Got Plans?

The Going Out Gurus
of The Washington Post's Going Out Guide
Thursday, August 6, 2009 1:00 PM

The Going Out Guide staff talked about new bars in Columbia Heights, hanging out in Rockville, movies at the Freer, and birthday dinners on Thursday, Aug. 6 at 1 p.m. ET. We also asked you to tell us about the first CD you ever bought.

_______________________ Kind of a blech day out there, but we are so looking forward to Friday and beyond. To get us past this haze, we have a little surprise for you today: a $75 gift card to Legal Sea Foods. To win it, write in to the chat and tell us the very first CD you ever got and the tale of why you got it. We're fishing for the best story here (and we're going to trust that you're not making it up.) (It's going to have to beat out our current office winner of Julia for "Lose Control" by Silk.) Speaking of giveaways, we'll have more of those (including a free trip to Rehoboth) next Thursday night at our August happy hour. It's from 6 to 8 at Clarendon Ballroom, and there'll be 400 free cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake. So come next week and wish David, Jen, Rhome and Stephanie a happy birthday in person. Till then, we're here for your questions (and embarrassing purchases).


Arlington Va.: Nightlife Agenda doesn't list times for First Friday at Hillyer, neither does the Hillyer Web site mention First Friday. Is it happening and what time? thanks!

Stephanie: It's definitely happening (from 6-9 p.m.) and, between the live music and the cool art, it should be a good time.


Crystal City: Hi gurus! This is ALMOST a Tom question, but I think it falls more in your court. I need a restaurant to take my boyfriend for his 26th birthday next Saturday. Obviously, good food is important, but I also really want to take him someplace cool. I was hoping to spend roughly $150 or under for the two of us, and he's not much of an adventurous eater, so seriously ethnic and French restaurants are not ideal. I'd love to take him to a cool part of town as well -- Georgetown would be great, but restaurants in our price range seem to be slim pickins. We've been to U Street a good bit recently, so I was hoping for something different. Any ideas? Founding Farmers sounds cool, but is in a dead area of town. Marvin would also be great, but again, been there, done that.

Quite a challenge, I know -- but I'm STUMPED! Hope you can help. Thanks!

Julia: In the general Georgetown vicinity, let me steer you toward Blue Ridge or Pizza Paradiso. If you're willing to hit U Street again, maybe Eatonville or Cork could work (might be too adventurous for you guy, but if he's down with Marvin, maybe not). How are those for starters?


Jason, Columbai Heights: I hear a new bar is going in right next to Columbia Heights Coffee on 11th St NW (a few doors up from where Meridian Pint will be) Do you have any details?

Fritz: Are you talking about Room 11, which will be at the corner of 11th and Lamont? I covered the basics of the wine/beer/charcuterie spot in this blog post a couple of weeks ago. It's opening Monday. There's some kind of opening party tonight that I may or may not go to -- not a huge fan of "press/blogger events" -- but if I do, I'll write something about it tomorrow.

Just be patient with it -- there are only 45 seats, including the outdoor patio, and I expect the place to be crowded for a while.


Arlington: Hey GOG...any creative ideas for a "girls" day next Saturday? We wouldn't mind traveling a little either. We're just looking for something fun, cheap and out of the ordinary. Thanks for your help:)

Stephanie: I'm actually doing a girl's Saturday in NYC this weekend, and since I'm super-excited about our itinerary, I'm going to pass it along to you (though I'm converting to DC venues, obviously): start out in Georgetown with a delicious breakfast, then hop on some bikes (after a little time to digest) and tool around for a couple of hours, either heading out toward Bethesda on the Crescent Trail or up to the zoo for an afternoon hanging with the pandas. I know this is so typical girly, but after dropping off the bikes, hit up one of the many manicure spots in Georgetown. Then cap it all off with a "dive-in" movie. This sounds random but totally fun: you get to watch Jaws while in a swimming pool.


Birthday @ The Gibson: So I'm turning 30 next month and had the idea of having people at the Gibson. Obviously this would mean taking it over or at least part of it and I'm wondering if you guys know if it The Gibson is amenable to that. Thanks

Fritz: I know they've done private parties there, but it really depends on the day and time. I'd call well in advance and ask.


Dupont: Have any of you been to Spot Lounge? A friend of a friend wants to go this Saturday, but not being much of a lounge person, I wanted an expert opinion. Are we talking standard Farragut/Dupont lounge situation, or is there anything new or different about it? Thanks!

Fritz: I went right before vacation. It's a pretty standard downtown lounge with lots of bottle service and a small dance floor. Good mix of music. They're trying out some new ideas with less-expensive tables, figuring that not everyone wants to spend $500 on a night out. More power to 'em.


Cigar bar in Arlington/DC? : So my best friend is coming back into town for a few days. His one request was to get the boys together and smoke some cigars at a bar/lounge while drinking some beers/whiskey. Doesn't have to be classy, but I was wondering if a place would take a reservation for that? Or if we'd just show up and light up. Any suggestions will do. Thanks!

Fritz: Given the current no-smoking climate in D.C., my top cigar-and-whiskey spots would be Ozio for the bottle service/fancy scene or Aroma for the neighborhood lounge vibe. You can do Shelly's Back Room, too, but man, that place gets SMOKY.


Washington, D.C.: When are they going to clean up Fedex -- they need a health inspection of the restaurants as the floors were ankle-deep in water from the overflowing bathrooms. I don't mean the sinks! Disgusting. That part of the facility was a true disaster in competition with the Beltway and parking lot nightmare.

Now Sir Paul was a shining star complete with pyrotechnics. What a fabulous concert. We need more of those events here -- just not at the impossible to get to, primitive Fedex.

It was a going-out extravaganza -- YES.

David: The show really was as great as the conditions were lousy. I'll admit I didn't have too many problems -- I took exit 16 instead of exit 17 and had minimal traffic and no problem parking, and got out of the parking lot after the show within 90 seconds. But I'm pretty sure I was close to alone in not experiencing those problems. The bathrooms were a total and complete disaster. It seemed like the stadium was still in summer vacation mode and wasn't ready for this event, which is a shame. You'd like to think that things will be better for Sunday's United/Real Madrid game, not to mention Redskins games and the U2 concert next month.

But it will be especially hard to get excited about any concert at FedEx Field in the future.


Bethesda, Md.: Hi Gurus -

I am catching up with some girlfriends this weekend and we wanted to have dinner and drinks at a fun restaurants that had outdoor seating. We're open to any part of the city but aren't looking to spend a fortune.

Thanks for your help!

