Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Rachael Paul.

Students were invited Tuesday to BYOP – bring your own pumpkin – to Kogan Plaza, where they joined professors to carve their favorite literary scenes from works from “Beowulf” to “The Divine Comedy” into pumpkins.

“I’m sitting here with my beautiful pumpkin ready to carve, but I feel like I’m having writers block, but with a pumpkin carving,” one student, Sophia Lin, said, tapping her carving knife against the front of her pumpkin.

Students and faculty from the English department participate in the Jack-O-Lit pumpkin carving contest in Kogan Plaza Tuesday afternoon. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Students and English professors came to the “Jack-O-Lit” pumpkin carving contest in Kogan Plaza on Tuesday afternoon. Sam Hardgrove | Hatchet Staff Photographer

“Jack-O-Lit” was the brainchild of English professor Jeffrey Cohen and the students of his Chaucer class, part of an effort to strengthen the sense of community in the English department.

After many of his students said they felt a slight disconnect in their relationships with faculty, Cohen asked his class what the department can do to make students feel “like they belong.”

“Class twice a week for 75 minutes, you don’t get to see the personal side, you just see the professional side, so it’s fun to just be with students and do things with them,” said Cohen, who is also the director of the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

Senior Magdalena Stuehrmann suggested carving pumpkins together.

“I was really happy because [pumpkin carving] is something that the anthropology department has been doing for awhile,” Stuehrmann said. “We have a party in the department, we carve pumpkins, and it’s a great way to get students and faculty involved doing something fun together.”

After Cohen posted his plans on Twitter, he was joined by Holly Dugan, the director of the Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare Program, Jonathan Hsy, an associate professor of English, and Robin Delaloye, the director of communications and outreach at Gelman Library.

Students from the GW Bardians, a group devoted to exploring Shakespearean resources in D.C., also teamed up with him, and the organization’s president, Katherine Bradshaw, scribbled “#JACK-O-LIT” in chalk around campus to promote the event.

By halfway through the festivities, the crowd around the pumpkin-carvers had doubled in size, and students walked from one station to the next, carving verses from Pearl Poet’s “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” into the pumpkins.

Judges from Gelman surveyed the creations and awarded book prizes for categories like best overall, funniest, most theatrical and best literary adaptation.

Pumpkin festivities aside, Cohen said he cared most about connecting students with their classmates and faculty.

“I feel like if any student gets the message that he or she is alone here, or that there is no one else looking out for them, then something went wrong,” Cohen said. “We want them to know how much we care about them, honestly.”

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Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 7:32 p.m.

Pharrell tweets support for Bowser

D.C. candidates have racked up endorsements in the final days of the mayoral election. And today, one singer also threw his oversized hat into the ring.

Rapper, N.E.R.D. frontman and recent addition to the television show, “The Voice,” Pharrell Williams tweeted out a message Thursday encouraging D.C. residents to vote for Muriel Bowser, the Democratic nominee for mayor.

Election Day is on Tuesday, but D.C. residents were able to begin voting early 10 days ago. Bowser is facing off against independent candidates David Catania and Carol Schwartz.

Bowser defeated alumnus and current Mayor Vincent Gray in the Democratic primary in the spring, but that hasn’t stopped GW faculty and staff from throwing their support behind Bowser along with Pharrell.

Williams is best known for his hit song “Happy,” which even made its way into a graduation ceremony last spring, when Ben Vinson, dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, recited the lyrics while at the podium and encouraged the audience to join him.

“In this crazy but reflective song, what is it that Pharrell is really talking about?” Vinson said in May. “It’s a euphoria that bathes us on days like today. He’s calling us to recognize our unique passions, seize the positive and be true to our inner selves.”

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Caffeine addicts, rejoice. The Starbucks drought is over.

Photo by Flickr user m01229 under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Photo by Flickr user m01229 under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

As of Wednesday, both the H Street and E Street Starbucks have returned to accepting GWorld after technological problems persisted for most of the semester.

Although both locations are listed as GWorld providers, their systems have been dysfunctional since the start of the new academic year.

Divine Johnson, the assistant manager of the E Street shop, said the University is responsible for providing assistance to GWorld providers, and it fixed the technical issues Monday.

