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Here's everything you need to know about the concert venue. By Emily Codik
Echostage is the largest dedicated concert venue in DC. Photo by Doug Van Sant.

Echostage is DC's largest dedicated concert venue, and it can hold thousands of people in its 30,000-plus-square-foot space. But it certainly isn't located in the heart of downtown, and a night in its dark, warehouse-ish building off New York Avenue, Northeast, can be difficult to plan. Here's everything you need to know if you're heading for the venue.

How to get there

Cabbing it or taking an Uber are probably the best choices; they'll save you the hassle of finding an affordable parking spot. If you want to take Metro, ride the Red Line to the NoMa-Gallaudet U Station. Echostage offers a free shuttle on the M Street, Northeast, exit, starting at 6:30 PM on Sunday through Thursday, and at 8:30 PM on Friday and Saturday. The last shuttle leaves the venue at 2:30 AM on Friday and Saturday night.

Where to park

Parking is available on the street and in lots surrounding the venue. Nearby spots cost anywhere from $10 to $30; check this parking map on Echostage's website for details. If you're planning to park on the street, bring cash. The nearest ATM is located inside the strip club Stadium Club--and it charges a whopping $6 convenience fee.

You can also try Parking Panda. The app lets you reserve and pay for a spot in advance--typically for about $10 on New York Avenue.

Where to eat and drink

Panda Gourmet (2700 New York Ave., NE; 202-534-1620): This Szechuan/Shaanxi restaurant occupies a brightly lit corner of a Days Inn, just a six-minute stroll from Echostage. Don't go for the ambience or service; go for the flavor bomb that is the mapo tofu, the wontons in chili oil, the mouth-searing dan dan noodles, and the stir-fried cumin lamb with dried peppers. This is our top pick in the area--plus, they've got beer.

Zion Kitchen (1805 Montana Ave., NE; 202-636-9097): Just an 11-minute walk from the show, Zion Kitchen serves Nigerian cooking, including a particularly good goat stew. The place is only open until 8 PM, so it's best for an early dinner.

Flip It Twice (1544 Rhode Island Ave., NE; 202-269-2980): Stop by this no-frills spot for omelets, waffles, sandwiches, and homemade desserts like cakes and pies. It isn't exactly a showstopper, but it'll do the job in a crunch.

MGM Roast Beef (1905 Brentwood Rd., NE; 202-248-0389): It's about a ten minute drive from the venue and closes at 6 PM, but if you're early to a show, stop by for hand-carved-to-order ham sandwiches.

Askale Cafe (3629 12th St., NE; 202-758-0077): Also located about ten minutes away from Echostage, Askale Cafe offers Ethiopian cuisine in a laid-back setting.

Union Market (1309 5th St., NE; 301-347-3998): You could always stop by Union Market on the way to the show and grab some oysters from Rappahannock Oyster Bar, a sandwich and beer from Red Apron Butchery, or brisket from The BBQ Joint.

Echostage, by the way, stocks a full bar. As far as prices go, a Corona can goes for $6; a Stella Artois costs $7.

Posted at 05:35 PM/ET, 07/29/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Bonus: These are all really cheap. By Emily Codik
Pick your own blackberries at Homestead Farm in Poolesville. Photo by Shutterstock.

Try the lunch buffet at Woodlands in Fairfax

You could take your date to Le Diplomate for a brunch of oysters and boudin noir. Or you could venture instead to a strip mall in Fairfax, where there's a killer south Indian restaurant serving endless amounts of dosas, paneer butter masala, and bhelpuri. On weekends, from 11:30 AM to 3 PM, the buffet costs $10.95 per person and includes everything from curried okra to tamarind rice. Pro tip: Keep an eye out for those dosas. They taste best when they haven't been sitting out long; pounce as soon as they're brought out to the buffet.

Catch a show at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage

Romantic outings at Jazz at the Garden usually involve standing in a drink line for 20 minutes then pushing and shoving your way onto a tiny strip of lawn, where you can hardly hear the music. Here's a better idea: Check out Millennium Stage, where the concerts are free, and the venue has chairs! Finish up the evening with a leisurely stroll on the terrace, taking in those stunning views of the Potomac.

