Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life


Dupont Circle

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 10:03 p.m.

Drag queens race down 17th Street

Drags queens from across D.C. convened at DuPont Circle to compete in the city’s 30th annual High Heel Race.

Thousands gathered to watch as hundreds of colorfully costumed queens raced each other down 17th Street to raise money for the Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets, an organization to preserve the culture of the Dupont Circle neighborhood.

“It’s like a fun costume show that everyone can be a part of,” Sailor Jupiter, one of the drag queens who participated in the race, said.

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Friday, Oct. 21, 2016 2:28 p.m.

Hidden Gems: Pansaari

Pansaari, located in DuPont Circle, serves up authentic Indian food.

Unique for its chai bar, Pansaari uses natural ingredients to make chai – something you won’t find at your everyday coffee shop.

Owner, Rano Singh, said Pansaari “began with an effort to support sustainable agriculture [in D.C.]”

Video by Iliana Hagenah

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Foggy Bottom was ranked 14th on a list of best D.C. neighborhoods. Hatchet file photo.

Foggy Bottom was ranked 14th on a list of best D.C. neighborhoods. Hatchet file photo.

Raleigh Warner, the co-founder of Jumpshell, is helping people decide which D.C. neighborhood they should live in with his comprehensive ranking of neighborhoods in the District.

Georgetown was ranked first on the list of best neighborhoods. Foggy Bottom made the list, but it came in last at 14th place.

The guide includes a list of every neighborhood in the District and pinpoints the age range, vibe and attractions of each neighborhood in two or three quick bullet points. If that isn’t succinct enough, headers on the site describe each area with a few adjectives that match neighborhoods’ moods.

To make it easier for prospective District denizens to visualize the city, Warner included both Google Maps street and map views of the neighborhood to supplement the written description.

Warner pooled information from sites like Zillow, and Zumper and considered perspectives from personal interviews with new renters when creating the list.

The guide can be found on Jumpshell, a website designed for apartment hunting.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016 10:40 a.m.

Wahlburgers to open in Dupont Circle

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Crystel Sylvester.

Fans of the A&E reality show “Wahlburgers” will soon be able to enjoy the celebrity burgers in D.C

Wahlburgers, led by executive chef Paul Wahlburg, brother of film star Mark Wahlburg, will open its first D.C. location in Dupont Circle this year, Patch reported.

The Wahlbergs plan to eventually open restaurants in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, according to Patch. The restaurant is Boston-based with locations already in Orlando, Las Vegas, New York, Philadelphia and Toronto.

“We look forward to serving D.C.’s diverse community and welcoming everyone from foreign ambassadors and elected officials to students and visitors,” Rick Vanzura, the chief executive officer of Wahlburgers, said in a statement.

The location will occupy 6,500 square feet in Dupont Circle. The restaurant will feature both a fast-casual counter and a full-service dining room, as well as a bar and an outdoor patio. A retail section will exhibit branded Wahlburgers shirts, hats and drinkware, according to Patch.

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A D.C. tradition, the 17th Street High Heel Race takes place every year on the Tuesday before Halloween. The Dupont Circle area welcomed thousands of spectators to cheer on about 100 drag queens donning Halloween costumes and high heels.

We joined the race on Tuesday to see LGBT supporters share the Halloween spirit:

Creative Halloween costumes stole the show at this year’s High Heel Race in Dupont Circle. Luca Silveira | Hatchet Photographer

Luca Silveira | Hatchet Photographer

The 17th Street High Heel Race brings Halloween and LGBT advocacy into one public event. Luca Silveira | Hatchet Photographer

Luca Silveira | Hatchet Photographer

The drag queen participants often wear extravagant outfits and high heels, part of the race’s tradition. Luca Silveira | Hatchet Photographer


Crowds filled the streets of Dupont Circle for the 17th Street High Heel Race on Tuesday night. Naishi Jhaveri | Hatchet Photographer


The race includes around 100 drag queens who make their way down 17th Street in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Photographer

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This post was written by Senior Staff Writer Josh Solomon. 

Next door to Nooshi and around the corner from “old Chipotle,” the newly opened Olivia’s Diner dances between a fanciful eatery – its marble bar is accessorized with martini glasses and premium liquors – and late-night hangout.

