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DC

Drink. Dine. Do. April 2019

GOES

GREEN

Nats’ Bolstered Bullpen Comedian Lewis Black Chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg

Plant-Based Bites Sustainable Sips Kombucha Demystified Eco Efforts The Cannabis Conversation Fancy Radish’s Kate Jacoby & Rich Landau


Photos: Mark Raker Photography

The National Building Museum hosted Brewer’s Ball on Saturday, March 2, featuring more than 40 breweries and 30 restaurants in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Guests enjoyed unlimited samplings of handcrafted beers and tastes of the best local cuisine, and hit the dance floor to enjoy 90s hits from White Ford Bronco.


now Now available

in dc!

Drink responsibly. Corona Premier© Beer, Imported by Crown Imports, Chicago IL 12 FL. OZ. SERVING AVERAGE ANALYSIS: CALORIES 90, CARBS 2.6 GRAMS, PROTEIN 0.7 GRAMS, FAT 0.0 GRAMS


TABLE OF CONTENTS APRIL 2019: VOL 21 NO 6

WHO IS ON TAP?

DC Goes Green

DC

Drink. Dine. Do. April 2019

GOES

Plant-Based Bites Sustainable Sips Kombucha Demystified Eco Efforts The Cannabis Conversation Fancy Radish’s Kate Jacoby & Rich Landau

GREEN

Nats’ Bolstered Bullpen Comedian Lewis Black Chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg

On the cover: Fancy Radish's Kate Jacoby & Rich Landau Photographer: Cassidy DuHon Designer: Julia Goldberg

“Green” can mean many things to many people, and this month we’ve got them all covered. Even if you’re not a vegan, vegetarian or someone who shies away from meat, you’ve surely noticed the uptick in veggie-forward foods in the District, including our cover stars at Fancy Radish. We talked to the duo behind the DC-via-Philly operation and some restaurateurs involved in other green spots about what makes this trend accessible to everyone. But green dining isn’t just limited to the actual ingredients, and we explored the steps taken in the food and beverage world to increase sustainability. From Devour’s compost solutions to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Grasses for the Masses project and DC’s plastic straw ban, we paint a holistic picture of how and why these changes are taking place. We also explore another kind of green: as the conversation surrounding marijuana in DC is ever evolving and occasionally confusing, local experts and advocates provide an insider’s look into the debate. And as plants pop up around the city and your Instagram feed, we peered into the life of florist Megan Adams of She Loves Me’s beautiful blooms. Spring sports are back in the spotlight, and we’re on deck with a preview of the Nats’ 2019 season, local community initiatives and more. Read interviews with comedian Lewis Black and musicians Eli "Paperboy" Reed, Charlotte Gainsbourg and DC’s Oh He Dead, and get an inside look at Nat Geo’s Queens of Egypt exhibit and Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival’s 10th anniversary.

 LIFESTYLE

I Am The River's Keeper .......................................... 4 Grasses for the Masses ........................................... 6 Devoured's Creative Composting ........................ 8 The Cannabis Conversation ................................ 10 A Day in the Life with Megan Adams ................ 14 Drink, Dine, Do ....................................................... 16

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The Cannabis Conversation

Power Plants

The Future of Weed in DC

The District Eats Green

 ARTS

& CULTURE

Nat Geo's Queens of Egypt ................................. 20 Hoops Exhibit Comes to DC ................................ 22  RECREATIONAL

Light It UP! Illuminates the Courts .................... 24 Breaking Ground at Rec Soccer Fields .............. 26

PUBLISHER Robert Kinsler

robert@ontaponline.com

MANAGING EDITOR Monica Alford

monica@ontaponline.com

ASSISTANT EDITOR Trent Johnson trent@ontaponline.com

EDITORIAL STAFF M.K. Koszycki mk@ontaponline.com

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Julia Goldberg julia@ontaponline.com

PRINT AND DIGITAL DESIGN Nick Caracciolo KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER Tom Roth

tomroth@ontaponline.com

DIGITAL & ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Kayla Marsh

kayla@ontaponline.com

EVENTS & PROMOTIONS MANAGER Katie Seaman

katie@ontaponline.com

 SPORTS

Pitching Expected to Take Nats Far ................... 30  DINING

40

42

Fancy Radish's Duo

Stop Sucking

Use Vegan Powers for Inclusivity

DC's Plastic Straw Ban

Game Day Fare ....................................................... 32 New & Notable ....................................................... 34 Power Plants: Green Eats in the District ........... 36 Fancy Radish's Vegan Powers ............................. 40  DRINKS

Stop Sucking: DC's Plastic Straw Ban ................ 42 Kombucha Demystified........................................ 44 Behind the Bar with No Kisses ............................ 46 Red Bear Brewing is Open to All ........................ 50 What's On Tap? ....................................................... 52  MUSIC

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Kombucha Demystified

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Local Brewers Talk Shop

The Chanteuse Enters New Era

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ON TAP |APRIL 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

Music Picks .............................................................. 52 Hunt the Stacks: Record Store Day .................... 58 Whole Lotta Soul: Eli "Paperboy" Reed............. 60 Charlotte Gainsbourg's New Era ........................ 62 Kingman Island Fest's 10th Anniversary .......... 64 Indie Soul Band Oh He Dead .............................. 66  STAGE

& SCREEN

Comedian Lewis Black Is Still Pissed ................. 70 Stage & Screen Events .......................................... 72

EVENTS& PROMOTIONS ASSISTANT Savannah Jeter

savannah@ontaponline.com

OUTREACH COORDINATOR Kelcie Glass

kelcie@ontaponline.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Lani Furbank, Keith Loria, Travis Mitchell, Reem Nadeem, Lanna Nguyen, Jean Schindler, Leah Seyoum, Amanda Weisbrod

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Cassidy DuHon, Lani Furbank, Alan Kelly, Mike Kim, Reem Nadeem, Christina O’Connell, Jean Schindler


PUBLISHER’S NOTE

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Nearly 10 years ago, some friends and I read about a SkeeBall league that started in NYC. It was clearly the kind of uber hipster thing that could only have been born in Brooklyn, in a bar under a rhythmic yet incessant elevated subway line. The article spoke of cult-like devotion, intense battles of skill, and its own creative jargon such as “Full Circles” and “Hundro Rollers.” All of these things I found a bit charming and totally intense. Through those elements also came a clear picture of the fun and joy the league sparked for its players. It was clear we needed a league like this in DC and couldn’t miss the chance to put our own spin on it. It was with reading that article that DC Skee, which later became United Social Sports, and still later DC Fray, was born. While we didn’t realize it at the time, in the launch of that first league we also launched our mission: to make fun possible. We didn’t always say it so succinctly (please don’t ask me to recount our first actual written mission statement – it was a mouthful!) but that core mission has been at the heart of everything we have done since. Over the years, it has seen us expand our offerings from Skee-Ball leagues and tongue-in-cheek social sports like kickball, cornhole and shuffleboard to extending into traditional sports leagues like softball, soccer, volleyball and flag football. It’s seen us move from just a social sports company to a social sports and events company. We’ve added things like our free bar bingos and river tubing trips, and even the fun events we are hired to produce for others, to where we stand today. We’re a social sports, events and media company that is expanding how we share the fun things to do in and with our community. As I’ve sat down to write my first letter as publisher of On Tap Magazine, it is not lost on me that the spark that started this journey came from the power of the written word and media coverage. The power of sharing ideas and experiences has never been more impactful, and I am incredibly proud to welcome On Tap Magazine and its incredible team to the Fray family. Together we will continue to grow and expand our mission of making fun possible by creating and sharing fun things to do. We’ll do that by focusing on the stories, people and experiences that are making our community a fun and vibrant one to live in. We’ll strive to be a discovery tool for you and your friends, to elevate the little gems that are easy to miss in our hectic and busy lives, and to help you make the most of living here in our nation’s capital and possibly even beyond. We’ll do all of this in a rapidly evolving world of media by keeping our six Fray values close to all we do. Innovation, gratitude, community, courage, positivity and, of course, play are the values that have underpinned our mission and gotten us to this next exciting part of the Fray journey. If you have a tip for something you think we should cover or just want to reach out about this evolution of On Tap Magazine, please email me directly at robert@unitedfray.com. I can’t wait to see all of the ways we continue to achieve our mission with and for you.

I can say with full certainty that I’m doing what I truly love and have been every day for the past three years. Pursuing a career in journalism with feature writing at its core has been a path I’ve followed for 15 years with few twists and turns, and having the opportunity to embrace and hone this craft full-time at On Tap has been one of the greatest joys of my adult life. There’s something very unique about what we’ve built at On Tap, something I’m quite proud of. Our team is one of the most close-knit, committed groups of professionals I’ve ever known, and they’re my family. Without their talent and devotion to every element of editorial, from journalistic integrity to original design, our magazine wouldn’t be what it is today. My colleagues and I have breathed new life into what we cover and how we cover it; having the opportunity to shape not only the content and design but the trajectory of a publication’s coverage, voice and credibility is a gift and a responsibility we take very seriously. Though we cover what makes DC an interesting, exciting city to live in, we still want to be a reliable source for locals in everything we write about. As someone who grew up in Northern Virginia and has spent the past decade post-college rediscovering the District as a young professional, I’ve loved watching our city transform from a white collar, vanilla land of policy and government to a foodie-centric, artistic hub with a thriving creative community. DC is a completely different town than it was even five years ago, and I’m here for it. I’m also here for embracing change, especially in media’s shifting landscape. On Tap kicked off 2019 with our biggest news in 20 years: we’ve been acquired by DC Fray, a healthy, growing company that has expanded from a robust network of recreational sports leagues locally and nationally to incorporate both events and media. Much like On Tap, a publication that over the past five years has transformed into a media company with a successful events arm, DC Fray sees the importance in connecting the different ways to make our city fun for locals: they can read about what to do and then go out and do it via a variety of events or by joining a rec league. Over the past several months, I’ve watched Fray founder and CEO Robert Kinsler reinforce his company’s mission statement – to make fun possible – in every single interaction we’ve had. The Fray ethos extends beyond Kinsler to his staff, and this genuine positivity and excitement to bring what makes DC a great place to work and play in (heavy emphasis on play) to the forefront of our readers’ minds is infectious. But beyond this contagious energy is a deep respect for editorial, and I’ve seen it in our new publisher since day one. Kinsler believes in what On Tap has worked to build, and he wants to continue informing our readers through journalistically credible, engaging, original content. He too is proud of what we’ve built and is ready to help us take our magazine and growing media company to the next level. As we expand our editorial footprint and hopefully reach a more diverse demographic with our content as part of our new, extended family at Fray, we promise to bring the same level of commitment to the authentic and creative way we strive to approach our print and digital content. As always, thank you to the local community of incredible folks we have the privilege of covering and our readers who give us honest, open feedback and continue to read our work. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to continue riding this amazing wave.

Robert Kinsler

Monica Alford

Publisher, On Tap Magazine

Managing Editor, On Tap Magazine www.ontaponline.com | APRIL 2019 | ON TAP

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By Amanda Weisbrod

T

he relationship between man and water has long been part of our biological history as a species. In the U.S., European settlers often chose locations near rivers and lakes because of the convenience and access that comes with living near clean water; those settlements often transformed into massive hubs of industry and transport over the next two centuries. DC’s story is the same. Booming areas like Capitol Riverfront became extremely profitable off the flow of the Anacostia River, but the river did not improve in the same way. Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) President Jim Foster says 40 years ago, no one wanted to even go near the water because of the smell and pollution. But since the Clean Water Act passed in 1972, AWS and other organizations like Anacostia Riverkeeper and DC’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) have dedicated resources to bring the human connection back to the Anacostia by leading cleanup efforts, proposing legislation and educating the public on why it’s so important to have a clean water source. DC Water, the District’s Water and Sewer Authority, has also contributed to the river cleanup in a big way as part of the Clean Rivers Project, a two-billion, 20-year initiative that will reduce combined sewer overflows by 98 percent in the Anacostia River through a massive infrastructure program designed to capture and clean wastewater during rainfalls before it ever reaches the river. Construction on the Clean Rivers Project Phase I deep underground tunnel system began in 2013 and was completed in spring 2018, contributing to a much-healthier-than-before Anacostia River. Capitol Riverfront is a primary example of the benefits cultivated from their hard work. “Capitol Riverfront was an opportunity to do waterfront redevelopment with high-end retail [and] residential office space for a whole new group of folks,” Foster says. “It married up well for the goals of local population and the cleanup of the river.” As the river became cleaner and more people visited its waters, the AWS received more support from the general population to do something about the state of the Anacostia. As more people moved to the waters, the river became cleaner because of the residents’ personal

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investment in its well-being. This beneficial, symbiotic relationship all starts with education and getting people down to the river to see for themselves, according to Anacostia Riverkeeper Outreach Coordinator Trey Sherard. “The Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District wants a river that they’re proud of, that looks clean and supports healthy recreation,” he says. “For the sake of the river, having the neighborhood here brings so many people to the river who may not have seen it or interacted with it otherwise.” Capitol Riverfront is one of the only places in DC with easy access to the Anacostia, which makes it important to the cleanup efforts of Anacostia Riverkeeper and other organizations, according to Sherard. “It’s one of the only places where people live this closely to the river,” he says. “People only started seeing how dirty the river was maybe four or five years ago. Then they wanted to join groups and get involved. This whole conversation around a clean Anacostia wouldn’t have happened as fully or with as much broad support so quickly without this neighborhood here.” But the DC population isn’t the only entity benefitting from the effects of cleaning the rivers. DOEE Director Tommy Wells says one of the most telling signs of the improvement in the waters has been the return of the eagle to its shores. “Fifty years ago, there were no eagles on the river,” he says. “Four years ago, the eagles returned and they’re on their fourth [or] fifth generation of eaglet. They can finally feed themselves off the river again.” Although there has been a massive overhaul in the cleanliness of the river over the past several decades, Foster, Sherard and Wells all agree there is still work to be done. AWS wants to make the river swimmable again and has a plan to get there by 2025. Foster says the organization created the Waterway to 2025 plan five years ago to “help drive that vision of connecting people through storytelling through the river.” “Everybody has a different mindset or connection to the water,” Foster says. “It can be spiritual [or] it can be liking to reflect and relax and be energetic in sports. The water is very powerful. To stand here and look at a waterbody that you can’t touch is just not right. We advocate, we try to engage and persuade and teach people, and if we

Photo: Courtesy of Anacostia Watershed Society

I Am The River’s Keeper


RIVERFRONT RECREATION Ballpark Boathouse

DC’s newest river recreational hotspot Ballpark Boathouse will officially open its docks for kayaking, canoeing and river tours on the Anacostia in late May. Stay cool on the river and tour some of DC’s most notable locations like the U.S. Capitol and Capitol Riverfront this summer. Potomac Avenue and First Street in SE, DC; www.boatingindc.com/boathouses/ballpark-boathouse

Riverwalk Trail

Instead of taking a stroll down crowded downtown streets this summer, get out to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. The continuous 20-mile trail along both sides of the river for walkers, runners and cyclists alike is perfect for a jaunt in the cool breeze off the Anacostia. Only 12 miles of the trail are currently open, but DC’s Department of Transportation is working hard to get the Capitol Riverfront project completed. Start at Diamond Teague Park and head east along the Anacostia riverfront in SE, DC; www.capitolriverfront.org/go/anacostia-riverwalk-trail

Riverkeeper Motorized Boat Tours

Join the Anacostia River Explorers this summer for an educational river tour focused on the Anacostia’s history, wildlife, environmental threats and possible solutions to the problems it faces. The best part? They’re free. Various locations in Capitol Riverfront, check website for details; www.anacostiariverkeeper.org/tours

For more information on how to get involved with Anacostia River cleanup efforts, visit AWS at www.anacostiaws.org and Anacostia Riverkeeper’s at www.anacostiariverkeeper.org. To review the Clean Water Act and learn more about DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project, visit www.doee.dc.gov and www.dcwater.com/cleanrivers.

Photos: Mike Kim

can’t make that work, we find the legal remedy.” Meanwhile, Anacostia Riverkeeper is continuing to test the river for E.coli – the bacteria present in solid waste – as they have done for the past few summers. But this year, they have a $140,000 grant from the DOEE to expand testing sites to cover the rest of the rivers in DC and include temperature and pH levels in the readings. This year’s water testing data will be posted online to the Anacostia Riverkeeper website and to Swimmable, an app used to track whether or not the natural bodies of water would be swimmable on any given day. Sherard says there’s an intention behind making the data public. “In DC, when it’s a 110-degree natural heat index, we think it’s silly you can’t swim in the natural water bodies,” he says. “It’s illegal to swim in the rivers, and we want to get that ban lifted by studying how many people are swimming and document days when water is swimmable.” A throng of volunteers from many different organizations invested in the cleanliness of DC’s natural water supply will conduct the tests this summer. Sherard says he would love to see more people to volunteer and come out in support of cleaning the rivers because there’s nothing like having a clean body of natural water to recreate on. “People love water,” he continues. “Almost all the world’s cities are on rivers or coasts. We want to simultaneously introduce people to the Anacostia and have them realize the river is fun and safe.”

In early March, Hot N Juicy Crawfish DC celebrated Fat Tuesday with its annual crawfish-eating contest. Participants enjoyed drink specials, gift card prizes and more.

This article also ran in the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District’s 2019 Riverfront Review, an On Tap-produced publication. www.ontaponline.com | APRIL 2019 | ON TAP

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S E S S GRfoAr the S E S S MA rbank

By Lani Fu

Photos: Lani Furbank

Growing

I

grow grass – but not the kind you’d think. It’s called Vallisneria Americana, and this green stuff has an entirely different purpose. This particular species of grass, commonly known as wild celery, proliferated on the bottom of local rivers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed centuries ago. Today, less than half of the underwater grass population remains. This is a serious concern for ecologists, but also for anyone who enjoys Chesapeake blue crab and the bounty of seafood that comes from the bay. Underwater grasses are essential to the health of the bay ecosystem for a number of reasons: they reduce erosion, combat pollution, produce oxygen, and provide critical habitat for fish and shellfish. That’s why I’m one of hundreds of volunteers in Virginia who grow wild celery in their homes, classrooms and offices each year with the goal of restoring the lost acres of grass beds in the bay watershed. Our efforts are part of an initiative run by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) called Grasses for the Masses. It started in 2000 and since then, more than 2,750 people have served as grass caretakers. As a clean water captain and regional coordinator for CBF and the grasses program, I help educate interested individuals about the process, which takes five months from planting seeds to

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Lani Furbank

transplanting grasses in local rivers. Each year in January and February, volunteers receive kits to set up growth tanks equipped with lighting, heaters and water pumps. Then, they plant seeds provided by CBF and watch and wait as those seeds germinate and grow into plugs, eventually turning into lush beds of grass. After 10 to 12 weeks of growth and careful monitoring, the grasses are ready to make their way to their new home in the bay’s tributaries. In Northern Virginia, volunteers head to Mason Neck State Park in Lorton to transplant their charges into the Potomac River. The program has seen great success over the years, but the impact isn’t limited to just planting new grass beds within designated areas of local rivers. The thousands of grass plugs planted by volunteers over the years produce hundreds of thousands of seeds that will serve as a seed bank to help boost

populations across the watershed. Thanks to restoration efforts like this, as well as significant water quality improvements in recent years, aquatic grasses are making a comeback. The 2017 survey by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science mapped the highest acreage of underwater grasses since data collection began in 1978. It also marked the third consecutive year that grasses increased bay-wide. There’s still a long way to go to, but thanks to volunteers growing grass, I have high hopes. If you’re interested in participating in the program, visit www.cbf.org/join-us/volunteer and fill out the form to volunteer in Virginia. Select “Underwater Grasses Restoration” as a volunteer interest in order to stay in the loop about next year’s workshops. You can also reach out to grassroots coordinator Gabby Troutman at www.gtroutman@cbf.org.


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Civil Construction

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ON TAP | APRIL 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

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OFFERS SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVE FOR DC WASTE By Trent Johnson

A

mericans excel at wasting food. According to an article on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s website, the country disposed of 37.6 million tons of food waste – with nearly 94 percent of it going to landfills or combustion facilities – in 2015. Essentially, it was rendered uneaten and utterly useless. The simplest way to reduce these numbers is to cut back, but for most, reducing waste is not that simple. Another alternative is being realized in the District by local company Devoured, which strives to help businesses in the city be more responsible by turning what could be trash into compost. Founder Walker Lunn set out to help the World Bank Group cut down on their waste in 2006. As a student studying hospitality management, he began piecing together a program that would help redirect food products thrown away to compost facilities rather than landfills or incineration facilities. Lunn says, “Once we started working with [the World Bank], it became a question of, ‘How do we stop this problem?’” When food waste goes to a landfill, it ends up rotting in an anaerobic environment and produces methane. It causes global warming and takes what could be a valuable resource and loses it forever. What we do is take it to a compost facility where the waste is mixed with sticks, leaves and grass, and it’s decomposed.” According to the EPA, compost is organic material that helps plants grow. Made up largely of food scraps and yard waste, at least 30 percent of what we throw into a trashcan could instead be used as compost. The soil supplement is sold at retail locations such as Home Depot and other gardening outlets. “Everyone we spoke with – restaurants and hotels – were like, ‘This is cool [and] we want to do it, but we’re concerned about cost,’” Lunn says. “Cost, space, odor and training were really the things that came up at first.” Lunn and his team began working on a model that would enable Devoured to pick up the heaviest, wettest, most challenging parts

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of waste to transport to compost facilities, which are generally farther than landfills or transfer stations. In order to reduce odors, the company makes frequent pickups for their client base, which is largely made up of office buildings and hotels throughout the week. “When we started, we couldn’t get another company to haul it,” Lunn says, laughing. “I wanted to hire a contractor, but I couldn’t get anyone to do it. The only compost company was in Cambridge, Maryland, so it was really tough. So much has changed.” One of these changes is the frequent use of biodegradable, compostable products such as cups, plates and bowls. “It’s transformed what we transport because it used to be mostly food,” he says. “Now a huge part of what we collect is packaging. I don’t think there’s any point of buying a compostable product unless you send it to a compost facility. Like any business, we have a sales process, and our business is missiondriven.” With the increase of waste and global warming awareness, there’s no question the business has grown. And while some companies reach out to Devoured specifically because of their own green initiatives, there are others who are still looking to minimize their hefty trash bills. “It’s case by case,” Lunn says. “[For] some of our clients, it’s part of their mission. For professionally managed business, the interest and willingness to do it comes from the benefits it provides, but the justification is typically driven by savings – or at the very least, breaking even.” Another change in the past decade has been the competition. With a heightened awareness of food waste and the damages it can cause to the environment, Lunn is no longer the only game in town. Despite this, he maintains that his clients are ones that other businesses envy; looking ahead, he’s largely hopeful for what’s in store for Devour. “Scaling up is part of [growth].”

