Got Plans?

Jun 24, 2010

The Going Out Guide staff discuss great ideas for local entertainment, dates and family fun on Thursday, June 17, at 1 p.m. ET.

Welcome to our weekly chat! There are plenty of questions in already, so without further ado let's get going.

Besides 9:30 Club, are there any other tributes to Michael Jackson going on this weekend in DC?

I think Michael Jackson is Alive, the Friday night DJ gathering at U Street Music Hall that Rhome wrote about in this week's Nightlife Agenda, sounds like a lot of fun. Local DJs Bis, James Nasty, Harry Hotter, D Painter and Chris Nitti will each take an hour-long turn on the decks, spinning nothing by music by Michael, the Jacksons and the Jackson 5 all night. It should be amazing, and there will be plenty of room to dance.

I saw the midnight show of new moon last year at AMC Hoffman and while the turnout was impressive the crowd was young and the boys were noisy. Although the books are much better I like watching the movies and I am enticed by the option to watch all three at once in theater on Jun 29. Would Uptown be any different - crowd wise?

As a veteran of midnight screenings of "Harry Potter" at the Uptown I can tell you the crowd will be just as a big, just as noisy, but maybe a little older. But at the same time, you kind of have to go with it. Being surrounded by just-as-rabid fans is part of the experience of a midnight screening.

Gurus: If you were going to pick one of the new(ish) restaurants in DC or VA to check-out on Saturday night, which would it be? Something in the $20-$30 an entree price range. Fun, laidback atmosphere is a bonus - nothing too stuffy. Considered checking out Againn or Lyon Hall, but I wanted to make sure I didn't miss a better option. Thanks!

There really is a glut of choices right now, and you aren't going to be dissapointed with either of those options. I would also suggest Birch & Barley, Kushi, Agora and the newly reviewed Ethiopic.

A friend who is coming to visit is very into factories -- shows like "Unwrapped" and "How It's Made," etc. -- and loves taking factory tours. Are there any factories in the area that give tours (and hopefully free samples of whatever they make)? We've been to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing -- any other suggestions? Thanks!

I don't know if it will beat the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, but how about heading to Baltimore and visiting the Heavy Seas Beer brewery? The tour is free ($5 gets you a souvenir pint glass for samples) and the beer, in my opinion, is tops.

Would a single 19-year-old female feel comfortable attending a show there?

Of course! Absolutely. 100% yes, don't think twice.

So I am trying to organize an event for a group of twenty interns, some of which are 21 and some who aren't, so I would like to know if you could recommend some places that could offer a good happy hour setting with a restaurant setting for the non-21 year olds ? Thank you

This has come up around the GOG cubicles before, and we agree that your best bet is to take them somewhere that feels hip and like a bar without actually being a bar, so the under-21s don't feel awkward. Not to tap the same old faves, but Masa 14 will fit the bill, as does a place like Zaytinya, which has a large bar area for your crowd. PS 7's is actually known for maknig non-alcoholic versions of its cocktails, which bartender Gina Chersevani originally created for  all her pregnant gal pals  (I like some of them more than the boozy originals). And there's a reasonable happy hour there, too.

We want to add, too, that there are great spots for all the city's under-21s these days. Dance parties (like the AMAZING-sounding Lady Gaga vs. Madonna vs. M.I.A. dance party July 9 at the 9:30 club) are all-ages; and clubs like U Street Music Hall (18-and-up) and the Black Cat will help keep the kiddies entertained this summer.

Hi, I am going to be attending the Folklife festival on the mall with my kids ( ages 10 and 8 and huge soccer fans) on Saturday. We are going to try to hurry home to catch the game but just in case--Will there be anyplace nearby we could go to watch the US play at 2:30? Will it be shown in Dupont Circle outside perhaps or any non-bar related locations? We had thought about ESPN zone ( not one of my favorite places but they had tvs ) but they have closed. I saw your list of where to watch the world cup and the places don't seem really appropriate for kids. Thanks for your help and GO USA!!

Soccer in the Circle is off until the World Cup final -- it costs a lot of money to set up a free outdoor screening.

You're right that a lot of the viewing parties involve booze. The most kid-friendly options include Open City and the Diner, which have kids' menus as well as the game on all the TVs.

Also, I saw kids in stollers on the patio at Biergarten Haus during the Germany-Ghana game yesterday. Since it's outside, it feels less like a bar than many other spots. The younger ones seemed to enjoy the vuvuzelas...

