Got Plans? Discuss great ideas for local entertainment, dates and family fun.

Sep 01, 2011

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

Is there anyone out there? We're a bare bones crew at Got Plans? HQ today. But for those of you in town, we're caffeinated and ready to answer your going out questions.

In other news, we're giving away tickets to the Sept. 9 performance of "Oklahoma!" at Arena Stage in the chat today. The musical, which premiered at the start of last season, was brought back due to popular demand. So our contest will be in the same vein: Tell us about something locally — restaurant, bar, play, exhibit or something else entirely — that has come and gone but you’d like to see return.

Or you can just spend the next hour complaining about Hawk'n'Dove. Let the games begin.

Hey GOG's, now that summer is coming to an end, I want to remind myself of the enjoyable time I spent in Ocean City earlier this summer. To do that I need to start with a nice cold Natty Boh. Do you know of any stores in the DC/VA area that sell it? Also, are there are any bars/clubs that serve it as well? Thanks!

I actually bugged a vacationing Fritz at the beach to help me with this one. I only knew Red Derby, so he helpfully filled in the blanks with The Pug, Last Exit and Duffy's, which has it on tap. And, just so you know, we're fans of Natty Boh, too.

I was reading one of your discussions from a couple weeks back, and I think Fritz wrote something to the effect of "there are many bars/restaurants whose kitchens stay open all day." Since we now have a 10-month old on her own specific schedule, my wife and I find that the best time to go out is around 3pm. We generally try to find places with both a good beer selection and food available, but we've found that a ton of places essentially stop food service (maybe offer some minor food options like pickles or charcuterie) between 2:30pm/3pm - 5pm: Masa 14, Vinoteca, American Ice Company. Can you think of some places that have a good beer selection and serve a decent menu (not necessarily full, but not totally pared down) at that time of day? Places that have worked so far: ChurchKey, Meridian Pint, Bier Baron, Birreria Paradiso. Thanks!

You mean on the weekends, right? I was going to say Paradiso, but you beat me to it. So how about Scion in Dupont, Bistro La Bonne on U Street or Standard on 14th? Just take note that Bistro serves brunch till 4, then there's an hour-long gap till dinner service starts.

Hello All: Love your show! If there's a place or event in DC that you don't collectively know, I'd be very surprised! Forgive me if you've already done this and I missed it, but I would love to see a compilation of local September 11th anniversary events around the area. Several of my friends have started talking about what we'd like to do to commemorate the day and it seems that so far most of us would like to go to some sort of organized event to share the day with others in our country. Let me know if you have such a list and, if not, where we might find one. Thanks so much!

Hey! So we actually have an entire page on the Post's Web site dedicated entirely to remembering 9/11: If you scroll down, you'll see the list of 9/11 events happening in the area. I will also say that pretty much everything going on next weekend will have some sort of 9/11 element, even if it's not exclusively about 9/11 (the Arts on Foot festival, for example).

I'm planning to visit the National Museum of Health and Medicine on Sunday. How much time should I devote to the museum? A few hours or all day? I don't know how big the place is. Thanks!

Sorry to disappoint, but the museum is closed as it moves from Walter Reed to Silver Spring. I just called over to them (202-782-2200) and they don't expect to open until Sept. 15. They also said that the new location is going to be smaller than the old one. (It is a pity because it is a great collection!)

I miss the old Metro Cafe on 14th Street that got torn down for some overpriced condos. What a great place the Metro Cafe was. I loved the Right Round dance parties and what I especially miss are the LoveSexyDC Prince Party nights. These were on the first Friday night of the month. DJ Dredd was the dj and the crowd was a fabulous mix of old, young, black, white, gay, straight. You name, it you saw it there. Everyone loved everyone else. I could go there as a single female, dance all night, and no one bothered me. Everyone was there to dance, dance dance and embrace his Purple Greatness from 10pm to 2 am. I have never found another space or dance night to rival that after 10 years.

