Thursday, April 30, 2009; 1:00 PM
The Going Out Guide staff discussed bridal shower locations, after-hours art events and inappropriate Metro behavior on Thursday, April 30 at 1 p.m. ET.
washingtonpost.com: Word up, y'all. The weather outside is frightful, but who cares? It's officially summer. How do I know? Because tomorrow a movie comes out that stars Hugh Jackman with claws! But enough about "Wolverine." Fire away with your questions. The Got Plans? door is officially open.
Washington, D.C.: I'm sure you'll get a lot of questions on this, but any more word on the Bullpen opening this weekend?
Fritz: They are going for their final certificate of occupancy/inspection today, and when I spoke to proprietor Bo Blair this morning, he didn't think they'd get all the red tape out of the way in time for tonight. A soft/unannounced weekend opening is possible, but they'll planning for a May 15 grand opening -- great timing, since that's when we open a homestand against the Phillies and the O's.
Washington, D.C.: I'm planning a bridal shower for a very close friend in October. We need to have the shower on a Thursday evening in D.C. (preferably close to a Metro or with valet parking). We want something that's not really "cutesy" but more "cocktailish," realizing that most people will be coming from work. Place must have great food and drinks, and private room. Do you have about 4-5 places you can recommend? Most of the group will be in our 30's with a few people that are much older but young at heart. There will be about 15-20 of us. Thanks!
Julia: So wait, do you want to have a sit-down dinner, or more of a cocktail party? Most of the private rooms come with high minimums that would be hard to attain with just apps and drinks. Anyway, I'm sure you'll figure all that out as the date approaches, but here are some ideas that occurred to me. I don't quite recall what each venue's private room specs are (like some of these may be WAY more than 15-20, but hopefully this will get you started).
Rasika (I think this private room is only for 10, but I could be wrong)
I believe Cork can accept a private party of 18. It's more toward the cutesy end of the spectrum, but I really think Fontaine in Old Town is like the best place for a bridal/baby shower ever. They have cute cocktails too!
Arlington, Va.: Hey Gurus!! I've got a quick question for you. I think that y'all have discussed which Smithsonian museum has better food selections, but I can't for the life of me remember which one. Any ideas? Thanks so much!!!!
Stephanie: Mitsitam Cafe is known for being the best of the Smithsonian restaurants. It's in the American Indian Museum.
Washington, D.C.: I am going to a show at the Lisner Auditorium on Saturday. Where you do recommend going for a casual bite to eat beforehand?
Julia: Tonic at Quigley's Pharmacy is your best bet. It's really casual -- like bar-food casual -- with great wings. (I should note I'm not a huge fan of the Tonic burgers, but they do some simple stuff really well.) The bar at Founding Farmers could work if you wanted something slightly fancier.
re: bridal shower : Lounge 201?
Julia: Great one, thanks.
Washington, D.C.: A friend is moving away, and we'd all like to take him out for a night on the town, drinking and so on so forth. He likes Georgetown and 80's movies. Suggestions?
Jen: Wait ... is your friend, by any chance, a character in the movie "St. Elmo's Fire"?
In all (okay, semi-) seriousness, you should create an evening that merges these two concepts. If he likes '80s movies and Georgetown, I am guessing he has some affinity for that Brat Pack-alicious Joel Schumacher movie. So maybe take him to the Tombs (the bar that inspired the St. Elmo's in the movie) and a couple of other Georgetown bars, then, if you do this on a Friday night, pop over to Rosslyn for their "I Love the '80s" film series? They are showing '80s movies outdoors at Gateway Park every Friday night all summer, starting tomorrow with "Goonies."
Bonus points for you if either of you dresses as one of the characters from "St. Elmo's Fire." May I suggest your friend don some Wayfarers, carry around a sax and go as one Billy Hicks?
Do we live in the same city?: As much as I think the gurus are great--I have to ask if we are living in the same city? The weather outside is frightful? It's such a pleasant relief from the awful heatwave (90 degrees in April) and all the humidity/rain. Yech. Today is pleasantly cool, not raining, and I see the sun peeking through. Doesn't sound frightful to me. In fact, I can't wait to go outside for my break!
Jen: Dude, it's in the 50s. This ain't summer weather, my friend.
Frightful may be pushing it, I grant you. But that's the way the song goes, so that's the way I posted it in my flurry to get the chat started.
Sheesh. Everyone's a critic...