Any suggestions for good Saturday brunches along the Orange Line (D.C. preferred, but Arlington is okay)? Price or cuisine specialty not an issue, but we'd like some place calm enough for a nice catch-up conversation.

Co Co Sala, just a couple blocks from Metro Center, has a good brunch with tasty brunch cocktails and killer desserts.

I am planning on going to Fort Reno on Monday for the first time. What time do the concerts usually start? Also, do you know if they have other concerts scheduled for the summer? Their website is pretty minimal. Thanks!

Since the concerts are in a federal park, and on weeknights, they stick to a pretty tight schedule. So get there on time. We've got a few more details than the Fort Reno site right here.

I feel like I am the only person out of my group of friends who doesn't like Lyon Hall. Granted, I have only tried it once, but the whole experience was just strange for Arlington, from the heavy food to the strange bar setup. Have any of you tried it and disliked it? The setup, the noise, and the warehouse-like interior just don't get me excited about going back there. Although the wine list was good.

The wine and beer lists are great. Thought the cheese list showed a lot of thought, and the flammenkuche didn't seem heavy to me. (Then again, this is an Alsatian menu.

Will agree with you that noise is a problem. I had much better luck (and a much better time) going on Monday through Wednesday instead of the typically packed Friday.

Rather than echoing everything Fritz has said, because I agree, I will just say that I walked out the first time I tried to visit on a Saturday evening. Too loud, too disorganized, not my scene. Return visits on less crowded days have been much better experiences.

It's way too hot to consider doing anything but surrouding yourself by/in water. I'm hoping to rent a canoe this weekend. I've rented canoes in Front Royal, but you end up walking the canoe more than floating in it during low summer flows in the Shenanadoah. Have any of the Gurus floated the upper Potomac near Harper's Ferry? Wondering if I'd have an easier time getting a canoe buoyant up there...

I've only tubed up that way, and it can be a bit shallow when there hasn't been sustained rainfall for a while, which you've raised as a concern. Any adventuresome chatters able to weigh in?

Catching a late movie tonight at E Street Cinema with the boyfriend... what's a good cheap to mid-priced place in the area to grab some dinner beforehand?

For cheap how about Nando's, mid-range you always have Jaleo and Zaytinya.

For mid-priced, I usually go around the corner to Bistro D'Oc. (It's really steps from E Street.) Great Southern French food, tasty and very affordable wine list, cozy atmosphere. And it's family-run, which gets points in my book.

My BFF and I are hanging out tonite around 7ish. We don't have a preference on what we eat, but we definitely have a preference on where we go. We're not the party/club type and do not want to be around anything superficial...i thought about zest bistro in capital hill but i've been there a few times already (really love the bread). Is there a nice place that two BFF's can hang and enjoy convo. since i'm picking the locale, i'm pretty open to where we it will help me to be open to new locations....

There are so many low-key possibilities. You really don't have any other preferences? I enjoyed Zest last time I went and would also recommend the new Acqua Al 2, which isn't too far from there. The food was great and the staff was really friendly when I went last weekend. But personally, my current go-tos for low-key dinners are Sticky Rice for unique sushi rolls, Stoney's for buttery grilled cheese and Bistro La Bonne for a great beer list.

Will you do a blog of happens for July 4th weekend. I am trying to plan some activities, thanks!

It's on the way! We're working on it as we speak; expect it to go up sometime around this time next week -- don't worry, there will still be plenty of time to get tickets, etc.

How far north do I have to go to get away from this heat ?

I'm planning my August vacation in Newfoundland.

Do we know if Spike'd Cinema is coming back this year? Watching a movie in the pool was a Sunday night staple last summer when it got so hot in July and August.

There are no plans to bring Spike'd Sundays back at this point. However, the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue is planning on doing more of its "Dive-In Movies" this year at the Skyline's pool. Next up is a screening of "Caddyshack" on July 22, with themed drinks, costume and trivia contests, etc. Tickets are $10 in advance from and include a free drink.

With Friday night approaching and the heat index sky high, the idea of throwing on high heels and schlepping around town is highly unappealing. Looking for a laid back flip flop wearing bar where dressing to the nine's is not a priority (but not necessarily a dive bar).

