Beyond the Books

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Street Sense

Street Sense performers came to the Marvin Center this week to showcase their theater, music and poetry performances.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Regina Park.

StreetSense, the biweekly newspaper that raises money & awareness for the homeless, hosted a series of performances about homelessness in the Marvin Center this week, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Gregory Squires, chair of GW’s sociology department.

The performances, led by members of StreetSense, depicted how people can become homeless and the struggles of finding a permanent place to live.

Here are the top three takeaways:

1. Songs and spoken word

The StreetSense performers brought skits, songs and poetry to the stage in the first half of the event, fleshing out their personal struggles living on the streets.

The showcase included chorus renditions of “Lean on Me” and “This Little Light of Mine,” while some members recited original spoken word poetry.

One poem, “A Letter to My 20-Year-Old Self,” put the performers’ regrets into words, as some spoke of the decisions that led them to homelessness.

But the piece ended on a positive note: “It’s been a long hard ride being homeless. But you made it,” one performer said.

2. “Knock, Knock”

One skit, “Knock, Knock,” played out the story of a woman who sees her life slowly crumbling around her. With every “knock” on her door, another burden gets placed on her shoulders: getting fired from a job, getting her electricity cut off, before finally losing her home.

“Stop knocking and killing me,” she says after the final knock that takes her home away.

3. How to end homelessness

After the performance, Squires led a panel that featured Steet Sense Executive Director Brian Carome, Anna Blasco of the National Alliance to End Homelessness and Kurt Runge, Miriam’s Kitchen’s advocacy director.

Carome said society needs to learn that homelessness is in fact more expensive to taxpayers than providing housing to the homeless.

“Our approach just doesn’t make sense,” Carome said. “It is two times as expensive to leave someone on the streets than it is to pay for 100% of someone’s living fees.”

Blasco discussed the importance of stable housing to eliminate “chronic homelessness,” which describes those who have been homeless multiple times or for a long period of time.

“Housing first is a solution to homelessness. Whatever people need to remain stably housed we should do that. Right now, we don’t fit the program to fit the person – we try to fit the person to match the program. We shouldn’t be doing that.” Blasco said.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Jeanine Marie.

GW’s Association of Queer Women and Allies hosted 'Trans 101' Thursday night. Photo by Flickr user Matt Buck under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

GW’s Association of Queer Women and Allies hosted ‘Trans 101′ Thursday night. Photo by Flickr user Matt Buck under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

If you’ve ever wondered how to be there for your LGBTQ friends during transitioning periods, whether you’re using the right pronoun or just what you can do to make people in the LGBTQ community more comfortable, GW’s Association of Queer Women and Allies is here to help.

The group hosted Trans 101, a panel of transgender and gender-non-conforming (GNC) individuals, to honor Transgender Day of Remembrance on Thursday.

Four LGBTQ student panelists from GW, American, Georgetown and Howard universities spoke candidly to a rapt audience of about 45 students to discuss their journeys into trans life, self-acceptance, societal stigmas and the importance of a safe space for honest conversations.

Here’s what you should know:

1. What’s dysphoria?

It’s the bodily discomfort, stress and anxiety that a person can experience when they feel they are not the gender they physically appear to be.

Transgender, transitioning and questioning people face the same physical troubles as everybody: acne, facial hair and bad hair days. But to some degree, all GNC and genderqueer individuals have to tackle dysphoria as well.

The transformation from one sex to the other (or to dismantling gender identity entirely) often makes simple tasks more challenging, like getting dressed in the morning.

“It’s all about a feeling. Transitioning is never really over,” panelist Jay Fondin, who transferred to GW last year, said.

2. The nuances of the so-called trans experience

The panelists were careful not to make generalizations as they discussed the experience of transgender individuals.

“Nobody can check off every gendered box society tries to make us check off,” Lexi Dever, an art major from Georgetown, said.

