Got Plans?: The '90s Are Back + Adams Morgan Bar Licenses and Towson Restaurants

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Scenes and music from "The Bullpen," a new beer garden across from Nationals Park which opened on May 15.Video by Anna Uhls/Washington Post

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The Going Out Gurus
of The Washington Post's Going Out Guide
Thursday, May 21, 2009; 1:00 PM

The Going Out Guide staff engaged in a bit of "I Love the '90s" with the chatters on Thursday, May 21 at 1 p.m. ET. We also talked about the potential Adams Morgan bar closings, beach getaways, food in the Sculpture Garden and what to do with underage visitors.

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washingtonpost.com: Summer is almost here (and the weather is even cooperating), so it's time to talk Memorial Day weekend and what's new at the beach. On that [shore]front, Ellen McCarthy and Michael O'Sullivan, who wrote for the Beach Guide you'll find in tomorrow's Weekend section, are joining the chat today to talk about great ways to spend a day at the beach. Speaking of the beach, Fritz is headed there as we speak, and Jen is off to talk about Silverdocs. The rest of us are ready for your questions but first, one final announcement: We're giving away tickets to see "Rent" on May 26 at the Warner Theatre. To win them, tell us what '90s trend was so awesomely bad it deserves a comeback. Let's get started.

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Desperate! Md.: Hi Gurus!! I'm submitting early because I really really need help! Tomorrow my brother is graduating from Towson (yay!) and because of visiting relatives' schedules and what not we are trying to plan a celebratory dinner near Towson, in White Marsh or nearby, but not in Baltimore or Ellicot City. I am totally unfamiliar with these areas and need some good suggestions for places with good food and fun atmosphere. Currently we have reservations for the Lutherville Macaroni Grill and I don't think that's going to cut it. THANKS!!!

Julia: Sadly, I'm gonna have to take a duck on this one. White Marsh is a total mystery to me. If only Fritz were here to enlighten us with his Maryland knowledge. Chatters, help a reader out on the eve of his/her bro's graduation.

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Alexandria, Va.: Wondering if Rustico has or will have their beer pops available again this year? I could go for one of those right about now!

Julia: Just called over to the restaurant. According to general manager Jason, the restaurant is indeed planning on bringing back the beer pops this year, but they're still in the process of fine-tuning the recipe. The hoppy pops definitely won't be in this weekend, but maybe weekend after next? You should probably call first.

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Washington, D.C.: I was thinking of trying to get to Wolf Trap for the concert on Sunday. How hard is it to do the Metro to the shuttle bus and back again? Do the return buses leave 20 minutes after the concert or 20 minutes after the fireworks? And what if you arrive by public transportation after the capacity is reached and they close the doors? Do you just have to sit there for 3 or 4 hours waiting for a return bus?

Stephanie: The good people at Wolf Trap tell me that the park will be coordinating with the metro shuttle, so they aren't going to pick up more people than the park can accommodate. Also, the buses after the Summer Blast Off will be heading back to the metro 20 minutes after the full show is over, which means after the fireworks display.

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Washington, D.C.: I haven't been able to find out any information on the Memorial Day Concert dress rehearsal at the Capitol. Is it open to the public again this year, and if so, when exactly is it?

David: Yes, the rehearsals will be open to the public. They will be on Friday and Saturday, with gates opening at 5 p.m. and the rehearsals beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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Arlington, Va.: I'll be back in town by Sunday evening for Monday's festivities. This is likely a dumb question, but does anyone shoot off fireworks? Or are there any neighborhood festivals on Monday? Thanks!

Anne: Wolf Trap is blasting off fireworks on Sunday, and there definitely are Monday festivals. Not a dumb question at all, by the way.

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Bad 90's trend: Tamagotchi game/pet things. In high school everyone had to feed their keychain every hour or so!!!

Stephanie: Right! Those were so annoying!

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Silver Spring, Md.: Hey GOGs, really enjoy the blog every week, means I'm that much closer to the weekend. My question may be out of your "jurisdiction", but I figured you'd be the best place to turn. My girlfriend an I are planning a trip to VA Beach. Any must see places, good restaurants, or other items of interest to note there? We're not trying to spend a lot of money either, so anything free is a plus! Thanks!

Michael: You can't get more free than the boardwalk. It's a nice walk of about 40 blocks. Or take a bike ride in a two-seat "surrey", if you've got $15 or so. Use the rest of your money to eat at Eat, a wonderful bistro just off the north end of the boardwalk. It isn't exactly cheap, but the food is worth every penny.

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Re: Nineties Trend: Backwards clothing...specifically, backwards pants. I miss Kriss Kross.

Stephanie: Now I'm going to have Jump Jump in me head for the rest of the day.

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Virginia: Hey Gurus,

Happy Thursday! I have a quick and what I hope is an easy question....could you (or any chatters) recommend a good brunch spot in the Dupont area? I'd like to check out the Post Secret exhibit and grab brunch, but don't know the area well. A couple of suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks very much, and have a great long weekend!!

Julia: Tabard for nice and pricey, Kramerbooks for cheap and crowded (in a cute way), Firefly for hotel pleasant, The Front Page for all-you-can-drink champagne. I haven't been to brunch at Darlington House, but I hear good things from a friend.

