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March 31, 2011

1
P.M.

Got Plans?

Total Responses: 62

About the hosts

About the host

Host: The Going Out Gurus

The Going Out Gurus

The Going Out Gurus are the experts behind The Washington Post's Going Out Guide. They 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. Join the thousands of readers who have followed us on Twitter and Facebook. And for nightlife news delivered twice-weekly to your inbox, make sure to sign up for the Going Out Guide newsletter.

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The Going Out Guide staff discuss great ideas for local entertainment, dates and family fun.
Q.

Alex Baldinger :

Hey there chatters, thanks for joining us on Opening Day for another edition of Got Plans. We figure a good number of you are going to read this in transcript form since you're probably at the ballpark with some great excuse for your boss, and if so, good for you. It's not easy to substantiate a four-hour absence from work. That's root canal territory. 

In addition to all of your usual questions this week, we want to know: What's the most fun you've ever had on a day you skipped work or school?

My parents let me skip seventh grade once so I could watch the Orioles play the Cleveland Indians in the (I think) 1997 AL Wild Card series. But yours could be an early exit to the beach, a big-time European soccer match you watched at a pub or something of that. Sports are often the culprit, so if you have anything that's NOT sports related, we'll look kindly. Best answer gets a pair of tickets to the Blue Man Group's performance Saturday at 1 p.m. Deal? 

Play ball!

Q.

Food Trucks at Nats Park

Do you guys know if any food trucks have plans to stop around nationals park before games this season? I would love to be able to pick up some cheaper/tastier food than what is offered at the stadium.
A.
Alex Baldinger :

DC's DCRA allocated 10 spaces allocated for street vendors outside the ballpark's left field entrance, and I trust those will be filled with food trucks on a regular basis. Food Truck Fiesta ID'd District Taco as one of the ten vendors selected, but we'll have to wait and see who owns the others.  

– March 31, 2011 1:04 PM
Q.

Chicken Dumplings, where?!

This might be a question for Tom, but my boyfriend has a hankering to try chicken and dumplings after watching a Food Network episode. Any suggestions as to where a good meal of chicken & dumplings can be found in the DC/MD area? I will take him wherever I can get them if the best are in NOVA. Thanks!
A.
Amy Orndorff :

Is it bad that my first thought is Cracker Barrel in Frederick? Maybe with a side of fried okra. Yum. This is certainly a question that Justin could answer, but since he isn't here I am opening this up to chatters.

– March 31, 2011 1:08 PM
Q.

Quick Dinner near Strathmore?

Hi GOGs! My husband and I are going to see David Sedaris this evening at the Strathmore in Bethesda. We're from Springfield and know nothing about that area... is there somewhere nearby we can grab a quick bite before the show? We probably won't have much time, so somewhere casual/cafe-like would be great. Thanks!
A.
Alex Baldinger :

If you had ample time, Addie's and Black Market Bistro are two great options. If you're truly pinched though, your best bet is probably the Prelude Cafe at the Music Center itself. Your other options include the food court at White Flint Mall and...well, not much else. 

– March 31, 2011 1:09 PM
Q.

Post-race Brunch Ideas

I am running the Cherry Blossom 10-miler on Sunday. What are some good brunch post-race brunch options? Nothing too fancy considering it's after a race. I have been to teaism in past years, but I am looking for some new ideas.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

I was just emailing with friends on this very topic. This year, we're doing Scion, but we were also considering Circa and Luna Grill. Last year we went to  Busboys and Poets. The trick is finding a place that opens early enough, since most runners won't want to wait till 11 to refuel.

– March 31, 2011 1:11 PM
Q.

Product search

Hi Guru's, I keep forgetting to ask this during your chats so I hope that by me submitting a day ahead you can help me. I got a Doonie and Bourke bag from a consignment shop and it has two little handles but didn't come with larger shoulder straps. Right now I either have to carry it in my hands or in the crook of my elbow but would love a shoulder strap so it's easier to carry into work. Do you or the chatters know how I can get this? I went online and haven't been successful.
A.
Holly Thomas :

You might want to start by contacting D&B's customer service department to ask about buying a replacement strap: (800)347-5000, custserv@dooney.com. I also just found a seller on eBay that sells them for $28.99. If you're on a tight budget, I'd suggest heading to a thrift store and buying a cheap bag in a similar color to salvage the strap.