These are the nights when I make a beeline for Cantina Marina on the Southwest Waterfront. Since you're right on the water -- and literally hanging over the Washington Channel -- you generally get a nice breeze blowing in, and you can lay back and enjoy the house-made Micheladas (Mexican beer with spices and lime) and the chilled out, come-as-you-are atmosphere. Just get there early, because the place fills up.

any way to sort through the endless possibilities? So far I've used their search tool looking for "puppetry" "not recom. for kids," but nothing came up

Tickets went on sale June 21, and  Steph and I are indeed  compiling a list of shows. Thing is,  we can only call them "Educated Guesses."  Basically, they were created by companies who wowed crowds in previous years, and we think they could turn out some of the best of Fringe this year, too. I am pumped for "Handbook for Hosts," created by two troupes who were Fringe fest success stories; then there's Speakeasy DC's "Showcase Showdown"; "Finn Mc Cool" by the Dizzy Miss Lizzie Roadside Revue; and "McSwiggin's Pub," a return engagement that skewers D.C. wonk stereotypes. More to come!

Hello, gurus. I'm looking for a restaurant to hold our book group meeting next month on a Wednesday evening. In the past, we've enjoyed Minh's and Layalina. We would like to try someplace new and delicious where we can hear other yet not bother the other diners. Do you think Lyon Hall would work? What about Chez Manelle? Thank you for your help.

Lyon Hall is straight out I would say... too loud. And Chez Manelle is a fairly small dining room, so maybe not ideal. Assuming you want to stay in Arlington, how about Busboys and Poets in Shirlington. Its across the street from a library, and has an in-house bookstore, so you don't have to worry about being out of place. It can get a little loud in there at times, but I've never had a problem getting a table or hearing my table-mates.

And just then I see that Orange Line floating up there, so Metro Accessibility is an issue. Sorry. Let me think more about this and see if our chatters have anything to say.

Okay, how about the American Flatbread in Clarendon. The food isn't too expensive, the dining room is spacious, there is a good beer menu and its never too loud.

I felt the same way about Lyon Hall. We had great service and I actually did like the atmosphere (albeit, sans reservations, we were seated in "the back" -- between the kitchen and the server prep area. To be avoided at all costs). The app we got was wonderful (altisian [sp?] tart), but we ended up splitting the sausage was just too much. We literally had just returned from Germany two weeks prior, so we were looking forward to the (ahem) sausage fest, but it was fairly unappetizing. VERY heavy, flavors way too rich and gamey for my taste. I didn't like a single one of the sausages that were in the dish. I'd give it another shot, just because the service was so wonderful, but it was a shame we walked away feeling gross.

More on Lyon Hall.

I've only eaten at the bar (4-5 times) and not had a table.

Gurus, this is kind of last minute, but I'm looking for something to do in Bethesda between 6 and 9 tonight. I'm not usually in the neighborhood, so any suggestions of happy hours, fun places for people watching and browsing would be welcome. Dinner not needed, however, because that's why I'll be in the neighborhood. Thanks.

There's a free outdoor concert tonight between 6 and 8, which might be a good place to start. You also have a few happy hour options, including Tako Grill and Rock Bottom.

Any hipster bars aside from Wonderland? I'm by no means NYC trendy, just looking for good brews, good music, friendly crowd, bar stools. Something like the exact opposite of Clarendon Ballroom.

I gotcha completely. I love love love Velvet Lounge on a good DJ night (Soul Call Paul's Big Bad City is amazing; he spins July 3); hip-hop night is a great crowd, too. Next door to Velvet is Dodge City, which is my new favorite bar. Think good beer, served in cans. After that, Jimmy Valentine's (not in any way Metro accessible) and its sister bar, Little Miss Whiskey's. And come on, the bar at the Black Cat is the gold standard.

I'm heading to HR-57 on Saturday night and wondering what the deal with alcohol is... I've heard it is BYOB, but have also heard they serve drinks.

Yes to both. You can BYO and play a low "corkage" fee, or you can just buy drinks at the place. I usually lean towards the latter, in case you don't finish all your wine or fifth of bourbon or whatever -- you won't be let into any other clubs if you're carrying alcohol.

Just came from the Folklife Festival and it is hot. I mean like saw them taking people way in an ambulance hot. Please remind people to be aware of their limits and drink lots of fluids while they enjoy the happenings.

Today's PSA: If you're going to hang out in this heat, bring a water bottle.

Gurus, can you recommend a good spot for tent camping within 1-2 hours of DC? I'm interested in getting back to nature. Preferably a spot where you aren't too crammed in with other campers and with a relatively low likelihood of bear attacks.