Instead, the panelists emphasized individualism and reminded the audience that each could not speak for the spectrum of experiences in the transgender community. But the panelists did agree that the challenges of life as an openly transgender individual, whatever they may be, are ultimately better than repressing one’s true self.

3. It’s all about respect

Use the chosen names and preferred pronouns your transgender and questioning friends prefer, the panelists advised.

Several panelists said the most challenging part of transitioning has been repeatedly asking their loved ones to call them by a new name or pronoun.

Theo Murphy, a sophomore at Howard University and a member of its LGBTQ student organization C.A.S.C.A.D.E., had three words of advice for transitioning individuals.

“Gender yourself responsibly,” Murphy said, stressing the need to be clear about what pronouns you prefer with friends and family.

4. Safe spaces and good friends

They’re the two things that help ease the smoothest transitions to non-binary or opposite gender identification.

The panelists explained the need to have trustworthy people around them who would use their test pronouns without passing judgment.

Some of the panelists considered themselves gender-passing (a stranger might not be able to tell they were transgender), but they emphasize their trans-identity in public in case people around them are questioning and said that a supportive environment is one of the most important factors leading to a smooth transition.

5. When in doubt, ask

Instead of uncomfortably shuffling around the question, your best bet is always asking which pronoun somebody prefers. The panelists emphasized the importance of promoting themselves as resources for curious, respectful people.

“I’m an advocate of wearing your identity on your sleeve,” Fodin said.

Panelists also had a tip for professors, suggesting they should take the initiative to email new students and ask if they have a preferred name, pronoun, or any other personal information that would avoid awkward explanations during roll call on the first day of class.

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Turkey Day isn’t exactly vegan friendly. But this Sunday, vegans can get in on the holiday feast, too.

From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, GW Animal Advocates are joining forces with PETA to offer veganized Thanksgiving meals like stuffed Tofurkey (tofu turkey) and even free vegan recipe packs.

“Thanksgiving is murder on turkeys, but vegan holiday meals give everyone something to be thankful for,” said Marta Holmberg, PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns, in a press release.

Stop by the Multicultural Student Services Center for your free, turkey-free Thanksgiving meal.

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Updated: Nov. 22, 2014 at 1:53 p.m.

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Jeanine Marie.

The Popped! Republic food truck has been reported stolen.

The Popped! Republic food truck was reported stolen. Photo by Flickr user Len Matthews under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The Capitol-themed gourmet popcorn truck Popped! Republic was found late Friday night after it was reported stolen Friday morning.

The food truck was reportedly stolen between 9 p.m. Thursday night and 7 a.m. Friday morning.

Owner Rich Arsian said his vehicle was parked at 2381 South Dove St. in Alexandria, Va. on Thursday and was gone the next morning.

The vehicle was found after a Twitter user spotted it near his workplace and alerted Popped! Republic.

DMV Food Truck Association Executive Director Che Ruddell-Tabisola said he’s never heard of a food truck being stolen before in the D.C. area, Washington City Paper reported.

The Alexandria-based company popped up in 2012 and is frequently spotted on campus near 22nd and I streets. The food truck is known for its unique popcorn flavors like Capitol Caramel, Congressional Cheddar and Mount Vernon Maple.

Prices range from $2 for a mini cup to $25 for an extra-large cup of chocolate-drizzled hot-air popped popcorn.

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Thanksgiving dinner. Photo by Flickr user David Goehring. CC-BY-SA 2.0

Thanksgiving dinner. Photo by Flickr user David Goehring. CC-BY-SA 2.0

This post was written by Hatchet editors Morgan Baskin and Tatiana Cirisano.

Staying on campus this Thanksgiving doesn’t have to mean a heap of mashed potatoes and turkey from the Whole Foods hot bar.

Whether you’re looking for a fancy four-course meal or a dinner at home with some quality take-out, don’t miss these Turkey Day deals.

