Have An a
to to uring
l Tra v el the E ast C
By Emily Cahill
Organizing and going on a tour is a lot of work...
I know – I’ve been there! Going into another city’s music scene can be daunting and difficult, and more often than not, smaller bands are doing it all themselves without any outside help. Finding a proper venue and securing a date are only the beginning of a band’s worries. The long drives can be monotonous, money is tight, and finding places to eat and things to do that pleases everyone can be a challenge. That’s what provided the inspiration for this guide There are hardly any up-to-date resources for touring bands, and travel guides leave out critical information that musicians need. I decided that compiling my own guide to east coast touring would not only be interesting, but also beneficial to other people. Over a period of months, I surveyed musicians from each of the featured cities about their favorite venues, restaurants, and hangouts in their city. Each location featured in this guide was suggested by a musician who is familiar with the scene and passionate about music. Some chapters are longer and some are shorter because they reflect the responses and feedback I received. Still, I believe that I have compiled a solid collection for each city, and I hope that this can serve as a starting point for artists navigating their way through a DIY tour. Good luck and happy trails! Emily
Atlanta, GA Baltimore, MD Boston, MA Harrisonburg, VA New York City, NY Philadelphia, PA Richmond, VA Washington, DC
Atlanta, GA Atlanta, Georgaia has long been a center of music in the south. The most populous city in the state, and the 9th largest city in the United States, Atlanta still to this day serves as the primary transportation hub of the southeastern United States. In 2009, the New York Times called Atlanta “hip-hop’s center of gravity.” Notable artists in the genre that hail from Atlanta include Cee Lo Green, Ludacris, Outkast, Toni Braxton, and Usher. Atlanta also has produced notable pop and rock singers including the Black Crowes, Indigo Girls, and John Mayer. .Phot.ograph by Brett Weinstein Venues and Spaces Wonder Root 982 Memorial Drive Southeast, Atlanta, GA www.wonderroot.org/ Booking: booking@wonderroot org Wonder Root is a non-profit service and arts organization that has the mission of uniting artists of all genres to inspire positive social change. Wonder Root was formed in 2004, and since then has been hosting events almost every night of the week. The performance space for the bands is located in the basement and is intimate but no-frills. The bookers are accommodating and helpful to touring acts. They won’t hesitate to do what they can to make sure that touring bands get the best possible experience. All Ages. 80 Capacity. “Its a community center, but a decent number of kids show up.” – Chris “This is the best place for a band going through Atlanta for the first time, or if you’re booking your own tour” - Monika 529 529 Flat Shoals Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA www.529atl.com Booking: Randy, firstname.lastname@example.org, Kyle, email@example.com, Brannon, speakeasypromo@gmail. com Shows at 520 are cheap and often free. That paired with the inexpensive drink menu makes 520 a great place to hold shows for fans on a budget. The place is small but doesn’t tend to get too loud, so the band’s music isn’t drowned out by chatter and bar noise. Two qualms that bands have about 529 – it isn’t uncommon to have the set times for your show pushed back and customers are allowed to smoke inside, so it can get a little hazy. 21+. 150 Capacity. “Its a normal small bar/venue with a solid sound system. The draw is based on who you’re playing with, but its nice to have that variance.” – Chris
The Five Spot 1123 Euclid Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA www.fivespot-atl.com Booking: Through website The Five Spot Venue and Bar offers a gourmet-style deli menu and a variety of genres playing every night of the week. Make sure to check out the booking guidelines on their website before sending an email. The venue prefers that you send them an EPK along with your booking email. Mondays are reserved for residencies and Tuesdays are reserved for the open mic. All Ages. 200 Capcity. Star Bar 437 Moreland Avenue, Atlanta, GA www.starbaratl.com Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org With two stages, shows at the Star Bar are generally held from Wednesday to Saturday nights. The bar has the atmosphere of a dive, but drinks are cheap and strong . Covers rarely go above $8. If you venture to the back of the bar, you will find an Elvis shrine and an old photo booth, adding to the quirky dive charm. Parking is easy to find, so touring bands don’t have to worry about finding a place to leave the van. Bands who have played there in the past recommend not wearing anything there that can’t be easily washed. Star Bar is smoky, grimy, and sometimes wet from spills, so you might get a little bit gross. 21+. 200 Capacity The Masquerade 695 North Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA www.masqueradeatlanta.com Booking: Tim Sweetwood, email@example.com The Masquerade is located inside a turn-of-the-century mill building and offers one of the most unique venue spaces in the city. The venue features three stages of different capacities, appropriately named Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. If you are a touring band, a good bet is to pair with a local band. The booker expects that bands be established and have played several gigs before, so they favor touring bands who have already played in Atlanta or are paired with a successful local band. This is a place to book if you already have a small following in the city. Make sure to specify which stage you would like to play in your email, as well as checking the other qualifications on the booking website before sending an email to the booker. All Ages. 1000 Capacity (Heaven), 500 Capacity (Hell), 200 Capacity (Purgatory). Swayze’s 2543 Bells Ferry Rd. Ste 650 Marietta, GA 30066 www.swayzesvenue.com/shows.php Booking: Lee Satterfield, firstname.lastname@example.org Swayze’s is about 40 minutes outside of Atlanta. They tend to book specific genres, including emo, punk, hardcore, metal, pop punk, and ska. They provide a safe all ages venue for everyone to enjoy music, and therefore there is no alcohol or smoking inside. The venue never charges for merchandise and bands keep 100% of all money made from merch, as well as percentage of the door. Typically acts are booked more than two months in advance. All Ages. 250 Capacity. “They have punk and ska bands there mostly. It’s where I saw my first punk show in middle school, but I’ve also seen larger acts there like Aquabats.” - Monika Photographs: Book Club at 520 by Nick Mockolas, Allison Weiss at The Five Spot by Christopher Octa
The Earl 488 Flat Shoals Avenue, Atlanta, GA badearl.com/ Booking: Patrick Hill, email@example.com The Earl does not book more than one out-of-town band on a bill, so it is not a venue to play if you are touring with another band. They suggest that out-of-town bands pair with an Atlanta band for the lineup before contacting the venue. It’s a relatively large venue, so it’s difficult to get a show there unless you are already somewhat established in Atlanta. 21+. 300 Capacity. “It’s a larger bar/venue. I’ve never played there, but its a decent place to hang out at after a show.” – Chris Drunken Unicorn 736 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, GA www.thedrunkenunicorn.net Booking: Gavin, firstname.lastname@example.org The Drunken Unicorn is comparable in size and atmosphere to 529. Although the bar and venue may have a slightly muddy sound, the Drunken Unicorn is known for enthusiastic crowds and tons of energy. This is the type of venue where people will come out just to hear the music, regardless of who is playing. The promoters are good about pairing touring acts with local bands in order to ensure a decent turnout. Shows can be 21+ or all ages depending on the event. However, all shows must be over by midnight. All Ages. 250 Capacity. Eddie’s Attic 515 N McDonough St # B, Decatur, GA www.eddiesattic.com/ Booking: email@example.com Located in Decatur, about 17 minutes outside of the city, Eddie’s caters to a specific crowd. The small venue is best suited for tiny shows, The venue is small and caters mostly to acoustic acts, so the audience tends to be very quiet and receptive. Patrons are asked to silence their phones, and the owners strive to create a respectful and intimate environment. Booking is done at least 2 months in advance, so keep that in mind when requesting a date. The venue prefers to receive an EPK, if possible. All Ages. 185 Capacity. “God for acoustic or small folk acts. It’s a small listening room with a very rustic feel. It has some ties Food Key: to larger acts – Indigo Girls and John Mayer both got their start playing there.” – $ - Cheap Eats (meal under $5) Monika $$ - Place to eat if you have disposible money - Good for breakfast Food Y - Vegan or Vegetarian p - Open Late (Midnight and later) Willy’s - $ Y d- Does call in/carry out 650 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Atlanta, GA 678-704-4217 http://www.willys.com Willy’s is a Georgia chain that serves California-style burritos. It has many locations all around Atlanta, with a complete list of locations available on their website. Customers choose exactly what ingredients go into either their hot or cold burritos, so meals can easily be customized to suit specific diets, including vegetarian, vegan, raw, gluten-free or kosher. In addition to burritos, Willy’s offers salads, quesadillas, tacos, and nachos. The food is cheap and quick, and a local alternative to other larger burrito chains. “Every time I go to Atlanta I go[to Willy’s] at least four times.” – Monika
The Varsity - $ 61 North Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 404-881-1706 If you’re looking to be a bit touristy, try the Varsity. It currently holds the record for the largest drive-in fast food restaurant in the world. It can fit 600 cars outside and over 800 people inside. They’ve played host to presidents, sports icons, celebrities, and people from around the world. The restaurant originally started as curbside-service only, which still continues today in addition to the sit-down portion. The Varsity is known for its hot dogs. They offer more varieties of dogs than any other food offered there. They don’t have any vegetarian options except for the frosted orange – a creamy orange shake - which is recommended to both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Ria’s Bluebird - Y 421 Memorial Drive Southeast, Atlanta, GA 404-521-3737 http://riasbluebird.com/ If there are two things that Ria’s does well, it’s pancakes and serving breakfast all day. Recently, the NY Times chose their pancakes as the “Best Pancakes”. They also offer other breakfast foods such as fish and grits, tofu scramble, biscuits and gravy, and omelets. If breakfast food isn’t your thing, you can take a look at their sandwich and salad menu. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 8am to 3pm. If you don’t get there early, be prepared for a wait to be seated. Across the street is a graveyard containing the graves of many Atlanta celebrities and famous civil war heroes. Check it out after you dine. “Delicious, AND vegan options.” – Chris Home Grown GA - $Y 968 Memorial Drive SE, Atlanta, GA 404-222-0455 www.homegrownga.com/ Across the street from Wonder Root, you will find Homegrown. The restaurant prepares healthy food using local produce and offers it at ridiculously low prices. Although the menu is tiny, patrons know that they will be getting a solid meal at a price that is almost half what a comparable meal would cost at a similar restaurant. Sit at the counter for a genuine diner experience. Be sure to get there early, as Home Grown closes at 3pm during the week and 2pm during the weekend. “They have the most amazing vegan sloppy Joe. It’s messy and exactly like a real sloppy Joe. Great soul food.” – Monika King of Pops - $Y http://atlanta.kingofpops.net/ King of Pops began after three brothers were laid off from their jobs. With their free time, they created an environmentally conscious Popsicle company. They began selling their creations from a roaming cart, offering unique flavors such as Arnold Palmer (sweet tea and lemonade), coconut lemongrass, grapefruit mint, and Mexican chocolate. In order to locate the cart, you can visit their website where they have an interactive map in addition to a schedule of special events that they will be at. “You’ll have to follow him on twitter to know where he is on a particular day with the cart. He is often at farmers markets but walks around the city when it gets warmer out.” – Monika Photographs: The Earl by Rob Holland, Nachos at Willy’s by Laura Fries, The Varsity, Public Domain
Majestic Diner - pd 1031 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 404-875-0276 http://majesticdiner.com/ The Majestic has been a landmark in Atlanta since 1929. Many customers have used the Majestic as a late night study or hanging spot, so they won’t kick you out the moment you’ve finished your meal. The Majestic offers traditional diner fare, so it’s a place where you can fill up on your favorite foods with no frills. Open 24 hours. “Depending on what time of night you go, you’ll see all types of freaks.” – Monika
Relaxation and Fun Brick Store Pub 125 East Court Square, Decatur, GA 404-687-0990 www.brickstorepub.com The Brick Store Pub opened in 1997 after three friends from Athens, GA joined forces after graduation from college, but without any idea what to do with their degrees. The bar has no television, no obnoxious music, no neon, and no major domestic beers. They rotate through 17 beers on tap and 78 bottled beers, specializing in local, craft, and international beers. It has a genuine neighborhood bar feel as is a good place to relax after a long day. Little Five Points 422 Seminole Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 404-525-2530 littlefivepoints.net/ Little Five Points is a strip with used clothing stores, boutiques, record stores, bookstores, pizza, bars, and more. It was originally established in the early 1900s as a commercial district, and has been compared to the Haight-Asbury district in San Francisco. The area contains a melting of subcultures and a number of bohemian and alternative businesses. Every year the neighborhood hosts a Halloween Parade, where bands play in the square and vendors sell goods. The parade includes celebrities, bikers, live music, hearses, floats, and more. Criminal Records 1154 - A Euclid Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 404-215-9511 criminalatl.com/ Criminal Records is a gigantic record store located in the heart of Little Five Points. The record store works around the motto “we love music.” However music isn’t the only thing they love. They also carry movies, comics, toys, magazines, books, socks, hats, coffee, and a host of other things. Occasionally they also will host in-store events with musicians and other artists. To the back of the store, you’ll find $1 vinyl, as well as inexpensive discount vinyl. The prices tend to be a bit higher than other stores, but it is worth it if you want to support a local business. “One of the best record stores. The owner co-founded record store day.” – Monika Starlight Six Drive-In 2000 Moreland Avenue Southeast, Atlanta, GA 30316 404-627-5786 www.starlightdrivein.com/ Take your band van for an outing at Starlight Six; one of the few remaining drive in theaters in the US. The pricing is better than a regular movie theater because they usually show double or triple features for the price of one ticket at a regular theater. They show a selection of current movies, and occasionally have nights where they show classics. Another way that Starlight Six differs from theaters is that you can bring in your own snacks and food. Dinner and a double feature isn’t too shabby!
Junkman’s Daughter 464 Moreland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 404-577-3188 www.thejunkmansdaughter.com/ Junkman’s Daughter claims to be “Atlanta’s Alternative Superstore”, and there’s not a better way to describe one of the most unique places in the city. You’ll know you have arrived when you see the psychedelic mural that covers the front of the store, as well as a huge “UFO” attached over the doorway. The store opened in 1981 when the owner, an actual junkman’s daughter, rented a storefront to sell dead stock from her father’s years of accumulation. To this day, the store is filled with funky clothes, accessories, gifts, knick-knacks, costumes, housewares, collectables, wigs, books, and even a fully-stocked tobacco shop. It was recently voted one of Americas Top 25 Best Independent Stores, and has been patronized by celebrities such as Pink, Courtney Love, ZZ Top, Alanis Morrisette, The Clash, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry, Cee Lo, and a host of others. “Neat place to hang out.” – Monika The Plaza Theater 1049 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 404-873-1939 plazaatlanta.com/ The Plaza Theater at first glance appears to be a regular movie theater. They show current and new films throughout the day. However, it is the evenings that make The Plaza Theater different from other movie theaters in Atlanta. Every Friday at midnight they have a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show, complete with live acting of the film onstage in front of the projection. The theater also hosts the Silver Screen Spook Show, a series of classic horror films hosted by “Morte – the ghost host with the most”. The show includes costumes, actors, burlesque dancers, and a number of other variety show acts. Other events that The Plaza hosts include screenings with movie directors and cast, fundraising benefits, and more. The Plaza Theater also usually shows at least one local or independent film along with the regularly showing films during the day. Piedmont Park 1071 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 404-875-7275 http://www.piedmontpark.org Piedmont Park was originally the gentleman’s farm and residence of wealthy landowner Dr. Benjamin Walker. He sold the land in 1887 to the Piedmont Driving Club to become a horse-racing track, but it was instead converted to a park. In the past, the park has been used for Atlanta’s professional sports teams, including their first professional baseball team, the Atlanta Crackers. The park now has baseball fields, a dog park, picnic areas, a tennis court, docks, a visitor center, and two playgrounds. A lake is located on the southeast end of the park, where visitors can fish, boat, and swim. The park is also the site of Midtown Music Concerts (who have previously hosted acts such as the Black Keys, Dave Matthews Band, and Paul McCartney), The Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Atlanta Dogwood Festival, and the summer movies series Screen on the Green.
