Things to Do

What to Do This Weekend: September 13 to 16

Check out the H Street Festival, see live political cartooning, and say au revoir to DC Shorts.

See Thievery Corporation in concert this Saturday. Photograph courtesy of IMP.

Thursday, September 13

FANCY POOL PARTY: I know I promised no more pool parties, but this one’s kinda-sorta different. Wear
cocktail attire to the
Washington Plaza Hotel’s party tonight, their last of the season. It’s more of a “hang out by the pool and
look like you’re in a Miami drug cartel” kind of night than a swimming affair. Prizes
go to the person with the best cocktail dress and the person with the best suit. Free.
6 PM.

FILM: If you’re a history buff or you like
Locked Up Abroad and other tales of imprisonment (why do you love other people’s pain so much?), the
Czech Embassy is screening
Timeless Stories
, which tells the tale of Karla Charvatova, an anti-Communist who was a political
prisoner in Czechoslovakia in the ’40s. Historians
Jana Svehlova and
Tomas Bouska will be on hand to discuss the film after the screening. Free. 6:30 PM.

Friday, September 14

CARTOONS: Did you hear? It’s an election year, which means political cartoonists have been sharpening
their pencils and their wit, ready to jump on any gaffe or ridiculousness (of which
there’s been plenty). Four of the best at their craft—Pulitzer Prize winner
Mark Fiore,
Mike Peters,
Jen Sorensen, and
Keith Knight—will duke it out with live cartooning. The
Gene Weingarten and some other familiar faces will judge. Tickets are $10 online.
6 PM.


The Charlie Visconage Show
, a live talk show featuring under-the-radar podcasters, comedians, authors, and musicians
from around the city, got its start with a Kickstarter campaign, proving not all of
those projects are big scams that never end up getting done. This month’s show features
storyteller and comedian
Vijai Nathan, political activist
Dutty Bookman, who recently wrote a book about returning to Jamaica after spending four years at
college, and radio talk show host
Mariya Alexander. And what’s a talk show without a musical guest? Black Masala, a gypsy horn band
from DC (with, like, eight members and all sorts of fun instruments), will close things
down. Tickets are $15 online. 10 PM.

DJ Josiah, who has been making sure hip music gets on Sirius XM radio for the past five years,
will spin “blog-able music that doesn’t physically exist yet” and some indie favorites
such as Animal Collective, Dan Deacon, M83, and more at Black Cat. Sounds like a way
to get a jump on bragging rights. Free. 10 PM.

Saturday, September 15

DAY DRINKING: This week’s big event is the
H Street Festival. Over the past few years, you’ve watched the corridor turn into DC’s experimental
hub, hosting a bar arcade, a burlesque bar, a mini golf bar, a Jewish-Irish bar, and
a pie shop. If you’ll notice, that’s a lot of bars. The street shuts down all day,
and most businesses set up booths outside so you can get your day-drink/eat on. This
year, there’ll be five stages, lots of contests, and tons of vendors, and Sticky Rice
is giving away their famous cop car. What more could you want? Free. Noon to 6 PM.

BARTENDING: If you’re throwing a cocktail party anytime soon or are just sick of mixing Champagne
with orange juice and calling it a day, it might be time to brush up on your drink-making
skills. Arlington’s
Green Pig Bistro is hosting a home bartending class where you’ll learn how to stock your home bar;
shake, stir, and otherwise mix up some tasty drinks; and toss out unruly patrons (maybe
not that one). Participants get a home bartending kit, which includes everything you’ll
need to get started. Tickets are $85 online. 3:30 PM.

FILM PARTY: DC Shorts, we hardly knew ye, but we’re going to send you out in style. You’re already on H
Street for the festival, right? So head over to Atlas Performing Arts Center afterward
for dancing, movie clips, and an open bar. Tickets are $25 online. 9 PM.

MUSIC: The other fest-type thing going on is at the Fairgrounds, which is finally hosting
its first relevant concert ever (love you, cover and/or local bands, but just sayin’).

LivingSocial got Thievery Corporation, who seem to make their living in DC playing seemingly random
places these days, to put on a show. They also got ridiculous New York gypsy punks
Gogol Bordello (an absolute must-see live) and Michael Franti & Spearhead to open.
Things kick off at 1 PM, when you can presumably play various outdoorsy games and
drink beer. Tickets are $59 online. 1 PM.

Sunday, September 16

MORE STREET FESTIVALS: I can guarantee the
Celebrate Gaithersburg street festival will have a different vibe than the H Street Festival, but there’ll
still be plenty going on that makes it worth a trip to the ’burbs. Local artists,
dance troupes, exercise leaders, and cultural institutes perform on various stages
around city hall, food trucks you’re not used to (because they spend their time slinging
food up there) serve tasty things, and a microbrew beer garden features freshly brewed
suds from Gaithersburg’s own Growler’s Brew Pub. Free. Noon to 5 PM.

WINE: Is September wine season in Virginia? Is that a thing? Either way, there have been
plenty of wine festivals to go around lately, but the more, the merrier. Crystal City
hosts a wine-drinking and food-eating extravaganza, if you’re into that kind of thing.
A dozen area restaurants, including Jaleo, Lebanese Taverna, King Street Blues, and
Cafe Pizzaiolo, serve up bites, various bands serve up salsa and jazz music, and lots
of wine serves up the confidence to get your dance on. $20. 2 PM.

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