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Phillies?: Why, oh why, would you post a video about the Bullpen outside the Nats stadium with a picture of a guy in a Phillies t-shirt prominently displayed in the still? Gah!

David: Were you at or did you watch any of those games? The Phillies shirts and fans were far more prominent. Those were basically Phillies home games. Not quite as bad at the Pirates game last night, but us Pirates fans were certainly more vocal. Rare instance when Pirates fans can go somewhere and be the bullies. Bring the brooms tonight!

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Horrible 90s trend???: What about girls tucking their (darted, mind you) jeans into socks. Bonus points if you were wearing two pairs of socks and alternated which socks were on the top on each leg. This trend looked best if worn with LA Gear hightops. (Forgive me if this was an 80s trend here; I grew up in Utah and sometimes things took awhile to reach us.)

Stephanie: It's definitely borderline, but still a sweet image. Thanks.

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Bloomingdale: 90s trend: in honor of Blossom (Mayim Bialik) being on an upcoming episode of what not to wear, we should all start dressing like her again. maybe marc jacobs could design a line for fashion week. http://www.fancast.com/blogs/wp-content/post_images/blossom.jpg

Stephanie: Those were some pretty amazing hats.

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Bobby Lews update?: As a loyal customer of Bobby Lew's, I was greatly distressed to hear that it is likely closing. Such a friendly, low-key neighborhood dive will be a huge loss for the neighborhood and me personally - I have met a lot of friends there.

Any update on their appeal?

Any words of wisdom/consolation to make me feel better? Perhaps recommendations of places nearby that can replace it if it is indeed closing?

Fritz: There was a big meeting at Jim Graham's office yesterday with representatives from the ANC, neighborhood groups, the bars, the business district, etc.

Basically, the long and short of it is that Bobby Lew's and Bossa are appealing to the District Court, and they'll be open until that case ends. Given the speed at which justice works in D.C., I have a feeling they'll be open for a while.

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90's Trend: The grunge rock revival of plaid/flannel shirts.

Stephanie: Way to go for the low-hanging fruit! Still, undeniably '90s.

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Bad 90s trend...: Fashion wise, those jelly shoes, some of it tried to come back last year and this year, though I doubt it will :)

Stephanie: Totally! Mine were sparkly.

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90s Trend: Umm body suits, not all those came with snaps in the crotch, so having to undress completely to use the bathroom was always a pain. Oh and don't forget your dark lip liner with lighter lipstick to go with your outfit!

Stephanie: I feel like I just saw a bodysuit somewhere recently. I pray those aren't actually making a comeback.

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Arlington, Va.: Question about jazz at the sculpture garden. In your blog post about cheap dates, you recommend picking up takeout. But on the sculpture garden event page, it says no outside refreshments permitted. Can you sneak the takeout in?

Fritz: I've never, ever had a problem bringing snacks in. The problem is that some people insist on sneaking in their own wine, instead of buying the overpriced plonk from the cafe, which ruins it for the rest of us.

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Dayton, Ohio: GOGs - a friend and I are visiting D.C. in mid-June. We're looking for a medium priced restaurant in the District or Va. serving any kind of food. We're in our 50s so we aren't looking for places the 20-somethings hang out in, but we don't want an old-folks vibe either. Suggestions? A friend in D.C. wants to take us to Gibson for cocktails -- I hear it's great! Thanks!

Julia: The Gibson is indeed delish! Right in the area, you could grab a bite to eat a Marvin (may be just out of your price range), Creme, 1905 (yes, the review I'm linking to is less than positive, but I'm telling you the atmosphere is worth it). Perhaps the newcomer Eatonville could work.

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Friendship Heights: 90's trends:

Hypercolor Shirts. All I can say is that I had a few too many boys pawing me, leaving handprints in ill-advised places on my person when I was in junior high (and I was a total dork that took years to grow into my looks, hahaha, the cute girls must have really gotten mauled). Need I say more?

It's that or slap bracelets. Metal with a memory. I remember when they were banned as they were supposedly a risk for slit wrists or the like.

Ah, memories.

Stephanie: Julia and I were fans of the hypercolor as well. They looked great with our Jams and mismatched socks.

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90s Trend: Pogs. 'nuf said. :)

Rhome: This one has my vote.

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Arlington, Va.: The Bullpen beer garden is crap - like a frat house with toss games and the cheapest beer. Certainly not equal to what goes on in Camden Yards. How can I get the owners to realize this beergarden idea has a negative effect on fan enjoyment at the game ?

Fritz: Wait, how does it have "a negative effect on fan enjoyment at the game" when the Bullpen's across the street? And if you're comparing it to places near Camden Yards -- have you ever been to Mother's before a Ravens game?

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Takoma Park, Md.: Hello GOGs, Looking for activities this weekend with my 78-year-old visiting mom and my 3-year-old daughter. Mom is in good shape but can't walk long distances, which can make D.C. sightseeing a challenge. She expressed interest in the Air & Space jet simulators. Any idea if that's too strenuous for the elderly? Other ideas for activities good for young and old? Thanks very much!!