At least 30 percent of what we throw into a trashcan could instead be used as compost.

To learn more about Devoured, visit www.devoured.co. Contact Lunn and his team at munchy@devoured.co or 202-810-9751.


FOR RECREATIONAL USE ONLY

G13 IPA is a strange new strain indeed. We took an already dank IPA and married its hops with strain specific terpenes and natural hemp-type flavor. The result is an aromatic super-hybrid sticky IPA that’s ready to rip.

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SweetWater Brewing Company • Atlanta, Georgia • SweetWaterBrew.com G13 IPA is an olfactory experience for sure, but there is no actual THC or CBD in this beer. Please enjoy responsibly.

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e h T

s i b a n n a on

ti a s Cnver o C By Amanda Weisbrod

annabis legalization has been a hot topic for decades, but as federal legalization of the plant and its byproducts inches closer, policymakers, advocates and enthusiasts are in the weeds with conflicting state and federal laws. For the District, cannabis legality is particularly convoluted – especially when taking the different strains and uses of cannabis products into account. Industrial hemp, for example, lacks the chemical compound of THC, which is responsible for producing the high that consumers get after ingesting the leaves of a regular marijuana plant. Industrial hemp has been descheduled as a schedule one controlled substance under federal law, but regular marijuana has not. Then there’s byproducts of industrial hemp to consider like cannabidiol (CBD oil), which has surged in popularity because of its health benefits studied and tested by scientists internationally. It’s so trendy, in fact, CVS announced on March 21 it will begin selling CBD products in 800 stores across eight states. While people who consume marijuana and its byproducts for medicinal purposes have more protection from the law in DC than those who consume it recreationally, the state of the plant’s legality is confusing, to say the least.

The Law The distinction between DC and federal law is murky, especially because the District’s budget is controlled by Congress. But by looking at the timeline of legislation, one can start to parse out what is allowed – and what isn’t – in DC regarding marijuana and hemp consumption, possession and sales. The Agricultural Act of 2014, or Farm Bill, was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on February 7 that year. While the bill reauthorized and established various federal agricultural programs, the most important aspect of the bill for cannabis advocates was the allowance of institutions of higher education or state departments of agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes. Regular cannabis, however, remained a schedule one controlled substance alongside heroin and

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cocaine under federal law – where it still remains today. Four years later, the Agricultural Act of 2018 passed, opening up the industrial hemp market by allowing states to regulate their own hemp production and research. But just because states are allowed to grow hemp doesn’t mean its byproducts are legal. Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a nonprofit dedicated to CBD oil advocacy, takes issue with this aspect of the law. “One of biggest problems – now according to the Farm Bill – is it’s legal to grow hemp and contents within hemp plant,” says Lee, who authored Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana. “But once it’s extracted out of the plant, it’s not clear what the legality is. [This bill] is like a patch for bad software, [and] it’s impossible to patch up the bad software of the Controlled Substances Act.” The Controlled Substances Act is the federal law under which cannabis is classified as a schedule one substance. This makes recreational possession, consumption and the selling of cannabis illegal at the federal level, but DC’s robust medicinal program is licensed and protected to prevent the Department of Justice from targeting medical cannabis providers who are in compliance with state law. In the District, Initiative 71, a voter-approved ballot initiative that went into effect in February 2015, legalizes recreational consumption and possession of less than two ounces of marijuana – as long as the adult is at least 21 years of age. Growing up to six plants and consuming marijuana is also legal in the privacy of one’s own home, but public consumption is still illegal. Gifting marijuana under Initiative 71 is allowed as long as the amount is one ounce or less and there’s no goods, services or money exchanged for the product. This makes the commercial sale of marijuana products illegal but medicinal sales are still allowed, which explains the small number of medical dispensaries in DC. Although Initiative 71 basically legalizes public possession of marijuana, albeit a few caveats, a federal officer still has the right to arrest anyone holding any amount of marijuana in the District under federal law. So, to answer the question: Is weed legal in DC? Sort of, but advocates remain optimistic for the not-so-far-off future of marijuana descheduling and legalization.


Advocacy Groups all over the country are pushing for a change in legislation at the federal level, but the one place to celebrate cannabis nationally is right here in DC at the National Cannabis Festival. Festival founder and executive producer Caroline Phillips says she and a group of cannabis advocates started the festival in 2016 for two reasons: to give supporters of legalized cannabis a place to congregate and confer with one another while celebrating the cause, and as a fresh way to have the conversation by creating an all-inclusive event no matter a person’s identity. “We wanted to create an event that’s accessible and approachable for a broad range of people from all backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities,” Phillips says. “You’ll see people from 21 to 80 years old from all backgrounds [and] speaking different languages, but all coming together over the shared love of a plant.” The 2019 National Cannabis Festival will take place on April 20 at the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds. Phillips says in its first year, the festival saw about 5,000 attendees; this year, she’s expecting around 20,000. “The response has been incredible,” she says. “We’re very lucky to have been so warmly received by our [community] of enthusiasts, patients, business owners and advocates. It’s exciting to see the way activists are taking the lead and working with forprofit organizations to make sure the cannabis industry is always connected to its grassroots – pun intended.” While live music, an epic food court and a large selection of vendors will be the focal points of the event, the festival is also hosting a policy summit the day before on April 19. The policy summit aims to bring together “a diverse group of activists and leaders from government, business, healthcare, veterans groups, and civil rights organizations to discuss today’s most pressing cannabis policy challenges and opportunities,” according to the festival’s website. The summit is free to the public and will be the landing point for a multitude of important discussions on cannabis policy, including the media’s coverage of cannabis, the path to federal legalization, and the need for FDA regulations on hemp and marijuana consumable products. Morgan Fox, media relations director at the National Cannabis Industry Association, says the importance of FDA regulations is an especially big issue when looking at the medicinal side of the cannabis industry because patients deserve to know what exactly is in their medication. “All cannabis advocates right now are looking forward to the day when they can work hand in hand with regulations like the FDA to ensure the medications that we put into hands of patients are safe,” he says. “Just in the same way you want to know what’s in the food you’re eating, it’s critical for people to know what’s in the plant.” FDA regulations on cannabis will not only protect consumers but also allow for wider research and testing to be performed on the plant, which could lead to new and exciting discoveries about its medicinal properties, according to Phillips. “Regulations would allow for us to develop and allow standards to be set by doctors and scientists, creating an environment for a product that is already in the hands of adults and going to continue being used on a broader scale not only in the U.S. but also around the world,” she says. “It’s in everybody’s best interest to support regulation and legalization in a burgeoning cannabis industry.” Erica Stark, executive director at the National Hemp Association, confers with Phillips but includes the benefit of the doubt for marijuana, hemp and CBD oil producers that are doing the best they can to provide quality products to their customers.

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CBD Oil in the

District District Hemp Botanicals Established in May 2017, District Hemp Botanicals was the first hemp-based CBD store to open its doors in the DMV. The shop boasts a wide selection of CBD and hemp products, from CBD salves and massage oils to bath bombs and gummy edibles. 9023 Church St. Manassas, VA and 19 Wirt St. SW, Leesburg, VA; www.districthempstore.com

National Holistic Healing Center This medical dispensary located in Dupont Circle now serves all registered DC, Maryland and Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients as well as registered patients from select states. Led by CEO Dr. Chanda Macias, who has dedicated more than 15 years to understanding how medical marijuana can impact patients, the center has 98 percent patient retention and adds more than 100 new patients per month. To purchase marijuana products from the center, one must be a registered medical marijuana patient. 1718 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; www.nationalholistic.com

Relâche Spa at Gaylord National Resort Starting this month, Relâche is featuring 50-minute CBD oil massages for a limited time. Spa director Debra Myers says if customers respond well to the specialty massage, she will consider adding the offer permanently to Relâche’s menu. “CBD is touted to decrease anxiety, lower inflammation, reduce pain and help improve sleep, which can all be achieved topically through the CBD hemp oil used during the massage service,” she says. Each massage costs $185 and the CBD oil used is Mary’s Nutritionals hemp oil and muscle relief compound. 201 Waterfront St. National Harbor, MD; www.nationalharbor.com/gaylord-national

Vim & Victor at The St. James There’s a little something for everybody at Vim & Victor. Chef Spike Mendelsohn created the menu with health and wellness enthusiasts in mind, as well as everyday community members. Pro tip: try Mendelsohn’s own line of CBD-infused PLNT waters. 6805 Industrial Rd. Springfield, VA; www.vimandvictor.com

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“[The lack of regulations] is a very large problem in that consumers don’t know how to tell if they’re buying a quality product or not,” she says. “There’s plenty of good quality companies out there that are doing things the right way – the problem is bad actors out there.” This month, the FDA plans to begin public hearings on allowing companies to produce CBD-infused food products, as commissioner Scott Gottlieb told the House Appropriations Committee in late February. But before the FDA can begin setting regulations for the cannabis industry writ large, Phillips says the first step is descheduling the plant from the federal controlled substances list and then legalization, although she would like to see both happen simultaneously. “Activists on the federal level are trying to push the government to full legalization and would like to see the government immediately deschedule cannabis so we can have broader testing,” she says. “A lot of folks are looking at the next presidential campaign cycle with candidates in support of legalization.”

The Future While it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what the future of cannabis looks like in the District and the country at large, one thing all the experts sourced here agree on is growth. On the CBD oil side of things, Lee of Project CBD says he believes the trend of hemp-based oils will continue and expand exponentially once regulations are in place. “CBD has disordered the cosmos of the federal government,” he says. “It’s the hottest thing going these days. What we need are policies that facilitate wide access to CBD products but also regulate them on the basis of public health concerns.” Stark at the National Hemp Association thinks the CBD oil market in particular will depend on the FDA and how they choose to regulate it. “Assuming the FDA goes down a reasonable path [with regulations], the CBD industry will expand exponentially,” she says. “It’s already quite large and will only get larger as demand increases.” Meanwhile, Fox from the National Cannabis Industry Association says he thinks the cannabis industry will likely follow the model of the beer industry, with big producers handling the average consumer market and smaller, localized producers serving the organics and artisan market. “I really think consumer demand is going to shape the industry as opposed to corporate interest,” he says. “Because of the time at which this industry is evolving, I think corporate responsibility and ethics in sourcing is going to be more important [with cannabis] than most consumer products because of the culture of the consumers’ concerns.” Phillips of the National Cannabis Festival thinks the industry will follow along a line similar to what Fox proposes; but she’s focused on the District specifically and reiterates her point on the importance of regulation. “Because you’re allowed to do home growing in DC, it allows a lot of cannabis connoisseurs – not unlike craft brewers – to experiment with different strains at home and see what they can grow,” she says. “The danger of the unregulated market that we have in many states is patients can’t always be certain how a plant has been grown.” Tap these educational resources to learn more about cannabis legalization. National Cannabis Industry Association: www.thecannabisindustry.org National Hemp Association: www.nationalhempassociation.org Project CBD: www.projectcbd.org To learn more about cannabis in a festival setting, check out the National Cannabis Festival on Saturday, April 20. Doors open at 12 p.m. Tickets are $45. RFK Stadium Festival Grounds: 2400 E. Capitol St. SE, DC www.nationalcannabisfestival.com


EXHIBITIONS Stephanie J. Williams: Things That Don’t Have Names April 20–June 22, 2019 Overlooked July 13–September 7, 2019

Enriching Lives. Building Community.©

Image: Stephanie J. Williams, Things that Don’t Have Names (detail), 2019

12001 Market Street, Suite 103 Reston, VA 20190 info@restonarts.org | 703.471.9242 RESTONARTS.ORG


A Day

Life in the

SHE LOVES ME’S MEGAN ADAMS By Trent Johnson

I

f you’ve been on social media lately – ahem, you have – then you’ve likely seen pictures of your friends’ favorite pets. No, not the adorable cat who’s probably sleeping in a dark, cozy corner and not the silly looking dog who was probably on the receiving end of the cheese slice challenge. Rather, we’re referring to all the plants, succulents and flowers soaking up attention like it’s sunlight. One of the best places to learn about all things flowers and plants is She Loves Me, a small shop in Petworth that opened this January. The storefront is the brainchild of The Lemon Collective co-founder Holley Simmons and features arrangements, succulents and workshops. One of the talented people crafting these beautiful works of art is florist Megan Adams. During a recent stop at She Loves Me, we talked with Adams about her early love of vegetation, how she expresses herself through the medium, and the differences between old school and new school practices.

On Tap: How did you get into this line of work? What drew you to plants and arrangements? Megan Adams: I grew up in a really tiny town in Washington state – the other Washington. I was always surrounded by nature; my mother always had a garden and it was part of growing up. I always had this artistic need to express myself in some way, but I was a terrible painter and a terrible drawer. I tried sculpture and mixed media; I basically went through the whole list and nothing really ever spoke to me. I gave up on it for a little while. Eventually, I got involved in event production and wedding planning, which led me to meeting florists who I began working with. OT: How does a florist become a florist? Is there school involved? Do you become an understudy? MA: There are schools but they’re not that common, especially seven or eight years ago. [In the schools], there’s a very structured, traditional way of doing arrangements. I didn’t feel there was a ton of room for creativity. That was never something that appealed to me, so I went the route of being an understudy and working for an established florist who gave me the basis of her knowledge in Oregon.

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OT: What is the trial-and-error process for a young florist? How do you practice? MA: That is very much based on who you’re working with and who’s teaching you – where they picked it up. It’s definitely a passed downtype trait, especially with my style. When I started, it just sounded like fun. I wasn’t necessarily viewing it as my medium, I just kind of started working and doing holiday arrangements. All I did was make garlands and wreaths for eight hours a day. There was something so beautiful about being able to work with my hands – to have all of these separate pieces and to bring them together into one cohesive work. OT: With art, there’s a freedom to fail. Do you feel that as a florist? MA: Absolutely, that’s definitely part of it. I’m very lucky in the fact that I was allowed to mess around with stuff and figure it out. With that said, you’re working with perishable items that are not cheap. What I would do is take home flowers that we didn’t feel comfortable selling because they were about to die and just play with them. I also did a lot of foraging to practice at home.

Photos: Trent Johnson

with


CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT HER DOGS FAMILY + FRIENDS COFFEE WINE RED LIPSTICK

SHE LOVES ME MUST-HAVES SHARP CLIPPERS GOOD MUSIC FUN COWORKERS GOOD LIGHTING HIGH-QUALITY FLOWERS + GREENS OT: What led you to She Loves Me? MA: My fiancé is the general manager at [Chef Johnny Spero’s Georgetown spot] Reverie, and I was working at the restaurant. I offered to do arrangements for them at cost. The running joke at Reverie is that they pay me in wine and cheeseburgers. Holley [Simmons] happened to come in for dinner one night. After finding out I did the arrangements in the restaurant, that led her to get my information and then she hunted me down a little bit [laughs]. Within 10 minutes of us sitting down and talking, we were sort of flabbergasted that our conversations felt so natural and we felt so connected – not only as people but in what we love and what we want to create.

OT: Do you think this field has always been popular, or is it in the midst of a revitalization? MA: I think it’s always been popular to a certain extent. I think flowers and plant life are so beautiful that a lot of people are drawn to them. There’s definitely been a shift in that the very structured, old-school way of doing it has given way to people branching out, messing with different products and going off the beaten path. That’s what led to the classes that we’re doing. OT: What classes are you part of? MA: We do a springtime wreaths class, which is something that most people don’t think of. They associate wreaths with Christmas, holiday time, evergreens – this very specific version of what’s possible. Our concept is to take a flower arrangement or something that you have in your yard and create something that can be dried so it’ll last longer. OT: I see plants on Instagram a lot now. What do you think makes them so popular? MA: I think part of it is probably social media and being inundated with influencers and the people that have these beautiful setups. For me personally, if I ever lived in a place like New York City, I’d probably fill my house completely with plants because it would be a way for me to connect with what how I grew up, which is being surrounded by that life. It’s a combination of both. It’s interesting how powerful social media is in pushing trends. OT: How do you approach newbies coming into the shop looking for their first plant? MA: A lot of people that come in are nervous about it at first, but we pick up on it and we try to have plant life we recommend as starter plants for people. That kind of takes

the pressure off, so even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still have a beautiful plant in your living room. OT: What are some misconceptions about working with or owning plants? MA: I think the biggest misconception is that I just go and work with flowers all day, and it’s soothing and relaxing. There’s so much beauty in it, and to a certain degree it is relaxing, but you’re also lugging heavy buckets. There are boxes of vases and huge buckets of flowers, and that’s not even getting into installations. It’s a lot of work. OT: What’s most rewarding about being a florist? MA: I like demystifying the whole concept behind flowers, flower arranging and color concepts. I think that’s a big difference between the old school and new school, because traditionally you stick to two or three colors. What we work with is an entire palette, so it’s not just pink and whites – it’s all the different variations of that. OT: How often do friends hit you up for last-minute arrangements? I feel like that would happen all the time. MA: It does, and I’m not all that great at saying no, so it actually does happen quite a bit. You’d be surprised how many wedding things I’ve put together last-minute. As soon as Pinterest got popular, people began to think they could do it all by themselves; and then a month out, they realize it’s complicated. For more information on She Loves Me including classes, arrangements and more, visit www.shelovesme.com. She Loves Me: 808 Upshur St. NW, DC 202-627-2604; www.shelovesme.com

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THROUGH SATURDAY, APRIL 6 Wunder Garten CherryFest The venue will transform into a cherry blossom inspired garden and host a series of art classes with partners such as Drinkable Arts (glass painting) and A&A Arts (coaster painting). Guests will enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine on Thursdays-Sundays during CherryFest from DC’s very own Tokyo in the City food truck and imbibe the popular Japanese beer, Kirin Ichiban. Various times. Free to attend. Wunder Garten: 1101 First St. NE, DC; www.wundergartendc.com

TUESDAY, APRIL 2 DC Embassy Chef Challenge The 11th annual Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge presented by TCMA celebrates culinary diplomacy and provides a uniquely DC opportunity to taste authentic food and drinks from embassy chefs representing all regions of the world. An array of international performances including musicians and dancers provide the entertainment throughout the evening. 6:30 p.m. Tickets $95. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center: 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC; www. eventsdcembassychefchallenge.com

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3 Women Seeking Women Speed Dating Tired of swiping? Skip the apps and come meet people in person for great conversation and simple, old school speed dating! This event is for women in the LGBTQ community in their 20s and 30s. Enjoy a night of meeting local singles in this fun, immersive experience. This is a traditional, no frills, no weird

quirks and speed dating happy hour. Full of fun and intellectual conversation with DC Fray staff guiding your experience. Starts at 7 p.m. Tickets $25. This is a 21-plus event. Nellie’s Sports Bar: 900 U St. NW, DC; www.dcfray.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 5 GAMEmason GAMEmason features educational panels, appearances and meet-in-greets with major power players in the gaming community, including David Hayter, Canadian-American voice actor for Solid Snake in the hugely popular Metal Gear Solid video game franchise and John Romero, award-winning game development icon whose work spans more than 130 games. Participants can discover the ins-and-outs of game design and new technologies such as augment and virtual reality with expert Mason professors, relive childhood fun with arcade games and peruse gaming industry merchandise in the Concert Hall lobby. 11:15 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. $20-$40. George Mason University Center for the Arts: 4373 Mason Pond Dr. Fairfax, VA; www.si.gmu.edu

SATURDAY, APRIL 6 A Brunch of Art DC Come indulge in a vibe like no other, as more than 20 supertalented artists showcase their exuberant paintings, photography and other visual artworks. Of course, the event will also have a variety of creative vendors and body painting to complete the essence of the show. 1-5 p.m. Tickets $35. Big Chief: 2002 Fenwick St. NE, DC; www.creativelymindful.org

The Official DC Cocktail Festival Join for the DC Cocktail Festival, an elevated craft cocktail tasting experience that aims to stimulate all your senses. Come throw back some great food and enjoy live musical performances, all while sampling some of the best cocktails from the city’s best mixologists. You’ll have the chance to sample premium cocktails, while live entertainment keeps the party going during this one of a kind experience. 12-10 p.m. Tickets $39. National Union Building: 918 F St. NW, DC; www.dccocktailfestival.com Petalpalooza atThe Wharf Celebrate the cherry blossoms at The Wharf with fireworks, live music, games, giveaways and more. Enjoy art, beer gardens on the pier and family-friendly fun all along the waterfront. 1-9:30 p.m. Free to attend. The Wharf: 101 District Sq. SW, DC; www.wharfdc.com The Thrift Crawl: DC Edition Come explore some of the trendiest thrift and consignment stores in the District. Thrifting can be overwhelming, but this event is intended to take a bit of the stress away. With the help of local DMV stylists, this will enable you to find all the hidden gems thrifting can provide while having a fun and memorable shopping experience. 12-8 p.m. Tickets $20-$40. Crossroads Trading: 2015 14th St. NW, DC; www.dcthriftcrawl.com What’s in Your Garden? Mixology Class Spring has arrived and gardens everywhere will be budding with new blooms,

herbs, vegetables and fruits. Join Gaylord National’s beverage expert during this interactive mixology class to learn how to craft three unique cocktails using fresh ingredients found in gardens. While tasting your new concoctions, enjoy complimentary food pairings prepared by the resort chef. Participants will leave prepared to host their own spring party using their garden favorites. Must be 21-plus to participate and pre-purchase required. 1 p.m. Tickets $25. Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center: 201 Waterfront St. Oxon Hill, MD; www.gaylordnational.com

SUNDAY, APRIL 7 New Kitchens on the Block Part 5 If you’re a NKOTB regular, you were one of the first to try Maydan, Spoken English, Brothers & Sisters, Call Your Mother, the Salt Line, Unconventional Diner, Lucky Buns, Chloe, Reverie, Coconut Club, Colada Shop, Gravitas, Three Blacksmiths and Rasa, all before they became some of the toughest reservations on the planet. If you’re new to this realm, NKOTB is an epic crusade. Eat and drink like a beast for two hours. Hang out with DC’s hottest chefs, mixologists and restaurateurs. Two sessions, at 12-2 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. Tickets $75-$135. Mess Hall: 703 Edgewood St. NE, DC; www.messhallkitchen.com

MONDAY, APRIL 8 DC’s Taste of the Nation Ensure that no kid goes hungry, whether in DC or across the nation, by joining the city’s finest chefs, sommeliers and mixologists

All Drink, Dine, Do event listings are provided by the venues hosting them.

