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

Oct 06, 2011

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

Hello, welcome to Got Plans? for Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook; if you have an iPhone (R.I.P. Steve Jobs!) download our all new, free app


We would be remiss if we didn't mention an auspicious anniversary for one of the District's most iconic landmarks: The occasion, of course, is the 50th birthday of that lovable landfill known as RFK Stadium, which opened Oct. 1, 1961.


Depending on how long you've lived in D.C. your memories of the place will differ, but we want to know what your all-time favorite RFK moment is. For some, it will involve the Redskins glory days; for others, it could be baseball's return to D.C. after a three decade absence. Maybe you were here for the Senators the first time around. 


Maybe you're not a sports fan and it was the interminable "United We Stand" 9/11 tribute show, featuring a two-song set by Michael Jackson. Whatever it is, let us know and you'll win a prize from our bag of goodies: This week, it's a pair of tickets to the Taste of Success food and drink tasting event at the Carnegie Institution on 10/20.


Sound good? 

Has to be the Tibetan Freedom Concert. Especially the lightning hitting the lady close to me and the show ending early. Saw Pearl Jam, the Beasties....ah, memories!

The best part of the Tibetan Freedom Concert was going to the "secret" Radiohead show at the 9:30 Club that night.

Hi. You guys are experts all on all things DC and I really love your advice. My question may be a bit odd, but I didn't grow up in this part of the world and hockey (and all American sports) are a bit of a mystery to me. My boyfriend's birthday is on Saturday and he is a huge hockey fan. This Saturday the Caps are playing the Carolina Hurricanes and I wanted to surprise my bf with tickets to the game. His parents live in Raleigh and have season tickets for the Hurricanes, but my bf is a Flyers fan like his granddad. Can we go to a game where there will mostly be Caps fans and cheer for the Hurricanes? Are there cheering sections for differing teams so I can buy tickets in that section? Or should I get box seats or something for both of us so we can cheer without fear? Thanks!

We may be experts on all things D.C. but we're really experts on hockey games. At least three of us are or have at one point been Caps season ticket holders. 


There are no assigned cheering sections for home and away fans like there are in college or European football, but rest assured: You can cheer as loudly for the Carolina Hurricanes as you or your boyfriend would care to and you're not going to be bothered beyond being told to, you know, kindly shut up.


Keep in mind that it's the season opener for the Caps so tickets are in short supply, so you may need to consult Craigslist for more than a pair of seats together. 

Folks: Looking for something different for a Saturday evening (this Saturday) besides diner and drinks...we are open to all ideas. Middle age surbanites will drive anywhere.

I always love festivals for a date -- maybe it's the combination of walking around, people-watching and the  chance to actually talk.  Taste of DC is this weekend, kicking off Saturday (it goes pretty late, too). Here's my guide to the fest, with highlights for where to eat (yes, it's still kind of dinner and drinks);  be sure to get tickets in advance online, they'll work out much cheaper that way. The alternative might be to check out the Artisphere party, which will be brimming with 20-somethings and 30-somethiings, but that doesn't mean you can't go, see some art, and have a great time.

Hi Gurus! I'm going to the Saturday matinee of Les Mis at the Kennedy Center (so excited!) but don't know the dress code since I've never been there before. For afternoon shows at other venues I've just worn jeans - is that okay? If it's not, what's appropriate? Thanks!

I went to an evening performance of Les Mis, and (as always) the attire really ran the gamut. I saw a guy in a tux and a couple of evening gowns but also a few people in jeans. Most were somewhere in the middle. For a matinee, you wouldn't be alone in jeans, but if you want to dress it up a bit, you won't feel out of place.

I don't want to sound selfish, but is this going to mess up my weekend? I want to go to the Taste of DC Saturday afternoon, then the Black Cat/Tuneyards show at 9pm. Thanks!

Forget the Occupy DC crowds. What's really going to mess up your weekend is Metro's track work schedule.


PSA: the Shaw, U Street-Cardozo and Columbia Heights stations are all going to be closed from Friday at 10 p.m. through Tuesday morning, so if you were planning to take Metro to the Black Cat, stick to the Red Line and get off at Dupont Circle. 


