In thinking of things to do for date night, you should shake the rose bush sometime and do something out of the ordinary. One example is driving a miniature turbo-charged car that gets 40 miles to the gallon off a cliff.  If you missed this Super Bowl commercial, check out the daredevil 2012 Chevrolet Sonic in stunt action, here. I opted to drive the Chevy Sonic on a date to the still-in-construction Hyattsville Arts District.

The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. (GM/WIECK)

Now the date was set, I needed the ride. As the five-door Sonic pulled up in the driveway, I wasn’t really impressed. It reminds me of so many others in its class, but definitely a much better look than the Mr. Softee Chevy Aveo.

Compact cars are no longer synonymous with cheap and boring.  The Sonic is made of high quality materials and its stiff body can handle D.C.’s bumpy roads. Chevy takes some creative liberties in design with the weird placement of rear side door handles and rotary phone-like dash and speedometer. The trunk is tiny, but it does have a small compartment under the floor to place some flat or small items.

Inside the car was spacious, considering, and the driver feels elevated, which is always a plus in small cars. I took a few minutes to set up the Bluetooth, turned up the tunes and took to the street.

There are six speeds and with me running late, as usual, I quickly put it’s agility to the test while avoiding those pesky speed cameras in the D.C. area. It passed! Shifting is pretty smooth and though the gears are close, I never made it to sixth gear. Also for those not in sync with the car’s RPMs, the Sonic has a “Shift” indicator that lets you know it’s time to change gears.

I scooped my date and made it to the Hyattsville Arts District, which was a first time visit for me. Parking is scarce but we found a space amongst the newly developed townhomes and ran the rest of the way on foot to the destination. Greeted at the door of the recently opened Wet Your Palettes by the owner Keisha Gilchrist-Crawford, we quickly jumped into aprons and sat next to each other at a canvas.

Wet Your Palettes studio in Hyattsvile, Md. (Michael Tucker Jr. /FTWP)

Our mission was to paint sunflowers. There was a jovial instructor that was helpful and very encouraging, which is just what I needed to replace the lack of liquid courage.

As a great music mix from Solange to Luther Vandross played in background, my date and I were enjoying each other’s company and being creative together. The outcome was actually sunflowers and a great time together. Who knew?

The cost is $50 per person but there are special promotions from time to time. Aside from wine glasses, they provided delicious cupcakes.

As we walked back to the Chevy Sonic we were quite hungry, so we decided to grab a bite in the arts district.  It was a toss up between the new Busboys & Poets or Elevation Burger. We decided on something quick. If you haven’t had the vegan cheeseburger at Elevation Burger, you should. The french fries are fried in olive oil and quite tasty as well.

We continued through the city in the Sonic not missing a beat.  For something sweet we stopped at Good Stuff Eatery for the best milkshakes in town. The Vietnamese coffee shake is now a permanent menu item!

At the end of the night she was happy, which meant I did good.  The Sonic was the right ride to hit the town as a couple for fun.

Let’s Get SOCIAL

What are some great date spots in the area?

Do you think a compact car is a good alternative to hybrids?



Wet Your Palettes  5608 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD 20781



@ChefSpike – Good Stuff Eatery

2012 Chevrolet Sonic 5DR LTZ

Price Tag: $17,235 base ($18,695 tested)

Power: Ecotec Turbo 1.4 Liter Engine 134 horsepower

Transmission: 6-Speed manual

Drivetrain:  Front-Wheel Drive

Fuel Economy (mpg):  29-city/40-hwy Annual Fuel Cost $1,682

Mike Tucker is a D.C. native and has been a journalist of fine automobiles for more than 10 years. He is a single dad of three who believes in unique sneakers, great tunes, delicious food and God. You can follow him @1cooldad

Read more on The Root DC

Ash Wednesday: The meaning of sacrifice

Magic Johnson to launch black television network

Whitney Houston: An angel, celebrity

’Cookin with the Deltas’

A historic moment for Rep. John Lewis