Olivia’s was advertised as a 24-hour diner, but the joint, with its dimly lit leather booths, hasn’t drummed up the business to stay open all night just yet, its manager said. If Olivia’s decides to expand its wacky hours, it could become a staple for late-night revelers and those in need of a study break – especially because most restaurants in the area, like Tonic and Circa, close much earlier.

For now, I hope that by the time the school year swings around, the diner has its identity figured out.

Diners expecting disco fries or matzah ball soup are in for a treat or a shock: Instead of diner grub, you’ll be treated to fine decor and quasi-gourmet eats. If you can embrace this combination – let’s call it American fusion, where tater tots, turkey pot pie and spicy shrimp salad are all on the menu – Olivia’s could be a spot for many occasions. And in place of the Clip Art pictures of eggs and pancakes that often adorn diner menus,  there are Julia Child quotes at the bottom of each page. (“People who love to eat are always the best people.”)

Unlike The Diner in Adams Morgan, Olivia’s has an overall more upscale feel. Its burgers come with a mission statement: Olivia’s gets its beef from naturally-raised cows, blends three different cuts (chuck, short rib and brisket) and cooks the beef on a cast iron skillet. The joint is owned by Tri Nguyen (also co-owner of Pete’s New Haven Style Pizza)

Despite being responsibly sourced, the burgers are nothing special. A medium-cooked three-pound burger ($8, without additions) was borderline well-done, not particularly juicy and the patty barely stayed together.

Its buttery brioche bun was delicious, but the experience was stifled by a tomato slice that tasted old and the smoked paprika aioli was a salty $1 addition that didn’t stack up to sauces served for free at Good Stuff Eatery.

After you unroll your napkin, which resembles a Bounty paper towel, you uncover heavy, fine-looking silverware – nothing says American fusion more than paper towel-wrapped, glitzy silverware.

Other meals you can attack with these tools are the Jackson’s Southern Fried Chicken ($15) with aged cheddar mac n’ cheese and green beans or the Bubba’s Smothered Pork Chop ($16) with caramelized onion gravy, sautéed mushrooms, gratin potatoes and seasonal vegetables, options that reminded me of a diner’s typical breadth.

Regardless of the restaurant’s current conflicted status, breakfast is served all day and much can be forgiven. You can order one pancake ($3 to $4) or four ($9 to $13) and find yourself confronted with frisbee-sized discs. If you forget the fact that Olivia’s charges $1.50 for a “side of pure Vermont maple syrup,” the pancakes are perfect alternative to endless late-night Crepeaway orders – though Olivia’s has no plans to accept GWorld.

The cinnamon bun pancake is pre-seasoned with cinnamon, and a cream cheese frosting is glazed over the plate-sized pancake. Served thin and a little crispy, its flavors remain bold and sweet enough – while being a cheap four bucks for a fairly filling size – to qualify as bomb food any time of day.

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Whether you’re new to D.C. or a seasoned visitor, you probably can’t wait to explore the city once you get to GW. You’ll have four years to tour the monuments and catch a show in Lisner Auditorium, so make sure to take full advantage of your brief free time during Colonial Inauguration.

From outdoor festivals to late-night bites, there’s nothing like summer in the District  and CI-goers shouldn’t miss out.

Night No. 1

D.C. Outdoor Movies

Your first day of CI will be jam-packed  from the trip into D.C. to setting up in Thurston Hall and getting to know your CI group. If you need to unwind but you’re still itching to see the city, try checking out a free outdoor movie.

Movies during CI sessions include Selma on June 11 and The Princess Bride on June 18 at Capitol Waterfront, as well as The Bicycle Thief in Adams Morgan on June 23 and Grease at NoMA Summer Screen on July 1. Bring a lawn chair and be on time — movies start at sundown.

Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe, 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW

If you’re feeling restless and looking for some more action than just a midnight monument walk, Dupont Circle is always buzzing with nightlife. Catering to the late crowd, the Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe is open until 4 a.m.

Whether you want to enjoy some live jazz and rock music or find a quiet space to browse the eclectic mix of books, make sure to come to Kramerbooks and Afterwords with an empty stomach  desserts include triple chocolate cake and the “dysfunctional family sundae” loaded with hot fudge, whipped cream and an amaretto brownie, both for around $8.

Wiseguy NY Pizza, 300 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Go-to joints for late night food like Crepeaway and Jumbo Slice will likely become a staple in your diet by the end of your first semester. But with a whole night to explore the city, you can check out some other junk food joints.