Michael: Wow, I'm impressed. Your mother expressed interest in the simulator rides? I've been on a few at the Smithsonian museums, and they can get pretty intense. Not so much strenuous as scary/nauseating. I personally didn't have a problem with it, but I've seen people react badly. How does your mom do on stomach-churning amusement park rides or real airplanes? Use that as your guide. I'd be more concerned about her standing in line, though. The wait for these things can sometimes be quite long and tedious, and hard on the feet. All three-year-olds seem to love Air & Space (mine did). And note: Every Smithsonian museum offers free wheelchairs, should your mother gets tired. I've taken advantage of them with my in-laws, and neither one of them is disabled.

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Awesomely bad 90s trend: How about the "tramp stamp"...tattoos on the lowerback of women? Or do people still do that (on purpose)?

David: We consider ourselves experts on this topic (don't ask) and have decided it's more of a '00s trend than '90s trend. Or maybe it was a '90s trend but we just see it more now thanks to the onslaught of "[Blank] of Love" shows.

Stephanie: And David would know since he was just telling Julia and me the other day that he is the proud owner of a "tramp stamp." Hard to say whether he was joking or not...

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90's trend: It has to be the jelly sandals. They are plastic shoes! No one should think those are a good idea. They are painful, ugly, and they smell after wearing them for about 10 minutes (trust me). Although on the bright side for my middle school popularity, I was allowed to have them in every color since pairs of them cost approximately $5 each.

Rhome: I know Stephanie showed love to this one early but I can't allow it. Jellies are firmly ensconced in the '80s.

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Duh: Overalls, with one strap hanging down. Bonus points if you paired yours with a bodysuit with the shoulders cut out.

OR: Plaid, flannel babydoll dresses with mary jane shoes and hair courtesy of manic panic.

Rhome: I'd also add spandex biker shorts worn under ripped jeans. Bonus points if the jeans had airbrushed graffiti on them. This one's on the cusp, barely carrying over from '89 to '90.

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Bad, bad trend: The "jarty" or jeans party. A jeans jacket paired with jeans, a jeans skirt or jorts (jeans shorts).

Julia: I thought that was called a Canadian Tuxedo . . . . Jorts may the subject of one of my favorite Web sites of all time. Until I met awkwardfamilyphotos.com, of course.

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Alexandria, Va.: Please please please -- regarding the free Marine band show at Wolftrap. Do you know how well attended it is and how early one should get there to get a seat (instead of the lawn)? Any info would be very helpful as we wanted to take our elderly and disabled parents, but we don't want them to have to stand around forever waiting to get in and then not have seats for them.

Stephanie: Doors open at 6:30 and I would get there as close to opening time as possible.

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Alexandria, Va.: PSYCHIC FRIENDS NETWORK

Stephanie: I admire your enthusiasm. This isn't Dionne Warwick writing in, is it?

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Bethesda, Md.: Hi Gurus! Love the chat -- read it every week. My friends and I are going to throw a surprise birthday party for a friend in July. Any suggestion of bars that don't charge for their private room? Bethesda or D.C. would be best. We're going to have approximately 25 people and would just like to enjoy some drinks and surprise our friend.

Thanks for your help!

Julia: Excellent question. This is the kind of scenario where I just kind of show up early, stake out a big space, etc. . . Give Caddies a call. We just had our last Going Out Guide Second-Thursday-of-the-Month Happy Hour there and it worked out pretty well -- nice balcony and everything upstairs, decent grub. Plus, I got to meet the inventor of Gator Sauce, which may have been the highlight of my night. Word to the wise: Stay away from the sweet tea vodka. Just sayin'.

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BYOP, Washington, D.C.: Are you allowed to BYOP (Bring Your Own Picnic) to the National Gallery of Art sculpture garden at all times? My mom and I are entertaining some friends from England for the day next Wednesday and wanted to picnic somewhere unique for lunch. We're interested in making our own spread, instead of buying from the garden's Pavilion Cafe and wanted to make sure that was allowed!

Michael: Yes, by all means BYOP! Outside food is allowed whenever the garden is open. Just be considerate, and clean up after yourselves.

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90s: Slap bracelets! Pagers! CD walkman!

Stephanie: Pagers! That's a good one. Anyone else remember the old 143 code?

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Adams Morgan: Fritz,

Your article about Adams Morgan bars losing their licenses was frightening. I am an Admas Morgan resident, and I get just as annoyed by the bar traffic as the rest of the neighborhood (all the drunk people screaming their heads off at 2 a.m. - just go home already!!!). But I don't think any Adams Morgan residents want 6 empty storefronts on 18th street -- which is certainly what will happen if those bars are forced to close in this economy!

What are they thinking? And where can I, as a resident, go to complain? I'm already drafting an email to Jim Graham, but are there others I should contact?

Thanks!

Fritz: Here's the thing about the whole situation: No one's denying that these "restaurant" owners -- and 14 others -- are breaking the law. They are. Restaurant licenses are much easier (and cheaper) to get than tavern licenses, but you have to operate like a restaurant and sell a certain amount of food. Bobby Lew's and Bossa have never met the minimum 45 percent food sale threshold, and Bossa's had like eight years to act like a restaurant. They even admitted in their testimony before the Alcohol Control Board that they only got serious about selling food two years ago when they heard that the city was going to start cracking down on restaurants that were de facto bars.

What Bossa and Bobby Lew's are really complaining about is that this is the first time either place has EVER been in trouble with the neighborhood and the city, and their licenses were revoked. There are places in Adams Morgan that had shootings, stabbings, fights, multiple citations for underage drinking, etc., and those places didn't immediately have their licenses pulled.

