Tag Archives: Politics and Prose

Six great DC events enewsletters

15 Nov

Sixth & I Historic Synagogue is a fantastic venue to see events. © David Monack

People are always asking me how I found out about such and such event, book reading, presentation, etc., and the answer is: enewsletters! Here are some of my favorites.

1. National Geographic has an auditorium where they host a series of events called NG Live featuring primarily photographers and explorers. I’ve been to about five and always really enjoy them. Nat Geo is walking distance from the Farragut West (Orange Line) and Farragut North (Red Line) Metro stations, and there’s free parking underneath the building (and usually parking on the street). A lot of the events are offered on Goldstar.com for about half off.

2. Politics and Prose hosts a number of book readings, including some pretty big names. The space isn’t huge, so sometimes they’ll co-sponsor an event at a larger venue. If you do go to an event at the store, plan on getting there early otherwise it’ll be standing room only.

3. The Smithsonian Resident Associate Program offers a wide-variety of lectures. I’ve seen events about polar bears, memory and creativity here. They also offer courses, art classes and special tours. The events I’ve gone to have taken place at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, which is right on the Mall.

4. . There’s no shortage of music venues in DC, but I don’t think there’s any argument that the 9:30 Club is the absolute best. It’s the perfect size and often attracts bands that typically play much larger venues. Getting on their enews is a must!

5. . Sixth & I is a synagogue with a long and interesting history. Loads of events are held here, many to do with Judaism but lots of others too. I’ve seen author Elizabeth Gilbert speak here as well as Toni Morrison and photographer Annie Leibovitz. Seating is first come, first served, which means that for some events you need to get there a couple hours early to ensure a good seat. (Believe it or not: One time I was meeting a friend here, and he asked me where it was.)

6. Cultural Tourism in DC is a great resource when you’re looking for events or places to visit. I highly recommend perusing their site and signing up for the enewsletter.

Friends You Haven’t Met: Join a book club

4 Nov

There’s a lot of smartie pants in the DC area, so it’s fair to reason that there are a lot of book clubs. Finding the right book club, however, might take more than one try. My advice: don’t give up! It’s like a good therapist–it’s got to be the right fit or you’re not going to want to go and it’s not going to be a good experience.

I went to a book club a couple years ago that met at a restaurant. The members were not very friendly to me UNTIL I mentioned that I had driven from Virginia (the meeting was in Maryland). Turns out two people lived sort of near me and took the Metro to the meeting, so they asked if I could give them a ride. So after this terrible book club meeting I had to drive to two separate houses to drop off these two rude strangers. Obviously, I never went back. But with that said, there’s plenty of great book clubs and it’s a potentially great way to meet new friends. Here’s some places to look for groups:

  • Reader’s Circle is a national website. You just type in your zip code and it comes up with loads of DC area groups. I emailed one group awhile back and never heard back, but hopefully that’s not a common occurrence.
  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love Meetup.com, which has a separate section just for book clubs. I found a book club on here once and it was going pretty well but then I think the group disbanded. Either that or they  just stopped inviting me.
  • l’Alliance Française de Washington is a French cultural center and it has a European Book Club that discusses European literature in English. It costs $5 to attend but–get this–the next meeting is sold out! How does a book club sell out? It actually makes me want to go to a future meeting so that I can see what all the fuss is about. If I do go, I’ll report back.
  • Most book stores have book clubs. The iconic store Politics and Prose, for example, had loads of different book groups, but so do chains like Barnes & Noble.

Happy reading!