Pretty good pick. Metro Cafe was where a lot of great DJ nights got started, including Mousetrap and Bliss, among others. I saw some great shows there, too. My Morning Jacket twice - the first time with about 10 other people. And they played just as loud as they do now when they play arenas and amphitheaters.

Two part post, 1 - can you let the other chatters know about my organization's (WOLA) upcoming gala on September 13th at the OAS. We're honoring Gael Garcia Bernal and the film festival he started with Diego Luna for their work on human-rights documentaries. Both of them are planning to attend so it could be a fun night out for DC folk aching for some Hollywood hobnobbing. Check out the website for more details: 2 - we're responsible for taking them around town that week, any ideas on bars/clubs we can hit that will be a good taste of nightlife in DC? Thanks!

A worthy plug. And if you need help showing Gael and Diego around, just let me know! Lavanya suggested her apartment, but beyond that you might give the Gibson or Blackbyrd a try (and call ahead). Lost Society might be a good option, as well. And apparently American Ice is getting celebrities now, so...

I love all of Steph's suggestions on this one; these U Street bars definitely show off D.C.'s incredible diversity, and bring all sorts of people -- black, white, young, older, errrr, Indian -- together. And also, as a city, we're too cool for school; in D.C. (and at these bars) the celebrity-gawking will be kept to a minimum.

The Passenger's Sunday brunch doesn't even start until 2, and their beer list is great. Also, Rustik in Bloomingdale does Saturday and Sunday brunch until 2, then transitions to pizzas.

More options for the 3 pm drinkers/diners.

Let's set aside, for the moment, the question of whether Virginia wines are superior in taste. The question is this: Which Maryland winery would you choose for decent wine tastings and good scenery/location for a picnic lunch. Preferably where there is little risk of sitting with a bachelorette party.

This is an easy one: Black Ankle Vineyards. They're literally in a clearing in the forest in Mount Airy (not far from Damascus), they have great cheese plates and even better events, including Fireside Fridays with outdoor or indoor fires and live music on Friday nights. And the wine's not just decent; it's award-winning. If you want to see a dry interesting wine out of Maryland, the winery's Crumbling Rock is it.

As for Virginia vs. Maryland wines, I kind of want to take the bait. I think it's impossible to say one state produces superior wine - so many things are similar, including the grapes that grow well in the area as a whole, the climate, and the soil.   (And many wineries not producing estate wines are likely using the same grapes from the same growers.) Virginia just has a lot more wineries, and colleges that are dedicted to viticulture, which may be why it has become such a big wine-growing state. 

Keep hoping there's truth to those constant rumors it might return... True story, my husband inherited a second hand couch and loveseat from roommates who had, in turn, bought them used at a moving sale in Arlington. They were high quality in their heyday, with a very distinct style and fabric. Poor students that we were, we had them in our living room for many years. Imagine our surprise when we walked into Dr. Dremo's for the first time only to discover that was where the matching armchair had wound up! Made it kind of feel like home....

Ah, fond memories. I had a feeling someone would bring up Dremo's...

Cheap mixed drinks in pint glasses! C'mon who doesn't want that back!

I don't know.

The FREE Newseum! When it was in Arlington, the Newseum was my absolute favorite to return to over and over again, because there was so much information to dig in to. Although I do love the new version, it was a hard transition to those steep admission prices. I really miss being able to stop by just for the heck of it...

Good one! Speaking of the old Newseum, have you been to the new Artisphere? It's a great space with lots of free fun.

I saw stacks of cases of Natty Boh at the Village Pump on Greenbelt Rd. in College Park on Monday.

Thanks for the intel.

Hi Gurus- Since I have missed all of the outdoor movie festivals, I was thinking the long weekend might be a good time to catch a drive-in movie. Are there any theaters within an hour of NOVA? I did see the article about the 5 theaters in the western part of the state - are there any closer in?

The closest drive-in I know of is Bengies in Baltimore. It is really worth the drive this week...they are having their Labor Day dusk-to-dawn all-night movie marathon this weekend.