This would be an ideal time to remind y'all of last week's Weekend cover story by Steph and Jess on the best ways to get around town via Capital Bikeshare. This itinerary might be of particular use to anyone headed out to the 14th and U Street corridors. 

Hi Holly! I'm submitting early since I have to return to the classroom, but I'm hoping you can help. Last fall I bought a gorgeous pair of knee high, black leather boots that I wore everywhere and with everything. Needless to say, they are no longer as gorgeous. Any suggestions for where I could get a pair of boots resoled and reconditioned in NOVA or DC? Thanks!

Hi, Holly is out today, but I know what she'd say: Corrective Shoe Repair in Dupont. I've trusted them with reviving some of the most expensive things I own (sadly, I'm talking about my shoes), and they're great, if a lil' pricey.  Just make sure you're really specific about what you want, so everyone's clear, just as you would with a tailor.

Hi GOG, I'm organizing a work dinner for a some non-profit CEOs (probably 12 people) and am looking for someplace that will have a private dining room or a more private space for them to be able to mingle and do their CEO thing. In the past they've gone to Monocle, but I was hoping to get something around the Pennsylvania Avenue or even Metro Center area. We're looking to find a place that's comparable to Monocle in price, but don't have a strict budget. Do you have any suggestions? On a side note, I've really enjoyed your fall guide so far! Fall is by far my favorite time of year and it's awesome to see so many ways to enjoy it. Thanks!

Thanks for the kind words.

Fiola, the new relatively new place by Maestro's Fabbio Trabocchi, is right on Pennsylvania and has private dining spaces that sound right for your group.

701 would be another fine option in the area. They even have floor plans on their website that show exactly what you are getting with their private rooms.

Camping out (Back when we used to camp out to buy them!) overnight to buy tickets to see U2 for the first time (of many times!) back in the summer of 1987. The party that took place that night still remains on my list as one of all time favorite parties!

That's a great two-part memory: Camping out to buy concert tickets! What novelty!


RFK has certainly hosted some big shows over the years; it'd be nice, in a way, to see a show inside the stadium again one of these days, and not just in the parking lot. Don't know if that's in the cards, or who would would opt to play there given more modern options.


One downside: the line to get back into the Stadium-Armory station after a sold-out show. Brutal. 

Any good comedy/improv shows to see this weekend or this month?

Riot Act has a great lineup over the next week -- Joe Recca of Def Comedy Jam starts a three-night stand tonight, and Dick Gregory's celebrating his birthday at the club on Sunday night. (Honestly can't believe there are tickets left for that one.)

Dave Attell is at the Improv later in the month if you're looking to plan ahead.

And while it's not straight-up comedy, Mortified -- a night where strangers tell embarrassing true stories from their past -- is often sweetly and strangely hilarious. It's tonight at Town; Tickets are here.

Both best and strangest -- the 2-day Tibetan Freedom Concert in 1998. The concert itself was the best part, and of course the strangest was the lightning strike and subsequent evacuation. (A rather distant thunderstorm spawned a lightning strike that hit the stadium, seriously injuring one person.) Fortunately for me, I was under shelter (waiting in line for the restroom) at the time -- I heard a loud "crack" but didn't know what had happened until we were all evacuated a few minutes later. (This experience taught me not to leave my bag (with wallet and keys!) with acquaintances at such events while running to the restroom or concession stand -- we were separated, and I got everything back a few days later, but it was a pain!) The organizers did an admirable job of scrambling the schedule to fit in the remaining Saturday acts on Sunday instead (except for Beck, who had a conflict), which was great for those of us who had bought 2-day tickets but too bad for people who had bought only Saturday.

My #2 RFK memory: the quarterfinals in Olympic soccer were played there in 1996 (in connection with the Summer Games in Atlanta -- I don't know why). I don't know much about soccer, but the enthusiasm of the truly multinational crowd was a lot of fun.

RFK actually had a proud soccer tradition before DC United -- the Dips, the Olympics and, of course, Holland vs. Saudi Arabia at the 1994 World Cup.

If I remembered any of the HFStivals, one of those would be my favorite memories :)

Ha! They all run together for me, too.

My beau and I desperately need a date night. Ideally it would be somewhere on the quiet, romantic end of the spectrum, run around $100ish for us to eat, and it would be awesome if it had oysters. We're Birch and Barley regulars if that gives you a clue about our preferences - good food, thoughtful drink menu - but we'd like to go somewhere new. Thank you!

