Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Carly Stern.

Indie-rock band Cold War Kids electrified the crowd Saturday at this year’s Fall Fest, which featured a rock band for the first time in years.

While past headliners such as Timeflies and Diplo provided high-energy and bass-heavy shows, this year’s main act gave University Yard a guitar-laden performance and a variety of lyrical and melodic ingenuity.

Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Cold War Kids’ Nathan Willett invigorated the crowd with his bandmates Saturday. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Liz Moses, the executive chair of Program Board, said showcasing a rock back over a DJ was both a deliberate and somewhat risky choice.

“We’ve taken our artists in a little bit of a different direction,” Moses said. “We’re testing the waters, trying some different genres.”

Bencoolen, an up-and-coming indie-rock group, was the second student act to open for a University-wide concert. At last year’s Spring Fling, student DJ Haile Supreme kicked off the outdoor show. Moses has said that Program Board is consciously looking to feature more students at its events, with the winner of the first-ever GW’s Got Talent competition to open for this academic year’s Spring Fling.

Hundreds of students lounged on the grass Saturday, taking in the last bit of summer during the performances of Bencoolen and fellow opener Moses Sumney, an R&B-funk fusion solo artist.

Crowds rushed to front of the yard and began pumping fists and singing along as Cold War Kids took the stage. The band’s setlist ranged from fan favorites like “We Used To Vacation” and “Hang Me Up to Dry” to the unreleased single, “Hot Cold.”

Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Student-led band Bencoolen opened for Fall Fest, bringing indie-rock and alternative-rock sounds to University Yard. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

The band members presented their tight set with an initial burst of fervor and followed with a steady-spirited, yet relaxed, mood – matching students’ energy and enthusiasm.

Before the concert, tables dotting the yard handed out free food and giveaways. The 9:30 Club offered the chance to win free tickets to shows like Grouplove, while Sweetgreen passed out free salad samples and a mechanical bull gave rides to brave students.

The move away from an electronic set drew mixed reactions from concertgoers. Some, such as senior Nicole Goldberg, wished for the more dance-friendly acts of the past.

“When I was here we’ve had Diplo and Girl Talk. So, yeah, it kind of shifted. I feel, you know, getting ready for the school year, you feel more upbeat with a DJ playing,” Goldberg said.

Freshman Mike Larken took a more optimistic perspective, saying he was grateful for the exposure to lesser-known bands. Larken hadn’t heard of Cold War Kids before, but he said he was pleasantly surprised by the group’s repertoire.

“I didn’t really know the band, and then they came on and played some pretty sick stuff,” Larken said. “I would definitely see them again.”

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 9:03 p.m.

SoulCycle: the perfect anti-workout

The new SoulCycle studio on M Street opened at the end of the summer. Hatchet File Photo by Erica Christian | Photo Editor

I spent my Sunday night working up a sweat under neon lights in spandex, clapping along to beats by Disclosure, Jay-Z and Iggy Azalea. No, I wasn’t at a club. I was at SoulCycle.

The indoor cycling company’s first D.C. studio, which opened Aug. 5, uses a combination of fast-paced EDM beats, a club-like atmosphere and synchronized group exercises to kick your cycling into high gear. And as a self-proclaimed fitness freak, I’ll tell you this: SoulCycle lives up to the hype.

When I arrived at the M Street studio for an evening class, I immediately noticed a positive, high-energy vibe. The bright yellow walls were covered with motivational – yet not corny – phrases like, “Our own strength surprises us every time,” and the staff seemed genuinely excited to host the growing crowd that was waiting to check in at the front desk.

The contagious positivity was enough to make even the studio’s trademark, a skull and crossbones, seem inviting.

I followed other members of the sold-out class to a studio in the back, which felt more like a concert venue than an exercise room. A Beyoncé song was already pounding through the surround-sound speakers, and the room was lit only by a few red strobe lights and three large candles.

Rows of stationary bikes formed a square around the center stage, where our instructor, Kathleen, a redhead with a killer six-pack and the motto, “Let’s turn it up and get sexy,” would direct the class. As soon as it began, the room turned into a full-on club scene, and Kathleen became the DJ.

“I’m gonna fuck with you here a little bit. It’s for your own good – I promise,” Kathleen said, laughing, before telling us to up the resistance levels on our bikes.

Soon I understood the studio’s method – and realized how genius it was.