– March 31, 2011 1:11 PM
Q.

Meridian Pint Birthday Party

Thanks for recommending a few weeks ago the Meridian Pint for a birthday party. We had a great time and all of our friends felt like VIPs with a reserved booth. So many people came over and took pictures of the tap in the middle of the table but we felt like celebrities too!!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Those tap tables are great, aren't they? Looking forward to the tax-day debut of DC Brau beer, when the bar is promising you'll be able to sample the new brewery's Public Pale Ale on draft, including the tap tables.

– March 31, 2011 1:11 PM
Q.

Shoe Fix!

Where's the best place in NW DC to get shoes reheeled?
A.
Holly Thomas :

I go to Corrective Shoe Repair in Dupont and MacDee's near 17th and L, but this really depends on what's convenient to you and within your price range.

– March 31, 2011 1:13 PM
Q.

Cherry blossoms without the crowds?

I want to take my newborn twins to see the cherry blossoms for the first time. The problem is that I don't want to take them on a crowded metro train until their immune systems are a bit stronger. That leaves the option of driving in to the city. I know that the traffic/parking situation is not easy. Is there a time of day that is quieter? Also, where is the best place to park? Thanks!!
A.
Amy Orndorff :

There really isn't a quiet time. Crowds are there pretty much all the time and parking is difficult. Do you have to take them to the Tidal Basin? Chances are they aren't going to remember so why not head to the arboretum and take a self-guided tour of their flowering cherry trees? You can still get good pictures but you don't have to battle the crowd.

– March 31, 2011 1:15 PM
Q.

supportng India in Cricket World Cup

Hi, So the the World Cup match should be ending around lunch time Saturday, where should I go to watch the final wickets and celebrate, assuming India is doing well? I live near Metro, but also have a car... Thanks!
A.
Alex Baldinger :

We finally have a definitive answer for all of you cricket heads: Touchdown will open at 6 a.m. Saturday for the big Sri Lanka - India showdown. They'll serve breakfast when the doors open, but you can't drink until 8 a.m. FYI -- The match in Mumbai starts at 5 a.m. Eastern, but one-day international cricket matches typically last between six and eight hours so you'll only miss the first few...overs? I think overs is the word. I love you cricket, but I do not understand you. 

We'll pass along any other early-openings we find out about. 

– March 31, 2011 1:18 PM
Q.

Happy Hour Help

Two 30-something year old ladies looking to meet off the redline between Bethesda and Dupont for happy hour. Points for big happy hour selection as both ladies should be earning more than they do. Also interested in places that have opened in the past year. Thanks GOGs!
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

How about Barcode, right off the Farragut North station? Happy hour is half-price beer, wine, etc., and, it's got one of those coveted spring accessories: the big, airy patio. 

– March 31, 2011 1:19 PM
Q.

Brunch

3 girls going to pick up their packet for the cherry blossom 10 miler want to eat brunch/lunch together afterwards....Where would you go? The packet pick up is around the judiciary square metro stop at the National Building Museum. Thanks for your help!
A.
Stephanie Merry :

A twist on the post-race breakfast question! I'd probably head to my old standby, Matchbox, or Poste if you're looking for something a little nicer.

– March 31, 2011 1:19 PM
Q.

Fashion question

I'm having a hard time finding nude (taupe, I'm pale) pumps, but with a low or kitten heel. I've tried all the usual suspects. Any ideas?
A.
Holly Thomas :

Here are a couple quick thoughts: two options from local store Simply Soles, a few more from Endless, and two more from Piperlime.

– March 31, 2011 1:21 PM
Q.

Dog-friendly shops and restaurants in DC?

Hi, and thanks for taking my question. It might be a strange one. A friend is coming in town this weekend and bringing her very big dog. We'd love to walk around town with the pup. Do you know of shops/restaurants in DC where dogs are allowed? I wouldn't want to have to leave her (the pup -- not the friend) outside while we shop/eat/sip coffee/whatever. Any insights? Thanks!
A.
Amy Orndorff :

Yes, in fact there are places with doggie menus! Try: Pat Troy's in Alexandria or Art and Soul in NW.

– March 31, 2011 1:22 PM
Q.