Pearl Dive seems like a no-brainer, both in terms of ambiance, cuisine and neighborhood. Have you been? Tom Sietsema had plenty of good things to say about Jeff Black's latest. They don't take reservations, however, so plan accordingly. 

I'm going to the Phillips collection and then Restaurant Nora, but have an hour and half to have a cocktail from when the Phillips closes. Any suggestions of where to go?

How about the bar at Bistrot du Coin? It'll be like a Parisian stopover on your way to dinner. Not great if you want to get lost in conversation with a dining companion because it's so boisterous, but perfect for pre-dinner glass of wine or cocktail. 

I'll second Alex's suggestion -- BdC is right around the corner -- but here's one other idea:

Urbana Restaurant (in the Palomar hotel) is running a special menu to celebtrate the Phillips' new Degas exhibit. I haven't tried it yet, but I like the sound of the Degas' Dance cocktail, which includes vodka, peach schnapps, muddled plums and cranberry juice.  They're running a deal where Phillips ticketholders get a free drink when they purchase an entree. You probably don't need this if you're going to Nora, but just putting it out there.

For goodness sake people can you please stay out of jeans for 3 hours? I hate seeing people in jeans at the Kennedy Center, it like looks like no one cares about anything and can't be bothered to be presentable. Dress up for SOMETHING America. How about dockers and a polo for men? A casual but smart dress for ladies? Slacks and a sweater for ladies? Anything?! Just a rant......argh.

Haha, I'm with you. I like to dress up for shows at the Kennedy Center, if for no other reason because the only other opportunity to put on a cute cocktail dress is a wedding. Why not dress up for a night, simply because you can? Ticket price is a big part of this; people pay a premium to see a show such as Les Miz, and so it's a major event, a big date, perhaps the only theater some people will see all year.  

For a matinee, I think "casual but smart" (slacks or button-down, or  blazer or dress) is an excellent guiding principal.

Hi! We are looking for a restaurant for a party of 7 for dinner on Monday Oct. 10th. We would like seafood and steak and with a good beer selections. Ideal location would be Penn Quarter, Chinatown or Dupont Circle. Where do you suggest we go? Thanks!

I don't know what your budget is, but I tend to view bachelor parties as an occasion to splurge. With that in mind I am going to start off by recommending J&G Steakhouse. It's not exactly in your preferred neighborhoods, but it is the poster child for mixed steak and seafood acumen. Tom's Sietsema's 2010 Dining Guide review begins "It calls itself a steakhouse, but I'm just as apt to go fishing as hunting when I visit this designer creation in the W Hotel from celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten."

Another good alternative would be BLT Steak, which is near Farragut square. Has a steak house vibe with a great raw bar.

For something very different you could try Bistrot Du Coin. It's great for groups, a little lighter on the wallet and can get pretty boisterous. The mussels and monkfish in lemon cream sauce are great and the beef bourguignon and steak frites will fulfill your need for red meat.

It was being at the MNF game where Art Monk broke the NFL record at the time for all-time receptions. He was a real class act.

Against John Elway and Denver, final score 34-3.


Those were the days. 

My parents are visiting this weekend after very little notice. They are notoriously difficult to get out of the house, and a weekend of takeout and tv with them just might put me over the edge. I've previously succeeded at getting them to one museum and, I'm not kidding, Home Depot. Seriously. Save me.

Deep breaths -- and a little more information. What do they enjoy? If you can give us a little intel, we'll do our best to come up with an itinerary that will get them out the door...

Hi Gurus! Trying to take advantage of the summer/spring-like weather this weekend by getting some mini-golf in! I've been told Woody's in McLean VA is pretty fun... any other suggestions? Virginia is preferred, but could be flexible. Thanks!

This sounds like a great way to spend a sunny fall afternoon. Upton Hill in Arlington is awesome, with some challenging holes -- including, they boast "one of the longest mini-golf holes in the world." Just called, and they're scheduled to be open this weekend.

