Let me quickly point out that DeenaOH’s experimental cabaret seems to be settling into a band to be called Dates, so be sure to be on the lookout for the new name.
DeenaOH herself is Deena Odelle Hyatt, a bluesy chanteuse who makes a living curating and supporting art around DC. She was opening as DeenaOH & Co. for folk singer Marian McLaughlin’s debut album release last week to a crowded room at DC9. The experimental nature of DeenaOH’s collective became clear when I counted nine musicians, including Ms. McLaughlin, contributing various vocals or instruments to the short set of songs, leaping on and off stage as required.
The songs hung together well in the amber of Ms. Hyatt’s bluesy, forlorn voice. The romantic “Moon Song” called for unconditional love over a calypso beat. Hyatt has a pleasing range, and she rolls through “Moon Song” with the cute trick of echoing herself in words extended like with “together, …together, …together.” Like all unrequited love affairs, the song ends abruptly! But the room fell into a hushed silence simply at the sound of her voice.
Dates. Those awkward, exciting, beautiful things we all go on at some point. I am by no means an expert in this field- quite far from it- and I don’t have a magical solution for how to make your next date the best you ever had, so unfortunately you won’t be finding the next We Love DC dating service here (sigh). The inspiration for this post really came from a conversation with a friend of mine the other day. He asked me where he should take a girl out, wanting to strike the right balance between serious young professional, trendy and casual. I realized many of us have gone through this mental exercise before. The exhausting over-planning and over- analyzing we do: choosing the right spot for that first interaction (or second or third), focusing on every detail from time, to dress code, to the big goodbye, mulling over tiny logistics as a method of defense to shift our thoughts away from the weirdness that could ensue. But enough of that.
I think a shared meal is the perfect way to break the ice, a way to bond over something simple that brings anyone, no matter what level of culinary expertise you may have, together. We all share stories around a dinner table, have memories of a favorite meal, and can reveal oneself through a dish. So for me, sharing a meal is a perfect way of getting to know someone, whether it be a sit down dinner or a casual picnic. I decided to write some recommendations for where you can break bread and the ice along the way, in case you need to outsource thinking on the next time your big date is lined up. I polled some of the We Love DC crew for their suggestions as well, as not all of us are food focused daters.