Best Bets: Loud Noises

Exhausted after only the first full week of school? Time to rally because there are some awesome events to take advantage of this weekend! While the seniors are busy with Dis-Orientation, there’s plenty going on for the rest of campus. Whether you’re a basketball fanatic, a movie aficionado, or a lover of the arts, there’s something for everyone.

Friday:
Are you super eager for basketball season to start? Get your fix and go see the Washington Mystics, D.C.’s WNBA team, face off against the Atlanta Dream. The game starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Verizon Center so make sure to go out and support our home team! You’ll need to start warming up your voice for Hoyas basketball.

Saturday:
Want a chill Saturday night after a stressful week of school? Enjoy a movie under the moonlight at Lincoln Park this Saturday at 8:45pm. At this, “Movie by Moonlight,” the selected movie is Madagascar. Everyone is encouraged to bring snacks, lawn chairs and blankets. Sadly, adult beverages and grills are prohibited.

Sunday:
You miss the Olympics. It’s okay, we all do. If you need to fill the void left by the end of Olympic gymnastics, check out Cirque du Soleil TOTEM at The Plateau at the National Harbor. This unique show features incredible acrobatics and feats of strength. While Gabby Douglass won’t be there, it’s still sure to be an awesome show. There are shows at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The best way to get there is to take the Metro to the Branch Avenue station, and then to take the bus directly to the National Harbor.

Photo: Cirque de Soleil

I Want to Go to There (in a Zipcar)

The arrival of a small fleet of Zipcars to campus will make it easier for students (well, students over 21) to explore more of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. While we talk about breaking the Georgetown Bubble a lot, getting around via public transportation isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and it can only take you so far.

While Zipcars can be useful for picking up groceries and running other errands, they can also carry you to great hiking, music, shopping and more. So grab a friend, buckle up, and see what the greater DMV area has to offer!

Hiking and Camping
Now that it’s finally cooling down and safe to go outside without immediately sweating through your shirt, the thought of spending long periods of time outside is less terrifying. Great Falls Park in McLean is where the Potomac leaves the Appalachians and descends a series of rapids onto the coastal plain. It’s great for a picnic or short hike to see the majestic rapids along the Potomac. If you’re in for something a little more removed, the

If camping and hiking aren’t your thing but you want to get outside, the time is ripe for apple picking. Places like Homestead Farm in Maryland and Stribling Orchard in Virginia offer pick-your-own specials on apples, pumpkins and other fall staples.

Shopping
While Georgetown is home to many shops and boutiques, we lean towards the high-end – not always compatible with a college student’s budget. Luckily for us, there’s some great shopping to be found just outside the District.

A 20-minute drive from campus, Tyson’s Corner Center in Northern Virginia is one of the largest malls in America. It’s home to department stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s that don’t quite fit in our cramped quarters in Georgetown. You can also find stores like L.L. Bean, Forever 21 and Old Navy in addition to restaurants and an enormous movie theater. It’s also great for people-watching (especially if you’re amused by tweens) while munching on an Auntie Anne’s pretzel.

If you’re looking for deeply discounted designer clothes though, you might want to head a little further into Virginia to check out the Leesburg Outlets. It’ll be about a 45-minute drive to reach the outlets of Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Vineyard Vines, J. Crew and more, but it’s not hard to find great deals. Bonus points if you’re a member of AAA – you can stop at the front desk and pick up a huge book of coupons to use around the outlets.

The ultimate deal though, can be found in thrift stores. While Georgetown is home to vintage stores like Annie Creamcheese and Secondhand Rose, we’re lacking in the type of thrift stores where you can stumble upon the leather jacket of your dreams wedged between wool blazers on the 50-cent rack. There are Goodwill and Salvation Army stores scattered throughout the greater D.C. area, plus independent thrift stores like American Rescue Workers Thrift and Finders Keepers.