P.S. It was hot, but it hasn't gotten humid yet. THAT will be frightful for sure.
Old Town Alexandria: My sister's in town and I've got the day off tomorrow. Where can we go to experience D.C. flavor and relish in missing the weekend crowds? We've been to most of the Smithsonian museums, and I'm at a loss of what else we can take advantage of. Thanks!
Anne: Ooh, have some fun for me. If I had the day off tomorrow, when it's starting to be warm, I would go have brunch at the Saint's Paradise Cafeteria (for the personality and cheap eats), then wander across the city (even just walking past the White House is a thrill for many visitors). Another agenda nearer you: start at Buzz and then drive up to picnic at Gravelly Point and watch planes and take in the riverside view. I'd wind up in Dupont in early evening for First Friday galleries and people-watching -- maybe even go see PostSecret and hear a DJ, as Stephanie suggests in the blog today.
Washington, D.C.: The first question led me to another opening question. Any idea on when the Elephant & Castle near 19th and I St, NW is going to open?
Fritz: It actually had its soft opening on Monday night, and is currently serving lunch and dinner. No word on happy hour specials yet, though.
Query: How do we contact you?
Fritz: You just did!
Or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Either way works.
Chocolate City: My mom's a big Star Trek fan so I'm taking her to see it at the IMAX theater in Alexandria for Mother's Day. I figured we could get grab a bite at the National Harbor afterward. Is there anything reasonably priced there?
Julia: A lot of the big places are indeed on the expensive side. Rosa Mexicano isn't too bad, price wise. According to its Web site, Cadillac Ranch doesn't look too pricey either (but it does look super corporate).
Arlington, Va.: Hi guys---Fiancee and I looking for a cool restaurant in Annapolis to have a wedding reception for 60-80 people. We have no requisites except that it doesn't look like a cookie-cutter reception room. We were thinking Rockfish... Any ideas???
Fritz: Rockfish might work. The outdoor garden area at the Sly Fox Tavern is a really popular choice, too -- I know I've found it closed a couple times when I've stopped by in the middle of the summer. I'd also consider O'Leary's if you like seafood -- and maybe Kyma for that rooftop patio?
For the bridal shower: Acadiana has a room for 20 people.
Julia: Oh, thanks. I didn't include that one because I thought the room was bigger, like for 35 people or something....
Washington, D.C.: Hi, Any of you gurus going to Gold Cup?
Fritz: I usually alternate between Derby parties and Gold Cup, but I'll be back again this year, trying to stay dry by drinking bourbon.
Arlington, Va.: Any good musical acts tonight or Friday? I'm booked up solid volunteering for the weekend, so I'd like some time to unwind a little earlier.
David: You can catch an excellent one without going far -- local hero Tommy Keene will be at Iota. He's been writing power-pop gems for two decades and his local shows are always fun. That's an easy recommendation.
Washington, D.C.: Do I need a ticket for the embassy open house this weekend? Do you have any recommendation as to which embassies to visit?
Stephanie: You don't need tickets to check out the embassies as part of Passport DC. There are some other events that cost money though, and some embassies will have special events that only a limited number of people can attend, so you might have to register in advance for those (the wine seminar at the Austrian embassy, comes to mind). As for what to see, I think it really depends on personal preference. I'm obsessed with all things Spanish, so I'll definitely be trying tapas and watching Flamenco dancers, but champagne at the French embassy, steel pan at Trinidad & Tobago and Taekwondo demonstrations at the Korean embassy all sound like a fun time. So check out the list of events and see what strikes your fancy.
Do we live in the same city?: In winter, 50 degrees seems like a great day. When it's supposed to be summer, and we just had a gorgeous weekend, 50 degrees and damp is almost unbearable.
Jen: THANK you. My sentiments exactly.
Arlington: I'm looking for a spot to get brunch or early lunch on a week day, and so far I'm coming up empty. I'm treating my bridesmaids to pedicures/manicures the day of the rehearsal and would like to do a brunch before at 10 a.m. or so -- the rehearsal dinner is so early, lunch after is kind of out. Am I out of luck? We'll be in Arlington, but are willing to go to Old Town, Tysons or McLean. Maybe NW DC for the right food.
Julia: Brunch starts at 10 a.m. at Fontaine Caffe in Old Town (mentioned above). I'm telling you, it's the cutest.
