Sure, you may have spent the past four years at GW enjoying many a weekend of escapades around the city, but graduation weekend is a whole new ball game. One weekend of entertainment has to sum up your entire college experience with the appropriate amount of nostalgia, novelty and of course, food and drink. The Hatchet is here to help you plan your last weekend in D.C., or the first of many more to come.
“I’m joining Teach for America”
Congratulations! You’re really going to be making a huge difference in a child’s life. However, you’re going to get really sick of kids, really fast. Here’s some more “adult” suggestions to do at night to keep your mind off the kids.
For the most adult experience of all, go to Camelot Strip Club (1823 M St.) where the only thing school-related might be the schoolgirl uniform outfits worn by some of the strippers.
If Camelot’s not your thing and you’re looking for a swanky bar experience, try Indebleu (707 G St. N.W.), where you can enjoy fancy martinis and a lounge to see and be seen. Another top pick is Russia House (1800 Connecticut Ave. N.W.), which has an elaborate d?cor and more than 50 types of vodka.
“My college sweetheart is moving across the country next week.”
For grads in the mood for romance with a longtime beau, or looking to have one last romantic fling before parting ways, there are plenty of places with the ambiance of amore in the District.
For a candlelit dinner, try a classic spot for classy romance: 1789 (1226 36th St. N.W.). Many a sweet nothings has been whispered into a paramour’s ear over delectable lamb or crab cakes. Also worth a visit: the Little Fountain Caf? (2339 18th St. N.W.), which is considered a well-kept secret by those who frequent it. Oops.
After dinner, take a walk to the Potomac steps (behind the Lincoln Memorial) where you can sit by the water, peer into each other’s starry eyes as you make promises to talk via Web cam every day – because really, this long distance relationship is going to work. Even though one of you is moving to Alaska.
“I’ve done everything there is to do
in this city.”
First of all: no, you haven’t. Even if you think you have been absolutely everywhere in D.C., there are always new places opening. Take, for example, Birreria Paradiso (3282 M St. N.W.), which recently opened under Georgetown’s Pizza Paradiso. It features a dizzying array of beers for any snob (which probably describes anyone who claims they truly have been everywhere in D.C.). Drink up any of the 16 drafts and 80 bottles offered – though you probably shouldn’t tackle them all in one night.
For those who are so up-to-date that they feel they have been everywhere in the city, go somewhere else. Rent a Zipcar and head to Baltimore or Annapolis, where you can suck their nightlife dry as well. In Baltimore, The American Visionary Art Museum and the Baltimore Aquarium will dazzle anyone. The Inner Harbor is the perfect place to get a drink and a good meal. In Annapolis, it’s all about the classic Maryland crab cakes.
“I just got a fancy-schmancy job on Capitol Hill/K Street.”
So, you got the job, went out and bought yourself a couple of power suits and now you think you’re hot stuff. Now that you’re cruising to become part of Washington’s social elite, you’ve got to dine and drink like it too.
First of all, you need to start drinking up on the Hill – no more Froggy Bottom Pub for you. Try Top of the Hill (319 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E.) and Capitol City Brewing Company (2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E.), but make sure you’re not mingling with mere staffers – go for the guys in the suits to make sure your networking efforts count. And for the ultimate power lunch, try Charlie Palmer Steakhouse (101 Constitution Ave. N.W.), right across the way from the Capitol. It’s popular with lobbyists and politicians alike, and you can get a great filet mignon.
Finally, if you want to become a big shot, you’ve got to learn the language of the professional world: golf. The East Potomac Golf Course and Driving Range (972 Ohio Drive S.W.) is an ideal place to make that first big deal. And if you’re not ready to take a swing yet, you can get some practice playing putt-putt at Upton Hill Regional Park’s mini golf course (6060 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va.).
“It’s graduation already? Seems like I was a
So what if you still hang out with the same crowd from Thurston Hall? You guys had some crazy times, and they’re definitely worth reliving before you leave GW. Here’s some typical freshman activities that you may want to consider revisiting before your departure.
You can never go wrong with a late-night monument tour. Remember how much cheaper it was to drink before you were 21? Relive the greatness by purchasing an inexpensive bottle of vodka with your friends, take a shot while listening to sing-along songs by Journey and Queen, and then walk down 23rd Street until you hit the Lincoln Memorial. After you run up the steps and realize that it would be damn near impossible to climb up and sit on his lap, try to recreate the scene from “Forrest Gump” with your significant other by running through the reflecting pool and meeting up in the middle. Afterwards, hook up with someone you haven’t talked to since freshman year. So maybe it was a little awkward last time you kissed, but hey, you’re probably never going to see them again so you might as well go for it.
