She/He Loves DC is a series highlighting the people who love this city just as much as we do.
If you frequent any of DC’s vast array of performing arts venues then you’ve likely seen Chris Naoum’s face around town before. Since co-founding Listen Local First DC in 2011, Naoum’s spent his time fully immersed in DC’s music scene. With a law background, Naoum specializes in copyright, media and telecom law, and policy. He’s also a staunch advocate for independent musicians, artists, and businesses.
As part of his Listen Local First duties, Naoum helps coordinate, execute, and host events in conjunction with DC businesses and artists. The events range from educational sessions to live shows including the Kingman Island Bluegrass and Folk Festival which is happening this weekend.
What is it about DC that makes it home to you?
The people and the feeling of community. DC is a relatively small city. Everybody knows everyone and most people are very friendly. People are also doing really neat things. Whether it’s the start-up tech scene or the people working for non-profits that are trying to better the world, I’m always amazed to find out what people do for a living. Those that do not work in those sectors and work for the government or big firms are still really engaged with their local community and cultural development.
courtesy of BrianMKA
Describe your perfect day in DC. Where would you go and what would you do?
I guess I’m going to go with a perfect weekend day, specifically a Saturday which normally begins with a trip to the Mt. Pleasant Farmer’s Market for their pork buns. Then, if so inspired, a run through Rock Creek Park or some tennis. Hop in a car and grab a couple growlers from DC Brau, return to Petworth for an afternoon back porch BBQ, then out for an afternoon/evening of music and mayhem. I would probably try and make it to at least two different shows. If I make it down to H Street it might just be whatever is going on down there.
What’s your favorite hidden gem of a location in DC? How did you find it and why do you love it?
I feel like it is impossible to find a hidden gem anymore. I would say up where I live in Petworth you can still avoid the crowds at Domku, Chez Billy, The Blue Banana, or the Looking Glass Lounge. I am also a HUGE fan of El Chucho on 11th St.
Who’s your favorite DC personality and why?
Favorite personality …hmm. There are really too many people who I admire in this town I can’t say one without feeling guilty about leaving out 50 other, I will say this though, if I could have one person’s job, it would probably be Bob Boilen‘s.
courtesy of tdr28
Where’s your favorite place to see a concert in DC and why?
I go to the most shows at the Black Cat. My favorite venue is obviously the 9:30 Club. I think small non-traditional venues like The Dunes and the Gibson Guitar Showroom are always a treat because of the intimate music experience they provide. But recently I have to say I have been enjoying house shows. My new favorite house show venue is the Dead Kennedy Center out on H St.
Kingman Island is currently my favorite venue because Listen Local First is a sponsor for the Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival. On April 29th we will be hosting an all day local outdoor bluegrass fest with over 25 local musicians performing in different capacities.