Julia: Well, Cork and Blue Ridge, both mentioned above, have outdoor tables (only a few in Cork's case). Both could do as a girls night out place. I'd also throw in L'Enfant (cheap crepes, Belgian beer, pleasant patio) and the Barracks Row Matchbox (once again, only a few outdoor tables). Oyamel could work as well.


Anonymous: Holy smokes -- very first CD? Does album count? Some of your loyal readers and chatters are, um, continuing to buy all the new music formats.

Fritz: Some of us bought tapes and 45s and albums before CDs were around, but we're really looking for CD stories, even if that means "I had GN'R on cassette and then decided to trade up to a CD because it was the best album I'd ever heard."


Washington, D.C.: My boyfriend has a birthday coming up this month, and I'm trying to surprise him with a full day of fun (Metro-accessible) events/activities for us to do around the city on the 22nd or 29th. Any ideas?

Stephanie: What's your boyfriend into? If he's a foodie, it might be fun to hit up the Culinary Arts Festival at the Botanic Garden. If you choose the following week, you guys can go to the Columbia Heights Day Festival. But since I don't know if you're looking for something sporty or arty or what, it's hard for me to steer you in the right direction. But feel free to write back with a few more parameters.


Suggestion for Girls weekend: Hit the Roman tubs and have a massage in Berkley Springs. Throw in some cocktails and shopping and it is a fun day. A group of us did it last year and had a blast. The masseuses (sp) are actually employed by the government as it is a park. Probably the only ones in the country. It isn't fancy but it sure is unique.

Stephanie: Thanks for the suggestion! This would also be fun no matter what the weather turns out to be...


Dave Matthews Band's Under the Table and Dreaming: I bought it because I overheard this guy I liked say he asked his parents for it for his birthday -- this guy was a total DMB lover. I bought it that afternoon and brought it to school and sat the CD on my desk in the morning in homeroom, y'know, as if it was just sitting there. He asked me out on a date that day for the weekend. It didn't work out, but man I was so sneaky and slick!

Julia: I love it! "What? I just happen to have this CD on my desk. Oh, you like these guys?" Being from NoVA, I have a soft spot in my heart for DMB-loving, white-hat wearing boys who used to crowd the lawn at Nissan.


Alexandria, Va.: We just moved to Alexandria and want to explore Old Town. Can you recommend a good place to celebrate a birthday with a group of 10-15? We typically head to the usual bars in Arlington (Ballroom, Grill, Whitlows, etc.) and Adams Morgan (Grand Central, Tom Toms, Millie & Als, 18th and Red, etc) Thanks!

Fritz: The type of bars you like -- lively, with lots of dancing and debauchery -- don't really exist so much in Old Town. There's the Bayou Room under 219, which is the official Old Town Dive, and karaoke singers at Rock It Grill, but that's it. Maybe Flying Fish, with its karaoke and DJs, is what you're looking for?


Brings Back Memories...: The first CD I ever bought was definitely Ace of Base. Reason why -- because it was awesome. Still is...

Anne: Are you trying to tell us you saw the sign all the way back then?


Cleveland Park: First CD: Kriss Kross - Da Bomb

Why I got it: I received this (along with the Spin Doctors -- Pocket Full of Kryptonite...even then I had varied musical taste) from an aunt along with my first discman. I was 11 and had just spent the better part of a year annoying my parents by listening to my cassette single of "Jump". So while I would love to tell you my first CD was due to some great musical epiphany, sadly, Kriss Kross -- Da Bomb is what I began with.

Julia: Ahahahaha. The Daddy Mac'll make ya!


Ballston, Va.: My first CD was Alanis Morisette's "Jagged Little Pill" when I was in 6th grade. I bought it with my own baby-sitting money, and in the time before parental warning labels, my mom had no idea what was on it. As I listened to it in my room one day, she came storming in demanding to know why I was listening to such explicative-heavy music. She then proceeded to take the CD away and record it on a cassette tape herself, bleeping out any inappropriate words. After that experience, I didn't purchase another CD until after the 1990s were over.

Stephanie: That is so ironic. Or something.


Arlington, Va.: I had just gotten a CD player for my birthday in 1996 -- my aunt and uncle, who then and now remain great people, and who were obviously trying to be as hip as possible, got me "Cracked Rear View." My first cassette came for my birthday, when my parents got me the Huey Lewis and the News cassette that contained "The Power of Love" -- I had really enjoyed "Back to the Future" and sang that song incessantly.

Julia: True story: "The Power of Love" was the recessional at my wedding. Like an acoustic version, but still.


Silver Spring, Md.: I bought a boom box in the mall and the first thing I did was go to Sam Goody to buy two CDs. When people ask me the first CD I bought, I say Nirvana's Nevermind. I don't always mention that the other one was Weird Al's Off the Deep End. I saw no dissonance at all in taking Nirvana VERY SERIOUSLY and also buying a Nirvana parody.

David: Nice! I had both of those on cassette. I remember buying "Nevermind" in Pittsburgh at National Record Mart (anyone?) and then a few years later getting "In Utero" at Sam Goody (go Goody!) with a gift certificate that I got for my Bar Mitzvah. I don't remember where I got "Incesticide."


Petworth: Fritz - I don't think the Columbia Heights person was talking about Room 11.

There's construction going on in the storefront immediately to the north of Columbia Heights Coffee -- the last one in that row of stores just south of Monroe St, at the north end of the block where Meridian Pint is planned for.

I understand that the Local 16 folks are going to open a place called "Barrio" there and serve "latin-US fusion" food. (Prince of Petworth posted a press release a while back that upgraded the info from "neighborhood rumor of a bar/tapas place" to those details.

(Honestly, who thought THAT was a good idea? Barrio?)

Rhome: "Barrio"... My side-eye is twitching.


Washington, D.C.: Wow, your contest is making me feel old. My first musical purchase was a CASSETTE TAPE of Lionel Richie "Dancin' On The Ceiling". (Oh what a feeling...) No great background story. He was simply my first musician crush, and so much cuter than Michael Jackson, although none of my other girl friends agreed with me. My first CD purchase was when I was a junior in college. (But I am behind the times, technologically.) U2 "Joshua Tree". Bono is my forever musician crush.

Jen: Well, you're not the only one who feels old. (I can't remember my first CD -- possibly "Journeyman" by Eric Clapton? -- but my first 45? "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone. No, I am not proud of this.)

I endorse your "Joshua Tree" purchase wholeheartedly but must disagree on your previous point: in the '80s, Michael Jackson was way cuter than Lionel Richie, both the real and the "Hello" video face-sculpted version. But hey, to each his/her own.