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CATCH GREAT LIVE MUSIC Before Every Friday Home Game!

2019

BUDWEISER MUSIC SERIES OPENING DAY! Lloyd Dobler Effect

Thursday, March 28 Music @ 10:30 | Game @ 1:05

4/12 Pebble to Pearl 4/26 Scott Kurt & Memphis 59 AN

PRODUCTION

5/17 Lovely Rita 5/24 Uncle Jesse

6/14 Practically Einstein 6/21 Dr. FU 7/5 7 Deadlies 7/26 Justin Trawick & The Common Good

8/16 8/30 9/13 9/27

As If Hand Painted Swinger Driven to Clarity Turtle Recall

Music @ 5:00 Game @ 7:05


in for Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry. This is a remarkable night of unlimited sips and bites in support of No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger in America. 7-9 p.m. Tickets $125+. National Building Museum: 401 F St. NW, DC; www.nokidhungry.org

TUESDAY, APRIL 9 SUNDAY, APRIL 14 DC Comedy Festival The DC Comedy Festival is entering the second year, looking to make it bigger and better. The festival is meant to introduce the public to the comedy scene here in DC and give back to the community that has given so much to the art form. No matter where you live in the DC area there will be a show near you. Make sure come out and witness the Biggest Comedy Festival in the DC area featuring stand-up, improv and sketch performances. Times and ticket prices vary. DC Comedy Festival: Various locations in DC; www.dccomedyfestival.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 11 Evenings at the Edge Celebrate the art of your time and get a sneak peek at the Gallery’s new exhibition Oliver Lee Jackson: Recent Paintings before it opens. Uncover artwork created in the last half-century and revel in showstopping performances by the Marty Ehrlich Ensemble and TRIO 3, featuring Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman and Andrew Cyrille, collaborators of Oliver Lee Jackson and the influential Black Artists Group. 6-9 p.m. Free to attend, registration encouraged. National Gallery of Art: 4th Street in NW, DC; www.nga.gov Pancakes & Booze Art Show DC’s underground pop-up art show is back at a new venue. Come experience one of the largest pop-up art movements to hit North America over the past decade. It’s the 10th year serving free pancakes and

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introducing you to some of the nation’s leading emerging artists at the Pancakes & Booze Art Show. Enjoy more than 100 local artists exhibiting more than 500 pieces of artwork, all-youcan-eat pancakes, live audio performances from local DJs and producers, live body painting and more. Must be 21-plus. 7 p.m. - 2 a.m. Tickets $15-$18. Howard Theatre: 620 T St. NW, DC; www.pancakesandbooze.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 12 Space Oddity: Ground Control to Major Party National Air and Space Museum, BYT and Yuri’s Night present Space Oddity: Ground Control to Major Party. Yuri’s Night is a global celebration of humanity’s past, present and future in space. Events are held around the world in commemorating Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space on April 12, 1961 and the launch of the first Space Shuttle on April 12, 1981. We know you don’t need more excuses to have a good time, but 2019 is also the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing and the release of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. The evening will include an Autograf DJ set, a Planetarium laser light show, a live taping of the Museum’s podcast AirSpace, spaceinspired activities, TED-style space talks and so much more. Festivities begin at 8:30 p.m. This is a 21-plus event. Tickets $55+. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum: 600 Independence Ave. SW, DC; www.brightestyoungthings.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 12 SATURDAY, APRIL 13 DC WebFest Returning to DC for its seventh year, WebFest celebrates emerging voices in new media. The event focuses on women and people of color in an effort to diversify the media landscape, and features trailblazing work in podcasting, VR, web series, games and apps. 12 p.m. Tickets $30 and

ON TAP | APRIL 2019 | www.ontaponline.com

up. Google DC Office: 25 Massachusetts Ave. #900 NW, DC; www.dcwebfest.org

FRIDAY, APRIL 12 SUNDAY, APRIL 14 UMBRELLA: Presented by No Kings Collective + Collection 14 No Kings Collective, in partnership with Collection 14, presents UMBRELLA. Taking over an entire city block along the 14th Street Corridor, UMBRELLA is a three-day popup with multiple galleries, art installations and site-specific projects. Activating the former Martha’s Table, Outfitters and Smuckers Farms locations on 14th St., UMBRELLA will feature curation and art by Kelly Towles, Naturel, Maggie O’Neill and more. Various times. Free to attend. UMBRELLA: 2114 14th St. NW, DC; www.nokingscollective.com

SATURDAY, APRIL 13 2019 Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival Come enjoy the tastes, sounds and feel of Japan at the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival. This is the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the U.S. with four stages for performances and demonstrations, cultural exhibitors, food vendors, a Children’s Corner and more. 10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tickets $10-$50. Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival: 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC; www.sakuramatsuri.org DC Wine Fest Spring Edition Enjoy specially curated wineries serving patrons tastings over a multi-session, all-day, all-night vino experience. You’ll have the chance to sample premium wine to your heart’s content, while live entertainment keeps the party lively during this one of a kind experience. 12-10 p.m. Tickets $200. Longview Gallery: 1234 9th St. NW, DC; www.dcwinefest.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 12 & FRIDAY, APRIL 26 Budweiser Music Series at Nationals Park Every Friday home game, the best place to pregame is at the Budweiser Terrace inside the ballpark. As the Nationals warm up to play at 7:05 p.m., head to the Budweiser Terrace pregame show for live music from local bands such as Pebble to Pearl and Scott Kurt & Memphis 59, and enjoy ice cold beer. Purchase Nationals tickets at www.mlb.comn/nationals 5-7 p.m. Nationals Park: 1500 S. Capitol St. SE, DC; www.nationals.com

Masquerade Ball at The Embassy of France Almost 625 years ago, in 1393, Charles VI of France held the first masquerade ball in the world. Since then the Masquerade Ball began as part of Europe’s carnival season. Less high society and more cirque du célébration, villagers would gather in masks and costumes to take part in elaborate pageants and glamorous processions. In commemorating this occasion, you are cordially invited to join the Embassy of France celebrate this tradition. The night is filled with French food, open bar, dancing and more. 8:30-11:59 p.m. Tickets $99. Embassy of France: 4101 Reservoir Rd. NW, DC; www.franceintheus.org


SUNDAY, APRIL 14 Bard Birthday Annual Open House Celebration The Folger Shakespeare Library will host its annual open house and Shakespeare birthday celebration. This free, familyfriendly event throws open the doors of the Folger for jugglers and jesters, stage combat demonstrations, Elizabethan arts and crafts, English country dancing, performances by the WETA Classical Players, U.S. Army Baroque Ensemble, and the Washington Revels, a sonnet contest, and fun activities for all ages. Make sure to be there at 4 p.m. when Queen Elizabeth cuts the birthday cake and serves to all in attendance. Party starts at 12 p.m. Free to attend. Folger Shakespeare Library: 201 East Capitol St. SE, DC; www.folger.edu Lamb Jam Don’t miss this epic gastronomic experience and culinary competition that brings together 16 of DC’s most talented chefs to vie for the title of Lamb Jam DC Champion, and celebrate the 80,000 family operated farms and ranches raising lamb across the nation. Along with food, the event also features bartenders, winemakers, brewers and culinary artisans of all sorts on hand to create an unforgettable gastronomic experience. 2-6 p.m. Tickets $75-$125. Dock5: 1309 5th St. NE, DC; www.americanlambjam.com

run and plant a vaulting pole. Starting at 5 feet and moving up from there, you will swing and turn using high rings and ropes. Finally, jump into a vault mat and clear a low bar. Go for gold! 6:30 p.m. Tickets $25. DC Vault: 2200 East Capitol St. NE, DC; www.dcfray.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 19 – SATURDAY, APRIL 20 Hungry Human Hippos on Ice 2019 at Medstar Iceplex Hungry Human Hippos, your favorite childhood board game, is back in full size at Medstar Capitals Iceplex! The game is more badass in real life, because you’re the hippo! You’ll love it so much you’ll wish it was a professional sport. Teams of four-six people will compete for Hungry Human Hippos glory. You and your team will strategize in your positions as Hippo, Rangler or Kitchen Guard to collect the most “food” (balls) on ice. Everyone gets the chance to play. Top teams will advance to the championship round for the chance to win the grand prize! Champions win $100 of DC Fray credit and swag bags for each player. Your ticket includes: entry to Hungry Human Hippos on Ice, with a minimum of three games for each team, access to the player’s bar serving food and Happy Hour drink specials and Instagram gold. $30 per person - sign up as a team, group or free agent. Must be 21-plus. 7:30 p.m. Medstar Iceplex: 627 N. Glebe Rd. Arlington, VA; www.dcfray.com

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17 Pole Vaulting Love trying new things? Why not join DC Fray and DC Vault for some fun and a private lesson with expert vaulters! This outdoor pole vaulting training center is used by beginners and elite athletes– and now, you. This is an adult beginner pole vaulting lesson. The DC Vault instructors will show you the pole vaulting basics. Learn how to carry,

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24 Speed Dating at Big Chief Tired of swiping? Come meet real people in person for great conversation and simple, old school speed dating! Enjoy a night of meeting local singles in this fun, immersive experience at Big Chief. This is a traditional, no frills, no weird quirks, speed dating happy hour. Full of fun and

intellectual conversation with DC Fray staff guiding your experience. Daters will enjoy an extended happy hour and delicious food as well as the chance to win raffle prizes – including gift cards for drinks at Big Chief and Chipotle BOGO, perfect additions to your upcoming second date! For singles in their20s and 30s. 7-9 p.m. Tickets $25. Big Chief: 2002 Fenwick St. NE, DC; www.dcfray.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 26 SUNDAY, APRIL 28 Awesome Con The seventh annual Awesome Con, the MidAtlantic’s premier pop culture convention, returns to DC’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The show is expected to unite over 80,000 fans over the three days, during which celebrities, artists, scientists and creators will engage with fans during hundreds of hours of programming and fascinating exhibits. Tickets are now available. Various times. Tickets $40-$150. Walter E. Washington Convention Center: 801 Mt. Vernon Pl. NW, DC; www.awesome-con.com Frühlingsfest Wunder Garten will host the third annual Frühlingsfest, a traditional spring festival often described as the little sister to Oktoberfest. Wunder Garten celebrates with a weekend of events like Bavarian Olympics, a maker’s market and the first ever “spring pup crowning!” Expect traditional German fare from Café Berlin, Spaten beers and Maibock spring brews on tap in addition to other local brews. Ticket purchase not required. Families and pets welcome. Various times. Free to attend, registration encouraged. Wunder Garten: 1101 First St. NE, DC; www.wundergartendc.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 26 Open Bar: NYC Meets DC at Grand Central It’s “The one where we all celebrate the 00’s.” It’s been almost 20 years since Y2K, so let’s celebrate and relive the good ol’ days of flip phones, Blockbuster and reality TV. Think Central Perk and Gunther vibes, but swap the coffee for beer. Join DC Fray for an open bar from 9-11 p.m. at Grand Central, where NYC meets DC! They’ll play classic tunes to bring you back to places you haven’t been in a minute, as you dance the night away to Britney, Outkast and more. This is a 21+ event. 9 p.m. Early bird tickets $24.99, prices increase after April 5 and at door. Grand Central: 2447 18th St. NW, DC; www.dcfray.com

SATURDAY, APRIL 27 DC Potter Crawl 2019 Calling all muggles, wizards, squibs and elves: grab your cloaks, brooms, owls and wands, and get ready for the Wizarding bar event of the year. They’re casting a spell on the best bars in Dupont Circle, so come celebrate the wonderful world of magic and wizardry. 2-10 p.m. Tickets $15. DC Potter Crawl 2019: Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; www.projectdcevents.com

SUNDAY, APRIL 28 Carpenter’s Cook-Off 2019 Join The Birchmere for the biggest food fight of the year, Carpenter’s Cook-Off 2019. At this signature fundraising event, nearly 500 attendees enjoy tastings from 20 local restaurants, bid on hot ticket items during the live and silent auctions, and listen to live music by the Alpha Dog Blues Band. 12-3 p.m. Tickets $50. The Birchmere: 3701 Mount Vernon Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.carpentersshelter.org

www.ontaponline.com | APRIL 2019 | ON TAP

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National Geographic’s

Changing Headdresses of Queen Tiye

Women Who Ruled the Ancient World By Reem Nadeem

Photo: Caroline Thibault

he ancient Egypt you know is a lie. It’s a golden, glittering myth created by Hollywood as an excuse to parade Elizabeth Taylor around draped in gold and makeup. The ancient world could not have been so divorced from the Egypt of my youth: dusty, hot, poor and filled with people who aren’t white. One exhibit in DC this year is setting the record straight. The National Geographic Museum is hosting an exhibit on the Queens of Egypt in DC until September 2, and Nat Geo researchers have taken a more nuanced approach to discussing women rulers in ancient Egypt. The way ancient Egypt exists in the collective Western imagination is not actually how it existed at all. According to National Geographic Egyptologist and author of When Women Ruled the World, Kara Cooney, real life in the ancient world was extraordinarily hard. “The reality was very different,” Cooney says. “We’re talking about people with a much darker skin color to be sure – people of a North African descent – and a place that, while opulent for a few, was much more real for others in terms of a hard life: constant labor, farming, parasites, diseases, life expectancy at the age of 30.” The myth probably started with Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. For all of his contributions to literature, the Bard portrayed Egypt as little more than a place to get a tan and cheat on your wife.

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So even though there was more to life in ancient Egypt, at least we are right in feeling empowered by its female rulers. Right? Well, it’s more complicated than the “You go, girl” mentality we tend to adopt when talking about Egypt’s queens. Although some women were able to attain the highest positions of power in Egypt, they still ruled and existed within a rigid, unforgiving patriarchal society. Many queens were simply holding the throne until the rightful king – a son, nephew or brother – was old enough to assume it. And while each queen ruled differently – facing different challenges, accomplishing different goals and failing in different ways – their entire existence as a ruler was in service of a system that would hand power to the appropriate male as soon as he was old enough. “There were some women who could surmount the obstacles in their path of being a woman in a patriarchal society, but there was not one woman who was a feminist who was going to move the system in a different direction,” Cooney says. “There was no way of thinking in that way in the ancient world.” The West likes to think of Cleopatra as the most empowered of queens – even Cooney describes her as the least traditional. But her relationships with Roman warlords, which long ago captured the Western man’s imagination, were intended to solidify her power. And by getting involved with Rome, she invited their violence and civil war into Egypt, Cooney says.


The queens we can name tell us a lot about how we treat women in power. The ones who succeed have their womanhood erased. The ones who fail are immortalized as a warning against vice and promiscuity. A VISIT TO HATSHEPSUT’S TEMPLE IN

Photos: Courtesy of Reem Nadeem

THE EARLY 2000S

REEM AND HER FAMILY AT KOM OMBO IN ASWAY REEM AT HATSHEPSUT’S TEMPLE

“She’s brought herself into that realm so one can ask: is that Cleopatra knowing she needs a man, a male presence by her side, and looking to the strongest man in her political arena and getting herself in trouble by drawing a target on her back?” The fact that Cleopatra is the queen cemented in our minds is quite revealing. Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt from 1479-1425 BC, was arguably the most successful queen. Hatshepsut assumed the throne as regent on behalf of her infant stepson after her husband’s death. After just five years, she was crowned pharaoh. She was such a successful ruler that she was often depicted with masculine features, including a beard as a symbol of her power. According to Cooney, the queens we can name tell us a lot about how we treat women in power. The ones who succeed have their womanhood erased. The ones who fail are immortalized as a warning against vice and promiscuity. “One succeeded and one failed. One is forgotten and one

is remembered. And I like those comparisons. They’re very useful for us to see what we do to the female who is a failure. [We] make her a cautionary tale. And what do we do to the [successful queen]? Just erase her.” If learning about the queens of ancient Egypt with all their complexities and flaws sounds more interesting than watching Elizabeth Taylor make eyes at white men for four hours, then check out the National Geographic Museum’s Queens of Egypt exhibit. The exhibit is open daily until September 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $10-$12 and can be purchased online or at the museum until 5 p.m. Learn more about the exhibit at www.nationalgeographic.org/events/exhibition/queens-egypt. National Geographic Museum: 1145 17th St. NW, DC 202-857-7700; www.nationalgeographic.org

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By Trent Johnson Basketball has always held the hearts of people from all over the world. Need proof? Just turn on your TV until you find an NBA game. Hell, you can look at just this past year’s all-star roster featuring players from Germany, Greece, Australia, Cameroon, Serbia and Switzerland all sharing the same court. Since the 1992 Summer Olympics and the formation of the Dream Team, basketball reached a fever pitch internationally. And though it’s unlikely that most kids who pick up the ball and head to a court will make it to the professional level, the game is nonetheless celebrated and played everywhere. “It shows how we’re all connected around this common game,” photographer Bill Bamberger says. “It’s played worldwide. You can come upon [courts] in Italy and South Africa, and you can step up and play. It’s open to anyone willing to step on the court.” Bamberger grew up hooping when he was a child, and in 2004, the established photographer began shooting courts near his home in North Carolina. Over the next 15 years, he traveled the country – and the world – collecting a diverse set of images depicting places people shoot, dribble and ultimately connect through this game. From now until next January, 75 large-format photographs from his massive collection are on display in his exhibition HOOPS at the National Building Museum. “It was completely unintended,” he says. “I often start my projects close to home, and you expect to find courts everywhere. I love to explore the middle of nowhere, and I’d see these courts in cotton fields and in barns. I like some of the early ones that speak toward different times; not all of them are active and some are relics.” Though the photographs are creatively captured through a series of environmental portraits, a majority of the 22,000 pictures feature basketball courts that aren’t what you’d expect to see at your local park. Some feature murals on bordering walls and a vibrant blacktop with a plexiglass backboard, while others are made up of a dirt surface with beat-up pieces of metal acting as rims. “You take that basic design and it becomes interpreted in different ways,” Bamberger says. “The permutations are virtually endless, and each court reflects the design and influence of the host community.”

The courts are tremendously varied and display a certain amount of ingenuity on the part of the people who put them in place, while the backdrops for the photographs shed light on the communities they serve. From Italy and South Africa to New Hampshire and Philadelphia, each portrait displays a unique sense of place. “I drove through Colorado and Utah and South Dakota just looking for hoops, and they were everywhere,” he says. “One of my favorites is a campsite in Utah. There was a hoop in the middle of these grassy fields and I photographed them in the distance, making the point that even in really remote places like this, you’ll find a court for young people.” Bamberger didn’t just focus on public places; he often found extremely intimate settings worth immortalizing. There are a number of selections featuring courts in abandoned areas and others in family backyards. “[For] some of the private places, I would stop and knock on the door. In every instance, I would ask. The same is true internationally. I remember I was on a court in Naples, Italy and there was a lot of ballers playing on the court. There was one who spoke some English, and I just asked them to clear the court.” If nothing else, Bamberger set out to show how connected we are as a society through this one universal game. Whether your court is regulation-size in the middle of a city or involves a tree, a hubcap and a block of crooked wood, you can still pick up the ball and hoop. “It’s been one of the truly fun projects to work on,” the photographer says, reflecting on the past decade. “I work on longterm projects, and as an artist, it’s been a joy to have something I can take worldwide. It represents the full range of the work. It’s probably time to let go, but it’s going to be hard. This exhibition represents a stopping point and opportunity to reflect on the project.” HOOPS will be at the National Building Museum through January 5. Admission to the museum is $10. For more of Bamberger’s work, visit www.billbamberger.com.

Whether your court is regulation-size in the middle of a city or involves a tree, a hubcap and a block of crooked wood, you can still pick up the ball and hoop.

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National Building Museum: 401 F St. NW, DC 202-272-2448; www.nbm.org


Photos: Bill Bamberger Sedona, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Southeast DC www.ontaponline.com | APRIL 2019 | ON TAP

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Scores Funding for Alexandria Basketball Courts By Kayla Marsh It’s truly amazing what a group of citizens can do when they partner up on something they care about – even if it’s something as simple as installing lights at outdoor basketball courts. Started by Alexandria, Virginia natives Chris Denby, Bruce Falk and Mike Porterfield, community group Light It UP! (LIU) has gained enough support to partner with the City of Alexandria to provide lights at the basketball courts at Potomac Yard Park. Through fundraising efforts in the area, the group’s connections with Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson and councilman John Taylor Chapman, and sheer patience and determination, this $150,000 project has become a reality. In 2016, the trio noticed there was inequity at the brand-new facilities at Potomac Yard, whether they were just passing by or in Porterfield’s case, picking up his son from the park just after dusk. There were lights on the tennis courts but not on the basketball courts. His son was shooting baskets in pitch black, but light was coming from the tennis courts, which didn’t seem right to him. “As I’m waiting for him, I’m texting [Mayor] Wilson because we all know he’s dialed in,” Porterfield says. “He responded saying, ‘You’re a little

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late to the party; there’s already two guys [Falk and Denby] who are on it.’” Mayor Wilson, along with the Alexandria City Council, supported the creation of a public-private partnership to help fund the new project, giving the guys the freedom to really make it happen. “From there, Mike was a huge help, spurring us along with connections, energy and fundraising expertise that Bruce and I didn’t have prior to this,” Denby says. “We also took advantage of a lot of the opportunities [nonprofit] ACT for Alexandria provided to get well-known in the community. Their fundraising efforts were great and gave us some more clout.” ACT for Alexandria’s annual Spring2ACTion event aims to strengthen the local community as a “giving day” to support all the nonprofits doing incredible work locally, which benefited LIU’s progress as well. “We got some camera time, and experienced good camaraderie with people organizing Alexandria-specific events,” Falk says. “John and Justin came out to dunk on our mini-hoop; those things also lead to productive, positive photo ops that we can leverage on


Facebook and elsewhere – things that are individually small but amplify one another.” LIU is all about extending the use of the basketball courts and their overall time availability, but there’s also increased opportunities for local rec leagues and others that might be able to take advantage of the courts in a structured way “that’s beneficial to specific organizations and the city in terms of revenue and maintenance,” Falk says. “We think of it as a positive feedback loop.” Of course, only time will tell the long-term impact LIU will make, but it’s clear the project is creating opportunities for the overall community. “The legacy of what this could be [includes] more kids who are staying occupied, doing healthy activities and not hanging out playing video games when the weather is good,” Denby says. “You’ll get adults that are staying fit, staying happy and they’re outside being good citizens for good health. There’s no measure for that, but you know that it’s going to be the result.”

