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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Top 10 DC Things To Do This Summer

Last year, I wrote about the top five things I was looking forward to doing in DC over the summer. Now, with the Memorial Day holiday behind us, it is time to look forward to an expanded list of summer activities. Some are carry overs, one is now defunct (The Hotel Washington roof top bar), and the others are new additions for you to enjoy.

The DC365 Top 10 Things To Do This Summer

#10 AFI Silver Theater and the E Street Cinema: When I need to beat the oppressive heat, I like to head indoors to the air conditioned coolness of the movies. Both of these independent/art house theaters feature movies a bit off the beaten path, from documentaries to indy films to retrospectives of a director or actor. They also have fancy snacks, like good dark chocolate and micro-brewed beers.

#9 The Hirshhorn Museum: If paying $10 to see a movie every time you start sweating isn't really your thing, then check out any one of our free and cultural Smithsonian Museums. The Hirshhorn happens to be my favorite, with its cutting edge visiting exhibits that always make me think and wonder. But with everything from African art to Dorothy's slippers to dinosaur bones, there is something for every taste.

#8 Larry's Homemade Ice Cream: Here is what I wrote last year: "Although this is highly debatable, I'm convinced that the best ice cream in the city can be found at the little underground shop on Connecticut Ave in Dupont, Larry's Homemade. The shop is nearly as old as I am, and as the name implies, all of the creative and fabulously flavored ice creams are homemade. Along with the normal flavors, they've created more exotic ones, including Key West, ecstasy, Fred and Ginger, rum raisin (with real booze) or haluah (named for the Syrian candy of honey and sesame paste). I keep meaning to try something different, but I absolutely cannot resist their oatmeal cookie dough flavor, with big chunks of oatmeal cookie dough and chocolate chips in a cinnamon flavored ice cream." This all still holds absolutely true.

#7 Dolcezza Argentine Gelato: In the comments to last years Top 5, C mentioned an Argentine gelato shop with such exotic flavors as lime cilantro and lemon basil. Well, I can now whole-heartedly add this fine shop and its wears to the list. They also sell their gelato at the Dupont Farmers' Market and, on a personal plug, at ACKC Cocoa Bar, where you can also find me stirring up chocolate on the weekends.

#6 Margaritas at Lauriol Plaza: I went back and forth on this one, but I think in the end, Lauriol Plaza's rooftop margaritas are, in fact, quintessentially DC. You have the skinterns with their fake IDs, the outrageous wait time for crappy enchiladas and plenty of delicious frozen margaritas to keep you cool. It's not the best restaurant, but it's where you'll find, well, everyone during the hottest months. For something a bit different, you should check out the rooftop at the Straits of Malaya across the street, which has an equally enjoyable roof deck and delicious Malay food.

#5 Theodore Roosevelt Island: I haven't been here since my Close Up trip to DC in the eleventh grade, but I am looking forward to revisiting it this summer with a picnic and a good book in tow. I think there even may be a way to canoe over to the place.

#4 The Capital Fringe Festival: As I wrote last year, the DC Fringe Festival makes DC a better place to live and visit. For two weeks in July, live theater is performed for free or on the cheap at dozen venues all across the city. Some shows are terrible, others are wonderful and it's nearly impossible to know in advance which one yours will be, but that's part of the fun, isn't it? And it adds to DC's status as a world class city, joining the ranks of San Francisco and Edinburgh as a place for local, small or experimental theaters to try out their chops.

#3 See the Nats play: The new stadium, which I had the pleasure of visiting for the first time last week and is but a short walk from my office, is fabulous. The seats are all good, the food and drink is mostly local, including Ben's Chili Bowl and the Cantina Marina, and everything is still shiny and new. The Nats may be pretty terrible this year, but few things are as summery and American as a cold beer and some peanuts at the ballpark.

#2 Wolftrap: Except when it's raining, this is still my second favorite place to be in the summer time. Get a lawn seat and bring a picnic, maybe some wine, plenty of water and some bug spray and enjoy a sweaty, humid evening under the stars listening to anything from zydeco to opera to pop to show tunes. Important -- bring an umbrella just in case.

#1 Screen on the Green! Forever and always, my most favorite summer activity in this city.


Mary Beth said...

I agree! To expand on number 2 I would suggest checking out the Hirshhorn's After Hours event.