European invasion

Do you know when tickets go on sale for the July 30 Manchester United v Barcelona match?
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Our colleague, the great Steven Goff of Soccer Insider, reports that tickets will go on sale through Ticketmaster in late April. 

– March 31, 2011 1:23 PM
Q.

Skipping work...

I had a long tedious day of work scheduled and the roads were jammed. My boyfriend and I both decided we felt sick and spent the morning laughing at the traffic report with mimosas and the afternoon pretending we were lucky enough to work downtown (we worked way outside the beltway) by going out to lunch downtown and then happy hour hopping. So much better than fighting traffic!
A.
Jess Righthand :

Sounds awesome. Down with traffic, up with mimosas!

– March 31, 2011 1:24 PM
Q.

Skipping School

My parents let me skip a day in High School to go to the Y100 Fez-tival, an all day concert by a radio station in Philly. I saw a bunch of awesome 90's bands like Marcy Playground, Everclear, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Green Day.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Wow, I just had a flashback to HFStival circa 1998.

– March 31, 2011 1:26 PM
Q.

re Strathmore

There is an outpost of Againn (the gastropub) across from White Flint Mall. There is also a Matchbox location a little farther up Rockville Pike, though it tends to be just as crowded as every other location.
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

Even better options for the Strathmore-goer.

– March 31, 2011 1:26 PM
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Both fine choices, but just be careful about driving two miles past Strathmore on Rockville Pike for a quick dinner. That can really slow you down. 

– March 31, 2011 1:30 PM
Q.

Best "Playing Hookie" Story

When I was 9, I saw the Providence Bruins win the Calder Cup for the first time in their history. It was the best and most exhausting day, I remember waiting in the parking lot until almost 2am because there was so much traffic. The next day, Monday, my mom called the school and said we had caught the flu. I remember being more excited about getting the day off than the game the night before because that might have been one of three time that my parents let my sister and I miss school.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

You get bonus points with me for making a hockey reference... Calder Cup, no less! Really great story.

– March 31, 2011 1:26 PM
Q.

Dinner near Strathmore

I've never been, but next to Addie's is Hank Dietle's, which looks to be some sort of bar. No idea how the food is, but it is probably quick, and preferable to the White Flint food court. There are also some restaurants in WF, I think, along the lines of Cheesecake Factory.
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Yeah, but Cheesecake is the opposite of quick. And Hank Dietle's, while a fine place, might be a bit casual for folks headed to Strathmore. Just sayin'. 

– March 31, 2011 1:27 PM
A.
Fritz Hahn :

As someone who loves Hank Dietle's to death, I can tell you that the cuisine don't get much more fancy than a bowl of chili and a 99-cent bag of Utz crab chips to go with your draft Budweiser.

– March 31, 2011 1:33 PM
Q.

Hats & Gloves

Hi gurus, My friend is having a garden-party-themed bridal shower at the end of April and the invitation states "hats and gloves requested." (Yeah, I know...) Any suggestions on places to purchase said items? Any tips on what to avoid/etiquette with this type of occasion in general? Thank you!
A.
Holly Thomas :

If you're not a hat person in general, I wouldn't advise running out and buying an over-the-top Kentucky-Derby-style topper just for the occasion -- instead, opt for a fascinator (those feathery, flowery concoctions that Kate Middleton wears on a regular basis). Pick one up for cheap at Forever 21 or Accessorize (which has a new crop of them right now). As for gloves, try a local vintage shop (Mercedes Bien, Treasury, Ginger Root, or my new favorite, Venus on the Half Shell in Frederick) for a pretty pair. As for what to avoid, I'd say if the party is outside, stick with flats to keep from sinking into the ground with every step.

– March 31, 2011 1:27 PM
Q.

Real Madrid vs Barca

The football match is on April 16th and I have a group of GW students who have recently returned from studying in Spain who want to watch the game together somewhere near Foggy Bottom (Dupont, Georgetown, Chinatown, etc). Only problem is that some are under 21. Any ideas where it will be playing, what time, and if they can get in? Thanks!
A.
Fritz Hahn :

First, an important note: El Clasico is actually the 17th, though I can't seem to find a kickoff time.

Both Lucky Bar and Summers show La Liga games and both allow those under 21 to watch soccer. Summers is a short Metro ride away and has less of a bar atmosphere.

