Things to Do

Virtual Wine Tasting, Spring Holidays, and a “Lolita” Book Talk: Things to Do in DC, March 22-24

Plus: Supporting the AAPI community.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hello hello!

We’ve got wine tasting, a new play, and a book talk about Lolita.

Me at a wine tasting.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

The drama: You might remember Colman Domingo as the steady and supportive trombonist in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom or the steady and supportive sponsor to Zendaya’s teen addict in Euphoria. (If you haven’t seen the special episodes, stop reading this and go watch them, even if it’s only to see Domingo’s artful phone scene.) Domingo goes behind the stage with A Boy and His Soul, the one-man play he wrote about a young man in Philadelphia (played by Ro Boddie) who explores a collection of old records as he’s packing up his family’s house. Directed by local theater mainstay Craig Wallace, the play is now a virtual show from Round House Theatre that you can watch from home. Streaming Monday 3/22 through April 18; $32.50, buy tickets here.

A book about a book: Lolita, though, is not any old novel. Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial work is under the microscope in a new collection of essays, Lolita in the Afterlife: On Beauty, Risk, and Reckoning with the Most Indelible and Shocking Novel of the Twentieth Century. In these essays, 30 writers explore the influence of Lolita in pop culture. At a virtual Politics and Prose event, hear from editor Jenny Minton Quigley, the daughter of the publisher who brought the novel to the US in 1958, and four writers (Victor LaValle, Roxane Gay, Alexander Chee, and Cheryl Strayed). Tuesday 3/23 at 8 PM; $0-$24 (book included), buy tickets here.

On point: SideBarre is offering free barre classes paired with a post-workout happy hour (cocktail/mocktail recipes included) and Q&As with special guests. This week, get in the ballet mood with SideBarre founder Jillian Carter and stay for the conversation with entrepreneur Shelly Bell, who heads Black Girl Ventures. Upcoming guests: Orange Is the New Black actor Diane Guerrero (3/27) and soccer star Megan Rapinoe (3/31). Tuesday 3/23 at 6:30 PM; Free, register here.

Sip something new: Foxtrot Market, which opened its first DC location earlier this month, is hosting a “Women in Wine” virtual tasting with a panel of winemakers and experts from across the country. Sample a sparkling rosé and a pinot noir (part of a package that you can pick up or get delivered) as you tune into the event. Wednesday 3/24 at 9PM; $59, buy tickets here.

Upcoming holiday plans: If you’re figuring out what you’ll be doing to celebrate the upcoming Spring holidays, we have recommendations. Find great dinner options for Passover here or plan your Easter meal here.

Escape the rude brood: Have you heard about the incoming insect invasion? Thousands of cicadas are coming out of hibernation in the coming months. Eeeek. If you’re looking for ways to get out of town to avoid the buzzing plague, we’ve got some suggestions.

Vibe check: 

Kevin Tien is one of the chefs behind Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate. Photograph courtesy of Moon Rabbit.

Last week, a white man shot and killed eight people, including six Asian American women, in Atlanta. Though the news is still developing, the horrific attack is part of a pattern of violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders all over the US—and the Washington region is no exception. Last November, I spoke to Valley Brook Tea owner Yunhan Zhan after he was pepper sprayed by a man shouting racist taunts in his Dupont Circle shop and he described facing multiple similar incidents throughout 2020. In February, my coworker Jessica Sidman wrote about four Asian-owned restaurants that were burglarized during the Lunar New Year. On Friday, local chef Lydia Chang wrote about what it’s like to be an Asian American restaurant owner right now:

“When people ask me, ‘How do you know it’s anti-Asian?’ I want to say to them: ‘Do you know what it feels like to be an Asian American right now?’ If we look at every incident on its own, whomever you are talking to could say, ‘Oh, this could happen to anyone.’ I’m constantly wondering, am I being too sensitive? How do you actually prove a hate crime against Asian Americans? In a lot of these cases, you can’t. But we do see a pattern here; a lot of the victims are Asian, so how do you explain that? How do people around us not know that that matters?”

Before the Atlanta killings, the New Yorker’s Hua Hsu wrote about the unique history of anti-Asian violence in the US. “It’s difficult to describe anti-Asian racism when society lacks a coherent, historical account of what that racism actually looks like,” Hsu says. His story provides crucial context around the racism, harassment, and discrimination that Asian Americans have experienced in this nation. If you’re looking for ways to support Asian Americans in the area, local chefs including Kevin Tien and Lydia Chang have teamed up for the dinner series Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate, which will donate funds to the nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate.

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.