“NOW THAT THE LIGHTS ARE GOING UP, WE ARE SHOWING THE CITY VALUES EVERYBODY EQUALLY.”

Light It UP! is successfully bringing lights to the community basketball courts at Potomac Yard Park thanks to PARKnerships with the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA). To learn more and receive updates about the LIU project, visit www.fb.com/pg/lightituppotomacyards.

Photos: Alan Kelly

Falk touches on an invisible benefit for people that have been going by Potomac Yard, seeing lights from the tennis courts and darkness on the basketball courts. “For people inclined to make use of the basketball courts, there was an implicit message that they are somehow less important, or their needs are somehow less important,” he says. “Now that the lights are going up, we are showing the city values everybody equally.” Not only that, the usage of the courts will increase significantly, raising an excellent point about the numbers of the sport. “In basketball, you’re going to get at least 10 people playing and sometimes more,” Falk says. Denby adds, “There’s always someone saying, ‘I got next game.’ The force multiplier is huge. You’re rotating through [players] on a good day.” The lights have been ordered by the City of Alexandria and the LIU team is waiting eagerly for the installation date. Signage is being finalized and funds are completely transferred. Now all that’s left to do is host the unveiling later this spring. “The unveiling should be awesome,” Falk says. “[We’ll] have two rec kids’ teams, and we’ll have them play under the lights. We’re excited be able to recognize all our donors and major supporters.” Last month’s ShamrockFest at RFK Stadium Festival Grounds featured music by The Mahones, DJ Brandi Cyrus, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and more, plus beer, Irish games and delicious food.

www.ontaponline.com | APRIL 2019 | ON TAP

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Breaking Ground Local Community Pushes for Sports Fields at RFK Campus By Kayla Marsh

W

hat do you do when there’s 40 acres of asphalt not being used for anything? Most would have no idea why or how to address the situation, but to a group of neighborhood parents in Southeast DC eight years ago, the answer was obvious: build a sports park. This group eventually became Friends of Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park (CRYSP), and since forming in 2010, CRYSP has engaged with the community around RFK Stadium to develop a joint vision of how this unused parcel of asphalt could be activated for community use. “More and more families are having kids and staying in the area, but there’s less and less space to do it,” says Mike Godec, CRYSP president. Godec spearheaded the vision into motion and presented ideas to the National Capital Planning Commission, Commission of Fine Arts, National Park Service and various city council representatives. “Everyone wanted it to work and be valuable,” he continues. “It was just one of those things that’s a kind of no-brainer.” While awaiting feedback, this determined group of parents started the CRYSP coalition to keep it local, focused and simple. Eventually they were able to nab a meeting with Mayor Bowser, who said their idea was consistent with her vision of promoting youth sports and activity in the city. Soon, the coalition was joining forces with EventsDC. According to Godec and other CRYSP members, the original proposal looked “nice and flashy,” but not totally functional. “Based on our experience as parents, coaches and members of the community, we made a variety of suggestions [to EventsDC] for the [field] design to make it more [accessible] to kids and more useful to organizations, including what kinds of turf to use,” Godec says. EventsDC took those suggestions and incorporated most of that feedback into their specs for building the revised proposal. The fields are just the first part of a multiphase, multicomponent plan

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Artistic rendering: www.rfkcampus.com

for the RFK Campus project, which will dramatically increase access to youth and adult sports and take demand off other facilities and the National Mall. “Is it enough?” Godec asks. “No, this is just the beginning. It’s exciting that EventsDC is valuing it [because] it’s valuable to the city and their mission as an organization.” The RFK Campus site is expected to open next month and will have three major artificial turf fields, several grass lawn areas, an events pavilion, a plaza and more. One of the many ways this noman’s-land-turned-recreation-wonderland will benefit the city is its location at the intersection between Wards 5, 6 and 7. “By creating this fantastic green space, those wards will get together, mingle and became less distinctive,” Godec says. The new campus also has the potential to be one of the top spots to host sports tournaments in the region, bringing in more visitors and generating more revenue for the District. Godec mentions that DC is one of the largest cities in the country in terms of green space per capita, but that green space is organized and managed by several different agencies; there’s not just one park service. He hopes DC will be recognized as a community, and not just as the nation’s capital. “We at CRYSP don’t want this to be the end. We succeeded. We know this means more [and] better access to fields, but we need the federal government and park service not to restrict uses of the Mall just because they want the grass to be green. We need to provide those kinds of assets to the city itself.” Godec commends EventsDC for having this vision to pursue this opportunity in an aggressive way. “I hope [EventsDC] sets an example for other things that the DC and federal governments could do, such as how to turn valuable green space into something that’s really truly a community benefit.” For more on CRYSP, visit www.capitolriverside.org. For updates on EventsDC’s plans for the RFK Campus, visit www.rfkcampus.com.


Photos: Courtesy of Washington Nationals

Pitching Expected to Take

Y

ou can’t talk about the 2019 outlook for the Washington Nationals without first addressing the elephant on the field – mainly that franchise icon Bryce Harper has departed to Philadelphia thanks to a record-setting, 13year, $330 million contract. But even without the former MVP at Nats Park, the team is still flush with outstanding talent and has made some of the savviest moves of the offseason. The team signed Patrick Corbin, the top pitcher on the free agent market, to a six-year, $140 million contract in early December. Coming off a season in which he went 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA, striking out 246 batters in 200 innings pitched, the former Arizona Diamondback immediately made the already formidable rotation arguably the best in baseball. “I think [the Nationals] have won the most games in regular season baseball in the last five [or] six years,” Corbin says. “And knowing how deep of a team they are, I saw this as a place that I could live for a long time and be part of this rotation. Honestly, I feel like I just stepped right in, and I can’t think of one thing that hasn’t been great. Between all the players, all the things that we’re doing on and off the field together, the coaching staff [and] the training staff, everyone has been awesome. Being a new guy here, it seems like it’s been easy to join and be part of it.” Staff ace Max Scherzer struck out 300 batters in 220 innings on his way to a league-leading 18 wins and 2.53 ERA. While Stephen Strasburg had some injury concerns last year, he still managed 10

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Nats

Far in 2019 By Keith Loria

wins and 156 Ks in just 130 innings; he’s looked healthy all spring and should be poised for a top season. The rest of the rotation includes veterans Aníbal Sánchez and Jeremy Hellickson – both recent free agent signees – and 25-year-old Joe Ross, who has been a dependable arm for the Nats since 2015 as insurance against injury. Sean Doolittle established himself nicely at the closer in 2018, as the lefty recorded 25 saves and an anemic 1.60 ERA. This year, he’s joined in a revamped pen by veteran Trevor Rosenthal, who will serve as his primary setup man, as well as young fireballers Kyle Barraclough, Koda Glover and Justin Miller. The new additions reinforce a bullpen that should improve on its overall 4.05 ERA. Even without Harper, the Nats shouldn’t have any problems scoring runs. A breakout season by rookie Juan Soto last year is just the tip of the iceberg of what MLB experts expect from the left fielder. Expect plenty of tape measure home runs to go along with an impressive eye at the plate. Soto’s joined in the outfield this year by Adam Eaton in right and top prospect Victor Robles, whose speed rivals anyone in the game, manning center. Michael A. Taylor injured himself near the end of spring and until he’s fully recovered, power hitter Matt Adams will see some time in the outfield as will veteran Howie Kendrick. “It’s exciting to know that you’re on a team that wants to win and tries to put the best team on the field,” Corbin says. Anthony Rendon is the true star of this team to many, and even though he’s entering the final year of his contract, it’s a good bet


VISIT THESE LOCATIONS FOR AN ICE-COLD HEINEKEN Kirwan’s on the Wharf The Big Stick Brighton Mission Willie’s Brew & Que Agua 301 Cantina Bambina Scarlet Oak CIRCA at Navy Yard Ugly Mug

Finn McCool’s Declaration RíRá Lou’s City Bar Fadó Irish Pub Irish Channel Across the Pond Lucky Bar Hawk ‘n’ Dove


Nats’ pitcher Patrick Corbin

It’s exciting to know that you’re on a team that wants to win and tries to put the best team on the field. that he’ll be reupping on a long-term deal sometime soon. The third baseman hit .308 last year, with 24 homers and 92 knocks, and was exceptional as always at manning his position. Longtime Nats first baseman Ryan Zimmerman will try to rebound from another injuryplagued season, and hopefully provide more than the 85 games he played last year. He’s only a year removed from a 36-homer season, though three of the past five seasons, he’s seen action in less than 95 games. Adams will most likely find some ample time as his backup. Veteran Brian Dozier was signed to play the keystone and forms a new double-play combo with speedster Trea Turner, who led the league with 43 steals in 2018. In fact, speed is going to be a major weapon for the Nats this season. Between Turner, Robles, Dozier and Eaton, this team can run, and manager Dave Martinez is not afraid to send his guys or call on

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the hit-and-run. The team brought in two longtime backstops this off-season to handle catching duties, with Yan Gomes coming over in a trade with Cleveland and Kurt Suzuki signing a two-year deal to return to the club after seven years. Both offer solid framing skills and are above average with the bat for the catcher position. The NL East is expected to be one of the toughest divisions in baseball this year, with the Phillies adding Harper plus four other former all-stars in shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Andrew McCutchen, catcher J.T. Realmuto and closer David Robertson. The Mets are making a splash adding Edwin Diaz, last year’s AL saves leader, in a deal that also netted them offensive-minded second baseman Robinson Canó, not to mention signing catcher Wilson Ramos and infielder Jed Lowrie. And the Braves brought in former MVP Josh Donaldson to man third for the team that won the division in 2018. The Nationals seem to have put together a team that is a perfect balance of pitching, offense and defense, and should be able to ride the strength of their arms all the way to the postseason. “I think we’re as good as any team in baseball from top to bottom,” Corbin says. “Everyone’s goal is to win a World Series. That’s going to be ours. Our job now is to get better each and every day.” For more information on Corbin and the Nats’ 2019 season, visit www.mlb.com/nationals. Nationals Park: 1500 South Capitol St. SE, DC 202-675-6287; www.mlb.com/nationals


! N O I S S I M D A E E R F

running of the CHIHUAHUAS

VIII

SATURDAY, MAY 4 | 1-5 pm

District Pier at The Wharf 101 District Square SW, Washington, DC 20024

COLD COSTUME THE CINCO BEER CONTEST RACES FUN!! Must be 21+ to purchase alcohol

GUEST EMCEE

TOMMY MCFLY

CASH ! PRIZES

Host of

The Tommy Show

REGISTER YOUR RACER! ALL entry fees are donated to Rural Dog Rescue.

WWW.CINCODC.COM DOG R E UE

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Photo: Courtesy of All-Purpose Pizzeria

Game Day Fare

Fried Chicken, Local Brews & More By Travis Mitchell Capitol Riverfront caters to some of the city’s most passionate sports fans, with the Washington Nationals and D.C. United playing home games just blocks apart. That’s a lot of hungry and thirsty people to satiate before and after games. Fortunately, the options have grown considerably in the past few years, with plenty of bars and restaurants opening for business. Whether you’re looking for a sit-down meal from an acclaimed chef, a quick bite, a locally made beer or a strong cocktail, there’s a spot to match your culinary mood all within a short walk of both stadiums.

QUICK & EASY The Big Stick

Sausages, burgers and sandwiches are the draw at this sports pub. Satisfy hunger in true DC style with the Half Street half smoke or a Maryland crab cake sandwich. The bar offers a good amount of draft and canned craft beers from DC and around the world, in addition to wine and cocktails. 20 M St. SE, DC; www.thebigstick.com

Bonchon

Orders of Korean-style fried chicken come in all shapes and sizes here, making it wellsuited to a game day meal with friends. Heat seekers shouldn’t miss the blazingly spicy drumsticks, wings or strips. Sides of rice and pickled radish are there to tame the flames. The traditional soy garlic sauce is addictive as well – but without the tears. Chicken is certainly the signature, but the menu doesn’t stop there. “We also offer traditional Korean dishes along with Asian fusion items for those looking for a more adventurous time,” general manager Jeff Chang says. “I’d wash it all down with an ice-cold beer from a local brewery like Hellbender or DC Brau.” Happy hour is offered two hours before game time until the start for both baseball and soccer. The restaurant also offers a $13 game-day pack filled with your choice of fried chicken, side, bottled beverage and box of Cracker Jacks to go. 1015 Half St. SE, DC; www.bonchon.com

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Philly Wing Fry

Due South

TaKorean

Gordon Biersch

Located inside Whole Foods, this counter from Top Chef star Kwame Onwuachi takes game day food to another level. Fill up on decadent, dry-aged beef cheesesteak, confit chicken wings and berbere-spiced waffle fries. Vegetarians can dig into a spicy mushroom sandwich with herbed lebne, smoked provolone and pickled Fresno chilis. 101 H St. SE, DC; www.phillywingfry.com This fast-casual Korean eatery serves buildyour-own tacos and bowls with a focus on fresh and healthy ingredients. Proteins like sweet chili-marinated chicken, bulgogi steak and hoisin tofu can be topped with variety of slaws, crunchy toppings and sauces. A small selection of local beers is available as well. 1212 4th St. SE, DC; www.takorean.com

BAR VIBES Bluejacket Brewery

Nats fans pack this homegrown brewery during home games, sipping pints from the bar’s extensive tap list. Choose from a rotating selection of more than 20 beers – including several cask selections – and fill up on food ranging from pretzels and fries to a half rotisserie chicken or double-patty burger. 300 Tingey St. SE, DC; www.bluejacketdc.com

Laidback Southern vibes course through this riverfront eatery. Fortify with a bourbon Shoo-fly Punch with ginger liqueur, mint, orange bitters and ginger beer, or a pour of the bar’s hand-selected Knob Creek bourbon. Food includes comforting favorites like shrimp and grits, buttermilk fried chicken, and a bacon pimento cheeseburger. 301 Water St. SE, DC; www.duesouthdc.com This spacious pub has plenty of room to meet up before or after a game, including outdoor seating. Beers are brewed in everything from German styles like pilsners and hefeweizens to hoppy American ales. 100 M St. SE, DC; www.gordonbiersch.com

Mission

Mission’s Capitol Riverfront location includes 20 big-screen TVs, a dining room and four bars – including a balcony. That means low wait times for drinks as well as lots of room to gather. “We are always happy to reserve space for groups going to a game or just trying to celebrate,” general manager Fritz Brogan says. Happy hour is available daily, including game days. Weekends include latenight discounts from 10 p.m. to close along with DJs and live music. Earlier in the day, pre-game crowds can take advantage of the bottomless brunch spread featuring items like guacamole, beer and margaritas. “We believe it’s more fun to eat in a bar than drink in a restaurant.” 1221 Van St. SE, DC; www.missionnavyyard.com


Willie’s Brew & Que

Grab a pile of napkins and settle in with a platter of smoked meats and pint of beer from Willie’s. There are also several burgers and sandwiches to pick from, along with items like mahi mahi tacos and supersized nachos. 300 Tingey St. SE, DC; www.williessportsbardc.com

RELAX & STAY AWHILE All-Purpose

The Capitol Riverfront location of this popular pizzeria offers riverfront and rooftop views with a side of Italian-inspired dishes – along with beer, wine and cocktails, including a couple of frozen options. It’s also convenient for baseball and soccer fans alike. “We are a two-minute walk from the first base gate of Nationals Park and one of the closest establishments to Audi Field,” general manager Michelle Stewart says. All-Purpose’s current menu includes both a food and drink special to benefit charity. The first is a pizza created in partnership with D.C. United’s Screaming Eagles fan group; the “L’aquila” (eagle in Italian) pie is topped with tomato, fennel sausage, basil and stracciatella. A dollar from each pizza sold will be donated to Earth Conservation Corps. There’s also the DC Brau Full Count, brewed exclusively for the restaurant with $1 from each sale benefiting local nonprofit DC SCORES. The restaurant will open at 11 a.m. for all 1 p.m. midweek baseball games. Happy hour is daily from 4 to 7 p.m., and Steward says crowds can actually be lighter during games. “It’s like finding a hidden gem in the city,” she says of game day dining. 79 Potomac Ave. SE, DC; www.allpurposedc.com

Chloe

Chef Haidar Karoum’s lively dining room transports guests with flavors of the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and more. Most dishes come as small plates, so sharing with the table is encouraged. Larger entrees can be split as well, such as the spice-roasted chicken or the crispy whole fish. 1331 4th St. SE, DC; www.restaurantchloe.com

CIRCA

Known for its wide-ranging American bistro menu, CIRCA is a crowdpleasing option for a meal or round of drinks. “It’s a place you can come a couple times a week for a couple different reasons,” says Matt Carlin, president of Metropolian Hospitality Group, which operates CIRCA. Unlike a sports bar, CIRCA’s kitchen brings more of an upscale approach to its menu. Two of the most-ordered snacks include the bulgogi beef lettuce wraps and the tuna poke nachos. There’s also happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The laidback vibe is also great for anyone who wants a night out without buying a ticket to the stadium. “Even if you’re watching the game on TV, you can enjoy it,” Carlin says. “It’s not a wild place.” 99 M St. SE, DC; www.circabistros.com

Declaration

The menu here is full of Italian and American comforts like burrata, fried meatballs and crispy calamari. Signature pizzas are named for America’s forefathers, from Thomas Jefferson to New Jersey’s John Witherspoon. 1237 1st St. SE, DC; www.declarationrestaurant.com

The Salt Line

This seafood spot takes its cues from New England coastal eateries. Chef Kyle Bailey’s fresh Maine lobster roll, stuffed clams and satisfying smash burger make stadium food an afterthought. Guests can also hang with a cocktail or glass of wine and slurp oysters from the restaurant’s raw bar. 79 Potomac Ave. SE, DC; www.thesaltline.com

Join us f0r brunch every Sat & Sun from 11am to 3pm We have all your favorites from Traditional Irish Breakfast to Eggs Benedict & Pancakes. Check us out at sineirishpub.com for the full brunch and regular menus. Come enjoy our brunch inside when you want to watch your favorite sporting event on our flat screen HD TVs, or outside on the patio in the beautiful weather.

This article also ran in the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District’s 2019 Riverfront Review, an On Tap-produced publication.

www.ontaponline.com | APRIL 2019 | ON TAP

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Mama Chang’s signature dishes

Photo: Rey Lopez

By Lani Furbank On Tap keeps locals in the know about the hottest new food and drink spots around town and the top culinary happenings of the month. Read on to get the inside scoop on what’s new and notable in the DC area.

Mama Chang Open: March 8 Location: Fairfax Lowdown: Ask almost any local diner if they know Peter Chang, and you’ll get nods of recognition. The names Ronger Wang, Lisa Chang and Lydia Chang may not be as familiar. Chef Peter Chang wants that to change with his newest restaurant. Mama Chang pays homage to the women of the Chang family: Peter’s grandmother, mother, wife and daughter. The restaurant celebrates home-style cooking, with many family recipes from their home in the Hubei province. Peter’s mother, Ronger, visited from China for the opening of the restaurant and her influence is seen throughout the menu, which features simple and comforting dishes like a farmer’s stir fry, stir-fried rice cake with homemade fish cake and braised pork belly with lotus root. Peter’s wife, Lisa, is known as a pastry chef, but is the star of the kitchen at home according to their daughter Lydia. Favorites from the Changs’ other restaurants like dry-fried eggplant are changed up slightly – here you’ll find dry-fried cauliflower. There are also the expected fiery Szechuan dishes like hot

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chili oil tofu with flounder, plus more unusual options like Chinese barbecue pig feet, dry chili pork intestines and a sweet caramel rice with thin pork belly. 3251 Old Lee Hwy. Fairfax, VA; www.mamachangva.com

Rooster & Owl Open: February 7 Location: Columbia Heights Lowdown: A restaurant offering a marketdriven tasting menu doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary. But Rooster & Owl is intriguing and satisfying in a way that very few places are. In fact, it’s something of a sleeper hit. The restaurant is the passion project of husband-and-wife duo Carey and Yuan Tang. Their opposite but complementary roles in the business inspired the name. Carey has a 9-to-5 job at Children’s National and manages the restaurant operations, and Yuan works late in the kitchen. Despite the inverse hours, the Rooster and the Owl have always made time to share a meal together. Their first restaurant together honors that commitment to communal dining with an experience that blends shared plates with tasting menus. The menu is divided

into four courses, and each guest chooses one small plate for each course. When the dishes arrive, sharing is highly encouraged. The food is imaginative, taking simple ingredients – especially vegetables – and transforming them into something that makes you think twice. Carrots are seasoned with barbecue spices and served with cornbread ice cream. Sunchokes masquerade as wings with a “buffa-no” sauce. Light and fluffy Parisian gnocchi is bathed in a tarragon butter sauce. Pastry chef Olivia Green sweetens the meal with desserts like a delicate hazelnut éclair and a parting gift of a little chocolate robot. 2436 14th St. NW, DC; www.roosterowl.com

TallBoy Open: March 7 Location: Shaw Lowdown: After the beloved Smoked & Stacked closed, Tin Shop partners Geoff Dawson and Peter Bayne decided to go in a different direction with their space. They realized 9th Street was in desperate need of an affordable neighborhood bar that stayed open late and felt nostalgic and playful. TallBoy was born with that


Georgian Wine Wednesdays Location: Supra Lowdown: Since opening, DC’s first Georgian restaurant has been lauded for introducing Washingtonians to the little-known world of Georgian wine. Now they’re making it a little more affordable to explore the country’s wine regions and grape varietals with themed specials on Wednesdays. Each month, they’ll offer a $20 discount on select bottles. This month, they’re channeling the element of surprise in honor of April Fools’ Day. Every Wednesday, guests can try three of the restaurant’s most unexpected bottles, including an amber wine that isn’t what it

Photo: Courtesy of Hank’s Cocktail Bar

Hank’s We’re Having a Tea Party

Rooster & Owl’s Parisian gnocchi

Photo: Channing Foster // @thebooziefoodie

Zeppelin’s Tiger Milk

Mama Chang’s Yuanbao pan-fried dumplings

Location: Dupont Circle Lowdown: Jamie Leeds’ cocktail bar, formerly located in Petworth, has a new home in Dupont Circle. It sits right above the flagship Hank’s Oyster Bar and has an extensive menu of more than 40 different cocktails. The drinks are divided into five categories: Market Fresh (seasonal creations), We Invented the Remix (twists on the classics), New Fashioneds (what it sounds like), Size Matters (large and small options like shareable drinks and shooters), and Food Production (starring ingredients from the kitchen). In addition to these themes, there’s also a very useful diagram that plots each of the drinks based on flavor and booziness so you can find your perfect match depending on where your tastes fall on the cocktail spectrum. You can feel good about ordering one of the most interesting selections because it repurposes kitchen waste into a delightful cocktail. Revisionist History is a rum milk punch made with leftover tea, coffee and citrus rescued from the kitchen and bar at the end of the night. 1624 Q St. (second floor) NW, DC; www.hankscocktailbar.com