– March 31, 2011 1:29 PM
Q.

Newborns and blossoms

You could try the Kenwood neighborhood in Bethesda/ Chevy Chase. Yes, the residents hate it, but people have always gone through there to see the blossoms. I remember doing it 40+ years ago as a child.
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

The babies would love Kenwood. The neighborhood has a lot of trees, and it's definitely easier to navigate with a stroller than the Tidal Basin.

– March 31, 2011 1:29 PM
Q.

Best day skipping school

I must have been in 2nd grade and I was on some playground equipment and I notice my brother walking toward me. He says something like shush pretend you forgot a doctor's appointment. We walked out together and there is Mom and Dad in the car. I get in and at that point Dad says we are going to Six Flags. Oh to this I remember that feeling. I don't remember too many of the rides that day but I remember the feeling of getting out of school and going to Six Flags.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Cool parents! My sister used to pull me out of class for "doctor's appointments" too, but our parents had no idea...

– March 31, 2011 1:30 PM
Q.

Peep, Dioramas

Hi! When will the Peep dioramas be posted? Will there be an exhibition this year like last year's at the Post? Signed, In need of peep fix
A.
Holly Thomas :

Here's your Peep fix: The results will be in the Sunday Magazine on April 17, and online a few days prior. The dioramas won't be displayed in the Post lobby, but there's a good possibility they'll be on view at Artomatic this year. Stay tuned to the Weekend section and the all-knowing GOGs for more on that front.

– March 31, 2011 1:31 PM
Q.

Playing Hooky

When I was 7 years old my Mom took me out of school because Mother Theresa was landing at the Military Base where we lived. Have a great photo of her blessing my head!
A.
Jess Righthand :

Whoa.

– March 31, 2011 1:31 PM
Q.

Cherry blossoms

Another option: Pick a nice day, park in downtown Bethesda, put the babies in a stroller, and take a short, relaxing walk down the Capital Crescent Trail as far as Dorset. Then you can walk around the Kenwood neighborhood, which is completely lined with stunning cherry trees. It gets crowded on nice weekends, but nothing like the Tidal Basin. The crowd tends to be locals, rather than tourists, and usually nonresident cars are banned from the streets on the cherry blossom weekends.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

That sounds lovely!

– March 31, 2011 1:31 PM
Q.

Brunch

I want brunch, and I want to pay under $30 a person.
A.
Alex Baldinger :

And I want you to click this link

– March 31, 2011 1:34 PM
Q.

Live Free or Die

My Dad took me out of school (10th grade) to go see Bill Clinton stump outside a diner in Concord, NH during the 96 campaign. We didn't have tickets but we got in anyway. We had recently moved to NH and were new to the whole politicians every where you turn during primary season.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

That was probably a more interesting civics lesson than anything you were learning in school anyway.

– March 31, 2011 1:35 PM
Q.

RE STRATHMORE

Againn is actually a bit farther up Rockville Pike from White Flint. If you want faster/not as nice, there's a Jerry's just up the Pike from White Flint (on the same side, same block) and a Chili's across the street. And a Tara Thai across-ish from the Againn.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

More options...

– March 31, 2011 1:36 PM
Q.

9:30 club

Hello great and all knowing GOGO's my sister and I will be at at the 9:30 club for the Amos Lee show on Apr 6th. We have never been there before. Where are some places in the area to eat before the show? Thank you
A.
Alex Baldinger :

First of all, congrats on your first 9:30 visit. Duffy's (great wings and tater tots, good beer prices) or American Ice Company (BBQ and more expensive beer) are the two neighborhood favorites. Or Ben's Chili Bowl, which I'd recommend if it's your first time there as well. 9:30 serves food (Food Food, to be precise) if you're really in a hurry.  

– March 31, 2011 1:36 PM
Q.

Skipping work

I skipped work last year to cheer on England and the U.S. in the World Cup. I called in sick, had pizza and beer at 10 am for breakfast, sat on the patio, watched the games, and never looked back. Probably the best hookie day ever.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

I told my boss at the start of the World Cup that I needed vacation on any day the U.S. or Germany was playing, though I didn't exactly say why.

Then I went to Biergarten Haus every single day.