The store at Gelman Library began taking GWorld on Wednesday morning, manager Richard Dearstyne said.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Regina Park.

Welcome to one of D.C.’s most exciting nights. Luckily for Halloween lovers, the city does not disappoint.

From zoos to clubs to old-fashioned creepy mansions, there’s a Halloween event for everyone in the District. After dressing up and grabbing your $3 Boorito from Chipotle, here are some places to spend the rest of your weekend.

Photo by Flickr user DeusXFlorida. CC BY 2.0

Photo by Flickr user DeusXFlorida. CC BY 2.0


Happy Hour Halloween PubCrawl
5 p.m. to midnight
The Front Page, 1333 New Hampshire Ave. NW
$8, 21+

With the Happy Hour Halloween PubCrawl pass, drinks will be cheaper ($2 draft beers, $3 bottles) at participating venues from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. Checking in at The Front Page and receive a map of venues, all located in Dupont Circle area.

Night of the Living Zoo
6:30 to 10 p.m.
3001 Connecticut Ave. NW
$20 for FONZ members and $30 for nonmembers, 21+

On top of an exclusive nighttime view of animals, there’ll be a costume contest, music by DJ Squirrel, live entertainment, carousel rides, scores of vendors like DC Slices and Founders beer. Plus, when you’re done looking at the new American Buffalo, you can go hang out around Adams Morgan.


Clubs, clubs, clubs
What’s Halloween without a touch of sinful fun? Most of the clubs in the D.C. area are honoring the holiday with special decor, reduced-price drinks, professional DJs and reduced (and often free, for the ladies) admission fees. Clubs are 18+ all night, although admission prices are generally higher for the younger crowd.

Most clubs in the District will host a Halloween-themed night, but we recommend Ultrabar’s Nightmare on F Street for overall fun and cheap drinks, Opera for its variety in themes (this year’s Halloween night is called “The Purge”) and Town for craziness (It’s hosting D.C.’s largest Halloween bash with a $1,000 prize for best costume of the night).

Halloween Graveyard Jam
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Hard Rock Cafe, 999 E St. NW
$26, 21+

It wouldn’t be a true D.C. Halloween without the Halloween Graveyard Jam. Sponsored by Things To Do, this event normally packs the Hard Rock Cafe with more than 1,000 attendees. The Jam will have a mix of all kinds of music, as DJs spin out classics and new favorites alike. There will also be bobbing for apples, a caricaturist, drink specials and a costume contest in which the grand prize will be tickets to a Caribbean vacation.

The Mansion on O Street's five floors are filled with books, antiques and music memorabilia. Visitors can explore  Miranda Houchins | Hatchet Photographer

The Mansion on O Street’s five floors are filled with books, antiques and music memorabilia. Miranda Houchins | Hatchet Photographer

The Mansion on O Street
8 p.m.
2020 O St. NW

For those who would like to do something just a bit creepy to get their Halloween fun, the Mansion on O Street is hosting its annual party on All Hallows’ Eve. Get ready for a mansion full of secret doors, eclectic decorations and hidden passages – not to mention the DJ, dancing, costume contests, treasure hunts, cash bar and chocolate fountain.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Jeanine Marie.

There’s more to do this Halloweekend than dress up and gorge on candy.

If you need a break from the Halloween madness, dance to Smallpools, jazz and The Glitch Mob, munch shish kabobs at a local beer garden or take the Metro to King Street for photography “beyond the print” at Torpedo Factory Art Center instead.


Free Wine and Cheese Tasting at Sonoma: Get the weekend started with a classier afternoon snack than fall ale and Peanut Butter Cups at Sonoma Bar & Restaurant. Known for its California cuisine, the restaurant keeps customers toasty with a fireplace and its extensive wine list. Local cheesemakers will share free samples to end National American Cheese Month the right way.

Sonoma Bar & Restaurant, 223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Free, 21+ event.

Lettuce at the 9:30 Club: The old-school group with a ’70s soul will celebrate its 20th year as a band at the 9:30 Club. Lettuce has played alongside hardcore rappers like Wu-Tang Clan and Schoolboy Q, but has always stayed true to its smooth songs and funky Brooklyn roots.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors at 8 p.m. $20.