Anyone in Va. have ideas?

No not Dreamos. I wish the Royal Lee would return - Karaoke proceeded by cheap pitchers (a necessity to take the stage), metro-accessible but not on the main Clarendon strip so it never got too crowded, and a military bar with men in uniform to boot. Alas it was demolished.

For Arlington bars, I already miss Kitty O'Shea's and it's not even been gone a week yet. Royal Lee being off the strip definitely kept it from getting Clarendonized, and that karaoke is missed.

When is it time to put away the turquoise jewelry for the season? If it can be used into fall, what would you pair it with?

I think you can basically wear turquoise year-round, especially if it's a ring or a bracelet. (Turquoise earrings make me think summer, for some reason.) The secret is pairing the jewelry with lightweight layers -- turquoise looks great with earthy textures and colors like chambray, camel, burnt orange and cream, and I could see a pretty, chunky necklace with a denim button-up shirt, an ivory cardigan and some slim brown corduroy pants. If you feel out-of-season wearing just one piece of turquoise jewelry, just layer it with other pieces -- a couple rings, some bangles or a few delicate chain necklaces -- and work the artful-mix angle.

Not got yet but soon to be...4P's in Cleveland park.


Hi GoGs, Our Labor Day weekend trip to NYC was just squashed due to ongoing power outages where we were staying, so alas, we'll be in town this weekend. What to do? Noticed that Abbey Road on the River at National Harbor. Is that any good? Just wanted to see if there's any intel on that before buying a $30 ticket. Thanks for any insight you can offer!

I haven't been, but it sounds fun, especially if you LOVE the Beatles. It's outdoor music on the water- sounds cool to me. If you're not sure about tickets just yet, there's a free concert on Thursday night at 5 p.m. you could go to to check out the goods...

Hi! I will have my 7-year old niece, Rachel Sun and Mon, all day. I live in the Woodbridge, VA area. Anything you know of close for a 7-year old to enjoy? We like just about everything - outdoors is great! Anything at all! Thanks. Enjoy your long weekend.

Oh my, so much to choose from. I pulled together a blog post last week of our recent outdoor stories. I hope this helps!

The story about the Hawk and Dove makes me think of so many other places that are now gone. I miss Mr. Eagan's. Used to be at Dupont Circle - such a nice neighborhood place. And Gaffney's (Later Caffney's) at Colorado and Longfellow - cheap beer, pool, darts, and pinball. What more did we need? The Brickskeller - not as was at the end, but the Brick of the early 80s, when I was an undergrad and beer menu like that was unheard of elsewhere. The old 9:30. The Wax Museum. The Bayou. OK, so I spend too much time in bars. I also miss movie theaters - the Circle (21st and Penn). TWO movies palace theaters in one place! Art film and repertory film! Cheap double features! The Ontario! The Biograph. The MacArthur. And of course, the Key. Stores too. Woodies, Hechts, Raleigh's, Garfinckle's... And my favorite now-gone store - Moonstone Bookcellars. Wow, I'm getting old.

Wow, you are one nostalgic chatter! Points for shouting out Woodies; I had completely forgotten. But I have to say,   no love for MCI Center? 

I'd like to visit a vineyard for a wine tasting this weekend with my boyfriend. I haven’t been to any in around DC-MD-VA. Any recommendations? One or two places to go on Saturday would be great, with a vegan lunch option for lunch on-site or somewhere along the way. Also, we don't want to drive too much, but a nice scenic route would be great. Thanks!!

Try one of these options in Va. But I have a feeling other people here have their favorites, anyone care to chime in?

For wine plus vegan options, I'd really recommend Narmada Winery -- it's near Gray Ghost, and Unicorn Winery, so you can hit two or three in one shot. Narmada serves Indian food, which is frequently vegan - I went with a vegan friend, and we just asked them to leave the yogurt off a couple of the appetizers, and they had no problems with it.

