Laura’s Weekend Picks: Fireworks, Freshlyground, Pool Parties

by June 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm 1,788 0

Black Cat, Borderstan, Laura Herman, Freshlyground

Saturday, July 2: Catch Freshlyground at the Black Cat on 14th Street. (Laura Herman)

From Laura Herman of LauraLikesThis. Laura is also a contributor over at Brightest Young Things; you can find her on Twitter @Lmhhabs.

It’s a Holiday Weekend, Borderstanis! And you know what that means… one extra day (more if you’re lucky) for fantastic weekend pursuits. If you’re planning to stick around town this weekend, here’s your guide to maximum three-day weekend fun:

Friday, July 1

Happy July…this weekend marks the beginning of JulyPA Days at Pizzeria Paradiso. The restaurant will have all IPAs on draft at all three locations, including 2003 P Street NW for the entire month.

At night, get into patriotic party mode at 9:30 Club’s (815 V Street NW) infamous ’90s Dance Party. DJs Will Eastman and Brian Billion will be spinning the decade’s most memorable hits. Tickets are $15 and available here. Doors at 9 pm.

Saturday, July 2

Looking for a pool party? Dubsplash will be making their regular weekly summer appearance at the Capitol Skyline (10 “I” Street SW). This week features “Big Freedia,” the queen of the New Orleans booty-bounce scene, DJ Rusry Laze and DJ Keenan Orr. Doors open at 11 am and the show(s) start at 4 pm. Admission is $20 at the door.

And for something completely different, go check out the World Jump Rope Championship at George Washington University. This isn’t your grade school variety of jump rope: contestants include America’s Best Dance Crew alums, hip-hop artists, and acrobats. Tickets ($5 for children, $10 for adults) can be purchased the event.

At night, you MUST GO SEE FRESHLYGROUND AT BLACK CAT. I cannot stress this enough. I happened upon Freshlyground, a seven-person South African jam band back in 2007 while studying in Cape Town and haven’t looked back since. They got some international press during last year’s World Cup hosted by South Africa and they’re now on their second U.S. tour. Freshlyground fuses traditional kwele sounds with Afro-pop and indie rock. Truly, not a show to be missed. Check out their newest single. Tickets and more information are available here.

While you’re out and about on the 14th Street corridor, check out the recently opened Lost Society Rooftop. Alejandra previewed the space and menu earlier this week and had a rave review!

Sunday, July 3

SundayFunday! First, hit up an extended brunch, ideally with cocktails. My top local picks are: Mandu (1805 18 Street NW); Birch & Barley (1337 14 Street NW); Commissary (1443 P Street NW); and Vinoteca (1940 11 Street NW).

Then head over to the Donovan House rooftop (1155 14th Street NW) around 3 pm for Happy Sundays, where you can enjoy some poolside time, great views of the city, music and cocktails. More info here.

Stop by Policy’s (1904 14th Street NW) Independence Day Burger Bash from 5 pm to 1 am and load up on $5 beef or veggie burgers, toppings, chips, and home-made ice cream. $5 drink specials and dancing will be prominent, too. No cover, though burgers are first come, first served.

In the evening, party like you don’t have work in the morning at Ridgewood Social Club’s DEBUT Mashup Party at The Black Squirrel (2427 18th Street NW). Ridgewood Social Club, also behind local music blog Audionugs, will be mashing sounds from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and ’00s (will there ever a better term for this?) “to recreate the hot sweaty mess that we all remember from frat house dance parties of yesteryear.” Party starts at 9 pm. More info here.

Monday, July 4

Happy Independence Day! Pack your patriotic picnic and get outside. If you need help with that, local fave Cork Market (1805 14th Street NW) will be serving up prepared picnic options, the All American Sandwich Picnic or the Red, White and Chicken Picnic. Bottle of wine included upon request… naturally.

During the day, check out BYT’s Summer Camp 4th of July Reunion pool party at the Capitol Skyline Hotel (10 “I” Street SW). Starting at noon, $15 gets you access to the blow-out party, complete with Que Sera and Outlaws DJ sets and lots of games, prizes and surprises.

DC9 (1940 9th Street NW) is also throwing down with DC Brau for the 4th with an Independence Grillin’ party. There’ll be grilling, beer ($4 DC Brau specials all day) and live music provided by DJ Brandon Skall. Stick around and catch the fireworks from their new rooftop bar in the evening. Doors open at 2 pm. No cover.

If fireworks are your thing (personally, not my jam), head down to the National Mall EARLY and stake out some real estate. Picnic blanket and provisions recommended.

Other good watch spots: Any of the aforementioned rooftop bars; National Portrait Gallery Steps; trees on the Mall (if you’re adventurous like that); and many of the downtown office and apartment buildings.

Ask around with friends and at work. If you’re dead set on seeing the fireworks, I’d suggest finding a rooftop venue to park yourself for the evening. Much more comfortable than sitting on the Mall for hours and dealing with port-a-potties…

Whew. Why are long weekends always so tiring? Enjoy the weekend, rest up, and see you next week!


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