Other Tips All venues in Atlanta allow smoking inside. “if you really need a hotel and want to support a cool local hotel, go to The Highland Inn. They used to do shows in the ballroom.” – Monika Photographs: Little Five Points by Pawel Loj, Junkman’s Daughter, Public Domian, Piedmont Park by Daniel Mayer
Baltimore, MD Baltimore, or Charm City as it is known, is the largest seaport on the East Coast, although it brings in more than boats. It has a host of fantastic musicians. In the mid 20th century, Baltimore became famous for doo-wop. Although the punk and hardcore scene was overshadowed by Washington DC, Baltimore also had a thriving scene for those genres, with many of its bands breaking through nationally. The music spotlight has been placed on Baltimore recently with the popularity of acts such as Dan Deacon and Animal Collective. Phot.ograph Public Domain
Venues and Spaces The Bell Foundry 1539 N Calvert St, Baltimore, MD http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001582291016&sk=wall Booking: Through Facebook The Bell Foundry can be hard to find if you don’t keep your eyes peeled – be careful not to miss it. The shows are located in the basement and run in true DIY style. Drinks are sold for cheap – “traded” for a donation. Admittedly, the bookers at Bell Foundry can be hard to reach. Many regulars suggest going to a show and talking directly to them – although that is not an option for most touring bands. Your best bet is to either pair with a Baltimore band who has played there before or join their mailing list to get information on upcoming shows and shows that are in the making. All Ages. Charm City Art Space 1731 Maryland Ave, Baltimore, MD http://www.ccspace.org/ Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Charm City Art Space is an entirely volunteer run space with the goal to “To act as a creative outlet for DIY performance, music, and art.” They host all types of acts but lots of punk bands or other bands with the DIY ethos. The venue is drug and alcohol free. In addition to the general booking email, bands should contact the promoters individually about setting up a show at the space. The website has a complete list of promoters and the genres that they usually work with. 150 Capacity. All Ages. “It’s a DIY art space that hosts a lot of shows for really hip bands. Prices for shows are dirt cheap, like 3-5 bucks or donation.” – Joel, Tremors II The Ottobar 2549 North Howard Street Baltimore, MD theottobar.com/ Booking: email@example.com The Ottobar calls itself “Baltimore’s premiere venue for live sub-mainstream music”. The venue itself is somewhat large, and caters to large local acts to midsize touring acts who already have a draw in the city. 400 Capacity. All Ages. “Great sound, cool place, books bigger hip acts who are still hitting clubs but aren’t mainstream enough to sell a more sterile, young-professional-packed club down in the Inner Harbor.” – Joel
Copycat Building 1501 Guilford Avenue, Baltimore, MD http://copycatproject.com/ Booking: Contact@CopycatProject.com or through website The Crown Cork and Seal Company, the company who invented the modern bottle cap, was the original occupant the Copycat building. Built in 1905, it has now been converted to artists’ studios, workspaces, and an exhibition and music venue. Previously it housed various art collectives and currently is used as the set for the talk show “It’s a Remarckable Time Who Cares”. The building still has the marks of it’s industrial past, but is constantly being changed and remodeled by the residents. Each room is built and decorated differently to reflect the artist or collectives’ individual needs or style. The building also has a recording studio called Wild Horses Studio. Shows happen in a room specifically designed for that purpose. “Elevator that goes right up to the show floor. After the show you can sleep anywhere there’s space. Crappy Chinese food in the neighborhood. If you stay around late enough homeless women will spank you for change. True story. Draws huge local hipster crowd-hipster hotspot. To my knowledge the money goes straight to the bands.” – Chris, Dangerous Ponies, Little Black Rainclouds “Elevator that leads right up to the room where the shows happen from the garage. Usually huge turnouts for bands. You can sleep wherever space is available after the show.” - Joel Golden West Café 1105 West 36th Street Baltimore, MD www.goldenwestcafe.com/ Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Golden West, a small café, has quickly become one of the hippest spots for touring and local bands to play. One of the benefits of playing there is that they serve a complete menu and bands get a discount on food. 100 Capacity. All Ages. “Sort of a Baltimore punk mecca but hosts a lot of other shit. They have a show pretty much every night, crowd isn’t necessarily huge unless you can bring them in personally. Otherwise its main draw for people is the bar. That said it’s a hip place for people to be and be seen, and like I said in the punk scene it’s absolutely essential. Each time I’ve played there our band has made around 40 bucks, which isn’t a ton but whatevs. If you’re headlining you make more. The stage is a little weird--it’s not much of one actually and it has a sort of lower extension/platform in front. It’s popular for punk shows I think because the low height and protruding nature of the stage encourages audience/band interaction. Pretty intimate in that regard. Sound is basic--they’ve never mic’ed an amp that I’ve seen, and they usually only mic up the kick drum and vocals, so have a strong enough backline to play to a smallish restaurant. Staff there is really great and nice, laid back as hell. The pace and order of the show is pretty much totally up to the bands.” – Joel “Good food, and lots of people show up. Draws standard hipster crowd.” – Chris. MICA: Maryland Institute College of Art 1300 W. Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland www.mica.edu/ Booking: Karol Martinez, Director of Student Activities, kmartinez @mica.edu The Maryland Institute College of Art is one of the premiere colleges in the area for graphic design, illustration, and other forms of visual art. It is no wonder that the college attracts artsy students who are also interested in music. Although it is not a real venue in the sense of the word, the college often hosts events for the students that include local and touring indie acts. “It’s not a consistent venue, but we’ve played there during their new student orientation day or some such event. They had tons of free hot dogs, sodas, and similar school buffet type things. The kids were essentially obligated to go, but it seemed like people had a blast.” – Chris Photographs: Paper Dragons at Charm City Art Space by Eldon Baldwin, The Copycat Building courtesy of CopyCat Project
The Windup Space 12 West North Avenue, Baltimore, MD www.thewindupspace.com/ Booking: email@example.com. Originally a bar, the Windup Space has been converted to a venue and art space – still with a bar. It hosts an eclectic lineup of acts, with burlesque one night, jazz another, and a punk band the next. Drinks are cheap and strong, and a small crowd of regulars will generally come out to the space just to see what is going on. The Windup is located in a somewhat sketchy part of Baltimore, so make sure you mind your surroundings and keep on eye on your equipment (don’t leave it in the van). The space opens up at 5pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays. The hours on Sunday and Monday vary. Make sure to write “Attn: Booking” in the subject line of the email as their email address tends to get full. Tuesdays are reserved for free jazz concerts. 21+. 200 Capacity.
Food Woodberry Kitchen - $$ 2010 Clipper Park Road #126, Baltimore, MD 410-464-8000 www.woodberrykitchen.com/ Woodberry Kitchen provides patrons with a taste of the region, featuring Chesapeake Bay favorites and seasonal foods from local growers. Their extensive dessert menu is sure to appeal to those with a sweet tooth. Great food does come with a price. Woodberry Kitchen’s prices are not good for an everyday meal. It is best visited it for a special occasion, a celebration, or after a particularly lucrative show. Still, don’t write it off. Visitors from all over the East Coast visit Baltimore in order to try their food. “It’s actually a little bit of a drive outside the city but it’s FANTASTIC!” – Wes “You’re gonna need a reservation to get in. Be prepared to drop some dough there too.” – Joel University Mini Mart - $ p 3230 Saint Paul St, Baltimore, MD 410-366-6630 The University Mini Mart – part convenience store and part take out – is open 24 hours and is the place to go for a late night snack. They offer a small selection of sandwiches to order including chicken Parmesan and falafel hummus in addition to snacks such as mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, etc. They also sell a variety of things you may want or need such as lighters, energy drinks, toothpaste, and various convenience store knick knacks. “Go to Unimart and get a Shawarma. It’s great.” – Joel Never On Sunday - $ p 829 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 410-727-7191 Based on its name, you could guess that Never On Sunday is never open on Sunday. However, they more than make up for the closing with the rest of their hours. They are open until 11pm on weeknights and 3am on weekends. They serve patrons pizza, gyros, subs, wraps, salads, sandwiches, and other Greek-American favorites. The prices also are friendly for a touring band wallet. A sandwich will only run you $4 to $6 dollars. “Super cheap” – Wes
Food Key: $ - Cheap Eats (meal under $5) $$ - Place to eat if you have disposible money - Good for breakfast Y - Vegan or Vegetarian p - Open Late (Midnight and later) d- Does call in/carry out
Pete’s Grille - 3130 Greenmount Avenue, Baltimore, MD 410-467-7698 http://www.facebook.com/petesgrille The winner of Baltimore Magazines “Best of Baltimore – Breakfast” Award. Pete’s Grille, “Pete’s”, in Waverly is a notoriously good breakfast and brunch diner. The service is fast once you get a seat, even though it is almost always busy. However, if you’re going on the weekends get there early or be prepared to have a wait to be seated. Also make sure to take note of the hours. Pete’s specializes in breakfast only, so they close between 1pm and 2pm depending on the day of the week. “They close at like 2pm or something but it’s delicious.” – Joel Bohemian Coffee House - $ pY 1821 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 410-400-0022 www.bmorebohemian.com Bohemian Coffee House is a locally owned and operated business that serves food in addition to coffee, tea, milkshakes, and freshly squeezed juices. The prices are inexpensive and one can get a breakfast sandwich with various toppings for $4 or less. The menu is small but solid and is often cooked fresh as you order. The shop brags about a great vintage ambience including a record player in the corner. Although it closes at 10pm most days, it is open until 3am on Friday and Saturday. “This place was North of the Copycat, and it is in fact the right place, they have awesome vegan food. Once when I went there was a jazz trio playing, but I think they were having a band practice. Being that’s the case, you can see what an excellent laid-back vibe there is at this place.” – Chris Sweet Sin Bakery/Sweet 27 - Y 123 W 27th St, Baltimore, MD 410-464-7211 www.sweetsinbakery.net/ Gluten Free Desserts abound at Sweet Sin Bakery and Sweet 27 restaurant. Their website states that they try to provide a “healthy, gluten-free, and healthy alternative to fast food”. All foods made there are completely gluten free. Many also are vegan friendly and do not contain any animal products. Sweet Sin is not just a place to get desserts, they also have a menu containing pizza, tacos, meat bowl, veggie bowls, and soups. Their commitment to gluten free and vegetarian food remains in these dishes as well. Anyone with dietary restrictions will find something to eat here. All of their dishes can be made with a dairy-free cheese substitute. The food is made fresh and is flavorful even to those without dietary restrictions. “Sweet Sin is a Gluten Free restaurant and it’s surprisingly good.” – Joel Station North Arts Café Gallery - $ Y 1816 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 410)-625-6440 www.stationnortharts.com/ The Station North Arts Café Gallery brags about not only be a café, but also “where food, art, music, theater and fine crafts come together. “ The café often has art exhibits, photography, and crafts for sale. They open early every day and cater to the breakfast crowd. Make sure to wake up if you plan to go here because they close at 3pm. The owners make a huge effort to be friendly and helpful to customers. They serve dishes such as the Belgian waffle platter and what they claim to be Charles Street’s best hot dogs. “Run by a friendly couple who are super accommodating. I asked for vegan options and they created some for me. Additionally, all my non-vegan friends enjoyed all forms of excellent carcass-laden, chicken period based breakfast meals as well.” – Chris Photographs: Woodberry Kitchen by Jennifer Yin, Never On Sunday by Dion Hinchcliffe, Pete’s Grille by Bryan Costin
China House Restaurant - $ p 1256 East North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 410-235-4599 Cheap and greasy Chinese is on the menu at China House Restaurant. It is a typical inner-city Chinese takeout joint without actual seating or a restaurant, just an order counter. It’s the place to go if it’s the middle of the night and you want down and dirty Chinese food to fulfill a hankering. “This place was a little ways north east of the Copycat. It was nasty food, but if you’re jonesing for a Cheesesteak Eggroll at 1am this is your spot.” – Chris Paper Moon Diner - $ pY 227 West 29th Street ,Baltimore, MD 410-889-4444 http://www.papermoondiner24.com/ Paper Moon Diner is not the kind of place that is easy to miss. Painted an explosion of colors, Paper Moon Diner’s walls are covered with weird toy parts, psychedelic art, and other strange décor. They offer a wide selection of diner food in addition to an extensive vegetarian menu. The diner is open until midnight on weeknights and 2am on the weekend. “Good and open pretty late” – Joel
Relaxation and Fun The Inner Harbor http://baltimore.org/about-baltimore/inner-harbor/ The Inner Harbor is a historic seaport on the Chesapeake Bay. The Inner Harbor is the site of Camden Yards, the Baltimore Convention Center, the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, the Baltimore Visitors’ Center, and many museums including the Baltimore Museum of Industry, the Jewish Museum of Maryland, and the Sports Legends Museum. It is a hot spot of Baltimore nightlife and has streets full of bars, restaurants, and shopping. If it’s a nice day, you can take some time to go out on the bay in a dragon paddleboat. “The Harbor area is nice and you can definitely head down to Little Italy and Fell’s Point” – Wes Bill’s Music 743 Frederick Road, Catonsville, MD 410-747-1900 www.billsmusiconline.com/ Bill’s Music is actually about 15 minutes outside of Baltimore, but it is the place most recommended for instrument repairs by Baltimore musicians. The employees are prepared to actually listen to your needs and provide you with the most efficient and budget-friendly solution. They also have a large stock of instrument supplies and trade, buy, and sell instruments. Holy Frijoles 908 West 36th Street, Baltimore, MD 410-235-2326 www.holyfrijoles.net/ Serving up Mexican snacks in addition to margaritas and beers, Holy Frijoles is grungy, yet tasty and cheap. It’s not a coincidence that the last four numbers in their phone number spell “bean”. That is the translation of the Spanish word “frijoles”. It is a very relaxed and casual atmosphere, so you shouldn’t feel out of place heading over still sweaty and dressed down after a gig. “Holy Frijoles has good daily specials.” – Joel An Die Musik 409 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 410-385-2638 andiemusiklive.com/ An Die Musik, a boutique used and new record store, is anything but small. With a 8,000 sq ft store, An Die Musik carries over 20,000 CDs, 3,000 cassettes, and an ever rotating selection of vinyl. The owner, a former biochemistry researcher at John’s Hopkins University brings his love of research to the music world. He enjoys helping people find the music that is right for them, be it through his own personal recommendations, research of the genre or band, or tracking down and ordering an obscure recording. The store also offers seven listening areas outfitted with CD, tape, and record players so that patrons can listen to any album in the store before purchasing it. One thing you won’t find at An Die Musik is the pretentious record store clerk who is too cool to help you out. Stop in if you’re in the mood for some personal charm.
