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What to Do This Weekend: July 11 to 14

Drive-in movies at Union Market, the opening of “Chocolate City Rest in Peace,” and the anniversary of DC’s Bike Party.

Grab your bike and celebrate the first birthday of the DC Bike Party on Friday. Image via Shutterstock.

Thursday, July 11

DANCE: Settle a debate hip-hop has never really tried to have: Kanye and his G.O.O.D. Music crew vs. Outkast and Andre 3000’s fellow ATLiens at Liv Nightclub’s Philanthrobeat. When six deejays mix and mash up songs like “Good Life” and “Ms. Jackson,” everyone’s a winner. $10. 9 PM.

SEX(pionage): Whether you think Edward Snowden is a “spy” or not, we can all agree that he’s at least kinda geeky. Not all spies have been that way: Espionage historian (what a cool job) Keith Melton will be at the International Spy Museum discussing how spies have used sex appeal and manipulation to get state secrets. If you’re a bit bashful, there’ll be some cocktails to loosen you up. Tickets ($25) are available online and include one drink. 6:30 PM.

MOVIE: It’s supposed to rain tonight, so eschew outdoor movies and go for an indoor double feature: The Washington DC Jewish Community Center is screening two Woody Allen classics, Purple Rose of Cairo and Annie Hall, both of which have made numerous top-100 all-time movie lists. Tickets ($11) are available online*. 7 PM.

Friday, July 12

ART: According to photographer Steven Cummings, gentrification has stripped DC of its Chocolate City name—check out his powerful photos at opening reception of Chocolate City Rest in Peace,” which chronicles the past 22 years of DC history at the Gallery at Vivid Solutions. Free. 6 PM.

MUSIC: Glasgow’s Belle and Sebastian never quite struck it huge in the mainstream, but they’ve remained plugging away as critical darlings and cult favorites for the past 15 years or so. They’ve got a big sound perfectly suited to lying down on Merriweather’s lawn, so maybe you should do that. Tickets ($45) are available online. 6:30 PM.

MOVIE: Union Market is a historic venue updated for modern times, so it makes sense it’s taking something old—drive-in movies—and making it new again. DC’s first drive-in movie will be Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Order food from the market’s various vendors (delivered by roller-skating servers), get out of your car and stop by a food truck, and check out pre-movie live music and contests. Don’t have a car? Just walk up and sit at a picnic table or on a blanket. Free. 7 PM.

BIKE: DC’s massively successful Bike Party turns one this week. The monthly, community-organized bike ride has grown from a couple of friends to hundreds of riders each month, and this time the organizers are doing it up big. There’ll be deejay bikes with massive speakers, birthday streamers, party hats, noisemakers, and TONS of super-upset drivers. After the couple-mile ride, head to Mellow Mushroom for beer specials and more music. Free. 7:30 PM.

FRANCE: There are Bastille Day parties on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this weekend, and as an American, I feel like it’d be unethical for me to actually look up what day it falls on. But the more celebrating, the better, right? Check out Best Bites Blog’s guide to all things Bastille Day for details on events, food and drink specials, and more.

Saturday, July 13

ART: Philadelphia’s Masthead print studio takes over Open Studio DC for the day, teaching you how to screen-print. For one day only, it’s also bringing its massive collection of band and gig posters for you to geek out over and buy—there’s some really cool and quirky art, so check it out. Free. 6 PM.

IMPROV: Second City’s improv show “America All Better” was supposed to be about how Obama’s reelection, the improving economy, and our moves closer to marriage equality mean that things are looking up for the country. It was devised before all sorts of scandals and NSA leaks put a bit of a damper on that whole idea, but we’re sure the country’s best improv troupe will make it work anyway. Tickets ($35) are available online. 8 PM at Woolly Mammoth.

DANCE: An all-local set of deejays, including the always-reliable Stereo Faith, takes over U Street Music Hall to prove you don’t have to be some 16-year-old Scandinavian to drop danceable beats. Free for 21 and up. 10 PM.

MORE DANCE: If you like your dance nights old-school, Black Cat has you covered: Modern World features the best mod, garage, soul, and Brit pop from the past 50 years. There’re drink specials all night. $5. 10 PM.

Sunday, July 14

COMEDY: After a hiatus to set this whole thing up, the Encyclopedia Show is back for Fringe Festival with a night of standup, informative talks, and general nonsense about vice presidents, featuring specials on Dick Cheney, Spiro Agnew, accidental vice presidents, and, of course, that whole Aaron Burr-Alexander Hamilton duel. Tickets ($17) are available online. 1:45 PM at Warehouse. For more can’t-miss Fringe Festival performances, check out our full roundup.

CUPCAKES: The cronut might be the current darling of the pastry world, but Washington’s love affair with cupcakes continues. With Dumbarton House’s tour of Georgetown, you’ll learn about the history of the cupcake—which has been around for way longer than the Food Network—and sample the treats from some of Georgetown’s best-known bakeries. It’s a walking tour, so you won’t have to feel too guilty about eating all that frosting. Tickets ($20) are available online. 10 to noon.

Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at, or find him on Twitter

*This post has been updated from a previous version.

  • Jon

    Come join us TONIGHT, the 12th, at 8pm at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop for Bespoke, a fully improvised theatrical experience!

    It has everything that's magical about improv: the characters,
    dialogue, and situations are all made on the spot. Every audience is
    treated to a show made up on the spot just for them--one that has never
    been seen before, and that will never be seen again.

    But wait, there's more! In Bespoke, not only is the acting improvised, but the sets, wardrobe, lighting, and sound will be improvised around the performers. That's right, see a scene with a private reporting to a sergeant, and watch as they quickly get given a military helmet, jacket, and rifle, while the sound of gunfire begins to play in the distance.

    Check it out at:

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