From Katie Andriulli. Email her at katie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @kandriulli.
Okay, so here’s the deal. This weekend is that Inauguration thing. It’s gonna be crowded, cold, and lots of people from [insert midwestern state here] are going to stand on the left side of the metro escalators. You’ve been warned.
If you DO decide to leave the confines of your abode, you can find a massive list of unofficial inaugural balls here, bars staying open ’til ungodly hours here, and food specials around town here, but really you should just do the things listed below because they are going to be fun, probably!
- Although his mom jeans belie his coolness, we all know that Obama enjoys a good beer from time to time. In honor of POTUS and his hometown of Chicago, Jack Rose Dining Saloon is hosting a Goose Island Tap Takeover starting at 5 pm, featuring $3.12 cans of the 312 Urban Wheat, $7 drafts and a rare bottle tasting from 6 to 10 pm in their new basement bar.
- Do you like Reggae? Because it is one of the things in this world that I do not like. But if you do, that’s cool. To each his own! Also, you should probably check out the official Thievery Corporation After-Party tonight at The Brixton which will feature a reggae DJ. It’s free and things will kick off around 10 pm when the Thievery show at the 9:30 Club winds down.
- My colleague, Rachel, said it best: Inauguration weekend calls for doughnuts. Snag some of the Obama-themed variety from DC’s own Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, who will be holding another pop-up shop today at Chinatown Coffee Co. starting at 10 am.
- I will admit that I am not entirely sure what takes place at an improv comedy inaugural ball, but if you want to satisfy your morbid curiosity, head over to the DC Arts Center for the Aboulia! Inaugural Ball featuring a packed lineup of DC’s best improv troupes. The shows start at 7:30 and 10 pm, and tickets are $10.
- Preemptively counteract any licentious deeds you’ll be engaging in the rest of the weekend by volunteering as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. There are a ton of events going on across the city, including one at DC Armory, where volunteers will be putting together care packages for the troops. Get all the info you need and sign up or a shift here.
- Remember when Moby dated Natalie Portman? That was pretty weird! Be sure to ask him about it tonight when you see him headlining the Blisspop Inauguration Party at U Street Music Hall, starting at 10 pm. The show is currently sold out, but it’s definitely worth scouring Craigslist for tickets.
- If you’re starting to feel yourself descending into an alcohol and tourist-induced fugue state by this point in the weekend, then the Nevermind the Inauguration Counter Inaugural Ball and Festival of Resistance might be just what the doctor ordered. The event, which starts at noon at the Warehouse Theater, features free workshops and films on global resistance, and caps things off with a good old fashioned punk rock benefit concert at 6 pm.
- True story: In 2009 I watched the Inauguration on TV at a bar in Columbia Heights with an endless supply of mimosas and bloody marys, and it was the best decision I have ever made. If you’re smart enough to follow suit (did I mention it’s going to be COLD OUT today?) plant yourself at one of the many establishments that will be serving up their usual weekend fare and specials today, including Firefly, Tabaq and Red Rocks.
It’s almost time to ring in the New Year!… But how? If you have yet to make plans for when the ball drops, there are plenty of ways to celebrate within the Borderstan borders. Here are just some ideas on what to do.
Where to Celebrate on New Year’s Eve in Borderstan
- ArtJamz Glitter Ball: ArtJamz is offering DC-ers a unique and creative way to celebrate the New Year with its Glitter Ball. The extravaganza features music, hors d’oeuvres, blank canvas and wall space for paintings and a midnight neon champagne toast with lots of – you guessed it – glitter. Tickets range from $60 to $70 and can be purchased online. The event will take place from 10 pm until 1 am at the ArtJamz Dupont Studio located at 1742 Connecticut Avenue NW.
- El Centro D.F.: Thinking of keeping it low-key, but still want some indulge in some good food and drink on New Year’s? El Centro (1819 14th Street NW) will have specials all day and night on December 31. From 11 am until 3 pm, the restaurant will feature a bottomless brunch (all you can eat and drink) for $35 per person. Then, starting at 5 pm, El Centro will host a three course prix fixe New Year’s Eve dinner, featuring a pre-dinner party, dinner and a DJ. For those who are less interested in food and more interested in a party, the rooftop gets going around 5 pm; there is no cover.