Any tips on getting general admission tickets and best way to get to/from the races for the DC area? Will general admission allow me to see the action? Thanks!

I just called the Grand Prix folks and they said General Admission tickets will allow you to get right up next to the course walls  in many areas but do not allow entry into any of the eleveated seats. From what I've heard in the coverage leading up to the race, it might be better to have a bit of an elevated perch to see passing maneuvers and what have you. You can get tickets here.

As for getting to and from the races, all I can say is plan on leaving early. I got stuck in total gridlock trying to drive anywhere near downtown Baltimore this morning, and that was without thousands of racing fans on the streets.

When I first moved to Pentagon City, there was a great big field just southwest of the mall that I would walk through on my way home from the metro. If you closed your eyes, or just looked up, you could imagine that you were in a field in the middle of the country. That area has since been built up with highrises and stores now, and even though I no longer live there, I still miss that little unexpected plot of quiet and solitude in the middle of the city.

Love this.

Dr Dremo's of course. Where else you can play pool for free and see horrible movies and sit in a corrugated roofing cylinder? Seriously, where can you do this now, I need to know!

Your guess is as good as mine.

I miss the music events that used to have at RFK! The metro out to Stadium Armory beats a car ride to Merriweather any day!!

What about Redskins games that used to be at RFK? Once a long whlie there's a music event on the grounds of RFK, but not like when there would be HFStivals or Grateful Dead shows.

Hey GOGs! I need your help, my good friend's birthday is coming up shortly and I want to do something special for her. She is a completely animal lover, as well as active person who does love being pampered. So essentially she is just as happy doing an obstacle course as she is getting a mani/pedi. I would love to do a behind the scenes tour of the Zoo or Aquarium but I don't know it either of those places offer something like that. Any ideas if they do? Or if now some other suggestions as something to do for her birthday? THANKS!

That is not what I expected when I first read your question. But I'm pleasantly surprised/relieved. What about tickets to Grapes with Apes at the zoo? That seems like it might fit the bill.

As for a fun obstacle course, try the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School. You can also try Terrapin Adventures in Savage and then get a beer from Rams Head.

Did the Brickskeller close?

It did. And a new place with a similar concept, Bier Baron, has taken its place.

Hi - any suggestions for an hike in the area that's not overly adventurous? Something that'll get us outdoors and moving, but without worrying about these recent newsmaking copperhead snakes too much? Thanks!

Ok, lesson 1. on copperhead snakes. Don't touch. Really. Heck, if you don't know what kind of snake it is, don't touch it.

On to your question. Last week I pulled together a bunch of our recent outdoor stories. My favorite not-too-adventurous hikes include the Gold Mine Trail in Great Falls, Sugarloaf Mountain, Buzzard Rock in George Washington National Forest and the Appalachian Trail from Gathland State Park to Weverton Cliffs. This link might offer you some more ideas.

I'm going to my first game! Is it insane to drive/park? I generally like Metro and have no qualms about being on it late at night, but getting from the Metro station to my house at night is a little dicey.

Can you drive to your closest metro station and metro? That is definitely the best option. The area isn't very conducive to parking, though it looks like there's $10 parking for a lot about eight blocks from the stadium.

I miss Weile's Creations ice cream, Giffords, and Father's Gay Ninety's with its rowboat of ice cream...

I'm seeing a theme here.

There's a drive-in movie theater on Rt 11 in Stephens City, VA. It's maybe an hour and a half from NOVA.

Thank you for giving me a reason to cross the river!

Yes! The old HFStival at RFK, when I couldn't believe my parents actually let me go, and we spent half the day at the local stages watching Jepetto

Yes! I camped out in the Tower Records parking lot the night before to get tickets. And I think I had pink hair at the time. Yikes.

Steph: Pics or it didn't happen.