Churchill Downs, KY: Any suggestions for Derby watching locations? Someplace that doesn't require seersucker and pearls, but wouldn't kick you out for wearing a nice sundress would be great.
Fritz: Sounds like you should be heading for either branch of Bourbon, which will be making mint juleps with its special mint-infused bourbon, or Bungalow Billiards, where I'm kinda intrigued by the Twin Spires Derby Party, which promises Kentucky food and drink specials and bluegrass music. You won't feel out of place if you're dressed up, because the staff will be wearing sundresses, too -- and there's a hat contest after the race.
Alexandria, VA: Well, if you're celebrating St. Elmo's Fire then you also need to go to Third Edition, which was used for the exterior shots.
Jen: Ah, great suggestion. Yes, add this to the list. I forgot all about that!
Theoretically, you also should go to the U of Md. campus since they shot there, too, but that might be a little nutty. Not that running around the streets of D.C. dressed as Rob Lowe isn't already a little nutty...
Hi, Fritz.: Do you get weirded out by people "swooning" over you or bit by "smite" when they don't know you other than electronically or through your writing? Or do you like the attention and does it ever make you interested and curious to meet or learn more about the person?
Julia: I wish this question had the Facebook "Like" feature.
Shameless Plug: The Pug is hosting "Hefeweizens for Habitat" tomorrow from 8-10. $20 donation gets you all-you-can drink Hef, for a really good cause- Habitat for Humanity!
Fritz: Argh. I totally forgot about this for Nightlife Agenda, and I was just in the Pug last Thursday after the hot wing tasting at Rock and Roll Hotel. (Things that make me angry: Taylor had far and away the best wings offered -- I gave them a 9/10 for the "hot vinegar tang" -- but they don't sell wings at Taylor. Such a waste.)
Anyway, yes, everyone please go drink German beer for charity tomorrow.
Rockville, Md.: Gurus- what are some can't miss fun events, concerts, or festivals coming through DC/MD this summer? Bonus points for outdoors. Triple Bonus points for including alcohol.
David: Outdoor concerts + alcohol = Wolf Trap, of course. I mean, not like you can't get beer at other venues, but Wolf Trap lets you bring in whatever. Plenty of good shows all over the schedule, for almost all tastes: John Prine/Steve Earle, David Byrne, Wilco, Hall & Oates, Beres Hammond, plenty more.
There's the barbecue battle downtown on the weekend of June 27/28, lots of music, meat and sun there.
Living in the Burbs - ya I know: Okay - so maybe not quite as hip as going out . . . but the book club wants to meet to discuss our book - outside of someone's house - someplace we can get a nice cocktail - loungey setting but still discuss our book . . or not - 30-40 somethings. . Northern VA . . any suggestions?
Fritz: If you're not going out at dinnertime, I'd totally recommend Eventide for this. Love that lounge, and as I wrote last Thursday, the restaurant's rooftop deck is opening this weekend.
Kentucky Derby Parties: Hi! I am looking for a fun derby party on Saturday. Nothing expensive and in the District please! Basically a place I can watch with some other people and drink a good mint julep.
Fritz: Bourbon's your best bet. McFadden's is also doing $5 mint juleps and Woodford Reserve cocktails until midnight, and while I like the price point, I've had Bourbon's juleps on Derby Day and they're absolutely dynamite. Better than the ones I had at Churchill Downs a few years ago, even.
Kickball: Just a PSA for summer to those who like to have A LOT of fun on the weeknights: remember, even though you're coming home on the metro drunk at 11pm in your matching kickball shirts, some of us are on our way home from work (and probably have to go in earlier than you the next day) and would appreciate it if you didn't scream, kick people while trying to slide down poles, or throw up on the train. Thanks!
Julia: Funny. There was a bit of guru debate about this question. While we're all in agreement that Metro vomit is a big no no, some of us (me included) don't really mind the drunks on the Metro. It's *public* transportation. As long as no one's touching me or yelling at me, I'm pretty much cool. Let the kiddos have their fun. I mean, getting stuck at work late is a bummer, but really not the kickballers fault.
Others in the guru crew totally agree with you, though. Apparently they see sloppier drunks than I do. Chatters, care to chime in?
Embassies: I'm glad someone brought this up because I'm confused. The EU countries' embassies open houses are next weekend (http:/
Stephanie: Good call. Yes, these embassies will have open houses this weekend and the EU embassies will be open on the 9th.