Unlike other cycling studios that mandate specific resistance levels, SoulCycle gives you full control over the resistance dial, which does not display numbers. This way, you can’t be intimidated by your neighbor’s level or self-conscious of your own.

After choosing a personal resistance level, we followed Kathleen as she cycled to the speed of whatever song was currently playing on full blast, slowing down and increasing resistance for slower beats then speeding up and decreasing resistance for the drop. This method made cycling feel like a group dance, and – dare I say – made it really fun.

And though the room’s darkness was off-putting at first, it ended up serving as a huge relief. Dim lighting meant no more worrying about sweat stains or comparing your speed to your neighbor’s. It left cyclists to focus on their workouts stress-free. As cheesy as it may sound, SoulCycle puts you in your zone.

Unfortunately, SoulCycle does have one fatal flaw: the price. One 45-minute class will set you back a whopping $30, although first-time riders can score a class for $20. The studio offers package deals, but none will save you more than $4 per class.

Aside from the high price, SoulCycle provides the perfect workout, or I should say anti-workout: Motivating, stress-free and entertaining.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Jeanine Marie.

Student film fanatics and casual moviegoers alike have reason to rejoice: Indie theater West End Cinema began accepting GWorld this week.

The neighborhood stop for indie films from around the world now accepts GWorld for tickets and concession. Photo by Ted Eytan.

The neighborhood stop for indie films now accepts GWorld for tickets and concessions. Photo by flickr user Ted Eytan under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

After a months-long approval process, West End Cinema is the first entertainment venue to accept GWorld, general manager Josh Levin said.

Levin said he looks forward to exposing students to more than the standard Hollywood fare.

“I want students to come to West End Cinema to be entertained, delighted, challenged and exposed to different styles of storytelling,” he said. “For college students, now is a great time in your life to try new things and sample different cultures and art forms.”

The theater, located just a short walk away from campus, serves as a cinematic belly rub for the brain with independent, foreign and documentary films.

Levin says moviegoers can expect an “intimate” experience at the three-screen cinema, where a concessions counter offers unusual movie treats like baklava and gourmet sandwiches. You can also grab a beer to sip during your movie.

The venue’s current film selection includes 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize winner “Rich Hill,” the true story of three modern-day Missouri teenagers who struggle to survive in a poor town that once thrived during the coal-mining era.

Students pay a discounted price of $9 for tickets.

West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. Hours vary. Tickets and showtimes available online.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

If you play your cards right, you can eat for free every day during Welcome Week. Hatchet File Photo by Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

If you plan ahead, you can eat for free every day during Welcome Week. Hatchet File Photo by Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

A newly replenished GWorld is both a gift and a curse: With the freedom to spend money on the Whole Foods hot bar items you missed over the summer, sticking to a budget can prove difficult during the first few weeks back on campus.

Welcome Week has plenty of events that offer free food and activities so you can save some Colonial Cash.

Aug. 25

Student Performance Showcase and Dessert Reception
7 to 11 p.m., Lisner Auditorium and Kogan Plaza

This annual showcase features GW groups that kick off the school year with everything from singing and dancing to acting and comedy. Go with a group of friends and enjoy the performances, then stick around Kogan Plaza for some free dessert.

Aug. 26

4 to 6 p.m., Kogan Plaza and Gelman Library

Librarypalooza, celebrating all things Gelman and Eckles, is back courtesy of the GW Libraries staff. While learning about the best study spots, Gelman’s history and some secrets of the stacks, snack on free barbecue in Kogan Plaza.

Elliott School of International Affairs Freshman Pizza Party
5 to 6:30 p.m., 1957 E St. City View Room

This event is a little more exclusive than the others, but there’s still an opportunity to score a free meal. Freshmen in the Elliott School of International Affairs are invited to a pizza party with Dean Michael Brown, faculty and staff. Pick up your school t-shirt, grab a slice of pizza and mingle with top department figures.

Aug. 27

Allied in Pride Freshman Social
5 to 7 p.m., Thurston Hall TV Lounge

Join Allied in Pride for the group’s first event of the year. At the dinner, talk to executive board members and learn about what the organization has planned for the upcoming year.

Aug. 28

George’s Heroes Interest Meeting
6 to 8 p.m., Thurston Hall TV Lounge

Grab dinner at this meeting for the Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education’s new bystander intervention program, George’s Heroes.