 Little Bennett, Greenbelt Park and anywhere in the Shenandoah National Park are good, close spots, but I have found that the best (ie, no one else around) camping to be north in Pennsylvania. And keep in mind the farther you have to hike to your camping spot the less likely you will run into loud, obnoxious people.

As for the bears, the best way to not be attacked is to make a bit of noise as you walk and hang all your food high up and away from your tent. I know both sound obvious, but I accidentally snuck up on a bear and I know lazy campers who have lost their breakfast to hungry bears.

Thinking about escaping the heat for a water activity such as tubing, white water rafting (is there such a thing near NoVa?), or renting a small boat within a couple hours drive. Ideas?

Tubing is easily my favorite summer activity--but I am lucky enough to have a best friend who lives in the country where they do this sort of thing all the time.  She has everything one would need (down to the floating cooler for beer) for a perfect lazy afternoon.

For you I would suggest heading to Harpers Ferry. Last year Michael O'Sullivan wrote good things about BTI Whitewater in Purcellville.  

Hi Gurus! My partner and I are going to the State Theater tonight to see the brilliant Steve Hackett. Can you recommend a nice place nearby or on the way from The District for a semi-romantic early dinner? Preferably a place with great Cosmos and fruity Martinis. Ciao!

Semi-romantic is tough, its so easy to fall too far on either side of the line. The Syrian eatery Layalina on Wilson gets points for being both very welcoming and non-standard. And the guys from 2941 recently opened Pizzeria Orso in Falls Church, a new, wood-fired Neapolitan place.

How far is the friend coming from, and are you willing to drive? Up around York PA, there are a bunch of factory tours. You can even tour the Utz factory!

Another suggestion for factory tours -- if you decide to head to  Baltimore anyway, this one isn't all that far.

I have several friends getting together (ex-housemates) who haven't seen each other in two or three years. Is there a place with a good atmosphere for chatting, new enough that we probably haven't been there and not prohibitively busy that you would recommend for our little reunion?

Justin and I have discussed and we both think Ethiopic might be a fun place to go. It's supposed to be delish, and I'm thinking that it's off the beaten path enough that it won't be super crowded -- at least until word gets out. Another good low-key option, although not a new spot, is Bar Pilar. I've heard from multiple people over the past month that their food is getting better and better.

Please help! Headed to Rehoboth tomorrow. Haven't been down there in ages- where are the current nightlife hotspots in Dewey and Rehoboth???

Here's my list of the best Beach Bars from Lewes down to Ocean City, and a story I wrote in May about where bartenders go in their free time.

In Rehoboth, I'm a fan of the brews at Dogfish Head, dancing at Cloud 9, the seafood happy hour at Claws Crab House, rum drinks at Zoggs and the laid-back scene at the Purple Parrott.

In Dewey -- daydrinking on the sand at Northbeach, happy hour at Lighthouse or Hammerheads. Sundays at the Starboard, of course.

My husband and I would like to see a performance at Wolf Trap this season. A friend of ours recommended getting the lawn seats because you can bring your own food and beverages. I know the lawn seats are general admission, what time would you recommend getting there in order to nab a good spot? Can anything be seen from these seats or is it just more for one’s listening pleasure?

You are right that you can bring a picnic, even your own alcohol (no kegs, though, probably for good reason), as long as you are holding lawn seats. As for seats,  I think you'll be able to find a spot no matter what time you get there; however, if you really want to stake out some prime viewing, get there early. I have heard that the only shows that don't make a lot of sense from the lawn are dance performances, so if you're really worried about it,  you may want to stick to bands.

Hi GOGs, I wrote in a few weeks ago about a place for a late night Saturday nosh after an airport pick-up. We wound up hitting Clarendon to see what was around. Lots of places were packed, but the bar at Eventide was low key, had space, and a good bar menu. I went with mussels, my SO had chicken & waffles, and we had a great time.

Love to hear this. Eventide was the subject of some criticism is Tom's chat yesterday, so I am glad to see that they are still on top of their game in some areas.

Wait, seriously gurus? Tako and Rock Bottom are your "couple" of happy hour options in Bethesda? I think there are LITERALLY about 50-100 happy hour options in Bethesda at 6pm on a week day.

I think Steph meant "few" as in, if you want to go a restaurant in Bethesday, you might have a few options...

Anyway, I'd throw in the rooftop pool party at the Doubletree tonight -- cheap drinks, free food and an amazing view of NIH and downtown Bethesda. I went a few weeks ago and enjoyed it, and I hope the temps will be down by 7 tonight.