Grew up near Annapolis and have some special memories at RFK: 1. Saw the Redskins there once in high school - was bundled up with two of my guy friends all under blankets. Body warm, face cold, and on our feet screaming with the fans as the seats literally rocked and rolled under us. 2. HFStival circa 1994: Violent Femmes, James, underage drinking...good times. 3. 9/11 Memorial Concert: It was great to feel a connection with the crowd and the performers after such a traumatic event. P. Diddy (Puff Daddy then?) was great. Michael Jackson's performances were a little weird though. Thanks for the memories!

Wow, you're an RFK vet! Love the memory about the Sept. 11 concert. All the concerts you've seen there jogged my memory about seeing my first concert at RFK! I had almost blocked the memory completely -- it was New Kids on the Block.

If VA is more convenient, Best Foot Forward in Pentagon Row does a great job.

Great, thank you for the VA recommendation.

I stumbled on a problem yesterday and I closed my eyes and thought what would the GOG do in this situation? Since I'm not a GOG I came up empty. I really wanted to down a couple of beers but had a ton of work to do as well. I wanted to simultaneously get both done. I was looking for a bar a bit on the quiet side where I could study & do some work in Nova (preferably Fairfax area).

Depends on what time you were going, to be honest. My first choice would be the Dogfish Head Alehouse, since (a) the free wifi has been pretty fast for me in the past, and (b) the seasonal Punkin beer is just so good.

If this weather holds, I would love to do something outside with my kids, 9 and 11, on Monday, possibly a pumpin patch/corn maze type experience but a couple of the ones I have looked at are only open on the weekends.I know MoCo public schools are in session but my kids' private school is off. Ideas? Silver Spring, MD

You are in luck, Butler's Orchard will be open for Columbus Day and is really close to you.

i want to take my out of town boyfriend out this weekend and would love to do something fun and laid back. any ideas?

There is plenty going on this weekend that might work: This month's Nerd Nite sound fun (to us accordian fans, anyway). The Textile Museum is pairing up with the Japan-America Society for a little soiree that might fit the bill. And if you like live music, Juniper Lane is playing at Iota -- always a nice place for a chill evening.

How do lineups using go at the Black Cat? With doors opening at 9, what time can we expect the Lemonheads to go on and how late do shows usually run?

You can always call the day of the show, but the general rule that David and I use for planning -- the one the Cat has been using for years -- is that the first band goes on 30 minutes after doors open and bands go on around an hour apart.

My best guess would be New York Rivals at 9:30, Shining Twins at 10:30 and Evan and co. at 11:30, with the show wrapping up before 1 a.m.

I'm not a big sports fan, but I once went to a DC United game. And it was PACKED and very joyful and just plain fun. I remembered thinking that all those nay-sayers that say DC has no sports-team loyalty need to go to one of those games.

Yeah, any D.C. United game (or Caps game) has an atmosphere that's a complete 180 from, say, Skins-Steelers or Nats-Phils.

I attended the Giants game that ended Theisman's career.

I was wondering if we'd get one of these. Certainly not one of the stadium's BEST moments, but not one that anyone will ever forget, I'm sure. 

I can tell you my LEAST favorite RFK moment. I was at a soccer game with a guy who thought I was his girlfriend (even though I'd made it very clear that I was not interested and that we were just friends) and some hooligans were throwing bottles near us and came {} this close to hitting me in the head with one. Not cool.

This sounds awful, particularly because once you're at RFK, you're kind of stuck, as so many people on this chat are fondly recalling.   (I have to say, though, I'm strangely excited to learn that the soccer hooligan phenomenon has arrived on these shores, and can be experienced at RFK... ) 

Hi guys! My husband and I will be "babysitting" (really hanging out with) our 10- and 12-year-old niece and nephew in DC on Saturday. We're armed with the typical museum-and-monument-and-zoo plans but I thought I'd see if there was anything awesome and kid-friendly going on this weekend... since we don't have kids I am not up on the latest. Any cool suggestions? Thanks!

A nice hike around Roosevelt Island, taking in an IMAX movie at the Air and Space Museum, visiting the National Geographic's exhibit Animal Grossology... is there anything they really like? Can you get out of DC?

During the 1987 NFL strike, my mom and I attended the Redskins' one replacement player ("scab") game at RFK, against a Cardinals team with a number of players who had crossed the picket lines. The replacement Skins won 28-21, while the fans chanted "Stay on strike!", as the replacements played better than the real Skins had done in their first 2 games pre-strike.

