Things to Do

A Talk on Witch Hunts, Comedy, and Restaurant Week: Things to Do in DC, January 28-31

Plus: Thinking about all the friends we're missing.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hi y’all!

We’ve got new art, comedy, and restaurant week.

Here’s what you should check out this weekend:

Public art: Source Theatre is showing the second part of CulturalDC’s latest art installation, “Subversions: As An Enemy,” curated by Baltimore-based writer Teri Henderson. For the next month, there will be three short films projected onto the theater’s windows. Writer/artist Brandon Soderberg, who co-authored the book I Got a Monster: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Corrupt Police Squad that explored corruption within the Baltimore police department, curated this video installation using body camera and surveillance footage. The piece will play outside every night from 6 to 9 PM starting Friday 1/29 through Sunday 2/28. Free, learn more here.

It’s not fantasy: Witch hunts—not the over-exaggerated political kinds—are scary, violent, and still happen today. Renowned scholar Silvia Federici, who wrote about this in her book Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women will chat with author/photographer Marilena Umuhoza Delli and author/music producer Ian Brennan about a new recording that explores modern witch-hunting in Ghana. Learn about the new phenomenon, and how it connects to capitalism, in this virtual event from Politics and Prose. Friday 1/29 at 7 PM; Free, register here.

Retail therapy: Peruse a new farmer’s market opening at Dupont Underground called the Black Alchemists Market. A collection of Black-owned businesses will be selling sea moss smoothies, shea butter skincare, jewelry, craft cocktails, and more. Saturday 1/30, doors open at 11:30 AM; Free to attend (must be 21+), register here.

Looking to laugh: DC Improv is putting on a “Five for Five” comedy showcase on Zoom. For $5, you get to watch virtual stand-up from five different comedians. This weekend, check out comics Josie Marcellino, Jamel Johnson, Tommy Taylor Jr., Ross Benoit, and Wil Sylvince. Friday 1/29 at 8 PM; $5, buy tickets here.

Yum: It’s currently Restaurant Week. What’s on your plate? We’ve got suggestions for new restaurants to try and which Washington mainstays have great offers, too.

If you’re still hungry: Try a cocktail class or wine tasting this weekend. Find more fun food events here.

What I’m reading: 

Missing her.
I’ve been thinking about how we have or haven’t managed to keep up with our friends while in pseudo-lockdown. (Stay home!) Virtual watch parties and interactive game nights on Zoom can only go so far to recreate that warm, cozy feeling from hanging out IRL. My pandemic time has been a mix of checking in with close friends and reconnecting with some older friends, but sometimes it’s hard to convince myself just to get on the phone—and I’m an extrovert. One story I recently read, from Amanda Mull in The Atlantic, digs into the various friendships that we no longer experience in isolation. It’s sad to think about this hard-to-define loss, but it’s also validating to learn more about the importance of those loose acquaintances, passing interactions, and friends of friends. This part was particularly relatable to me:

“During the past year, it’s often felt like the pandemic has come for all but the closest of my close ties. There are people on the outer periphery of my life for whom the concept of ‘keeping up’ makes little sense, but there are also lots of friends and acquaintances—people I could theoretically hang out with outdoors or see on videochat, but with whom those tools just don’t feel right. In my life, this perception seems to be largely mutual—I am not turning down invites from these folks for Zoom catch-ups and walks in the park. Instead, our affection for each other is in a period of suspended animation, alongside indoor dining and international travel. Sometimes we respond to each other’s Instagram Stories.”

Yep, okay, I admit that was me today replying with applause and heart-eye emojis to friends on Instagram who I haven’t spoken to in a minute. Maybe the bigger answer here is the agreement that, though we’re apart now, we can look forward to that moment when we reconnect, and hopefully we won’t judge each other for this awkward phase of radio silence.

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

Update: A previous version of this story included a book event featuring actress Cicely Tyson, who died after publication.

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.