Get two pints worth of beer at Port City for $10. Photo by Sarah Hauser, Virginia Tourism Corporation.
Eat Puerto Rican food and drink beer at Port City Brewing in Alexandria

On Friday nights, the Borinquen Lunch Box food truck slings Cuban sandwiches, empanadas, and slow-roasted pork shoulder from Port City Brewing's parking lot. From 7 to 9 PM, there's live music inside the brewery. Share a side dish of alcapurrias--plantain fritters stuffed with beef--then wash it all down with a $10 flight of beer while taking in the tunes. Each tasting brings six glasses with four- to six-ounces of beer, so it's quite the great deal.

Explore Roosevelt Island

This 88-acre park, connected to Arlington via footbridge, offers a city escape that's a little more special that the customary trek through Rock Creek Park. Walking around the island doesn't involve any strenuous climbing, so it's perfect for dates who want to spend time outdoors without turning into a sweaty mess.

Take a group dance class at Salsa with Silvia

Salsa with Silvia's dance school occupies what appears to be the owner's basement. Pay no mind: What it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in smooth hip motions. Weekend group dance classes range from salsa to Argentine tango to merengue and bachata, and pupils are encouraged to switch partners throughout the lesson, so it's a great ice-breaker for dates. First-timers pay $12 for a class and $17 each time after that. (Sign up in advance. Salsa classes in particular tend to get packed.)

Live a little! Rent a canoe. Photo by Emily Codik.
Rent a canoe at Burke Lake Park

If your date is in the mood for a walk, Burke Lake Park has a great nearly five-mile trail. However, renting a rowboat and exploring the gorgeous 218-acre lake might be a better way to spend the afternoon. (There's also great fishing. The lake is stocked with walleye, yellow and white perch, catfish, and more.) Non-Fairfax residents pay $10 per car for entry; rowboat and canoe rentals cost $10.50 for a half-day, $16 for a full day plus $1 each for life preservers and $5 for a single launch fee.

Visit 52 O Street Studios during Open Studio weekend

About twice a year, this four-story warehouse showcases its artist studios with a cool open house event. Sauntering through these walls usually involves close encounters with handmade knitwear, art installations, custom furniture, and photography. During the rest of the year, the building hosts openings, film screenings, and workshops. Follow the space on Facebook to stay up to date on events.

The 40-minute trek to Rocklands Farm is totally worth it. Photo by K-Town Studio Photography, courtesy Rocklands Farm.
Pick blackberries at Homestead Farm then drink wine at Rocklands Farm in Poolesville

Start the day at Homestead Farm, a 230-acre chunk of land, where you can pick your own blackberries, peaches, and zinnias. (The flowers are gorgeous and cost only 40 cents a stem.) In the summer, at the market on-site, you can buy peach smoothies and house-grown zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes--heirloom, cherry, and sungold. During the fall, expect hayrides, pumpkin patches, and hot apple cider.

Round out your visit to Poolesville with a stop at Rocklands Farm next door. The winery offers tastings in a rustic barnyard setting for about $7 a glass, and on weekends, it's a great spot for lunch. In the past, they've served burgers and pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven.

Daikaya’s noodles come from a Japanese supplier who makes them using a custom recipe, then ages them before they’re shipped. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Hit up Daikaya's ramen shop and izakaya

Anyone who's been to Daikaya for ramen knows the waits can be incredibly long. Here's our advice: Leave your name with the hostess then head upstairs to the izakaya (a sort of Japanese pub), date in-hand. Grab a seat at the bar, and order a cocktail and a few skewers while you wait. Once you get a ring from the hostess, the bartender will take your unfinished drinks downstairs. Try the vegetable ramen, teeming with Brussels sprouts, snow peas, and wood ear mushrooms.

Check out Phillips after Five at the Phillips Collection

The Phillips Collection stays open late on the first Thursday of every month. In August, there's a summer road trip-themed bash ($12, 5 to 8:30 PM) that sounds extra date-worthy. Food trucks, like Red Hook Lobster, CapMac, Carolina Q, and Z-Burger, offer dinner, and Right Proper Brewing Company provides the brews. Gallery talks and vintage jazz tunes round out the night.