Re: Pug: Where is the Pug ?
Fritz: The Pug: 1234 H St. NE
Tip: You can type "Pug" or "The Pug" into the Going Out Guide search box on the washingtonpost.com homepage, the Going Out Guide's main page or on most other pages to get more information on any place we discuss in this chat.
Penn Quarter/Chinatown: So, the parents want to meet! My boyfriend's and my parents want to meet, but neither parents live in D.C. - so, this involves a big weekend of them both coming to town to meet each other ... I need a fun place for dinner on a Saturday night. It needs to be a good mix (his parents like nicer restaurants, while mine are more casual) but it still needs to be nice -- good food, and lots of good drinks! Any thoughts... we originally planned on Zaytinya, but both sets of parents have already been there... Thanks!!!!!
Julia: You could stay within the Jose family and try Cafe Atlantico. (I'm going there tonight for this farmers market dinner, so it's on the brain....). Proof is a little more subdued and offers great food. Acadiana, mentioned above, is another favorite in the neighborhood.
Monday night kickball on the mall!: If you don't like it, change cars. And then loosen up and consider joining us next season!
Julia: I knew there'd be a kickballer out there amongst our readers.
Washington, D.C.: I have (what I think is) a great idea for a party that a bar should put on. Short of just telling an owner my idea, what's the best way to get this started and an even better question: how can I make money off of this? Is this what promoting is? How does one become a promoter?
Fritz: You have to come up with a plan to pitch to the owner (or, more likely, the general manager). It helps if you go to the place often enough that they recognize your face -- trust me, bar owners get cold-pitched a lot. Make sure you spell out why this party will MAKE MONEY, why it's unique, why it will get new faces in the door, why it will get press, etc.
An easier way to do it: Take the bar you like, see if you can strike a deal to rent it out and throw the party there yourself. Then show the owner "See? Look how many people came and drank here than on a usual Thursday night? How about I keep doing this and we'll split the door (or something)?"
Chatters, care to chime in? : It's entertainment.
Julia: It certainly can be. I mean, before the vomit stage, things can get pretty funny.
Arlington VA: Since you Gurus work in Arlington, I thought you'd be the perfect people to ask. I remember seeing a new small lounge/restaurant opening in the courthouse area in the last few months but can't find it on your site. Any idea what I'm referring to and have you heard any reviews? (It's not Eventide).
Fritz: Are we talking about Velocity Five, the new sports bar/lounge that opened on Clarendon in March?
Yikes: Why would the person going to the Imax in Alexandria (I assume Hoffman) go to National Harbor, where there is no good food, for brunch? How about the plethora of great places in Alexandria?
Julia: Maybe s/he wanted to check National Harbor out?
Billy Hicks, Sax Player Extraordinaire: "Jules, y'know, honey... this isn't real. You know what it is? It's St. Elmo's Fire. Electric flashes of light that appear in dark skies out of nowhere. Sailors would guide entire journeys by it, but the joke was on them... there was no fire. There wasn't even a St. Elmo. They made it up. They made it up because they thought they needed it to keep them going when times got tough, just like you're making up all of this. We're all going through this. It's our time at the edge."
Jen: I could add an extended monologue here about dressing up Jules's stepmonster in a cat suit. But I shall refrain.
Clearly, we've both seen this movie a few times too many...
PennQuarter: Do you know of any bar in DC carrying the Pacman/Hatton fight on Saturday night?
Fritz: The only place that's been sending me info about fight parties is Layla Lounge. I'd imagine that some of the sports bars -- Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, Summers -- will show it, as they've done fights in the past. Places like the Republic or Momo's on U Street, too.
bridal shower: B. Smiths has rooms for small groups. (The soul food restaurant at Union Station.) The minimum food and beverage for those rooms is between $500-$1000 depending on which room but no room rental.
Weather: Not to over extend this issue, but last time I checked--April doesn't equal summer. I'll check again, though.
Jen: It's May as of tonight at midnight, brotha.
Also -- and I realize this is a personal issue on my end -- I track the seasons based on movies and not silly things like solstices and weather. When the blockbusters start coming, I call it summer. I know, it doesn't make sense. But I'm wacky like that.
Arlington, Va.: I want to ask this guy out on a date to get some drinks/dinner during the week. I'm looking for some place that has enough atmosphere but wouldn't be a long wait to get drinks or dinner.