Hi Gurus. I want to buy a bracelet and pair of earrings to compliment my wedding dress, but not looking forward to spend a fortune. I have budgeted for about $300 for good quality jewelry that won’t fade, and that do not look overly fake. I rather have a fine piece of jewelry, preferably with clear colored stones, and white gold or silver. Earring style: dangle or chandelier; bracelet: bezel or a few rows with sparkly stones. Any suggestions are welcomed. Thanks.

My first instinct is to say Etsy, for a few reasons: You'll find something original and special, you'll stay under budget and you'll have a lot of options. To be fair, though, I looked quickly through the Kay and Jared websites -- I just didn't find anything that looked wedding-appropriate in that price range. Realistically, I don't think you'll find gorgeous, wedding-appropriate gold or silver earrings and a gold or silver bracelet for under $300 -- one or the other, maybe; but not both. If you want impact on a budget, you might want to check out Swarovski, which has some very pretty earrings and bracelets in your price range. If you want actual gold or silver and are open to vintage or handmade pieces, I'd try Etsy. If you want real gold or silver and are willing to go with something a bit more plain, try the chain jewelry stores.



I had many fun drunken college nights spent at that bar near the Ritz on M Street.

You and Juwan Howard.

Enjoy your time with Gael and Diego (yum and yum)... wish I could do the $3k ticket

Yowza. Me too.

Hey all- thanks for continuing to recommend great things in and around DC. Day off tomorrow, want to go hiking or on some other outdoor adventure in the morning. Have a car and a dog to factor in as well. Any ideas? I'm not the sportiest of gals but it's been a rough week and would love some time with nature to regroup before a crazy weekend.

Hooray for all the hiking questions! First off, two quick links: recent outdoor articles and some of my favorite winter hikes (that are pretty great during the fall, too).


Second: Are there any lakes in your area? A nice walk around Lake Frank, Lake Needwood, Lake Artemesia might be perfect for you and your dog since it won't be too strenuous or too long.

It might help provide some good advice/insight for folks like me who have no ideas....

Art After Dark tonight, Portraits After 5 tomorrow, a drop-in at Page-to-Stage at some point, most likely some dancing if my recently sprained ankle has healed enough. And if it doesn't rain, hopefully some outdoor drinking at one of the many spots in my neighborhood.

Headed out there to see the National on Tuesday... am steeling myself for traffic getting there, but what about actually getting into the venue? Is parking notoriously hellish? Thanks gurus!

Assuming you are coming from the city, I would recommend avoiding 95 and taking 495 to Colesville Rd./Columbia Pike and taking that all the way to Broken Land Parkway. You should be fine and parking should be easy, especially if you get there on the early end, which you absolutely should to catch opening acts Wye Oak and Yo La Tengo.

Hey GOG's, Why is there no love for American Ice Company from this city? I haven't had the food so can't speak to that but for a bar, which it really seems its point, why are people so critical? I don't get it - it's always compared to The Standard on 14th. I actually like AIC more (nothing wrong with The Standard) but don't feel that they are comparable except maybe both places happen to serve cold beers, have outdoor seating and serve BBQ. Even having said that, they aren't in the same league. Am I missing something? Thanks

I really like American Ice, and Lavanya and I had a fun -- if somewhat hazy -- evening there recently, so I don't know what to tell you. I mean, beer in mason jars -- what's not to like? I will say I end up at Standard more, but that's partly because it's closer to my house (and I like the Standard food better, too).

I miss Olsson's books in Penn Quarter. It was a comfortable place to browse for books, listen to CDs, or have a sandwich. I pass by there on a regular basis and remember the times I'd slip in to wait out the rain or to get lost in the shelves. It was also a great spot to take a mental break and be surrounded by others enjoying books, music, and movies.

Olsson's was great, agreed.

That post reminds me of a thing I miss and a thing I don't miss. I miss the circus at the Armory. I do NOT miss the Capital Center - inaccessible without a car.

Oh Capital Center... I spent way too many school nights of my youth stuck in the car after a caps game trying to get out of the parking lot. Good times.