And then came the movie with Keanu Reeves...

Planning to leave DC early Saturday. Do you think I can get to Lewes in 3 hours? Not sure what to expect traffic-wise with a holiday weekend outside summer season and what ferry time I should reserve. Any suggestions such as best times to leave are greatly appreciated.

You're going to have a tough time making it to Lewes in three hours without a lot of speeding involved, which can be hard to do on some of those little one-lane Delaware roads. I'd give yourself 3:30-4. Chatters?

Hey, my friend and I are getting together Monday to catch up and enjoy the day off from work. Any adult type things to do on Monday?

I'm jealous of your day off! Taste of DC could be a fun daytime event for a group.  And you can check out Lavanya's picks for what to eat.

After work hours, so dinner hours 6pm till whenever. The times I went to Dog Fish it was crowded and loud. Do you think it's quiet on weeknights?

Ah, you didn't specify a time, which is why I mentioned the depending-when-you-go clause. Dogfish can be quiet on a Tuesday once happy hour winds down, but it's more rockin' on a Thursday or Friday. Mad Fox is in a similar situation, though you may be able to grab a table in the bar area for your laptop.

I know that there are several VA/MD Haunted Houses or Hayrides this time of year, but is there one that ends in a bon fire or some other low key evening event?

How about an adults-only bon fire and storytelling at Croydon Creek nature center in Rockville?

This weekend looks like it may be one of the last great weather weekends. I just moved to NoVa from living inside (and rarely ever leaving) DC. Any ideas of outdoor funnery (laid back side, maybe adult beverages involved) this weekend? I'm lost.

It's looking like a perfect weekend for the Shirlington Oktoberfest -- 40 brewers, around 100 beers to sample, German food and dancing in the streets. That would be near the top of my list. (Depending on where you are in NoVa, there's an Oktoberfest in Reston, too, and it has carnival rides.)

Looking for interesting suggestions for date nights in the next week to three weeks before our first baby is born. We love fine dining, but are obviously on a tighter budget since we hear these tiny people are expensive (though since alcohol is out for now, we have a bit of wiggle room). Theater, live music, museums, easier outdoors activities since I am pregnant... all ideas welcome. Anywhere in the metro area is fine, but we live in Adams Morgan and we would love to be able to travel to a location and walk from there if we're doing more than one location rather than lots of driving or lots of metro-ing. What would you do if you knew it might be quite a while before you have the time, energy, and babysitters to go out on the town again?

Congratulations on your tiny person! Love your desire to try to have great dates while you can, particularly cultural ones.  An exhibition you definitely want to see before you have to start pushing is the Corcoran's "30 Americans"  show; this Sunday is an excellent time to go, because you can stay and watch  a film, "Downtown 81," starring Jean-Michel Basquiat; its a  very rare treat.  Another date idea: Taste of DC this weekend.

And just to throw some theater ideas in there, you sould look into checking out Fela! or Lungs, which both got stellar reviews.

Speaking of Fela!, if you like live music, the Fela! band performs tonight at Rock and Roll Hotel - they're really fantastic, fun, and should be a good positive crowd. For those folks who couldn't score tickets to the musical (also, it's the budget-friendly way to *almost* see "Fela!")

The first Nationals Game! Also, the show where the Who played the entire Tommy album.

Well, the first HOME game that is... they started that season up in Philly!

that was one of the best concerts ever! I happened to be sitting in the part of the stadium when those rockin' bleacher seats were located. The concert was amazing in that it stimulated almost all my senses: hearing the loud music, they had a bunch of tv's in back of the band that displayed rapidly changing images that your brain could barely keep up with, the rocking of the seats since EVERYONE was up and dancing. And then the trip to the metro, which you said, was hellish. I remember someone barfing into their empty little cooler - at least it wasn't on someone else or on the floor! Gross yet memorable!

Joshua Tree or Pop Mart tour?