– March 31, 2011 1:37 PM
Q.

Most fun playing hooky...

Okay, I know I'm revealing myself as a complete dork, but a few weeks ago I took off from work just to go to Philly for the day. I went to Reading Terminal Market and then to the Penn Museum to see the amazing Chinese mummies on exhibit. It was an awesome, nerdtastic day!
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Doesn't sound dorky to me at all. Sounds like you made some time for yourself. People should do that more often. 

– March 31, 2011 1:38 PM
Q.

Wedding outfit in May

Hi Holly. I have a question about mixing patterns. I'm attending a wedding in May and have purchased a shell and skirt from Kohl's of all places. But I have a weakness for pink/red roses. The pieces are reversible: roses on one side, daises on the other. (You can see the daisy print at the bottom of the skirt.) I'm thinking I might wear the shell with the daisy side "out" and the skirt with the rose side "out." Would this make me look too much like a flower garden? I'll be wearing a pink/neutral sweater, so that might help. Thanks much--we miss the fashion chat!

A.
Holly Thomas :

Personally, I'm not so sure about two pink-based patterns and a pink sweater. Mixing prints works best when one print is oversized and the other is on a smaller scale, like wide stripes and small polka dots, so I'm not sure these are the best two to mix. But if you want to try it anyway,  use bold neutral pieces, like a black cardigan and a wide black belt, to break up the prints and ground the look.

– March 31, 2011 1:39 PM
Q.

Chicken & Dumplings

The Majestic in Old Town does a great version! They also have small-batch craft vodkas and great cocktails.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

Yum, I am going to have to try that. Now if only I could get some fried okra and sweet tea I'd be in heaven.

– March 31, 2011 1:39 PM
Q.

Best ever high school skip day:

Best cut school memory was hitching a ride to DC with my best high school friends to get on the set of Panorama with Maury Povich, because Ernest Borgnine from McHale's Navy was a guest.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

That is awesome/random.

– March 31, 2011 1:40 PM
Q.

Shoe Question

I'm also looking for some dressy kitten heel sandels that are comfy but I haven't found any. I'm open to any fun color! I'm pairing them with my wedding gown for a august outdoor wedding. Thanks!
A.
Holly Thomas :

Simply Soles is a good place to go for this, especially if you're able to splurge a little bit. As for brands, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman both make good options in this style.

– March 31, 2011 1:40 PM
Q.

Mother's Day

My parents are coming into town for Mother's Day weekend. They've been to DC a lot and we've done all the traditional things. Do you have any day-long activities that you can recommend? A hit from a previous visit was the gospel brunch at the Corcoran followed by wine tasting/driving in Virginia wine country and Harper's Ferry. We've done Annapolis. Baltimore has been discussed but I don't know what the good things are to do there. Any recommendations in Baltimore or other places outside the city? Thanks!!
A.
Brandon Weigel :

If you don't mind venturing out into the Baltimore countryside a little bit, might I suggest a visit to Ladew Topiary Gardens? Their site says the spring flowers will be at their peak. Moms will get a special treat and complimentary coffee and tea will be provided. A little closer to the city, Hampton Mansion, a former colonial estate in Towson, is offering free carriage rides for moms. I haven't taken the mansion tour since, like, 4th grade, but the facility is fantastic.

And if you feel like staying in the city, Open Table is already listing some brunch options. You can spend your time before or after brunch at either of two wonderful exhibits running currently at the Walters and BMA.

– March 31, 2011 1:40 PM
Q.

Don't you forget about me

My senior year of high school, some friends and I skipped school, ordered pizza and watched "The Breakfast Club." We felt like true rebels. Then we felt guilty and drove back to school for the afternoon. We were A students so we didn't get in trouble, but we did not make good rebels.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

Ha, don't worry, I'd do the same thing.

– March 31, 2011 1:42 PM
Q.

Hooky Day!

Back in 2006, I was fresh off a divorce and pretty bummed. I had a semi-crummy job as a file clerk and no vacation time. The Fourth of July was a Tuesday, so everyone took Monday off. I was one of maybe three people in the office that day. At 10:00 am, I get a text message from a good friend: "Make up an excuse. Go home. Put on a swimsuit. I'll be there in an hour." Needless to say, I did what I was told. My friend picked me up and took me for lunch at the Italian Store, followed by an afternoon on the waterslides in the water park in Manassas. Afterwards, we went to Cantina Marina for Coronas. Best hooky day ever.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

This is kind of awesome.