NOTABLE

Photo: Rey Lopez

Open: March 4 Location: Shaw Lowdown: The meaning behind the name of this sushi and cocktail bar is twofold. The space is designed to look like the famed airship, and there are references to the legendary rock band hidden throughout. Zeppelin is the latest project from beverage bros Ari and Micah Wilder and their partner Adrian Williams of Chaplin’s, in addition to Tokyo native and chef Minoru Ogawa of

Hank’s Cocktail Bar in a New Home

Photo: Andrew Propp

Zeppelin

seems and a sparkling wine that combines 8,000-year-old Georgian techniques with the champagne method. 205 11th St. NW, DC; www.supradc.com

Sushi Ogawa. The new Japanese concept offers two experiences: a lively bar and dining room for sushi, charcoal-grilled yakitori, cocktails and karaoke, as well as a secluded omakase counter with top-quality seafood hand-selected from Toyosu Market in Tokyo. The à la carte offerings range from shrimp dumplings and various tempura to skewers of chicken meatballs or beef and maki made with cucumber and plum paste or fatty tuna. The cocktail program is built around a highball machine that adds “baller bubbles” to drinks inspired by the Japanese highball. Wine, beer and 80 premium sakes are also available to complement the à la carte and omakase menus. 1554 9th St. NW, DC; www.zeppelindc.com

Supra’s wine shelf

goal in mind. The concept is simple: grilled cheese sandwiches, wings and tall boy (16 oz.) beers. Fans of the pastrami from Smoked & Stacked will be thrilled to hear that the house-made meat is still available in a grilled cheese sandwich with Swiss, pastrami, sauerkraut and Russian dressing. Other sandwich options include the Kim Cheese with pepper jack, kimchi and bacon and the Cuban with Swiss, bread and butter pickles, ham, and Dijon. Any of the sandwiches can be ordered with vegan cheese, and of course, each grilled cheese is accompanied by a cup of smoked tomato soup for dipping. The wings are available in various flavors, from a Memphis dry rub to a lemon pepper wing with butter and lemon pepper sauce. There’s a full bar but tall boys are the hot sellers, with nine to choose from including the OG Schlitz Lager as well as the Guinness Stout, Bold Rock Cider and Union Duckpin Pale Ale. There’s also a rotating tall boy of the week. 1239 9th St. NW, DC; www.tallboybar.com

Photo: Robert Fairbairn // TheApertureGroup.co

TallBoy’s Kim Cheese

Photo: Lani Furbank www.ontaponline.com | APRIL 2019 | ON TAP

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Photo: Maya Oren

Chaia taco lineup

Power Plants

The Rise of Vegetables as a Main Source of Energy, Not Alternative Fuel By Lanna Nguyen It’s no secret there’s been a recent uptick in healthy dining options in the nation’s capital. Plant-based and vegetable-forward restaurants have taken root in the District, and they’re championing the idea that healthy food can also be tasty food. From local expansions to international brands, DC is adding more and more vegetable-friendly options to an already growing list of new restaurants. Just don’t call it a trend. Homegrown taqueria Chaia recently opened its second location in Chinatown this January. From slinging tacos at farmers markets to their first location in Georgetown to the newest spot downtown, owners Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon have always remained committed to utilizing seasonal ingredients. “Our business really wants to get people to eat more vegetables more than anything,” Stern says. “Support your local farmer and eat foods in season. What grows together goes together.” In addition to serving up seasonally inspired tacos, Chaia’s newest location offers a lineup of local brews, ciders and draft cocktails. The ambiance and new offerings are key to the restaurant’s goal of making vegetables more fun. “[Ten] years ago, being vegetarian or vegan or going into a restaurant that focused on that had the perception [that] there was no joy; you were just stripping your life of all the good things,” Simon says. “But that’s all changing with places like Chaia. We’re trying to make vegetables fun.” Another component of their business model? Sustainability. Leftover tortillas are repurposed as the base for their spin on

Oaxacan street food tlayuda. Cilantro stems are given new life as a sauce ingredient and discarded items are composted when possible. Hummus purveyor Little Sesame also looks to high-quality ingredients and seasonality for menu inspiration. “The region that inspires our food is so built on fresh vegetables and big spices, and lots of ferments and pickles,” co-owner Nick Wiseman explains. “How we feel and shape the menus at Little Sesame is all around this idea of, at the end of the day, does it make you feel good?” The hummus shop added its second location in Chinatown this March (the flagship spot is in Golden Triangle), where guests can order vegan options including their popular hummus bowls, pita sandwiches and dairy-free soft serve. More than just providing an exceptional in-restaurant experience, Wiseman and co-owner Ronen Tenne hope to build a community that transcends the walls of the physical space. The owners even have an offshoot project, Wild Sesame, as “a way for us to strengthen the community we’re starting to build around these ideals of travel, outdoor cooking and storytelling.” It’s equal parts weekend getaway and outdoor adventure – an exploration of food and community. “Food is the center, the focus of travel and this sense of adventure around food,” he continues. “We’re trying to really bring that spirit to Little Sesame and certainly what inspires us.” H Street fast-casual concept Pow Pow made the switch to a completely plant-based menu last spring after two years in operation, and co-owner Shaun Sharkey believes DC is ready for more.

Support your local farmer and eat foods in season. What grows together goes together.

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based chicken, and their bowls have all switched over to plant-based chicken and seitan as protein options. “We create all of the proteins and cheese in-house from scratch. Our focus is making good, plant-based food.” Shouk founder Ran Nussbacher wants to remind the world that vegetables have been a mainstay of our diet for centuries, and it’s time to make a reconnection with the freshest produce possible. “Eating a plant-based [diet] is a very positive experience, and it’s tasty and not lacking in any regard,” Nussbacher says. “I wanted to demonstrate that by bringing a compelling, appealing product that people would get hooked on, and that’s exactly what we’ve done with Shouk.” The Israeli street food-inspired menu at Shouk’s Mount Vernon Triangle and NoMa locations features an oyster mushroom shawarma, fresh salads, pita and the famous Shouk burger. One of the healthier items on the menu, Nussbacher notes that despite chowing down on a burger, “You’re not eating health food; you’re eating delicious, decadent food that’s healthy.” And the recent addition of falafel to the menu has already proven to be a popular move.

Some chefs are really pushing the boundaries with plant-based food.

Photo: Anna Meyer

Little Sesame trio

Photo: Courtesy of LEON

LEON lamb kofte

Shouk’s shawarma pita

Photo: Courtesy of Shouk

“I think DC has always been known as a city full of intelligent, forward-thinkers,” Sharkey says. “Plant-based food just makes sense in every aspect, whether you’re cutting back on a regular meatbased diet a day or two a week, interested in its benefits for the environment, or just interested in new flavors. Some chefs are really pushing the boundaries with plant-based food.” Sharkey has a meat allergy and Chef Margaux Riccio has a dairy allergy; Pow Pow’s menu is a reflection of the foods they missed eating. “Most of the menu items are developed that way,” he says. “This is more about fun food than anything else.” The popular trolley fries are now topped with cashew cheddar and plant-based protein, the disco stick egg roll now features plant-

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Plant-Forward picks Fare Well Doron Petersan’s vegetable-centric bakery, diner and bar on H Street offers plant-based comfort dishes like Southern fried wings, pierogies and a steak platter made with Southern fried chickpea seitan. And don’t walk out the door without dessert: indulge in a brownie sundae and a daily rotating lineup of cakes from Petersan (of Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats fame). 406 H St. NE, DC; www.eatfarewell.com Flower Child Championing feel-good food, the national chain landed in Foggy Bottom at the start of the new year. The fast-casual joint features bowls, salads and wraps that come as vegan and vegetarian-friendly in a hip, colorful atmosphere. 2112 Pennsylvania Ave. Suite 101, NW, DC; www.iamaflowerchild.com/locations/washington-dc HipCityVeg The Philadelphia import arrived in the District in 2016 and serves up a 100 percent plant-based menu including burgers, salads, milkshakes and sandwiches. There’s even a Philly steak, an homage to the brand’s hometown. 712 7th St. NW, DC; www.hipcityveg.com

Photos: Mike Kim

“There used to be this perceived compromise that you could either get food that was really tasty or food that was really healthy, but you couldn’t get both,” the founder continues. “And what we do at Shouk – as well as others in the industry today – is eliminate that compromise and offer food that is exciting, tasty and healthy at the same time.” Glenn Edwards, U.S. managing director of international fast-food chain LEON, shares a similar sentiment. “I want to eat food I enjoy,” he says. “I don’t want to feel compromised in eating food that’s better for me. I want to eat food that’s delicious and oh, by the way, it’s better for me. Food should taste good and do you good.” LEON opened its first North American outpost last summer on L Street and is hoping to change the way people view fast food. Fries are baked and the recently added, vegan-friendly LOVe Burger is quickly becoming a fan favorite. Edwards says, “When we launch dishes, [we ask ourselves], ‘Does it taste really delicious? Would your best friend ask you for a recipe? Is it better for you?’” It seems DC denizens agree that fast food can be good food; a second LEON restaurant is coming this summer. But you won’t find any marketing or advertising efforts to promote these restaurants as vegan joints. Instead, the focus is on preparing first-rate food offerings. Chaia’s Stern notes, “You have to have a delicious product, and that’s why people are going to come.” Regardless of protein preferences, get people in the door. And if they like what they eat, they’ll come back.

In early March, Hot N Juicy Crawfish DC celebrated Fat Tuesday with its annual crawfish-eating contest. Participants enjoyed drink specials, gift card prizes and more.

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Chaia: 615 Eye St. NW, DC (Chinatown) 3207 Grace St. NW, DC (Georgetown); www.chaiatacos.com LEON: 1724 L St. NW, DC; www.leon.co Little Sesame: 1828 L St. NW, DC (Golden Triangle) 736 6th St. NW, DC (Chinatown); www.eatlittlesesame.com Pow Pow: 1253 H St. NE, DC; www.eatpowpow.com Shouk: 655 K St. NW, DC (Mount Vernon Triangle) 395 Morse St. NE, DC (NoMa); www.shouk.com


Raise the bar for what makes a weekend

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Stay overnight to enjoy VIP access to the region’s best wine & food festival on May 4th and 5th, 2019.

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Book your VIP Package today! GaylordNational.com


FANCY RADISH'S DUO USES VEGAN POWERS FOR INCLUSIVITY By Trent Johnson

R

Fancy Radish’s Kate Jacoby & Rich Landau

estaurateurs, co-chefs, and husband-and-wife team Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby speak with such purity about their passion for veganism, you’d be surprised to know neither grew up in a plant-focused household. Instead, Landau, 51, feasted “ravenously” on a steady diet of cold-cut sandwiches; his family menu of “Jewish deli fare” included roast beef specials, Reubens, Italian hoagies and meatball sandwiches. Jacoby, 39, isn’t as specific, but mentions spaghetti and taco nights – and pancakes drenched in syrup. Now, both are James Beard-nominated chefs specializing in modern takes on plant-based dishes like rutabaga fondue, Chioggia beet toast, sunchoke “ramen” and a variety of pastries. Don’t quote me on the specifics, though, as their selections evolve with the seasons at their three restaurants: Philadelphia-based Vedge and V Street, and H Street’s Fancy Radish. “I had to invent a cuisine that would give you all the satisfaction of meat without any animal flesh,” Landau says of his style. “I learned really early on that food was really about flavor, it wasn’t about flesh. It was what cooks did to the meat; it wasn’t the meat itself that tasted good.” Born and based in Philadelphia, the two make their way to the District frequently to work at their newest spot, which opened doors in March 2018. With Landau and Jacoby, the city netted two of the most celebrated vegan chefs in the country, each bringing their own stories to the kitchen.

Planting The Seeds “Flashback to Sesame Street,” Landau begins. “Mrs. Wilson’s garden was one of the segments where this little girl named Jenny visited her mom’s friend Mrs. Wilson who had this garden in the country. They showed Jenny picking tomatoes off the vine and carrots out of the ground, and peeling the husks off corn, and I thought, ‘God, that’s beautiful; you walk that produce into your kitchen and you eat it.’ I said to my dad, ‘They didn’t show where the steak was coming from,’ so he said it came from

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cows and I imagined a cow laying a steak like a chicken would lay an egg.” Upon learning how meat is actually produced, he quickly shifted to vegetarianism without a second thought and began cooking for himself as a teen. Because of the somewhat negative stigma his new diet carried, he found the road to becoming a chef a little bumpy, but was ultimately undeterred. Because culinary schools seemed to focus on carnivorous appetites, he found inspiration in old cookbooks and the processes of chefs like Julia Child. “Back then, it wasn’t that easy to go vegetarian,” he says. “There were a


Photo: Cassidy DuHon

says. “It was Mrs. Wilson’s garden all over again. Horizons was a vegan restaurant. We didn’t advertise that it was vegan, but people knew. [But] we wanted to be a vegetable restaurant. You’ve got your steakhouse [and] seafood house, and we wanted to be a vegetable house. One of the limitations we felt was there were a lot of people in Philadelphia that wouldn’t set foot in a vegan restaurant no matter how good it was, but they would go into a vegetable restaurant.” Vedge was born in 2011, providing an enhanced, vegetable-forward experience intended to convey the inventive side of vegan cooking. Here, Jacoby and Landau found a true calling as they began to concoct sophisticated, flavorful dishes and fell in love with the process of cooking all over again. The restaurant garnered each of them success, including James Beard nominations. “It was a time when people were more comfortable with small plates and shared plates,” Jacoby says. “People were being a little more adventurous and open-minded. If you were going out and knew you were going to share plates, maybe you’d be like, ‘I’ll try that,’ because you weren’t committing to one thing.” Their menus were so celebrated and in-demand, the two decided to open a more casual location. V Street fused their vegetable sensibilities with their affinity for global street fare. In a city where they were initially hesitant to advertise their vegan-forwardness, Landau and Jacoby now had two thriving, vegetable-based restaurants. “The food went from very simple things to these complicated, gourmet dishes that were very labor-intensive and prep-heavy,” Landau says. “I couldn’t go back on the process. They say excellence is not a final product, it’s an act you continually do. I wanted the restaurant to evolve into something very vegetable-focused, and it was insane. There were people you’d never expect to set foot in there, from ages 18 to 81.”

A Place For All

few [meat substitutes] around, but it was all very grainy, herby and seedy. [But] I loved to cook, so I knew I could put myself on this path and go in a cook and come out a chef.” Landau opened his first restaurant Horizons in 1994. In the years following, he served Philadelphia a variety of proteins, starches and vegetables. One of his customers was Jacoby, who’d eat at Horizons as often as possible when she visited home from college. “I had gone there for a couple of years,” Jacoby says. “It was my favorite restaurant. I called it the health food restaurant.” In 2001, Jacoby applied to work for Landau as a server and immediately volunteered for prep shifts as well. “There were more and more opportunities at the restaurant, and I loved cooking so much,” Jacoby says. “I loved the restaurant and I believed in it. You have to learn how to adapt to your recipes. That’s what I enjoy about cooking: it was always something slightly different.”

The Acclaim of Vedge One day, after an otherwise uneventful delivery from a farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Landau had an epiphany. Though his passion for Horizons hadn’t waned, he began to imagine more complex dishes – ones involving hours of prep time meant for a fine-dining experience. “This guy brought us a box of vegetables that changed my life,” he

With the triumphs in Philadelphia, both figured the time was right for expansion. When looking for a new location, DC felt like the right fit. “We were always talking about new projects,” Jacoby says. “What it really boiled down to is that we’re both very comfortable in DC. We always knew there was a little bit of a lack of full-service vegan restaurants down here, and it’s not too far from home.” That being said, the goal for Landau and Jacoby has never been providing food exclusively for vegans or vegetarians. Instead, the dynamic duo is intent on making others fall in love with their flavorful vegetables despite any misconceptions they may have. “We’re very careful not to get preachy,” Jacoby says. “We’ve always yielded to the mainstream because we’ve always wanted to be an inclusive restaurant. Everybody can come here and sit down and not have to worry about anything. We try to do a really good job at accommodating everyone.” Neither are preachy, but they are passionate – and it’s infectious. Both have more knowledge on the subject of veganism and vegetarianism than you’d ever need to be convinced of its positive effects, but they’re not here to tell you. They’re here to feed you. “It’s pretty idiotic to think that vegans are skinny California models starving themselves on a diet of bean sprouts for their next photoshoot,” Landau says. “I had to fight like crazy when we first started. If you told me back then where we are right now, I don’t know if I would have believed it would have come this far. I was just a guy who loved to cook.” For more information on Fancy Radish, visit www.fancyradishdc.com. Follow the restaurant on Instagram @fancyradishdc and on Twitter and Facebook @fancyradish. Fancy Radish: 600 H St. NE, DC; 202-675-8341; www.fancyradish.com

www.ontaponline.com | APRIL 2019 | ON TAP

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Photo: Jean Schindler

Stop Sucking

DC Says “No” to Single-Use Plastic Straws By Jean Schindler When I arrived at college, the hot rumor was that drinking alcohol through a straw was the fast-track to getting trashed. My crew worked through boxes of straws to learn firsthand it was just an urban myth. College drinking memories hit me recently when the District announced it would be the second major U.S. city to ban straws, effective January 2019. Establishments caught handing out contraband will get warnings until this summer, when fines come into effect. Even though I almost never use straws anymore, I was weirdly indignant: the nanny state is telling us how to consume our beverages! But headlines were misleading. DC can use all the straws it wants – just as long as they’re not single-use plastic straws. And as it turns out, the shift to sustainable materials was already well underway. “We try to be environmentally conscious in everything we do at Tiki TNT,” says Todd Thrasher, owner of the popular new rum bar at The Wharf. “I never even considered supplying plastic straws, ban or no ban. We already have a variety of alternative straw options from plant-based to paper.”

“We can’t pretend ideology is a substitute for reality.” And in his expert opinion as a master of slow-drinking tiki cocktails: “I don’t find that the straw compromises the flavor profile of the drink.” DC spots have been actively “greening” their bar programs for years, and plastic straws have been an easy target. Hank’s Cocktail Bar stopped providing them – unless specifically requested – years ago. Shaw’s hip, subterranean cocktail bar 600t features reusable metal straws. Founding Farmers, which prides itself on being aggressively eco-

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friendly, long used compostable straws before switching to paper in 2017. Buffalo & Bergen, the popular cocktail counter and soda fountain in Union Market, favors corn-based straws – though “many of our cocktails are designed to be served without a straw,” says owner and mixologist Gina Chersevani. “We make a dedicated effort to reduce and reuse.” So it comes as no surprise that when Founding Farmers co-owner Dan Simons launched a campaign in early 2018 to formally do away with single-use plastic straws in DC’s hospitality industry, he found a groundswell of support. The Our Last Straw coalition incorporated as a nonprofit organization and rapidly picked up over 200 partners in bars, restaurants, hotels and nonprofits across the greater DC area. The campaign picked up even more momentum last April when the Alice Ferguson Foundation snagged nearly 10,000 plastic straws during cleanup events along the Potomac River Watershed. Mayor Bowser’s office officially announced its support that same month, and in October, the city updated existing food service regulations to ban plastic straws (single-use foam products were banned in 2016). Maybe, some suggest, it’s time to start banning all single-use plastics. Every year, nearly nine tons of plastic pollution float into the oceans, and experts estimate that by 2050, plastic trash will outweigh fish. This is bad news not just for fish, but also for humans: these plastics break into ever-smaller pieces until they slide into the food chain. Microplastics have been found in fish flesh, sea salt and even beer – and now in your stomach. Though the world’s few million plastic straws are a minuscule part of the billions of plastics floating in the world’s oceans, some see the ban as another small step in a process of gradual change. Simons has suggested that a Last Plastic Fork initiative could be a reality in the near future. But he also notes that solutions to plastic pollution take time and cannot be only the product of top-down government action.


Photo: Jonathan Thorpe

“I never even considered supplying plastic straws, ban or no ban.”

Tiki TNT straws

One enforcement question facing the District revolves around bubble tea, which requires sturdy, oversized straws. There are no environmentally friendly disposable alternatives available at present, and aggressive enforcement will harm at least a dozen small, often minority-owned businesses in the District. “The challenge in finding a truly enviro-friendly straw that works for boba [bubble] tea is a perfect example of why I was inspired to start Our Last Straw,” Simons says. “We will eliminate all single-use plastic straws, and we can do it without any downside.” Another exception is for people with disabilities who require plastic straws to drink or eat. Paper straws have limited usage time before they break apart and pose a choking hazard, while metal or glass straws can cause severe injury if someone bites down hard (as can happen during, for example, a seizure). Restaurants and bars in the District are still required to keep some plastic straws on hand for customers who require them. “We need to work collaboratively with the supply chain, the regulators and the operators to find solutions,” Simons emphasizes. “If that means delaying or phasing in enforcement while the supply chain works to provide a true solution, so be it. We can’t pretend ideology is a substitute for reality.” Learn more about Our Last Straw at www.ourlaststraw.org, including a list of local restaurant groups and other spots participating in the eco-friendly initiative. 600t: 600 T St. NW, DC Buffalo & Bergen: 1309 5th St. NE, DC; www.buffalobergendc.com Founding Farmers: Various locations in the DC area; www.wearefoundingfarmers.com Hank’s Cocktail Bar: 1624 Q St. NW, DC; www.hankscocktailbar.com Tiki TNT: 1130 Maine Ave. SW, DC; www.tikitnt.com www.ontaponline.com | APRIL 2019 | ON TAP

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A H C U B M KO D E I F I T S Y DEM cki . Koszy

Photo: Jeffrey Gleason

By M.K

s people continue to prioritize health and wellness and make those things accessible to all, options for positive additions to your healthy lifestyle are popping up everywhere. But just because you see something more, that doesn’t suddenly translate into common knowledge about the product’s benefits. Take kombucha, for example. Despite existing for so long, this fizzy, fermented tea has had a nonstop audience for almost a decade. It’s gone from a craft concoction to something you can buy in generic brand form at your local grocery store. But all kombuchas aren’t created equal and knowing why fermented foods like it are essential to your diet can remove the mystery behind why this drink has experienced such staying power. To remove the mystery behind this type of tea, we spoke to several local kombucha producers about the best parts of the product, what they do differently and where to find the best of the best brews.