Concerts
D.C. has a diverse music scene, with clubs like 9:30, the Black Cat, the Rock n Roll Hotel and more catering to all sorts of genres. But beyond Verizon Center, there aren’t many large venues that are easily accessible within the city. But Maryland and Virginia are different stories.

Merriweather Post Pavilion has played host to the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Tom Jones. It was originally planned as the home of the National Symphony Orchestra, but now features a mosh pit (care of Green Day) and solar panels (inspired by Jack Johnson). Located about half an hour away in Columbia, MD, hosts acts from Bon Iver to Gotye to music festivals like Virgin Mobile Freefest in the fall and Sweet Life in the spring. The lawn seats usually aren’t too expensive and offer a great view – as long as it’s not raining.

If you’re looking for something a little more classical, Wolf Trap, the National Park for the Performing Arts, is about 30 minutes in the other direction in Vienna, VA. Wolf Trap features musical theater and a lot of classic rock acts.

So those are our ideas. Where will the new Zipcars take you?

Martin Hussey and Shakti Nochur contributed to this article.
Photo: Rebecca Goldberg for The Hoya

The Humane Side of Comedy

Sometimes, life gets so weird all we can do is laugh along with it.

“Sleepwalk With Me” is a 90-minute film co-directed by Mike Birbiglia (COL ’00) and Seth Barrish that tells Birbiglia’s unique coming-of-age story as a 20-something getting his feet wet in the waters of adult life. The film was first released Jan. 23, 2012 at the Sundance Film Festival and hit major theaters August 24.

Matt Pandamiglio (Birbiglia) future-narrates a tale of how a rare sleep disorder leads to the end of a relationship and the beginning of a comic career. Pandamiglio has been dating his girlfriend Abby (Lauren Ambrose) for eight years. His sister, Janet (Cristin Milioti) has just gotten engaged, and her marriage places pressure on Matt to “zig or zag” as his father puts it. While the stress of finding fame as a comedian and pleasing Abby’s own marital aspirations increase, Matt finds himself having more and more sleep episodes in which he physically acts out his dreams. As his relationship and sleeping habits deteriorate, the only thing Matt can do is take his stories on the road where the win over larger and larger audiences.

Normally, I’m not a fan of self-deprecating humor found through future narration, but somehow “Sleepwalk With Me” comes across as intimate enough to be comfortable. Birbiglia’s humor can only be described as that kind of awkward funny that initially made me a little nervous during the film. It’s witty, but I couldn’t quite shake the fact that it could just as easily be me hallucinating a jackal in my bedroom or staying in a dead-end relationship for the simple fact of wanting to please the other person.

However, as the movie progressed I felt more at ease: Nowhere does Birbiglia pass judgment on anyone in the story aside from himself. By objectively depicting the facts, he makes a statement about how life can be a funny thing in which it takes a rare sleep disorder to diagnose a troubled relationship and find a career. The movie suggests that even though this situation is less than ideal, it’s okay to laugh. In addition to an honest story line, Birbiglia peppers his narration with some truly hilarious gems like, “I know…I’m in the future also,” as well as some witty dialogue between seemingly exaggerated characters.

Plot and screenplay aside, I loved the sneaky cameo appearance of producer Ira Glass (regularly producer of WBEZ Chicago’s “This American Life,” where Birbiglia’s story aired two years ago). Wyatt Cenec (“The Daily Show”) and John Lutz (“30 Rock”) also popped up in minor cast positions. These little surprises put a smile on my face even in moments intended to be serious.

While at Georgetown, Birbiglia was known as a funny guy: He won the “Funniest Person on Campus” contest and performed regularly with Georgetown Players Improv Troupe. It’s no wonder that his first movie combined a mix of awkward, easy-going humor and sincere coming-of-age tale to produce an enjoyable quirky and thought-provoking product.

Photo: IFC Films

Casual Thursday: I Am Batman

Tonight’s a special night that we’ve been waiting all summer for—the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. So, in honor of everyone’s favorite caped crusader, today’s Casual Thursday is going to get a little batty.