First CD: Can it be the first record -- as in 45? I remember it like it was yesterday. "The Ballad of the Green Berets" by Barry Sadler. And I am a female. I was probably 10 years old and had been looking at my father and grandfather's military pictures and was fascinated. Fast forward 10 years and I spend my 21st birthday in basic training. Now retired from the Army Reserves after 23 years. Who woulda thought?

Julia: This is a fantastic story, but sadly, we are sticking to CDs. The reason for this is that since CDs came into the public sphere during a very distinct couple of years, we figured that many of answers we'd get would also remind us of some of the ridiculous pop music of the early '90s (i.e., me and my ridiculous love affair with cheesy R & B -- some things never change).


Arlington, Va.: Hey Gurus,

Love the chats! My friends and I enjoy going to wineries but are looking for a slightly different experience - are there any breweries in the area you can visit and/or tour? We couldn't think of any off the top of our heads.


Fritz: I've toured Clipper City in Baltimore, which is the closest real brewery to D.C, and had a good time (especially with the tasting). They do them on Saturdays, and it's pretty essential to reserve tickets in advance -- according to their Web site,, there are two tours open on Aug. 22 and one on Sept. 12, and that's it.

I haven't done Flying Dog in Frederick, but some friends enjoyed that, too.

And some brewpubs will show you around if you call and ask in advance -- try Cap City Shirlington and see what they say.


First CD?: Ace of Base! It was a big decision whether to get the cassette or the more expensive Compact Disc...I opted for the CD so that I could have a CD AND copy it to a tape to play in my boombox and blast "I Saw The Sign"

Julia: That's what I'm talking about! Excellent karaoke choice as well.


First CD: My first CD was Bona Drag by Morrissey. I was 15 and thought I was way cool.

The uncool part? My mom gave it to me because she thought he looked like "a nice young man."

I'm 32 and STILL not over it.

David: Ha! Moz does look pretty fab on the cover of "Bona Drag," you gotta admit. That's probably my favorite of the 192 Morrissey compilations, too. "International Playboys," "Suedehead," "Hairdresser on Fire," "Interesting Drug," hard to go wrong. It remains one of my default "keep in the car" CDs.


Rockville Pike: Hi guys and gals! A few colleagues and I are going out after work this evening and are in need of a good happy hour bar at Rockville Town Center or on Rockville Pike between White Flint and Shady Grove. That's the extent most are willing to travel (unfortunately). Any ideas? We're thinking Gordon Biersch but open to suggestions.

Fritz: Gordon Biersch is good, but if you read this chat, you know I'm going to suggest Hank Dietle's, because I love a good dive bar with dirt-cheap (like $1.25) beers and nothing to eat but crab chips and cheeze doodles.


Metro Center, D.C.: Hi Gurus!

Planning to hit up the Freer Gallery for the Made in HK film series. WHat do you know about turn out for these films? Free tix available one hour before showtime - should we definitely plan on being there exactly an hr before to pick them up?


Stephanie: It's been a while since I've been to a free movie at the Freer, but when I went it wasn't very crowded, so there was no need to get there early. That being said, I'd probably show up at least half an hour before just to be on the safe side. Has anyone been more recently? Feel free to chime in.


Arlington, Va.: My 31st birthday is next Saturday and I have a group of 12 helping me celebrate with drinks. Any suggestions for bars in the Clarendon area that don't cater to 21 year olds? We are a "young" group of 30 year olds. :)

Fritz: Yaku (which is down here at Court House) would be my first answer -- great DJ, fun cocktails and a wines-by-the-glass tasting bar. Also, there's a patio if the weather's nice.

I like the bar at Eventide, but I wouldn't count on it too much, because when that place gets popular, it's one-in, one-out, and it wouldn't be fun to have a couple members of your party stranded outside.

Oh, and there's the downstairs of Eleventh Street Lounge for dancing and drinks. Place is often overlooked, but shouldn't be.


Best First CD story: Off the Deep End by Weird Al

I was 9 when that CD came out, I think. My parents wouldn't let me buy it for some reason

I had my 16 year old male neighbor go buy it for me since my parents wouldn't take me. I still feel bad imagining the embarrassment of the grunged out teenager having to plop down cash for naked Weird Al in the famous Nevermind pose.

Jen: Perhaps your parents were concerned by the "Weird" that preceded the Al. It speaks of all sorts of inappropriate, degenerate behavior, doesn't it?


First CD: Hi Gurus! I am leaving D.C. soon and wanted to let you know that I will miss your chats every week (although will still likely follow them from the midwest).

My first CD was Boyz II Men's Greatest Hits and it came along with my very first boombox for X-Mas/Chanukah.

Stephanie: Aww, don't leave us for too long. So between your first CD and the fact that you're moving away, I have a feeling I'll be singing "End of the Road" for the rest of the day.


Lionel Lover: Jen -

Hahaha! I will grant you that. The Lionel clay head was just creepy. Thanks for the flashback.

I stand by Lionel, though. He aged much more gracefully than MJ. Well, at least he aged. Lionel circa 2008 much hotter than MJ circa 2008.

Jen: Very true about the aging thing.

By the way, I now have "Dancing on the Ceiling" in my head. I can only hope it will soon be replaced by "Running With the Night."


Crystal City: Hi Gurus! I just moved to this part of town from the other side of the river. Any must-try places in terms of restaurants or bars?

As for a CD story, I played saxophone when I was younger and was trying to get into jazz (think: Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, etc.). So imagine my surprise when one of my parents' friends bought me Kenny G's Greatest Hits because "they knew I liked jazz so much."

Rhome: Jazz FAIL!! Hahaha! Actually, I can't front. My mom infected me with a taste for Najee before I discovered Giant Steps, Headhunters, and all the young lions stuff (Harper Brothers, Joshua Redman) in high school.

As for Crystal City, do you have any specific tastes? There's a Jaleo in your new 'hood.


Arlington, Va.: I looking for a place in the D.C. area where I can find a hand drawn cask ale. The only place I knew that offered it was John Harvard's by the Warner Theater but that closed down a couple years back.

Can you point me to a place that serves hand drawn cask beer? Thanks

Fritz: Birreria Paradiso is my standby for real ale, with a frequently rotating selection that could be a traditional English beer or something from the U.S. (usually Clipper City/Allagash/Three Floyds). CommonWealth has some kind of deal with Victory, and generally has either Hop Devil or Storm King on, though they've been having problems with the machinery in recent months.

Brewpubs are probably going to have the freshest versions. I'm a fan of Geoff Lively's cask ales -- especially the brown ale and Raccoon Red -- at Bethesda's Rock Bottom, and the Bourbon Stout at District Chophouse, plus whatever's on at Vintage 50 in Leesburg.

