Hot Spots to Cool Off: Jazz in the Garden

hot spots

Dear Mother Nature:

STOP. It’s currently 88 degrees outside, and my body temperature is somewhere between a baked rotisserie chicken and the depths of Mauna Loa. If you’re feeling anything like I am, you’re craving for a respite, a refuge, an escape from the sweaty horrors of D.C. summer. Good thing 4E has got you covered.

Throughout the season, we’ll be telling you all the tips, tricks, and places to go to beat the grueling Washington heat. So before your clothes begin melting into your skin, let’s begin. Here’s this week’s installment of 4E’s Hot Spots to Cool Off.

This week’s place to cool off is a D.C. favorite: Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery of Art (after all, what could be cooler than the crisp, popping melodies of jazz?!) Every summer, the National Gallery sponsors free jazz performances every Friday evening at its outdoor café. The venue is located at The Pavilion Café at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden at 7th and Constitution NW, Washington, D.C. (nearest Metro stations are Archives/Navy Memorial, Smithsonian and Judiciary Square.)

The best part? Admission is free! – visitors can enjoy syncopated music and jazzy melodies in a cool garden setting, surrounded by the Gallery’s large sculpture sculpture collection. The garden includes pieces by Roy Liechtenstein, Louise Bourgeois and Roxy Paine, among many others.

In addition, guests may purchase food and drinks from the Pavilion Café and the carts surrounding the venue. The café offers appetizers, pizzas, salads, sandwiches and numerous refreshing ice-cold drinks, as well as outdoor grill items including pork sandwiches, Italian sausages and jerk chicken. Moreover, guests over 21 can enjoy a cool selection of on-site alcoholic beverages, including sangria, wine and beer (readers be wary: all outside alcohol will be confiscated, so don’t try to bring any!) However, outside food is permitted, so to get the most bang for your buck, pack a picnic and bring it to the performance.

Concerts begin at 5pm on Fridays and last until approximately 8:30pm. To get the best seating, guests are advised to arrive early. To get the full list of Jazz in the Garden dates and performances, click here, and for more information check out this link (and this link) or call (202) 289-3360.

And in the meantime, stay cool, Hoyas!

Photo: Guest of a Guest

Last Minute Valentine

by Michelle Cassidy

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. While some hyperorganized couples have had plans set since Christmas break, there are plenty of people scrambling to pull together a romantic Tuesday evening at the last minute. Lucky for you, 4E is here to help. We’ve assembled some last minute Valentine’s Day suggestions that will make it look like you’ve been planning for weeks, instead of 24 hours before the big day.

Take it Outside The forecast for tomorrow calls for warmer weather than we’ve had for the last couple days, so how about a romantic picnic? Pack a blanket, some snacks and some hot chocolate (or champagne) and find somewhere private. Head up to the Observatory garden or down to the waterfront and set up camp. Be sure to bring an umbrella in case of rain, or be prepared to recreate a famous romantic moment.

Top Chef It may be too late to get a reservation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share a delicious dinner. Get yourself up to Safeway and grab ingredients for a dinner for two. Even if you’re not a skilled cook, it’s the thought that counts! And it’s a much better alternative to a Leo’s date.

Movie Night Get a selection of romantic movies and some popcorn, and spend the night in. Movies like Casablanca, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Titanic and The Princess Bride are all great options (but there are tons more out there).

Head Downtown There are plenty of date-appropriate spots downtown (and no, we’re not necessarily talking about the monuments). The Botanic Garden has a permanent rose exhibit, perfect for February 14th. If flowers aren’t your thing, the ice rink in the Sculpture Garden is still open too.

An Old Standby There’s a reason that flowers and chocolate are the traditional Valentine’s Day gift. Head down to Dean & Deluca on M Street to pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers and some fancy chocolates. If that’s a little pricey for you, Safeway also has a nice selection of both.

Photo: washingtonpost.com