Anyway. Sorry for the long-winded explanation. As I said earlier, the bars are going to get their day in court (which the ABC board didn't want to give them). If you want to offer support -- or, like some people, thank the city for cracking down on pseudo-bars -- then contact Peter Feather, who's the chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration Board, your Adams Morgan ANC commissioner, maybe even ABRA Board member Mital Gandhi, who was the only one who was thought revoking the licenses was too harsh. (ABRA public e-mail is abra@dc.gov.)

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Beach Bound: Hi Gurus. Like many other chatters I'm braving the Bay Bridge this weekend to head to the beach with some 20-something friends this weekend. We're staying at my friend's parent's beach house in Bethany (recession-friendly). I know Bethany has a reputation as the quietest of the Delmar beaches, but I was hoping you'd have a suggestion for a good place to grab drinks locally. Thanks!

Ellen: Mango Mike's on the Boardwalk will definitely serve you some strong, fruity concoctions. Any other Bethany favorites out there?

Fritz: Yeah, it's pretty much Mango Mike's or bust -- happy hour 1-6 daily! 50 percent off drinks! -- though Matteo's Salsa Loco, which is on Garfield Parkway at the top of the main drag, does have cold beers and a small patio with tiki torches.

FWIW, I'll be in Bethany in a couple of hours, and I'll pretty much be at Mango Mike's when I need a drink and can't get to Catch 54 in Fenwick, which has a adironack chairs on patio facing the bay. You can tie up your boat at the bar.

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Washington, D.C.: Random question -- I really want to take some kind of lessons/class at lunch (work is slow over the summer and I have a lunch hour that I normally spend by myself, reading). Anything in the Eastern Market/Capitol Hill area is preferred.

Stephanie: It's hard to guess what you might be into, but Capitol Hill Yoga is nearby if you're in the mood for something active. Meanwhile Capitol Hill Arts Workshop has private music classes as well as other artsy instruction from photography to dance to creative writing. Although, I think most of their classes would be after work.

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Southeast D.C.: Hello! Any ideas on fun/interesting places a 5-year-old child might enjoy? I'm dating a guy with a daughter and I'm trying to come up with fun ways to include her. I've suggested the butterfly exhibit at the Natural History museum, but bugs freak her out. She's really awesome on the wii bowling game, so something active should be fine. Also, I'd like to keep it interesting for the adults. Location: D.C. is preferable or Northern Virginia. Since I'm not exactly kid-oriented, I'm at a loss. Help!!

Anne: Hmm, if she's into Wii bowling, take her real bowling at the Hippodrome in GW's Marvin Center. I just went a few weeks ago, and since it was close to finals, it was deserted. Not bad milkshakes at the attached Wingery, either; the Hippodrome itself is cheap, alcohol-free and family-friendly. Or, even if you skip bugs, there are still lots of nature centers around with other animals and short enough hiking trails. Hidden Pond has a great namesake pond you can walk around and count all the frogs. Is she old enough for the new "Night at the Museum"? You can take a twilight stroll around Mount Vernon this weekend, because what museum doesn't want to cash in on the Ben Stiller/museum-artifacts-come-to-live franchise?

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Friendship Heights : It's me again, can you tell I attended junior high through college in the '90's? Yes, that's right, I spent ALL OF MY FORMATIVE YEARS in the '80s and '90s! No WONDER I look like this now.

I'd like to add:

Bobbed hair with bangs and little hats, ala "Singles"

Manic Panic'd hair (I sported an awesome half red/half green bob in high school for some time).

Multi-hued Doc Martens. Yeah, I still have my gold glitter ones.

Ooh, and those massively platform-y or chunky soled bump-toe shoes. I still have a pair from high school I wear around, and the other day was mocked mercilessly by a clerk for them, hahaha.

Stephanie: I was a fan of Manic Panic too, though hot pink was my hair color of choice. Dad was none too pleased.

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Washington D.C. -- Country line dancer??: Thoughts on Nick's Nightclub, the country line dancing spot? I've wanted to try it for years but want to make sure I won't be the only newbie at country line dancing there...

Julia: I'm pretty much obsessed with the place. Seriously. For a while, I was going to Nick's once a month, which is kind of a lot considering it's (a) a country bar and (b) not really near a Metro.

But I digress. You will not be the only newbie there, particularly if you show up for the class at 7:45. But even without the lesson, I've always gotten along fine. There are plenty of fine gentlemen who'll happy to show you and your friends the ropes. (If this question asker is a guy, I'm sure one of the lovely ladies there could show you around too.)

Seriously though, do try Nick's. It's a lot of fun.

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Alan (D.C.): Hi GOGs! Happy Thursday indeed. I hope you can help me, I don't know where else to turn. Are there any clubs in the area (D.C., College Park even) that are 18 and over? Thanks so much.

Fritz: We're always the best place to turn for questions like this. 18-and-over clubs really depend on the night. Ultrabar and Ibiza are 18+ on Thursdays, and 21+ on Friday-Saturday. Fur is 18-and-over all weekend. Love is 21-and-up. You can also try places earlier in the week -- Lima, for example, has and 18+ party with DJs on Tuesdays.

