I never really listen to podcasts, unless they're by my friends and they force me. But when I was in New York a few weeks ago I went to NYC Podfest, which I agree makes little sense given my lack of podcast enthusiasm mentioned only one sentence ago. But in fact I had a brilliant time. Sadly I only had time for one show, randomly chosen: The Dork Forest, which you can listen to here. I loved the chat show style set-up, and the premise (interview people who are very obsessive about some random thing, in this case ping pong). So I was intrigued by the Double X Slate Gabfest live podcast recording. Postponed by the snow, this Valentine's edition of the show finally happened on Tuesday at Sixth and I. Alas, I rapidly realized it's not that much fun listening to a show essentially about dating tips when you are not personally in the process of dating. But I liked the format, and would definitely go to one of these Slate Gabfest events again. In fact there's a live political-themed one on Thursday and they also do a culture one.
Moving to film, I really enjoyed seeing Swim Little Fish Swim at the DC Jewish Film Festival this weekend. An interesting, smart, stylish young-adults-come-to-terms-with-growing-up movie set in New York, which opened to some acclaim at SXSW. Apparently it's going to be on semi-general release, so look out of it if you like that sort of thing. My prize for favorite 16th Street venue goes to the Carnegie Science Institute with their free science talks in an absolutely brilliant auditorium with sciencey murals on the ceiling. But I always forget how much I like the little theatre lurking within the Jewish Community Centre. I've been to quite a few good theatre things here - upcoming shows are listed here. The film festival is on til March 9th and there are still lots of cool things to see. Details here. I was also surprised to notice when I was on their website that they do films year-round which I hadn't noticed before. Here's a list.
But of course I can hardly mention film this week without mentioning the Oscars. I watched most of the Oscars at Town Dance Boutique, at the DC Center for LGBT people annual extravaganza, Glamour, Glitter, Gold. This was actually quite a brilliant night. They had drinks, buffet, photographers, balloons, voting on winners, raffle, and lots of big screens projecting the ceremony. Most fun was in the numerous commercial breaks where various drag acts, dancers etc leapt to the stage and gave us a live performance. I'm just saying, I hadn't expected live swordfighting when I donned my party dress... I was also delighted that Mr Hublot won the animated shorts Oscar as I'd loved it when I saw it at Landmark E Street Cinema recently. (Here it is on Youtube in case you missed it!) I'm already planning to attend the event next year! But I had to dash out early to meet my lovely wife coming in off a plane from London. So, rapidly unpacked, we dashed to Rialto where we watched the rest of the Oscars with beer and cheese. I actually also went to Rialto for brunch this week too, and thought it was very nice - great relaxed, slightly upscale ambience, and tasty food, especially the polenta. I aspire to hold some kind of event sometime in their boudoir-esque downstairs room...
Speaking of nice places to dine, I was browsing the local paper when Lady Camellia caught my eye. This sort-of-British-themed teashop with splendid cakes has just opened a block up from Dean and Deluca, and is one of the most unusual offerings I've seen in a while! Goodness knows I always dream of there being more cool tea/coffeeshops in DC. And I haven't encountered any other afternoon tea shops. But is Lady Camellia fantastical and quirky and cool and brilliant... or twee, staid, and strictly for posh Georgetown ladies and tourists? I am flummoxed. If it was in Shaw or H Street, I'd go for the former. What happens to it in Georgetown remains to be seen. Certainly with its very, very pink decor it probably won't be attracting too many staid heterosexual men... and it's a tiny bit tucked away off the tourist drag. I love all the china cups and saucers, the plush seats, the quirky wallpaper, the menu of cream teas (ranging from $12-28), and the cakes themselves are absolutely delicious. It's worth noting that though it's not advertised, you can deviate from the set menus and order tea, or soft drinks, and cakes individually too, and the prices are fair. They haven't got it totally as posh as they seem to be aiming for - my lemonade arrived in a can sans glass, rather than being served in as charming a way as the tea. Mind you, maybe I was being punished for ordering lemonade in a tea shop - and me a Brit too! But I say let's descend on this quirky tea shop, luxuriate in cakes, and fill it with the fun and fabulousness it has the potential to be!
Finally, I went ice skating at Georgetown waterfront this weekend. So sad the ice skating season is over. But that means it's nearly time for the paddleboard/kayak season: hooray! Key Bridge boathouse opens in April, and I already have my season pass. Bring it on!
Oh, and did I mention that despite the Science Club closing due to snow, and having to dash around in a mad panic on Monday afternoon, we had Perfect Liars Club at Black Fox Lounge last night, and it was brilliant. Pics etc here. Tickets go on sale for April 7th today at 1pm here.
I won't be posting for a couple of weeks as my lovely wife and I are just about to set off to Costa Rica. And so just one recommendation this week: DC Science cafe tonight at 6:30 in Busboys and Poets, 5th and K, with their intriguing-sounding event about science in North Korea... See you there! Otherwise, see you when we get back!