by June 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm 0

From Mathew Harkins. Email him at mharkins[AT]


A nice outdoor space to celebrate Father’s Day. (Luis Gomez Photos)

According to, the weather here in DC should be pretty nice for Father’s Day this Sunday. This means that no matter the type of dad that you have, there’s something for you to do together, both indoors and outdoors. You’ve surely been thinking of something nice to do for the guy but incase you haven’t, we’ve put together some ideas for you.

What Father’s Day list is complete without a recommendation for brunch? We have neither the time, space, nor bandwidth to list all of the places offering brunch and/or brunch specials on Father’s Day, so let me just mention one here. The Hamilton, admittedly a little out of the Borderstan boundaries, is putting on a Father’s Day Gospel Brunch at 12:30 pm on Sunday. I wouldn’t include it here if it didn’t sound pretty awesome. Buy your tickets, get there early for good seats and your fill of Southern breakfast classics, and then hear a great show at 1 pm by the Gospel Persuaders.

Okay, so you’ve eaten way too much mac and cheese, beef brisket, french toast and home fries. Provided you and Dad can still move, take advantage of the great weather by renting some bikes from Capital Bikeshare and touring around some of Borderstan’s great parks. In case you didn’t make it into brunch – I know, everybody seems to be out – you can pack a picnic and relax in Logan Circle, Meridian Hill Park, or wherever your favorite place is.

Is Your Father The Handyman Type?

We are fortunate to have one of the very best hardware stores in town at Logan Hardware on P Street. If there is a project he has been working on, has been planning to work on, or is even just lingering in the back of his mind, the smart and friendly staff will be able to help out. And even if there isn’t a household project in mind, this store is stocked with enough stuff that something will likely catch his attention. For bonus points, offer to help out with whatever he’s working on.

Is Dad The Sporting Type?

The Nationals are going to be playing the Indians in Cleveland at 1:05 pm on Sunday, so why not treat the guy to some beer and bar food at one of our sports bars? Maddy’s Taproom, Stoney’s, Buffalo Billiards, etc.; there’s no shortage of places to while away the afternoon in the glow of America’s pastime. If he’s more of an Orioles guy, the Red Sox will be visiting Baltimore at 1:35 pm on Sunday. If you’re ambitious, head out to Baltimore; if you’re feeling local, sidle up in front of those bar televisions with your neighboring Nats fans.

Whatever you do, there are two things to remember. One, your dad enjoys spending time with you no matter what you’re doing, so don’t stress out too much and just have a good time with the guy. Second, try not to convince your dad that Father’s Day was last weekend. I did that last Sunday and stressed how good of a son I was because I remembered Father’s Day was the 9th while he thought it was the 16th. It made him happy at the time. I think he’ll be laughing at me come this Sunday.

Enjoy your day, dads!

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by June 13, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

From Willis Shawver. Follow him on Twitter at @WShawver or email him at Willis[AT]

Did you get your mother one of those Edible Arrangements on Mother’s Day as I suggested? Did you at least call her? Good. Don’t get too comfortable though. Father’s Day is Sunday and you’re on the hook to do something nice for your other parental unit.


My father gave me his music, literally, in the form of vinyl. (Willis Shawyer)

Finding the right Father’s Day gift for dad can be difficult. There’s always brunch. Perhaps a round of golf at your local country club? How about an old bottle of scotch? All dads drink scotch, right? Just don’t get him a tie. He has enough ties.

Whether or not you decide to give your dad a gift on Father’s Day, at least take a moment to thank him. If you were fortunate like me, you had a father who was a positive influence on your life. Someone who taught you right from wrong. Someone who left their mark on your life.

My father gave me his music, literally. In the form of over a hundred vinyl records. During my childhood, I would paw through the stacks of his records and sample every genre of music. From Sly and the Family Stone to Elton John.

I’ll never forget the opening guitar riffs of Santana’s “Black Magic Woman,” or the blazing horns that kicked off the Chicago Transit Authority album. As a kid, I was blown away by the amount of sound The Who produced with songs such as “Baba O’riley.”

My dad wasn’t a hippie but there were some great folk albums from America and Peter, Paul and Mary that I loved. I can also thank my father for turning me on to George Harrison and his first amazing solo album, All Things Must Pass.

There were more than just the classic rock albums. There was the Ghostbusters soundtrack that I would rock out to in my room for hours at a time. Ray Parker Jr. anyone? If you weren’t jumping around on your bed dancin’ to the Ghostbusters theme you weren’t livin’!

And of course there was the Beatles. If you’re a fan of the Beatles you probably remember the first time you discovered their music. I was hooked when found the Red and Blue albums in my father’s record collection. You get to experience the early hits like “Love Me Do” and “Please Please Me“, and then quickly move into classics like “Here Comes the Sun” and Strawberry Fields Forever.”

It’s nice to be able to relive those memories from my childhood whenever I want. All I have to do is pick a record, fire up the record player and listen.

My father game me his music. Whatever it was for you, thank your pops for it. Happy Father’s Day, dad.

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