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'90s bad trend: Isn't time we all gave Zima another chance?

Fritz: No.

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Golf Enthusiast: Any update on the H Street CC? I know last week an opening date of May 27th was given, which was based on the liquor license being picked up last week, with all the delays so far though I still won't believe it until I sink my first putt.

David: This place, man. How many years have we talking about how "it's about to open soon, no really, it is!" And we keep waiting and waiting, but while talking it up all the same. So, clearly, I'm with you on the skepticism. It's become this mystical place, all because it's taking forever to open. And yes, our constant updates just feed into that, but clearly people are interested. And yes, if it were possible to bet an over/under on when it would open, I would go to my Bodog account and empty it on the over.

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Bobby Lews: Hey GOGs, I'm just wondering if there are other places in a similar boat. I guess I'm wondering if the Blaguard is in danger of being shut down too or other fun and low-key places like that. As a neighbor, I'm very interested in having these places stay open - will it help if I start ordering chicken wings like it's my job every night?

Fritz: Blaguard -- which has one of the same owners as Bobby Lew's -- is not on the short list of licenses in trouble. That would be Grand Central, Ventnor (which I seriously thought sold a lot of wings) and Adams Mill.

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Arlington, Va.: Gurus,

So I've got my good friends from NYC coming down this weekend and given their high standard for culinary excellence I do not want to disappoint them. Just my opinion but I think a lot of restaurants in D.C. are more into the atmosphere than the food. I want to take them to a place that puts the food before the scene and leaves us walking away thinking how great the food was. Do you have any recommendations for really excellent food in the moderate price range anywhere near U St./Dupont corridor, any cuisine is fine.

Thanks

Julia: I think Marvin may be your best bet in that neck of the woods, even though atmosphere is certainly prized there. I'm always fond of the small plates at Cork and Bar Pilar as well. Limit your order and you limit your pricetag. Mindblowing cuisine and moderate price range do not often go together well in this town, but those places would be a start.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi GOGs,

I have family (all adults) coming into town NEXT weekend Sunday thru Tuesday (May 31-June 2). They've been in D.C. before, and I'm running out of new places to take them. Any events going on or ideas for things off the beaten track? I looked at the City Guide and was wondering whether Artomatic might be fun for them?

Thanks!

Michael: Artomatic certainly qualifies as off the beaten track. It's in the ghost town known as Capitol Riverfront, near the baseball stadium. And it's certainly like nothing else in Washington (or most other places, for that matter). Your stomach for it depends on your willingness to endure some not-so-great art (several floors of any empty building's worth, in fact)in the search for some pretty darn cool art. And I can almost guarantee you that everyone in your group will find something to like there, as long as they keep an open mind. Good or bad, that much art under one roof is pretty darn cool, in and of itself. I vote for Artomatic!

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Bowie, Md.: Hi GOGs! I have to case study some restaurants and lounge/night clubs in the 14th street corridor area in D.C. for my interior design class. Could you give me your list of restaurants and lounge/night clubs in the area that look the absolute best or are the most unique on the inside? I need to scope them out for a project. The clubs have to be with in a 2 block radius of 14th street from about P Street up to U Street. I have only been to places like The Republic so I am not too familiar in the area. I figure I will make an event out of it and drag my friends and we can drink or party at each place. You all know the ins and outs of everything and I am sure you know all spots we can hit up. Thanks so much in advance. - Clubin for school

Fritz: The Gibson, Halo, Marvin (downstairs, with the Marvin Gaye painting), Saint-Ex and the upstairs of Policy would be on my list. Maybe Local 16's rooftop. Oh, and the new Eatonville.

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Washington, D.C.: Wasn't Fritz driving somewhere, or something? Anyways: flat top fade.

Fritz: I'm waiting for carmates to finish work so we can leave. I'm at home chilling and about to run to the store. Thrilling, I know.

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L'enfant Plaza: We need to bring back GIANT cell phones like Zack Morris' dad on Saved by the Bell. Those are way cooler than an iPhone.

Fritz: I love the brick-sized cordless phone Kenny Loggins used in the last episode of "Yacht Rock."

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Bethesda, Md.: I have a girlfriend coming to town this weekend and I'd love a suggestion for somewhere to take her out to dinner in downtown Bethesda. There are a million places to choose from, and I don't know where to start! Not picky (romantic, fun, casual, whatever) at all as long as the food's good, and it would help if the entrees were less than, say, $25. Thanks!

Julia: Jaleo is one of my most reliable faves in the area, though I have to say, I just got the most glowing you-have-to-go-to-Persimmon tip yesterday. So that's a thought....

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Washington, D.C.: A bit off-topic but any suggestions for a day trip from D.C. this weekend for four adults and one 4-year-old?

Anne: This is perfectly on topic, and to my way of thinking, the perfect non-beach trip this weekend is strawberry picking (scroll way down). You could choose a closer in farm or take a longer road trip. Another possibility, or one you could combine with your berries -- the Catoctin Zoo is boasting that this weekend it's opening a new (pricey) safari ride where you get to feed and take pictures of animals. It opens tomorrow, so I haven't checked it out yet... but could be a different way to spend the holiday weekend.