Aug. 29

MSSC Block Party
4 to 7 p.m., Marvin Center Third-Floor Terrace

The Multicultural Student Services Center’s 10th annual block party will feature games, music and a collection of student organizations in addition to the free food perk. It can’t hurt to stop by – you might find a new organization to join in the process.

Aug. 30

Fall Fest
3 p.m., University Yard

The largest free, outdoor, on-campus live music event of the fall semester is hoping to step it up after last year’s somewhat disappointing lineup. But even if you don’t like the headliner, arrive at University Yard early for free food and, of course, the popular Fall Fest tank tops.

Aug. 31

GW Bazaar
2 to 5 p.m., Mount Vernon Campus Quad

Take a trip to the Vern for a festival you won’t find on Foggy Bottom. The GW Bazaar will give you and your friends the chance to get matching henna tattoos or some caricatures to hang on the white walls of your room. Organizers will also be pass out food truck vouchers, so get there early before they run out.

Movie on the Yard – “Neighbors”
8 p.m., University Yard

Catch the fratty comedy “Neighbors” for free in University Yard Sunday night. Free movie theater snacks will be provided. There’s really nothing better than a free movie under the clear night sky with free snacks.

Sept. 2

Raise High Barbecue
1 to 3 p.m., Kogan Plaza

Give your GW school spirit the boost it needs at the Raise High Barbecue. There will be games and free food to get you out of that post-Labor Day slump.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

Don’t let the last weekend of summer go to waste. Here are a slew of parties happening throughout the weekend, from Bao Bao’s first birthday to a 2000′s-themed dance party. Plus, two evening art shows.


Fatboy Slim performs at 9:30 Club. Photo by Flickr user thisisbossi.

Fatboy Slim performs at 9:30 Club. Photo by Flickr user thisisbossi.

Hot in Herre 2000s Dance Party at the 9:30 Club: DJ Duo Will Eastman and Brian Billion are back to host their third “Hot in Herre” dance party at the 9:30 Club. The party will showcase hits from the 2000′s (think Missy Elliot, Outkast, Kelly Clarkson and more). You won’t even have to pretend you don’t know every word to Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” because everyone else will be shamelessly belting the lyrics along with you. Eastman and Billion are known for selling out shows, so buy your tickets ($15) in advance.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets: $15.

Rosslyn Summer Film Festival Presents “Anchorman”: Not only is this event both Will Ferrell-related and free, but it’s also the Rosslyn Film Festival’s last summer screening. As if you need another reason to go, the festival also offers a pre-show scavenger hunt at 7:30 p.m. that could win you VIP seating. But whether or not you choose to participate in the hunt, it’s best to arrive early to the 8 p.m. show for a good seat. Don’t forget to bring a blanket, lawn chair and some snacks.

Gateway Park, 1200 Lee Highway. For pre-show events, arrive at 7 p.m. Film begins at 8 p.m. Free.

Art After Dark at the Art Museum of the Americas: Join the Art Museum of the Americas for a night of art, food trucks, live music, prizes and more at the 5th installation of their “Art After Dark” series. The museum exhibitions and outdoor garden will stay open until 1 a.m. Though the $50 cover charge seems pricey, it gives you access to live music by DJ Shea van Horn and others, performance art, a gorgeous outdoor venue and a selection of beer, wine, champagne and sangria. Still not convinced? Check out photos from Art After Dark’s third installation, and complete the museum’s online survey for 10-percent-off tickets. Just remember to leave your heels at home for easy walking through the museum’s outdoor garden.

Art Museum of the Americas, 201 18th St. NW. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets: $50. This is a 21+ event.


Bao Bao’s First Birthday at the National Zoo: Celebrate the birthday of D.C.’s most prized possession. (No, not the Declaration of Independence or the National Gallery of Art, the other prized possession.) The National Zoo’s adored panda cub Bao Bao turns 1 year old Saturday, and naturally the entire city is invited to celebrate. Hosted by Bearitos, a kids’ healthy snack company, the party will take place at the entrance to the zoo’s Clint Fields Plaza and include games, giveaways, free samples of Bearitos snacks and the opportunity to sign a birthday card for the baby panda.

Clint Fields Plaza at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free.

Bao Bao in his habitat at the National Zoo. Photo by Sharon Sipple.