Locations in Arlington and in D.C. along the Orange line are good.
Capitol Hill: What does a girl have to do to get some nice weather? Anyway, how do you guys suggest surviving Gold Cup on Saturday with rain in the forecast? My new sundress and sandals are sounding less and less appealing.
Fritz: The high will only be 70 (last I heard), which could be a downer. The Town Hall tent is apparently going to have clear plastic ponchos for the ladies so we can still admire their sundresses if it rains.
Honestly, I have no idea. Ladies, any tips?
Gold Cup Rain: How will the terrible rain affect gold cup attire? Is it ok for me to go more casual, like wear flip flops instead of heels? I just dont want to be sinking into mud. (I have Univ. Row tickets.)
Fritz: I've seen lots of flip-flops in University Row in previous years. Definitely casual enough.
Rockville, Md.: That "kickball" poster reminds me why although in theory I love this area, in practice the people make me grind my teeth. How uptight can you possibly be? If they're really bothering you that much get off at the next station and run into the adjoining car.
David: I rarely ride the Metro but I've started taking it into the city on the weekends lately and I just gotta say that I can't believe how much cursing I hear on there. Now I don't really care and it can be amusing to see people make fools of themselves but man, it just floored me that people would be shouting expletives at each other on Metro. What's with that?
Arlington, Va.: Hi Gurus, I have first-date dinner reservations tomorrow night at Oya in Penn Quarter, looking for ideas for after-dinner activities in the immediate (or not too far away) area. I'm not opposed to drinks, but I'd prefer strolling around the neighborhood and/or finding some kind of event/activity outside of the bar scene. Also not opposed to a separate restaurant for dessert.
Thanks in advance for your insight!
Julia: Co Co. Sala is your best bet for an separate dessert option. If you just wanted to walk around, I'd say you should stroll to the Navy Memorial. It's all pretty with fountains and everything.
Dupont Circle: My parents are coming into town this year over Memorial Day weekend. Last year we drove out and saw both the battlefields at Antietam and Bull Run - my dad is a huge Civil War buff. Any thoughts on day trips we can take this year? I was thinking Williamsburg or Monticello, but my dad has a bum ankle, so a lot of walking isn't a great idea for him. In the past we've done Annapolis and a couple of the memorials, but not a lot of museums. Also, any good antique stores in the area or en route to a Civil War/historic site, to appease my mom?
Stephanie: Maybe this is too obvious and you've done this already, but you didn't mention Gettysburg, so that's definitely an option. They recently reopened their huge cyclorama (painting in the round) of Pickett's Charge too, which sounds pretty cool. Plus I'm almost certain there are antique stores around there, so everyone will be happy!
Suburban h*ll: Hi Gurus, Three under-30 lady lawyers here, toiling away in the wasteland of Tyson's Corner and dreaming of Saturday night in the place we call Oz (DC if you're lucky enough to actually live/work there). We're finally ready to try the H St scene that everyone else has been talking about since, um...2005, but we're not quite sure how to make the most of our time. Granville Moore's for dinner maybe, but where afterward? We like to drink, and goodness knows we could use a little edge in our otherwise buttoned-down lives. Thanks!
1. Dinner at Granville's
2. Cocktails and/or wine at Sova
3. Burlesque show at the Palace of Wonders
4. Then either cans of cheap beer at the Pug, DJs upstairs at the Palace of Wonders, pool/darts/foosball at the Argonaut.
Anti-Kickballerville: "but really not the kickballers fault."
Yes it is. Everything can be blamed on adult kickball. Swine flu, piracy, rickets, children getting stuck in wells, impotency, etc...
Julia: Um, amazing. Hat tip to Rhome for introducing me to the swine flu twitter feed yesterday.
Arlington Sports Trifect: Hi,
I am thinking of heading to Shirlington to watch the Derby at Bungalow followed by the Caps game at Velocity. Do you know any places showing the fight tomorrow to finish off a solid and diverse afternoon of sports?
Fritz: Well, do some rearranging sport, because the Caps game is at 1 and the Derby's at 6:05. But Summers is showing the fight at 9, right around the corner from Velocity Five. (And I would put money on V5 showing the fight -- but I lost some money the last time Ricky Hatton fought in Vegas.)
I like lively drunks on the metro: They're always fun to watch and it makes me happy to see them enjoying themselves. As long as they don't puke, touch me or get violent, they're entertaining.