Blue Ridge Bucha Todd Schrecengost, Director of Marketing On Tap: Are extra ingredients ever added to kombucha for health benefits? Todd Schrecengost: We brew our kombucha with a variety of certified organic and fair-trade herbs, spices, and fruit extracts to create an authentically delicious product. Ingredients like elderflowers, berries, ginger root, etc. offer our customers variety in choosing which flavors are right for them. OT: What does Blue Ridge Bucha do that sets it apart from other local producers? TS: Our business is built on a refillable bottle model. We’ve asked our customers to buy glassware to fill and then refill with our product in order to eliminate wastefulness from single-use packaging. This has helped us save 933,750 bottles to date and counting. We also donate

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a portion of our sales to local nonprofit partners. On April 12, we will release a collaboration flavor in partnership with REI, with 100 percent of proceeds donated to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. OT: How often do you advise people to drink kombucha, and what is an ideal serving? TS: There is no recommended intake for kombucha. As with anything you drink or eat, be conscious of how your body feels afterward and adjust accordingly. You can find Blue Ridge Bucha at their newly opened, full-service taproom located at 1809 E. Main St. Waynesboro, VA. Visit www.blueridgebucha.com for a full list of area retailers selling their products and for more information on their collaboration with REI out in early April.


HEX Ferments Meaghan and Shane Carpenter, Founders On Tap: Can you share some background on HEX Ferments? Meaghan Carpenter: We make four main varieties that we wholesale, a seasonal variety that changes every few months, and in our shop, we make three to four super small batches that highlight local herbs and spices from the farms we work with. We are the home of the original pea flower kombucha, which is a bright purple kombucha. We are the very first to have made a caffeine-free kombucha, which is our butterfly lime. Shane Carpenter: We’re pretty unique in the way we package our kombucha, too. We do a bottle exchange program, so our goal is to stay out of the one-time use space. In our packaging process, we don’t ferment or package in plastic, which a lot of people do. We can see why they might – it’s lighter and cheaper – but toxicity issues with fermented foods prevent us from taking that shortcut.

OT: What encouragement would you give to someone who’s not fully on board with incorporating fermented foods into their diet? MC: I just encourage them to try a little bit. From what we have noticed, your body is craving it. There’s a deficit in your body for these lactic acid bacterias. If you start consuming it, your body’s going to tell you that you need more of it. SC: If you enjoy increased immunity [and] increased sustained energy, there’s a whole study about increased serotonin and diverse microbiomes making you happy. That’s a pretty good deal. HEX Ferments’ brick-and-mortar store can be found at 529 E. Belvedere Ave. Baltimore, MD. They are also at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM farmers market every Sunday. Visit www.hexferments.com for a full list of area retailers selling their products.

MTO Kombucha

Wild Kombucha

Meagan Donica, General Manager

Sid Sharma, Co-founder

On Tap: What does the kombucha-making process look like at MTO Kombucha? Meagan Donica: The kombucha-making process is as simple as making a batch of sweet tea, adding your starter SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) and liquid, and waiting. At MTOK, we call the waiting period babysitting because we are constantly checking the growth, development and health of our new SCOBYs. We also test pH and taste test throughout the entire cycle. We ferment only small batches of kombucha, but hundreds at a time. This keeps the kombucha pure and the cultures strong and healthy.

OT: Where does the alcohol in kombucha come from? Can you actually get a buzz from it? MD: When fermented correctly, a kombucha brewer can produce a kombucha tea that has little to no, or trace amounts of, alcohol. The legal limit is 0.5 percent. Most people associate the euphoric sensation they experience after drinking real kombucha with getting a buzz; however, that is not alcohol but simply the good bacteria working hard to cleanse your system of toxins, leaving you feeling calm and clearheaded.

OT: What makes MTO Kombucha unique? MD: We stay local and only serve the DMV area within a 65-mile radius of our kombuchery and tasting room. We do our own distribution. We are the only made-to-order kombucha in the world. We only partner with other local small businesses.

MTO Kombucha can be found at 7124 Farm Station Rd. Vint Hill Farms, VA. You can also place orders through their online store for direct delivery at www.mtokombucha.com. Call 540-364-2639 to find the location stocking MTO nearest you.

On Tap: How do you decide what flavors to produce at Wild Kombucha? Sid Sharma: One thing we focus on a lot is trying to produce unique flavors that aren’t really found in the market, but also contain a familiar taste or palate [of ] flavors people may have already had. Our mission at Wild Kombucha is to make the product more approachable, and to offer a healthy alternative to our community. OT: Why make kombucha part of your everyday diet? SS: Based on how we consume foods in today’s society – processed foods like flour, and people taking medications like antibiotics –good flora that live in your gut can get flushed out. So fermented foods like kombucha help replenish that flora, which then can aid in digestion [and] boost metabolism. It’s been shown to boost the immune system as well. OT: Why do you think people have reservations about drinking kombucha, and how would you combat that? SS: People tend to be skeptical about things they don’t know about. As you’re introduced to [kombucha] in more than one avenue, you become more comfortable with it. I think the types of stores that sell our product are a testament to that. People now see kombucha multiple times a day, and once it becomes commonplace, people become less skeptical. Wild Kombucha’s newly opened taproom and production facility is located at 4820 Seton Dr. Suite L, Baltimore, MD. Visit www.mobtownfermentation.com for a full list of area retailers selling their products.

www.ontaponline.com | APRIL 2019 | ON TAP

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Behind

Bar the

Park View’s

No Kisses By Travis Mitchell

Chili Wise at No Kisses

When the team behind Colony Club looked to open their next cocktail bar, they aimed to recreate the kind of spot they’d frequent. That meant a cool vibe and décor, good beer, a solid wine list, and approachable, well-crafted drinks. The result is No Kisses, which opened next door to Colony in DC’s Park View neighborhood at the end of March. Like Colony Club, which operates as a coffee shop by day and a bar by night, No Kisses hopes to attract a broad audience to its indoor and outdoor spaces. “We tried to keep the barriers to entry relatively low,” says Max Zuckerman, one of the bar’s three partners. That means finding a variety of beverages, not just upscale creations. The cocktail program is overseen by Cody Hochheiser, who brings experience from DC institutions like 2 Amys and Pineapple & Pearls. He says his menu aims to hit many of the main spirits categories, from bourbon to mezcal. That goes for flavor profiles, too. “I want to get fruity, I want to get herby, I want to get briny, I want to get boozy,” Hochheiser says. “There’s something for everyone.”

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Photo: Dannah Strauss

“I want to get fruity, I want to get herby, I want to get briny, I want to get boozy. There’s something for everyone.” Among their cocktails is the NK Negroni, a variation on the classic elevated with Ford’s Gin, Vermouth del Professore, and both Alta Verde and local Capitoline Tiber amaro. Get spicy with the Tequila Cimarrón-infused Chili Wise or go for a simple Old Fashioned made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, nocino walnut liqueur, and black walnut and orange bitters. Cocktails range from $11 to $13, and the menu figures to change as the weather warms, gravitating toward more refreshing cocktails like spritzes. Aside from liquor, the bar stocks both cheap and upscale beers, including a bunch of hand-imported selections. There’s also a more robust wine selection than most cocktails bars have on hand.


Chili Wise Cimarron tequila Yellow chartreuse Hot salt rim Sage Lemon “If someone wants to just come in for a glass and not think about it, that’s fine,” Zuckerman says. “But we did put a lot of thought into making a really cool wine list.” The bar is full of funky touches, including ceiling lights that change color, velvet-lined booths and dark wood floors. It reflects a cozy den designed for getting comfortable. Come later this spring, drinks can be enjoyed on picnic tables in the expansive outdoor “garden” shared with Sonny’s Pizza, also owned by the same trio. On that note: food isn’t served inside No Kisses, but customers are welcome to hang al fresco to enjoy a slice of Sonny’s pie along with their cocktails. As far as the name, Zuckerman prefers not to dive too deep, saying only that it came from a short story the co-owners were reading while working on the business; it’s sure to be a talking point among guests. After four years running Colony Club, the team hopes they have a tried-and-true formula that will make locals feel at home, whether it’s sharing a bottle of wine or meeting up for a date. “The neighborhood thing is pretty real to us,” Zuckerman says. Follow No Kisses on Instagram @nokissesbar and learn more about the bar at www.nokissesbar.com.

Shrub Cocktails Next-Level Drinks with a Fruity, Acidic Kick

Momofuku CCDC’s Pocket Full of Cherry

Momofuku CCDC

As DC eases into spring, the biting winds and slushy sidewalks of winter are slowly being replaced by warm breezes and flower beds. Inside, cocktail bars are welcoming the new season with vinegarbased fruit shrubs, which can add depth and complexity to any drink. “We love shrubs for cocktails because you get your acid and your sweet at the same time,” says Charlie Berkinshaw, owner at DC-based Element Shrub. “If people are weirded out by putting vinegar in a drink, I usually tell them to just think about shrubs as the acidic component – with a little sweet – of the drink.” Here are four spots to order this season that take advantage of this unique product.

Celebrate April with the spritz-inspired Pocket Full of Cherry. The colorful drink uses Mancino Sakura vermouth, sparkling sake, rhubarb shrub and Gran Classico bitter liqueur. 1090 I St. NW, DC; https://ccdc.momofuku.com

Hank’s Cocktail Bar

The Smith

Several shrubs are used in Hank’s “Market Fresh” cocktails, including the scotch-based Peat and Pineapples. The smoky cocktail includes Talisker whisky, jalapeno shrub, pineapple and spicy “fire” tincture. For something bubbly, choose the We’re Just Friends, which comes with cava and a rotating house shrub or syrup. 1624 Q St. NW, DC; www.hankscocktailbar.com

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Photo: Emily Jue

No Kisses: 3120 Georgia Ave. NW, DC; www.nokissesbar.com

Quadrant The new and extensive travel-themed menu at this Ritz-Carlton cocktail bar features The Covered Bridge with honey gin, Calvados brandy, and a house-made blueberry, lemon and ginger shrub. It’s rounded out with fresh lemon juice, honey and orange blossom water, lemon bitters, and an egg white. 1150 22nd St. NW, DC; www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/washington-dc/dc/dining/quadrant

Kick back with a glass of Santiago Punch blended with pisco, housemade pineapple Thai basil shrub and Green Chartreuse. The drink gets additional tropical notes with the addition of velvet falernum, lime and bitters. 1314 U St. NW, DC; www.thesmithrestaurant.com/location/u-street

Learn more about Element Shrub at www.elementshrub.com.


RED BEAR BREWING CO. By Keith Loria

A

OPEN TO ALL

Photos: Nicco Page // @niccorocks

t the grand opening of Red Bear Brewing Co. last month, patrons exploring the space echoed the same sentiment: NoMa’s new brewery has a philosophy of being open to all. “It’s a place that really has something for everyone,” says Liz Cox, Red Bear’s taproom manager and veteran manager of the DC restaurant and bar landscape. “[Red Bear] erases that stigma of brewery culture.” In other words, this isn’t just a bunch of white bearded guys sitting around drinking micro brews. This is an environment for people of all races, genders and sexual orientations. Red Bear is the brainchild of three friends who were living in Seattle – Bryan Van Den Oever, Cameron Raspet and Simon Bee – all looking to change careers. Van Den Oever came from the healthcare world, Raspet has a military background and was a flight test engineer for Boeing, and Bee worked in property management. “They wanted to do a nano-brewery but knew they shouldn’t in Seattle because it had the most brewpubs per capita,” Cox says. “They felt bringing the West Coast style to the East Coast would work and

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chose DC to get it started.” Although all three owners are gay, they decided early on that Red Bear wasn’t going to be “a gay bar” but rather ultra-inclusive, encompassing more than just the LGBTQ community. “We try to be disability-friendly, accessibly friendly, a safe space for women [and] people of color,” Cox says. “We even have a bartender who is an ASL interpreter and we are all trying to learn from him as well [to welcome the deaf community and students from nearby Gallaudet University]. The idea was to create a safe space for everyone.” The trio also wants the establishment to embrace the outdoors and adventure, hence the brewery’s name. The bear is a central theme of the space, and the logo features an ursine figure and Washington state’s Mount Rainier in front of DC’s stars and stripes. “Visually, our bar is very appealing, and we stick to the theme of bringing outdoors inside,” Cox says. “We have patio string lights out. Simon built a mountain range that lines the bar. The bar is very large and creates two zones; we call one the front yard and the other the back patio.” Red Bear serves predominantly West Coast-style ales and beers

“The idea was to create a safe space for everyone.”


“Red Bear erases that stigma of brewery culture.” from 24 tap lines in a 7,000-square-foot space. “Simon is our brewmaster and classifies offerings in three styles,” Cox explains. “[There’s] the old, nostalgic-style beers such as an ESB, which you don’t find a lot of in DC as it’s a very West Coast, Pacific Northwest-style beer. There’s the beers you should enjoy drinking and then experimental beers.” For example, the pub will be introducing a brut kölsch later this summer. Current on tap offerings include a Belgian wit called Marmalade Skies, Cammy Cam-Cam’s ESB, American porter DC Dirt, the pale ale Polar Bear, American amber Skookum Red Ale, American IPA Mystic Storm and American double IPA Twinsies. Seasonal offerings include Cupid’s Black Heart, a chocolate-strawberry bock, and Swampoodle, an imperial oatmeal Irish stout. In the months ahead, the bar will offer a hibiscus American wheat (Delicate Prissy Flower), cherry almond sour (Manhattan Project), rosemary saison

(Something About Rosemary) and a NoMa-based SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hops) brew. As a brewpub, Red Bear is licensed to sell food and has a small kitchen that is currently being readied to open sometime this summer. In the meantime, the owners are bringing in pop-up food places such as Roaming Rooster and D’s Fish Truck to offer visitors some menu items. “We also have a stage for live performances and a patio that will be up and going once it gets warmer,” Cox says. “And we’ll be building out our drop lines. We opened with eight beers and have 15 beer lines and two nitro beer lines.” Red Bear also offers cider, cocktails, wine and a full liquor menu. At the grand opening, all three owners got their pick of one special element for the night, so the party included a drag queen (Kitti Chanel Fairfield), an ice sculpture and live music. “We’re all about having a good time and everyone here is excited about what’s to come,” Cox says. “NoMa has a ton of people but not a lot of bars, and we want people to feel comfortable here.” Learn more about Red Bear at www.redbear.beer and follow the brewery @redbearbrewing. Red Bear Brewing Co.: 209 M St. NE, DC 202-849-6130; www.redbear.beer www.ontaponline.com | APRIL 2019 | ON TAP

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All What’s On Tap listings are provided by the venues hosting them.

Greetings, beer nerds! As you likely know, there are a number of fantastic spots in the DMV where you can grab a pint, and their menus are always evolving and adapting to your tastes. If you’d rather avoid the guessing game, check out what’s coming up at a few of these fine establishments.

THURSDAY, APRIL 4 Beer Tasting at the GAHM Enjoy a taste of Germany with different kinds of German beer, including limited seasonal specialties, German sausage, potato salad and pretzels. In the mood for something different? Try a Bavarian biergarten specialty called obatzda. In addition, learn about the long history of Germans in the United States, their surprising contributions which go well beyond beer and bratwurst, and the strong connection that exists still today between the two countries. 6:30-9 p.m. $30-$55. German-American Heritage Museum: 719 6th St. NW, DC; www.gahmusa.org Flying Dog Presents Unfiltered for Your Pleasure Join ChurchKey as they celebrate all things IPA with their friends from Flying Dog. This night features seven beers from the brewery, including three unfiltered twists on Flying Dog’s flagship IPAs. Whether you love them or hate them, unfiltered hazy IPAs are here to stay. Try Snake Dog, Double Dog and The Truth side-by-side and decide which you like best. 4-7:30 p.m. Free to attend. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC; www.churchkeydc.com Ithaca Beer’s 20th Anniversary Party Rustico Ballston is set to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ithaca Beer Company. In honor of this momentous occasion, the restaurant will pour 10 exciting beers from the New York brewery, including rare kegs of Anniversary 20 and Anniversary 20/20: Hindsight. The team at Ithaca Beer Co. is bringing a remarkable lineup for the event, headlined by the two aforementioned brews. 5-11:30 p.m. Free to attend. Rustico Ballston: 4075 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.rusticorestaurant.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 5 Port City’s Ideaal Tripel Release Party Join Port City Brewing as they tap the Ideaal Tripel. From the Flemish term meaning

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“quintessential or exemplary,” Ideaal is a classic Belgian-style tripel. Honey gold with a thick cap of mousse-like foam, Ideaal Tripel’s deceptively dry body provides a perfect playground for a spicy Belgian yeast character, marrying complexity and approachability. Ideaal is the perfect companion for spring in the DC area and a must have for patio season. 3-10 p.m. Free to attend. Port City Brewing: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com

SATURDAY, APRIL 6 Capital BrewFest: Blossom Bash Beer DC’s outdoor festival season is set to kick off with Blossom Bash. Your ticket to Blossom Bash gets you three hours of unlimited tastes of more than 65 delicious craft beers, 10-plus tasty ciders and more. You’ll also enjoy the best of DC’s food trucks, live music and fun games. 12:30-8 p.m. $30-$60. The Bullpen: 1299 Half St. SE, DC; www.brewfestdc.com New Beer’s Eve Celebrate your new favorite holiday: New Beer’s Eve. On April 7, 1933, beer production was once again made legal in the U.S., marking the imminent end of prohibition. Join at the Dumbarton House with local beer historians in tasting a wide variety of local beers, ciders and snacks. This is the day to honor your right to pursue happiness and a refreshing cold one. 3-7 p.m. $35-$40. Dumbarton House: 2715 Q St. NW, DC; www.dumbartonhouse.org The Sovereign’s Third Anniversary Celebration The Sovereign is celebrating its third anniversary with a huge selection of 25 world-renowned beers including favorites from Cantillon, Hill Farmstead, Allagash and more. The day brings three extremely rare Cantillon kegs, including the DC debut of Carignan. In addition, Hill Farmstead and Allagash sent an amazing collection such as Hill Farmstead’s Convivial Suarez and Clara, as well as Allagash’s Coolship Red and Coolship

Resurgam. In addition, there will also be a spontaneous collection of fermented beers. 11 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. Free to attend. The Sovereign: 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.thesovereigndc.com

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10 Zlaty Rhino Beer Release Lost Rhino Brewing Company is bringing this back for a release in April. Zlatý Rhino (pronounced “zlah-tee”) is a classic Bohemianstyle pale lager and takes its name from the Czech word for “golden.” This beer balances the delicate bitterness of 100 percent Czech Saaz hops against a sweet malty backbone, thanks to the use of a painstaking traditional decoction mash and long kettle boil. Zlatý Rhino is equally at home alongside a hearty meal or fueling a long night at the pub with friends. The tap opens at 11:30 a.m. Free to attend. Lost Rhino Brewing Company: 21730 Red Rum Dr. #142, Ashburn, VA; www.lostrhino.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 11 SUNDAY, APRIL 14 The DC Easter Keg Hunt 2019 Celebrate Easter early this year with the first ever DC Easter Keg Hunt. Join ChurchKey, Bluejacket, The Sovereign and The Partisan for a craft beer-themed scavenger hunt across the District. The hoppy hunt is on. Each location will have a different clue hinting at a special beer on the draft list. Find the secret beer at all four locations by Sunday and win a free limited-edition commemorative DC Easter Keg Hunt 2019 hooded sweatshirt (retail value $45). Winners are automatically entered into a drawing for one of the five grand prizes. Various times. Free to participate. DC Easter Keg Hunt: Various locations in DC; www.dcbeer.net


#LIVELIFEANCHORSUP AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS

BUFFALO BILLIARDS RED ROCKS CITY TAP DUPONT MELLOW MUSHROOM CITY TAP PENN QUARTER JOHNNY PISTOLA’S AMERICAN ICE COMPANY CAPITAL BURGER EL REY CHATTER CALICO MCINTYRE’S * ACCOUNTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DISCOVER RESPONSIBLYTM. PACIFICO CLARA® BEER. IMPORTED BY CROWN IMPORTS, CHICAGO, IL.