Bao Bao in his habitat at the National Zoo. Photo by Sharon Sipple.

Red Wanting Blue and The Alternate Routes at The Hamilton: All-American rock bands Red Wanting Blue and The Alternate Routes join forces for their “Sounds Like Summer” tour, which hits D.C. Saturday evening. With soulful, bright rock riffs from their album “Little America,” released in July, Red Wanting Blue is the perfect complement to The Alternate Routes’ warm, rough-around-the-edges rhythm. Catch the bands live at The Hamilton, and make sure to grab your tickets online before they sell out.

The Hamilton DC, 600 14th St. NW. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8:30 p.m. concert. Tickets: $17 in advance, $20 at the door.


Denim Customization Style Workshop with Topaz + Arrow: DIY-enthusiasts and fashion gurus alike can learn how to dye, bleach, fray and embellish denim at Topaz + Arrow’s August workshop Sunday afternoon. Tickets are $37.50, and include materials, instruction, complimentary drinks provided by Honest Tea and Boulevard Brewing Company and snacks provided by Meats & Foods and KIND. Walk away with a customized denim piece you can brag about and that can’t be found anywhere else.

Wild Hand Workspace, 716 Monroe St. NE, Studio No. 8. 2 to 4 p.m. Tickets: $37.50, pre-registration required.

Karma Yoga Bruch III at Epic Yoga DC: At this fundraiser event, you can perfect your om and enjoy a healthy brunch all while giving to charity. For a minimum donation of $20, guests are invited to a one-hour all-level yoga class followed by a vegan brunch, with grub provided by Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar, Chef Anu and The Waterhole Community. Proceeds will go toward the Howard University chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a nonprofit that raises funds to build water purification systems for communities in El Salvador.

Epic Yoga DC, 1323 Connecticut Ave. NW. Tickets: Minimum donation of $20.

RAW:natural born artists at Penn Social: RAW:natural born artists hand selects artists in the creative spheres of visual art, film, fashion, music, beauty, photography, modeling and performing arts for showcases across the country. The arts organization comes to Penn Social on Sunday for a night of artistic discovery and inspiration. Guests can expect a film screening, musical performance, fashion show, art gallery and more, including 43 featured artists. Cocktail attire is recommended for the 21+ event.

Penn Social, 801 E St. NW. 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 cash only at the door. This is a 21+ event.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

Delivery apps, meet your match. Laziness, meet your new best friend.

Uber unveiled a new, experimental delivery service exclusive to the District on Tuesday, which allows customers to order common drugstore items from allergy medicine to condoms with a tap of your thumb.

“Corner Store” works a lot like the Uber car service: Users set a delivery location and choose from a list of available items. In ten minutes or less, a driver delivers the items to the customer’s door.

Corner Store delivers common drugstore items to your doorstep. Photo by Flicker user shiilo75.

Corner Store delivers common drugstore items to your doorstep. Photo by Flicker user shiilo75.

The app automatically charges your Uber account for the items and  there’s no need to tip. Take advantage of the test service while you can, because Uber is likely to raise costs if it adopts “Corner Store” as a permanent addition to the app.

But the app does have its drawbacks because it’s an experimental service. The service only operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., so late-night or weekend orders aren’t an option. Users are invited to fill out an online application though the app is open to a limited number of Uber riders.

“Corner Store” joins a growing list of additions to the Uber app that are being tested in cities across the country. This week, Uber also released a moving service called Uber Movers in Atlanta and Nashville and announced plans for UberPool, which allows Uber riders to carpool with other users to split ride costs.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

University Commencement speaker José Andrés is one of the latest celebrities to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, appearing in a video that featured a dozen fashion models, several champagne bottles, a pool and, of course, buckets of water.

The celebrity chef filmed his take of the viral fundraiser by the pool of the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino surrounded by models in pink bikinis who were armed with champagne bottles and bowls of water.

Nominated by fellow chef Eric Ripert, Andrés tapped Al Roker, Gwenyth Paltrow and Craig Ferguson to complete the challenge before he was splashed with water and sprayed with champagne.

Andrés then fell into the pool as onlookers cheered and applauded.

All three of Andrés’ nominees made appearances in a video the chef created as part of his Commencement address this May.

