Things to Do

Hitchcock, Billy Stewart, and Sanjay Gupta: Things to Do in Washington, January 4-6

Plus: El Día de Los Reyes.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Happy new year folks!

We’ve got a talk on Hitchcock, a book panel on thrillers, and a Billy Stewart documentary.

Explore Hitchcock classics in a virtual talk.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

For music fans: The new documentary “Fat Boy: The Billy Stewart Story” highlights the DC R&B crooner Billy Stewart. The singer and pianist briefly played in a band with star guitarist Bo Diddley. Learn more about his life and music with this film, which started with a program in the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Watch the documentary on Howard University’s WHUT-TV at 9 PM on Monday 1/4 and 1 AM on Tuesday 1/5;  learn more here

Thrilling tomes: Tune into Politics and Prose’s online panel “The Ties That Bind: Family, Psychology, and Suspense.” Hear from authors Ashley Audrain (The Push), Aimee Molloy (Goodnight Beautiful), and Liz Moore (Long Bright River) as they discuss how they build suspense in their psychological thrillers. Tuesday 1/5 at 6 PM; Free, register here.

Not-so-creepy crawlies: Take a virtual guided tour of the National Museum of Natural History’s Insect Zoo. Bug expert Chris Mooney will introduce you to tarantulas, moths, millipedes, and more as he discusses their impressive adaptive abilities. The webinar is focused on an audience in grades 3-5 but open to all ages. Wednesday 1/6 at 11 AM; Free, register here and find the Zoom link here.

Talk Hitchcock: Explore the expansive career of the “Master of Suspense” film director. Playwright and Yale professor Marc Lapadula will walk through Alfred Hitchcock’s layered storytelling and cinematic influence in a virtual event from Smithsonian Associates. Lapadula will analyze the symbolism and hidden details in Hitchcock classics from Rear Window to Psycho to The Birds. Wednesday 1/6 at 6:30 PM; $20-$25, buy tickets here.

Mind games: Learn about how to exercise and maintain your brain health from popular neurosurgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta. He’ll talk to journalist Joshua Foer about his latest book, Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age, in a virtual event hosted by Sixth & I. Wednesday 1/6 at 7 PM; $12-$33, buy tickets here.

Something fun: 

This week is also El Día de Los Reyes.

While the holidays might be over in your house, this Wednesday marks el Día de Los Reyes—Three Kings Day, or Epiphany—which is a major celebration particularly in Puerto Rican households like mine. (On the island, it’s arguably more popular than Christmas.) On this day, we honor the three wise men/magi who came to visit baby Jesus with gifts, or so the tale goes. When I was growing up, Día de Los Reyes was a day when we’d get one extra gift during the holiday season. Long after I gave up believing in Santa, I was still convinced that the three kings would come to my house on horseback—in most depictions they ride camels, but those don’t really exist in PR, hence: horses—to deliver my very special present. Straight up, I thought these horses were, like, climbing stairs to get to me. Instead of cookies on Christmas, my brother and I were way more concerned about gathering bowls of grass and water to place outside of our bedrooms on the eve of Three Kings Day to feed the overworked steeds. Now as I’m older, there’s a lot less fanfare (and mess to clean up) but I did spend a good amount of time sending gifts to my kid cousins so they could celebrate this year, too. 

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.