The internet is full of batman-themed cocktails. Unfortunately, most of them are on a Bruce Wayne level of fanciness, and require ingredients like Crème de Violette (although those recipes are paired with a few college staples, Andre and Burnett’s, in their tutorials). If you’re feeling up the challenge, go ahead and attempt those drinks, and let us know how it goes! But we have something a little easier (but just as delicious) in mind.

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Drink the District: Beer Edition

If there’s one thing that we truly love here at 4E, it’s the phrase “unlimited beer tasting.” Lucky for us, Drink the District is hosting an event that is just that.

On July 28, Drink the District: Beer Edition will take place in Mount Vernon Triangle. Now usually when we hear about events like this, we end up bummed because it costs so much. Not this time! Tickets only cost $30, and they grant you access to unlimited tastings of over 40 craft beers from breweries like Flying Dog, Magic Hat, New Belgium and more. Check out who else will be in attendance here.

You can either day drink and head to the noon-4 session or make it your pregame at the 5-9 session. There will also be plenty of food trucks in attendance (though, sadly, not included in the ticket price). Everyone’s favorite grilled cheese truck, Big Cheese, as well as a pizza truck, tapas truck, Vietnamese truck, and a few different dessert trucks.

Mount Vernon Triangle is a pretty cool area, a short walk from either the Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center or Gallery Place/Chinatown metro stops. After the event is over, there are plenty of bars and restaurants in Mount Vernon Square and Chinatown if you’re not ready to head back to Georgetown.

Drink the District is a great way to break out of the Georgetown Bubble for a day while learning about beers that aren’t Natty. Because drinking Natty is frowned upon in the real world (I know, it’s sad).

Bonus points: one of the producers and co-creators of Drink the District, John Leader,  is a recent Georgetown grad! Supporting a fellow Hoya while getting drunk on fancy beer — what could be better?

Photo: Drink the District

Hot Spots to Cool Off: Fountains

On a day like today, where the thermometer will top out at 101 degrees, one starts to understand why D.C. has so many interactive fountains.

Rather than trek up to Volta Pool, why not take a short dip in one of D.C.’s many interactive fountains to cool off today? The best part of these fountains is that you can splash around in them for a couple of minutes without taking off your clothes, then put your shoes back on and return to your day.

Spray fountains have the added bonus of having constantly moving water, so the water isn’t stagnant and never gets uncomfortably soupy on hot days like today. Our friends over at DCist have compiled a list of the best splash fountains in the District, so whether you’re stuck in Georgetown or wandering up to Columbia Heights, you have the opportunity to quickly cool off.

Beware though: not all fountains are for fun. Most fountains in D.C. (including the one in Dupont Circle) aren’t for swimming, so don’t go splashing around in them.

If you’re not near one of the splash fountains (Georgetown, Columbia Heights or Navy Yard), be sure to check out our other Hot Spots today.

Catch a Movie on the Mall

In the mood for a movie? Don’t want to shell out 12 bucks for the movie theater? No worries, because Screen on the Green starts tonight!

The annual outdoor film festival runs for the next four weeks, showing classic movies on a 20’ x 40’ screen on the National Mall (between 7th and 12th streets). Tonight’s show will be Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and later in the summer you can catch It Happened One Night, From Here to Eternity and Psycho. The schedule can be found here.

Screen on the Green started back in 1999, and “is dedicated to promoting outdoor movie festivals in the Washington, DC Metropolitan region.” It almost lost its funding in 2009, but Friends of Screen on the Green made sure that the festival stuck around.

If the classic movies at Screen on the Green aren’t up your alley, there are plenty of other outdoor movie festivals around the D.C. area. NoMa Summer Screen has screenings on Wednesday evenings (their theme is End of the World!) and the Capitol Riverfront shows movies on Thursdays. Gateway Park, just over the bridge in Rosslyn, is showing political comedies on Friday nights. All are free and most are just a short walk or metro ride away.