  • Permalink
  • Comments
Comedian Tig Notaro performing at SXSW. Photo by Flickr user Mss Wright / CC-BY-SA 2.0

Comedian Tig Notaro performing at SXSW. Photo by Flickr user Miss Wright / CC-BY-SA 2.0

The Lisner lineup for the fall is becoming more and more appealing.

Last week, we learned Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg would speak at Lisner Auditorium in September. Now comedians Rosie O’Donnell and Tig Notaro will make their way to the stage Oct. 4, part of the Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival.

The festival, produced by Brightest Young Things and curated by Notaro, starts Oct. 1 and will feature a selection of comedians from D.C. and across the country.

Notaro, known for her dry sense of humor, has performed stand-up comedy on “Conan” and held roles on “The Sarah Silverman Program” and “Inside Amy Schumer.” O’Donnell rose to fame with “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and recently signed on to be a guest host on “The View.”

Tickets for their comedy night start at $29.99 and are on sale now.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

It appears the torrential rains and flash floods have left the District – at least for the weekend. That means there’s no excuse to stay inside. Plan you weekend with these events in mind.


miss congeniality42: A Tribute to Coldplay at The State Theatre: If Coldplay tickets have always been a little outside your spending range or have sold out before you could snag them, a Coldplay tribute might be the closest you can come to seeing the band live. Head to the State Theatre to see 42, a tribute band devoted to all things Coldplay. Tickets are $13 and the event is 18+.

“Miss Congeniality” at the Rosslyn Summer Film Festival: Spend Friday night in Gateway Park to catch a free movie and bask in the clear skies. The Rosslyn Summer Film Festival is winding down, but Friday night will feature the Sandra Bullock classic, “Miss Congeniality,” as the second-to-last film of the season. The movie will start at about 8 p.m.


“Gravity” at the Comcast Outdoor Film Festival: Check out another free movie Saturday night with the Comcast Outdoor Film Festival in Rockville, Md. Recent blockbuster “Gravity,” also a Sandra Bullock film, is the feature for the night. Gates open at 4:30 p.m.

#NoFilter at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue: Join YouTube sensations Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart for their live comedy show #NoFilter. Known for YouTube channels “it’sGrace” and “MyHarto” and popular features like “My Drunk Kitchen” and “You Deserve a Drink,” these three ladies are sure to bring the fun and the jokes to the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.


Synchroswim at the Capitol Skyline Hotel: Now’s your chance to dive into the world of synchronized swimming competitions at the Capitol Skyline Hotel pool. Four teams will compete Sunday evening in the competition that is rooted more in creativity than competition. Judges score based on overall execution and visual spectacle. There’s also a “Crowd Favorite” award based on applause. Synchroswim starts at 5 p.m., and admission is free.

Frontier(s) at DC9: If you’re interested in seeing some cheap live music Sunday night, head to DC9 for indie-emo band Frontier(s). Tickets are $10.

  • Permalink
  • Comments

The pork buns at Momofuku are one of the most popular menu items. Photo by Arnold Gatilao (flickr user arndog) used under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

The pork buns at Momofuku are one of the most popular menu items. Photo by Arnold Gatilao (flickr user arndog) used under a CC-BY 2.0 license.

David Chang gave us culinary news to celebrate this week: the celebrity restaurateur and owner of beloved New York City-based ramen joint Momofuku Noodle Bar will open a D.C. counterpart in the spring.

Chang told the Washingtonian that the space, a 4,500-square-foot hall in CityCenterDC, will also house a pop-in Momofuku milk bar and a trendy dessert cafe that dishes out creative cakes, cookies and pies. Look out for the Ritz cracker cookie and “crack pie,” both crowd favorites.

Though Chang anticipates a slightly experimental menu, he said D.C.’s Momofuku (Japanese for “lucky peach”) will serve his iconic pork buns. The stuffed-and-steamed, melt-in-your-mouth dough (pork belly, pickled cucumbers, hoisin sauce, sriracha, scallions) has inspired hundreds of copycat recipes from both amateur chefs and figures like Martha Stewart.

We’re also hoping he brings us nightly bun specialties, like options with brisket and shrimp that frequent his New York base.

While Chang said to expect “super-casual dining… I don’t want to make food for foodies,” he also told the Washingtonian he “[doesn't] really want to serve burgers either.” So what’s inspiring him of late? Spinach dip and chicken fingers.

Let the countdown to opening day begin.

  • Permalink
  • Comments