Brickskeller has a couple of hand pumps too, though sometimes it's on and sometimes it's off. I've stopped ordering them at R.F.D. after a couple of flat beers that had been sitting around too long.


Y'all are so young!: First CD was Thompson Twins "Here's to Future Days" and the story behind is simply that there was this new-fangled thing called "compact discs" that were supposedly sooooo much better than records or cassettes and they were shiny and cool and when my parents finally gave in and bought me a cd player for Hanukah, I ran out and bought myself this cd to have something to play in it.

Jen: Nice! I am old, so I have "Here's to Future Days" and "The Gap" on vinyl.

I didn't upgrade to CD until a couple of years later. In fact, I still have the firsy player my parents gave me, which could easily crush a small village. Clearly you were an early adopter.


Crystal City again: Thanks for taking my question! I liked the idea of Blue Ridge, but the lack of a Web site is tripping me up -- plus, I was hoping for something a little dressier, and I get the sense its fairly casual. Can you guys attest to the original Clyde's, or anything on the waterfront?

Julia: I've seen people in "nicer" clothes in Blue Ridge, but I see your point. It's more of a neighborhood restaurant. The original Clyde's isn't really dressy either. I thought about suggesting 1789, but a) I wasn't super impressed with my food on my last visit and b) it's not really "cool" -- more like old-school "nice." Great service though. Maybe look at Bistrot Lepic. I know you weren't super into French, but the upstairs can feel really romantic.

What about Penn Quarter? Would you guys go over there? Proof is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Look at the menu -- it would be really easy to go over $150, but you might be able to keep it under.

Oh, you know what might be cool? New Heights in Cleveland Park. Tom Sietsema just re-reviewed it last week and had great things to say. Tom's not wild about Darlington House, but I really enjoyed it during Restaurant Week last year. Check the prices, but that one might work too. If he's okay with fish, Pesce is another option. It just moved a few doors down to the Montsouris space this week. Or Urbana on the same street.

Am I getting warmer?


For Crystal City: What about Granville Moore's for the boyfriend's birthday? Cool area of town with new places to explore. Great food, and not too adventurous. You can't make a reservation, but they will take your cell phone number and call you when a table is open so you can have a drink at the Pug while you wait.

Fritz: The problem with GM's is that you can be waiting for ... a long time, and then you've had a couple of beers at the Pug, and then you're not really in the mood for Pirrat and moules anymore. I dunno -- I think special events shouldn't take place at bars/restaurants where you might have to sit around for 90 minutes waiting to get in.


Ballston Dude: First CD was Aerosmith 'Pump'

I was at camp and heard of two bands that summer. One was Aerosmith and the other was some "lead zepalin four".

I got home and only had enough to buy one of the two albums that I remembered from camp. Kemp Mill Records, good ole days of CD's with the foot long carboard box case.

Anyway, I got the Aerosmith album. Don't know why, maybe it had more songs on the album.

Not a great story.....

Julia: You did talk about the long carboard box we were all remembering fondly right before the chat started. I had totally forgotten about those.


D.C.: This is kind of random, but I went to high school and was good friends with Kenny Florian - Ken-Flo to many I guess - and he's fighting for the UFC title this weekend. I would like to see it, but I think it is on PPV and I am not willing to pay for it. Is there anywhere in D.C. that might be showing the fight?

Fritz: Momo's on U Street, Summers in Arlington, maybe Ventnor's in Adams Morgan -- all places that have been known to go crazy for UFC.


Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus

have any of you ever had luck trying to get scalped tickets to a show at Rock N Roll Hotel? My lady and I would like to see The Script on Aug 17 but the show is sold out. Craigslist and stubhub have no options either. Help a minion out ;)

David: This is going to be a tough one. I'd continue to check the usual Craigslist, etc. leading up to the show in the hope that something comes up. If that doesn't work you can always head down to the club in the hope that someone has an extra. This happens a lot. And with this show -- it's a Monday, there could be people who just don't get the energy to go out, some people might have extras that you'd be able to get. No guarantees, of course, but these things often have a way of working out.

That said, this show sold out very quickly, so it's possible that people are just really into it.


Mike W. (Dupont): The first CD I ever got was Kriss Kross "Totally Krossed Out." I got it when for Christmas when I was in 6th grade in '92 or '93. It was a gift from my parents who also got me the Bulls Starter jacket I had been begging for as well as my first Sony Discman (which weighed approximately 12 pounds). Apparently my mom had seen Kriss wearing the starter jacket backwards and thought I would love the album. She then made me take a picture with my new jacket on backwards. Look for that photo on the Awkward Family photo website sometime soon.

Julia: I look at Awkward Family Photos like once a week. David can vouch for this -- because I start giggling uncontrollably.


Hong Kong films at the Freer: On the issue of what time to arrive to get a ticket: Half an hour beforehand is probably OK for most of the films. It depends on how picky you are about where you like to sit, how many people are in your group (single seats are easier to find than pairs), and on the film itself.

I didn't anticipate the first film in the series, Johnnie To's "Sparrow," having such high demand -- I arrived at 6:30 and was #1 on the standby list. (I did end up getting a seat.) I skipped the second film, "Ashes of Time Redux," but seeing as it's a Wong Kar-Wai film, I bet that tickets for that one were gone by 6:15. Seats for the third film, "Mr. Cinema," were much less competitive than for "Sparrow." For the fourth film, Tsui Hark's "All About Women," I arrived 20 minutes beforehand and still got a ticket. Seating was fairly competitive, and this one ended up being full capacity.

None of the remaining films have directors of the stature of Wong Kar-Wai, Johnnie To, or Tsui Hark, so you should probably be OK if you arrive half an hour beforehand.

Stephanie: Wow! Thanks for all the intel. There you go, Freer-goer.


1st CD: That would be Jodeci - Diary of a Mad Band. Why you ask? Because I was the 18th caller YO!! "You got me feenin'......." lol

Rhome: Straitjacketed K-Ci Hailey! Sagging neoprene diving suits! *smh*


First CD: Air Supply. Heavy sigh. Nothing else to say.

David: Honesty is always appreciated in Got Plans?


Alexandria, Va.: My wife and I are in our early 30s and we have some friends coming down from Annapolis to visit. Trying to figure out some things to do next Saturday. Any festivals going on? Also was thinking of possibly heading to H Street Country Club. Are Saturday nights crazy there? Thanks.

Fritz: HStCC is fun if you get there before 8 p.m., when you can actually play. After 9, it's a madhouse that I wouldn't want to be stuck in. Well, okay, maybe I'd play skee-ball at the bar. But not golf.


