Religion is a touchy subject, so this post will not be about it at all. The holidays, on the other hand, are something everyone loves to talk about. It releases some innate need we have to bond with other people over what I call big small talk, where we discuss how our year went, any New Year’s resolutions we have, or what we really want (not need) for our gift-giving holiday of choice. Plus, there’s the bevy of holiday parties, where people can impress other people with ridiculous holiday-themed costumes, food, drinks, and more from their own little corner of the globe. Tune in this year when I do my “I’m from LA and am warmer than you just by thinking about that fact” dance here in DC. But that’s neither here nor there. And can you even tune in to a dance? Whatever. The point is, it’s show-off time, and you better have your A-game ready, because when you have to talk with your boss at the holiday party, the guy or gal you want to impress at your building’s holiday deal, or cook latkes for that Hanukkah dinner soiree, you want them to be good and your peers impressed. Don’t get too drunk, don’t be too late, just prove that you’ve got your act together for a few weeks. Then you can go back to stumbling around later. And remember, everybody needs something from the liquor store. 1
This week on In The Distract: free music, Santarchy, stand-up comedy, French holiday parties, sad art, late night Pho, and more!
Wednesday, December 14
Bubbles. Bubbles. BUBBLES! 2 If you’re looking for that one special touch to compliment your amazing New Year’s Eve party (which is going to be so much better than last year’s party, amirite?), Bell’s Wine and Spirits is having their annual Champagne tasting. They bring out a huge variety, from the cheap-o to the big boys (and girls!) of the Champagne and sparkling wine world. $20, 5-8pm.
After all the bubbly, you’ll undoubtedly be starving. I already am. Head down to Georgetown for Uncurbed DC, an effort to move the food truck experience inside for the Winter. Uncurbed takes a food truck and brings it to an unused space in DC. This week’s space is an office, so you’ll be able to grab your BBQ and relax on couches, instead of waiting in the freezing cold. Brilliant! Food is not free, 6-10pm.
Thursday, December 15
Tonight at the Wonderland Ballroom, check out Listen Local’s first Holiday Jangle. Local musicians will be performing for your listening pleasure, including Taylor Carson, Ugly Purple Sweater, and DJ Cam Jus. Plus, Scoutmob is sponsoring FREE drinks from 8-10pm. I’m sure it won’t be crowded or anything. There will also be live custom screen printing available, in case you’re afraid of tattoos. FREE, 6-11:30pm.
Are you pondering what I’m pondering?3 Because if you are, your thoughts have been answered with Pho, Pho, and more Pho! Tonight is the soft opening of SO PHO SO GOOD, an after-hours party at a noodle shop. Obviously. DJ Jubilee Mo will be spinning deep house, and you can chill out and enjoy some delicious hot noodles away from the evil cold outside until the wee hours of the morning. FREE until 3am, $5 after. 12am-5am.
Friday, December 16
If you’ve lived in DC for a few years you’ve inevitably found yourself at the Kennedy Center. It’s a beautiful space, with great views of the city. In addition to all the regular events that go on there, it also hosts a free concert every single day of the year on the Millennium Stage. Tonight’s show is especially awesome – the band is DC-local U.S. Royalty. They’re indie-rocking, and I highly recommend you hustle on over after work to treat your ears to some mellifluous melodies. FREE, 6pm.
After the show, head over to the Dunes to catch the opening of Dystopia, a series of new paintings by Dana Ellyn and Matt Sesow. The art is based on Dystopian novels, movies, and themes. Just to remind you that we’re living in weird times, the painters also got info from “news and commentary sources such as Democracy Now, Russia Television, Al Jazeera, Alex Jones, and CSPAN.” Smiles all around! FREE, 7-11pm.
Saturday, December 17
Today is the greatest of all Christmas traditions, SantarchyDC. Santarchy4 is celebrated all over the world, and involves you getting dressed up in a Santa-themed costume and parading around various DC-monuments and bars, enjoying yourself. Some people may call it an excuse to get drunk.5 I call it good clean fun all over the city. Also, I went and took pictures at last year’s Santarchy, and that’s where the lovely photo at the top of this blog came from. FREE, 1pm-Santa doesn’t stop.
Just in case you were looking for a place to wander on over to in your Santa outfit after the madness is over, Matt Bailer is hosting his monthly 90s dance party, Peach Pit, at DC9 Saturday night. There will be 90s music, dancing, more 90s music, dancing, alcohol, dancing, innocent flirting, 90s music, dancing, make-out sessions in the corner, dancing, alcohol, 90s music, and a 90s-style prayer session to the god of porcelain. In that order. $5, 10pm-3am.
Sunday, December 18
Once again another opportunity presents itself for day-drinking, but this time you have an excuse to dress to the nines. The Art Soiree hosts “le marche de noel“, a French-themed holiday market and apparent foodie paradise. The event will feature a brunch buffet, Chef’s tables (over 10 amazing chefs will be making delicious treats!), wine, mimosas, an art exhibit, silent auction, and live musical performances. I have no idea why it’s during the day, unless it’s because they want you to be able to go home and take a nap after, then go back out again. The holiday party season is a marathon not a sprint people! $50, 1-5pm.
Sunday evening, go grab yourself a laugh at the first Story League Stands Up show, a veritable who’s who of stand-up comedians6 will be performing for your listening pleasure. The night’s special guest is Gabe Liedman, who’s performed on This American Life and VH1. Check him in the video below. $10, 8-9:30pm.
Monday, December 19
Everybody likes music7, but everybody really likes FREE music. That’s why the Monument Music and Arts Festival, Hey Babe Productions, DC Setlist, and the Pink Line Project have teamed up to put on a FREE show with Justin Jones and the Driving Rain performing for you at DC9. Plus, they will be collecting toys for the DC chapter of toys for tots, and if you bring a toy you’ll be rewarded with swag, drinks, and whatever else the organizers can find lying around. FREE, 9pm.
Tuesday, December 20
Tonight marks the first night of Hanukkah. Hooray!
To celebrate, get FREE tickets to the White House Menorah lighting ceremony on the ellipse. The US Marine Band will be performing, there will be free menorahs and dreidels8, hot latkes, and more! FREE, 4pm.
After that, head down to the Pour House and Cap Lounge for the annual Hannukah Happy Hour on the Hill, where pretty much every major DC-based Jewish organization combines forces to create the ultimate Jewish Hannukah-fest. There will be handshakes. $5, 6-9pm.
Ok, all done. Party on!
- Thanks, Ms. Belaval. ↩
- Sung with the music from 2001: A Space Odyssey in the background. ↩
- I think so, Brain, but if they called them “sad meals” no one would buy them. ↩
- Please stop putting squiggly lines under this Firefox. I realize Santarchy is not a word found in dictionaries. That’s what makes it awesome. ↩
- Thus my favorite Bukowski quote: “That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.” ↩
- How many sit-down comedians have you heard? ↩
- I’m instantly suspicious of people who tell me they “don’t like music”. ↩
- AKA legal gambling ↩
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