Monday, October 25
In his first official reading as US poet laureate, W.S. Merwin commands the stage of the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress’ Jefferson Building. 7 PM.
Tuesday, October 26
Got high heels? If you’re a drag queen, we certainly hope so. Otherwise, how will you compete in that Halloween-week staple, the High Heel Race? Contestants race down 17th Street, Northwest, from S to P streets in a race that’s been a tradition since 1986. So grab your pumps and arrive early to get a good spot. 9 PM.
Wednesday, October 27
Austin Powers never carved a jack-o’-lantern, but if he did, he’d probably do so somewhere like Helix Lounge. The groovy club hosts its Pumpkin Carving Contest tonight. Aspiring artists receive a free pumpkin and carving tools (supplies are limited), with the chance to win a gift certificates for food and drink at the lounge or even a free night in the Hotel Helix itself. 6.
Thursday, October 28
What happened to the vibrant arts scene in Paris when Nazis seized control of France? Interestingly, it continued. Author Alan Riding analyzes the subject in his new book And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris. Riding presents his findings at Politics and Prose this evening at 7.
Friday, October 29
Can men and women really be friends without sexual tension? Will you have what she’s having? Even though it’s not Katz’s Delicatessen, the American City Diner screens all the hilarity, romance, and tragic ’80s hair of When Harry Met Sally tonight. 8.
Saturday, October 30
A new exhibit entitled “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” opens at the National Portrait Gallery today. In honor of the opening, the exhibit’s co-curator, Jonathan Katz, discusses the development of gay art before the public acknowledged sexual orientation for what it was. 4:30 PM.
Also on Saturday, whether you value sanity or fear, there’s a rally for you on the Mall. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, the hosts of Comedy Central’s flagship programs The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, bring their dueling road shows to Washington. Though billed as competing rallies (entitled the Rally to Restore Sanity and the March to Keep Fear Alive), the events occur at the same time and place: noon on the Mall between Third and Seventh streets.
Sunday, October 31
Sure, everyone likes to get dressed up for Halloween. But how often do you get a free drink for doing so? At the Heaven and Hell Party at Topaz Bar (1733 N St., NW), if you come dressed as an angel or devil, your first drink is on the house. How divine! 8 to midnight.