Stephanie: I like this point of view. In light of some of the things I've seen on the NYC subway, drunk kickballers seem pretty harmless, and sometimes even entertaining.
re: kickball drunks on metro: Although I would not have written this public service notice, I do think drunk behavior that goes beyond a red face and laughter is probably rude and should be kept to a minimum. Sure, it isn't the kickballers fault for some people having to work late or long hours (there are people in this city who work really hard and still aren't too spoiled to ride public transportation). And just because it's public doesn't exactly make it a free-for-all. What happened to civility and courtesy and just remembering there are other people, too. Just because something is public (e.g., bus, metro) doesn't mean that we should lose sight of thinking of others.
Julia: A good point. David and I were just talking (and I guess he just posted about) cursing on the Metro and though I have certainly been known to be an offender (I have NO inside voice), I do get really sad to see people swear in front of all the little kids on the Metro on the way back from Nats or Caps games. (Longest sentence ever, btw. Sorry about that.)
But again, this comment kind of confuses me "there are people in this city who work really hard and still aren't too spoiled to ride public transportation." What does working really hard have to do with being "too spoiled to ride public transportation"?
Sundress Fest: Is this going to be fun? I want to take my sis-in-law out on Sunday, because she's just moved to the area to be closer to her husband's (my) family, and its made her a bit blue. She's 27 (I'm 25) and loves dive bars. I'm just worried that it may be a bit to "hipster" for a girl from Upper Peninsula Michigan.
If its super-crowded, where else would you recommend two ladies in sundresses spend a Sunday afternoon/evening?
Fritz: I love, love, love the Sundress Fest. I was able to borrow a sundress last year, which was even more fun. (mmm... cheap Delirium Tremens all day.) Is it a little bit hipster? Well, yeah. But it's not like a Friday night -- this is a LOT more casual and neighborhoody than anything else.
If it's crowded and you're in the neighborhood, there's the patio at Red Rocks or Red Derby, or BYO-tiki-glass night down at the Gibson.
Houston, Texas: Having led a rousing version of "Hail to the Redskins" on the metro after we beat Dallas in the rain, the last game of the season a couple of years ago with the help of some beverages at the game, I think, people can be quite amusing in the metro! (Got the whole car to join me!)
(although there is a line at touching and vomiting - neither of which I did)
Verizon Center: HELP!!! I need to buy some cowbells for me and my seatmates for the Caps next round. Where can a guy find some cowbells?
Rhome: Washington Music Center. Guitar Center.
Falls Church - Cricket: Submitting early as I plan to be driving down for a wet beach weekend when you guys hit the air.
I want to watch some cricket!
I've been scouring the Cox channel listing and I know there is a Washington Cricket League, but what I was looking for was a nice bar tht showed some matches.
Fritz: We get this question a couple times a year and I *never* have an answer. Even when the British Embassy's Social Club was open, I never saw them showing cricket.
"It's our time at the edge.": Was it really that traumatic to leave college and join the working mob?
Jen: Oh, it *so* was. Because it was the '80s, and Emilio Estevez was in love with Andie MacDowell, and Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson just couldn't make it work, and ... and ... "I can make it, I know I can, you broke the boy in me, but you won't break the man!!"
Metro: So I guess David's in the anti-drunken shaninagans camp?
Totally off the subject, but did the whole "I call shaninagans!" thing come from a South Park episode? My boss told me that (actually during the interview- weird huh?), and I've been wondering the veracity of that fact ever since.
Jen: I believe your boss is correct. Now, Trey Parker and Matt Stone may have stole it from someone else. But that episode, which aired probably 10 years ago or more, was the first time I heard it.
That had to be what made you take the job, right?
Alexandria, Va.: My boyfriend and I are interested in a bar/club with good dance music (80's a plus! not too much techno), not super crowded but lively and a decent cocktail/wine selection...an age appropriate place for those of us in our late 30's...VA or DC locations are preferred...thanks!
Fritz: The '80s Dance Party -- formerly of Heaven and Hell, now at Morgan's (the old Angry Inch) -- on Thursday nights gets a wide range of ages, including many people in their 30s. Wish I could recommend the cocktails and wine, but it's kind of a dive. The new '80s party at Tattoo on Wednesday nights is another I can recommend, although the dance floor isn't huge.