Baltimore Museum of Art 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, MD 443-573-1700 www.artbma.org/ The Baltimore Museum of Art houses a collection of 19th-Century, modern, and contemporary art. It has 90,000 works of art and has the largest collection of Henri Matisse paintings in the world. The collections at the museum include African art, American art, Antioch mosaics, art of the Ancient Americas, art of the Pacific Islands, Asian art, and European art. The gem in the museum’s collections is the Cone Collection, gathered together by the Baltimore Cone sisters. It includes pieces by Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Renoir. “The Baltimore Museum of Art, as well as the Walters Museum are free if you like art.” – Joel Ted’s Musician Shop 11 East Centre Street, Baltimore, MD 410-685-4198 http://www.wix.com/tedsmusiciansshop/tedsmusiciansshop#! Ted’s is your run-of-the-mill instrument supply shop. Because it is located right next to Peabody Conservatory, they carry a large supply of band and orchestra instruments and their supplies. Still, they carry a small selection of guitar and bass accessories and supplies, and they will repair instruments as well. If you have specialty instruments in your band, Ted’s would be the place to find supplies for instruments not commonly found in rock or popular music. The Sound Garden 1616 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD 410-563-9011 www.cdjoint.com/ Recently, Rolling Stone Magazine rated the Sound Garden as their second favorite record store in the United States. This award is not unearned! The Sound Garden carries a wide variety of used CDs and tapes that are well organized, interesting, and perfect for browsing. The wide selection means that you can find mainstream artists next to indie artists next to artists you have never heard of. It isn’t difficult to find music to please everyone at this store. In addition to music, the Sound Garden also carries used DVDs, Blu-Rays, and video games. Their discount movie section is the perfect place to get that weird film to pass a few hours in the car. The store is open until 10pm on weeknights and midnight on the weekend. “There’s a really good used record store in Fells Point called The Sound Garden. They have a lot of stuff.” – Joel Max’s Taphouse 737 South Broadway, Baltimore, MD 410-675-6297 maxs.com/ Max’s Taphouse is rated the 14th best beer bar in the world, and it’s no mystery why. They offer a huge selection of beers with 80 on tap and over 1200 bottles. They also have an extensive menu of chip dips, fries, and other bar snacks with twists. It gets crowded on the weekends so your best bet to sit with a large group is to go during the weeknights. On Monday evenings they give a $1 off drafts, Tuesdays are exotic beer tasting nights, Thursdays are Quizzo, and Fridays have multiple happy hour specials. “Hugeeeeeeee beer selection--dozens on tap and hundreds in the bottle” – Joel The Charles Theater 1711 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 410-727-3456 www.thecharles.com/ Have a few hours to kill and not much money to spend? Head over to the Charles to see a movie. The Charles has a long history, first as a cable car house, then as a library for the blind, then a ballroom, and later an all newsreel movie house. The theater has now been expanded to four screens and shows a variety of indie films, documentaries, and cult classics. “Go see a movie at The Charles. It’s a fabulous arthouse theater.” – Joel Photographs: Baltimore Musuem of Art by Iracaz
Boston, MA It makes sense that one of the oldest cities in the United States has a long music history as well. From the Boston Pops to Aerosmith to The Pixies, the city birthed a wide range of musicians and genres. In the 1980s and 1990s, it became a center for indie rock, college rock, and post-punk. The Cars, Mission to Burma, The Lemonheads, and Swirlies have all called the city home. Boston is also home to Berklee College and the New England Conservatory which are some of the most famous music schools in the United States.Phot.ograph by Nick Leford Venues and Spaces Yes. Oui. Si. Space 19 Vancouver St., Boston, MA Booking: Yes@yesouisispace.com http://yesouisispace.com Yes Oui Si is a exhibition space located on the Avenue of the Arts in Boston. “This space is the bomb. The goal of the space is to provide young people with a place to showcase their artistic talents. Artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs who are dedicated to helping the Boston art scene run the space. All Ages. “It’s run by really wonderful people who really seriously care about local music and helping artists and performers in a DIY fashion. Bands get at least 50% of the door; it depends on who’s booked the show. If it’s just a person (vs. an organization) booking, they’ll likely go home with more. This venue draws a lot of people who are both active in and passionate about the DIY scene in Boston. It’s a great place to have a good time and network your pants off. Be aware: they usually have to end shows by 11. But that ain’t no thang. This is easily one of the best DIY spots in Boston.” – Laura Jane Brubaker, manager, The Hollywood Tears Middle East Upstairs 472 - 480 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org www.mideastclub.com/ The Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub has been a fixture in Boston since its inception in 1974. In 1987, the restaurant officially began hosting musical acts, dividing the club into an upstairs room and a larger downstairs room. It’s become a hot spot for Berklee bands, but also caters to a variety of musical styles and musicians. “The Middle East Upstairs is the smaller counterpart to its subterranean cousin, the Middle East Downstairs. This is a solid place to play and see shows. It’s dark and close and has a bar, and bands can hang around for a while after, selling merch and hobnobbing. Check out their website for booking deets.” – Laura Jane Brubaker
Great Scott 1222 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA Booking: email@example.com http://www.greatscottboston.com/ Great Scott hosts a wide variety of music and DJ acts, priding themselves in the diversity of genres that they host at the club. Bands get a flat drink discount. All bands who play at Great Scott will either need to provide a social security number or sign a tax form in order to get paid. “This is Allston’s go-to grimy dive venue. They host everything from tiny little just-out-of-college bands to larger acts like Yellow Ostrich to rock workshops and the like. Everyone in Allston (Boston’s westernmost neighborhood) knows the Great Scott. It’s definitely a good spot to check out, and you’ll definitely find a place to crash in the area if you ask the right people.” – Laura Jane Brubaker Gay Gardens Greylock St, Boston, MA Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Gay Gardens hosts house shows and DIY events. Because all of the events are thrown by the people living in the house, most of the information is kept under wraps and spread by word of mouth. All Ages. “This is a really excellent house filled with quite lovely people. They do a wide variety of shows and they draw all sorts of people. They’re based on more or less of a punk aesthete, so they won’t charge at the door but they will let you do a donations bucket and you keep 100%. This house is in the Allston neighborhood, which is stocked with loads of DIY venues and people who are always open to having bands crash, so if you really needed a place to stay, I’m sure you’d only have to ask them to put you in touch with people and they’d love to do so. You can play in the basement here (which is a nice spot; they’ve got their own PA) or, if it’s a smaller show, in the living room. There’s a slide!” – Laura Jane Brubaker Radio 379 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA Booking: email@example.com http://radiobarunion.com/ Radio, a small bar in Somerville, opened when the two owners lost their jobs in the recession. Since it’s opening in October 2011, it has been going strong. Shows happen on the second floor of the bar. 21+. “I haven’t been here, but this is a newer spot that just won “best rock venue, small” in the Boston Phoenix’s Best of Boston 2012. Here’s what they say: Even before newkid-on-the-block Radio opened its doors last fall, Union Square was already lined with live-music venues. So now, with this welcome addition, the area seems primed to become one of Boston’s loudest and liveliest ‘hoods. Radio rules because it’s the type of upscale-meets-dive-bar spot that pretty much anyone can vibe at. Your pseudo-professional sister might sip an original cocktail served in a mason jar (and mixed by this year’s Best Bartender, Josh Banville), while your perpetually penniless pal imbibes a $3 Pabst. Add some raucous local rock to the mix, and you’ll be wondering why you ever hang out anywhere else.” – Laura Jane Brubaker All Asia 332 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA Booking: Marc, firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.allasiabar.com/ All Asia hosts shows every night of the week, and tends to have different genres playing in the same lineup. Prime time slots are usually earned by merit or by playing at the venue previously, but other than that the venue says that “anyone can get a booking at All Asia.” Shows can be all ages, however those under 21 may have to pay extra at the door. “This is a nice venue that does TONS of local music and smaller touring acts. They’re low key and chill and draw an eclectic crowd. They’re right on Mass Ave in Cambridge, which is also home to venues like the Middle East and TT the Bears. It’s a cool spot in a neat area, and they even have this helpful little page for booking tips: http://www.allasiabar.com/booking_policies.html” - Laura Jane Brubaker Photographs: The Middle East by Christopher Schmidt, Wye Oak at Great Scott by Brad Searles
Food Twin Donuts - $ 501 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02134 617-254-942 Twin Donuts was opened in 1959, and quickly gained popularity. In the 60s, they began to franchise in the Boston area. Donuts and bagels only cost 75c each at Twin Donuts and they come in a variety of types. In addition, you can get breakfast sandwiches and coffee at prices comparable to IHOP or Dunken Donuts (but of a much better quality). The shop closes at 4pm on weekends and 5pm on weekdays, although it opens at 4am every day if you’ve foregone sleep for the night. The downside to these hours are that some varieties of donuts are already sold out by 6am. “If you’re up super early for some reason, Twin Donuts (at Cambridge and Brighton) is well worth the lost sleep.” – Laura Jane Brubaker Allston Diner - Y 431 Cambridge Street, Allston, MA 617-208-8741 allstondiner.com/ Allston Diner serves traditional diner fare. However, they also are diet-conscious and have a menu that caters to all types of dietary restrictions including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free. Like any diner, they serve breakfast all day. Make sure to try some of their specials such as the Nutella Garden (nutella, peanut butter, bananas, strawberries, and whipped cream sandwiched between two pancakes) and ‘the ultimate vegan breakfast’ (fofu scramble with up up to 3 fillings, with side of soysage, home fries, and choice of toast). “If you’ve got a bunch of hungry vegans or have slightly more cash to throw around, you can get awesome food with rad vegan options at the Allston Diner, which is around 10 bucks per entree, give or take.” – Laura Jane Brubaker Grasshopper -Yd 1 North Beacon St Allston, MA 02134 617-254-8883 grasshoppervegan.com/ If searching for good Chinese food, look no further than Grasshopper. The restaurant specializes in vegetarian Chinese food, but has gotten rave reviews from both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The pricing is reasonable with most entrees not rising about $10, and the portions are large enough that you will probably be taking some home. “Grasshopper (right down the street from the Allston diner; both on Cambridge St) does an orgasmic breakfast buffet on Sundays.” – Laura Jane Brubaker Steve’s Greek Cuisine - d 316 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 617- 267-1817 www.stevesgreekcuisine.com/ Steve’s serves healthy Greek cuisine as well as soups, salads, and breakfast items. Steve’s specialty breakfast is two pancakes or French toast with two eggs and a side of meat – all for only $7! You can send a carryout order through their website, and they offer an extra 10% discount to any carryout order done online. “If you stay the night in Allston and wake up all hung over and whatnot, you have no option but to follow through in the full Allston experience and hit up Steve’s on Harvard Ave for breakfast. It’s cheap, they have all the breakfast staples, and the baklava is awesome, sweet as the little Greek lady who runs it.” – Laura Jane Brubaker
Food Key: $ - Cheap Eats (meal under $5) $$ - Place to eat if you have disposible money - Good for breakfast Y - Vegan or Vegetarian p - Open Late (Midnight and later) d- Does call in/carry out
Dok Bua 411 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA 02446 617-232-2955 www.dokbua-thai.com/ The menu at Dok Bua is 100% authentic Thai food, no Thai-American fusion. The food is on par with that you would receive in Thailand (rather than Thai-American fusion), and includes genuine Thai desserts. Vegetarian items are clearly noted on the menu and are plentiful. Try the country red curry to clear out your sinuses and for an instant hangover cure. “Check out Dok Bua for AMAZING (and reasonably priced) Thai. It’s on Harvard Ave, you just have to keep going a little bit into Brookline to get there.” – Laura Jane Brubaker Piece ‘O Pie - Yd 487 Cambridge St Allston, MA 02134 617-787-9884 peaceopie.com/ Piece ‘O Pie is a vegan owned and operated restaurant that uses and sources strictly vegan ingredients. In addition, they avoid refined sugars, use biodegradable packaging, and use eco-friendly building materials and energy sources in their establishment. You can either get slices (the types depend on the day you visit) or an entire pie. They offer vegan cheese as well as cheese-free pizzas, and have a number of exotic pizza types, including ghost chili, mango, and bbq . They also serve calzones if you don’t have enough people for an entire pizza or aren’t digging the slices they have that day. If you have enough room after the pizza, they carry a whole line of vegan desserts as well. After 10pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, they have a “reverse happy hour” where when you buy any pizza, you get a second one for free. Avana Sushi - $$ 42 Beach Street, Boston, MA 617-818-7782 Avana is a no-frills sushi stop, located in Chinatown. They only have about six seats around a counter, so you may have to do take out if it is crowded. However, Avana has fresh fish and creative sushi combinations. In addition, the owners are friendly and will often throw in free rolls or drinks. It’s cash only, so hit up an ATM before you go. “The best sushi I’ve ever had is this little place called Avana in Chinatown. It’s inside this business center sort of thing, on Harrison and Beach (42 Beach). You have to go in and it’s behind the Metro PCS stand. They don’t have a lot of room, but they’re cheap and fresh fish, and lovely people.” – Laura Jane Brubaker Refuge Cafe 155 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA http://therefugecafe.com This corner café specializes in fair trade coffee, ice cream, sandwiches, and local micro brews. Customers can use free wifi while browsing the local art for sale on the walls. The atmosphere is very laid back, but that can mean it will take a while to get your order, so don’t go if you are in a rush. They serve an assortment of sandwiches that tend to rotate in and out. “Refuge Cafe (at Harvard and Brighton) has a good vegan breakfast burrito.” - Laura Jane Brubaker VEGAN Photographs: Twin Donuts by Lydia Chow, Greek fries from Steve’s Greek Cuisine by Cherry Let, Dok Bua by Ed Kopp
Fun and Relaxation Emerald Necklace System Parks 125 The Fenway, Boston, MA 617-522-2700 www.emeraldnecklace.org/ The Emerald Necklace was the original plan of Boston parks created in 1894, all linked by waterways. The system got its name because of it’s necklace shape and they way it appears to “hang” from the neck of the Boston peninsula. All of the parks are free and play host to a number of plant and animal conservancy projects within the city. The string of parks is about seven miles by foot and is a popular place for joggers and walkers. Boston Common Tremont Street at Boylston Street, Boston, MA 617- 720-5557 www.cityofboston.gov/freedomtrail/bostoncommon.asp Boston Common is a large central park in Boston that is part of the Emerald Necklace. It is the starting point of the Freedom Trail (mentioned later in the guide) and is almost 50 acres in size. The Common has been used for a number of purposes throughout history including speeches, hangings, weddings, protests, and cattle grazing land. During present day, there are still a number of things to do in the park. The frog pond in the common is used for ice skating in the winter and swimming in the summer. A bandstand in the eastern part is used for public musical and theatrical productions. If you stop by, it is likely that you’ll find pick up sports games, picnics, and loungers. Public Garden 51 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 617-723-8144 friendsofthepublicgarden.org The Public Garden is a large park located in the heart of Boston, adjacent to Boston Common. The park has a variety of formal plantings that are maintained by the city and vary depending on the season. Over 80 species of plants are cultivated in the park. The lake located in the garden is the home of swans (the two current residents are named Romeo and Juliet) and swan-shaped pedal boats that can be taken out into the water. The park also houses a number of statues and sitting areas for visitors. ZuZu Bar 474 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 617-864-3278 zuzubar.com/ ZuZu Bar is the slightly swankier branch of the Middle East Restauarants and Bars. Like its relatives, it serves Middle Eastern cuisine, but is more concentrated on DJ and dance nights than live acts. They often host dance parties such as “Psychotic Reaction” (mod and garage), “Rude Sounds” (ska, reggae, and rocksteady), “Soulelujah” (soul and funk), and decades theme nights. On the weekends it is generally crowded, but not over-packed, and the patrons are enthusiastic and ready to dance.
Freedom Trail 99 Chauncy St # 401, Boston, MA 617-357-8300 www.thefreedomtrail.org/ The Freedom Trail is a part of the Boston National Historic Parks. It is a 2.5 mile train that leads to 16 significant historical sites in the city. The visitor center on State Street provides you with a map and guide to the sights. The trail is marked through the city by a red line on the ground, sometimes painted and sometimes in brick. Simple ground markers explaining events are posted at every stop. The actual Freedom Trail is free as well as the majority of stops along the way. The official trail sights include Boston Common, Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, King’s Chapel, Kings Chapel Burying Ground, Ben Franklin statue, Old Corner Bookstore, Old South Meeting House, Old State House, sight of the Boston Massacre, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Bunker Hill Monument, and USS Constitution. Aquarium Wharf 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 617-973-5200 www.neaq.org/ The wharf outside of the New England Aquarium is not only free, but a nice place to relax during the day. Located outside on the wharf is a tank full of harbor seals, and you don’t need to pay admission to see them. LED lights line a section of the wharf called the “Harbor Walk” which provides interesting ambience. Picnic tables are scattered throughout so it’s a good place to bring your lunch. “Hit up the aquarium wharf to say hi to the seals.” – Laura Jane Brubaker Mr. Music 128 Harvard Avenue, Boston, MA 617-783-1609 www.mrmusicboston.com Mr. Music first opened in 1972, specializing in acoustic guitars, basses, and vintage and collectible gear and amps. However, they also stock a number of other instruments including drums, harmonicas, banjos, and ukuleles. They do repairs for guitars and amps, and on their website they provide a phone number and email for “emergency repairs”. “Mr. Music in Allston is what’s up in terms of music supplies. They might also do repairs; I don’t know. But certainly they offer that home-spun Allston Rock City charm with know-how and loads of gear. Everything’s always out of tune, but whatever. It’s definitely a neighborhood staple.” – Laura Jane Brubaker Silhouette Lounge 200 Brighton Avenue, Allston, MA 617-206-4565 The money you save on Silhouette’s inexpensive drink prices can be spent on their jukebox, boasting a variety of different artists. Although they only have basic beers, they also have darts and old arcade games. Leave your jacket in the van as the lounge gets crowded and therefore very hot. They don’t serve any food but are ok with you bringing your own in. They do give out free popcorn but drinks are cash only! Photographs: Boston Common by Corinne Rhode, Public Garden by BIll Ilott, Freedom Trail Marker by Michael Runn
Newbury Comics 332 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 617-236-4930 www.newburycomics.com Newbury Comics originally opened in 1978 as a place for two MIT grads to sell comic books to local students. Since then, it has expanded into twenty-nine other stores in the New England area, and the flagship has become one of the most visited stores on the East Coast. No longer specializing just in comics, it carries a wide selection of music, vinyl, clothing, posters, collectables, and toys. You can also find gag gifts and an assortment of oddities that make Newbury Comics a great place to window shop and browse. The store has had a number of notable employees including members of Piebald, The Click Five, Harry and the Potters, and Aimee Man. It is one of the Boston pop culture landmarks that cannot be missed! Quincy Market 4 S Market St, Boston, MA 617-523-1300 Quincy Market is a historic building in downtown Boston that was built in 1824. It serves as an indoor space for vendor stalls selling groceries, fast-food, and restaurants. It is a popular space for lunch breaks of downtown workers, partially because of the vast variety found there. In addition to food, you also can find bags, jewelry, hats, sunglasses, and souvenirs. A few big-name stores operate around the market such as GAP. It takes a great will-power to walk through Quincy Market and not purchase anything, because of its sheer size and amount of variety. In addition, you often can see street performers outside. Every Wednesday, Quincy Market has their International Food festival where you can sample foods from vendors with a “Taste of Quincy Market” sign. You can get enough tastes of food from the number of participating vendors to have a nice free lunch. Deep Ellum 477 Cambridge Street, Allston, MA 617-787-2337 www.deepellum-boston.com/ Specializing in craft beer, cask beer, and classic cocktails, Deep Ellum takes it’s name from a district in Dallas known for music and art. You won’t find any neon sugary drinks here, as they stick to classic (yet rarely advertised at bar) liquor cocktails. They even carry a selection of wine including mead and honey wine. Their menu includes vegetarian options (make sure to try the pretzels and beer cheese). It is located behind a Walgreens and can be difficult to see from the street depending on where you are coming from. “Class and good drinks” – Laura Jane Brubaker
Other Tips “Be aware that public transportation in Boston stops around midnight. “Check the Boston Counter-Cultural Compass (bostoncccompass.com). The BCCC is an awesome zine that lists boatloads of DIY shows in the Boson area every month. Anywhere listed on the Compass is worth checking out for a solid DIY/basement show. Try getting in touch with the Compass directly to see if they can put you in touch with any of the venues listed or just give you a hand. ALSO for help promoting DIY shows, definitely get in touch with allstonpudding.com in addition to the Compass.” “There are a TON of co-ops in Boston. Try getting in touch with the Boston Counter-Cultural Compass for more info here.” Photographs: Newbury Comics by Seamus Walsh, Boston by Geof Wilson
Harrisonburg, VA Although Harrisonburg may not be a city that many could point out on a map, it is quickly gaining popularity with touring indie acts. For the past fifteen years, Harrisonburg has played host to the Mid-Atlantic College Radio Conference, which isa multi-day music festival and panel event. The festival has brought in acts as large as Elliot Smith and Animal Collective in addition to hundreds of local and smaller touring acts. The location of James Madison University in the city makes it a great stopping point for bands all year round. Photograph Public Domain
Venues and Spaces The Gay Dolphin Gift Cove 1xx N. High St, Harrisonburg, VA 22802 Booking: Vincent Castellano, email@example.com The unique name does not refer to the store in Myrtle Beach, SC that claims to be “the nation’s largest gift shop”. Instead, The Gay Dolphin Gift Cove has been appropriated to a house venue in this Virginia town. All Ages. “This is a great house show venue that’s had a solid attendance each time they’ve had a show (they’ve had probably 5 there, most with at least one touring band). The 3 times I’ve played there, we collected at least $25 each for touring bands. Not much, but people are usually willing to donate and/or buy merch in Harrisonburg. My friend Vincent lives there and is always looking to get shows together. He’s a good guy too and he’ll put up a band for a night for sure.” – Anonymous. “This is really just a house show venue where my friends Vincent and Gabe live. The reason I chose it as #1 DIY venue though is because each show that’s been held there since the summer (4 or 5) has raised at least $30 for touring band(s) and had a good and enthusiastic draw. Bands can sleep there, Vincent and Gabe are super nice and shows there are always fun.” - Anonymous Downtown Music 34 34 South Main St, Harrisonburg, VA http://downtownmusic34.blogspot.com/ Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org, booking@ dm34.net Downtown Music 34 is one of the newest additions to Harrisonburg Venues. During the day it serves as a musical instrument store, selling and renting instruments, providing practice space for musicians, and recording local bands. At night, a moveable stage and complete sound and lights setup is quickly put together for shows. Pay is generally a 50/50 door split with the venue’s 50% covering sound, lighting, and security. All Ages. 250 Capacity.