So pack some snacks and a blanket and check out some of D.C.’s outdoor movie festivals!

Photo: Flickr via user riacale

Casual Thursday: Gotta Get Down on Pie Day

The battle of pie versus cake is long and storied, dating back to ancient times. You’ve probably heard Marie Antoinette’s response to her starving peasants, “Let them eat cake!” But you probably haven’t heard Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s exasperated declaration “Is everybody crazy? Pie is clearly the better choice!”

Personally, I’m inclined to agree with good old King Tut. I’ve been championing the pie cause my whole life, and avoiding cake wherever I can (excluding Carvel ice cream cakes). The world is finally coming around to my point of view, and pies are slowly making their way to the top of the trendy desserts hierarchy. D.C. has some great pie shops, including Dangerously Delicious Pies and Georgetown’s very own Pie Sisters, but that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about today. I’m here to talk to you about a cocktail that includes all that’s good in the world, and it’s called ‘Liquid Pie.’

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Casual Thursday: Vegas Baby

It’s hot out. I know that, you know that, the entire East coast knows that. It can be hard to keep casual when you’re worried about sweating through your shirt, pants, and potentially your shoes, but it is possible.

What’s better on a hot day than a freezing cold popsicle? Answer: nothing. And when you amp it up and stick some booze in that popsicle life gets even better.

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Hot Spots to Cool Off: Ted’s Bulletin

We’re on the back half of the first true heat wave of the summer. But today, with a forecast high of 100, we’re still forced to find some AC to avoid melting in the scorching heat outside. As with every day over 95, we here at 4E want to show you one awesome D.C. spot to escape the heat so you don’t have to turn into a useless, AC-dependent lump.

Today’s spot — Ted’s Bulletin. This is the spot for all you Capitol Hill folks who can brave a sweaty walk from Capitol Hill down to Eastern Market (or a quick Metro ride from Capitol South). But the walk is well worth it for this restaurant, notorious for all-day breakfasts, giant cheeseburgers and — the reason it’s our second Hot Spot to Cool Off — milkshakes. Both with or without alcohol.

Whether you’re looking for a full meal or for a quick (albeit fancy and pricey) milkshake, this is the perfect spot to cool off if you’re near the Hill today. And though we here at 4E appreciate a good “Walk of Shame Breakfast Burrito” (a real menu item — try it, it’s aweosme) at any time of the day (you can order that for dinner), the best reason to visit Ted’s on a day like today is a nice milkshake.

The milkshakes are awesome. (They should be — it’s $6.49 for a normal one and $8.99 for an alcoholic one.) But if any milkshake is worth such prices, this one would be it. Ted’s has 16 flavors of normal milkshakes — from chocolate and vanilla to apple pie and PB&J — so those of us under 21 have plenty to love. But for those lucky enough to be able to order an adult milkshake, this should be your drink of choice on this hot and humid Thursday.

The adult milkshakes are inventive (and, according to some over-21’s near us) were amazing. From the sounds of the menu, our favorite dairy drink concoctions include the Twisted Coconut (rum with flavors of coconut and either Key Lime Pie or Bananas Foster), the Nutty Professor (a peanut butter milkshake with hazelnut liqueur) and the Dirty Girl Scout (like a Thin Mint with peppermint schnapps). Just don’t get too carried away on the alcohol, especially on such a sticky day.

So, instead of heading straight home to the Hilltop after a long day at the Hill, stroll on down to Ted’s and get your Thirsty Thursday started off right — with some breakfast and a great milkshake.

Ted’s Bulletin
505 8th St. SE
Washington, DC
Accessible via Metro Orange/Blue lines or Metrobus 32/36 lines

If the trek over to Eastern Market is too far for you, you can always check out 4E’s other Hot Spots to cool off, like Mr. Yogato in Dupont Circle.

Photo credit: askmissa.com