Posted at 04:02 PM/ET, 07/27/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Everything you need to know about dining, drinking, and watching fireworks on Independence Day.
Photograph by ehtesham/Shutterstock.

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Posted at 01:38 PM/ET, 06/30/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Find the best views at these rooftop bars, parks, and bridges. By Elissa Miolene
Photo by redswept /


Jack Rose
2007 18th St. NW
From 4 to 7:30 PM, watch the fireworks at Jack Rose while enjoying a $4 can of Flying Dog, a complimentary coozie, and a great rooftop view. Also on deck: a BBQ style cook-off on a wood-burning pit grill, and half-price bites. No cover.

Cardozo High School
1200 Clifton St., NW
Get a great view of the show while avoiding the congestion of the Mall. Only two miles away from the action, this school in Columbia Heights is situated at a high elevation point that makes for easy viewing.

Odyssey Cruises' July 4th Fireworks Dinner Cruise
There's nothing like seeing fireworks in the sky and on the water. By joining this cruise, you'll be in the perfect setting to see both. The glass-enclosed Odyssey will offer live entertainment, dancing, dinner, and an open bar from 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM. Tickets start at $219.90.

Avery’s Bar & Lounge
1370 H St., NE
From 3 to 9 PM, Avery’s hosts a day party on the roof of their H Street venue. Tickets are on sale for $5 before the event and $10 general admission at the door, but you might want to get there early to avoid a potential price increase. At Avery's, you'll hear DJ Hamp the Stampede perform while getting your fill on a $7 Ciroc special. At 10 PM, DJ Dopestar kicks off the night party.

1905 Restaurant
1905 9th St NW
1905 will be hosting their annual rooftop BBQ from 3 to 10 PM. Partnering with Atlas Brew Works, the event features an assortment of draft and canned beers for $5 all day. $20 tickets are first come, first serve; entry gets you three tickets that can be exchanged for beer and food.

Flight Wine Bar
777 6th St NW
Flight Wine Bar offers food, drinks, and a rooftop view. For $95 per person, you’ll gain access to a food buffet with a Southern twang, including dishes like fried chicken, mac and cheese, and BBQ bacon burgers. Beer, soda, and wine will also be provided.

Anacostia Park
1900 Anacostia Dr., SE
Just south of the Anacostia River, this park is a great place to settle down and watch the show. With 1200-acres stretching across the river, you’ll be sure to find a spot a little removed from the crowds.

Spirit Cruises' July 4th Fireworks Dinner Cruise
This patriotic-themed cruise takes the party onto the Potomac. A buffet-style dinner and an open bar package will be offered right under the fireworks. 6:30 to 11:30 PM, $199.90 to $299.90.

Rock and Roll Hotel
1353 H St., NE
Sync performs on the rooftop of the Rock and Roll Hotel on July 4, and tickets are free. Doors open at 3 PM, and the show starts at 5 PM.

Francis Scott Key Bridge
Nothing beats watching fireworks in the sky, with a view of the water at the same time. The Francis Scott Key Bridge is a great place to do both--just make sure to get there early, because it might get packed.

H Street Country Club
1335 H St., NE
H Street Country Club starts the weekend with a special brunch on Friday from 11 AM to 3 PM, offering bottomless mimosas for $12. On Saturday, watch the fireworks while drinking “Liber-tea” cocktails from 3 to 7 PM. No cover.

901 U St. NW
Prove your patriotism at Brixton’s hot dog eating contest, which takes place on the roof at 4 PM. Drink specials, beer promotions, and music by DJ Eskimo follows. No cover.

The Satellite Room
2047 9th St., NW
From 2 to 6 PM, the Satellite Room hosts Pie Fest, where guests pay $15 in advance, $20 at the door, for unlimited pie. That includes not only dessert pie, but also pizza pies. (Drink specials are not included in the basic cover fee.)

Update: A previous version of this article included DNV Rooftop. Fireworks are not visible from DNV Rooftop. This article has been updated to reflect that change.