Capitol Hill, D.C.: When I was about eight or nine, there was a band overtaking the airwaves. I loved them. They were catchy and angsty and foreign, and I had the discerning musical taste of a budding adolescent. That band was "Ace of Base," and the album was Happy Nation.

Yes, I saw The Sign, and I was mesmerized by it.

Rhome: Ace of Base were not angsty. They were "happy and Swedish" - © Malitz. And blonde.


You Light Up My Life: I had it in my head for DAYS, so ended up buying it from iTunes. So, don't be ashamed, I have it digital!

Jen: All right, thank you for making me feel slightly less crazy.

For the record, I bought that 45 from Peaches. I have a feeling I am the only person here who remembers Peaches.


For Crystal City #2: I also live in CC, and this is for my "neighbor" that is looking for grub in the neighborhood. My recommendation: check out Jaleo, check out the strip on 23rd at Eads (for Cafe Pizzaiolo and Tortoise & Hare), and then check elsewhere. Welcome to the (concrete) jungle.

Signed, Disgruntled CC Resident

Fritz: Is the food at Tortoise and Hare really all that?

I don't mind the fish and chips with a Guinness at Mackey's.


My "Almost" First CD: Just double checking that we are talking about our first CDs and not tapes...

For my 12th birthday part I got given TLC's new album. However, I was a proud CD owner for about two minutes because my ultra conservative mother took it away saying, "Is that what you want to be in life? Sexy."

Yes. I still want to chase waterfalls and be Crazy, Sexy and Cool, I just don't have that first CD to inspire me!

Anne: I like this. It sort of reminds me how my grandma rushed to put on a Sesame Street album after my sister and I were telling her some of names of the Madonna songs we wanted.


Arlington, Va.: Hey Gurus -- So I've been paying attention to all the bachelorette advice and planning on a big night out starting with a fabulous dinner (I'm thinking Central or Zaytinya), then drinks at The Gibson, followed by a late evening of dancing at Josephine. The bride is a foodie, and enjoys beautiful dining spaces. Am I on the right track? Do we need to get a table at Josephine to be able to get drinks and have a good time? Thanks Gurus!

Julia: You are totally on the right track. I don't think you *need* to get a table at Josephine, depending on your group size. I probably wouldn't. Chances are someone will let people in your party drink snag a seat if they need. Besides, I'd bring your party there only if you guys really want to dance.

I might switch up your order to go Gibson, dinner then club. I think any good bachelorette party builds. Like, fun cocktails, then FANTASTIC dinner, then dance all night. What do you think?


Washington D.C.: Yeah I was totally that guy who would sit around and listen to the Smiths in my dark bedroom, so naturally everyone was shocked when my first CD was Flood a la They Might be Giants

Stephanie: Yes! I'm not ashamed to admit that "Birdhouse in Your Soul" is one of my favorite songs. And I'm a Smiths fan too. Weird.


First CD: Mine was N-Sync's debut album. I was in 6th grade maybe and my dad subscribed to one of those services where you get a few CDs every couple weeks (which he soon canceled, btw). What can I say? Pop today isn't as bubblegum as it used to be.

Rhome: I started with the BMG Music Club in junior high. Mad tapes for a penny! I still got my dubs on though. My whole music collection was cassette dubs until BMG. When I moved on to CDs, I was straight Columbia House all the way into college days.


Arlington, Va.: This is a bit embarrassing, but the first CD I bought was the Broadway soundtrack to Cats. Yes, Cats. My mom and dad -- notoriously early adopters of all things audiovisual -- surprised us with a compact disc machine, which was approximately three feet in length. I had just watched the Tony Awards & was dying to see Cats, so I went to the music store and bought the double CD. (Remember those?) To me, the coolest thing about the CD player was advancing through the tracks just by touching a button!

Julia: Amazing.


Jason, Columbia Heights: Fritz, not Room 11 but up about 2 blocks from there... on the same block and Meridian Pint.

Fritz: Oh, Barrio -- that's a forthcoming restaurant/bar from the guys behind Local 16 and Josephine. Everything I've heard so far has been about the restaurant's "neighborhood food", but I'm expecting a pretty decent bar scene.

Should be on the same timescale as Meridian Pint -- late 2009, early 2010, because I never expect anything to open when people tell me it will.


First CD: Soundtrack to Jurassic Park. I was a child and when I was playing with my action figures I used to blast the tunes to make it more like the movie.

Anne: Amazing. Are you still into film scores?


A little embaressing CD: The first CD I ever got was Debbie Gibson! I'm aging myself, but I had a huge crush on her in high school. I thought it was cool she wrote her own songs. I even went to see her concert at Kings Dominion and made my friends wait outside in the rain while I attended the concert. But I came away with a t-shirt and souvenir book. And since she posed in Playboy a few years ago, who's laughing now!

Julia: Nice.


GM: "then you're not really in the mood for Pirrat and moules anymore" - really? does that ever happen? Not to me!! Luckily I live like 3 blocks from GMs though. So I can always get my fix.

Fritz: All I'm saying is that the Pug for me means Irish whiskey paired with Natty Boh. If I'm forced to hang out there for an hour while waiting to get into GM's, I'll probably just settle for a brat and a Boh and a shot of Clontarf with the bartender.

Which actually doesn't sound bad right now.


First CD: My first CD purchase was the double-disc New Order CD "Substance." I think I bought it on the strength of the track "True Faith"; I'd seen the video on MTV's "Postmodern" show.

This was back in the days of longboxes (remember those?). Because this particular longbox had discs at both ends, for my next several CD purchases I always ended up opening the longbox at the wrong end because I wasn't sure which end had the CD in it.

Longboxes were phased out in part because they were supposed to be contributing to landfill waste. This came as a shock to me; as a consummate pack rat and huge music fan, I had kept all of my longboxes. I didn't get rid of them 'til years later.

David: We were just talking about longboxes as it related to this question. Rhome said he saved all of his, too. Was "Postmodern" some sort of "120 Minutes"-esque show? Have you seen the new Absolut commercial with "Ceremony" in it? I have a funny story about "Substance" but I can't share it here. In fact, forget I even brought it up!


Arlington, Va.: Ace of Base was also my first CD and the title of the album was The Sign, not Happy Nation. Wikipedia says that was the title in Europe. Unless you are European, I think you are a fraud, sir. A Wikipedia-using Ace of Base-buying wannabe.

Julia: J'accuse!


College Park: Two words: Tootsie Roll. It wasn't even a whole CD but a single by the 69 boys. Mom bought a CD player and had to get something to play in it.

Jen: Okay, she had to get something to play in it. And yet, somehow, out of all the CDs -- both full-length and single -- in the universe, all she could manage to find was "Tootsie Roll"?