Gettysburg, Pa.: RE: Gettysburg post. I'm from there and worked there as a park ranger. Now is the time to go before it gets over run with people over the summer. The painting and new museum are great. If you do go be sure to hire a licensed guide or at least join a ranger program if you can. Lots of antiques and such available downtown, if that is your thing.
Stephanie: And another vote for Gettysburg. Thanks for the guide tip!
Derby Day at Bourbon: Jeeez Fritz, can you please point out to the bazillion people on this chat how small the Bourbons are? You just ruined my plans....
Fritz: THE BOURBONS ARE NOT VERY BIG.
Honestly, I think the parties at the Willard ($75, inc. food and juleps) and the Jockey Club (free; "hats and equestrian attire" requested) will be less crowded.
Oh, Red Derby's doing a party with Juleps too, apparently.
Washington, D.C.: Where can I find supplies for a Derby party. Particularly, know any good place to buy a Derby pie?
Julia: Make one, dude. Super easy. I mean like really easy. Former guru Erin Hartigan told me this many years ago and I have never looked back. (I think I used this recipe.) You might call Heidelberg or Buzz bakeries if you'd prefer to buy one. I bet either one of those has them in stock. Also be sure to buy your mint early, like today. All the grocery stores in my neighborhood sold out. I just made some mint-infused simple syrup this morning. (Many thanks to Owen Thomson at Bourbon for the tip; otherwise I'd be behind the bar all night at my own derby/birthday party!)
Washington, D.C.: I think the person looking for the lounge/restaurant in Courthouse could be thinking about Yaku?
Julia: That's what I was thinking.
Follow up to Sundress Fest: So this is pretty casual- like playing croquet in flipflops with a drunken Irish family on Easter? Or is it casual like Lily Pulitzer and wedges? Cuz I'm 100% hoping for the former.
Fritz: One thousand percent the former. I mean, there's a pig roast on the patio and a significant number of guys throwing sundresses on over jeans and t-shirts in order to get cheap drinks. And it's for charity.
Civil War sites: How about Petersburg? Plus there were the battles of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg, so you could cover two battles in one day (with a bit of driving). Don't forget Fort Stevens here in DC.
Stephanie: And some more options for the Civil War-loving dad.
Washington, D.C. : re: kickball hatred
If it wasn't for kickball and the fact that those people don't care who you know and what office you work in, I never would have made friends in this city.
Some people can't control themselves, but drunks on the metro aren't just kickballers. I've caught many a drunk intern/college student before he or she tripped or fell into a wall.
Sorry to rant.
Julia: Rants are cool with me.
Dupont Circle, D.C.: I've found that people who generally celebrate 60 and below as "comfortable" to be miserable old coots. The facts are in science: one cannot be "comfortable" sitting outdoors in the shade drinking a corona at 60 or even 65 degrees. One, can, however, run a couple miles comfortably in that weather, maybe do a little mowing the lawn before going in and finishing that file system organization you started this morning, now that you bought that Brother label maker it'll look so nice. Maybe you'll watch that NOVA program on WETA tonight....
Jen: I'm not even going to comment on this. I publish this comment because it's poetry.
Petworth: The Red Derby is showing the Kentucky Derby and serving juleps. Might work for those who want a basic Derby party.
I'm going to be sappy for a second here, and wish that the Raven still did Derby Day. The former owner was this amazing old lady who was originally from Kentucky. Even long after the Raven stopped regularly serving food, she'd have a hell of a party for Derby Day. Fried chicken, ham biscuits, deviled eggs... oh so good. And the crowd was this wacky mix of everybody who lived in Mt Pleasant.
Julia: Before my days in Mt. P, but I love the reminiscing.
Not just kickballers: I cringe at the cussing as well... except I recently was riding with a mother who was repeating yelling at her small crying child to "shut the f--- up". Of course, the decision about whether one should intervene in that conversation is the topic of a different chat.
Julia: Sounds like a Carolyn question!!
Cleveland Park, D.C.: (un)Happy Queens Day, all - if you're Dutch like me. A very sad turn of events in holland has required all Queens Day activities to be cancelled. Any reccommendations for Dutch or similar restarants/bars in the area to drown my sorrows? Thanks!
Fritz: Yeah, I heard about this on the BBC. Very sad. (A car attempted to attack the Dutch royal family during a parade, but swerved into a crowd, killing four.)