Know other spots to watch the fireworks? Send information to Elissa at

Posted at 10:10 AM/ET, 06/29/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Your ultimate guide to events, dining, and shopping this Memorial Day weekend.
Photograph by Huguette Roe /

Posted at 11:51 AM/ET, 05/21/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Tours, treats, festivals, and more. By Angie Hilsman
Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock

Cruise the Potomac

Spirit of Washington

Moms receive a complimentary flower and mimosa during this two-hour brunch on Mother's Day. View Old Town Alexandria, the Jones Point Lighthouse, and other points of interest as you cruise along the Potomac. Mother's Day specials run all day and start at $59.90. 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM, 3 to 5 PM, 7:30 to 10 PM.

Distinguish Wine Aromas


Treat mom to a wine tasting and learn how to distinguish wine aromas. Try six different wines and artisanal cheeses, and take advantage of discounts on the drinks you enjoyed most! $40; registration required; 4 to 5 PM.

Drink 19th-Century Teas

Tudor Place Historic House and Garden

Enjoy a Mother's Day Tea before touring one of America’s first National Historic Landmarks. The Tudor Place mansion, completed in 1816, contains 200-year-old silhouettes for your viewing. Later, have a local artist cut and frame a silhouette of you and yours. $40; 10 AM to noon, 2:30 to 4:30 PM.

Hang Out with Martha Washington

Mount Vernon

Catch a Martha Washington impersonator on the piazza, handing out lavender sachets to modern-day moms. Follow up with a garden and landscape tour at 11 AM, or roam the Mount Vernon estate. $17; 8 AM to 5 PM.

Shop at an Arts Festival

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival

Support local artists at this festival on Mother's Day weekend. Shop locally produced clothing, furniture, photography, and more, or rock out to live entertainment. Pizza, sausage sandwiches, and ice cream will be available. Free; 10 AM to 5 PM.

Sip and Paint

Derrick's Paintbrush

Have fun with mom while painting a 16 by 20 canvas under the instruction of a local artist. Refreshments and art supplies included. $35; 4 to 7 PM; registration required.

Smell the Azaleas

National Arboretum

Tour thousands of blooming azaleas while curator of the azalea collections Barbara Bullock lectures on the origins, culture, and research history of this shrub. Get advice about growing your own azaleas, and check out the progress of the Glenn Dale Hillside Renewal Project, a renovation designed for increased azalea blooms. $12; 1 to 3 PM; registration required.

Spa Day for Two

Qi Spa

Take advantage of this spa's "Mother and Daughter Bonding Ritual" special, and book a two-hour treatment for you and mom! Receive a 50-minute Parisian facial, a lavender oil massage, and complimentary spa tea or wine. $380; book online.

Start a Cook's Garden

Conservatory Garden Court

Stop by the U.S. Botanic Gardens and start a cook's garden for--or with--mom. Then try a few new recipes using your new plants. If cooking isn't your mom's thing, join the rose garden tour at the National Garden Lawn Terrace at 11 AM. Both events are free. 2 to 4 PM.

Tour an 19th-Century Apothecary

Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

View the Apothecary Museum's collection of herbal botanicals, medical equipment, journals, and more, alongside displayed invoices from prominent customers, including Martha Washington and Robert E. Lee. Free for moms; $5; 1 to 5 PM.

Posted at 11:10 AM/ET, 04/29/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Decadent brunch recipes, fun activities to do with Mom, stylish gift ideas, and more!
Image via Shutterstock.

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Posted at 11:21 AM/ET, 04/27/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Celebrate Mother Earth all week long. By Emma Foehringer Merchant
Thundercat will perform at the Broccoli City Festival along with Erykah Badu and Willow Smith. Photo courtesy the Windish Agency.

With 4/20 behind them, hippies in Washington can now start celebrating their second favorite holiday: Earth Day. Here are the most fun—and informative—ways to celebrate Mother Earth this week.