My Mansion 2xx W. Market St, Harrisonburg, VA Booking: Patrick Walsh, email@example.com Sometimes no venue can replace a down and dirty DIY show. If house shows are more your scene, get in contact with the friendly people at My Mansion. The residents are friendly and are all about helping out bands instead of making a profit. If you are looking for a show that is fun, energetic, and free of all the red tape that comes with performing at a traditional venue, this is the place to go. All Ages. “This is a house with a big, high-ceilinged show room that can fit a whole lot of people, and shows here often involve a lot of crowd surfing and debauchery. Patrick Walsh, who does the booking there, knows a lot of people, gets the job done and is a great contact for getting people excited about shows. Shows here often draw people, most of which are willing to donate and/or buy merch. Always a good time.”- Anonymous Blue Nile 181 North Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA bluenileva.com Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Upstairs, the Blue Nile may appear to be your average restaurant, serving Ethiopian food. However, with a trip downstairs you will find a music venue, a full service bar, and the location of many of Harrisonburg’s best shows. They offer Ethiopian-themed bar food downstairs at every event, including unique dishes such as Ethiopian Nachos – “Homemade tortillas fried and smothered with Keye Wat sauce, pico de gallo, guacamole, Mexican cheese, jalapeno relish, and Ayeb (house-made crumbled cheese)”. From 4pm-7pm daily, they have happy hour specials including half price pitchers. All day on Sunday they offer $1 sparkling cocktails and Bloody Marys. Blue Nile Mondays are reserved for trivia nights, so shows cannot occur then. 21+ or 18+. 153 Capacity. “The Blue Nile books shows almost every night of every style of music. Due to the super high frequency of shows there, you won’t always see a huge crowd, but it is quite easy to get shows there if you contact them a month or two in advance. Also, they collect a small cover charge for most shows, 100% of which goes to the bands, and each member of the band gets a drink ticket. Mark Finks does most of the booking and he’s a real nice guy.” - Anonymous Clementine Café 153 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA clementinecafe.com/ Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org The Clementine Café, a full-service restaurant and bar, has a reputation as being a quirky arts spot in the city. The Clementine brings a big-city bar-and-venue feel to a small town and are able to pull it off successfully. Numerous touring bands call the Clementine Café their favorite venue to perform at while in Harrisonburg. The venue employs professional soundmen and it is guaranteed that a show there will present the bands sounding their very best. They are currently only booking Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights unless the band has a known marquee draw. All Ages. 200 Capacity. “Very nice atmosphere, looks awesome, sounds good, the sound folk have always done a great job and have been very nice. The food is also quite good.” – Evan Bernard, Dangerous Ponies, Little Black Rainclouds, Bonjour Photographs: Dangerous Ponies at Downtown Music 34. Green Paper at My Mansion. All photos by Emily Cahill
Artful Dodger 47 Court Square, Harrisonburg, VA www.artfuldodger.org Booking: email@example.com When you see brightly colored murals against a brick building, you will know that you have arrived at the Artful Dodger. The coffee shop transforms from a quiet, yet wifi equipped, place to eat during the day to a lively nightlife spot. Some nights it functions as a singles/gay bar while others it hosts DJs, Karaoke, dancing, and bands. Thursday nights are reserved for salsa. The Arful Dodger also serves a vegetarian and vegan menu, so it is a good place to stop by and grab a bite to eat for those on special diets, even if there are not any shows happening there. 21+ Little Grill Collective 621 North Main St, Harrisonburg, VA http://littlegrillcollective.com Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org, attention: Joshua Vana The tiny little hole-in-the-wall café is perfect for solo or acoustic acts, or bands who are just starting out in the city and don’t have a gigantic draw. Bands who play at the Little Grill get paid with a tip bucket, but they also get free drinks and a free meal. All shows take place on Friday evenings at 8pm. 45 Capacity. All Ages.
Food Mr. J’s Bagels - $ Y 1731 S High St, Harrisonburg, VA 540-564-0416 www.mrjsbagels.com/ Mr. J’s offers a wide variety of bagels, spreads, deli meats, and anything else you’d want for an inexpensive and delicious breakfast or lunch. Some of their more interesting varieties include pumpkin, French toast, Asiago cheese, and sundried tomato bagels. For less than $2, you can get a bagel and one of their unique spreads such as olive cream cheese, honey walnut raisin cream cheese, or strawberry cream cheese. Breakfast sandwiches with egg, cheese, sausage, bacon, or ham can be made on any type of bagel. Big eaters can pair a sandwich with a breakfast platter, which can include home fries, biscuits, sausage, or ham. In addition to breakfast foods, Mr. J’s serves deli sandwiches, grilled sandwiches (such as the recommended Hawaiian – grilled ham, pineapple, cheddar cheese and bbq sauce), Food Key: and salads. “If you go to Mr. J’s, you have to get a bagel sandwich or one of their $ - Cheap Eats (meal under $5) cinnamon rolls. They are seriously the best!” – Anonymous $$ - Place to eat if you have disposible money - Good for breakfast Dave’s Downtown Taverna Y - Vegan or Vegetarian 121 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA p - Open Late (Midnight and later) 540-564-1487 d- Does call in/carry out www.davestaverna.com/ The layout of Dave’s Downtown Taverna gives patrons a unique dining experience. Located in a historic civil war building, patrons can eat on the second floor balcony, or sit in the rooftop dining area and look out over the city when the weather permits. Free wifi allows customers to browse their email (and perhaps check up on your band’s gig) while dining. Dave’s serves gigantic hamburgers and flatbread pizzas with almost any theme you could want. If you are touring in the winter, warm up with one of Dave’s signature, homemade soups. The restaurant also offers great happy hour specials including greatly discounted beer pitchers.
Arepera Las Chamas - $ Y 50 S Mason St # 120, Harrisonburg, VA 540-434-2020 http://www.laschamasrestaurant.com/ It’s rare to find genuine Caribbean food, so it may be a surprise to many to find a genuine, delicious, a cheap Caribbean restaurant in downtown Harrisonburg. Arepera Las Chamas serves traditional Venezuelan food, the nationality of the owners, as well as Colombian, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican foods. Don’t be afraid of the tacos, sandwiches, and arepas (cornmeal bread stuffed with meat or vegetable fillings) that contain ingredients you’ve never heard of. Arepera Las Chamas is a great place to experiment and jump in head first, because all of the menu items are delicious and affordable. The employees are extremely friendly and willing to explain the dishes to you. They also offer vegetarian menu items that can easily be modified to suit vegan diets. Freshly made fruit juice and smoothies are made from unusual flavors such as mango, melon, tomato, guayava, guanabana, mora, avena, and lechoza as well as traditional fruit flavors. Taste of Thai - $$Y 917 South High Street, Harrisonburg, VA 540-801-8878 www.taste-of-thai.com/ The portions are huge at Taste of Thai, so be prepared to find a fridge in order to keep leftovers. Taste of Thai offers the classic Thai dishes such as curries, noodles, fried rice, soups, and seafood. They also have a complete vegetarian menu that includes vegetarian versions of popular dishes as well as special vegetarian dishes such as spicy tofu and mixed vegetables with bean thread noodles. A Bowl of Good Café - Y 831 Mt Clinton Pike, Harrisonburg, VA 540-437-9020 A Bowl of Good Café prides themselves on only using fresh, organic, ingredients from local producers. They also use a sustainable business practice and do their best to include environmentally friendly practices in their business. It was recently voted the best restaurant to take your family to in the Shenandoah Valley. Their menu is divided into three categories – breakfast in a bowl, meals in a bowl, and other good things (which include items such as soup). The lunch hour tends to get packed and backed up, so get in early or late for lunch, otherwise be prepared to wait. “I love the tea drninks at A Bowl of Good. They have hibiscus iced tea which I’ve never seen anywhere else and coconut limeade!” – Anonymous Photographs: Mr. J’s Bagels by Dmal, Dave’s Downtown Taverna by Renee, Taste of Thai Dish by Somanna M
Pit Stop Queen City Brewing 834 Springhill Rd, Staunton, VA 540-213-8014 http://www.queencitybrewing.com/ About 20 minutes outside of Harrisonburg is Staunton, VA, the location of Queen City Brewing. Queen City Brewing is a microbrewery that opened immediately after the Prohibition Act was repealed. Visitors can take a tour of the brewing facilities that includes a beer tasting. Visitors who call ahead can even make an appointment to brew their own beer or vint their own wine. The brewery has over 60 recipes for beer for visitors to choose for brewing thier own beer, and one can make flavor adjustments to suit their own individual tastes.
Fun and Recreation Glen’s Fair Price Store 227 N. Main St. , Harrisonburg, VA 540-434-8272 http://glensfairprice.com/ Closed on Sundays. Glen’s Fair Price Store has been located in downtown Harrisonburg since 1941. Although the name sounds unassuming, it claims to be “Harrisonburg’s most unusual store” and “the kind of place you have to see to believe.” Inside the store there is professional photography equipment, vintage candy and pranks, thousands (yes, thousands) of Halloween costumes, and a toy store in the basement. Even if you aren’t in the market to buy, it’s easy to waste hours in Glen’s trying on costumes and taking pictures in various masks, wigs, and hats. Their wide selection of odd costume pieces and knick knacks are also the perfect place to pick up outfits for special events or other inexpensive, yet fun, items. Cosmic Debris 107 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 540-433-4733 Steve Cape, the owner of Cosmic Debris, was originally a Savannah, GA native who fell in love with the Shenandoah Valley during a visit. He had previously owned record stores in both Savannah and Athens. He decided to relocate and bring his passion for records to a new area. The store specializes in buying and selling used vinyl and CDs, and already has a selection of over 20,000. Because the owner is a passionate music fan, the store carries tons of different formats and genres. The prices are fair and the owner is also willing to trade your items for ones in the shop. The shop is located on the second floor of the building, above the Oasis Gallery. Guitar and Amp Center 1548 East Market Street, Harrisonburg, VA 540-434-7255 www.guitarandampcenter.com/ Guitar and Amp Center has been located in Harrisonburg for over 30 years. The store carries new and used guitars, basses, and amplifiers. The employees are friendly and are willing to troubleshoot any problems you may be having with your instruments, as well as repair them for reasonable prices. The music store also has a special and unexpected feature: a tiny museum of sorts. The Guitar and Amp Center houses the largest display of a personal collection of ukuleles in the entire world. On the walls one can see a large number of uniquely painted, carved, and shaped ukuleles. The store is closed on Sundays. Billy Jack’s Wing and Draft Shack 92 S Main St Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-1793 http://www.billyjacksshack.com Billy Jack’s Wing and Draft shack is the second creation of Harrisonburg restaurateurs who first founded Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint – located right down the street. Billy Jack’s offers an extensive beer selection at less expensive prices than Jack Brown’s. The bar carries over 100 varieties of craft beer and is conveniently located in the main stretch of Harrisonburg, within walking distance of most of the venues. “Some of the nights I go there, waitresses are walking around with cups of bacon strips as snacks. I can’t really think of anything much more awesome than bacon and beer.” - Anonymous Hillandale Park Off Route 42 South on Hillandale Ave, Harrisonburg, VA http://www.harrisonburgva.gov/parks Hillandale Park is one of the best places in Harrisonburg to spend a day playing games and engaging in activities that won’t cost you any money. Hillandale Park has a 1.3 mile hiking and biking path with exercise stations. The park also has facilities for various outside activities such as a playground, baseball field, basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, picnic shelters, horseshoe pitching areas, and a reproduction log cabin. As with all public parks in Harrisonburg, the park is open from 8am to 9pm. Photographs: Costume at Glen’s Fair Price Store, Harrisonburg house show. All photos by Emily Cahill
New York City, NY The lyrics from the old Sinatra song say that “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” Needless to say, there is hardley a larger, more diverse, or more saturated city musically on the East Coast. This means ample opportunities for any band touring through. The city is home to some of the most famous venues and musical institutions in US history including Tin Pan Alley, Rolling Stone Magazine, CBGB’s, Greenwich Villiage, Spin Magazine, Max’s Kansas City, and Studio 54. Phot.ograph Public Domain
Venues and Spaces Shea Stadium 20 Meadow St, Brooklyn, NY http://liveatsheastadium,.com/ Booking: email@example.com No, this is not the Shea Stadium that the Beatles famously played at. Instead, it is a small studio and showspace located in Brooklyn. “This place doubles as a recording studio so the sound is probably the best out of all DIY spaces in Brooklyn. Sound is comparable to some of the more notable venues in Manhattan. Same chill DIY crowd but it changes from show to show. Bands can make money off the door just ask at the end when they’ve counted all people.” - Rich San Luis, Blemishes. “Great sound for a DIY space - you actually get monitors! The sound is comparable to bigger venues. I think it’s run by the guys from So So Glos (or at least one of them lives there) since the closing of Market Hotel.” - Richard, Ghostless. All Ages. Death by Audio 49 S 2nd St, Brooklyn, NY http://www.entertainment4every1.net/ Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org, Edan Wilber Death by Audio is a DIY Warehouse space in Williamsburg owned and operated by the small guitar pedal company of the same name. The building functions as a recording studio and gear factory by day. “It’s as real as it gets here. It’s grimy as hell but the people who go are all chill. DBA also serves as their factory for the pedals and it’s where they live so you might get an Oliver Ackerman sighting and geek out on fx pedals with him. Book your show way in advance here because they’re typically booked 2 months in advance. You can make money from the door just like any venue as long as you bring enough people. For touring bands I think they offer a place to stay but you just have to ask. I live here so I’m not sure how that goes but I’ve known bands who’ve stayed at DBA when they were passing through NYC” - Rich San Luis. “Good vibes, lots of more punk/noise shows here, but generally all genres are welcome.” - Brian, Blemishes. 200 Capacity. All Ages.