Farmers Fishers Bakers

The Deal: Dinner $35/adult, $20/child

The trendy Georgetown eatery will dish out a savory four-course supper with traditional fall fare like roasted turkey, chestnut cornbread stuffing and cranberry relish along with less typical options: Think herb-crusted prime rib with horseradish cream, maple bacon brussels sprouts, butternut squash soup and candied lemon green beans.

For dessert, choose from five different kinds of pie (pumpkin, pecan, coconut cream, chocolate cream and Dutch apple caramel) – an array that’d make grandma proud.

Plus, children under 12 get a $15 discount, and Georgetown Harbour’s Ice Rink is just outside the restaurant’s doors for a post-dinner skate.

Farmers Fishers Bakers, 3000 K St. NW. Reservations online.

Bistro Français

The Deal: Lunch $25.25/guest, dinner $35.95/guest

Dine Parisian-style at Bistro Francais, which will offer a three-course Thanksgiving meal for lunch and dinner. You’ll be served all the regulars with a French twist, like roasted turkey stuffed with sausage, butternut squash soup, mashed potatoes and French green beans.

The restaurant serves until 3 a.m., ideal for your late-night “Friendsgiving” celebrations.

Bistro Francais, 3124 M St. NW. Reservations available online.

B Too

The Deal: Eight-person carryout $179, Four-person carryout $89

If you’re looking to host a more traditional, at-home chowdown, head to B Too. The Belgian restaurant offers “B @ Home” carryout meals by group size, costing guests roughly $23 each.

The feast comes with all the essentials: A stuffed, roasted turkey accompanied by five traditional sides (mac n’ cheese, bourbon sweet potato puree with marshmallows, gravy, Grand Marnier cranberry sauce and brussels sprouts with chestnuts).

Add on extra sides like braised endive and pear in red wine, available for $12.95 each, and don’t forget to order a pumpkin pie ($24, serves eight).

Just be sure to place your order by phone by Nov. 25, and stick around to pick it up on Thanksgiving Day between 10 a.m. and noon.

B Too, 1324 14th St. NW. Order form and Thanksgiving menu available online.

The Black Squirrel

The Deal: All-you-can-eat buffet $7/person

Yes, you read that right. D.C. pub The Black Squirrel will host its sixth annual “Thank You Thanksgiving” feast for just seven bucks a person. You’ll get turkey, ham, roast beef, stuffing – the whole nine yards. Plus pumpkin beer.

Now that’s something to be thankful for.

The festivities begin at noon, and the pub claims it’ll close at 2 a.m. or “when we fall into a food coma – whichever comes first.”

The Black Squirrel, 2427 18th St. NW. Noon to 2 a.m.

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Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 11:29 a.m.

Weekend Outlook: Escape from the cold

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Nadia Meher-Zaman.

Cold weather got you down? Though weekends no longer include beer gardens, picnics or rooftop bars, there’s still plenty to do.

Take a look at our guide to this weekend’s indoor events, from music acts like Dillon Francis to a dance performance and free film screening, and get into the holiday spirit without the chill.

Thursday

Brian Posehn at the Black Cat: Kick off the weekend with comedian and actor Brian Posehn at the Black Cat. Known for his humorous stories about stoners, his role as Brian Spukowski on “The Sarah Silverman Program” and his unmistakeable beard, Posehn offers the perfect stress-free zone after a long week.
Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Doors at 8 p.m. $20

The NPR Headquarters. Photo by Flickr user Joe Loong under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The NPR Headquarters. Photo by Flickr user Joe Loong under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

NPR’s All Crafts Considered: NPR will host the annual holiday arts and crafts sale at its D.C. headquarters, where you can purchase handmade gifts from over 50 local vendors, including NPR employees themselves. While you peruse, you’ll also enjoy live music, food and refreshments. Just be sure to reserve a ticket online before you head out.
NPR Headquarters, 1111 North Capitol St. SE. 3 to 8 p.m. Free.