SUNDAY, APRIL 14 The Stillwater Preternatural Cuvée Tasting w/ Brian Strumke The Sovereign is welcoming Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales to host an intimate tasting of all five beers from the Preternatural Cuvée Project, a series of his most intriguing and special barrel-aged beer-wine hybrids. In 2014, Stillwater Artisanal procured a truckload of freshly emptied California wine barrels and filled them with a mix of blond and dark saisons. After three years in oak barrels, roughly two years of bottle conditioning, and many blending and tasting sessions, Stillwater is finally ready to release these five beautiful beer-wine hybrids. 12-2 p.m. Free to attend. The Sovereign: 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.thesovereigndc.com

LIVE MUSIC | BOURBON | BURGERS

MARCH SA 30 CHOPTEETH

THURSDAY, APRIL 18

SU 31 LILLY HIATT w/ KAREN JONAS

Profs & Pints: Founding Fathers in the “Friend Zone” Presented with Cassandra Good, assistant professor of history at Marymount University, this discussion focuses on several of America’s earliest leaders and how they formed close, egalitarian relationships with women. Among them, Thomas Jefferson had warm ties with Abigail Adams, and she called him “one of the choice ones on Earth.” George Washington found a home away from home with Philadelphia’s Elizabeth Powel. These weren’t romantic love affairs. They were friendships built on emergent ideas of women as the spiritual and intellectual equals of men. 6-9 p.m. $15. Bier Baron Tavern: 1523 22nd St. NW, DC; www.inlovewithbier.com/tavern

APRIL TH 4

THE REVELERS

FR 5

VACATION MANOR w/ BRISTON MARONEY

SA 6

NEW ORLEANS FUNK & SOUL NIGHT FEATURING FUNKY MIRACLE

SU 7

JOURNEYMAN (ERIC CLAPTON TRIBUTE)

TH 11 FEELFREE, ROOTS OF A REBELLION w/ SHAMANS OF SOUND

SATURDAY, APRIL 20

FR 12 THE BREVET, THE UNLIKELY CANDIDATES SA 13 CRIS JACOBS BAND w/ JUSTIN TRAWICK AND THE COMMON GOOD SU 14 PROJECTHERA PRESENTS WOMEN WHO ROCK THE 80’s TU 16 ANA POPOVIC w/ MARY-ELAINE JENKINS TH 18 SHINER HONKY TONK NIGHT WIL GRAVATT BAND w/ MACKENZIE ROARK FR 19 TOMMY CASTRO & THE PAINKILLERS – KILLIN’ IT LIVE RECORD RELEASE TOUR w/ KEVIN BURT (BLUES MUSIC AWARD NOMINEE – BEST EMERGING ARTIST ALBUM) SA 20 SECOND ANNUAL “THE BIG LEBOWSKI EXPERIENCE” TH 25 ROCK N ROLL NIGHT FEATURING KRANTZ FR 26 DREW GIBSON ALBUM RELEASE! w/ EMILY HENRY

DC Beer Fest The DC Beer Festival returns to Nationals Park, bringing together dozens of craft breweries and featuring spring seasonal beers. Taking place throughout the stadium’s concourse including Centerfield Plaza, Budweiser Brew House, Bud Light Loft and Budweiser Terrace, the DC Beer Fest will have over a dozen food trucks throughout as well as lawn games, DJs and more. 12-8 p.m. $45-$75. Nationals Park: 1500 S. Capitol St. SE, DC; www.dcbeerfestival.com Ocelot 4th Year Anniversary Party and Spring Market After the success at Ocelot’s Oktoberfest Flea Market, the brewery decided to bring back a bunch of vendors for their 4th anniversary. So we’ll be setup out back again with tables and a cash bar, a slew of great local vendors, music by Mobius Records, food trucks and more. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Free to attend. Ocelot Brewing Company: 23600 Overland Dr. Sterling, VA; www.ocelotbrewing.com

SA 27 NO SECOND TROY w/THE RESERVES SU 28 SOUTHWEST SOUL SESSIONS w/ ELIJAH BALBED & ISABELLE DE LEON

MAY WE 1 SATSANG w/ CONOR & THE WILD HUNT TH 2

VIRGINIA COALITION (VACO)

FR 3

VIRGINIA COALITION (VACO)

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THURSDAY, APRIL 25 Diamondback Brewing Co. Tap Takeover Join Lost & Found in celebrating Baltimore’s Diamondback Brewing Co. with a 10-tap takeover of old favorites and new releases. Diamondback was established in 2016 brewing small batch beer skewed towards one-off styles in the Baltimore metropolitan area. In the past two years, Diamondback Beer has started to mature and develop a firmer grip its core offerings, monthly one-offs and barrel aging experiments. 4-11 p.m. Free to attend. Lost & Found: 1240 9th St. NW, DC; www.lostandfounddc.com

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3/27/19 2:18 PM


MAY 17–19

Ezra Siegel, Song of Love, 2018, plaster, graphite powder, and acrylic washes on canvas, 48 x 60 inches

Friday–Sunday, May 17–19, 10am–5pm at Reston Town Center


By Leah Seyoum

Foals

TUESDAY, APRIL 2

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3

Muse Commercially successful English rock band Muse will stop in DC as a part of The Simulation Theory world tour. The band’s eighth studio album by the same name was released in November last year. Perhaps, the best way to describe their latest project is through the album cover. It was designed by Stranger Things artist Kyle Lambert, and like the show, the songs have a futuristic feel with all the trappings of electronic rock. Show starts at 7:30 p.m., tickets start at $43. Capital One Arena: 601 F St. NW, DC; www.capitalonearena.com

Kennedy Center Spring Gala with Idina Menzel Award-winning Broadway star, singer and actress Idina Menzel is set to perform at The Kennedy Center’s annual gala, Celebrating the Human Spirit. Menzel is best known for her portrayal of Elphaba in the smash musical Wicked and for voicing Queen Elsa in the hit animated film Frozen. Including a mix of fan favorites and original songs, the gala concert is poised to be a memorable one. This year, the center will be honoring Citizen Artist Forest Whitaker and Distinguished Philanthropists Patrick G. Ryan and Shirley W. Ryan. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets start at $99.

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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: 2700 F St. NW, DC; www.kennedy-center.org

FRIDAY, APRIL 5 Amanda Palmer Amanda Palmer is absolutely haunting in her newest studio album There Will Be No Intermission. Tackling difficult subjects like abortion, miscarriages and cancer, this is exactly the kind of daring work one should expect from Palmer. She’s gained a bit of a reputation for her shocking, bold imagery – and she’s aware of it. In an interview with On Tap’s Trent Johnson, Amanda said, “You don’t go see Halloween 8 and expect a guy

without a knife, just like you’re not coming to an Amanda Palmer show and expecting Disney songs and jazz hands.” Show starts at 7:30 p.m., tickets $39-$54. National Theatre: 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC; www.thenationaldc.org The Infamous Stringdusters And the Grammy goes to... The Infamous Stringdusters! The quintessential progressive bluegrass band earned its first Grammy nod in 2011 for the song “Magic No. 9.” Last year, they secured the big win: Best Bluegrass Album for Laws of Gravity. In their follow-up project, The Infamous Stringdusters are expected to (Continued on page 59)


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HUNTTHE STACKS Our Record Store Day Picks By M.K. Koszycki

Smash! Records owners Matt Moffatt

Photo: Cristina O’Connell

usic lovers everywhere know that the second weekend of April is nothing short of a national holiday. Since 2007, musicians have banded together for Record Store Day (RSD) to release exclusive vinyl pressings that can only be purchased on that day, leading hardcore fans to queue up in the early morning hours to hunt the stacks for these new and exclusive editions. With no shortage of record stores in the area, we chose some of our favorite spots in the DMV worthy of a visit on Saturday, April 13. Read on for the juicy details, including when each spot opens on RSD and what’s up for grabs.

Hill & Dale This Georgetown record store is a bit of a hidden gem, solely due to its location in Canal Square just off the beaten path of bustling M Street. The interior is just as stunning as their genre-spanning record collection, with bright white walls and industrial ceilings flanked by posters and photos, which the store also sells. This tucked-away oasis of sound and visuals is a must-visit on RSD. Opens at 10 a.m. 1054 31st St. NW, DC; www.hillanddalerecords.com

Joint Custody While adding to your vinyl collection is obviously the point of RSD, you can still take the opportunity to shop small in other ways. U Street’s Joint Custody is the perfect stop for that. In addition to vinyl, catch the store’s collection of vintage T-shirts, outerwear, hats and accessories. You can browse their site now for an idea of the kind of retro finds available, with everything from Indigo Girls to Public Image Ltd. Opens at noon. 1530 U St. NW, DC; www.jointcustodydc.com

Mobius Records This Fairfax City spot is known for its robust collection of new and used records in addition to hosting in-store shows with local bands. RSD is no exception, as the store will host DC ska band The Pietasters

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in honor of the reissue of their album Willis. As motivation to queue up early and grab your faves from the RSD list, enjoy a collaborative beer produced with Capitol Riverfront-based brewery Bluejacket and hotdogs served up by Red Apron Chef Nathan Anda. Opens at 9 a.m. Food at noon and music at 1 p.m. 10409 Main St. Suite D, Fairfax, VA; www.mobiusrecordshop.com

Purple Narwhal Music & Manga This Rockville-based gem was created to celebrate a combined love of manga and music into one convenient location. They’re opening an hour early in celebration of RSD, so come grab your picks early and stick around to peruse their collection of anime, magna, graphic novels and more. Opens at 11 a.m. 822G Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD; www.purplenarwhal.com

Record Exchange Silver Spring This downtown Silver Spring spot is located right next to The Fillmore, making it the perfect place to swing by before catching a show. Their floors are lined with old records and provide a perfect photo op, and don’t miss the bins of $1 records in the back to rifle through for a true treasure hunt. Opens 11 a.m. 8642 Colesville Rd. Silver Spring, MD; www.fb.com/recordexchangesilverspring

Records & Rarities Not all RSD celebrations have to start as the sun rises. The relatively new pair of record stores (with locations in Tysons Corner and Springfield) will team up with Union Stage for a late-night celebration featuring the likes of Masta Ace & Marco Polo, Diamond D and more. Keep the celebration of music going into the night after you visit the Records & Rarities location of your choice. Tickets start at $25. Show at 10 p.m. Union Stage: 740 Water St. SW, DC; www.unionstage.com R&R locations: 6769 Springfield Mall Dr. ​Springfield, VA; 1961 Chain Bridge Rd. Tysons, VA


Photo: Cristina O’Connell Photo: Trent Johnson

(Music Picks from page 56)

Hill & Dale

Neyla Pekarek Photo: Courtesy of Mobius Records

Joint Custody

release a new album in April. Their jovial title track “Rise Sun” teases a groovy, uplifting celebration of life. Show starts at 9:30 p.m., tickets $25. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC; www.930.com

SATURDAY, APRIL 6 Mobius

Smash! Records This spot has been around since 1984 and continues to supply the District with punk and alternative records from its current storefront in Adams Morgan. Alongside those selections, you can find original and vintage clothes, music merch, and other outside-the-box goodies. Opens 11 a.m. 2314 18th St. (second floor) NW, DC; www.smashrecords.com

Songbyrd Record Cafe and Music House If you also balk at the idea of getting up early, even in the name of new records, you can make the a.m. better by stopping by the multiuse music haven in AdMo for coffee, tea, breakfast sandwiches and more treats. Plus, they’ll be announcing onsite activities closer to the date, so keep an eye on their website. Opens 8 a.m. 2475-2477 18th St. NW, DC; www.songbyrddc.com For more on RSD 2019 and lists of releases, visit www.recordstoreday.com. RSD selections vary by location; visit individual websites beginning the first week of April to see what the store of your choice is stocking.

The Vijay Iyer Sextet Highly acclaimed keyboardistcomposer Vijay Iyer is close to achieving icon status at the age of 47. Boasting an impressive musical catalogue, critics have offered nothing but praise for the young jazz genius. He formed the The Vijay Iyer Sextet, collaborating with five other contemporary masters to release Far From Over, an album that made Rolling Stone’s “50 Best Albums of 2017.” Shows start at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., tickets $45. The Kennedy Center: 2700 F St. NW, DC; www.kennedy-center.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 7 Aaron Lee Tasjan When Aaron Lee Tasjan and his band performed at Bob Boilen’s

famous Tiny Desk at NPR, Boilen later wrote, “The sound of the middle-and-late 1960s came through his sea green, Gorsuch 12-string guitar while his voice felt both familiar and fresh.” In other words, Tasjan is a vintageloving, fedora-wearing, oldieslistening hipster. But what’s wrong with that? Especially when you’re damn good at what you do. In his new album Karma For Cheap, the Nashville resident takes audiences back in time – YouTube archives it is, youngsters – to rediscover what they love about classic rock music. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets $15. Songbyrd Record Cafe and Music House: 2475 18th St. NW, DC; www.songbyrddc.com City of the Sun The New York City trio City of the Sun play experimental, instrumental music with indie rock, American folk, flamenco and blues influences. Somehow, this eclectic band combines these genres in a coherent fashion. Their sound challenges (Continued on page 61)

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Whole Lotta Soul ELI “PAPERBOY” REED WEARS INFLUENCES ON HIS SLEEVE

F

By Monica Alford ull disclosure: I’m a total sucker for a retro-inspired sound. Add crooning vocals, soulful instrumentation and thoughtful lyrics to the mix, and I’m sold. A girlfriend introduced me to soul singer Eli “Paperboy” Reed about a decade ago (fun fact: she went to the same high school as Reed in a Boston suburb and was super proud of this fact) and I was immediately smitten with his modern-day take on the genre. Since then, I’ve seen him play DC venues multiple times – most memorably with a full brass band at Rock & Roll Hotel – and listened to his records incorporate everything from blues and gospel to R&B and pop sensibilities. But soul always remains the foundation of his signature sound. With a new album, 99 Cent Dreams, out on April 12 – produced in Memphis by Matt Ross-Spang with Ken Coomer (Wilco) on drums – and a tour that includes a stop at The Hamilton Live on May 4, I finally had the opportunity to pick the artist’s brain about reinventing what has come before and making it his own. We chatted on the phone recently when he was at home in Brooklyn doing some spring cleaning about life as the father of a two-year-old, how DC has the best Ethiopian food (duh) and what soul music means to him. On Tap: I want to start with a question that sometimes mildly offends musicians when I ask it, although I’m not completely sure why. Eli “Paperboy” Reed: [Laughs] I’m very excited to hear what the question is now. OT: I find that so much of the music I love is a reinvention of older sounds. With soul being the backbone of yours, and as a musician on the soul scene for more than a decade now, how do you reinvent that sound with each new album and keep it fresh and true to you? EPR: I think it’s a good question. I think if you had asked me 10 years ago when I started out, I might’ve been one of the ones who was offended. I think that I’ve come around to the idea that I don’t mind wearing my influences on my sleeve. I hope at this point in my career that I’ve been able to make records that people can identify [with] sounding like me. Everybody takes from something. I don’t think there’s any point in trying to deny it or be upset about being called a revivalist or whatever. I guess just at the heart of it, the point is that people want

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Photo: Roberto Chamorro

to put your records on and listen to them, you know? I think that my goal has always been to make music that I want to listen to and love. OT: I would for sure say you have a signature sound that’s all your own. Your music feels like something I can dance to, and Top 40 isn’t that for me, do you know what I mean? EPR: Sure, well that’s great. I think that’s also part of the goal for people like myself or any of the other artists that are clearly very influenced by 60s soul music is to provide their listeners with something they can enjoy that they might not otherwise be able to find on the radio or at a show. The fact that you can come out and see me play live and enjoy yourself and dance is something you can’t do with a record that’s 50 years old. OT: Very true. So tell me about 99 Cent Dreams. How long was this record in the making? EPR: I have a daughter now who’s two-and-a-half and I had this idea that I was going to write a lot of this record while I was home on paternity leave and that didn’t really happen [laughs]. Once she started daycare, I buckled down in earnest to write the songs. Thankfully, there’s a really amazing community of musicians and singers and songwriters here in Brooklyn, and a lot of people were able to just come over to the house and sit down with guitars or on the piano and write. It was a nice chunk of time that I was able to set aside at home with my family and also work with a lot of people who I really respect. It was a very productive time period for me. OT: Did you draw on home life – being a parent and a husband – at all during the songwriting process? EPR: Absolutely. I think these are songs that are really representative of my current situation and how I feel about my wife and my family. I feel like it’s a more settled record, that’s for sure. But in a good way. And I don’t think that makes it any less soulful or any less emotional. I think it’s just a different kind of feeling that I’m drawing on. OT: I have a two-and-a-half-year-old as well, and I grew up playing classical piano. I’ve been wondering when to start teaching him how to read and play music. As a professional musician, have you already started thinking about teaching your daughter how to play an instrument?


EPR: We play music together in the house all the time. I’m not really trying to do the lessons thing. For me, the idea is just to have [music] be around, and I want her to pick up on things that she likes to do. I want to let her figure it out for herself. As long as we can listen to music together, that’s enough for me. OT: Are there any songs on the record that are particularly close to your heart or that you think listeners will really connect with? EPR: I like “Tryin’” a lot. It’s a song that I wrote from my wife’s perspective. She’s the one in the family with the 9 to 5 job, and sometimes it’s a tough life to have a 9 to 5 gig and try to come home and be a parent, or a husband or a wife. OT: When did you have that moment of, “Okay, I’m all in, I’m doing this” about soul? Why was it the genre that you connected with the most? EPR: Soul music is kind of the quintessence of all the things that I love – blues and R&B and jazz and gospel and country music – put through the lens of a pop format. That’s something I could wrap my head around as a performer: how to do that and do it in a way that I felt was original and that people would be interested in hearing. OT: Do you feel like your sound has changed a lot over the past decade in terms of sticking to soul, or even your live performances? EPR: I had a period where I made a pop record that came out on Warner Bros. and for one reason or another, it didn’t really connect. Then I kind of went the opposite direction and made the My Way Home album, which is more [of a] gospel record. I felt like I had to do something that was just for me. I’m incredibly proud of that record. It felt cathartic and necessary. When it came time to make this album, I wanted to do it in a little bit more of a controlled and thoughtful way. I feel like it became what I wanted it to be, for sure. OT: Are there any sounds or genres you’d like to explore or pursue in the next few years? What’s next for you? EPR: I’m still buying gospel records all the time. I love gospel music. It’s an endlessly deep well of inspiration for me. Man, there’s so much, you know? But for the most part, I come back to the same things because I think there’s so much to discover in the genres that I love. There’s still records that knock me out. I’m finding new music every day and it’s still amazing how much good stuff there is that is undiscovered. OT: Who would be your dream co-bill for a future tour? EPR: Probably Beyoncé [laughs]. I think Beyoncé pretty much takes the cake for all of it. OT: What’s your favorite part of playing shows in DC? EPR: Ethiopian food, man. Ethiopian food in DC is the best. There’s a particular place and I’m forgetting the name, but every time we play in DC, I stop in Alexandria at this tiny Ethiopian place in a strip mall that’s open until 2 o’clock in the morning. We go there after every show. It’s SO good. Eli “Paperboy” Reed plays The Hamilton Live on Saturday, May 4. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets $15-$20. For more information about the performance, visit www.live.thehamiltondc.com. Learn more about Reed at www.elipaperboyreed.com and follow him @elipaperboyreed. The Hamilton Live: 600 14th St. NW, DC 202-769-0122; www.live.thehamiltondc.com

(Music Picks from page 59)

the perception of instrumental music and resolves to propel it into the future. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets $15-$18. Union Stage: 740 Water St. SW, DC; www.unionstage.com

MONDAY, APRIL 8 Neyla Pekarek After going solo, Neyla Pekarek is soaring on her own. Formerly a cellist for the uber-successful band The Lumineers, Pekarek decided to split with the band after eight years because it was no longer the right fit. Announcing her departure, The Lumineers tweeted, “A band is like an organism – it grows, changes and evolves.” Soon after her exit, Pekarek dropped her debut solo album Rattlesnake earlier this year. She was inspired by a Colorado frontierswoman known as “Rattlesnake Kate” who, according to legend, shot 140 snakes on horseback to protect her infant son. In what she’s described as “a feminist record,” Pekarek lays her perky vocals and instruments on 13 tracks meant to inspire fellow women. Show starts at 6:30 p.m., tickets $18-$20. Union Stage: 740 Water St. SW, DC; www.unionstage.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 11 Arielle Guitarist, singer-songwriter Arielle is an old fashioned, young woman from Austin who prefers all things bohemian and lives to jam out. Her classical folk-rock sound has caught the attention of many notable acts. She’s opened for Heart, Vince Gill, Eric Johnson, Joan Jett, Gregg Allman and more. The talented up-and-comer shows special promise and has plans to release a new album in the near future. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets $12. Jammin Java: 227 Maple Ave. E Vienna, VA; www.jamminjava.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 11 SUNDAY, APRIL 14 Damaged City Music Festival Damaged City Music Festival’s is DC’s premiere hardcore punk rock festival. This annual festival

draws punk lovers from around the world to the nation’s capital for a rockin’ good time. This year, the diverse lineup includes Despise You from L.A., Raw Brigade from Colombia, Rotten Mind from Sweden, Impulso from Italy and more. Various dates and times. Tickets $10-$60. Damaged City Music Festival: Various locations around DC; www.damaged-city.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 12 Robert Glasper Trio Few musicians, if any, are in Robert Glasper’s category. Fusing an extensive command of jazz with his love of hip-hop and R&B, Glasper was always destined to become a visionary artist as a singer, expert pianist and producer. His unique musical background placed him in a world of his own, which did not go unnoticed by the industry. Glasper has been nominated for a Grammy six times, winning three. Working with artists across genres including Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, Norah Jones, Kendrick Lamar and Esperanza Spalding, Glasper’s brilliant artistry has garnered the respect of his peers. Show starts at 6 p.m., tickets $55-$70. City Winery: 1350 Okie St. NE, DC; www.citywinery.com

SUNDAY, APRIL 14 Los Lonely Boys Chances are you’ve heard the song “Heaven” by Los Lonely Boys. The Chicano rock band is from Texas – and they sound like it. Steeped in their regional brand of blues with country rock overtones, Los Lonely Boys is literally a band of brothers. Despite several career setbacks in recent years, the Garza brothers always make positivity a priority by sharing their feelgood music with the world. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets $40-$55. City Winery: 1350 Okie St. NE, DC; citywinery.com (Continued on page 63)

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Charlotte Gainsbourg’s New Era French actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg released her fifth studio album Rest in 2017. Outwardly, its timing and themes appear to be the processing of Gainsbourg’s grief; she lost her sister, photographer Kate Barry, in 2013 and her father Serge in 1991. But it also marked a new era of the artist looking inward to grow through these experiences, and not despite them. While her previous work had been primarily written and composed by collaborators, Rest saw Gainsbourg taking control of the songwriting process, adding more significance to the album among the rest of her discography. “It made me much more responsible in a way, but it meant that I was judging what I was doing and not being tolerant [of ] myself,” she notes of the songwriting process. Fellow musician Beck offered her sage advice as she tried her hand at new aspects of the album’s creation. “I remember Beck telling me that it wasn’t such a big deal to write lyrics,” she says. “The thing that did it for me was, you try and write the worst song ever and that’s your starting point. [You] just let go and authorize yourself to be just who you are. That may be mediocre, but that’s all you can do – just keep going. It’s easy to say now, [but] it wasn’t easy when I was recording. I needed affirmation on every song. I couldn’t do it on my own.”