Hi Holly. I'm the poster who asked a question a few weeks ago about building a travel wardrobe around brown and turquoise for a trip to New Mexico. You advised me to bring in denim, white, and camel. I never would have thought of that, but it was perfect. I went and found several items at Macy's in those colors (all on sale!), plus a fabulous turquoise Western-style jacket. I even went wild and bought a leopard print skirt which was lots of fun. It was the first trip I've ever taken where everything went with everything and I looked pulled together. It made the trip so much easier. So thanks *very* much!

Thanks for writing; sounds like you really took a chance or two with your wardrobe, and it paid off! That leopard skirt, by the way, is a great option even here in D.C.;   tame it with a  slouchy black sweater and chunky necklace (or the in-vogue arm party), and it's totally D.C. appropriate. 

And that's why Philly thinks the Nats are their pesky little brother they can bully and beat up. Philly doesn't realize that the little brother is about to be all grown... (well, 2013-2014)

Ha, love it. I went to the opening game in Philly. The fans weren't as bad as I had feared.

Ok, they're both sports fans. I could see my dad being up for some not-your-run-of-the-mill history exhibt or the like. Their favorite restaurant in DC is Lauriol, but I'd love to break them away from that just once. My mom's also a big wine fan (not in a drunkard kind of way). Oh, and they both really enjoyed the National Book Festival a few years back. I'm thinking if there's something unique enough, they'll go for it. Thanks for any advice!

If getting out of the house is priority #1, then you could always go the sports bar route, and here are some ideas for places to go, courtesy of Fritz. Our list of best weekend events might prove helpful, and if festivals are a good bet, then Taste of DC or Shirlington's Oktoberfest might be good options. Good luck!

Hi Gurus! I really appreciate your suggestions for wineries and breweries in VA to visit. It has inspired me to do a girls weekend, including an overnight. I'm thinking (1) hitting up wineries/breweries by day, (2) nice dinner (with wine, obv), and (3) somewhere to crash. Even better if we can hire a car service or some kind of transport between 1 & 3. Any suggestions for 2 & 3 or where to look for 2 & 3? Thanks!

I think Staunton would be the ideal base for a girls' weekend -- it's a cute little Victorian town with great restaurants, plentiful B&Bs and boutique shopping. (It's home to the all-woman Mary Baldwin College, which helps set the atmosphere.) It's near a number of wineries and breweries, including all the ones in our story. If you're looking for transportation, I would try calling some of the wineries you want to visit, such as Veritas or Afton Mountain, and ask them if there are any limo/van companies they recommend. (I know there are some based out of Charlottesville, but haven't used them.)

For dining -- go to Staunton Grocery. You will thank me. Delicious cooking, local ingredients. All-around great time.

I read somewhere there is currently a large Whistler exhibit at one of the DC museums. Which one? Enjoy your chat every week!

You can always find some Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art;  the Peacock Room is, of course, always a highlight of visiting that museum.

Surely I'm not the only one here that was at that Old Timers Game at RFK Stadium in the early 1980s where Luke Appling hit a home run off Warren Spahn -- the *seventy-five-year-old* Luke Appling. Amazing as a nine-year-old, even more amazing thinking back about it. I miss Old Timers Games! Reminds me of the old joke about [insert old player here] saying that he'd only hit about .250 with 20 homers against "today's" players ... then follows it up with "of course, I turn 70 in May."

I'm not sure why they don't do those anymore.

I also remember the old O's/Mets exhibition games at RFK in the pre-Nats days, when they had the awful temporary outfield fence that was like 260 feet from home plate or something ridiculous, so they made it 40 feet high.

C'mon Fritz that was the Zoo TV Tour!

My lack of U2 fandom is showing, apparently.

Lavanya, was that a reference to the Man Repeller aka my favorite blog of all time?

Oh, you know it was. I'm obsessed too. I feel like she dresses how I'd dress if I had a trust fund and people sending me free Dannijo necklaces all the time. Men would be repelled all over the tri-state area. Can I say how teary-eyed i'm getting to find a fellow D.C.  Man Repeller fan?

It was the Joshua Tree concert. They had a car that somehow dangled up in the air, too.

Ah, okay. For some reason, when I think of U2 and cars, it's a Trabant... hey, and did I mention that there's a parade of Trabants outside the Spy Museum on Nov 5?

best place to solicit for special brownies in DC?

You mean the kind with the cheesecake swirl? Those are the best. You can find them at Baked and Wired. They're really special.