– March 31, 2011 1:43 PM
Q.

DC Dinner Spot

Have a couple in town visiting from overseas and we are looking for a good DC place for dinner. Nothing too expensive but would like them to see nice DC "scene" if that makes sense. I was thinking maybe Marvin or someplace else in the U St / 14th St area. Any suggestions?
A.
Alex Baldinger :

I say you blow their mind a bit with a stop at one of U Street's many Ethiopian eateries. That's a real D.C. scene. 

But if they're more Continental eaters, take them to Vinoteca

– March 31, 2011 1:44 PM
Q.

Best day

My friend and I worked at a small nonprofit-only 5 people. We both called in sick one day so we thought that was a real coupe. Spent it on the Mall with two other friends. We hit the Natural History museum and then we grabbed lunch from the Museum Cafe and lounged outside under the sun. Then early visits to all our fave happy hour spots. I'd only been in DC a year and it was definitely my best day. Now my friend lives in Richmond and we both have little kids so it's those fond memories that carry us through.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

I used to call in sick to go to the museums, too. Now that it's part of my job, I'm sick a lot less.

– March 31, 2011 1:46 PM
Q.

Live Free or Die follow up-- an even better excuse to skip school

I don't know how this one isn't my top choice!!! This was 24 years ago, last week. My parents picked me up from first grade in the middle of the day, I had no idea what was going on. They kept it a secret until things were 100% because the risk disappointment was so great. I was called to the office to learn that we were on the next flight to Phoenix, where a teenage had just waived her parental rights to her newborn. I met my sister the next day, she was 3 days old.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

Wow. That tops your other story hands down. Thanks!

– March 31, 2011 1:47 PM
Q.

Skipping School

When I was 15 years old, my parents took me and my brother out of school for a week in September to travel with them to a conference in Anaheim...because the conference was at Disney Land!!! We stayed at a hotel on the resort, had breakfast with the characters every morning, and had a pass for the monorail right from the hotel to go to the park as many times a day as we wanted! When we got back, my parents told all my teachers that I had been sick and even got two tests rescheduled for me! That was one excellent week playing hooky!
A.
Brandon Weigel :

This is pretty epic. A cross-country trip to hang with the Disney gang must have been nice.

– March 31, 2011 1:47 PM
Q.

Date Tmw Night

Hi Gurus. Husband and I have a date tomorrow night. We're going to Tabard Inn for drinks, and then we're going to try to get into to Brassiere Beck for dinner. However, after about 8:00, we are plan-less. Any ideas? Any exhibits to check out or other somewhat active things to do (don't really want to sit and watch something). Thanks.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Wow -- after cocktails at Tabard and some of those big Belgian beers at Beck, I'd want to go home and sleep it off.  Depending on what time you finish, you could head down to the Tidal Basin for one of the blossoms-by-lantern tours led by the Park Rangers. Very different way to see the cherry blossoms.

– March 31, 2011 1:47 PM
Q.

For Holly

Too early to break out turquoise jewelry? And must it be worn with sun-dressy type stuff only, or can it go preppy with kahkis and navy card?
A.
Holly Thomas :

I don't think it's too early, no ...

– March 31, 2011 1:48 PM
Q.

Making friends?

Hi Gurus, I've been in this city a little over 6 months and still have yet to find a steady group of girls to hang with. Networking events are all well and good but I feel like people here are really clickish and once they have their "group" they are not as willing to let new people in. I've talked to longer term transplants and they basically have said the same. I moved here for a job opportunity without knowing anyone, and while my coworkers are great, we are in different life stages (I'm single, in my mid-twenties, and many of them are married, older, with kids) so hanging out after work is not really such an option. I really want to love the place but I'm finding it extremely difficult. Can you offer tips/suggestions? My college does have an alumni presence here but the organization is weaker than it was in my previous city, and events are few and far between, Thanks
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

Lots of people have been in your position -- myself included -- and I agree this can be a tough scene to crack. I also think it's why we have an incredible number of strange -- but fun -- extracurricular activities here aimed at solo twenty-somethings. There are WAKA Kickball leagues, going-out Meetups  and  even DC Roller Girls, if pushing and shoving your friends sounds fun.  It's all about figuring out your interest and pursuing it -- I firmly believe it's  a great way to meet people, who then might introduce you to their friends, and so on, till you can't leave the house without running into someone you know at Whole Foods (yes, DC is that small). It's not going to be like freshman year in the dorms. You will have to work at it a little. But I swear, with time, you'll find your place here.