Hi Gurus, I love wine tasting but have never done a tour or tasting with beer. I was thinking about going out to Port City Brewing this weekend to try it out. I don't live that close to there so I was thinking about trying to make a day out of it. Are there restaurants or other things in that immediate area that I should check out before or after?

Yes, absolutely! Alexandria is full of great stuff- Torpedo Factory is always fun, and make sure to stop by the new-ish Virtue Feed & Grain for some food and excellent microbrews. (The Majestic is also a great food option.) For a dash of history, check out Gadsby's Tavern Museum as well.

Hey Gurus! My friends from the south are coming up next weekend, and although we will enjoy some fantastic Nigroni Pizza at home one night, we would love to go out for some great Southern cooking sometime. Any good recommendations? Specifically black eyed peas are what I like to eat!

I can't speak specifically to whether they have black eyed peas, but Eatonville and Art and Soul would be good options.

Check the Nationals' website; for some games they will have parking available for as little as $5 (purchased in advance) for lots that are pretty close by.


The very first time I went to the National Gallery there was this amazing exhibit of wooden architectural models of Italian Renaissance buildings. They were created by the designers to show to the person who would decide whether to or not to go with that design - like giant 3-d blue prints. They were huge. 12 feet at least. This was a long time ago - mid 90's maybe. I was getting sworn in to the DC bar and had some time to kill after the ceremony. Spent the next day in a mandatory CLE class dying of boredom. I just wanted to go back and see the buildings again.

Sounds like a cool show. I miss the NGA's Arcimboldo exhibition from last fall. I think about that one all the time...

Man, I was at one of those shows (to see Cactus Patch) and still cannot believe they're popular. One of the worst bands I've ever seen. At least we agree on the meh-ness of the new RHCP record! The best now-closed place in town will be the Borders in Bailey's Crossroads in about a month. Sad.

Haha! I had a very similar experience in Austin back in the 1990s! I saw My Morning Jacket perform at a record store - there were about two other people in the audience, and I remember  wishing  I had done something else instead...

I am a big fan of Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton. It's only about 30 mins away and their wine was served at the French Laundry - a first for VA wine! I've tried many of the VA wines and theirs stand out. Plus the new tasting room is really cool....and I sound like I work for them. But I don't - I just like wine.

If you say so... really, though, sounds great! As a California girl myself, any wine served at the French Laundry is good with me.

Try out running Hare Vineyard (off route 4). It has gorgeous grounds and the tasting is in a covered patio right int he middle of all their vines and their event facility chateau is also spectacular to look at. Good wines, and on Sundays (havne't checked out this weekend yet) they have live music and a few vendors selling food/baked goods.

Another great suggestion.

I work across the street from the stadium. There's plenty of parking lots within a few blocks and the street is much safer than it was five years ago. Most parking is $10 although the lot right outside the stadium is $40.

Thank you!

I miss being able to go to a Capitals game for less than the price of dinner at the Palm, without needing to buy the ticket weeks in advance. Give me Ollie over Ovie any day!

Once upon a time the Caps would give away a ticket if you bought four boxes of cereal and sent in the box tops. My mom (a fan from the beginning) would buy 32 boxes of Honey Comb (the cheapest cereal ever) so our family of four could go to two games.

Larry McMurtry's used bookstore in Georgetown. Where else could you gossip with the future writer of "Brokeback Mountain," only to have the conversation morph into a discussion of the Bronte sisters with the British ambassador? Heck, with Barnes & Noble closing in Georgetown, you can barely even buy *new* books in the neighborhood, let alone leaf through classics with a national treasure.

Okay, I had to look this up, because I was doubting anything so awesome could have even existed. If anyone was wondering, the store was called Booked Up. And here's a little story about McMurtry and his bookstores.

I'm actually not sure it is the best option. Since attendance isn't what people thought it would be and the neighborhood hasn't grown the way it should, I think the quickest way in and out is probably driving. I live in the neighborhood, so I walk to games, but I see open street parking (you can pay by phone) minutes before the game. The metro looks like an absolute zoo when I go by.