Dead Herring 141 S 5th St #1E, Brooklyn, NY (between Bedford Ave & Driggs Ave) http://www.myspace.com/deadherringhouse Booking: http://www.facebook.com/DeadHerring One of many house venues located in Brooklyn, Dead Herring has hosted the smallest bands to names such as Vivien Girls. Because it is a residential house in addition to a show space, they usually only do about two shows a month and only on Fridays and Saturdays. All Ages. Brooklyn Fire Proof East 119 Ingraham St, Brooklyn, NY http://www.brooklynfireproof.com/ Booking: email@example.com Not to be confused with its sister bar, Brooklyn Fire Proof, BFP East is actually located in Brooklyn instead of Manhattan. The entrance is easily missed among the warehouse and industrial buildings that surround the area, but provides an ideal location for shows.The bar is seperated by the performance room, which keeps the frills to a minimum containing only a PA and a few old couches. Although the rooms are seperated, show walk-ins from the bar are common. 21+. Cake Shop 152 Ludlow St. New York, NY 212-253-0036 www.cake-shop.com Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org, Andy Bodor Cake Shop, a live music venue in Manhattan, is also a record store and not actually a bakery of any type. “Great sound for a small venue and you will be up close and personal with your crowd. Very intimate indeed. the venue is in the basement so make sure not to bring your KISS half stacks and go small. I always recommend going small for NY gigs because space is tight and you will be going up/down stairways.” - Rich San Luis “The sound is great and you can actually make some money from the door if you bring enough people.” - Richard, Ghostless. 180 Capacity. 21+. Pianos 158 Ludlow Street, New York, NY http://pianosnyc.com Booking: email@example.com Pianos, a small bar and venue, is located in the downtown area versus many similarly-sized venues in Brooklyn. The show room in this venue is located directly past the bar. The bar is often busy, so the walk-in crwod for shows is decent and the venue will help promote the show if materials are sent to them. In addtion to the showroom, Piano’s will also book shows in the upstairs lounge . Often the venue will host DJ or dance nights in addition to live bands. 166 Capacity. 21+. Mercury Lounge 217 E. Houston Street, New York, NY www.mercuryloungenyc.com Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org The Mercury Lounge is one of the many venues by Bowery Presents, the largest independent live music promoters in New York City. The building was once the servants quarters for the neighboring Astor Manor, and is still connected to the building by a series of underground tunnels. The venue boasts fantastic live sound for a Manhattan club of this size. In addition, they have hosted many large-name indie acts before they broke. 197 Capacity. 21+. Photographs: Telenovelas at Death by Audio, Fort Wilson Riot at Brooklyn Fire Proof East. All photos by Emily Cahill
Food Rub BBQ - $$ 208 W 23rd St. New York, NY 212-524-4300 http://www.rubbbq.net/ Rub BBQ, an abbreviaton for Righteous Urban Barbeque, is the place to stop if you are craving good bbq. The menu ranges from ribs, chicken, and steak to sandwhiches and fried tomatos. The portions are large and patrons are gauranteed not to leave hungry. Make sure to save room for deep-fried oreos, offered on the dessert menu. Red Bamboo - Yd 140 West 4th Street New York, NY 212-260-7049 www.redbamboo-nyc.com/ The Red Bamboo website states, “We at Red Bamboo are dedicated to your health through our commitment to excellent vegetarian cuisine. Red Bamboo focuses on creating unique and authentic vegan and vegetarian meals using the finest soy, gluten, fruit and vegetable products available.” The menu selection ranges from traditional Chinese food such as Lo Mein to contemporary American cusine such as a vegan “steakburger” and four “cheese” ravioli. Foodswings -Ypd 295 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 718-388-1919 http://www.foodswings.net/ Foodswings, the “Vegan Fast Food” restuarant located in Brooklyn, offers vegan versions of favorite diner foods. The menu includes items such as nachos, chicken nuggets, bbq wings, sliders, chili dogs, mac n’ cheese, and a variety of milkshake flavors - all of which are made without any animal products. The restauarant also stays open until 2am on the weekends and 12am on other nights.
Alligator Lounge - $ 600 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 718-599-4440 Although perhaps not the first place to come to mind when looking for a place to eat, insiders know that Alligator Lounge is an affordable options for musicians on a budget. “If you’re in Williamsburg go to Alligator Lounge on Metropolitan Ave just off Lorimer. If you get a pint, (which I’m sure you’ll be drinking anyway) you get a free pizza. Not a slice, but a whole cheese pizza for free!” - Rich San Luis Be warned, the Alligator Lounge is cash only!
Food Key: $ - Cheap Eats (meal under $5) $$ - Place to eat if you have disposible money - Good for breakfast Y - Vegan or Vegetarian p - Open Late (Midnight and later) d- Does call in/carry out
Lansky’s 235 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 212-787-0400 www.lanskysnyc.com/ Sometimes nothing hits the spot like a good sandwhich. Lansky’s Jewish Deli offers all of the deli classics - soups (including matzo ball), salads, and huge sandwiches. The gigantic portions make the deli a deal for the money. Occasionally they will host special events such as “boozy brunch”, where patrons get unlimited alcoholic beverages with their meals.
Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles Inc - $ 1 Doyers St # 1, New York, NY 212-791-1817 Located in Chinatown, Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles Inc offers various noodle soups for $4-$5 a bowl. A favorite Chinatown stop, it is also easy on the wallet! WilliamsBurger - $$ 342 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 718-486-6969 williamsburgernyc.com/ WilliamsBurger claims to have “Brooklyn’s Best Burger and Coldest Beer”. Although this is up to an individual’s opinion, what no one can argue with is that WilliamsBurger offers a wide selection of specialty burgers and sandwhiches as well as a good selection of beers, mixed drinks, and non-alcoholic beverages. The banana shake, jalapeno poppers, and sesame crusted yellow fin tuna burger are all reccomended by regulars. The Brooklyn Star - d 593 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY 718-599-9899 www.thebrooklynstar.com/ If you are craving southern cooking while touring up north, the Brooklyn Star is a great place to stop for a meal. If you’re having late night cravings, the restaurant will deliver until midnight. Slaw, cornbread, potato salad, buttermilk biscuits, sweet tea, and grits are all included on the menu. The restuarant also offers a family-style dining deal where large groups can pay a per-person fee to share a variety of dishes.
Vegetarian Paradise 2 - Yd 144 West 4th Street, New York, NY 212-260-7141 www.vp2-nyc.com/ Owned by the same family that owns Red Bamboo, Vegetarian Paradise offers a variety of vegetarian cuisine. In addition, they are willing to prepare food to any special dietary needs if you ask the staff when ordering. They also offer a special brunch menu for all of the not-so-early risers. Photographs: Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese and Drumsticks at Foodswings by Shira Golding, Lansky’s Deli courtesy of Lansky’s Deli Online, Chinatown NYC by Derek Jesnson released into public domain.
Pit Stop Shoreline Diner 345 Boston Post Road, Guilford, CT 203-458-7380 www.shorelinediner.com/ The Shoreline Diner is right off the exit of I-95, but is easily passed by because it isn’t visible from the interstate. It’s location along the highway is almost an exact halfway point between Boston and New York City, so it is an ideal rest location to get food and gear up for the rest of the drive. The diner bills itself as a “vegetarian enclave” and specializes in vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free traditional diner fare. Make sure to try the tempeh Reuben, or Mediterranean burger for the meat eaters. The diner opens at 7am and closes at midnight every day. Photograph by Caren Parmelee
Relaxation and Fun Whiskey River 575 2nd Ave, New York, NY 212-679-6799 Whiskey River is located close to NYU and is noted for its distinctive decor. The bar atempts to recreate a cabin-in-the-woods feel in the center of the city, and is complete with skis, fishing gear, and antlers. Although a little divey, the bar is known for casual and unpretentious fun. If you are into beer pong, Whiskey River is constantly running games, and alcohol is especially wallet-friendly during their daily happy hours from 3pm-8pm. If you have become tired of listening to live music on your tour, you can choose from a selection of music on their jukebox, or head outside and relax in the patio area. Because the bar is located so close to the college, it can sometimes come across with a very college vibe. Glasslands Gallery 289 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY http://glasslands.blogspot.com/ This Brook.yn nightclub is located in the former garage for the Domino Sugar refinery. Not only does the club offer a stunning view of the city, it also hosts a myriad of concerts and dance nights. The DIY feel is All events are 21+. “The beers are cheap and the music is fun.” - Anonymous McCarren Park Lorimer St at Bedford Ave,Brooklyn, NY http://www.mccarrenpark.com McCarren Park, located in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, It’s not unusual to find pick-up games of kickball, dodgeboll, and other group games when stopping by. In addition, the park offers free outdoor movie viewings in the summer and the occasional concert. It is also the sight of one of the 11 giant pools built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration, althought it is currently under renovationn. Be warned - this “park” is entirely concrete. You won’t find any grass or trees here. “McCarren Park in Williamsburg will probably the most “band friendly” as far as demographic. haha. But you can just go sight seeing or walk any of the bridges and take in the view.” - Rich San Luis Earwax 218 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 718-486-3771 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Earwax-Records This record store offers new and used vinyl in addition to a selection of new and used CDs. Patrons can find electronic, country, reggae, jazz, funk, and old rock as well as selected new titles. The staff is incredibly knowlegeable and will help you pick a selection without the pretentiousness that comes along with many a metropolitian independent record store. Main Drag Music 330 Wythe Avenue # 1E, Brooklyn, NY 718-388-6365 www.maindragmusic.com/ Main Drag Music provides music supplies and repair services. Their services include tube amp repair, solid-stat repair, guitar repair, drum repair, keyboard repair, and effects repair. They also have a small selection of vintage instruments and effects.
Central Park S & 7th Ave, New York, NY www.centralparknyc.org/ Central park continues to be one of the most famous and distinctive landmarks in NYC. The park originally opened in 1857 and has been a hub of recreation since then. In 1962 it was declared a national landmark. Activities available in the park include boating, pick up sports games, ice skating in the winter, rock climbing, a carousel, playgrounds, a zoo, free open-air theater productions in the summer, free open-air concerts by the New York Philharmonic and popular artists, hiking, birding, and cafes. One of the best aspects of Central Park is that visiting is free, and musicians on a tight budget do not need to spend any money in order to waste a day outside. The Narrows 1037 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 281-827-1800 narrowsbar.com/ The Narrows specializes not only in craft beer but also in coctails. You can find colorful coctails on the menus such as “Word” laphroaig, green chartreuse, maraschino, lime, and jalapeño tequila. They also offer a shot and beer special for $6. Patrons can go in the backyard to hang out or smoke. “My fave bar is The Narrows in Bushwick.” - Richard Southside Guitars 303 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 718-218-8201 southsideguitars.com Southside Guitars has a wide selection of high end gear, in addition to funky vintage gear for inexpensive prices. You can also sell and trade gear here. Regulars reccomend trying to deal directly with one of the owners when selling gear or negotiation prices. Other Music 15 East 4th Street, New York, NY 212-477-8150 othermusic.com/ One of the most well-known record stores to NYC insiders, Other Music is a great place to find new vinyl and music from independent and breaking artists. They also sell tickets for various shows happening in the New York area. The store is known for high quality service and products. “The standard in NYC is Other Music.” - Rich San Luis Sound Fix 44 Berry St, Brooklyn, New York 718-388-8090 www.soundfixrecords.com/ Sound Fix records is an extension of The Fix coffeehouse, and one can get a snack or drink then head over to browse through vinyl. In addition to their vinyl stock, Sound Fix occasionally hosts in-store performances, signings, and appearances. Generally all the events are free and open to the public. The store also provdes a large list of “staff picks” in order to provide browsers with additional guidance and reccomendations. Photographs: Stage at McCarren Park, pubic domin, Central Park, public domain
Other Tips “There’s parking under the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) off Metropolitan Ave in Williamsburg” Check out the Karaoki spots in Korea town! There’s usually happy hours starting at 4pm all over the city “I recommend just asking the other bands if they know people. This is NY, there’s always some place to stay. I know we’re a big city but the scene is pretty tight knit and a lot of people welcome bands into their own places”
Philadelphia, PA Known as “The City of Brotherly Love”, Philadelphia also is known for its vibrant history and contributions to the jazz, hip-hop, soul, and rock and roll genres. In the 1960s, Philadelphia was not only home to TV show American Bandstand with Dick Clark, but was also beginning to become known for it’s own version of soul music, which was rightfully dubbed “Philly soul.” In the present, the city continues to host a vibrant music community, and is inhabited by musicans from every different genre. Photo by Ed Yakovich, Public Domain
Venues and Spaces PhilaMOCA 531 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA http://www.philamoca.org/ Booking: email@example.com PhilaMOCA, formelly a mauseleum used to display tombstones, has a capacity of 150. It is a good space for a show with a slightly larger draw. Although it is just a room, they provide a sound system and PA for bands. All ages or 21+. “Great sound, big space. Still does DIY booking. Takes about 30% from the door. Can be odd to book, but they are quick to respond and willing to work something out.” - Anonymous Danger Danger Gallery 5013 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA http://www.dangerdangergallery.com Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org, Geoff Binder From the outside, Danger Danger Gallery appears to be just another rowhome. Inside is a large, multi-stage, DIY venue. 250 capacity. All ages. Bands get to keep almost all money made at the door. “My love affair with Danger Danger Gallery began two years ago when we had those crazy blizzards. It was The Love Club’s first time playing there and it just started SNOWING. We thought the show would be cancelled but we went anyway, a TON of people (none of our friends) came out and loved us and danced and it was great. Since then we have played there many times with such great musicians as Deakin (from Animal Collective). The operators of D!D!G can be a bit flakey and weird, but if you can go there in advance (or have a friend go there in advance) and meet them you can probably get a show. Also, they just opened up a music store in the building next door.” - Kyle Press: Impressionist, The Love Club, Spach Whale Orchestra, Collages Cha-Cha Razzi South Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cha-ChaRazzi Booking: WeAreChaChaRazzi@gmail.com A small DIY space, Cha-Cha Razzi is perfect for an intimate setting. Because Cha-Cha Razzi is located in a more industrial area, the chances of having the police called on a DIY is less than with some other venues. All ages. Contact them for exact address.