Here's a RFK memory for you. My father took me to the all star game in 1962. I saw Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris on the same field!


Take 'em to the RenFest. They can drink wine and watch jousting.

That might work...

The Shakespeare Theatre down there is really awesome, in case they're interested.

Oh, yes. Forgot about the Blackfriars Playhouse -- a replica of Shakespeare's. Fantastic way to see a play, and really affordable compared to D.C.

in Ben Brenman Park in Alexandria this Sat there is a huge wine and art festival

Thanks! Folks, the smart reader is referring to the West End Art and Wine Festival, and it sounds pretty great.

Wow, I'm trying to figure out what I *haven't* seen at RFK in my 30 years in DC. I've seen the Diplomats, Team America, DC United, 1984 Olympic soccer matches, 1994 World Cup matches; Redskins football, Hokies football, Eagle Bank Bowl, Military Bowl; Orioles exhibitions, Nationals games (including each home opener), Old Timers games (REALLY miss those!); and of course the concerts. My best RFK memory, though, comes from the days of the Washington Diplomats. At halftime they'd have local youth leagues play at halftime, and because of that I can proudly say that I scored a goal on the hallowed grounds of RFK!

That's pretty awesome.

I like everything but clubs. Bars, art, restaurants, karaoke, museums, plays, concerts, book signings - I'll do it all. But the thing is this year I realized that I'm 43 years old (before then in my mind's eye I was going to look perpetually 33 for some reason) and I don't want to be that strange old lady OMG what is she doing here? So where does the not-ready-for-AARP-yet set go for fun? And it's not just me, by the way. Friends my age have the same concerns about age-appropriate venues. The Kennedy Center is a given for all ages.

You know, I have friends and acquaintances in their 40s -- with kids, no less -- and I see them out pretty regularly. Not going crazy until 4 a.m. at U Street Music Hall (for the most part) or slamming back shots at the Rock and Roll Hotel, but at more loungey spots, like Room 11, the upstairs of Blackbyrd Warehouse, beer tastings at ChurchKey or Pizzeria Paradiso, the patio of U Street Music Hall... I was at standard last week for beer and currywurst, and yeah, most of the crowd looked to be in their 20s or 30s, but there were plenty of people who looked to be older, and it wasn't as if they were overly conspicuous there. (Maybe at Velvet Lounge DJ nights, but not a wine bar or a cool cocktail spot.)

This is actually something I'm interested in writing about, and I'd love to hear from any 40-something (or older) readers who'd like to share their observations/gripes/experiences. You can reach me at the usual address:

My husband and I want to get out of the city this weekend or next, somewhere within an hour or hour-and-a-half drive -- just enjoy the beautiful fall weather. Any good festivals going on? Or just cute little towns near nice, non-strenuous hikes?

The Historic Long Branch wine, balloon and music festival is next weekend; always amazing, great views there, and suprisingly not that far (a little past Purcellville, really).

My two favorites out of many over the last 20 years: 1: The Women's Soccer World Cup in 2004. It was to be in Asia but that fell apart, so the US swept in and hosted it. There were a bunch of games held at RFK., The crowd was great, and as a female, it was really great to see all the young girls at these games have positive female role models. 2. Hfstival 1997: I had press passes and spent most of the day either on stage/in photo area or in the VIP area. That is, until, Crystal Method and the Chemical Brothers. They were in the last part of the show. The crowd was either so pumped, drunk or high, and it for safety reasons, the bouncers told us that all the press holders had to stay off stage because of all the stage diving and fan insanity.

Ah, 1997 -- when the Brothers and Crystal Method were at the peak of their powers. And I remember those WWC games. Good times.

The Apple Butter Festival in Berkeley Springs! Yay! Old-time parade in the morning, apple butter making, craft fair, yummy fair food, bands in the bandstand.

If you were thinking about taking a road trip this weejend, this sounds like a strangely compelling destination.

Okay, that's going to wrap it up for us today. Lots of great questions and fantastic memories of RFK Stadium. It's tough to decide, but we're going to give the prize to the only chatter who boasted about actually scoring a goal on the hallowed field of RFK. Please send your contact info to and she'll take care of the rest.

Thanks, and see you next Thursday.

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The Going Out Gurus
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