Smallpools at the 9:30 Club: This early show featuring the alt-pop sounds of Smallpools and the mellow-electro melody of opener Magic Man is the perfect party-starter for later Halloween plans. Smallpools is best known for its not-so-sleepy song “Dreaming,” which was featured on the FIFA 2014 soundtrack, but you may have heard The Chainsmokers Remix before the original tune.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors at 5 p.m. $18.

After-Hours Costume Party at Fantom Comics: Attend a Halloween soirée with an unusual theme, “gender-bending comic book characters.” Fantom Comics’ new location in Dupont Circle will host a cash bar with happy hour-priced drinks and a costume contest, in which cross-dressing and gender-bending are highly encouraged.
Fantom Comics, 2010 P St. NW. 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. This is a 21+ event.


Fish ‘n’ Shhhish! at Dacha Beer Garden: Start November with a celebration dedicated not to pumpkin spice or apple cider, but fish peppers, a historical, spicy “secret ingredient” and a 19th-century mutation of the serrano pepper. The event is promoted by City Blossoms, a community youth organization with a focus on urban farming, and proceeds will go to its Harvest Campaign. Besides the great cause, Fish n’ Shhhish! is a great excuse to grab a beer, munch on Dacha’s shish kabobs and spend some time outside before the cold weather hits for good.
Dacha Beer Garden, 1600 7th St. NW. 1 to 6 p.m.

U Street Jazz Jam at Dukem Restaurant and Bar: For late-night Ethiopian eats and live jazz music, there’s no place better than Dukem. The menu features Ethiopian specialties like sambusas, crispy pastries with veggie or meat filling and kifto, minced marinated beef often served with traditional flatbread. There’s plenty of time to dance off calories from the ethnic cuisine: Dukem stays open until 3 a.m. on Saturdays.
Dukem Restaurant and Bar, 12th and U Streets. NW. Doors at 10 p.m., show at 11 p.m.


Inside the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Photo by Flickr user roman.petruniak under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Inside the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Photo by Flickr user roman.petruniak under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Post-Photography Exhibit at Torpedo Factory Art Center: Take the Blue Line to King Street to see photography with a material twist. The 14 American artists used glass, fabric and wood to experiment with storytelling through photographs. Torpedo Factory Art Center is a nonprofit organization and home to the largest number of publicly accessible working artist studios in the country. The exhibition is on display until Nov. 30.
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union St., Alexandria, Va. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Glitch Mob at Echostage: Unapologetic and intense, The Glitch Mob will take over Echostage with futuristic dance tracks like “We Can Make the World Stop” and “Can’t Kill Us.” Mob began in 2006 as a hodgepodge of Los Angeles-based DJs and has since developed a more singular sound and identity with its latest album, “Love Death Immortality.” Mob’s songs have the catchiness of Deadmau5 and a quirkiness like that of Die Antwood, and the show is sure to get your heart racing.
Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road. NE. Doors at 7 p.m. $27.50.

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Chocolate Moose, a zany gift shop at 17th and L streets, is full of Halloween items and accessories for that last-minute costume. The store also sells everything from high-quality chocolate to books, toys and cards.

“We have some funky wigs and easy costumes like capes,” said Marcia Levi, the shop’s co-owner. “General, little, fun stuff that you could come in on your way out and pick up something.”

Barbara Levi and Marcia Levi, sisters and GW alumnae, opened Chocolate Moose in 1978 in Van Ness Center, and have since made their way downtown.

“We’re both art majors, so we like hand-crafted things or edgy things, very funky, bright colors, geometric, just affordable, cool stuff,” Marcia Levi said.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Jake Amorelli.

Thousands flocked to 17th Street on Tuesday to cheer on the runners of the 28th annual High Heel Race.

Drag queens paraded their elaborate outfits and then raced along the street, all while sporting high heels. Two-time winner William Dennis, also known as Inertia Dolce, dressed as the manga and anime character Sailor Moon.

“I feel fabulous, and everyone else loved it, so it’s an A-plus in my book,” Dennis said.