Friday

Dillon Francis at Echostage: Don’t miss rising EDM star Dillon Francis as he DJs his debut album, “Money Sucks, Friends Rule,” at Echostage. From the reggae-influenced track “We Make it Bounce” to Middle Eastern-infused “Get Low,” the artist has something for every taste. Just don’t forget your kandi bracelets.
Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. Doors at 9 p.m. $35

Ballet with Loni Landon at American Dance Institute: This thought-provoking performance at the American Dance Institute features new works by Runqiao Du, a world-renowned dancer from Shanghai, alongside the Juilliard-trained Loni Landon. Inspired by an intricate 3D sculpture of a single body with two heads, this ballet performance explores the roles that individuals have in society and the idea of multiple identities.
American Dance Institute, 1570 East Jefferson St., Rockville, Md. 8 p.m. $16.25 with student ID

Saturday

Jesse Boykins III. Photo by Flickr user Thijs Ros under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Jesse Boykins III. Photo by Flickr user Thijs Ros under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Jesse Boykins III at U Street Music Hall: Enter the musical world of Jesse Boykins III, who will mix trippy instrumental beats with soulful vocals at U Street Music Hall. He’ll play R&B vibes and smooth, experimental electronica sounds from his newest LP, “Love Apparatus.” DJ Underdog will open.
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets $18 online, $22 at door

Belinda Rathbone Book Event at Politics & Prose: Art lovers and curious minds alike are invited to meet Belinda Rathbone, the daughter of Perry Rathbone, who headed the Museum of Fine Arts when it smuggled a painting by Raphael into the U.S. from a shady Italian art dealer. Stop by Politics & Prose and solve this art mystery one step at a time with Rathbone’s in-depth, informative account.
Politics & Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. 1 p.m. Free

Sunday

Promotional poster for "Evolution of a Criminal."

Promotional poster for “Evolution of a Criminal.”

“Evolution of a Criminal” free screening: Catch a free film screening of “Evolution of a Criminal,” which follows the transformation of real-life criminal Darius Monroe from a care-free teenager to a terrorizing thief. The true plot twist? Monroe directed the film himself. Brace yourself for an evening of drama: This flick goes beyond clichéd plots of a good kid gone bad.
Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St. NW. 5 to 7 p.m. Free

Holiday sale at The Mansion on O Street: Beat the holiday rush and head over to The Mansion on O Street, a luxury hotel with an antique interior, to buy unique gifts for your friends and family, from antiques and jewelry to home furnishings, art and sculpture. Don’t forget to bring your own shopping bag to this eco-friendly event, where all proceeds benefit the O Street Museum Foundation’s Artist-in-Residence program.
The Mansion on O Street, 2020 O St. NW. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free

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A “cat cafe” called Crumbs & Whiskers is scheduled to open in D.C. this summer.

Yes, this is happening.

What’s a cat cafe? It’s exactly what it sounds like: a cafe where you can adopt a furry pet, courtesy of the Washington Human Society, while ordering your coffee.

Basically, everything you ever really wanted.

Founder Kanchan Singh made the announcement via Twitter Tuesday morning, but the Crumbs & Whiskers full website won’t launch until mid-December, the Kickstarter until a month later and the actual cafe until summer or even fall 2015.

“If the Kickstarter goes well, we will essentially open a bigger and better cat cafe,” Singh told DCist. “If not, we’ll still open a basic cafe. It might be lacking a super amazing atmosphere and fancy cat furniture/play areas, but Crumbs and Whiskers is opening regardless.”

D.C.’s not the first city to be home to a cat cafe either. Oakland’s Cat Town Cafe opened in October.

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Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 5:26 p.m.

Your Week: Get caught up on D.C. life

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Nadia Meher-Zaman.

This week, catch up on the latest hits from indie and rock favorites like Alt-J at venues around the District.