First Unitarian Church 2125 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA http://www.r5productions.com/ Booking: email@example.com The First Unitarian church is a functioning church by day. By night, the basement plays host to some of Philadelphia’s largest indie shows. The booking is done by R5 Productions, Philly’s largest independent music promotion company. They ask that you don’t send mp3s with your email, just a link to the music. Is often thought to be one of the best venues to play in Philly, but one must prove they have the draw and publicity to do so. All ages. “History, large draw, and R5 knows what they’re doing.” - Bill Rooney: Ghost/Light Spruce Caboose 50th St. and Spruce St, Philadelphia PA Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Although West Philadelphia plays host to a number of house venues, hardly any are more active than the Spruce Caboose. “Just a house venue. Only really books on a small level of just friends and friends of friends. Can contact them through their Chernobyl Arts Collective program that they run.” - Anonymous Kung Fu Necktie 1248 N. Front St., Philadelphia, PA Booking: email@example.com If you follow the elevated subway line up Front St, you’ll find yourself walking past the front door of Kung Fu Necktie. The 140 capacity bar is usually 21+, but can sometimes do early all-ages shows. A pool table, drink tickets for bands, and vaguely voodoo-themed decor are some of the highlights of this venue. “Good sound, usually a decent turnout, and cool burgeoning area.” - Bill Rooney. “It’s just fun. It’s a nice divey environment.” - Alex Frankel, Matermathu Sprinkle Kingdom West Philadelphia, Philadelphia PA Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Kyle Press, Bill Rooney Sprinke Kingdom, located in the West part of the city, is a house venue where bands and fans pile into the basement to hear their favorite local and touring acts. It is run entirely by the occupants of the house, and fosters a real community feel. They provide a PA system for the bands. Contact them for exact address. All ages. “This is my basement. We have been doing shows for over 2 years, have had acts from as far as England, Australia, and (in March), Japan. It is a fun place to play, lots of people always come. The shows are curated by the people who live in the house. We put on very little electronic music, pop, and metal, but if you are a jazz, folk, rock, hip hop, or experimental act we might be interested in having you. We can only have 2 shows a month and a lot of people ask to play and we can’t do everything.” - Kyle Press “A) I live there B) I haven’t been to one show before I lived here that I did not enjoy C) We built a stage so now it’s more legit D) There’s a 24 hour falafel place down the street” - Bill Rooney The Fire 412 W. Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA Booking:http://www.iourecords.com/thefire/contact.html#booking Because this venue has a seperate room for the stage and the bar, it has the ability to easily host all ages shows according to Pennyslvania liqour law. An insider tells that drink tickets for bands can also be traded in for pizza slices if you ask. 125 Capacity. 21+ or All Ages. “Decent sound, intimate venue. They called me back several times to play shows where bands had dropped off the bill or they needed an extra band on the set.” - Anonymous Photographs: Ocean Vs. Daughter at Danger Danger Gallery, Hop Along at First Unitarian Church. All photos by Emily Cahill
North Star Bar 2639 Poplar St, Philadelphia, PA Booking: Andrew, Sunny Day Booking, firstname.lastname@example.org Rocky isn’t the only person who spent time near the Phildelphia Art Museum. The North Star Bar is nestled in the neighborhood area north of the museum, and is marked by large stars painted on the side. 250 Capacity. Drink and food tickets provided to bands. 21+ or All Ages. “rowd is what you bring. Unfortunately that means if you’ve got no fan base and don’t promote the show, no one’s going to come to see you. The place is a bar/restaurant with a particularly good venue on the side. I like it because their door percentages are pretty good. If they take roll on who you’re going to the show to see, you get 90% of the ticket price after the sound guy gets paid. If it’s a touring act you’re opening for (or if you are the touring act), you’ll get a smaller % of the night overall.” - Alex Frankel The Blockley Pourhouse 3801 Chesnut St, Philadelphia, PA Booking: Chris Parella, email@example.com Drink tickets and food discounts for bands. 600 Capacity. 21+ or All Ages. “The Blockley is a weird place. It is fairly new and has something of an identity crisis. They do everything from dance parties for frat kids to Sun Ra shows (like the one my latest project Impressionist opened for last weekend). Not the easiest place to get a show but if you contact them in advance you might just get lucky. I like this place because they have booked several of my bands for GREAT shows with bands like Akron/Family, the Sun Ra Arkestra, West Philadelphia Orchestra, The Movement, and more. Also, if a lot of people come, they pay well. All of that being said, the operators are a little shady. They have been heavily fined for underage drinking, have been rumored to be getting shut down many times, etc., etc., etc. But the bottom line for me is that I have gotten to play shows with some of my absolute favorite bands EVER, and no other venue has given me that opportunity.” - Kyle Press Johnny Brenda’s 1201 Frankfurt Ave, Philadelphia, PA Booking: Chris Ward, firstname.lastname@example.org Johnny Brenda’s has been a long-standing stop for on-the-verge indie bands. The building consists of two stores: a restaurant and bar on the first floor, and the stage and another bar on the second. Because of the downstairs restaurant, JB’s usually offers a higher-quality and larger variety of food than most venues. Often bands are given discounts. 300 Capacity. 21+. “COOL PLACE. Only problem is 21+ (booooo) but otherwise wonderful stage, wonderful sound, and generally wonderful acts booked there.” - Anonymous
Food Key: Govinda’s Vegetarian Restuarant - Y $ - Cheap Eats (meal under $5) 1408 South St, Philadelphia, PA $$ - Place to eat if you have disposible money (215) 985-9303 - Good for breakfast http://www.govindasvegetarian.com/ In addition to serving vegetarian food, Govinda’s offers a large selection of Vegan, Y- Vegan or Vegetarian Halal, Kosher, and Vedic foods. The restaurant, which also does delivery, is located p - Open Late (Midnight and later) - Does call in/carry out on a part of the city known as “Avenue of The Arts” - where many theaters and concert halls line the street. From Thursday evening until Sunday evening they offer a “fine dining menu” in addition to the regular menu with rotating entrees. For to go orders call (215) 545 5452. Melrose Diner - p 1501 Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, PA (215) 467-6644 Melrose Diner opened up in South Philly in 1935. Since that time, it has always been open 24-hours, and is a hot spot in the city to get good, old-fashioned diner food. Customers can sit at booths or at the bar, in true diner fashion. Breakfast is served 24 hours. "Melrose is good and cheap” - Jared Moskovitz: Rosser Reeves
Manakeesh - 4420 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 215-921-2135 http://manakeeshcafe.com/ A “manakeesh” is a type of Lebanese pizza, and appropriately, that is the type of food that this restaurant specializes in. Toppings and fillings range from egg and sausage to a thyme, sesame, a sumac paste. The restaurant also has a large selection of traditional Lebanese dessert pastries and coffee. Continental Midtown - $$ Y 1801 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 215-567-1800 http://www.continentalmidtown.com/ Continental Midtown is one of the Philadelphia restaurants owned by Top Chef Stephen Starr (and the food is priced accordingly). The restauarant offers a “Global Tapas” menu, a Vegetarian menu, a complete bar menu of colorful drinks, and twists on classics such as lobster mac ‘n cheese, tiramisu waffles, and Vegetarian Miso soup. Honey’s Sit and Eat - 800 N. 4th St, Philadelphia, PA (215) 925-1150 http://honeyssitneat.com/ If Vegetarian chicken fried steak, Mahi Mahi tacos, pumpkin spiced-apple pancakes, or breakfast enfrijoladas sound appealing to you, then Honey’s Sit and Eat is your place. If you go for breakfast or brunch on the weekend, expect to wait if you have a party greater than two people. Lines form outside in order to get Sunday brunch at Honey’s. They brag about having “the best brunch in the city,” and rightfully so. Makkah Market - p 4249 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 215-382-0909 http://makkahmarket.com/ Makkah Market sells prepared halal food such as falafel sandwhiches and also is a market. It is open for 24-hours and is a place to go if one is wanting a quick bite in the middle of the night. Photographs: Johnny Brenda’s by G. Widman for GPTMC, Melrose Diner by G. Wildman for GPTMC, Continental Restaurant by B. Krist for GPTMC
Pit Stop The Crossings Premium Outlets 1000 U.S. Route 611 Tannersville, PA 18372 570-629-4650 http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=59 Two hours outside of Philadelphia, and about an hour and a half outside of NYC is the Crossings Outlet, a collection of over 100 outlet stores. Not only is it a stop for cheap shopping, but also for music. “I played out in the food court a bunch of times in the summer and I never played more profitable shows. People are there to shop and are therefore very willing to buy merch. I sold about 100 CDs in one day there. Awesome place to play to find new fans.” - Chris Gordon, The Summer Circuit
Fogo de Chao - $$ 1337 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 215-636-9700 http://www.fogodechao.com/ Fogo de Chao is a Brazilian steakhouse, which means that you are offered continuous tableside service of waiters offering you meat. Guests are given cards with a green side and a red side. When a guest places the green colored card on the table, waiters will come and serve you more food. When it is turned red, they will allow you time to eat. Be prepared to stuff yourself when eating at Fogo de Chao. However, because of the prohibitive pricing, eating here is definitly not an every-day thing and is best saved for special occasions. In addition, the menu is not particularly friendly to Vegetarians or Vegans. Su Xing House - $$ Y 1508 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 215-564-1419 http://www.suxinghouse.com/ “Go vege for a healthy life!” says the front of the menu at this vegetarian Chinese restaurant. Don’t be fooled by the broken English. Employees at Su Xing House are friendly and the food is so good that many meat-eaters (in addition to vegetarians) claim that it is still the best Chinese food in the city. The menu also specifically notes which meals are vegan and offers a large selection of desserts. Gnocchi - $$ 613 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 215-592-8300 This tiny BYOB is the perfect place to eat an authentic Italian meal. In addition to gnocchi, an Italian noodle dish featuring stuffed, dumpling-like noodles (think of a more-plump ravioli), the restaurant offers favorite such as chicken parmesean and tomato basil spaghetti. Lorenzo and Son’s Pizza - $ p 305 South St, Philadelphia, PA 215-627-4110 http://www.lorenzoandsons.com/ Don’t expect anything fancy, just good, old-fashioned pizza. The small pizza place brags “the best pizza on South Street” and is carry out only - no seating. The slices are large, but only come in plain. They stay open until 3am, which is about the latest any restauarants stay open in the city unless they are 24-hours. Grindcore House - Y 1515 S. 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 215-839-3333 http://grindcorehouse.com/ This Vegan restaurant and coffehouse occasionally hosts small concerts and film showings. All of the coffee and tea served is organic and they take pride in using fair-trade ingredients. Most of the menu consists of light eats for lunch or breakfast - bagels and sandwiches. However, they have a large slection of vegan pastries, cakes, and brownies. Ed’s Buffalo Wings and Pizza - $ pY 3513 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, PA 215-222-4000 http://www.edswings.com/ Ed’s is not only cheap, but also serves huge slices with a variety of options and stays open until 1am on weekdays, 2am on weekends. The restaurant also is known for it’s hot wings and curly fries. In fact, it has won yearly city-wide awards for the aforementioned foods. One also can get greek sandwhiches, falafel, hummus, and other similar foods if a person isn’t in the mood for pizza. Lastly, they offer a pizza option with vegan daiya cheese.
Reading Terminal Market 51 N. 12th St, Philadelphia PA (215) 922-2317 http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/ Reading Terminal Market is located in the center of the city and houses hundreds of food stands and merchants. Groceries, breakfast, ice cream, seafood, ethnic food, sandwiches, and soul food are all included in the cornicopia of cuisine available at the market. There is indoor seating in a food-court like setting. Blackbird Pizzeria - Y 507 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA
215-625-6660 http://blackbirdpizzeria.com/ A completely vegan restaurant that, in addition to pizza, offers vegan versions of Philly favorites such as cheesesteaks. Menu items have creative names to match the recipes, including funghi pizza, haymaker pizza, and south Philly pizza. They are also a vendor of Vegan Treats desserts, and all of their food is certified kosher. Tampopo - Y 269 S. 44th St, Philadelphia, PA - 215-386-3866 104 S 21st St, Philadelphia, PA - 215-557-9593 http://www.tampoporestaurant.com Tampopo serves Japanese food from two locations in Philadelphia. The menu includes rice bowls, noodle bowls, bento boxes, salad, and sushi. If you bring your own bowl, you get a 50c discount on your meal. They also offer many tofu substitutes to make dishes acceptable to Vegans and Vegetarians. Photographs: Lorenzo and Son’s Pizza by J. Smith for GPTMC, Reading Terminal Market by J. Smith for GPTMC
Relaxation and Fun University Pinball 4008 Spruce St, Philadelphia PA This small staple in West Philadelphia contains not only pinball machines, but an array of other arcade-style video games. The establishment also has pool and air-hockey, all for reasonable prices. Rittenhouse Square Between 18th St to the east, Walnut St to the north, Rittenhouse Square West, and Rittenhouse Square South. http://www.visitphilly.com/museums-attractions/philadelphia/rittenhouse-square/ Rittenhouse square is a large park located in the middle of the city. At any time in the day you will find college students relaxing in between classes, people walking their dogs, exercise classes, pick-up sports games and picnics. It’s a free place to relax for the day. Art Museum and Fairmount Park 215-763-8100 26th St and Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA http://www.philamuseum.org/ The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the most famous landmarks in the city, as it houses the stairs that Rocky famously trained on. Although there is an admission fee to the museum, one can walk the grounds and the surrounding Fairmount park for free. The park contains a walk along the Schuylkill River, monuments, fountains, a view of Boathouse Row, and more. El Bar 1356 N Front St, Philadelphia PA (215) 634-6430 http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-El-Bar/76572966730 If you are looking for the cheapest drinks in Philadelphia, the El Bar is the place to go. It is located under the elevated subway track, known as the “El,” from which it derives its name. It also is conveniently located near venues such as Kung Fu Necktie and Johnny Brenda’s. Although the bar doens’t offer any frills, they do have inexpensive drinks, resident cats, and live music on Wednesday and Saturday nights. “Cheap. Fun” - Bill Rooney
Old City http://www.oldcitydistrict.org/ Between Front St and Sixth St on the east and west, and Vine St and Walnut St to the north and south. Old city is aptly named, as it is the oldest part of Philadelphia. It houses attractions such as the Liberty Bell, Besty Ross House, and Independence Hall. In addition, it contains numerous bars, clubs, and nightlife spots. The Barbary 951 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 215-634-7400 http://www.facebook.com/thebarbary The Barbary, in addition to being a bar, offers a dance party almost every night of the week. Entrance to the dance party generally ranges from free to $5 depending on the night, and the bar offers discount drinks until 11pm. Themes include pop punk night, 80s and 90s dance party, 60s surf and psychedelic night, oldies night, and indie dance party. Full calendars of events are listed on their website. Tattooed Mom 530 South St, Philadelphia, PA 215-238-9880 http://www.facebook.com/tattooedmomphilly?sk=info The South St. bar offers a more laid-back environment than many other places to drink in the city. Customers can choose to either sit at a table or at the actual bar, and the staff commonly provides tiny mazes and party games, as well as sweets at the table. â€œCheap beer and cool environment. Cool people hang there.â€? - Jared Moskovitz Fiume 45th St and Locust St, Philadelphia PA Fiume is located in West Philadelphia over an Ethiopian restaurant. Drinks are inexpensive and one need not splurge in order to have a drink here. On Thursdays, Fiume hosts a bluegrass night with live music. Be prepared to stand if you come on a Thursday - the bar usually fills up to hear the music. Photographs: Old City at night by B. Krist for GPTMC, War College Helicopter by Emily Cahill, Philadelphia skyline by B. Krist for GPTMC
Pit Stop US Army War College and US Army Heritage and Education Center 950 Soldiers Dr, Carlisle, PA http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/ Two hours out of Philadelphia, and right outside of Harrisburg, PA resides the US Army War College. It is an institution that acts not just as a school for military personnel, but also an outdoor museum and exhibition of historical military items. The outdoor exhibits are free and include WWII barracks, a recreation of an army outpost in Vietnam, Yorktown cannons, Civil War cabins, tanks used at the invasion of Normandy, and more. The War College is located right off of I-81, an interstate often used by bands to travel from NYC to southern destinations such as Maryland or Virginia, and would not require extra
Richmond, VA Previously the capital of the Confederacy, and the current capital of Virginia, Richmond is bursting with history. It also is bursting with musical creativity and a flowering music scene. Part of the young scene can be accredited to the colleges that call Richmond their home - University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. The latter is well known for itâ€™s music performance and arts programs. In the past, the city has played host to punk and metal scenes, and currently hosts the National Folk Festival and Stay Sweet Fest. Photo by Coredesat Chikai
Venues and Spaces Downstairs at the Canal Club 1545 East Cary Street, Richmond, VA http://www.thecanalclub.com/ Booking: Done through website While larger acts play the upstairs stage, small touring acts and local bands can take the spotlight in the downstairs stage. The club usually does local showcases downstairs but will also book touring bands if they are paired appropriately with local bands or have enough of a following in the area. The Canal Club has a great reputation in Richmond as it does often host larger name acts. All Ages. 450 Capacity. The Camel 1621 West Broad Street , Richmond, VA
www.thecamel.org/ Booking: Lucas Fritz, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org The Camel is a venue in addition to being a restaurant and bar. They brag about having at least 17 imported and domestic beers on tap at all times. Musicians playing the venue get half off on both food and drinks. Make sure to pair yourself with a local band, as the Camel doesnâ€™t have much of a builtin crowd for the night time shows and the people who show up will mostly be the people you or other bands on the bill bring in. All Ages or 18+. 200 Capacity. The Nile 309 North Laurel Street , Richmond, VA
www.nilerichmond.com/ Booking: Through website contact tab or Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/nile.richmond The Nile, an Ethiopian restaurant by day, also hosts a variety of events in the evening, most commonly music and arts events. Bands who play there can choose food items off of their menu, which is 100% gluten free and contains vegetarian and vegan menu. On show nights, the Nile often offers drink specials. They also are open to hosting free events depending on how the bands want to be compensated. All Ages or 21+.
Strange Matter 929 W. Grace Street, Richmond, VA www.strangematterrva.com Booking: email@example.com “The atmosphere of this place is great! SWEET arcade machines like Marvel Vs. Capcom, Street Fighter, etc. and trippy paintings of videogame characters. It’s a bit of hole in the wall to be honest, but I think that’s why I love it. It feels like a cave, dark and small. The smallness makes the music that much louder and the kind of bands that play there are typically pretty fucking loud bands to begin with. I really like that there are old school televisions that face outward from the stage toward the audience with psychedelic visuals projected on them to accompany the rockin’. Most of all I love that when my bombastic, punk, divisive, noisy band opened there, we were the most straight-laced sounding that night. The rest of the bands that played made us look like a pop group (which I assure you, we’re not). The band the Dreebs and Mutwawa scared me and made me dance respectively and inspired me to try and make more affecting music.” - Matt Thiem, Tungs. Often 18+ or 21+. Can occasionally do all ages shows. The National 708 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA www.thenationalva.com/ Booking: http://www.thenationalva.com/bookings/ The National is a venue that is suited to bands with a larger draw or bands looking to open for a larger act. The National has seven full bars and video screens that play the show in order to accommodate any number of patrons. They also feature a state-of-the art sound system and a full-time staff. Getting a specific date can be difficult. They will usually post dates on their Facebook page that are open to local band and showcases. 1500 capacity. All Ages. Gallery 5 200 W Marshall St, Richmond, VA gallery5arts.org/ Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org In addition to hosting events, Gallery 5 serves as an art gallery that has housed an array of visual art from more than 500 artists. The actual Gallery is located in the history Steamer Company No. 5 building, which was built in 1849 and is Richmond’s oldest firehouse, police headquarters, and jailhouse. The gallery often hosts events to help raise awareness for a local cause or charity organization, so it may be an option to play for a larger charity event when looking to book a show there. In addition to bands, Gallery 5 is open to hosting a variety of arts showcases and performances. All Ages. 150 Capacity. The Republic 2053 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA http://www.therepublicrva.com Booking: email@example.com One thing that separates the Republic from other Richmond venues is that there is never a cover to get into a show. That’s right, going to a show at the Republic never costs the fans anything. Bands are paid through separate means than cover charges, and this system seems to help encourage a larger turnout. The Republic also prides itself on being an environmentally friendly business. All menus, napkins, take-out boxes, etc. are made of entirely biodegradable and recycled materials, and solar generated energy powers the entire facility. Because it is part restaurant, the Republic offers a more extensive menu than many of the other venues in the area. All Ages or 21+. Photographs: Tungs at Strange Matter, photo courtesy of Tungs, Malatese at the Camel, photo courtesy of Malatese
The Yerb 2nd St, Richmond VA Booking: Through their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_211298882242445 The Yerb is the place to end all places when it comes to DIY shows in Richmond. The residents of the house are dedicated to providing free shows and entertainment to the arts community in Richmond. “The Yerb is a house rented out by several devout local music fans for the sole purpose of playing house shows (Free house shows at that). The adjacent houses are vacant so no noise complaints! There’s also a huge backyard and occasionally softer acoustic sets are played there on a little stage. Everyone’s welcome and a typical Yerbfest consists of a dozen or so bands that play from the afternoon til 4 or so in the morning. The vibes are great and the most hip bands in Richmond frequently play there.” – Matthew Thiem, Tungs. All Ages.