But Dennis couldn’t hold on to the title of reigning champion. This year’s crown went to Scott Teribury, who dressed as a boy in high heels. Dennis took second place.

“Unfortunately, I fell a little short this year, so I will be back next year to turn that second place back into a championship,” Dennis said.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Jeanine Marie.

As if Washingtonians needed another excuse to brag about living in the nation’s capital, the globe’s largest travel guide publisher, Lonely Planet, named the District the best city in the world for travelers, beating out places like El Chaltén, Argentina and Milan, Italy.

Lonely Planet cites the 19 Smithsonian museums, the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and local development projects, like CityCenterDC and The Yards, as reasons for D.C.’s big draw, providing the gist of the District’s reputation, but missing much of what the “city whose official religion is national politics” has to offer.

Here’s what they forgot:

U Street Corridor

Corey Zagone | Hatchet Photographer

File Photo by Corey Zagone | Hatchet Photographer

The old haunt of Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong is home to spectacular concert venues, restaurants and vintage shops.

The 9:30 Club, U Street Music Hall and Howard Theatre are District favorites that tourists should take advantage of, with cheap prices and intimate venues.

Lonely Planet failed to mention Ben’s Chili Bowl, where President Barack Obama enjoyed a celebratory half-smoke after his first inauguration, or the historic side of U Street. The corridor is home to the African-American War Memorial, the heritage trail and jazz clubs that Duke Ellington once frequented.

Rock Creek Park

Though D.C. is the home of a notoriously sporty crowd (in fact, the city is one of the fittest in the country), Lonely Planet overlooked the highlights for active travelers.

With activities like kayaking and boating, and paths for cyclists and runners, Rock Creek Park is another place tourists can mingle with locals and discover the capital unblemished by “I ♥ D.C.” t-shirts or construction projects.


The Newseum's Pulizter Prize Photographs exhibit. Olivia Harding | Hatchet Photographer

The Newseum’s Pulizter Prize Photographs Gallery. File Photo by Olivia Harding | Hatchet Photographer

Since opening in April 2008, the Newseum has become one of the most beloved museums in D.C.

The museum celebrates the freedoms of the First Amendment with interactive exhibits and historic artifacts, like a colorful slab of the Berlin Wall, the notorious Theodore Kaczynski’s unabomber cabin and the stunning Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery.

Unbeknownst to most, the museum’s quirkiest exhibit is actually in its bathrooms: The tiles are news headlines gone wrong, like “Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One” and “Beheading Can Cause Kids Stress.”

Arlington National Cemetery

Lonely Planet cites the Holocaust Museum as the “life-changing experience” in D.C., but the Arlington National Cemetery is also a haunting stop, with over 600 acres serving as the final resting place for more than 14,000 veterans.

The Changing of the Guard Ritual at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a moving experience, but even the simple sight of the cemetery is one not to be missed.

Eastern Market

Shoppers at Eastern Market. Hatchet file photo.

Shoppers at Eastern Market. Hatchet File Photo.

Savvy tourists should time their trips to make it to Eastern Market on the weekend.

With local produce and handmade crafts on Saturday and Sundays, Eastern Market brings a European vibe to the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

The indoor market offers dairy products, baked goods and a variety of deli meats, but there are also eclectic restaurants just around the corner, like French eatery Montmartre, which offers a reasonably priced brunch menu with steamed mussels four ways, savory crèpes, delicious salmon gravlax and sweet toasted banana bread.

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Monday, Oct. 27, 2014 8:58 p.m.

Monday Mix and Editors’ Picks

Monday Mix

Halloween preparations can be stressful. So if you’re frantically putting the final touches on that costume or stocking up on pumpkin ale, we’ve at least got your Halloween party tracks covered.

While you listen, scroll down for this week’s picks in music, film and lit.

Editors’ Picks

Film | Emily Holland, Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

First the trailer leaked, then Marvel caught on and released the HD version for the next installment of the Avengers franchise. This film looks remarkably darker, with no quippy jokes in the first clip – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Music | Morgan Baskin, Assistant Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “The One That I Want” by Lo-Fang

This cover is likely the moodiest version of the classic Grease track you’ll ever hear. It’s mournful and seductive, but mostly a raspy tease. Karl Lagerfeld is even a fan: The track is featured in Chanel’s official short film for No. 5.