More interested in art? No problem. From a panel about how art can help overcome cultural barriers to the chance to spend the evening in a Dupont studio, we’ve got your week covered.

Tuesday

Pot is Passed in D.C. What now?: Is marijuana officially legal in the District now? How will upcoming decisions change D.C. life? If you’re interested in legalization of marijuana in D.C. (because who isn’t), bring your questions to Busboys and Poets. The coffeehouse will host a panel discussion with experts from the Institute of Policy Studies, who will shed light on possible legislation and congressional review.
Busboys and Poets, 1025 5th St. 5 to 7 p.m. Free, suggested $5 donation

Jacques Greene at Black Cat: Stop by the Black Cat and groove to up-and-coming artist Jacques Greene’s electronica-infused beats, like the popular “Another Girl,” “Body Party” and “Sorry.” Don’t miss the opening act Gorgeous Children, an experimental musical duo who mix hip hop-influenced lyrics with modern-sounding beats.
Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Doors at 8 p.m. $15

Wednesday

Indie rock group Alt-J. Photo by Flickr user Eddy Berthier under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Indie rock group Alt-J. Photo by Flickr user Eddy Berthier under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Alt-J at Echostage: Fan-favorite English indie rock band Alt-J will perform songs off their newly-released sophomore album, “This is All Yours,” along with classics like “Breezeblocks” from their debut album. Make sure to arrive early to the sold-out show to catch Mikky Ekko, known for his collaboration with Rihanna on their hit single “Stay.”
Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. Doors at 7 p.m. $48.60

We Were Promised Jetpacks at the 9:30 Club: If you can’t swing a ticket to Alt-J, see the four Scottish college students behind We Were Promised Jetpacks jam out onstage at the 9:30 Club, where they’ll perform songs off their newly released album, “Unravelling,” known for heavy bass lines and electronic beats. Fingers crossed they’ll play their catchy hit single “Quiet Little Voices.” Indie band The Twilight Sad will open.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors at 7 p.m. $20

Thursday

Culture Blast Thursday at Hillyer Art Space: Head over to the hip, contemporary Hillyer Art Space for a panel discussion about how art contributes to understanding among cultures. The panel will feature photographer and curator Jillian Watkins along with Erlingur Erlingsson, the Embassy of Iceland’s deputy chief of mission, and Anna Smith, the director of cultural exchange at International Arts & Artists. Together, they’ll talk about how featuring works from international artists helps bridge the gap between different ways of thinking across the globe.
Hillyer Art Space, 9 Hillyer Court NW. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Free.

Channel your creativity at ArtJamz. Photo by Flickr user Karin Dalziel under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Channel your creativity at ArtJamz. Photo by Flickr user Karin Dalziel under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

ArtJamz presents: Artistic Flavors: Looking to start creating your own art instead? Stop by Dupont art studio ArtJamz to enjoy three hours of studio time, live music, a sneak peek of the different classes offered at the studio, one free drink and the opportunity to meet up with other D.C. artists, all included in your $20 ticket. You’ll also have the chance to participate in the event’s “art swap,” where local artists exchange original works.
ArtJamz Dupont Studio, 1728 Connecticut Ave. NW. 8 to 11 p.m. $20

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Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 4:55 p.m.

Monday Mix and Editors’ Picks

Monday Mix

Break out the Uggs and wool circle scarves. In the words of a certain medieval fantasy show: “Winter is coming.”

But don’t worry. We’ve got a playlist to make the cold weather seem (almost) inviting, so grab a mug of hot chocolate and a warm blanket and get listening.

Editors’ Picks

Film | Emily Holland, Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “Before I Disappear”

I discovered this story when the short film, “Curfew,” was nominated for an Academy Award my freshman year. It was my favorite of the short films nominated, and subsequently won the Oscar. I’m so excited to see this movie, a feature-length adaptation of the short film, that words cannot do it justice. Please watch it when it’s released Nov. 28 and watch the short film – it’s life changing.