Best Dutch drinks in town: Whatever Kevin Diedrich is making with Genever -- the traditional Dutch version of gin -- at Bourbon Steak. I've tried three and loved them all. Wonderful viscous, malty taste -- there's one with genever, tarragon and kumquat that was superlative. Happy hour from 6 to 8 tonight, too.
Arlington, Va.: Gurus, I would love to go with a few girlfriends to a "Cardio Striptease" class for a fun outing. Do you know any studios in the D.C. area that offer those classes for non-members on a class by class basis? Thanks so much!
Julia: Check out The P Spot (Not exactly safe for work). Michaela is incredible.
Silver Spring, Md.: Hi and thanks in advance for the help! Next weekend is my girlfriend's birthday, and I'd like to take her out to dinner. She loves the water, so I was thinking of driving to the National Harbor, and then either eating there and then taking the water taxi over to Alexandria for some ice cream and a walk, or vice versa? Between restaurants in old town and at the national harbor, where could I get good food (preferably seafood) and a great view of the water? Thanks!
Fritz: I'd skip both and head for Annapolis. Dinner at O'Leary's or Rockfish, ice cream on the City Dock from Storm Brothers (probably my favorite in the world), then drinks at Pusser's, which is right over the water. (You can even tie a boat up at the bar.)
Re: Penn Quarter/Chinatown: Julia, thank you for those suggestions. We've actually been to Cafe Atlantico with one set of the parents, and Proof with both... Any other thoughts -- think fun but still trendy... I guess I'm just thinking something more casual, inexpensive, but still nice and fun. Is that impossible downtown or in gtown?
Julia: Great minds think alike, I guess. Oyamel? Matchbox? In Georgetown, would Pizza Paradiso work?
Cursing on metro: That is a general indication of incivility in America. I hear that on most major transit systems in this country. On the London Tube, as drunk as people are late at night, you never hear open cursing like that.
Julia: This just in, from the BBC. Thanks.
Embassies- FYI: Go to the random countries. They have the best food. I went to Cyprus last year and they had all these awesome cheese samples.
The German embassy is the best- TONS of free, yummy food. French embassy? Lame- Charging way too much for bites of food. But lots of hot man candy.
Fritz: My rule is that you should visit countries that you never have been to in person, or that you're not sure you'll visit in person -- Ghana, Liberia, Uzbekistan, Bahrain.
Meeting the Parents...: PS 7's has amazing cocktails and really fun, delicious food. And it's in the area.
Julia: I haven't been to PS 7s in a while. Fritz has indeed raved about the bar food.
Cricket: Solly's on U Street showed all the matches of the last World Cup live, so I imagine they still have all the necessary channels for Cricket watching. You can also find it streamed live on the Internet in a few spots. To a quick search for "live Cricket TV" or something of that nature.
Fritz: Good to know, thanks.
Washington, D.C.: I need to find some fake mustaches. I used to go to Masters Costumes but they closed and the 'staches were $$$. I am just looking for the cheap stick on ones. Any place in D.C./Clarendon-ish that I may be able to pick up some 'staches?
Fritz: Backstage Costumes on Barracks Row always works for me.
Fairfax, Va.: Cinco de Mayo is coming up and some friends and I were looking for a good place for happy hour in Va. I was thinking Guapo's in Shirlington? Do you guys have any suggestions?
Fritz: Caribbean Breeze in Ballston always has a good party with music and food. Austin Grill in Centreville is having a party with live music and a bunch of specials, too.
Don't rag on WETA!: I work for PBS and we are NOT old coots. We are in fact, awesome. Maybe we'll vomit on you next time we see you on the metro.
Jen: Ha! Hey, I like WETA. I watch it every morning with my son. And I watched it late at night earlier this week when Prince was on Tavis Smiley. As long as you don't think it's balmy when it's 55 degrees out, I'm totally on your side in all this.
And on that note, the chat has come to another close. Join us again at this time next week when we'll again discuss such important topics as cursing on the Metro, when summer actually begins and whether the Love Theme from "St. Elmo's Fire" should be played during the seventh inning stretch at all Nationals games. Oh yeah, we also might help you get some plans ... or something.
Until then, enjoy the non-frightful weekend!
The Going Out Gurus write about restaurants, bars, movies, the arts, special events and visitor attractions, and they're out every night to keep you on top of the D.C. entertainment scene. Check out our updates throughout the week on the GOG Blog and join us on Thursdays at 1 p.m. for our live Q&A.
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