Justin Jones performs a free show at DC9 on Monday, January 2nd.
After a few quiet pre-Christmas weeks, local clubs are starting to get back to normal. There’s still a glaring lack of touring bands in town (those shows will pick up in January), but that just frees up the stage for some of Washington’s better acts. And if you’re a hip-hop fan, you’ve got plenty of options this week.
Wednesday, December 28
While most rappers strive for mainstream success, rhyming over glitzed-up studio beats, local rapper Christylez Bacon plays djembe drum and acoustic guitar, and beatboxes. He’s performed in the past with a 12-piece orchestra and at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and tonight you can catch him at the Hamilton, the brand new 24-hour restaurant and live music venue from the people behind Clyde’s.
Christylez Bacon, 8 PM at the Hamilton, $15.
Photographs by Dakota Fine
The high-heel drag race, an annual tradition in Dupont circle, turned 25 this year. As usual, the streets were packed with observers gawking at the race participants, who sported costumes—political and otherwise—that dared to impress. The race, which takes place on 17th Street between P and S streets, Northwest, is typically billed as a fun pre-Halloween block party that brings members of the LGBT community and its allies and supporters together. Local politicians, including Mayor Vince Gray and Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans, attended.
[Editor's Note: To see our most recent list of bars to watch your favorite NFL team, click here.]
Many Washingtonians aren’t actually from the area, which means not everyone cheers for the Redskins. If the NFL Sunday Ticket isn't in your budget, check out these bars where you can watch and root for your team. We’ve got a bar for everyone from the Bengals to the Broncos to the Cowboys (yuck!). Read on for our list—and make sure to leave your football-bar suggestions in the comments at the bottom of the post!
Baltimore Ravens: Champion Billiards Sports Café
Frederick may not be the most convenient location if you live in or near DC, but having the chance to watch a game on one of Champion’s eight 42-inch flat-screen TVs or six 110-inch projection screens is worth the trip.
With rugged, stripped-down decor and hearty bar fare, Boundary Stone is quickly becoming a go-to Bloomingdale hangout. Photographs by Kyle Gustafson
According to Boundary Stone owner Gareth Croke, an Irish town is built around two things: the church and the pub. If the church nourishes the soul, then the neighborhood bar feeds the heart. It’s the center of social interaction, the place where people come together. Save Rustik Tavern and Big Bear Cafe, residents of DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood (of which this writer is one) have precious few places that fill this role. But, as the old adage goes, if you build it, they will come. And they are coming in droves to Boundary Stone, the handsome new bar at First and Rhode Island.
Two sets of brothers run the place—Gareth and Matt Croke, and Colin and Peter McDonough. Colin and Gareth first bonded over an Eagles game at an Adams Morgan bar several years ago. Gareth, a naturalized American who comes from a long line of Irish hospitality workers, tossed around the idea of opening a neighborhood pub in Bloomingdale (he lives a few blocks away, as do the McDonoughs) with his new friend, and the concept stuck. The duo brought their brothers on board, settled on the old Sylvan Theater building, and opened their home-away-from-home on September 28.
Photographs by Rena Schild
What: CharityWorks 2011 Dream Ball: The Road to Shangri-La
Where: National Building Museum
When: October 15, 2011
Tickets: $500 and up
Photograph by Rena Schild
What: 2011 USO Gala
Where: Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
When: October 6, 2011
Who: Miss USA Alyssa Campanella, who had just seen the Washington Monument and Capital Hill for the first time, graced the red carpet in a fire-engine red gown. Several press photographers left after she gave sultry over-the-shoulder poses, snubbing comedian and emcee Carlos Mencia and NBA Hall-of-Famer Karl Malone, who just got back from a USO tour. At six-foot-nine, Malone was taller than the photo backdrop. The definitive darling of the red carpet was 4-year-old Elaine Bixler, Corporal David J. Bixler’s daughter, who stole the show in a satin pink rosette dress.
Photograph by Jeff Martin
What: 15th Annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
When: October 1, 2011
Tickets: $275 and up
Who: Well, President Barack Obama was there, which meant both a buzzing crowd and a 40-minute security wait at check-in. Though the President only stayed for his speech (it was, after all, his and Michelle’s wedding anniversary), there were plenty of big names on hand to keep the audience’s attention. Walking the white carpet were Cyndi Lauper, the night’s headline performer, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his special surprise guest, Sarah Jessica Parker, Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, rugby player Ben Cohen, Betty DeGeneres (mother of talk-show host Ellen), singer Mika, and pre-teen YouTube phenom Greyson Chance.
DJ Solange Knowles. Photograph by Jeff Martin
Local celebrities—like former Real Housewife Catherine Ommanney and Paul Wharton—joined Senior Vice President of Virgin Atlantic North America Chris Rossi and a host of others at Lincoln last night as Virgin Atlantic celebrated 15 years of nonstop flights between DC and London. Music was provided by Solange Knowles and DJ Zenbi. Our photographer Jeff Martin was on hand to document the action.
After dinner at the 2011 Wolf Trap Ball, the crowd enjoyed the sounds of Sound Connection. Photograph by Jeff Martin
What: 2011 Wolf Trap Ball: Celebrating 40 Years
Where: The Filene Center at Wolf Trap
When: Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 7 PM
Tickets: $500 to $1,000
Who: Nine hundred Wolf Trap supporters from civil servants to corporate sponsors and other patrons of the arts showed up to help give the theater a record-breaking $1 million night of fundraising. President and CEO of Wolf Trap Terre Jones worked the crowd with a smile, greeting hundreds of guests at the door, dancing happily with his radiant wife and later joining a congo line with dozens of other party-goers. Redskins hall-of-famer and Wolf Trap Education spokesperson Darrell Green, known as the “Ageless Wonder” over his 20 NFL seasons, was on hand. Politicos in attendance included Virginia representative Frank Wolf, Ambassador of Iraq Samir Sumayda’ie and members of the Virginia state cabinet, senate, and house of delegates.
With the weather cooling down and football season heating up, it’s the time of year to find a solid, sports-centric watering hole. We’ll throw one into the running with Mason Inn, a recently revamped bar taking over the old Gin & Tonic space in Glover Park.
Owner Fritz Brogan, who also has the Southern-themed Kitchen 2404 next door, decided that (like anyone else) G&T needed a facelift after three years of hardcore partying. The dive spot attracted a raucous college crowd ready to dance on weekends, but Brogan wanted to open the place up to the neighborhood. Dingy bathrooms and the scent of stale beer have given way to a welcoming, brick-walled saloon with plenty of tables and pew-like benches.