Learn some climate science: NASA will present an exhibition at Union Station featuring their supercomputer hyperwall—128 computers that can display, analyze, and share data as a whole or on individual screens. Visitors can also view a model of the water cycle and calculate their carbon footprint. Also shown on Wednesday. 10 AM to 5 PM.


See some animals: Nothing beats spending time in the great outdoors on Earth Day. On Wednesday, the Zoo's Sustainability Committee leads two tours of the American Trail's green elements. Tours leave from the National Zoo Carousel at 11 AM and 1 PM.


Toast to some trees: The annual Canopy Awards party at Union Market Dock 5 rings in Arbor Day by admiring the city's urban forest and those working to increase our tree cover. Local folky band the Sweater Set will jam out on electric instruments like the glockenspiel along with the Lawsuits and Joy Classic. Though the event may sound casual, there's no tie dye allowed here; host organization Casey Trees recommends business casual. This is DC after all, people. $50 online, $60 at the door, 6:30 to 10 PM.


Do some gardening, eat some pizza: Join Dreaming Out Loud at Aya Community Garden to plant and tidy the space for growing season. The garden supports Aya Community Markets, which provide fresh produce to communities in need. Plus, &pizza will provide sustenance for volunteers. Meet at the Blind Whino in your best gardening gear. 3 PM to 6 PM.

Buy some plants: Friends of the National Arboretum hold their annual Garden Fair and Plant Sale at the arboretum on Friday and Saturday. The sale includes rare plants as well as standard options—a plant to suit every green thumb. Food trucks Dirty South Deli and DC Taco Truck will also be there. Friday from 10 AM to 1 PM for members, 1 PM to 4 PM for all; Saturday from 9 AM to 4 PM.


Listen to some music and eat some vegetables: In its third year, the Broccoli City Festival at the Gateway DC Pavilion lauds sustainable living and live music. Whip your hair back and forth with Willow Smith, or sway along to the beat of the always-amazing and longtime vegan Erykah Badu, who goes by DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown when she's behind the turntables and will be headlining with Thundercat. Noon to 9 PM, $45.

Posted at 02:10 PM/ET, 04/21/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
$2 drinks, hot jazz tunes, "frozen" karaoke, and more. By Emily Codik

Snow day got you down? Don't fret. There are still a bunch of cool things to do around town, and let's be serious: Anything beats watching the dud that is Season 3 of House of Cards. Here's what's going on -- as well as what's canceled or rescheduled--around town.

What's still going on

Hot Club of Cowtown: Flinty

Hot Club of Cowtown at Hill Country BBQ Market

Nothing can stop this hot jazz band from Austin, Texas -- not even a winter storm. 9 PM, $18 to $22.

Pat Green at 9:30 Club

The Grammy-nominated performer will be crooning his country songs as of 10 PM tonight. $35.

Jimmie Vaughan and the Tilt-a-Whirl Band at the Hamilton

Vaughan, considered one of the most respected guitartists of pop music, will be rocking out with Jonny Grave. 7:30 PM, $30 to $40.

Comedy Night at the Topaz Hotel Bar

Laugh away the cold at this live standup comedy show, featuring ten local standup comics and a $25 cash prize for the best joke. 8 PM, free.

Grounded and Godspell at the Olney Theatre Center

The shows will go on at 7:45 and 8 PM, respectively. Tickets start at $38.

Kid Victory at Signature Theatre

Tickets for tonight are still available for this collaboration between Greg Pierce and John Kander, the famed composer behind Cabaret and Chicago. 8 PM, $29 to $80.

Beat the Clock Happy Hour at Nellie's Sports Bar

Kick the weekend off a little early with $2 drinks, starting at 5 PM.

"Frozen" Karaoke at Sticky Rice DC

Order a couple of sake bombs and grab the mic at this sushi bar in Northeast. 10 PM.

What's canceled/rescheduled

Exhibits and events at the Phillips Collection, including tonight's After 5 gallery talk and tasting

Brew Tours by DC Brew Tours

This afternoon's Cottage Conversation with Brian Jordan and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux at President Lincoln's Cottage has been rescheduled to March 26.

National Geographic Live’s Deep in the Okavango. Ticket holders should call 202-857-7700 tomorrow for a refund.