Food The Black Sheep 901 West Marshall Street Richmond, VA 804-648-1300 www.theblacksheeprva.com/ The Black Sheep has been honored on various national food programming, including most recently Man vs. Food. In addition, they won the 2012 award for “Best Neighborhood Restaurant” in Richmond, Virginia. The Black Sheep’s specialty is gigantic submarine sandwiches, all jokingly named after actual Civil War battleships. While some may take a second look at the prices, a full sandwich is made on a two-foot baguette white the “half sandwich” measures in at one foot. A personal favorite is the USS Wabash, a sub that contains lemon and garlic marinated strip steak, white bean and parsnip hummus, chopped romaine lettuce, red onion, tomato, and feta cheese. The restaurant offers other food in addition to the sandwiches such as kebabs, soups, dumplings, and more. Even though the serving sizes are large, make sure to save room for the peanut butter pie. RVA Vegan- $ Y 1825 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 757-469-8982 http://rvavegan.info/ This food cart is easily spotted in the downtown area because of its bright pink color. In addition to the one permanent location, they have a mobile bike cart that moves around the city. Patrons can find it’s location by checking the website or twitter. Customers can buy vegan versions of sandwiches, tamales, hot dogs, cupcakes and more. The meals range from $2-$5 and are perfect for those on a budget. However, Food Key: make sure to hit the bank before visiting this cart because they accept cash only. “RVA Vegan is the first place I go when I need something that is fast and cheap” – $ - Cheap Eats (meal under $5) Anonymous $$ - Place to eat if you have disposible money - Good for breakfast Village Café - Y- Vegan or Vegetarian 1001 West Grace Street, Richmond, VA - Open Late (Midnight and later) 804-353-8204 - Does call in/carry out www.villagecafeonline.com The Village Café has been a staple in the Richmond community since 1956. The eclectic decorations hark back to the Diner’s early years, as does the food offered on the menu. They offer traditional diner fare such as hamburgers, sandwiches, onion rings, and of course top-notch breakfast foods served all day. Their daily happy hour starts at 2pm and ends at 6pm. The Village Café is also a stop for Richmond’s night owls, as they are open until 2am daily. “You can get whatever you want and a lot of it. It’s one of the VCU’s campus’ more popular diners.” – Matt Thiem
Harrison Street Coffee Shop - $ Y 402 North Harrison Street, Richmond, VA 804-359-8060 http://www.facebook.com/HarrisonStCafe Harrison Street Coffee Shop offers a variety of unique food items, including a extensive list of vegetarian and vegan options indicated by their motto; “good eats, no meats”. The coffee shop has tons of seating. Even when it is busy, one will not have to wait long to be seated and receive service. They offer a “5 for 5” special from 5pm to 8pm where a customer can choose from a selection of five regular menu items and get it for only $5. Multiple Richmond regulars recommended the vegan French toast and the beer battered tofu steak sandwich. “Good food, good service.” – Matt Thiem Phoenix Garden - Y 7103 Brook Rd, Richmond, VA 804-262-1910 http://www.phoenixgarden.net/ This Vietnamese noodle house serves all vegan food. They offer a vegan version of Pho using mock meats that are hand-purchased and chosen by the owners. Patrons not in the mood for Vietnamese food can get their vegan versions of other dishes such as chicken curry, spaghetti and meatballs, and shish kabob. In addition, their food never contains MSG. They offer vegan funnel cake and chocolate fried bananas as their signature dessert items. Phoenix Garden is not open on Sunday or Monday. Fresca on Addison - Y 22 S Addison St, Richmond, VA 804-359-8638 http://www.frescaonaddison.com/ Fresca offers an all-vegetarian menu, with most of the dishes available in vegan options. Their mission statement is to make food “so awesome as to not miss the meat.” In addition to their attention to special dietary needs, all of the ingredients they use are organic. They specialize in stone oven pizzas, sandwiches, and hearty stews. They also offer dessert pizzas - one such option contains peanut butter, bananas, and chocolate while another features pears, ricotta, candied ginger, and raspberry jam. The restaurant has free wifi for anyone who needs to catch up on their email or other Internet pursuits. Photographs: The Black Sheep by Stephanie Fry, Village Cafe by F. Dot Lewally, Harrison Street Coffee Shop by Jim Nelson
Pit Stop South of the Border 3346 Highway 301 North, Hamer, SC 800-845-6011 http://www.thesouthoftheborder.com You’ll see the huge neon sombrero rising through the trees before you see the sign for South of the Border. Right off of I-95, the politically incorrect mess of Mexican-themed kitsch is the perfect way to break up the dreary drive through South Carolina. Take a glass elevator up the sombrero tower, browse around Dirty Old Man (a naughty knick-knack boutique), eat at the sombrero restaurant, stock up at “El Drug Store”, look at the alligators in the reptile lagoon, get cheap fireworks from the largest fireworks store on the east coast, and stop in at Mexico Shop East (the oldest store in the village containing classic kitsch). South of the Border is open 24 hours, every day of the week. Photograph by J. Stephen Conn
Relaxation and Fun Empire 727 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 804-344-3323 http://www.facebook.com/EmpireRichmond Richmond residents make the trip to Empire when looking for a down-to-earth dive bar full of the hipsters, artists, musicians, and various riff-raff of the city. The bar plays indie and classic rock that appeal to its main crowd. Occasionally, Empire hosts live music and DJ dance events. They offer $1 Miller High Life on Wednesday nights and $1 12-oz PBR every day. The parking authority tends to be strict on towing in the area, so be careful where you park. Steady Sounds Record Store 322 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 804-308-2692 steadysounds.tumblr.com In addition to selling records, Steady Sounds hosts in-store performances, film screenings, and other events. They have a large sale table where customers can get records for as cheap as 25c each or $1 for five records. An even more extensive collection of “dollar bin records” are constantly being updated and added to. The regularly-price vinyl usually goes for around $6 for used and $15 for new. The store also sells turntables, speakers, and other record-related gear. The only thing you won’t find here are CDs or tapes – Steady Sounds specializes only in vinyl. Belle Isle In the center of the James River, a large river that goes through the city, is a small island known as Belle Isle. It is easily accessible through a footbridge that goes underneath the Robert E. Lee Bridge. Once serving as a prison for Union soldiers during the Civil War, the island is now a popular hangout spot for those who want to take advantage of wildlife not often found in cities. Activities on the island include swimming, kayaking, rock climbing, bike riding, trail hiking, and bird watching. The island was once the home of a small town, and hikers can find many old abandoned buildings and ruins while exploring. Belle Isle is also the location of “Dead Rock”, a huge, flat rock painted with the Grateful Dead logo. It is the only graffiti on the island that does not get painted over by the city. Bev’s Homemade Ice Cream 2911 West Cary Street Richmond, VA 804-204-2387 http://www.facebook.com/BevsHomemadeIceCream Bev’s makes all of their ice cream on premises and has a constantly changing menu of special flavors of ice cream, sherbet, and sorbet in addition to regularly available flavors. Some special flavors of the past include espresso Oreo, spinach, chocolate orange, pear, rum raisin, and chocolate cherry. The store has a retro feel and is open every day of the week. There is a credit card minimum, so bring cash if you are planning on only buying ice cream for yourself. “There’s a place called Bev’s that makes homemade ice cream that will make you realize what you’ve been missing most of your life.” – Matt Thiem
Carytown 3120-3158 West Cary St, Richmond, VA http://www.carytownrva.com/ Carytown is a retail district in the downtown section of Richmond. The stores are located inside of historical buildings that were built in the city in the 1930s. In addition to shopping, many tourists visit Carytown each year to look at the architecture. Events are held in Carytown year round such as a 10k run, the Watermelon Festival, a Wine Festival, free movie screenings, and the VCU film festival. Most of the businesses are open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays, with some open seven days a week. “I really like Carytown. There are many local restaurants and designer clothes stores (pricey but fun to look at). If you’re into shopping or you like ice cream, look no further than Carytown” – Matt Thiem Mars Bar 115 N 18th St, Richmond, VA 804-644-6277 http://www.marsbarrestaurant.com If you’re looking for activities to do in addition to the every-day bar experience, Mars Bar is the place for you. Monday and Tuesday are Karaoke nights; Wednesdays are Poker Nights; and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are dance nights. Friday nights are specifically 80s dance music. Patrons can also play darts or pool. The bar serves a small menu including hamburgers and onion rings in case one gets hungry. Metro Sound & Music Company 3313 West Cary Street, Richmond, VA 804-355-7125 Metro Sound is a musical instrument retailer that also services and repairs instruments. In addition to guitars and amplifiers, they specialize in vintage keyboard and organ repair. The brands they service include Oberheim, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3 and C3 Organs, Leslies, Wurlitzer Electric Pianos, Farfisa and Vox. If you’re in the market to buy, Metro Sound offers new, used, and vintage gear. Metro Sound also has you covered in case of emergency - they offer rentals for guitar amps, bass amps, and keyboards. Maymont Park 2201 Shields Lake Drive, Richmond, VA 804-358-7166 www.maymont.org Maymont Park is located around the Maymont Estate, a 100-acre historical Victorian mansion. The mansion belonged to Major James H. Dooley, a wealthy lawyer and philanthropist who lived in Richmond and began the construction of the house in 1893. Visitors to Maymont can view the Japanese gardens, the arboretum, the nature center, the carriage collection, Koi pond, waterfall, the riverside walking paths, and the children’s farm. In addition, the park offers guided tours of the mansion. The grounds are open daily from 10am to 5pm. Photographs: Belle Isle, Public Domain, The Byrd Theater in Carytown by Morgan Riley, Maymont Estate by Morgan Riley
Washington, DC The capital of the United States is more than just the center of politics. It also has served as the capital of many genres, including the DC born go-go music. In the early 80s, DC became a home for hardcore with the establishment of bands such as Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Scream, Rites of Spring, Fugazi, and Teen Idles. In 1980, Fugazi and Minor Threat member Ian MacKaye founded Dischord records, a DIY label to release the music of these bands. Dischord continues to operate out of the city as has served as a model for many modern-day indie labels Photo by Wally Gobetz
Venues and Spaces Black Cat 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC www.blackcatdc.com Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org DC’s Black Cat was established in 1993 and quickly became known for it support of indie rock. The venue has two stages, a large main stage which hosts relatively well-known national acts, and a small backstage that hosts large local acts and lesser-known touring acts. Band playing get free beer and a discount on the food, which is mostly vegetarian and vegan fare. It is really important to sell your band to the booker here since it is one of the more popular clubs in DC. If you don’t have a touring history in the city, your best bet is to pair off with a well-known DC act before contacting the booker. “Plays local bands and has a roof deck.” Anonymous All Ages. 700 Capacity Main Stage. 200 Capacity Back Stage. Red Palace 1212 H Street NE, Washington, DC www.redpalacedc.com Booking: Steve Lambert, email@example.com The Red Palace is known for having a host of eclectic performances. On nights that live bands aren’t performing, they often have burlesque and vaudeville shows. The décor matches the music. The place is decorated in the style of a New Orleans lounge and even has a collection of vintage sideshow oddities. Recently the Red Palace has combined space with its next-door neighbor, Palace of Wonders, to provide more room for bands and patrons. With the combination, the venue got a new sound and lights system. The stage is on the second floor, so you’ll have to carry your gear up. “Cool area. Nice people” – Anonymous 18+. 200 Capacity. Madam’s Organ Blues Bar 2461 18th Street NW, Washington, DC www.madamsorgan.com Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Bluegrass, blues, and jazz are the specialties at Madam’s Organ. The bar is somewhat of a local landmark and has music seven days a week, serves up hot soul food, and of course has the obligatory blues bar pool table. Don’t both to contact them if you don’t play one of the styles of music they specialize in – Madam’s Organ has a strong reputation and doesn’t stray out of what it does. 21+. 150 Capacity.
Comet Ping Pong 5037 Connecticut Avenue NWt, Washington, DC http://www.cometpingpong.com/ Booking: email@example.com The décor at Comet Ping Pong is minimal. It has concrete walls and wood beam ceilings with minimal wall decorations. However, shows at Comet Ping Pong offer a level of entertainment not found at traditional venues. The restaurant serves signature brick oven pizzas and also features numerous ping-pong tables where patrons and bands alike can play tournaments. All shows at Comet Ping Pong are “highly curated” and because it is a unique venue, they can’t reply to all inquires. Because of this, it can be slightly difficult to get a show if they are particularly swamped with emails. Make sure to email them with ample time before your requested date. All Ages. DC9 1940 9th Street NW, Washington, DC www.dcnine.com Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org Although DC9 is located in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood, they give a lot of publicity and attention to small indie bands who would be unable to book a show at a larger venue. The bar has a small stage located in the corner of the dimly lit room where bands play almost seven nights a week. Make sure to check out the rooftop deck for a fun place to hang out. DC9 books three months in advance. Make sure to line up some solid local bands before contacting them. The neighborhood is not the best, so don’t leave any items of value in the van and make sure to keep an eye on it if you park it outside. 18+. 180 Capacity. Electric Maid 268 Carroll Street NW, Washington, DC www.electricmaid.org Booking: email@example.com During the day, Electric Maid functions as a community center hosting events such as yoga classes, drum circles, and open mics. In the evening, it is transformed into a punk DIY haven. They don’t have a green room or sell alcohol, but they do have a simple space perfect for hosting tiny shows that are all about the music. Because it isn’t a traditional venue, the Electric Maid provides a PA and small stage, but bands are responsible for anything else they may need. Unlike many DIY venues, they can host shows any night of the week (but make sure to check the calendar so that your requested date doesn’t coincide with a class or another show). It is located directly across from the Takoma Park metro stop, so taking public transportation here is easy. 49 Capacity. All Ages. The Cherch 1616 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC http://thecherch.tumblr.com/ Booking: Contact through Facebook http://www.facebook.com/groups/269739513351/ A house, a room, and a band in the corner is what you’ll find when you arrive at the Cherch. Located in a residential area of the city, the Cherch holds show in the true DIY style that is known to be a staple of the DC scene. They host numerous acts, at some times having more than 8 bands per weekend, and also have played host to larger indie names such as Future Islands. Shows are based on a donation at the door and are BYOB. All Ages. “I played at the Cherch when I was on tour and everyone there was really cool. People came out to the show and were really enthusiastic the whole time.” – Anonymous Photographs: Sharon Van Etten at the Red Palace by Mike Katzif, Comet Ping Pong by M.V. Jantzen
Red Onion Records and Books 1901 18th St NW # B Washington, DC http://redonionrecordsandbooks.com/ Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org This small record and book store in the heart of Dupont Circle has been independently owned since 2006. It may be hard to initially find, as the “hidden” doorway shares a first doorway with the next-door dry cleaning place. The store itself is tiny, but has a large selection of vinyl and is a must-stop for record shopping in addition to gigs. They host a myriad of different types of events including poetry readings, meet the author events, and live music. Because of the small size of the store, it is best suited for acoustic acts, small bands, and a shorter lineup. All Ages. Rock and Roll Hotel 1353 H Street NE, Washington, DC www.rockandrollhoteldc.com Booking: email@example.com Don’t try to book a room, because the Rock and Roll Hotel isn’t actually a hotel. Instead, the venue plays host to bands and DJs seven nights a week. The black interior furnished with Victorian style furniture, mirrors, and pictures provides a unique environment that has just enough touch of class and rock and roll. The booking agent at the Rock and Roll Hotel also does the booking for DC9 and the Red Palace, so there’s no need to email three times. Get in early for load-in so that you’ll be able to find a parking spot. Parking is harder to find as the evening goes on. All Ages. 400 Capacity. Fondo del Sol Visual Arts Center 2112 R Street Northwest, Washington, DC www.fondodelsol.org/ Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org This community-based, non-profit museum features visual art, sculpture, photography, and films that celebrate “the great cultural heritage and the people of the Americas”. The center hosts musical acts who fall in line with their mission statement and therefore cater to a niche crowd. “This is a very small venue for international music with focus on Latin American, Cuban, Mexican and Spanish music. Attracts an intellectual group of young people and adults alike. Good exposure for new international bands looking to meet an authentic DC community.” – Anonymous. All Ages. Velvet Lounge 915 U Street NW, Washington, DC www.velvetloungedc.com Booking: email@example.com Don’t be deceived by the name, there’s nothing velvet or swanky about the Velvet Lounge, it’s just a good old dive of a venue. Velvet Lounge is a great place for bands just starting out in DC. They are willing to book almost any genre and they don’t require you to bring in an insane amount of people. Because of that, the Velvet Lounge appeals to musicians coming out of many different scenes. There is a “secret” patio out back that is roughly the same size as the bar where you can go to hang out and smoke. Many patrons aren’t aware that it is there, so it tends to be a bit more quiet. Parking in the area is difficult so be sure to arrive with ample time before the gig, because you may be driving around for a while. Load in and out can be a pain if you have a lot of gear because the bands play on the second floor of the venue and will need to carry all of their equipment upstairs. However, the upstairs of the bar has a significantly smaller capacity, so shows are intimate and fill up quicker.