Music | Morgan Baskin, Assistant Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “Autumn Leaves” by Chris Brown feat. Kendrick Lamar

I’m into this solely for Lamar’s verse.

Lit | Tatiana Cirisano, Contributing Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “Outside the Box: Netflix and the future of television” (via The New Yorker)

Instead of watching Netflix tonight, read about it. Ken Auletta manages to relay a popular topic – how Netflix is affecting the TV industry – with fresh insight.

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For an author famous for horrifying tales like “The Shining” and “Carrie,” Stephen King’s demeanor is oddly warm.

Stephen King published his 68th novel, "Revival," Nov. 11. Photo by Flickr user Arjen Toet under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Stephen King published his 68th novel, “Revival,” Nov. 11. Photo by Flickr user Arjen Toet under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The 67-year-old author took to the Lisner Auditorium stage Nov. 12, just one stop on a book tour for his 68th book, “Revival,” which he said spans the topics of “addiction, obsession, religion and rock n’ roll.”

But King didn’t delve into those heavy topics at the outset of his hour-long discussion — instead kicking off the talk with a slapstick joke.

King explained that he googled tips on public speaking before the tour because he’s “terrified of crowds” and many sites suggested using humor to loosen up the crowd.

“So two jumper cables walk into a bar,” King said, beginning his one-liner.

But King wouldn’t be a good horror writer if he didn’t stay true to his suspense-filled genre, and left the joke without a punchline, promising he wouldn’t leave the auditorium without finishing it off.

In the meantime, King illuminated the audience with stories of his personal and professional life that fans would have only dreamed of, from the encounter with a rabid dog that inspired his bestseller “Cujo” to his relationship with his wife and son.

Dressed in jeans and a plain red T-shirt, King circled his podium, recounting stories and passing on words of wisdom as if the audience members were his closest friends.

Fans donning Stephen King T-shirts clutched their smartphones to snap shots of the iconic author, ignoring ushers’ requests to hide their phones.

The raucous crowd applauded after nearly every sentence the author spoke, so much that an elderly woman in the front row stood up to yell at the audience to stop clapping.

In between the applause, King offered advice to aspiring writers, though maybe not the advice fans expected.

Inspiration for stories can come from anywhere, but that doesn’t mean writers should pursue every idea, he said, explaining that he has learned to come to terms with the ideas that don’t pan out.

Actually, King has had his fair share of failed ideas, like a short story titled “The Ladies’ Room” he attempted to write after waiting for his wife outside an airport bathroom. In the story, every woman who enters the ladies’ room never comes out.

“I always tell people, if you can finish [The Ladies’ Room], go ahead,” he said, laughing. “Let me know and we’ll get it published as a collaboration.”

But even the dozens of successful stories King has published, most didn’t go as planned.

King said he originally thought the iconic family in “The Shining” would die halfway through the story. And “Carrie” – the book that launched King’s career – was only ever published thanks to King’s wife, who fished the manuscript out of the trash.

“I thought, [Carrie] is about a skinny white girl having menstrual problems. They’re going to hate it,” he said.

King also urged aspiring writers to break the boundaries of their reputation and push into other genres like he did when he wrote uplifting titles like “The Shawshank Redemption” and other titles he wrote for six years under the pen name “Richard Bachman.”

King also read a passage from “Revival,” a copy of which each attendee received with their ticket, before answering fans’ queries that ranged from which character he most enjoyed writing (Annie Wilkes of “Misery”) to the advice he would give to budding writers (read as much as possible).

Finally, it was time for King to tag on the much-awaited punchline to his opening joke.

“Two jumper cables walk into a bar,” he said. “The bartender says to them, ‘I’ll serve you two, but don’t start anything.’”

The audience erupted in laughter, rising to their feet to give King a standing ovation as he appeared to walk offstage.

But King, notorious for his tangents, had one last thing to say:

“Now go get your damn book!”

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