– March 31, 2011 1:49 PM
Q.

Black Tie question for Holly

I'm going to a black tie event at my boyfriend's law school, but it seems like a law school prom, not like a legit black tie event. Do I have to wear a floor length dress? I just bought this really pretty knee length dress that is strapless with a champagne under layer and black lace over it, then really pretty black beading on the bust and along the bottom. Think that will fly?
A.
Holly Thomas :

I think your dress sounds appropriate for a black-tie event. Go the extra step and dress it up with jewelry, an elegant clutch and a black gauzy wrap or bolero, and you should be fine.

– March 31, 2011 1:50 PM
Q.

VCU Final Four Viewing Party?

VCU alum here hoping there might be a DC or MD sportsbar hosting VCU fans for tomorrow's game. Any ideas? Thanks! Valarie
A.
Fritz Hahn :

There are actually three VCU viewing parties tomorrow: Town Tavern, Bailey's (Ballston) and Shooter McGee's. All the details, including happy hour specials, is in my blog post about where to watch the Final Four.

(Kentucky, Butler and UConn fans will find info on their respective viewing parties in there, too.)

– March 31, 2011 1:50 PM
Q.

Co Co Sala

Probably a silly question but: Are jeans and sneakers acceptable for Co Co Sala on Friday night? It'll be my first time there. Thanks!
A.
Holly Thomas :

I don't think so ... it's on the swanky side, so you should definitely upgrade to dress pants or chinos and some nice shoes.

– March 31, 2011 1:51 PM
Q.

Happy hour response

Since when is Farragut North between Bethesda and Dupont :)
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

Haha, okay. I have a headcold. So I'm going to need a little latitude today.

– March 31, 2011 1:51 PM
Q.

Skipping school

I grew up in CT and graduated high school in 1973. My boyfriend at the time was a huge horse racing fan. I skipped school 2 Fridays that spring to attend all three legs of the Triple Crown - it was the year Secretariat won. Long drive to KY, decent ride to Baltimore and an easy day trip to the Belmont Stakes in NY. Boy do I wish I still had those programs.
A.
Brandon Weigel :

Wow, this is kind of eerie. I just read TBD's interview with the new Preakness mascot, the party "manimal" Kegasus [sigh], and it turns out he was re-watching that very Preakness.

But in all seriousness, all of those races must have been spectacular to watch.

– March 31, 2011 1:52 PM
Q.

F/u to the 7 year old question

I just sent you a question about a place to take a 7 yr. old. I just confirmed that my friend is looking for somewhere to take her to dinner tonight - that's cool and different. Thanks.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

How about Mongolian Grill in Bethesda? The 7-yr-old can pick out whatever she wants and then watch it being cooked with big swords. The best part? If she doesn't like whatever she picked out she can always go back and try something else.

– March 31, 2011 1:57 PM
Q.

RE MEETING PEOPLE

Volunteering is a great way to meet people. Has the chatter considered joining the Junior League? It definitely attracts a certain type but that type is more diverse than many think.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Good call on both counts. I know a number of very cool girls that do Junior League...

– March 31, 2011 1:58 PM
Q.

Seven year-old hookie

When I was little I lived in Southern California. My parents were not the spontaneous type, but when my mom's younger sister and her husband came to visit they concocted aplan to play hookie and go to Disneyland. Because Disneyland opened so much later then our school, they set back all of the clocks to make us think it was still a regular day. Then we tried out a "new route" to school (that took an extra 20 mins) and when we pulled up to Disneyland, we flipped. Best day a seven year old could ask for.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

The clock-changing is what makes this a great story instead of a just a good one.

– March 31, 2011 1:59 PM
Q.

Most fun skipping school

My parents let my brothers and I miss 2 weeks of school so we could go to Hawaii for a family vacation (and visit my aunt and uncle)!
A.
Amy Orndorff :

Can they adopt me?

