We Love Weekends: July 4th and beyond!

Happy Independence Day!

From all of us at We Love DC, we wish you a fantastic Fourth of July, and very special thanks for reading us. Our own humble founding was on July 4, 2008, and after five years we still love this city and strive to share our experiences of DC life with you. Here’s what some of us are up to this weekend, as we all celebrate the birthday of our country, and what it means to be free.

Mosley: Ah, the Fourth of July weekend that’s nearly as long as a week!  If I had a job I’d be in heaven. Anyways, I’m planning on spending the morning of the Fourth either going to the parade on Independence Ave or to the 11am Nats game. And then the fun begins with the fireworks! I’m setting up next to the Reflecting Pool on the Lincoln side of the Mall; if you see me, say hi. Friday I’m planning on continuing the patriotism by seeing Gettysburg at the AFI in Silver Spring; it’s going to be an all day event.  Saturday and Sunday will be interchangeable; one will be going back down to the Mall for the Folk Life Festival and the other will be a pool day. Which will hopefully be the hardest decision I make for the week.

Alexia: Friday night is a long-anticipated night for me - The Torches are finally releasing our first full-length album, “The Authority Of,” and we’re throwing a big ol’ album release party at Iota! Joining us for this celebratory occasion are The Green Boys (RVA), The Nighttime Adventure Society (NY), and locals Two Ton Twig will be providing foot-stomping musical interludes between bands! Show starts at 9pm, admission is $10. Saturday The Torches play a free show at noon at the DC Meet Market, on 15th & P as part of the summer kid-friendly rock show series Rock-n-Romp! Saturday night I’m thinking of heading to Old Town Alexandria for a chill evening. Sunday I’ll be celebrating the birthday of my favorite 2-year-old in a park in Arlington. Hoping the weather isn’t too swampy for that!

Tom: As much as I love a good Independence Day on the Mall, with an expecting wife and a badly strained neck, I’ll be staying close to Brookland for this July 4th. I might be up for a quick jaunt to Hyattsville for an Elevation Burger, or maybe down to Boundary Stone to celebrate with my favorite Philly transplants. Of course, there’s a fireworks vendor on Rhode Island Ave, and that means it’s time for (safe, legal) sparklers and some little fireworks. Happy Independence Day, America. Long may your flag wave.

Patrick: Normally I would be watching the Fireworks from Rosslyn, but this year I’ll be in Chicago. I prefer watching the Fireworks from Arlington because you can avoid the tourists and still see some pretty lights. Iwo Jima is the most popular place but if you are adventurous, you can find some great views in Court House if you know your geography. The apartment buildings behind the Arlington Justice Center have great views across the river. You may think Georgetown maybe a good spot but I find it to be too far away and it’s full of Georgetown-type preps. I don’t want to see this kind of stuff happening while I’m watching fireworks.

Joanna: I’m trekking north for the holiday; but oh, the things I’d do if I was here… First off, there’s the obvious fireworks, which we always watch from the Mt. Vernon Trail south of Memorial Bridge. You can get there easily walking from the bridge, Pentagon or Pentagon City. The viewing spots aren’t too crowded and have a real family feel. Then there’s the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall. I’d also see a whole lot of art/exhibits this weekend. On my wish list: David Levinthal: War Games and Mia Feuer: An Unkindness at Corcoran, The Robben Island Shakespeare at Folger Shakespeare Library, and NGA’s Kerry James Marshall exhibit. And in those cool, still-sunny hours around dusk? Sangria at Jazz in the Garden and bourbon on our roof. Fireworks will be going all weekend, and we can usually see a bunch in Maryland from up top.

Fedward: Surprise four day weekend! Somehow I looked at the wrong year’s holiday schedule at my office and didn’t realize I’d have Friday off. The bad news, though, is that this is the last weekend the Social Chair and I have to get our apartment ready to move out, and as we all know, packing expands to fill the time allowed for it. We’re getting the jump on the long weekend tonight with drinks for a friend’s birthday. Thursday we’re starting our day with, of all people, our realtor (and new neighbor) participating in his tradition of watching the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. We’ll then walk over to the Soldiers’ Home for the July 4 Celebration, and then walk back to our apartment and make one last trip to the roof for the view of fireworks on the Mall and in the neighborhood. And if we’re energized after that we’ll salmon our way to the Hamilton for HariKaraoke. Friday we’re showing off our new house to a few friends before we mess it up with our furniture, and then Saturday and Sunday will be consumed by packing. All packing, all the time. Sunday we’ll wrap up the weekend by taking our sweaty, dusty selves to brunch at the Passenger, because our corpses will definitely need reviving by then. Even people who are moving need to eat waffle sandwiches and chilaquiles.

Don: We’ve got family in town so we’d intended to go try doing some fireworks-peeping that’s a little less Lord of the Flies than the time on the mall - a little event Arlington is doing at Long Bridge Park with food carts and craft vendors and so on. But some unexpected hospitalization has put the kibosh on that and we’ll be doing our usual cowering in the air conditioning and watching the fireworks on TV. If you’ll forgive the sacrilege, we might just watch the NY show. The haze is less awful and they don’t follow it up with racially questionable taped material. Plus, to the best of my knowledge, no American Idol winners or Dancing with the Stars hosts like we get.

Jenn: “Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July”…yes, that lyric is my annual earworm today, all day long. You’re welcome. Independence Day always makes me miss my brother – as kids we would spend the long afternoon watching 1776, imitating the big fight scene between Adams and Dickinson (“Madman!” “Landlord!” “LAWYER!” Yes. We were geeks.). My DC Independence Day memories revolve around rooftop deck grilling, sweltering heat, and marveling at the neighborhood fireworks that erupt privately and joyfully after the official fireworks end. Today will be no different, and this weekend will be spent with friends in simple moments, just enjoying their company and being grateful for being alive, safe, and free. That’s it, really. That’s all there is.

As one of the founding editors of We Love DC, Jenn’s passions are theater and cocktails. After two decades in the city, she’s loved every quirky, mundane, elegant, rude minute of her DC life. A proud advocate for DC’s talented drinks scene, she’s judged the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s ARTINI contest, the DC Rickey Month contest, the Jefferson Hotel’s Quill Cocktail competition, and is a founding member of LUPEC DC. A graduate of Catholic University’s drama program, she toured the country as a member of National Players, and has been both an actor and a costume designer before jumping the aisle to theater criticism. Writing for We Love DC restored her happiness after a life-threatening illness, and she’s grateful to you, dear readers. Send your suggestions to jenn (at) welovedc (dot) com and follow her on Twitter.

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