“I’m leaving D.C. tomorrow and won’t be back for a long time…”
You hate to leave this wonderful city, but alas, it’s time to move on. After you’ve eaten your last Manouch dog and taken your last Metro ride, heres a few last-minute things to do to keep D.C. in your heart forever.
Go to Ben’s Chili Bowl (1213 U St.) and order chili-cheese fries with a chili-cheese dog and a chocolate milkshake. Your cholesterol may spike soon after, but it will have been well worth it. This famous D.C. institution has been around since 1958, and has attracted many celebrities, from Bill Cosby to Dave Chapelle.
Head over to Madam’s Organ (2461 18th St. N.W.) in the heart of Adams Morgan for great local live music and relatively cheap drinks. With live music every night of the week and a full kitchen to fill your belly, this D.C. hot-spot is sure to keep you entertained.
And for a classy last meal, head to Caf? Mozu (1330 Maryland Ave. S.W.) in the Mandarin Oriental hotel. The Asian fusion food is served in a setting that boasts impressive views of the Tidal Basin, so you can say your last goodbyes to D.C. while gazing at the Jefferson Memorial.
“I’m job-hunting all summer because I got a liberal arts degree.”
Your grandparents came to America as merchants and tailors, so that your parents could be doctors and lawyers, so that you could study the arts. Now that your parents have effectively spent nearly $200,000 on your education, you’ve got to start spending your own money. Here’s some suggestions that won’t break your wallet.
Go to DC9 (1940 9th St. N.W.) and enjoy good music with inexpensive cans of Schlitz beer. This two-story bar will provide for good times with a chill atmosphere downstairs and live music upstairs. Besides, when’s the last time you got Schlitzed?
Head over to Five Guys Burgers and Fries (1335 Wisconsin Ave.) in Georgetown, or one of their other four D.C. locations, for one of the best hamburgers your money can buy. The best part is, the burgers come as doubles – standard! Five Guys was voted the No. 1 Burger by Washingtonian magazine for more than six years, and it is also Zagat rated.
If you’re looking for something to do, try checking out the many galleries around the city. There are good collections of both Dupont and Gallery Place, naturally. You’ll be able to learn about contemporary art (since you’re all about learning for the sake of learning), and also, some of them have wine and cheese nights.
“I’m moving back in with the ‘rents.”
Are you sure you want to be doing this? If it’s temporary until you find real housing, that’s one thing. But, come on – what are you going to say to your poor mother when you wake her up at 4 a.m. after stumbling home from the bars? You’ll probably want to stay out as late as possible before you move back home, since you’ll most likely be getting a curfew again, so here’s some late-night suggestions for D.C.
Five night club (1214 B 18th St. N.W.) is a multi-level club with plenty of beats to keep your head bopping in time with the music like you’re Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan in “A Night at the Roxbury.” Located in the heart of the Golden Triangle neighborhood, this spot is sure to please any club hound with its three-fully stocked large bars and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, and it stays open later than most other clubs in the area.
Hungry? The best place to satisfy your munchies late at night is by heading over to The Diner in Adams Morgan (2453 18th St. NW), open 24 hours a day, serving breakfast anytime. Where else can you order an omelet and pancakes with a side of hash browns and a chocolate malt at 4 a.m.? With most meals under $10, you’ll be able to eat a hearty meal with the little money you have left after a busy night on the town. If late night leaves you hankering for some French fare, head to Au Pied Bistro (2815 M St. N.W.), which stays open until 5 a.m. on weekends. And the delicious omelets will head off that hangover.
If you feel like you’ve had your share of clubs and bars, and would rather take it easy for a night, consider seeing a movie at the Landmark E Street Cinema (555 11th St. N.W. & E St. N.W.), which features independent and artsy films, as well as documentaries and classic revivals. The theater also features several midnight movies during the summer, and you can purchase beer and frozen junior mints at the concession stand (awesome!).
“I’m staying here at GW for grad/med/law school, and I’m looking for something new.”
Let’s think about this. If you were really looking for something new, would you have chosen GW for another few years? Kidding aside, the best solution for the grad looking for a change of pace is to get out of the District. Get a car and head out to Great Falls (9200 Old Dominion Dr., McLean, Va.) for a daytime hike and marvel at the waterfalls just up the river. When you come back, head over to Old Town for its many restaurants unfrequented by Colonials. Mediterranean tapas can be found at 100 King (100 King St., Alexandria, Va.) where you can sample many dishes of exotic treats.
Another choice: try a concert at the State Theater (220 North Washington St., Falls Church, Va.). The venue features acts just left of the mainstream, so not only will you escape the clutches of GW, but you’ll discover some cool new music.