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Photo: Amy Troost

By M.K. Koszycki


(Music Picks from page 61)

It was funny to not really know where I was going and to be much less in control. That helped me have fun with the writing. Beyond the advice of fellow artists including album collaborator Sebastian Akchoté, best known as SebastiAn, a change of scenery also allowed Gainsbourg the freedom she required to create Rest. She and her family traded their home in Paris for the bustling streets and relative anonymity of New York four years ago where she felt empowered to express her feelings through other forms of art, too. While she’s no stranger to the silver screen, starring in films like controversial director Lars von Trier’s Melancholia and Nymphomaniac, she returned to other outlets of expression. “I tried a little bit of everything,” she says of the time she took to record Rest, also spanning about four years. “I used to develop my own film but I wasn’t very good, so I didn’t continue. Drawing I did all my life. I love drawing. So, I was in New York and suddenly I felt like I was completely free to try and be unpretentious about it. You feel that everybody is an artist in New York. You don’t feel like it’s a big deal.” As a companion to the album, Gainsbourg released a book of photos, notes, lyrics and more. She notes that Rest is an album that “doesn’t explain much,” and that she wanted to better convey the atmosphere she was in while making it. “I would have been quite worried [about] sounding pretentious in wanting to release a book of everything that I had done during the making of the album, but a friend validated what she saw and said it would accompany the album quite well. I’m not taking myself seriously as a photographer or a painter, but at the same time it was lovely to be able to put all of that together to accompany the album.” Overcoming stress and learning not to judge oneself while attempting the unfamiliar are common themes for Gainsbourg in her creative projects. She says after trying for years to break through internal barriers and write her own material, she brushed it aside because she felt like she wasn’t good enough. While trying to write in French, which she says carries a lot of weight for her, she removed some of the pressure by writing in English as well. This ultimately resulted in the bilingual element throughout Rest. “It was funny to not really know where I was going and to be much less in control,” she says of bilingual songwriting. “That helped me have fun with the writing. I felt that with the French, I was being very sincere and honest and that that was the only way I could do it. And when I switched to English, it was more musical and finalized the songs.” And while she never intended to hit the road with Rest, she had a change of heart and decided to recreate the magic of the album live as best she can on her 2019 tour. SebastiAn aided in the process, but in the end, she says it was up to her to strike a balance. Her hesitation around touring has been assuaged by the band she’s bringing along with her. “I feel like I’m really part of a team for the first time,” she says, and you can almost hear any previous doubts melt as she speaks. “All of it is so much fun because they’re great musicians and great people.” Gainsbourg will play the 9:30 Club on Monday, April 8. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $40. For more on the chanteuse, visit www.charlottegainsbourg.com. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC; 202-265-0930; www.930.com

Queen Latifah Hip-hop legend and awardwinning actress Queen Latifah will grace audiences with a performance in The Bridge Concert Series at the Kennedy Center. Latifah was a pioneer for women in hip-hop, creating a more inclusive space in what was and still is a male dominated genre. The Bridge Concert Series seeks to showcase the contributions black artist have made to American society. Show starts at 8 p.m. $59-$199. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: 2700 F St. NW, DC; www.kennedy-center.org

MONDAY, APRIL 15 Bad Suns The Southern California rock band Bad Suns formed in 2012 and first gained popularity with their song “Cardiac Arrest.” Following the release of their new album Mystic Truth, the band will be kicking off their tour, traveling to cities throughout North America and Europe. Keep your eye out for this dynamic group – there’s just something about those Bad Suns. Doors at 7 p.m., tickets $25. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC; www.930.com Terror Jr American electro-pop duo Terror Jr came to prominence in when their single “3 Strikes” was featured in Kylie Jenner lip gloss commercial. With an apparent endorsement from the social media star, Terror Jr was thrust onto the scene early in their career. Their unapologetic, catchy pop tunes sustained the momentum and placed them prominently on the charts. Upon the release of their debut album Unfortunately, Terror Jr earlier this year, critics were surprised to find the group had gone political. Addressing heavy issues like reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights and substance abuse, Terror Jr is growing up and revealing all their dimensions. Show starts at 7 p.m., tickets $18. U Street Music Hall: 1115 U St. NW, DC; www.ustreetmusichall.com

TUESDAY APRIL 16 The Dip This soulful, swingin’ band will give you all the feels and leave you wondering why you’ve never heard of them before. Hailing from Seattle, The Dip gives you Motown vibes complete with a full horn section and a lead singer whose raspy, booming voice is simply beautiful. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets $15$30. Union Stage: 740 Water St. SW, DC; www.unionstage.com Foals Topping the U.K. charts with their album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1, it’s safe to say Foals is making their mark at home. The English rock band – who managed to crossover with two albums on the Billboard 200 – is currently touring following the release of the first part of their double album. Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2 is expected to drop this fall. Lead singer Yannis Philippakis described the first project as a prequel that ended in what felt “like a cliffhanger.” Doors at 7 p.m., tickets $38.50. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC; www.930.com Spiritualized What’s space rock, you say? Think The Dark Side of the Moon meets 21st century sensibilities. Want to hear it? Look no further than English rock band Spiritualized. Prepare to be transported to outer space where time no longer exists, and you’re left floating in the vast expanse of the universe. Trippy, right? Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets $35. Lincoln Theatre: 1215 U St. NW, DC; www.thelincolndc.com

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17 The National Symphony Orchestra Presents Beethoven’s Fifth: Fate Knocks! The National Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Gianandrea Noseda, will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 for music lovers at The Anthem. With a strict dedication to artistic excellence, the 96-member orchestra is unlikely to disappoint. If you enjoy the classics, this masterpiece is one you won’t want to miss. Show (Continued on page 65)

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Kingman Island

Bluegrass & Folk Festival CELEBRATES 10TH ANNIVERSARY BY LOOKING BACKWARD AND FORWARD

Photo: Greg Lawler Photography

By Trent Johnson

M

ay 4 marks DC’s 10th annual Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival, one of the city’s most iconic music showcases. However, this particular happening wasn’t formed with a singular effort to deliver more music to the District; instead, the organizers intended to draw attention to one of the city’s most unique features: Kingman Island. Nestled between the banks of the Anacostia River, the Kingman and Heritage Islands are home to wildlife and natural resources unlike any other in the city. This year’s festival is slated to bring another talented lineup to DC, featuring prominent performers like The Dustbowl Revival, Ballroom Thieves, Hackensaw Boys, Odetta Hartman and more. As always, proceeds from the event go toward supporting stewardship of the islands, as well as educational programming. “We wanted to drive people to the island because at the time, it seemed like no one knew it existed,” says Lee Cain, the director of Kingman and Heritage Islands for local nonprofit Living Classrooms Foundation, of the festival’s beginnings. “Over the years, it’s helped us gain momentum and enhance opportunities for our hands-on education programs.” Cain says the festival, brainchild of DC’s Ward 6 and Living Classrooms, saw only several hundred attendees its first year. Now, Kingman draws crowds up to 8,000 each spring. “The first one was like 300 people, a band and a keg of beer,” Cain

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says with a chuckle. “Then a few hundred more, and a few hundred more. In 2015, it went from 1,200 people to 6,000 people. It was amazing because all these people were coming to Kingman and the Anacostia River. People discover this amazing wildlife in our backyard. [The festival] really lives up to its purpose.” Volunteer participation has also risen steadily as more people get acquainted with the festival and its mission, says Living Classrooms Director of Communications Michelle Subbiondo. With more people helping and enjoying the annual shindig, resources have gone toward improving the island. “The island has grown and changed along with the festival as it morphed from a dumping ground to a lush animal and plant oasis thanks to our students and volunteers,” Subbiondo says. “Now, we’re among the top festivals in DC. It’s been quite a ride, that’s for sure.” Despite the foot traffic and vendors providing goodies for patrons, Kingman doesn’t stop maintaining its eco-friendly zero waste initiatives during the party. The campaign began in 2016 with help from the city and organizations like the Sierra Club, which helps manage waste during festivities. “I’ve been working in this field my entire career, and trash is the one thing that people don’t like,” Cain says. “That’s one of the things that is exciting because it’s not a polarizing issue. That’s a lot of waste not going to the landfill and there’s literally no trash on the island the day after. That’s an exciting blueprint.” With 10 years in the rearview mirror, the organizers have no plans


(Music Picks from page 63)

starts at 8 p.m. Tickets $15-$30. The Anthem: 901 Wharf St. SW, DC; www.theanthemdc.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 18 Method Man and Redman It’s been 20 years since Method Man and Redman from the legendary hip-hop group WuTang Clan broke out as a duo and released their first album. Currently touring the country, the rappers will be stopping at Howard Theatre to perform classics from their repertoire. Show starts at 9 p.m., tickets $55-$65. Howard Theatre: 620 T St. NW, DC; www.thehowardtheatre.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 19

of slowing the momentum. However, with a finite amount of space, more people may be a tough ask; but that doesn’t mean it can’t continue to thrive in other ways. “We have a few things on the table for future years,” Subbiondo says. “Perhaps bringing in some big-name talent or introducing new genres of music, expanding the event to two days, [and] including more educational opportunities to get people really immersed in the island. Time will tell how this all unfolds, but one thing we can guarantee is that the island and community are always our first priority.” As for this year, with the festival enjoying a pivotal anniversary, there’s no plans to deviate from the successful formula of lots of music, beer and food trucks. With that being said, Cain does expect some costumes of a very specific variety. “It does fall on May 4, so I’m wondering if people will show up in Star Wars gear.” Join Luke Skywalkers and Darth Vaders at the Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival on May 4 from 12-8 p.m. Tickets are $35$100. For more information about the festival, visit www.kingmanislandbluegrass.info. For details about Living Classrooms and its mission, visit www.livingclassrooms.org. Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival: 575 Oklahoma Ave. NE, DC 205-799-9189; www.kingmanislandbluegrass.info

Adventure Club Adventure Club is a Canadian dubstep duo who made the unusual transition from playing hardcore punk rock to lighthearted electronic dance, where they fit right in. They are best known for their hit remixes of Flight Facilities’ Crave You and Yuna’s Lullabies, which have 82 and 52 million views on YouTube, respectively. Show starts at 9 p.m., tickets $25-$35. Echostage: 2135 Queens Chapel Rd. NE, DC; www.echostage.com

WEDNESAY, APRIL 24 Emily Reo Emily Reo’s newest album Only You Can See It is dropping in April. Her quirky sound falls somewhere between synth-pop and alternative, indie rock. Tunes like “Strawberry” and “Ghosting” from her new project have already created buzz, addressing the very topical issues of “ghosting” – the new-age term for suddenly ignoring someone – and toxic masculinity. Doors at 9 p.m., tickets $12. Comet Ping Pong: 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; www.cometpingpong.com

SUNDAY, APRIL 28 Cisco Adler Grammy nominated producer and artist Cisco Adler is best known for his collaborations with rapper Shwayze. Their song “Corona and Lime” peaked at number #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 as one of the anthems of that era. After breaking out as a solo artist, Adler’s has settled into a smooth, alternative rock sound with reggae moods. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets $17-$20. DC9: 1940 9th St. NW, DC; www.dc9.club

TUESDAY, APRIL 30 TUESDAY, APRIL 23 Los Amigos Invisibles & Aterciopelados Venezuelan band Los Amigos Invisibles blends funk, disco and pop with a distinctive Latin sound that makes you want to get up and dance. They are especially popular in their home country, where their music has been wellreceived since their debut album in 1995. Touring with Columbia’s top rock band duo Aterciopelados, this multicultural concert is sure to delight Spanish and English listeners alike. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets $45-$50. The Howard Theatre: 620 T St. NW, DC; www.thehowardtheatre.com

Julia Jacklin If Joni Mitchell was reborn as a millennial, she would sound something like Julia Jacklin. The Australian native’s delicate, ethereal and distinctive voice is mesmerizing and memorable. Her second studio album released in January explores romantic relationships and self-reflection. The singer-songwriter said, “This album came from spending two years touring and being in a relationship and feeling like I never had any space of my own.” Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets $15. Rock & Roll Hotel: 1353 H St. NE, DC; www.rockandrollhoteldc.com

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Oh He Dead Photos: Oscar Merrida

DC’s Next Big Indie Soul Band By Leah Seyoum

Oh He Dead’s Andrew Valenti and Cynthia Johnson

No one really died. When Oh He Dead singers Cynthia “C.J.” Johnson and Andrew Valenti first formed the band in 2014, Johnson wrote a ballad about a boy she’d fallen in love with. In the song, she walks in on him cheating, pulls out a gun and shoots him. “About a week later, we had practice,” Valenti says. “It dawned on me to ask, ‘Whatever happened to that guy in that song that you wrote?’ She responded, ‘Oh, he dead!’ We all died laughing.”

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After collecting themselves, the then duo decided to immortalize the phrase, resolving to begin their journey into the music business together. Their first big break came at the Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival in 2016, and it was all the confirmation they needed to keep going. “I think it was a very pivotal show in our trajectory where we looked at each other afterward and felt like, ‘Okay, we can do something with this,’” Valenti says.


“It’s been really special to utilize each other’s different talents.”

Oh He Dead’s Andrew Valenti & Cynthia Johnson

Oh He Dead will be playing this year’s Kingman Island Festival on May 4, but fans may be surprised by what they hear. The once strictly country folk band has transformed into what is perhaps best described as indie soul. Their new sound is much groovier, with an R&B base. “Someone in the crowd [recently] told me that people were grinding at one of our shows and I just started laughing,” Valenti says. “I never thought I would be in a band where people would be grinding to our music.” They cite the addition of new band members as the primary cause of their evolution. Guitarist Alex Salser brings his jazz background to the group while bassist John Daise offers an R&B influence. “I think everyone has a unique skill and knows what their role is,” Salser says. “It’s been really special to utilize each other’s different talents. It doesn’t feel like anyone’s fighting for the spotlight like in a lot of other bands I’ve played for.” One thing that hasn’t changed is Johnson’s strikingly smoky, textured voice that lingers long after she’s stopped singing. It’s no surprise to learn who she idolizes and emulates most as a vocalist. “My inspiration was definitely Fleetwood Mac,” Johnson says of her influences during her formative years. “I listened to them a lot in high

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school. I love Stevie. Her voice is just something, that raspy voice. I was like, ‘I want to be like Stevie!’” Though difficult to categorize, Oh He Dead’s unique sound has earned them a growing fanbase in the DC area. “I think the reception we’ve gotten from our crowd [in DC] has been super encouraging,” Valenti says. “We played Union Stage last week. There were over 300 people in the crowd, and I don’t think any of us have had that kind response with original music.” Oh He Dead seems to have finally hit their stride, finetuning their sound and discovering their own audience. The band is currently working on their debut album, which they plan to release this year. As far as their hopes for the future, Johnson puts it best. “I want to win a f--kig Grammy!” Learn more about Oh He Dead at www.ohhedead.com, follow them @ohhedead, and catch them at Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival on Saturday, May 4. Tickets start at $35. Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival: 575 Oklahoma Ave. NE, DC 205-799-9189; www.kingmanislandbluegrass.info


Photos: Clay McBride

I

knew comedian Lewis Black would provide a conversation laced with passionate vulgarity aimed at folks manning positions in Congress and the White House, but even I was a tad unprepared for how little buildup he required. He went from zero to 100, as Drake would say. From pleasantries of, “Nice to speak with you, I’m in a car so the call may drop” to “All of you are pieces of sh-t, f--k you.” “There [used to be] a level of civility,” Black says of elected officials. “Their job in Congress is to negotiate with each other, and they’re not. They haven’t for so long; it’s like, stop it already. As much as I’m into the future more than these people are, I want to get to a place of moderation.” A ton of Black’s onstage material reflects the politics du jour. He shouts, he stammers, he stomps. Moments in his set resemble a child throwing a temper tantrum after not getting their way. However, the 70-year-old comedian isn’t begging his parents for a toy or game; he’s simply making observations about the world we all live in. And he’s not afraid to vocalize how seemingly everything – from a crappy vacation with poor service to a Chantix prescription – pisses him off. “I stumble onto stuff when I’m looking around for things,” he says about crafting By Trent Johnson material. “I’ll read something and go, ‘Oh, look at that.’ It starts from what makes me angry, and [I] want to know facts about it.” The DMV native is slated to continue his unique brand of comedy in his former backyard with a stop at Strathmore on April 14, part of his The Joke’s on US tour. “Yeah, it means a lot,” he says of performing in the DC area. “It’s always important because I get to see friends of mine. My roots are there.” After almost 40 years in the business, Black is basically the angry elder statesman of comedy. He once said during a special that part of his job was to take the craziness of the world and exaggerate it onstage. This formula has seen him rewarded with success and accolades in abundance. But lately, reality is finally mirroring – or in some cases out-crazying – his satirical outbursts in terms of shock value. “It’s consistently hard to find something that I can open with that nails it on a lot of levels and is funny and says what I want to say. It’s

LEWIS BLACK IS STILL PISSED, AND IT’S STILL FUNNY

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finding those moments. How do you do this? How do you make this funny? I don’t care what side people are on; they’re [all] anxiety-ridden.” Finding things about life that piss him off has always been easy for Black. He’s held an overtly sarcastic, skeptical point of view since his teen years. “Near the end of my junior year of high school, I was the sarcastic one. I’d be the guy telling people they were idiots. Somebody once told me, ‘On your tombstone, it’s going to read, ‘I disagree.’” Lately, he isn’t the only person ranting and raving over the news. In the past few years, Black has featured fan-submitted complaints as part of his “The Rant is Due” initiative. He encourages people of all viewpoints to submit their own complaints, whether politically aligned with him or in disagreement. Before reading selections onstage, he whittles down the entries to a handful, looking for funny, timely fits of rage. “It’s remarkable and it’s evolved over time,” he says. “I’ll show up


NOTHING IS SAFE FROM HIS OPINIONATED WRATH. there to do the show, and by the time I’m there, there will be three or four rants about the county or questions they have, or even little biting sentences. It’s great; it’s a show that essentially, I’m kind of producing, but is really a product of the community. I’m just selecting, because I’m going to do the reading.” Despite being eligible for social security checks, he still brings tremendous energy to the stage. His routine is probably not dissimilar from a guy operating a flamethrower at an ice sculpture exhibit – nothing is safe from his opinionated wrath. He cathartically lets his rage out and it’s entertaining, no matter what side of the fence you’re on. Like most comedians, he only has one rule in his own comedy and in fan rants. “What it comes down to is: What’s funny?” See Lewis Black at Strathmore on Sunday, April 14. Show starts at 7:30 p.m., tickets are $35-$89. For more information on the comedian, visit www.lewisblack.com.

Now Playing! Through May 22 music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; book by James Lapine; choreographed by Michael Bobbitt; directed by Peter Flynn

Generation Abe Night! April 12 at 7:30 p.m. and May 4 at 7:30 p.m. For Ages 21-35 | Get $20 tickets with code* UNDER3519 Join us for a complimentary drink after the show. Event Media Partner: *Discount code good for Friday evening performances throughout run.

www.fords.org

Tickets: (888) 616-0270

Strathmore: 5301 Tuckerman Ln. North Bethesda, MD 301-581-5100; www.strathmore.org www.ontaponline.com | APRIL 2019 | ON TAP

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STAGE & SCREEN EVENTS By Leah Seyoum

THROUGH SUNDAY APRIL 28

SATURDAY, APRIL 13

Mosaic Theater Company ‘s Native Son The infamous streets of Southside Chicago set the scene in this dramatic, gripping production of Native Son. Adapted from Richard Wright’s legendary novel, Native Son tells the story of Bigger Thomas. When Bigger gets a well-paying job as a wealthy businessman’s driver, a series of unfortunate episodes lead to tragic consequences. With the original version set in the 1930s, this modern adaptation incidentally reveals the deep-rooted history of poverty in Chicago. Various dates and times. Tickets $20-$35. Atlas Performing Arts Center: 1333 H St. NE, DC; www.atlasarts.org

Chelsea Handler Known for her hilariously blunt delivery and bold blue humor, Chelsea Handler is switching it up for her upcoming Sit-Down Comedy Tour. Handler kicks off her tour in April with the release of her new memoir Life Will Be the Death of Me. In a rare display of vulnerability, she writes introspectively about childhood trauma, therapy, activism and more. The show will feature true stories from her book in an honest, stripped-down conversation. But don’t worry – her emotional anecdotes will only accompany the deeply inappropriate jokes audiences know and love her for. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets $85$145. Warner Theatre: 513 13th St. NW, DC; www.warnertheatredc.com

THROUGH SATURDAY, APRIL 20 The Peculiar Patriot Liza Jessie Peterson was a teacher at the notorious Rikers Island prisons for 18 years. Inspired by her experiences, Peterson brings her one-woman show to the stage, exploring the effects of incarceration on communities and a broken system that perpetuates inequality. Her character Betsy LaQuanda Ross, a self-proclaimed “peculiar patriot,” makes frequent trips to penitentiaries, visiting her imprisoned family and friends in this funny and fiercely provocative show. Various dates and times. Tickets $14-$29. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: 641 D St. NW, DC; www.woollymammoth.net

SUNDAY, APRIL 7

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24 - MONDAY, APRIL 29 The Who’s Tommy In celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Who’s legendary debut album, The Kennedy Center’s Broadway Center Stage presents rock musical The Who’s Tommy. Starring Riverdale’s Casey Cott, Tony Award winner Christian Borle and Hamilton’s Mandy Gonzalez, the incredibly talented cast is not likely to disappoint. This semi-staged concert production boasts music and lyrics by The Who’s own Pete Townshend. Various dates and times. Tickets $69-$219. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: 2700 F St. NW, DC; www.kennedy-center.org

FRIDAY, APRIL 26 - THURSDAY, JUNE 2

The Sleeping Beauty The famed Russian National Ballet is coming to the DMV, performing the timeless classic ballet The Sleeping Beauty. With choreography from ballet master Marius Petipa and compositions by the incomparable Tchaikovsky, this performance is sure to be a grand production. Founded in the late 1980s, the Russian National Ballet emerged in the Soviet transitional period of Perestroika. Ever since, the company has been dedicated to sharing its command of classic ballet with the world. Show starts at 2 p.m., tickets $34-$56. George Mason University Center for the Arts: 4373 Mason Pond Dr. Fairfax, VA; http://cfa.gmu.edu

Jubilee From acclaimed playwright and director Tazewell Thompson comes an inspirational tribute performance based on the world-famous Fisk Jubilee Singers. The renowned African American acapella group broke enormous racial barriers in the late 19th century, funding the education of newly freed slaves and performing across the globe. The performance includes popular spirituals like “Wade in the Water,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” Various dates and times. Tickets $76-$125. Arena Stage: 1101 6th St. SW, DC; www.arenastage.org

TUESDAY, APRIL 9

TUESDAY, APRIL 30 - WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26

Bob Saget Few comedians have succeeded to crossover in the entertainment world as well as Bob Saget. Best known for his portrayal of Danny Tanner on ABC’s Full House, the versatile Saget has enjoyed an illustrious career. Nonetheless, he is and always was a comedian first. His stand-up is not what you would expect from America’s favorite dad – and with good reason: he’s not. Stepping out of the Full House shadow hasn’t been easy, but that’s exactly what Saget hopes to do in this not-so-family-friendly comedy performance. Show starts at 8 p.m., tickets $45. Sixth & I: 600 I St. NW, DC; www.sixthandi.org

Spunk Based on three short stories by Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston and adapted by Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe, Spunk combines elements of storytelling, music and dance. This lively production promises to entertain audiences with spirited characters and tales of love, jealousy and revenge. Set in the countryside, Spunk also depicts the African American experience in the early 20th century. Various dates and times. Tickets $40-$85. Signature Theatre: 4200 Campbell Ave. Arlington, VA; www.sigtheatre.org

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