For happy hours, Rock Bottom is still a great one ($1.50 beers 5:30-7), but there are also stellar deals at Tommy Joe's and Union Jack's, the Nats on TV at BlackFinn, and the Barking Dog's $2 beer of the day.

Hey Gurus - is Patty Boom Boom open to under-21s? My 20-year-old music-major brother is currently into reggae/ska and I'd love to take him. Alternately, any other good hang-out venues for the over-18 but not-quite-21 set? This is sometimes part of your intern guide, but I didn't see it this year...

Right now, your little brother is welcome to come in for World Cup viewing only, or to get a patty. But to go upstairs at night, it's 21-and-up. Not to plug ourselves, but the Going Out Guide's free summer concert series happens to be reggae-themed tomorrow night at Carter Barron. I've seen Strykers' Posse perform, and they're pretty fantastic. And you don't have to be 21 to go. As for other under-21 spots, check out my answer earlier about happy hours that won't shun under-21 interns.

Hi GO gurus, I've got guests from Norway coming. When we visited them, we had dinner by the side of a fjord, and the view knocked our socks off. I'd like to return the favor and dazzle them with a meal someplace with a city view. Besdies the lounge at the W (these are not velvet rope-type people), where would you suggest we go? Eternal thanks!

New Heights combines American cuisine with a great view of Rock Creek Park. I'm not as keen on the menu at Lafayette, but the view of the park and the White House is unique to this city for sure.

Can anybody comment on the food yet? I love trying new cuisines, but this year the food seems to just be Mexican and Indian (which I like - but have eaten a billion times). What's new, different, and yummy? Also, not really sure what "Asian Pacific American" is supposed to be all about?? Thanks.

Maybe the chatter that saw people overheating can chime in...? I haven't made it down there yet, but it looks like a mix of Indian, Mexican, barbecue and Asian food.

As an Asian American, I can say that strange hodge-podge of East-meets-West-meets-anything-spicy  pretty well reflects the Asian American diet.

I have tickets to see a movie at the Lorton Arts Center on Saturday. Do you know anything about this? I cannot figure out if it is a drive in or if it is an outdoor movie. Thanks.

I love the workhouse! It is such a neat place and worth checking out.

As for the movie, I called and they said that they are charging by the car load (thus "drive in") but that they will have chairs set up and people are also welcome to bring blankets to sit on.

So if we want to go to the Lucky Bar to watch the match on Saturday, should we get there before the first game? If it is to crowded there, is there anywhere else in DC that we will get the same atmosphere?

I think the key is going to be getting to Lucky Bar for the 10 a.m. between Uruguay and Korea, and hanging onto your seats until the U.S. game at 2:30.

I expect most bars to be mobbed, honestly, since (a) it's a Saturday, and (b) many casual fans are jumping on the U!S!A! bandwagon. My choices for a singing/chanting/celebrating atmosphere in D.C. would be there, Molly Malone's, Public Bar, Fado, Capitol Lounge -- all places that will be crowded, yes, but loads of fun.

Beyond the city view, for a picture of the gorgeous east coast countryside, I hear Potowmack Farms has a view to die for (if the OP wants to drive a bit).

Never been. Sounds like I'll have to check that one out.

Lawn area opens 90 mins. before each show. The more popular shows have a few hundred waiting at the gates at opening time to get the "prime" center front lawn spots.

There is nothing better than chatter expertise.

Mondays are generally a dead day in the world of doing things- I know. But I'm looking for ideas of something fun to do this coming Monday evening- Arlington or DC that isn't part of the same-old same-old. Any ideas?

Sabor Mondays at Lima are great if you're a woman;  no cover, free salsa lesson, and oh, free drinks for women between 9 and 11 p.m.

Fritz, any idea what's been going on with the outside tv's at the biergarten? We missed the beginning of the second half of US-England opening weekend and they seemed to be cutting out every five minutes during Cameroon-Denmark last weekend. Love the place but I'm reluctant to make plans to watch anything else there right now.

I've been there to watch every Germany game and haven't experienced this. Justin just talked to a friend who was at the Italy game this morning and didn't experience any problems.

Regarding Pool Parties: What pool parties do people actually get in the pool and swim around?? When I go to a pool, I want to get wet. I know about Skyline, and am a big fan of Spiked Sundays. However, that place gets packed. Would like to have other, similar, non-pretentious, less crowded options. Bonus if it is in NW or possibly Bethesda.

