Things to Do

Black Restaurant Week, Supernatural Shakespeare, and Veterans Day: Things to Do in Washington, November 9-11

Plus: Toasting champagne outside the White House.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Happy Monday!

We’ve got Black Restaurant Week, a spy talk, and Veterans Day events.

Joe Biden is coming back to town.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

A different president: Could Jimmy Carter be “the most misunderstood president in American history”? Historian Jonathan Alter thinks so. His latest book, In His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life, explores Carter’s long and influential career. Alter will chat about Carter with Walter Isaacson in a virtual Politics and Prose event. Monday 11/9 at 6 PM; Free, reserve tickets here.

If you’re still talking 270: Howard politics professor Keneshia Grant will be breaking down the election in “(Un)Settled and (Un)Certain: Making Sense of Election 2020,” a Zoom talk hosted by the Anacostia Community Museum. Hear Grant talk about what happens next and ask any question you have in the live Q&A. Monday 11/9 at 6:30 PM; Free, register here.

If you’re still in Halloween mode: Explore the “double, double toil and trouble” in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s weekly virtual chat, “Shakespeare & the Supernatural.” STC head Simon Godwin will talk to a handful of artists and actors about the Bard’s witchy and spooky plays. Wednesday 11/11 at 7:30 PM; $10, buy tickets here.

A new memorial: The National Native American Veterans Memorial will open downtown on Wednesday, honoring indigenous Americans who serve in the military at a higher rate than other demographic groups. When the design was first announced in 2018, Washingtonian explored the symbolism with designer and Vietnam vet Harvey Pratt, of Cheyenne and Arapaho nations. The National Museum of the American Indian will host a virtual opening celebration on Veterans Day with a tour of its new outdoor memorial. If you want to learn more, the museum is also offering a Zoom book talk on Thursday (11/12) with Alexandra Harris, who co-wrote Why We Serve: Native Americans in the United States Armed Forces. Memorial opening: Wednesday 11/11; Free, watch the program here.

A new museum: More than 200 years after Congress first asked for it, the National Museum of the United States Army in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, will open on Veterans Day. The massive stainless steel building contains some 1,500 artifacts honoring Army veterans from the Revolutionary War to current day. The museum will be open to visitors (masks and advanced ticket reservations required) and will host a virtual grand opening ceremony on Wednesday 11/11 at 2 PM; livestream it here.

Takeout plans: It’s DMV Black Restaurant Week. Find great meals at more than 70 Black-owned businesses around the city.

Intelligence intrigue: Jan Neumann was a Russian spy who ran his way out of danger in 2008 and defected to the U.S. The former FSB officer now writes graphic novels. Meet Neumann in the Spy Museum’s virtual happy hour event. Thursday 11/12 at 5:30 PM; Free, register here.

Take a deep breath: Sure, it’s been an anxious week (year?) but the baby panda at the National Zoo was totally and adorably unfazed.

In the news: 

Toasting champagne outside of the White House. Photograph by Evy Mages.
This weekend we finally learned the results of the 2020 election. Or, as my coworker Sana Shah joked on Twitter, National Sandwich Day finally came to an end. Hoagie hero Joe Biden is officially the President-Elect and Kamala Harris is Vice President-Elect. People all across DC and the country broke out in impromptu parades, dancing and shouting in the streets to celebrate Trump’s defeat. Of course, 16th Street was popping. There was a mariachi band performing outside the White House and at one point the crowd started singing “you about to lose your job.” A man draped in a Puerto Rican flag threw paper towels over the fence, echoing Trump’s dismissive response to the island after Hurricane Maria.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t glued to my phone on Saturday morning. I was reading in bed when I started hearing cheers, honking horns, and banging pots and pans outside my window (full disclosure: I’m in New Jersey at the moment). I loved finding out that way, it was such a powerful and contagious burst of joy. Cars were blasting “FDT” and “Te Boté.” I didn’t feel the weight of the result until I watched Kamala Harris get onstage in an all-white suit, a callback to the suffrage movement. She fulfills so many firsts, and for the first time in while, I felt immense happiness seeing her there, honoring the countless women who fought before her. I didn’t realize she’d make me cry. But, like Maya Rudolph described in SNL’s cold open, I was one of many, many women that night who were laughing, crying, dancing and, well, drunk.

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.