the museums in the area. THANKS!

Anne: You say they've been to lots of museums, but have the been to the Phillips? A new exhibit opens there on Saturday. It's Sean Scully: Wall of Light, showcasing his colorful, abstract paintings and drawings that almost look like patchwork quilts. Also in the neighborhood is the Dupont Circle Arts Festival at 22nd and P, 202-387-6612, so a walk between the raindrops there can become your own mini-tour.

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Classic Movie Diner: Pick me!! I have a vague memory of hearing about a place that's a diner-style restaurant, and they show classic movies (and maybe others). I think it might be up Connecticut Ave.? Can you refresh my memory? And is it worth checking out?

Jen: You're thinking of the American City Diner. I think they still show classic movies, but I can't recall exactly which day of the week.
It might be fun to check out but, from what I've heard, they don't show the movies on a particularly big screen. Personally, I'd rather just watch a classic movie at home and get takeout unless I can catch it on a super-big screen.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi there! I love to dance at clubs (to house, trance, typical dance-music-y stuff) but feel self-conscious. Are there any classes in the area for nightclub-type dancing? All I can find is ballroom stuff. Thanks.

Rhome: I paid top dollar for the Jen Chaney limited edition instructional VHS joints... Darrin's Dance Grooves can't see me.
They're out of print now though, try eBay.
In the meantime, I always see "hip-hop" classes at the local dance studios like Dance Place and others. Call around.
As for electronic dance music, don't really sweat it. Just mind your personal space and the space of others, feel the music and let go. It's a very individual and non-codified experience. I already mentioned Sanctuary earlier but it merits another mention because of the welcoming energy that hardcore house heads give off. No one cares what you look like or how you dance, it's just about the feeling... as long as you aren't bumping into folks and stepping on feet!

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Anonymous: Please help! I want to take my boyfriend on a weekend trip to one of those murder-mystery lodges. I know I saw a link on washingtonpost.com before but I can't find it. Can you provide a link or suggest some places to check out? If not, please post this online and maybe someone in cyberspace can help me out. Thanks!

Erin: The Blair Mansion Inn could be what you're looking for. If you go, write back and tell us about it.

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D.C.: Why will U street be a zoo this weekend???

Rhome: Howard University Homecoming. The pageantry shall abound unfettered.

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Comic Geek, D.C.: Hey GoG, I thought I left my comic book geekdom back in high school (and the 80's), but a friend took me to the Baltimore Comic-Con last month and rekindled my affair with super-heroes. Is there a comic book convention in DC? If so, when, where? I need my 80's comic book fix again soon. Thanks, Formerly recovered comic book junkie

Jen: You're in luck. According to this list, there's one coming up in D.C. next weekend.

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Washington, D.C.: What's the clientele at Sanctuary. I live right there and I've never seen any activity around it.

Rhome: House heads. Black, white and everything in between. Ages ranging from just legal into the fifties. You won't see any activity before midnight.

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Tenleytown, D.C.: Hey gurus ... I know I can count on you for this one. My best friend's parents are coming in to town soon and want to take me out to dinner (my friend is in grad school in a different city), and I believe the words "period restaurant" were mentioned. Any suggestions on historical restaurants in the city that don't necessarily involve the wait staff in costumes??? They'll be staying in Dupont, if that helps. Thanks!

Erin: How nice are you looking to go on this one? I think that 1789 is lovely and historical, but it's very upscale. It's more affordable if you can eat during the hours of the pre-theater special. Old Ebbit Grill is also a D.C. classic.

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Washington, D.C.: Please, Please, PLEASE bring back the Museum Comings and Goings column. I don't care much about what exhibits are opening, but I like to know what shows are closing so that I can see them before they close. This information is not easy to determine from the Entertainment Guide. Thanks!

Anne: Glad to hear you liked the Comings and Goings column. I like to be able to find events closing soon, too, like The Image of Shanghai, which closes Sunday. To that end, we've been busy bees here, working to making searching easier, and you'll see the results very soon.

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Columbia Heights, Washington, D.C.: Hello Gurus -- Great chats! Not sure if you can help with this, but I don't have anywhere else to turn. I'm gearing up for a Halloween bash next week and am wondering if you know of any liquor stores/ distributors in the DC Metro area that have good prices on alcohol -- different beers, hard alcohol, etc. Any wisdom that you have would be most appreciated. Thanks!

Erin: Pearson's is my favorite. As my wise father once taught me, Central Liquors can also hook you up. Dixie Liquor, at the bottom of Georgetown's "The Exorcist" stairs, has great deals on kegs.

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Saturday Brunch: Carlyle now does brunch on Saturdays too. Love the little benignets (did I spell that right?).

Erin: Great to know. Their bread is tops there.

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Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.: GoGs....My mom is coming to town for a few days next week, and I'd like to spend one of them getting out of the District. I have a few ideas, but need your expert advice to narrow the field. The options: shopping and lunching in Old Town, road-tripping to Berkeley Springs, WVa for a spa day, or heading somewhere (this is where your guidance comes in) for a nice country drive and fall color. Thoughts?

Julia: Heading out to West Virginia should give you some pretty nice color -- if we even get some this year. The lack of rain this fall may mean we won't see any red leaves this fall. I'd reccommend doing this drive -- or perhaps taking on Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah, or Route 15 up to Gettysburg, Pa. -- instead of Old Town, because it's pretty similar to a day walking and shopping in the District. Have Fun!

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washingtonpost.com: Well, I think that's it for us today -- it was a busy one. Have a fantastic weekend and we'll see ya next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.


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