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Washington, D.C.: I am getting married in a few weeks at a hotel in D.C. and while it takes my bridesmaids and I all day to get ready, I was looking for ideas on somethings/places the guys can do/go to have some fun and relax in the afternoon. It can't require too much time and can even just be a fun place for a long drawn out lunch. It should also be somewhere within the City. Thoughts?

Ellen: If they're golfers and it's a nice day they might want to hit some balls at Hains Point. Or lunch at the Georgetown waterfront?

And, speaking of weddings: We're getting ready to launch new coverage of Washington weddings in the Style section. If you're getting married soon and want us to consider covering your big day, please e-mail OnLove@washpost.com.

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Patrick (D.C.): I have some 18-year-old British guys coming to town this weekend - any 18 and up clubs in the area? Thanks!

Rhome: Scarce options, but good ones.

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D.C.!: Im thinking of having a pair of business shoes made for my difficult-to-fit husband. Do you know any places or could you reccomend a cobbler that I can have shoes made for a man from scratch? Im not trying to go "high end" ($$$$$) but "decent"($$$). Ideas?

Thanks! Happy Long Weekend!

Julia: I don't know if he would even do something like this, but I have to say, the guy at Highland Shoe Repair in Courthouse totally rules! Yelpers apparently disagree, but I just had a great shoe-repair experience. My favorite boots are just like new after being re-heeled for $17.

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Old Town Alexandria: I'm planning my first trip to the Delaware Coast in a couple weekends when my parents come to visit. Can you give me the vibe on Dewey, Rehoboth and Bethany? I heard they are pretty different. Which one has the most rental properties close to the beach?

Ellen: Ooooh, Congrats! It's going to be fun. Dewey is party central --that's where you want to be to drink, dance and meet big crowds of young folks. Bethany is very quiet, pretty and calm -- might be a good pick if your parents just want to relax. Rehoboth has a good boardwalk, tons of shops and great restaurants. If they want to do more than lay on the beach, it would be a good destination for a parental visit.

Fritz: The one thing I'll add about Dewey is that in my experience, it's really a week-long rental kind of place. The hotels are ridiculously expensive there. Bethany also doesn't have very many hotels at all, especially within walking distance of the beach, so if you're going for the weekend, that might not be a good bet either.

Ellen's dead on about Rehoboth, though. I'd say there or, if you want to do more shopping and low-key activities, I'd head for Lewes, maybe take the ferry to Cape May for the day.

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For Towson Grad's brother - dinner near Towson or White Marsh: Try Michael's on York Road, which I've been to and I like, and in Lutherville, close by try this - haven't been there, looks better than a chain.

Julia: Yay! Towson, check this out!

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Petworth: David, I am disappointed in you.

Nationals Park is OUR house, and you LIVE here. You should know better than to encourage the out of towners.

David: Hey, if the team president is encouraging the out of towners, then I don't feel too bad about it. Also, I'm not an out-of-towner, I'm just stuck with the misfortune of being a Pirates fan. (And not a Penguins or Steelers fan -- I really got a raw deal there.) Anyway, may as well get some people excited about being at a baseball game, right? That's a seriously bad team in a pretty boring stadium. The Nats have got to earn it at least a little bit, don't they?

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Bar Stool at Ventnor: For those of us who want to support Ventnor and other businesses on 18th who have restaurant licenses, shouldn't we just buy more food? Or is the proportion of booze to food so out of whack that twenty additional orders of wings per month really isn't going to do much? Thanks.

Fritz: Yes, buy food. That's what you can do. And call/e-mail your council member/ANC rep, and definitely Jim Graham.

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Bad '90s: Definitely Pokemon. I remember blasting a Bush song for my girlfriend's 7 year old kid cuz it had a lyric that sounded like the guy was screaming "Pokemon". The little rascal really loved that song...

Anne: Nice call. I asked David which Bush song you're thinking of and he says, "All of them. Every Bush song starts with him shouting something like 'Machinehead' or 'Glycerine' or 'Everything Zen.'" (Note: This is funnier if you can imagine David actually shouting this.)

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Falls Church, Va.: A friend and I are going to visist the Textile Museum this weekend and we'd like to explore the Dupont Circle and/or Adams Morgan. What are some must-see destinations/shops around there?

Michael: If you're already in the museum mood, how about swinging by the Phillips Collection after the Textile Museum? There's a show of still-life paintings by Giorgio Morandi in the galleries, and an intriguing, interactive, conceptual installation in the museum cafe by the contemporary art group db Foundation. It's called "this is not that CAFE," and it plays with the idea of gathering spaces, food, desire and ideas. Clear enough? Go check it out.

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Please, oh please, oh please....I need your help!: My 18 year old sister and her friend (same age) are coming into town for the weekend to visit. My sister and I are polar opposites and I have NO CLUE what to do! Any ideas both for day/night activities that are metro accessible? I'd prefer to avoid the super touristy spots (i.e. the mall) for everyone's sanity...and I was thinking maybe a morning/brunch at Eastern Market? Other thoughts? And for night time activities....any place they can go to that will also let me have a few drinks? For what it's worth, they're both very artsy and musical.

Sorry for the influx of questions, but I am totally stumped. Thank you SO much!