Lit | Tatiana Cirisano, Contributing Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler’s first book hits the shelves Oct. 28, and it’s packed with personal stories, real-world advice and hilarities in the form of lists, stories and haikus. The title says it all – yes, please.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Jeanine Marie.

Make the most of your week and check out speakers touring D.C., from “Lord of the Rings” actor Sean Astin to Greek chef Aglaia Kremezi.


Author Reading: Eimear McBride: Irish author Eimear McBride will read from her stream-of-consciousness debut novel, “A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing,” at Georgetown’s Irish pub, Rírá. The novel, which follows a young woman’s relationship with her young brother who has a brain tumor, is McBride’s first book and has won numerous awards, including the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction.
Rírá Georgetown, 3125 M St. NW. 7 p.m. Free.

Actor Sean Astin, best known for his role in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Photo by Flickr user Ian Aberle under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Actor Sean Astin is best known for his role in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Photo by Flickr user Ian Aberle under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Sean Astin at the National Press Club: Actor-turned-talk show host Sean Astin will discuss his career and bipartisan NPR talkshow, Vox Populi. Astin began his acting career as Mikey Walsh in “The Goonies” and is best known for playing Samwise Gamgee in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. He now voices Raphael on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
The National Press Club. 529 14th St. NW. 6:30 p.m. $20.


Temples at the 9:30 Club: The psychedelic U.K. indie band, which has been compared to contemporaries Jagwar Ma, Foxygen and Surfer Blood, will hit 9:30 Club on Tuesday. The up-and-coming band is known for twangy background beats and trippy melodies, exemplified by “Shelter Song.”
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors at 7 p.m. $22.

40th Anniversary of the Hirshhorn Museum: With the addition of two new major exhibits, a new director and gallery renovations, the Hirshhorn’s 40th anniversary celebration is the perfect excuse to put off studying (for art’s sake). This year, the museum acquired works by the Guerrilla Girls, Laurel Nakadate, Catherine Opie and Thomas Struth, which are on exhibit as part of the celebration.
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and Seventh St. SW. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free.


Greek chef Aglaia Kremezi will speak at Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya.

Greek chef Aglaia Kremezi will speak at Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya.

Earth Trivia at Bier Baron Tavern: Instead of spending hours in front of the TV yelling out answers to “Jeopardy!,” test your worldy knowledge while chowing down on pub grub Wednesday at Bier Baron Tavern. Traveling trivia group Earth Trivia, known for quirky questions and fun hosts, will lead a night of trivia in which any topic, no matter how random, is fair game.
The Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW. 4 to 9:30 p.m. Trivia is free.

Aglaia Kremezi at Jose Andres’ Zaytinya: Greek chef and journalist Aglaia Kremezi, who runs a cooking school in Kea, Greece, will sign copies of her new cookbook of vegetarian mediterranean meals. After you meet the bestselling author, grab a bite from Zaytinya’s eclectic menu, which features modern twists on Turkish, Lebanese and Greek classics. A cocktail reception will follow.
Zaytinya, 701 9th St. NW. 6 p.m. Free.


Ha!lloween Comedy Night: Local comedian and feminist activist Dana Fleitman will host a night of costume-clad comedy, featuring Jessica Brodkin, Jamel Johnson, Josh Kuderna, Matty Litwack and Natalie McGill. A costume contest will kick off the ghoul-themed evening, followed by stand-up performances that promise to “slay” the crowd.
The Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW. Doors at 6:30 p.m., comedy at 8 p.m. $10.

Riff Raff at The Fillmore: The self-parodying rapper Riff Raff and his grillz will start Halloween weekend alongside Waka Flocka Flame. Riff Raff recently released two singles (or should we say, singlez), “Hurtin Boyz Feelinz” and “Real Boyz,” in which his references include Miley Cyrus and V8 juice. Waka Flocka Flame is best known for 2010’s “No Hands,” featuring Roscoe Dash and Wale, but has since worked with big names like Nicki Minaj and Tyler the Creator.
The Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md. Doors at 9 p.m. $38. 

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