Things to Do

A BBQ Book Talk, Sneaker Art, and a Tasteful Lecture on Animal PDA: Things to Do in DC, April 26-28

Plus: Oscars talk.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hi everyone!

Hope you’re having a great Monday, this is Rosa and I’m back in action here (shoutout to the inimitable Daniella Byck for subbing!). We’ve got BBQ recipes, a Fauci talk, and an exhibit of sneaker art.

PDA: It’s for the birds. Learn about it this week.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

Dig in: Unmarked is a new documentary that looks at unidentified African American grave sites and burial grounds in the South that have been disappearing (and some already lost to time). Co-director Chris Haley leads the Maryland State Archive’s Study of the Legacy of Slavery program; co-director Brad Bennett is based in Virginia, where the film’s team says the “stories of thousands at rest could vanish from history altogether if these locations are not restored.” Stream the documentary on Apple TV (and elsewhere) starting Tuesday 4/27. Find out more here.

Delicious reading: In Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue, author Adrian Miller explores the culture of BBQ culinary traditions and examines the ways that Black barbecuers and pitmasters have been sidelined in mainstream conversations about Southern food. Oh, and there’s more than 20 recipes you can try smoking yourself. Miller will chat about his latest with Washington Post food reporter Tim Carman in a virtual book talk from Politics and Prose. Wednesday 4/27 at 6 PM; Free, register here.

Love in the air: Ahhh, Spring. As flowers pop and the weather warms, all kinds of wildlife are in the mood, from mating calls to dancing. Learn about nature’s season of love from Liana Vitali who works at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary in a virtual Smithsonian Associates event (don’t worry, it’s described as “tasteful”). Wednesday 4/28 at 6:45 PM; $20-$25, buy tickets here.

Just for kicks: A new exhibit of sneaker art will display 220 Nike replicas made from recycled materials in Cultural DC’s Mobile Art Gallery. See Andy Yoder’s “Overboard” through June 27 and read more about the artist and his inspirations from my coworker Damare Baker here.

For your health: The Aspen Institute kicks off its virtual Aspen Ideas: Health conference this week with a packed program of health pros, scientists, policy makers, and more talking about new and exciting innovations within the field. Hear from a medical ethicist or tune into the big talks with experts including Anthony Fauci, Sanjay Gupta, and Marcella Nunez-Smith, who runs the White House’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. Tuesday 4/27 through Thursday 4/29 at various times; Free, register here.

Museum fun: As we move into May, some of your favorite museums will be reopening their doors for (masked) guests in limited capacities. Throughout the month, the Smithsonian will open doors to the National Portrait Gallery, the Air and Space Museum, the National Zoo, and four more institutions (read more here); the National Gallery of Art plans to partially reopen on May 14.

Play ball: Thinking about going to a Nats game this season? We have advice.

Vibe check: 

TFW your son says something (slightly) inappropriate on national television.
What an Oscars. Pretty weird mood, all around! Personally, I loved the IDGAF vibe that some of these stars effused, from Daniel Kaluuya thanking his mom and dad for having sex (her reaction was priceless) to Chloé Zhao rocking an Hermes gown with tennis shoes. I did appreciate the effort to incorporate various languages, with Bong Joon-ho’s best director intro and an ASL moment. The ending got very strange, with a switch up in the order—the best actor awards going after best picture—and an awkward anticlimax with Joaquin Phoenix announcing Anthony Hopkins’s win, despite most of us expecting the award to posthumously honor Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. However the biggest scene-stealers came earlier in the evening. You know who I’m talking about. Yuh-jung Youn became an instant legend when she walked onstage to hit on Brad Pitt. Her acceptance speech had me on the floor: She asked why Pitt wasn’t on set when she was filming in Tulsa, poked fun at those who botched her name’s pronunciation, and thanked her sons, whom she said “make me go out and work.” The other breakout, of course, was Glenn Close and her booty-shaking, go-go shoutout moment. When asked to identify EU’s classic “Da Butt,” from Spike Lee’s School Daze in some Oscars trivia, Close dropped not just her recognition of the song, but her apparently extensive knowledge of go-go. (Yes, it was scripted; no I don’t care.) “Shoutouts to Sugar Bear, the Backyard Band, and the whole DMV.” Do you have a favorite—or least favorite—Oscars moment? 

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.