Stephanie: Eastern Market is a fun idea. You can stroll around the market after grabbing brunch at Matchbox or Le Pain Quotidien. For nighttime activities, Black Cat and 930 Club are both all ages, if you feel like taking in some music (where you can sip beers). There's also Source, which usually has offbeat plays and this weekend is no exception. Crazyface is playing, which sounds interesting, if you aren't too scared of clowns. Grab a cheap and delicious dinner at nearby Chix or Oohhs and Aahhs before or after the show. Hope that helps!

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Georgetown Next?: On the whole AdMo bar closings how come other bars like Smith Point get to stay open almost 10 years when on a nightly basis they break their occupancy and fire codes by having over the limit of allowed people? Not once have I ever heard of bars like SP, Rugby, Third Edition (and others in Georgetown) being held accountable for what I would think would be more serious offenses?

Fritz: Smith Point's fire department-issued capacity is/was 250, from what I saw.

And really, what this comes down to is the ANC, and the fact that Adams Morgan has the overwhelming majority of restaurants-acting-as-bars in the city.

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Washington, DC: Hi Gurus. I'm looking for a fun, low-key place to go out dancing with my boyfriend. (just regular dancing, not swing or ballroom or whathaveyou) We are not the velvet rope and bottle service upscale club types, but we'd also rather not go somewhere, er, gross. Is there a happy medium somewhere in the city?

Rhome: Wonderland, Selam this Saturday, Fatback DC, St. Ex (might that count in the "gross" category?), upstairs at Rock & Roll Hotel (check schedule for which dance party is on the night you want to go), Metropolitain.

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1990: Is it too late to add umbros to the this chat? You know, the ones with two different colored legs?

Anne: Oooh, not too late at all. But I really hope it is too late for that to ever come back.

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Alan (DC): To follow up on the 18+ clubs, anything for this Sunday? I see that fur is only a Fri/Sat club. Thanks so so much.

Fritz: Ah, you're looking for THIS Sunday, eh? Most of the big dance clubs in the city aren't open on Sundays.

Actually, Fur *is* open and 18-and-over this Sunday, and if I had remembered that French house/techno DJ David Guetta was going to be spinning there, I would have recommended that very highly in the Nightlife Agenda column. Check out myspace.com/davidguetta to hear why.

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Wine me...: Hey GOGs - recently heard that Charlie Palmer's was starting up their Wine Wednesdays - but alas - it didn't happen last night. Can you shed some light on the future of Wine Wednesday's at CPS - or inform on any other establishments offering same? Thanks!

Julia: Wine Wednesdays is not happening at Charlie Palmer this year (and didn't happen last year apparently, according to one of the managers). There has been some confusion apparently because a Charlie Palmer Steak in Dallas is doing a similar promotion -- and an e-mail blast went out about that. But that promotion is not happening here in D.C. "There simply isn't enough space at the bar," says manager Philip. Hope this clears up any confusion.

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'90s trend: Hypercolor shirts! (Especially attractive when the only part of your body warm enough to change the shirt's color was your armpits.)

Anne: Oh yes. Especially popular in summertime. Thank you for bringing back memories of seeing this trend writ large across the amusement park-going public.

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For Towson: Try Bluestone in Timonium (just south of the Macaroni Grill) or Tarks Grill (near 83 and 695)

Julia: Check you guys out! Thanks!

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Arlington, Va.: It seems like everyone and their mother (ok, probably not their mother) is going to Dewey this weekend, myself included...

I'm taking tomorrow off, so do you think it's best just to leave as early as possible (9ish, after morning comuute traffic) to beat the beach traffic?

My liver thanks you.

Ellen: Yes. Definitely leave as early as possible. You'll still probably hit some traffic, but just be patient, bring some good music and think good thoughts about the cold drink that awaits you at the end of your travels.

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Road Trip?: GOGs: Help! I rented a car for this weekend, but my plans have fallen through. I am looking, therefore, for an alternative plan for the weekend, possibly including a road trip or two, maybe even an overnighter. I looked into it last night, and pretty much ruled out places like Philadelphia and Baltimore because they're so close anyway and easily reachable by Amtrak. Any ideas for a quick and relatively inexpensive road trip as long as I've paid for the wheels?

Ellen: How about Charlottesville? You could hit some vineyards, see Monticello and stop on the way back to do some hiking in Shenandoah.

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Dupont brunch: I'm a little confused as to how Kramer's is "cheap" and Tabard "expensive." Yes, Tabard has a more expensive atmosphere, but the brunch entrees range from $11 to $17 (with $17 being for one fish entree, the rest average around $14 or $15) Kramer's entrees are $14.95 to $17.75. The last time I went I remember the friend I went with saying, Wow, didn't realize Kramer's was so pricey. Plus it's not very good. The outside seating is nice but that's about it...

Julia: Yeah, actually, now that you say this, I think you're right about the prices. I believe I was mis-remembering atmosphere for price. Thanks for the memory jog and apologies for my bad before. Trying to link to too many brunch places at once, I suppose.

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Minnesota: Bad 90s Trend -- Zubas -- ugly pants, weird design...nuff said!

Rhome: I didn't rock Zubas - thank God - weren't they only for greasy haired body builders? I did rock Skidz though, another one just on the cusp of the '80s/'90s border.

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Baltimore, Md.: For the chatter looking for a restaurant in White Marsh (just outside of Baltimore). If you're looking for something on the casual side try the Red Brick Station at The Avenue (www.redbrickstation.com). It's nice step up from the brand name restaurants there.