I hear that song and all I think is Lulu's circa the early-mid '90s. If I get that and "Cottoneyed Joe's" stuck in my head at the same time, I might actually start to feel drunk.


N.W. DC: First CD I ever bought? Reissue of the Sally Cinnamon single by the Stone Roses.

The original issue was trading at record fairs for around 30 UK pounds a copy at the time.

I didn't actually own a CD player at the time, but the reissue wasn't available on vinyl so I bought it and had a friend record it onto cassette.

Admittedly a pretty boring/trainspotter-esque story, but I'm submitting it to remind people of the often underrated genius of the Stone Roses.

Fritz: People who underrate the Roses are wrong.

Unless they heard "Second Coming" instead of the debut or the singles, in which case I can understand.


Washington, D.C.: Wait, we're doing first CDs? I remember when I got my very own discman and I spent the longest time in the music store deciding what I should splurge on. I finally chose Weezer's Blue Album.

Stephanie: Hey! That was mine too! I was telling the GOGs that I only had two CDs for my giant three-disc changer, so I got A LOT of Buddy Holly and the Beatles' Revolver.


For Crystal City: I just moved from Crystal City, and I recommend taking a drive down to Del Ray in Alexandria. Fireflies, Los Tios, Evening Star Cafe, Dairy Godmother. All good choices and only a short drive away.

Rhome: Less concrete too.


For the bachelorette planner: Definitely do NOT get a table! I just planned my first clubby bachelorette party and was thinking of going the table route. So glad I didn't -- guys were buying us all drinks all night. No one in the bridal party paid for a single drink. Also, be sure to prepare you liver for the night! I haven't drank that much since my freshman year of college...

Julia: Yeah, totally. I don't think it's worth it unless you're going to have chicks in your party who do annoying things like complain about their heels all night.

And agreed about the liver. As I've said before in this space, one of my besties passed out in her winter coat.


Rum: Hey gurus! OK, this isn't exactly a "going out" question but I need some help from the rum experts out there. Heading to a bachelor party this weekend and was planning to bring the fixings for dark and stormy- however, my local liquor store was out of Gosling's rum. Do you really need Gosling's or would something like Cruzan dark or Barrilito suffice as a replacement?? I'll search around if necessary but am a bit short on time. Thanks!

Fritz: Gosling's is the traditional, but it would be fine to use Myer's or another dark rum in a pinch. I think Barrilito would be closer, because the taste is molasses and smoke.

Just make sure you use Barritt's ginger beer if possible.


I remember Peaches!: I'm actually a friend of yours, Jen, about your age and grew up in the same 'hood. I definitely remember Peaches.

Jen: Man, you guys are helping me feel less old, or at least less alone, today. Thanks!

(And hi, friend, whoever you might be!)


Boyfriend B-day: If the questioner is willing to venture outside of D.C., how about Majestic Cafe in Old Town (if it is good enough for a b-day celebration for the Obama women...) or Eventide in Clarendon.

If they want to stay in D.C., what about one of the Penn Quarter restaurants like Proof, The Source, Brasserie Beck, or Central.

Julia: Excellent sugestions all. I think the PQ places you named might go above the $150 limit she was looking for. With drinks, of course.


First CD - from Philadelphia, PA: Wilson Phillips - don't remember why. I still have it though!

Julia: Hold on for one more day.


First CD: TMBG's "Flood". Yes, I was trying to impress a nerdy boy. Yes, it worked. Yes, we dated for several years with it as our nerdy soundtrack... Yes, he's married to someone else now. But yes, I do still listen to it fondly, because "Lucky Ball & Chain" is still one of my favorite love songs!

Julia: I think "Birdhouse in Your Soul" is one of the best songs ever.


Chevy Chase, Md.: What's on your short list for the coolest looking or best designed places (lounge, hotel bar, etc) to drink in DC? A place that a designer would appreciate for the details and overall appeal.

Fritz: The Gibson.

Upstairs at Policy.


Metropolitain (the downstairs lounge) at Napoleon.

Not "modern," but the intricate woodworking at Molly Malone's.

The upstairs INDOOR lounge at the W.


Arlington, Va.: First CD: SWV. Love will be right here. Be right here.

Fritz: When I DJ, I still play the "Anything" remix with Wu-Tang. Such a great song.


Re: Debbie Gibson CD: I forgot to mention I still have the Debbie Gibson CD! I never throw anything out, so that should be bonus points. I will bring it to the guru happy hour if you all want to kick it old school to "Only In My Dreams!"

Rhome: Only if I can dance like this.


Capitol Hill, D.C.: Ok, I'm schooled. I couldn't remember the title. I trashed it when I turned 16 and became a music snob.

Wasn't lying that it was my first cd, though.

Julia: You're forgiven. I had to do a little wiki-research the name of the Silk CD this morning. I heard "Freak Me" on the radio on my way home last night and it totally rocked my world. When that bass drops out, man... Someone please tell me they know this song? I watched the video on YouTube today and was a little skeeved out that I liked this song so much in sixth grade.


Columbia, Md.: Ahh, longboxes. I remember the Divynals had a nice one with an extended photo of Christina Amphlette in the mesh dress...

My first CD was the soundtrack to Miami Vice. It was either that of Afterburner by ZZ Top. At the time, I was thinking I made the wrong choice. However over time you'll have to admit Jan Hammer has aged a little better than Velcro Fly.

Jen: Jan Hammer vs. "Velcro Fly" ... hmmm, tough call. But "Sleeping Bag" ... oh wait, that hasn't aged much better.


Clarendon: re: Birthday dinner. How about Sei, Zaytinya, Brasserie Beck, Eventide.

Julia: All good choices, thanks.


Washington, D.C.: My first CD was a gift from a friend for my 11th birthday. She first purchased a Madonna CD, which I had no interest in (and my mother didn't allow me to listen to her music anyway). I then exchanged it for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers greatest hits, because I was obsessed with "Last Dance with Maryjane," though my 6th grade self had no idea what most of those lyrics meant. It is still one of my favorite CDs, twenty years later.

David: There really isn't a single bad song on that Petty's "Greatest Hits" CD, is there? Seriously, every song is at least a near-classic. And every song title comes from the chorus, which is just so quaint and old-school. No reason it shouldn't be one of your favorites, still.


Crystal City...: The newcomer to Crystal City needs to head to Kabob Palace, and he/she needs to do it now.

Fritz: When I'm in CC, I frequently find myself at Kabob Palace, no matter what bar I'm there to review. It's essential.


Arlington, Va.: My boyfriend and I are looking to take a weekend trip somewhere within a couple hours drive. We're up for pretty much anything. Suggestions have been Deep Creek Lake or St. Michaels. Any thoughts or other suggestions?