– March 31, 2011 2:00 PM
Q.

Wrong train of thought...

When I saw F/U, I totally wasn't thinking follow-up.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

That crossed my mind, too. I thought it was just me. Alright everyone the writer meant FOLLOW UP!

– March 31, 2011 2:01 PM
Q.

Most recent case of hooky-ism...

Taking a day off just to see the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin on a workday. Sparse crowds. Very nice. Drinks after.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Where'd you go for the drinks? And how were they? Inquiring minds want to know.

– March 31, 2011 2:01 PM
Q.

For Holly

I'm pregnant and just starting to not fit into my clothes. I don't want to spend a ton of money on maternity clothes and I'm hoping once it's warmer i can just wear dresses most of the time and won't have to keep buying pants but i think i need some pants to get me through the next few weeks. Can you recomend any stores that have inexpensive maternity clothes? any consignments shops? I need metro accessable and preferable in DC.
A.
Holly Thomas :

I just heard from a friend about Wiggle Room in Bethesda, which is a consignment maternity and kids clothing boutique. Apple Seed Boutique in Alexandria doesn't offer consignment, but they do have some maternity pants on sale now for $58. And you might also want to try Target, which has an extensive maternity selection.

– March 31, 2011 2:02 PM
Q.

Tennis

To the person asking about tennis last week - there is an organization called Tennis DC (http://tennisdc.com/) that has a partner matching program. You pay a nominal fee (around $5 a month) and they provide a list of players at your skill level. They also have competetive leagues, but I use it just to meet up with people and hit around.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Thanks for the tip. This also might work for the girl trying to make friends -- provided she likes tennis.

– March 31, 2011 2:03 PM
Q.

DC Day Off!

Darlings, My best friend in the world is coming into town from LA next week and I am taking Thursday off work. What do you suggest for a day full of DC fun? I live over on the Hill kind of between Eastern Markey and H St, so suggestions for either of those neighborhoods would be welcome, but if it is nice we are happy to metro (or bike share!) elsewhere. Thank you so much!
A.
Jess Righthand :

What kinds of things are you interested in? If it's nice out, you should definitely take your LA friend to see the cherry blossoms. You can do a Capital Bikeshare from Eastern Market and from there, it's a short ride to the tidal basin. In terms of food, you could grab a picnic lunch at that market that's escaping my memory right now on Seventh and C SE. Alternatively, you could always opt for a long, leisurely lunch at my favorite, Belga Cafe, Aqua al 2 or Market Lunch (for more tips on restaurants/etc. in Eastern Market, check our new neighborhood guide). For dinner, you could head over to H Street to check out the soon to be opening Toki Underground (dumplings and ramen) or just opened English gastropub Queen Vic. Then head to H Street Country Club for a DC-themed put put, or Fruit Bat and/or Church and State for more sophisticated drinks. If you hadn't noticed, food and drink are often priorities for me. Hope that helps!

– March 31, 2011 2:09 PM
Q.

Dupont Circle, D.C.

Years ago my new boyfriend and I called in sick to work so that we could get STD tested. Except the health center was closed for some random reason but the Krispy Kreme was right there so we got some donuts instead (this was before KK was at Dupont). This is a true story.
A.
Fritz Hahn :

Published without comment.

– March 31, 2011 2:09 PM
Q.

Not my demographic...

I've been nominated to take my sister and cousin out this Saturday night. They are both moms in their mid-40s that aren't big drinkers. Both are fun and semi-hip, but they're not big city ladies. I don't know what to do with this demographic! I live in Pentagon City, so I'm willing to go to Clarendon, Old Town, and anything south of Columbia Heights in the District. Maybe some live music would be good--but not too loud or too young. Please help!!
A.
Stephanie Merry :

You might want to check out some of the cherry blossom festivities for that day, because they cater to wide array of people. And if you head to the fireworks show, you can introduce them to the city's wealth of food truck.

– March 31, 2011 2:11 PM
Q.

Alex Baldinger :

Thanks for chatting today, folks. Enjoy the rest of Opening Day. Will the folks who submitted the "I met my sister; she was three days old" hooky story, and the Mother Teresa story, please shoot me an email: baldingera@washpost.com. See you all next week. 

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