Tonight's performance of King Hedley II at the Arena Stage in Southwest has been rescheduled for Sunday at 2 PM. Ticket holders should call 202-488-3300.

DC9's show with Desert Noises, Paperhaus, and Linear Downfall

Signature Theatre's community event Inside Signature with Jake Winn

The craft beer tasting event at Paul's Wine & Spirits

Most Smithsonian museums (though the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History are open), Smith Center, Art League, and Artisphere, as well as Cutting-Edge Spanish Crafts at the former residence of the Ambassadors of Spain.

Know anything else that's canceled/still happening? Send information to

Posted at 02:37 PM/ET, 03/05/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Celebrate being single—or drown your sorrows—with these events around town. By Tanya Pai
Unlucky in love? Cheer up your Valentine's Day at one of these parties. Image via Shutterstock.

It makes sense Valentine’s Day falls in one of the chilliest months of the year: For those of us who once again find ourselves alone on February 14, it can feel like we’re quite literally being left out in the cold. But don’t let a Hallmark holiday get you down—plenty of bars and restaurants around town are embracing their cynical sides and offering up specials to make your night more fun (or at least help you numb the pain). Specials are offered Saturday, February 14, unless otherwise indicated.

Drown your sorrows with $15 cocktails at the Gibson, which offers live blues music by the Johnny Grave Trio on Thursday at 8. Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door.

This Thursday, the W Washington DC renames itself the Heartbreak Hotel, inviting the anti-Valentine’s crowd for a show by local acts Furniteur, Pleasure Curses, and Outputmessage and $10 specialty cocktails beginning at 7:30. There’s no cover, but guests are asked to RSVP online.

Napoleon Bistro in Adams Morgan appeals to the old souls with a Love Hurts party on Friday starting at 6. Specialty cocktails such as the Smoother Operator (gin, ginger syrup, and Champagne) are on the menu, and old-school vinyl is on the soundtrack with odes to broken hearts by Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, and more. The bar will also screen a classic movie. Tickets are $10 online.

Takoma Park’s Republic offers live music during dinner and the chance to get out some unlucky-in-love frustration afterward with a performance by punk band Booze Riot. Bar manager Brett Robison mixes up themed cocktails such as one named for the evening’s headliner with rye, Amaro Averna, and sherry, and beer-and-shot combos are available for $5.

Carmine’s in Penn Quarter offers two packages geared toward the sadly single. First up is the “My Heart Will Not Go On,” featuring a bottle of Prosecco and the restaurant’s mammoth Titanic sundae ($65 for a group of six). Then there’s the breathmint-necessitating Girls Gone Garlic, which adds a meal of salad and pasta to the above ($125 for a group of six or more).

Think love is awful? Bar Pilar feels your pain, and is serving up a special offal menu to prove it. Try exotic dishes such as smoked head cheese with lemongrass-barbecue glaze and fried chicken skins or rabbit offal with whipped potatoes and mushroom-mustard sauce, paired with depressingly named yet delicious-sounding drinks such as the No One Will Ever Love You, with rye, prickly pear, Cocchi Americano, and lemon.

Anti-Valentine’s Day at the Daily Dish begins with an Unhappy Hour from 4:30 to 6:30, offering thematically appropriate drinks such as Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch and Snake Dog beer for $4 and a Suffering Bastard cocktail for $5. From 5:30 to 9:30 you can order off a special menu that includes dishes such as a Consciously Uncoupled vegan lentil patty topped with beef short rib, or the Lipstick on a Pig, with pork belly, charred beets, and blood orange gastrique.

For the second year, Town Tavern hosts a Cupid Is Stupid party starting at 8. RSVP for $10 online and get an open bar until 10, plus $3 domestic bottled beer, $4 rail drinks, and $5 Bacardi shooters until midnight.

Feeling a bit more hopeful about your romantic prospects? Head to Washingtonian’s Singles Soiree at Penn Social, featuring games, live music, drink specials, and the Singled Out DC gameshow. Tickets are $10 online or $15 at the door.

Posted at 03:33 PM/ET, 02/11/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()