Stephanie: I went to Deep Creek Lake with my boyfriend a few years back (oh wow, maybe more like 8!? I'm getting old!) and found it a little underwhelming. You can definitely do a lot of paddling and hanging out, but it wasn't the most exciting trip. St. Michaels is really pretty, but I would (per usual) throw Charlottesville into the mix because there's a lot to do in the area between wine tasting, hiking, historical tours and great food.


Burke, Va.: Breweries you can tour:

If you REALLY want to see a brewing operation, try Shenandoah Brewing Company on Pickett St. in Alexandria (between Van Dorn and Duke). You can make your OWN BEER there, and they always have 5-6 beers on tap in the (small) bar. It's a fun group outing, too.


I do not own the place, but I've made 10 or 12 batches of beer there, and it ROCKS.

Fritz: I've made beer there on more than one occasion, and yeah, while it's fun to do, it's not really a tour led by a professional, which is what I think the chatter wanted.

But it's still an option if you want to see the brewing process up close and personal.


Re: Bachelorette Planning: Thanks for the feedback. I read really good reviews of Central so I'm leaning towards there. We definitely want to dance so we'll forget about the table at Josephine and might splurge on a limo instead to take us around for the evening. I thought that The Gibson would help us bridge that gap between dinner and getting to Josephine late enough that the place was hopping (would that be around 11?). Thanks again Julia!

Julia: Yeah, I hear that -- just keep in mind that the Gibson is super chill. It might not be the upper you need between dinner and drinks. Marvin's rooftop might be better. The "beautiful dining spaces" condition tripped me up a bit on Central, because while, it's nice, it's not soaring and architectural like Zaytinya. I'd still go for Central though. If she's into food, she'll dig the place. Just make sure your girls are all down to spend some cash -- it's not cheap.


Baltimore, Md.: Combining two questions -- for the person looking for a brewery tour and the person looking for cast-drawn ale, try Victory Brewery in Downingtown Pa. Great tour, great (and cheap!) restaurant, and on Fridays, they have cask ale at the bar. I know not quite in the D.C. area (or Baltimore area for that matter) but it's a good trip.

I'll also vouch for Clipper City tour -- I'm taking my newly-turned 21 year old brother there this weekend.

Fritz: This is a great idea. 100 percent thumbs up to Harm City.


First CD: Operation Ivy: My first CD was Operation Ivy (4th grade). I had a really awesome babysitter who got me into punk rock and ska very early on.

It wasn't until I was 19, and embarrassed at a Trivia night, that I realized Operation Ivy did not first write the song "These Boots are Made for Walking"

I still refuse to accept this fact.

Julia: That's amazing. Also, I think that was my sister's first CD.


Washington, D.C.: I'm too old to remember first CD I bought, but I was a CD player hold-out in a bit way. So had a stack of CD's from friends, promos, etc. and finally had to give in and buy a player.

And, totally agree re: "Birdhouse in Your Soul."

Julia: Thank you! That song totally rules.


Weekend with boyfriend: How about Gettysburg? Harpers Ferry? Both have great historical value and decent restaurants.

Stephanie: Both great suggestions. Thanks!


Washington, D.C.: Ooo - I have a suggestion for the girl looking for a restaurant in G-town for her boyfriend's birthday -- The patio at Sea Catch. It's my secret place. The interior is a little stuffy, but the outdoors is so romantic along the canal. It is pricy, but if you get the seafood platter to share, it's totally worth it :)

Julia: Another suggestion for the birthday couple. My friends parents always spend their anniversary at La Chaumiere, which I find unbelievably adorable.


Northwest D.C.: Suggestions for a 2-year-old who likes motorcycles, trains, and big trucks? Air & Space is on our list, but are there any exhibits that include that other stuff?

Anne: There are plenty of train museums. For big trucks, I 'd just hit up your neighborhood construction site. But plan ahead for the next time of Things That Roll, when little kids get to ride their trikes at the skate park in Gaithersburg. There's usually a big fire truck or bulldozer on display then, too.


Gurus, Gurus, oh how I'll miss you: After 10 years in D.C. I'm moving away. (tear) Pondering where to have a going away Saturday night shindig and I'm stumped. My years of going out and about to all the restaurants and bars in town are proving useless. I've turned to you guys many times in the past for suggestions and I need your help one more time.

Looking for a place (bar/lounge) in D.C. for a group of 1-2 dozen people, as many will be coming and going throughout the evening. Not too loud so I can hear the fond farewells, but somewhere that's hopping and will prove for a good time. Suggestions?

And thanks for the years of recommendations, reviews and enjoyable Thursday afternoon chats. I'll miss you guys.

Fritz: 1. Table(s) in the back room at Science Club, because you can make a free reservation.

2. Tables/couches at Buffalo Billiards.

3. Tables/couches in the back/side room at Chi-Cha Lounge

Other thoughts from readers?


Vienna, Va.: I'm going to the United vs. Real Madrid game on Sunday, is metro the best way to go?

David: I'd drive. Last week there was single-tracking on the blue line which really slowed things down -- some people reported it took two hours to get to the McCartney show by taking Metro, not counting the walk to the stadium. If you drive, try taking exit 16 instead of exit 17 and that should make things better.


About First CDs...: This whole first CD thing got me thinking, 10 years from now nobody is ever going to ask someone, "What was your first mp3?" because nobody will remember. The loss of a tangible music product means the procurement of music is no longer something to be cherished or remembered. Now I'm depressed. Thanks, gurus.

Rhome: And one big terrorist launched EMP will wipe out everyone's data. WHAT KIND OF BACK UP SCHEME DO YOU HAVE?!?


Va. Trivia Enthusiast: Where are some good places to go for trivia in arlington and alexandria?

Stephanie: I like Four Courts, and not just because it's directly across the street from our office. But get there early if you want a table!


Re; Jurassic Park soundtrack: I'm kinda into film scores... and my second CD was the soundtrack to D2: The Mighty Ducks.

I was so pumped to have a copy of Rock n Roll part 2 by Gary Glitter... just as I'm sure a pre-teen was jamming his music.

Julia: Did anyone else have Jock Jams? (Version 2, please.)


Friendship Heights: My parents surprised me with a CD player for my birthday back in 1988. The only place to buy CDs in our town was the overpriced Sam Goody in the local mall. I agonized and agonized over what album was worthy of being the first CD I ever owned. It was closing time and they were about to kick me out of the store when I grabbed Big Audio Dynamite's "No. 10 Upping Street." I already owned it on vinyl and cassette and paid $18.98 plus tax for it on CD. I raced back home, so excited to listen to it, when I realized after unpacking the box for the CD player that it was a component CD player and I didn't have a tuner or speakers back at my parents' house (it was down at my place at college) and I couldn't listen to the CD anyway. The player has long since died, but I still have the B.A.D. CD.

