29 Oct 2020


To Do List, HALLOWEEN Edition!

Dear neighbors near and far,

Halloween as we have always known it is not safe. I applaud all of you who have made a plan to construct candy chutes, decorated trees and who will have tables for socially distant Trick-or-Treating. The act of letting our little and not-so-little ones roam around the neighborhood shoulder-to-shoulder as the grown-ups shepherd them is not feasible in the time of COVID. East Capitol Street, long a bastion of candy, chocolate and adults sharing beverages as they demand alliteration from tots, will hopefully be much more sedate this year. I am told that many neighbors plan on turning off their lights and avoid being outdoors altogether.

As someone who loves Halloween, it absolutely hurts me to write this: If you can avoid walking about and being in higher traffic areas, it will be safest for all of us. If you do come out, make sure everyone is wearing a proper mask and bring hand sanitizer. Do not take candy from communal bowls. Try a new street this year, or step out earlier. Stay close to home. Or just make a plan to walk or bike by the amazing decorations your neighbors have been putting up since the beginning of October. Enjoy candy and cider at home and delight in this season of death and rebirth that comes to us from Celtic tradition merged with Christian pageantry, and cherish one another and keep each other safe.

May I recommend that you visit In America, How Could This Happen? on November 2, All Souls’ Day. In many Christian traditions, this is the day reserved for remembering all our dead. This is really still happening, and it’s okay to grieve.

Let me now dry my eyes and find you some fun things to do. For starters, take a look at my SPOOKY HILL Halloween map and check out the Capitol Hill Community Foundation’s Literary Pumpkin walk as well. With the guidelines from the CDC and the Mayor’s office in mind, make your plan to view and visit some of these houses, but please, please, please: Be safe. Be kind. Avoid crowding.

HEY NEIGHBORS HEY! Fun skeleton tableaux are among the best Halloween decorations and @louisedettman really captured the happy whimsy of this skinny fella. Tag your moments of levity #thehillishome on Instagram to be featured.

The Department of Parks and Recreation is also holding several outdoor events, all ticketed, so you can enjoy the season safely, such as a Howl-o-Ween for pets at Swampoodle park and a car parade at Joe Cole Rec center in Trinidad. More information here.

How about a bit of trivia? Atlas Obscura has a fun one, $7 per device. Sign up here.

The Witching Hour, by Dreamscape Performance Company, is happening this weekend at Park Up DC, at RFK parking lot 3. There are two dates, one on Friday night that’s more kid-appropriate, and one on Halloween that is definitely spicy. For more info and tickets, click here.

It may be rainy and dreary, so why not curl in front of the monitor for some old fashioned hearth time? Our friends at Pop-Up Magazine have been doing wonderful things, bringing the artists they would normally have on the stage for a one-of-a-kind experience to a digital sphere. Check out this beautiful, funny piece called How To Laugh When Nothing Is Funny, by comedian Aida Osman.

Over at Mosaic Theater Company, you can catch Dear Mapel by Psalmayene 24 FREE through October 31. Dear Mapel focuses on the playwright’s relationship with his dead father. You can get tickets here.

Love live music? Mr. Henry’s always has a Digital Concert going on, any day of the week. Tonight, listen to singer Renee Tannenbaum dole out some smooth jazz. Make sure you check out their Facebook and Instagram for broadcasts, which happen at 6 p.m. Don’t forget to order takeout from Mr. Henry’s and tip the artists.

Groupmuse has a very special event on their lineup. On Sunday, November 1, listen to flautist Sooyun Kim perform twelve of the flute fantasias by Georg Phillipp Telemann. This is a special performance where all the profits will go to the Groupmuse Foundation, which supports musicians in the era of COVID. Tickets.

If you want to support local artists through Groupmuse, they have the Capital City Concerts. On November 7, listen to guitarist Zachary Grim as he gives a concert inspired by nature. Tickets.

You can also catch a Creative Mornings event from the comfort of home, now that grabbing tickets is no longer a combination of being savvy about online releases or being super connected. Tomorrow’s event is called Autumn Refresh, and it features singer Cecily. Tickets.

Finally, let us all cherish the fact that we can find all kinds of fun, cheeky, provocative and silly decorations all over the neighborhood, and that we don’t live in an area where, in the face of everything that keeps happening in America, people cling to their racist ways. ARL Now

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