True, the metro does get crowded immediately after the game, but in my experience crowds aren't too bad a few minutes before or after that initial rush.

Heading down this weekend. Quick recommendations on a restaurant? Something sit down, but maybe not white tablecloth.

Jealous. I was just saying last night that I need to get down there for a game this fall. I'd recommend Continental Divide (great margaritas), L'Etoile (really cute, totally delicious) or Zocalo on the downtown Mall.

Holly, I recently came across your interview where you disclosed that you are a fan of vintage and thrift shops. I am a big believer in recycling too! I consider myself a smart shopper. I only shop for something new when I've worn every item in my closet, scour stores and the web for deals, use coupons and my best friends are living social and groupon. Now I've set my sights on a classic handbag from Coach, which will probably never make it to their outlet. Is Ebay my only alternative to paying the full retail price ?

Yay, thrifty love! If you're looking for a classic Coach bag -- as in a style released several years ago -- head to your closest Unique Thrift or Value Village store. The thrift stores in this area are almost always stocked with vintage Coach bags, and the most you'll pay for one is $24.99 (if you're lucky, you'll find one for between $10 and $15). The styles I've come across (and, um, purchased enthusiastically) have all been classic satchels, mini-messengers and bucket bags and none have cost me more than $24. Personally, I would avoid Ebay if you're looking for a new, authentic designer bag, because counterfeiting is so rampant (and so well-done) that you might never know if you got the real deal. For a specific new style, try a web-scouring site like or a mailing service like to find it on sale. Hope that helps!

Unathletic hiker with dog back again. Love the strolling around a lake idea. I'm in SEDC (go east side!). Nearby lakes?

Thanks! I love Kingman Island and think it might be perfect for you. It has also been a while since I have been to Anacostia Park, but I remember a nice trail along the river.

the laid back, mad diverse and dance loving crowd was special. But the one I really want back is State of the Union at 14th and U. The resident DJ's were Deep Dish for openers, Grits and Gravy nights, Ghostface listening parties, free tix to Outkast at Nation in '99...

Did you say State of the Union?! Everyone I know who's been here longer than, say, 10 years, still talks about State of the Union.

Holly -- I remember a couple of weeks ago in a chat you said you weren't too impressed with the gel manicures and that they were really bad on your nails. I'm getting married in a couple of weeks and never get manicures (since they never last a full 24 hours), but thought I would try the gel thing to last me through the wedding weekend and maybe even the honeymoon. Should I just stick to a regular manicure or are there any places in DC that do it well and are worth it? Thanks for the help!!

Hey there! It was actually a chatter who said that, not me, but I can tell you this: I enlisted a fellow reporter to try a gel manicure for an upcoming Deal Hunter column, and her experience was more or less positive. She chose a light, natural-looking pink shade and it lasted about two weeks without chipping. Her nails obviously started to grow after a week or so, but the light pink shade kept it from being too obvious. The downfall of gel manis is that the lacquer is very difficult to remove -- our tester eventually soaked Band-Aids in acetone and taped them over her nails to get the polish off. You can go back to the salon and have it removed, but you'll pay a small fee. In your case, I think it might be worth it to try the gel, since you want it to last and a light color is probably better for a wedding anyway.

As a DC-area native -- I miss the old children's museum! I absolutely loved that place as a kid. They had just closed it when I moved back to DC, and I remember going to one of the first art-o-matics there. It was a great space for that too, though I was already sad that the museum was gone. I work right near there now, and I appreciate all of the development going on in the area. But every time I walk by the fancy new condos that now inhabit the space, it makes me a little bit sad again.

Good pick.

Thanks for stopping by and reminiscing with us. The four winners are: The person that used to stand in a field near Pentagon City, the chatter that misses State of the Union at 14th and U, the children's museum fan and the karaoke lover lamenting the passing of Royal Lee. Please email us at and we'll hook you up. See you all next week.

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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. 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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