You have all night to fill up on a slice of New York-style pizza for around $3 – Wiseguy stays open until 5 a.m. on weekends, 3 a.m. on Thursdays, and 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday.

Night no. 2

The Source Festival, Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW

If the CI skits whet your appetite for theater, check out some performances at the annual Source Festival. At the Source Theatre in the trendy U Street corridor, the festival showcases experimental works from upcoming playwrights and performers.

Tickets go for $10 to $15 to see everything from full length plays to 10-minute plays and “artistic blind dates,” which allow three different groups of artists to collaborate on a new works.

Jazz in the Garden, National Gallery Sculpture Garden, 7th St. and Constitution Ave. NW

You won’t want to skip the outdoor jazz concerts in the Sculpture Garden that are only available during the summer.

The music begins every Friday at 5:30 p.m. While enjoying the music among the fountains and modern art, you can grab a bite to eat  like the smoked brisket sandwich or summer vegetable sandwich for $10 at the garden’s Pavilion Cafe.

Pleasant Pops, 1781 Florida Ave. NW 

Dessert on your last night in D.C. is a must, and you might think to check out the long lines at one of Georgetown’s cupcake shops. But Pleasant Pops offers some lighter fare so you can cool off after a day of exploring.

Tucked in the lively and colorful Adams Morgan neighborhood, Pleasant Pops has been serving ice pops in eccentric flavors like blueberry pancake and the “guac pop” with avocado and lime for five years.

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Casal Català of D.C. hosted the first annual World Book Day, also a traditional Catalonian festival known as Sant Jordi, on Saturday in Dupont Circle.

“This year, we thought that we wanted to bring it to Washington for all the Washingtonians to enjoy,” said Mar Tarrés of Casal Català.

UNESCO adopted April 23 as World Book Day, and it is now celebrated in more than 50 places across the world.

Video by Haley Lloyd.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015 12:41 a.m.

Hidden Gems: D.C. Improv

by kpayne

Comedy club D.C. Improv has hosted famous comedians like Dave Chappelle, Jim Gaffigan and Ellen DeGeneres since opening in 1992.

Headquartered in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, D.C. Improv is also home to a comedy school and regularly hosts workshops for aspiring comedians.

“A big part of comedy is performing,” said Chris White, D.C. Improv’s director of creative marketing. “You can’t be a comedian, you can’t be an improv comedian, you can’t be stand-up comedian, unless you have an audience.”

Video by Yara Bishara.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Christina Carpenter.

While GW students are anxiously awaiting the opening of Captain Cookie, others in the District are filling their stomachs with healthier options.

A recent Zagat survey of 10,000 diners in American cities found that D.C. restaurant-goers truly value healthy ingredients: 48 percent of diners said they loved Brussels sprouts, significantly higher than the national average, and beets and kale were also popular in the District.

Last year, D.C. earned the title of Forbes’ “healthiest city in America” when it reported that 81 percent of residents did some kind of physical activity and fewer than 22 percent were obese, using the American Fitness Index.

Healthy eating and dining out don’t have to be mutually exclusive – and with just a few days left of Restaurant Week, many healthy restaurants are still taking reservations. These veggie-filled dining options won’t break the bank:

Agora, 1527 17th St. NW
Agora, located in Dupont Circle, offers high-quality Mediterranean-fusion cuisine. Try their Htipiti (a spread of roasted red peppers, feta, thyme and olive oil), Bruksel Lahana (fried Brussels sprouts with white truffle crème fraiche) and Garides Tava (sautéed shrimp with shaved garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, olive oil and diced tomatoes). Finish off with Pistachio Baklava – if you dare.

1789 Restaurant, 1226 36th St. NW
If you’re in the mood for American food, try dinner at this charming and historic Georgetown restaurant. They offer a seasonally appropriate Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with pomegranate brown butter and rye croutons and short ribs with pearl and cipollini onions, oyster mushrooms, pomme puree and bordelaise. The cheese course is highly recommended by the restaurant.

Bistro Cacao, 320 Massachusetts Ave. NW
For French cuisine, try dining in Bistro Cacao’s elegant red room, located in Capitol Hill. Healthy and tasty options include seafood dishes like grilled trout with fingerling potatoes, green beans and lemon butter sauce.

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