- Masa 14: Masa 14 (1825 14th Street NW) will also focus on entertaining with food this New Year’s Eve and will have two different dining and party options. From 5 until 9 pm, diners can choose three small plates and a dessert for $50 per person. Those looking to stay all night can choose three small plates, edamame, dessert and a drink for $70 per person. A DJ will provide the entertainment after 10 pm.
- Tropicalia: “From DC With Love” is how Tropicalia (2001 14th Street NW) will celebrate New Year’s Eve. The groove and funk music venue will host Empresarios, the Fort Knox Five and a samba dance performance by Zezeh Brazil and her troupe. The first 100 people through the door will get a free Fort Knox Five CD as well as party favors, hats and noisemakers. There will be a champagne toast at midnight and admission includes three premium drink tickets. The event runs from 9 pm until 4 am. Advanced tickets cost $40, tickets at the door are $60. For more information, visit the website.
- 9:30 Club: The Drive By Truckers will take the stage at the 9:30 Club on New Year’s Eve. Tickets are $55 and are available online. The music starts at 7 pm.
- MOVA Lounge: The countdown to the New Year at MOVA Lounge (2204 14th Street NW) will be one with the Divas; DJ Jason will keep everyone dancing. The first 100 people to RSVP will receive VIP entry and open bar from midnight to 1 am. Email infodc[AT]movalounge.com.
- The Brixton: “The Get Down: A Mod New Year’s Eve” is the name of the party. Tickets are $50 and are available online. The band US Royalty will be playing live and Baby Alcatraz will be spinning all night long.
Ladies and gentlemen it’s time to pull-out your tweed jackets, pull-up your best cords and wheel-out your most vintage looking bicycle, because this Sunday, November 4 is the annual DC Tweed Ride.
This weekend’s prim and proper bike ride is the tradition’s fourth. Following the ride, a very festive (and British) party will be held at the Brixton (901 U Street NW). Here’s what you can expect:
- Dandy Wellington and his six-piece jazz band will play on Brixton’s outdoor rooftop
- Brixton will serve a small plate buffet along with some Gin Punch
- Burlesque from “Tansy”
- A performance by the Fidgety Feet Dance Team
The “it’s so new” buzz surrounding The Brixton has dwindled slightly since the British-themed pub’s July opening, but one thing is for sure: The Brixton remains a go-to spot on the U Street nightlife circuit.
So what is it about this Hilton brothers hot spot that keeps D.C.’s social eaters and drinkers coming back for more? I recently popped in for a cocktail (or two) to get to the bottom of the lure of The Brixton. Here is what I discovered:
- There’s just something about a roof deck: Even in this chilly fall weather, I love nothing more than a good roof deck. Perhaps its the open space and the fresh air, or maybe it’s the ability to escape from an obnoxious conversation taking place next to your table. Whatever the reason may be, roof decks reign supreme… and The Brixton has an enormous one.
- Attracting an eclectic crowd: I went at the time of night when the downstairs was clearing out and the upstairs was getting crowded… err, packed. And while I am not a fan of a packed bar (there is nothing I hate more than seeing a line, much less waiting in one, outside a bar), there is something to be said for a bar that has a good mix of people. Unlike the same crowds at a lot of hip bars and clubs, each group of people at The Brixton seemed very different from one another.. and this was just as refreshing as my drink.
- A creative cocktail list: The Brixton has your draft beers and classic mixed drinks, but it you are looking for something with a tad more London flare, the specialty cocktails will curb your craving. With names like the Mind the Gap and Easy Ringo, what’s not to like?
- Ambiance is important: The Brixton is named after a neighborhood in London, and thus, is decorated like one. The first-floor dining room is cozy and is decked out with traditional British touches. If you can’t afford a trip to London right now, a trip to The Brixton is a sure second.
- Food, dude: The menu is not the expected pub fare. Yes, it has a few classic staples (try the Shepard’s Pie or the Fish and Chips), but it also has a more diverse selection to choose from, such as Curried Cauliflower Samosas, Malai Kufta Tiffin and Smoked Jamaican Jerk Chicken.