The Durkl-sponsored Swim Meet parties at the Embassy Row Hilton -- every other Saturday, including this weekend -- have a lifeguard on duty, so people do get in the water.

I didn't see anyone get in the pool in Bethesda, and it's a fairly small one, like the Donovan House pool, where the best you can really do is dangle your legs in.

Dont' forget Catoctin/Cunningham Falls in Thurmont, just north of Frederick, MD

Very good call. Thanks!

Hey Gurus, I ate the "Asian Pacific American" food tent, which reminded me a lot of a Chinese restaurant. Menus are online, but I had fried rice, beef and broccoli, and an egg roll. A coworker got Mexican: a bean burrito and a piece of corn on the cob with some spices on it. In short I didn't see anything 'new, different, and yummy'. As far as I could tell it's all stuff you could pick up to-go in the 'burbs.

Come on now, lets not short change the city. There are plenty of places in the District to get mediocre burritos and egg rolls to-go.

I like James River Reeling & Rafting (or Rafting & Reeling? whatever). They're in Scottsville, just outside of Charlottesville. And they have showers on site!

Thanks for the suggestion!

Hi GOGS! My byf is taking me out for my b'day a week early because of work scheduling conflicts. We're heading to Cafe Atlantico at 7:30, but are hoping to have a couple of drinks beforehand and if it's not too gross out take some pictures. Any recommendations on a place for a good cocktail and/or beer menu before dinner? Thank you!

If you're adventurous, how about Proof? I'm planning on heading there soon myself; Fritz has been raving about the cocktail program there under Adam Bernbach. And God knows we're due for summer drinks, like, now.

FYI, for the England-U.S. game two weeks ago I arrived at 2:00 and they were already so full that they were only letting people in who knew people inside. So if you want to go to Molly's plan to get there early.

This is good advice for any destination Soccer bar this weekend.

My teacher friends and I want to celebrate the end of the school year. Any recommendations for happy hours in Barracks Row that feature discounts on wine and / or food?

Sadly, Barracks Row is really 'meh' for happy hour deals. Matchbox doesn't have any. Ditto Ted's Bulletin.

Lola's, which I think is a great neighborhood spot, takes $1 off all beer and wine between 4 and 7. Ditto its neighbor Molly Malone's. I'd probably lean towards one of those, though one of my favorite trusted sources for cocktail info has been raving about the milkshake "cocktails" at Ted's, which sounds like a fun way to mark the end of the year.

You do have the Ugly Mug, with its plethora of discounted food and drink specials (see for the ever-changing list), but that's more of a sports bar than a place to celebrate.

Sorry, I didn't clarify that our spot does NOT have to be metro accessible. But, we are looking for a place that is more ethnic/interesting food-wise (e.g., Layalina and Minh's). And we don't mind spending a little more. Thanks again.

Well, let me preface this by saying that I haven't been there in a while myself, but I still hear good things about the Peruvian at Costa Verde. And the last time I was there it was ceviche and pisco sour heaven. And the lomo saltado... Man, I guess I know where I am eating this weekend. 

Hi Gurus, Just curious -- how did you all get your GOG gig? Do you have journalism backgrounds or do you just have to prove you know the DC scene. I'm particularly curious about Fritz. When you head out to research bars, are you on the Post's dime (ala Tom Sietsema)? Do you wear disguises and try to hide your identity? Or do people around town know and recognize you? And, when you watch world cup games during the day, do you have to take a vacation day or is that considered "work"? Not really looking to steal your jobs, just curious how it all works. I think you all are great -- keep up the good work!

Most -- but not all -- of us have journalism backgrounds. (Several, including me, are products of the University of Maryland's J-school.)

I try to go out and do everything as anonymously as possible, and get reimbursed for my tabs. (They get pretty ridiculous, honestly.) It's all a matter of trying to write about what a "normal" night is like for people who are going to the bar or club in question.

There are people around town who recognize me because I've been doing this job for years, and there are certain people I've interviewed who know what I look like, but I can still slip in and out of most places without problems and get held up by doormen as often as anyone else. (Case in point: The Maison party at the Donovan House last weekend, when I was supposed to be meeting a Post photographer on the roof but got trapped in a line that lasted forever.)

Oh, and as far as World Cup, I took vacation days to go watch all the U.S. and Germany games. I have watched a bunch of early morning games before heading into the office, though...


And with that, we're going to close the chat for the week. We're already 25 minutes over the allotted time. See you back here next Thursday.

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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.
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