Things to Do

Meditate with Deepak Chopra and Drink Through the Debate: Things to Do in Washington, September 28-30

Plus: Talking to the director of Netflix's Residue.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Happy Monday!

We’ve got meditation with Deepak Chopra, a nature talk, and a debate drinking game.

This forest spirit (from Princess Mononoke) wants you to learn about forest bathing this week.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

Books: Hear popular Momofuku chef and owner David Chang talk about his life and, more importantly, food in a virtual book chat on his new memoir Eat a Peach. He’ll explore his mistakes, mental health struggles, and more in a conversation with food journalist Francis Lam. Monday 9/28 at 8 PM; $10-$33.99 (book included), buy tickets here.

Bottoms up: There’s a presidential debate happening tomorrow. It’ll be brutal to watch, so Washingtonian’s Jane Recker and Hannah Good came up with this amazingly illustrated drinking game to keep you sane (and slurring?) throughout the night. Thanks for lookin’ out, yall.

If you’d rather watch a better political show: Showtime has a new miniseries based on James Comey’s book called The Comey Rule with Jeff Daniels playing the ousted FBI head. We talked to the show’s creator about why he wanted everyone to see it before the November election.

Take a deep breath: Deepak Chopra will talk about the importance of meditation in a Smithsonian Associates online event around his new book Meditation: Practices in Living the Awakened Life. Hear about why meditation might be the best way to survive the pandemic and stay till the end for a short guided meditation. Tuesday 9/29 at 6:45 PM; $25-$30 (book included), buy tickets here.

Stop and smell the roses: Learn about ways you can connect with nature while it’s still warm outside from local nonprofit Capital Nature’s Ana Ka’ahanui. She’ll share tips on naturalism and suggest fun activities like “restorative forest bathing.” Tuesday 9/29 at 7 PM; $15 (proceeds will support those experiencing homelessness in the District), buy tickets here.

Drive-in for more than a movie: The Parking Lot Social, a nationally touring series of drive-in comedy shows, trivia nights, and movie screenings, is coming to DC this week with a variety of fun events that you can attend in your car. Play bingo, sing car-a-oke, and silent disco your heart out at Springfield Town Center. Wednesday 9/30 through Sunday 10/4; $39, find out more here.

Something to look forward to: The Christmas Bar will be coming back this year despite Covid-19, only now it’s a little less cheery. Find out more about the upcoming “Miracle at Death Punch Bar” here.

Something we’re not looking forward to: The Anthem and 9:30 Club won’t be opening up anytime soon. Today the mayor announced that we might see some live entertainment venues opening back up. The major concert spaces under the IMP umbrella won’t be part of that, though, so Washingtonian politics and culture editor Rob Brunner finds out why.

Reopening news: The Washington Monument will be reopening later this week. Read more here.

What I’m watching: 

If you’re reading this right now, you should put down the phone and watch Residue, a new film on Netflix about Washington DC. In this profoundly emotional work, writer/director Merawi Gerima explores the pain, racism, and erasure he and his community in Eckington have experienced due to the city’s rapid gentrification.

Actor Obinna Nwachukwu in Residue. Photograph courtesy of Array.

I had the opportunity to talk with Gerima about what it was like to put his real life onscreen and how his parents, notable DC filmmakers and Sankofa bookstore owners Haile Gerima and Shirikiana Aina, influenced him. Here’s a short excerpt from our conversation:

When did the idea for Residue hit you?

In 2016, I came back to DC after a year away at [University of Southern California] film school in LA. If you’re out of DC even for a couple months, you know the way it changes is noticeable and distinct. In a whole year, it’s drastic the amount of changes that happened. I couldn’t cope, to be quite honest. I was trying to show my friends Habesha Market and I was like, we have to find 9th Street first—but we were on 9th Street. I could not recognize it for the life of me. Yo, it threw me off! I was disoriented. The Warby Parker and all this other shit. It was just a completely different place. I felt robbed; I felt robbed. It’s not easy to be in the city you grew up in and suddenly be confronted left and right with entitled white people telling you how to exist in your city. It was so alien to me.

Did it ever get uncomfortable on set?

Yes. The rain scene was incredibly uncomfortable.

That’s when we see one of the mothers in the film react to tragic news about her son.

That was my mother [Shirikiana Aina]. For her, it’s not a game. It’s not acting. I was raised on Q Street, but before I was even born, my parents were there for years helping to raise these kids who would be the ones to be cut down by the crack cocaine epidemic and the war on drugs. She’s seen all of these things firsthand. I didn’t cast her; I cast another woman who was a no-show. Right when we needed it, the rain came and my mother happened to be on set feeding people, and I was like, “Ma, I need you.” She almost didn’t do it. She only had one take in her. I had to ask her to do another one—she looked at me like I was crazy. But that was painful. That was not fun.

Read the full interview here.

Thanks for reading! Tell me what you’re up to at home by dropping me a line at rcartagena@washingtonian.com.

Web Producer/Writer

Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.

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