Julia: And another one.

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Adams Morgan, D.C.: I know I seem to write this every couple of weeks but given the delay's in opening I am always wondering. So when is the new Paradiso opening in Dupont? I am so excited since they are suppose to be more like the Georgetown branch.

Fritz: I asked the Birreria Paradiso crew this question -- after the one-time May 1 opening date came and went -- and was told "summer."

BTW, "Mid-to-late summer" is also the current status of Church Key and Birch and Barley, the 500 beer behemoth (with a roof deck!) that's going into the old Dakota Cowgirl on 14th.

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Eastern Market, D.C.: bad nineties trends that I'd like to see return: identical outfit wearing music groups. Seriously, there's something corny and classic at the same time -- look at the groups from motown and the Beatles! That's something that died out in the nineties with Boyz II Men but could use a rebirth.

Stephanie: I can still see the matching striped sweaters and bow ties from the Motownphilly video. Classic!

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Awsomely bad '90s trend: Of course it's the purse backpack (or the backpack purse).

Anne: Got a couple responses for this one. I like the precision of placing it in the '90s. But I fear this one never really did go away.

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Towson food: Not really a place for a celebratory dinner, but for lunch or snacks near Towson, Atwater's in Belvedere Square (York Rd and Northern Pkwy) is perfect. They have uber-yummy soups and sandwiches. They have different ones each day, but the seafood option (there's always at least one) and the chicken salad is AWESOME.

Julia: Totally not a celebratory place, but I'm throwing it out there all the same. So impressed with your North of B-more knowledge, chatters.

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To Georgetown Next: Also SP is not quite the hot spot anymore. With the opening of Gin and Tonic, Kitchen and the resurgence of Rhino Bar I don't think they will ever be over the fire code anymore.

Fritz: Ha. The last time I made a late night cruise through Georgetown and stopped in at Smith Point, it was busy and there was a line. (This was a Friday.)

I agree, though, that G&T (and the secret lounge at Kitchen) have taken a bite out of Smith Point.

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90's Trend: Starter Jackets. Enough said.

Rhome: This one stole my Pogs vote!

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Washington, D.C.: High top fade. Easy one.

Rhome: '80s, although I had mine until early '92. I was living abroad, it was allowed.

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Adams Morgan: How about the gravity-defying, teased-up, Aqua-Netted big bangs? That was definitely still eating up the ozone layer in the early 90s.

Also, I have been following the story about the closing of AdMo bars since I first read about it, and what continues to bother me the most is that folks writing in almost always have to toss in some judgement about the bar patrons. Stick to the point already -- no one wants to know about your personal annoyances.

Fritz: Picking on Adams Morgan crowds is fairly standard if you live in/near Adams Morgan.

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Shout Out To DC Locals and the 90s: Remember going to the GoGo Dance with your Champion shirt and your shortalls with one strap hanging off!

Julia: This is bringing back amazing high school memories.

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Falls Church, Va.: Do you have a link to the various festivals that are going on this weekend? I'm looking but only seem to find links for individual towns/counties..not the D.C. area. Thanks!!

Anne: Festivals for this weekend: here you go.

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90s Footwear: I agree, jellies are 80s. Adidas Sambas were really popular in the 90s.

Fritz: Ah, Sambas. And Gazelles. And the Campus. One of the benefits of going to school in College Park: The Adidas outlet right across the street from campus.

Personally, I blame Britpop.

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The 90s: All the imitation grunge bands like Silverchair, and all things related to OJ. Blech!

David: Here's the thing -- those bands never went away! In fact, many of them played at the Chili Cook Off last weekend.

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Columbia Heights: New to D.C. and a big UFC fan but I may be the only one because there don't seem to be a lot of places showing the big fight this weekend. I know Asylum shows it but that place isn't exactly my scene. Do you guys know of any places I can watch?

Fritz: Summers and Momo's both regularly have UFC on. And Tonic in MtP, too, if the right bartender is working.

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Fun in the Sun, Arlington: Gurus-

Happy (almost) Summer!! Not only does tomorrow mark the beginning of summer, but it also marks the beginning of my work's SUMMER HOURS! A co-worker and I want to take advantage of the great forecast and hit up some Happy Hour specials we normally can't make during the work week (we work in Reston).

Ideally we'd like to sit outside, sunglasses on, BIG cocktail in hand, and somewhere between Ballston -- Georgetown. Original thought was Eventide, although their deck sounds small (30 ppl??).

Thanks! And Happy Memorial day! :)

Fritz: If you have "summer hours," you can get right to Eventide when they open and score a seat on the roofdeck. Completely worth it. There's always the Clarendon Ballroom roof, too, which is an oldie but a goodie. Oh, and Julia and I love the patio at Domaso in Rosslyn. Beautiful view of Georgetown, great drinks.

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washingtonpost.com: All this talk of the 90s has left us both terrified (zebra-print Zubaz) and nostalgic (Hypercolor!), but one chatter took us back to the 90s more than any other. Congrats to 1990 who said the best/worst trend of the decade was Umbros (which led to an in-depth discussion about how easily that particular brand of shorts shreds). Email us at events@washingtonpost.com to claim your tickets to "Rent." See you guys here next week.

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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.

Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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