Food Key: $ - Cheap Eats (meal under $5) $$ - Place to eat if you have disposible money - Good for breakfast Y- Vegan or Vegetarian - Open Late (Midnight and later) - Does call in/carry out
Food Big Bear Café - Y 1700 1st St NW, Washington, DC 202-470-5543 http://bigbearcafe-dc.com Big Bear Café is a coffeehouse that serves light breakfast, lunch, and dinner food in addition to an extensive selection of French press coffee. All of the ingredients used in the food are bought from local farmers’ markets and the café uses many environmentally friendly business practices, including running on green energy. They occasionally host events in the evening such as comedy, open mics, and acoustic performances. A meal here won’t set you back too much; most of the breakfast foods are under $5 and the lunches range from about $6 to $10.
the pumpkin pancakes and the cornmeal pancakes.
Open City Diner - Y 2331 Calvert Street Northwest, Washington, DC 202-332-2331 http://www.opencitydc.com/ Located near the National Zoo, Open City Diner doesn’t look like a traditional diner. With skylights and ceiling-to-floor windows, the restaurant actually has the feeling of being open. They serve breakfast all day in addition to having an entire menu dedicated to gluten free meals. Wednesdays are 50% off of gluten-free pizzas. The menu is traditional diner fare with gourmet twists, such as brioche French toast. Everything on the menu that is vegan is specifically noted. Make sure to try
Standard 1801 14th Street Northwest , Washington, DC 20009 http://standarddc.com Standard is a small bbq and beer garden where most of the seating is in a courtyard outside. The owners wanted to recreate the summer bbq feeling that they experienced growing up as youth, and, therefore, the restaurant is only open during the spring and summer. Usually, it reopens on March 1st and then will close during the fall when the weather begins to get cold again. Pulled pork sandwiches, sausage, ribs, burgers, and brisket are all on the menu. If the weather outside is nice, stop by Standard to get that at-home cookout feel while on tour. Photographs: Baths at Rock and Roll Hotel by Mike Katzif, Thee Lexington Arrows at the Velvet Lounge by Chris Suspect, the side of Big Bear Cafe by Colin Cookman
Pit Stop National Museum of the Marine Corps 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, Virginia 800-397-7585 http://www.usmcmuseum.com This free museum contains artifacts and history of the Marine Corps in the United States and is located adjacent to the Marine Corps base in Quantico, VA. The museum is shaped like a large glass pyramid, and has exhibits that chronicle history from the American Revolution to present day. One can see planes, weapons, uniforms, battlefield and barracks replicas, interactive exhibits, and more. It is located directly off of I-95 between Washington DC and Richmond, about an hour south of DC and is an easy rest stop along the road. Photograph by Mike Turner
Taylor Gourmet - Y 485 K St NW, Washington, DC (202) 289-8001 http://www.taylorgourmet.com/ Taylor Gourmet serves delicious deli sandwiches and real cane sugar sodas. They offer many satisfying vegetarian options in addition to deli standards. For $10, you can get a foot long sandwich stuffed with fillings. Taylor Gourmet is a certified green business. Ben’s Chili Bowl - $ Y 1213 U St. NW, Washington, DC 202-667-0909 http://www.benschilibowl.com Ben’s Chili Bowl is somewhat of a landmark in DC, serving up famous chilidogs, half-smokes, and milkshakes. It has been a DC establishment since 1958 and has been patronized by the likes of Bill Cosby, Bono, Chris Tucker, and Barack Obama. The owners were recently inducted into the DC Hall of Fame. Although there are now multiple locations around the city, it’s worth a visit to the original. You can get Chili Dogs, Chili Con Carne, Chili Burgers and more for about $5 each. In addition, they have recently added vegetarian options such as vegetarian chili, veggie burger, veggie burger sub, and veggie dog. The restaurant is open until 2am during the week and 4am on the weekends. Busboys and Poets - Y 1700 1st Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001 (202) 470-5543 http://www.busboysandpoets.com Busboys and Poets takes its name from Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel before gaining recognition as a poet. This flagship location was opened in 2005 by Iraqi-American artist Anas “Andy” Shallal who wanted to create a progressive “community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted… a space [where] we can inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world.” The business uses clean power from renewable energy sources – the wind! In addition, they donate their business space to Teaching For Change and collect books for Capital BookShare. Everything on the menu reflects their mission statement. All ingredients are bought fresh and locally. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes take a up a great deal of the menu and are all clearly labeled as such. They are known for their use of vegan meat substitutes to create delicious versions of classic American favorites. This is a great stop for all band members despite of their dietary restrictions (or lack of). “You HAVE to try the Vegan cheesecake. It is so unbelievable!” – Anonymous Summer Delights - Y 6939 Laurel Ave, Takoma Park, MD 301-891-2880 The first thing that catches one’s eye at Summer Delights is the extensive collection of Elvis memorabilia, including records, wall murals, and a bust of the King. Shortly after that, one may notice the assortment of homemade ice cream, cookies, and vegan cupcakes and sorbet. The scoops are gigantic and include flavors such as rum, mint cookie, espresso chip, and peach lemon. Although the actual restaurant is drab and resembles a dingy lunch counter, don’t be afraid to try their sandwiches or breakfast foods. Patrons recommend the pastrami sandwich or corned beef on rye. Fast Gourmet - 1400 W St. NW, Washington, DC 202-448-9217 http://www.fast-gourmet.com/ Don’t be deterred by the fact that Fast Gourmet is located in a gas station. This tiny restaurant serves gourmet-style deli sandwiches to go. Everything served at Fast Gourmet is free trade and environmentally friendly, down to their to-go boxes. Fast Gourmet also has free wifi. A big benefit to touring bands is that it is open later than almost any restaurant in the city. On Thursdays it is open until 4am and on Friday and Saturday it is open until 5:30am! Make sure to try their sides of plantains, yucca fries, and beer battered eggplant.
Eat First - $ 609 H Street Northwest, Washington, DC 202-289-1703 Service is quick and portions are large at Eat First, an unassuming hole-in-the-wall restaurant located in Chinatown. They serve authentic Chinese food at reasonable prices; their lunch special is about $6-$7 for soup and an entrée, and $4 for selected dishes. Open until 2am on weeknights and 3am on the weekend. If you are adventurous, pick a dish from the hand-written menu on the wall, you’ll be served with a genuine Chinese dish – not an Americanized version. Their menu has a small selection of vegetarian and tofu dishes. Shawafel - Y 1322 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002 202-388-7676 http://shawafeldc.com This restaurant serves traditional Turkish food in both sandwiches and platters. Falafel sandwiches, shawarma, tabbouleh, and fattoush all come highly recommended. They have a nice selection of vegetarian options on their platters. If you ask, they will give you falafel patties on the side for 75c each. Open until 3am on the weekends.
Relaxation and Fun Bedrock Billiards 1841 Columbia Road Northwest, Washington, DC 202-667-7665 www.bedrockbilliards.com/ Bedrock Billiards is not the grimy, smoky billiards hall that comes quickly to mind. Instead, it is a retro style, funky billiards hall with darts, shuffleboard, board games, and a jukebox. Patrons will feel like they are right out of a scene from Mad Men while sitting high on mod red vinyl bar stools. They don’t serve any food here, but you are welcome to order delivery and eat it inside. Be forewarned that playing any of the games does cost a fee. Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar 1104 H Street NE, Washington, DC littlemisswhiskeys.com/ The Décor at Little Miss Whiskey’s mixes retro 50s kitsch with New Orleans and cowgirls (imagine Fallout New Vegas meets Bourbon St). Upstairs one can find a dance floor and a DJ, while downstairs tends to be a more low-key bar experience. The dance music tends to be eclectic, and is mainly funk on the weekends. Their signature drink, called Awesomeness (peach tea vodka slushie), resembles your favorite frozen drink and comes in a bright plastic cup with a funky straw. Be careful with this – one for a night is usually all that anyone needs. They only accept cash, so make sure to go to an ATM beforehand (there is one inside, but there is an ATM fee). Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club 1103 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC www.jimmyvalentineslhc.com/ Jimmy Valentines, the brother bar to Little Miss Whiskey’s, may be hard to spot, but look out for the collection of pink crocheted hearts outside the door. The strip it is along can be confusing as there is often no sign of life from any other business in the area during the bar’s hours. The inside is entirely lit by red light and decorated with more hearts and similar knick-knacks. Drinks are served in mismatched glasses bought from thrift stores. On Friday nights they offer $1 PBR tallboys. Try the root beer slushie but be warned, it is sweet and cold like a favorite frozen beverage, but will knock you out pretty quickly. Just like Little Miss Whiskey’s, they only accept cash. Photographs: Ben’s Chili Bowl by Joseph A, Eat First by Keith Ivey
U St. Music Hall 1115A U Street NW, Washington, DC 202-588-1880 www.ustreetmusichall.com/ U St. Music Hall is a DJ-owned basement dance hall and music venue. On almost every night of the week, you’ll find DJs playing different themes of music. People like the cheap beers and shots that are offered daily. The venue has created a nonprofit organization that supports school music education programs in Washington DC. “Good DJ’s. Always a good time” – Anonymous Big Planet Comics 1520 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009 202-342-1961 www.bigplanetcomics.com/ Big Planet Comics is a place where rabid comic collectors can find what they are looking for. They don’t offer t-shirts, toys, or other knick-knacks, but they do have a selection of graphic novels, specializing in independent comic book authors. They frequently have signings with authors and other events in the store. The employees at the store make a weekly podcast where they talk about new comics, old favorites, and any other comic-related topics that come to their minds. You can listen and download the podcast from their website. Crooked Beat Records 2116 18th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 202-483-2328 www.crookedbeat.com/ The name of this store comes from one of the lesser-known songs from the Clash album Sandinista. Crooked Beat Records specializes in the music of independent labels, bootlegs, as well as obscure major label releases. In addition, a whole section of the store is dedicated to local band and local music. They will let you listen to vinyl before you buy it, setting you up at one of the few record machines they have off to the side. The store hosts in-store performances that are always all-ages and free. The store is on basement level so it’s easy to walk past if you aren’t paying attention. Crooked Beat Records tends to be a bit more expensive than other stores, but their selection and organization can make up for that. The Wonderland Ballroom 1101 Kenyon St NW, Washington, DC 202-232-5263 www.thewonderlandballroom.com/ The Wonderland Ballroom bills themselves as a “Bohemian Beer Garden” where one can go to drink, dance, and listen to live music. The décor is eclectic and creates a warm environment. The bar is generally playing music to dance to, however you won’t be hearing any club bangers or Top 40 hits here. The dance music ranges through all types of genres, but tends to stick to more independent and underground artists. Make sure to try the fried pickles. House of Musical Traditions 7010 Westmoreland Ave, Takoma Park, MD 301-270-9090 www.hmtrad.com/ This musical instrument store located right on the edge of the city carries guitar accessories, drums, and any other supplies that might be needed for a touring band, However, they also have a large selection of traditional and exotic instruments. It’s easy to waste a day in the store playing with mandolins, sitars, erhus, banjos, autoharps, and other instruments that are hard to find anywhere else. There is a complete list of the instruments they carry on their website. The staff isn’t pushy and will let you play and test the instruments without interruption. House of Musical Traditions is also a great stop to have exotic instruments repaired. National Zoo 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 202-633-4888 nationalzoo.si.edu/ Because the National Zoo is part of the Smithsonian, admission is completely free! Although the Zoo isn’t located near the majority of the museums, it is in a convenient location to many restaurants and has a parking lot. The zoo is one of the oldest in the United States and houses over 4,000 animals. One of the most popular exhibits at the zoo is the giant pandas, but other fantastic exhibits include birds, great apes, big cats, elephants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, and aquatic animals. The zoo covers 163 acres and makes it an easy activity for an entire day, if desired.
Smithsonian Institution 1000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC 202-633-1000 www.si.edu The Smithsonian Institution is one of the most famous collections of museums in the entire world. Containing 19 museums, 9 research centers, and more than 140 affiliate museums around the world, the Smithsonian houses some of the world’s most valuable treasures and is visited by tourists from across the globe. The museums in DC include the African American History and Culture Museum, the African Art Museum, the Air and Space Museum, the American History Museum, the American Indian Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Natural History Museum, the Postal Museum, the US Botanic Gardens, the National Gallery of Art, and even the National Zoo. Eleven of these museums are located around the mall in DC (the park-like area that contains the monuments), so once you get there you will be within walking distance of too many to view in a day! Maps of the Smithsonian museum’s locations are scattered around the mall, so it will be easy to locate specific ones. While visiting museums, you’ll be able to see some of the world’s most valued treasures including the Hope Diamond, an 80-foot dinosaur skeleton, a gigantic prehistoric shark, the Star Spangled Banner (the flag that inspired the national anthem), and original paintings by El Greco, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Degas, Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, Mary Cassat, and more. Many of the museums contain interactive exhibits and activities (check out the Air and Space Museum for some great interactive exhibits). The best part about the Smithsonian is that it is administered and funded by the US government, so all of the museums are completely FREE. You will never have to pay anything for admission, so going to the museums is a budget-friendly, yet highly entertaining way to spend a day. Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center 11151 Veirs Mill Road, Wheaton, MD 20902 301-946-8808 www.chucklevins.com/ Chuck Levin’s is what happens when you take a family-owned, local music store and pump it up to the size of a guitar center. The store was originally opened in 1968 by Chuck and Marge Levin and later moved to its current location in Wheaton, MD. The store occupies four warehouses, a repair facility, and the sales and showroom. They have an extensive array of instruments including guitars, basses, drums, keyboards, band instruments, orchestral instruments, and vocal equipment. Unusual and rare instruments are carried and the employees welcome you to try anything in the store. It is easy to spend hours messing around with the various instruments. Because it is an independently owned store, the employees will often cut you deals on your purchase. They can repair almost any instrument and are known as being one of the most reliable repair places in the DC area. Whatever instrument you play, it is almost guaranteed that Chuck Levin’s carries the accessories or can repair it. Pharmacy Bar 2337 18th St NW, Washington, DC 202-483-1200 Although “pharmacy” may not seem like an appealing theme for a bar, the Pharmacy Bar is a quirky and fun place to get a drink. Tables are covered in “pills” and the wall murals feature your friendly neighborhood pharmacists. The bar tends to be less rowdy than others in the area, and provides free board games for patrons to play. The selection of songs on the jukebox is extensive and the bartenders pour strong drinks. The jukebox carries alternative classics such as My Bloody Valentine, Bowie, and the entire Dischord catalog. Kulturas Books 1728 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 202-588-1270 kulturasbooks.vpweb.com/ Kulturas carries second-hand books, rare books, and “sort-of-vintage consignment”. Although Kulturas isn’t a place to go if you’re looking for something specific, it’s great for browsing and picking up a read if you’re looking for a hidden gem and aren’t quite sure what you want. Because the shop is so small, some books are stacked two rows deep and you’ll have to do some digging. On the staircase they have books for $1 and $2. The rest of the books are mid-price as far as used books go, but they are in good condition. They buy used books for either cash or in-store credit. Photographs: The Smithsonian Bulding by Ahmed Mohamed