David: Good one! "The Globe" might have been among one of my first CD purchases but my dad beat me to it. I remember going to the some movie and there was a video for "Rush" before the movie started and then I was really excited for that album.


Harpers Ferry: And if they are into rafting there are quite a few places to go all along the river.

Stephanie: Totally. And this is a fun option for the girls' day, too.


Dietle's: If you go, make sure you wear a stained t-shirt and bandana. Don't look like a "yuppie", you'll be shunned, even though you are steps from Georgetown Prep. I'm all for cheap, no frills bars - but that place is just bad. And shady.

Fritz: Last time through, I went in wearing a polo and jeans, sat at the bar and had no problems.

Shady -- sure, but many great dives are.


Arlington, Va.: How come bachelorette parties are okay but bachelor parties aren't?

Last two bachelor parties I threw donated over $30k each to bride and groom's favorite charities.

And yes strippers were involved. 20 guys with a $3k entry fee.

Julia: I'm not reading along with the chat so I have no idea if we said something was bad about bachelor parties, but for the record, we gurus are in favor of bachelor *and* bachelorette parties. From where I sit, it's up to each couple to decide where they come down on the stripper issue.


Arlington, Va.: Gosh, you're probably almost done w/the chat but if you can squeeze this in - any state parks with lakes (think Walden Pond in MA) within 2 hour drive of DC?

Stephanie: Lake Anna and Greenbrier come to mind, although I've never been to Walden so I have no idea if those are comparable.


First CD...: Well, in my defense it was bought for me, by my parents, but I think I might have requested it. I got Micheal Bolton's "Timeless" a complation of him singing classics like "Drift Away." I loved his version as a 10-year-old and though that instead of "Give me the beat boys" it was was Beach Boys.

Yeah... yikes. I promise my music taste has improved since then.

Anne: I'm impressed with this honestly. We didn't ask about the goofiest mistaken lyrics (wasn't that a John Kelly column?), but this makes a nice addition.


First CD: For Hannukah in 6th grade, my parents got me my first CD player, along with 3 CDs: Mariah Carey-Music Box; Ace of Base-The Sign; and Janet Jackson-Runaway. Totally sums up my early 90's musical tastes.

Julia: I saw the video for Janet's "Nasty Boys" at the gym the other day and I was amazed at how totally nasty the dancers were. Like, not in a "ooh, he's nasty!" kind of way. In a "ew, seriously, if those dudes were climbing out of rundown buildings behind me, I'd be freaked out" kind of way.


Wilson Phillips: I know that there is pain but if you hold on for one more day.. you'll break free from the pain.. you can all join in now. LOVE it in H&K White Castle!

Julia: Totally!


Covered Patios: Going to Happy Hour with a friend today. Would love to sit outside -- but not in the rain. What are some places in the District that have covered patios?

Fritz: Union Pub is the first one that comes to mind. The W Hotel, too. And the Reef's rooftop.


Re: Tootsie Roll: In mom's defense, I begged. Hard.

Julia: Hahahaha.


Columbia Heights: First CD? Tori Amos, "Into the Pink." Purchased at Tower Records at the Annapolis Harbor Center. Why? Because a boy I liked liked it, of course. I would play it over and over and over again. And now I just cannot go near solo female angst singers anymore. Good times.

Fritz: "A boy [you] liked" liked "Under the Pink"? For your sake, I hope that didn't work out.


Washington, D.C.: We are heading up to Blob's Park in Jessup for the first time this Friday night to experience the beer-and-polka fun. According to the website, the place opens at 6:30 p.m. and the band starts at 8 p.m. Any suggestions on what would be the best time to arrive? We will be a large-ish group (seven people) and this is our main event for the night (combining drinks, dinner and entertainment) so we want to be sure we make the most of it. Thanks!

Fritz: I'd arrive around 8 to make sure you get dinner (wurst platters, saurbraten) and a good table near the dance floor. Beware: The place can fill up fast.


Virginia Trivia: Rock Bottom in the Ballston Mall on Tuesdays. Quiz master Jay Ray rocks!

Stephanie: A vote for Rock Bottom trivia...


I have to be the only 15-year old whose first CD was...: ...the Twin Peaks soundtrack. I was big into the show. It was cool spooky music. Luckily my second CD was Pearl Jam's "Ten" which made up for a pretty odd first purchase.

Fritz: I was mildly obsessed with Twin Peaks, and I think the CD was among my early purchases, too. Still have it. Don't know what happened to my copy of The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, though.


Can the boy gurus help my boyfriend out, please: First, my apologies to the ladies, but you'll soon see why I'm asking the boy gurus.

I'd like to help my boyfriend plan a special night out for us (yep, it's a milestone for us). I thought if I could present him with a few takes of what the boy gurus do, something might inspire him.

What I'm looking for: I'm not looking for over-the-top but I do love good food, something special enough to earmark "romantic" and something where I can dress up more than jeans and a tee or tank and remind him that I clean up pretty well. Metro accessible ideas are most welcome. Other than that, we're both pretty open.

Could you help me out, please!?


Rhome: Anything at the Kennedy Center is always good for a nice evening where I leave the sneakers at home. Preceeded or followed by.... (Fritz?)

Fritz: I actually like this idea: Dinner at Marcel's, free limo to the Kennedy Center. Then, because you've thought ahead, you've joined the Washington National Opera's Generation O, which offers discounted tickets to everyone 35 and under, and bought tickets to see one of their upcoming performances.

That would be a winner for me.


First CD: I think it was 1988 or 89, I was 13 so I walked from my home to Waxie Maxies. I bought Poison's Talk Dirty to Me because I loved the video and thought the women on the cover were beautiful (I wanted to copy their makeup). For some reason I thought the CD had female models on the cover made up to look like the band. I almost died when I opened the long cardboard case and saw it was the actual band. I knew Posion wore a lot of makeup but not that much! Nonetheless, it still didn't faze my Brett Michaels crush; time and Rock of Love did.

Anne: We have a winner! Jen says this one must be true, because it happened to a friend of hers, too. Brett Michaels former fan, e-mail us at events *at* and we'll hook you up with the prize. Thanks for entertaining us today, everybody. Look for some of our other favorites in the post-chat recap post tomorrow, and we'll see you at happy hour next week.


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 in with them throughout the week on the GOG Blog or join their live Q&A every Thursday at 1 p.m.

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

© 2009 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive