At the start of each month the BYT staff compiles a list of things we’re particularly looking forward to seeing, reading, eating, touching etc. Our goal is for you to have the best possible month. Here are 30+ events, items, ideas that will make this November your best month.
This year’s edition of D.C.’s very own photography festival comes hot on the heels of the election, and promises to be bigger and shinier and more fun than ever. Over 100 events at 40 different locations come together for a truly citywide celebration featuring exhibitions and highlighting world-class photography, and providing exposure for photographers working locally and worldwide. Our full preview is running tomorrow but make sure to not miss stopping by FotoWeekCentral which is at National Geographic this year to soak in exhibitions, panels, workshops, talks by some of the best D.C. & nationwide photographers, and more. Opening party is always a blast and happens November 11th. Get your tickets now. -Svetlana Legetic
As if wandering the hallowed halls of the National Portrait Gallery after hours weren’t enough, Into the Blue features the opening of a new exhibit by video artist Bill Viola. The Moving Portrait is the National Portrait Gallery’s first ever media art exhibit, and I think it’s fair to say this is pretty much the most avant-garde chance you’re going to get to watch the Smithsonian make history. All that plus a live music and open bar. -Trisha Brown
NGA is holding an exhibition with 100 of Stuart Davis’ pieces and they all look so cool. If I had lots of money and more style, this is the kind of artwork I would buy. Abstract and stylish, with a heavy dose of Jazz influences, Davis’ work is referential, but doesn’t feel stuck in one time. The bight colors and text heavy images make it feel fresh and exciting. Go out to brunch, drink just a little too much, and let his images make you feel overwhelmed. That’s my favorite way to experience art. -Kaylee Dugan
There are a lot of YA love stories out there, but few of them have built up as much buzz and acclaim in the book world as Yoon’s second novel. Shortlisted for the National Book Award for young people’s fiction, The Sun is Also a Star is, by all accounts, a worthy follow-up to Yoon’s bestselling debut, Everything, Everything. -Trisha Brown
Some people will read Anna Kendrick’s new book to find out if she really is as cool and relatable as she seems. Some people will read it for her insights on navigating a film industry plagued by sexism. But the shallowest among us will read it in the hopes that she’ll tell gossipy stories about Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart on the sets of the Twilight movies. -Trisha Brown
Co-written by Iggy Pop himself (he’s billed as “narrator”), alongside other co-authors like Joan Jett and Johnny Marr, Total Chaos: The Story of the Stooges will (hopefully) be an intimate look at one of the must aggressive, innovative bands of all time. Count on a ton of previously unseen photos and ridiculous anecdotes. This is a good present for anyone in your family who likes rock music. -Matt Byrne
Are you watching Son of Zorn? Watch Son of Zorn, then go see Johnny. – Jenn Tisdale
Other than the uninspired name, the DC Beer Festival rocks. I miss the Nats (even with all the accompanying heartbreak), so any chance to get back to the ballpark is a must-attend for me. Sure doesn’t hurt having damn near 100 craft breweries on hand featuring fall seasonal beers, plus food trucks, lawn games, and a DJ in the park.
There are two sessions on Saturday, November 5th: one from noon-3 pm and one from 5-8 pm. Go to the later one; it’s cold, but there’s beer and a beautiful sunset and the ballpark lights on and it’s just great all around. Admission includes unlimited tastings. I put this to the test last year and was ultimately talked out of streaking around the bases. Probably the right call. -Logan Hollers
Ain’t no beer fest like a Greg Engert beer fest, cuz a Greg Engert beer fest don’t stop… with the exclusives? And the debuts? And the well-curated beer list? You get the point: Engert and Neighborhood Restaurant Group throw a good beer fest.
On Saturday afternoon, they plan to prove it again with the fifth annual Novemberfest. Held behind Alexandria’s Rustico, the block party will spotlight brews exclusively from Virginia. A lot of these breweries should be familiar to discerning DC-area drinkers (Ocelot, Old Ox, Port City, etc.), but there are also some real wild cards here.
The most notable name on the list might be Penn Druid, a Sperryville operation that specializes in wild, barrel-aged (and often barrel-fermented) beers. You basically can’t get Penn Druid’s beer outside of the brewery tasting room, so this is a big deal. Additionally, Novemeberfest will feature the high profile Northern Virginia debuts of Richmond “soft” IPA mavens The Veil, Virginia Beach’s Commonwealth Brewing, and Harrisonburg’s Pale Fire.
Virginia keeps crushing DC and Maryland at the Great American Beer Festival. If you want to figure out why, here’s a good place to start. Also, in case you’re wondering, this party does actually stop… at 5:00 p.m. –Phil R
DC Champagne week is upon us, which means a whole host of bubbly events. The week kicks of with a launch party on Sunday, November 6 at the popular wine bar Proof, where champagne and food specials will be available all night long. Then, on Wednesday November 9, a grand champagne tasting at the Daughters of the American Revolution O’Byrne Gallery, followed by a champagne dinner hosted by Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley on Thursday, November 10. The seven course dinner will be paired with different champagnes. Finally, on Friday, a masterclass on champagne, where you can learn about the history and the art of tasting champagne. All the events require tickets except for the opening night at Proof. I can hear the bottles popping already… -Priya Konings
Ralph Steadman’s art for Flying Dog’s new school double IPA The Truth features a shady looking Congressman. Or maybe he’s a businessman. Or perhaps there’s no difference. As such, it makes for a pretty good beer to tie an election evening event, particularly in 2016. That’s just savvy marketing, folks!
On November 8, Churchkey will pour flights of five different cask variations of The Truth. Attendees can taste all of them (plus the original) for $12, then vote for their favorite. The winner does not get the nuclear codes. Here’s the participant list (and their gonzo cask additions): ChurchKey’s Greg Engert (gin-infused oak, lime peel, Azacca hops); Jack Rose’s Nahem Simon (bourbon-soaked oak, lemon peel, vanilla bean, Centennial and Amarillo hops); Pizzeria Paradiso’s Josh Fernands (ginger, orange peel, madeira-soaked oak chips); DC Brewers’ Guild’s Kathy Rizzo (raspberry puree, ginger); and DC Beer’s Bill DeBaun (kaffir lime leaves, cardamom, ginger).
A lot of breweries throw parties, but hardly any go all-in like Hellbender is primed to on November 12. For its second anniversary, the Riggs Park brewery is offering up a draft list of 22 beers, and here’s the twist: They’re all brewed by Hellbender. Fuck a guest tap.
In addition to its dry, approachable staples (Southern Torrent Saison; Bare Bones Kӧlsch; Ignite IPA; Red Line Ale), the brewery be pouring seasonals (the perennial favorite Grampus Smoked Nut Brown; its oh-so-smooth 100% wheat Dunkelweisse); six wild and sour ales (including a Brett pale ale and a hoppy Berliner Weisse); and a handful of beers brewed especially for the occasion. Personally, I’m gunning for the Copper Fox Oat Pale Ale. And the bourbon barrel-aged Scotch ale. And what up with that Pineapple Radler.
Tickets cost $10 in advance and include a pint glass, plus your first beer. So, the ticket pays for itself. Revisit my Tap Takeover profile of Hellbender from March and wow your friends with in-depth knowledge of the brewery and its co-founder. –Phil R
The Goethe Institut is bringing back its fantastic FilmNeu Festival which celebrates new movies from Germany, Switzerland and Australia. This year it’s being held at Landmark E Street Cinema and kicks off this Thursday with the wildly hilarious comedy Me and Kaminski. Don’t be afraid to inject a little culture into your weekend of drinking and brunch. – Jenn Tisdale
Loving in theaters November 4
We’re lucky enough to live in a year with two Jeff Nichols movies, the hugely excellent sci-fi/road movie MidnightSpecial that came out earlier this year, and now the very nice, admittedly Oscar-bait-y Loving. Advance reviews are positive and I’m gonna see anything Jeff Nichols directs until the end of time, so count me in for this one! -Matt Byrne
Arrival in theaters November 11
(Relatively) big budget sci-fi flick Arrival’s coasting into theaters on the back of rave reviews and a pretty awesome looking trailer. I’m usually a sucker for even just-okay space/alien type movies but this thing has got me excited like few other movies have this year. Real stoked! Soundtrack by Max Richter, too, which is cool! -Matt Byrne
Moana in theaters November 23
While it’s not quite another new Pixar flick (the very much fine Finding Dory was this year’s offering from those folks), Moana looks to be a nice, potentially minor, entry in the Disney animated canon. File under “movies to check out on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend with your little cousins.” -Matt Byrne
D.C.’s fine dining revolution continues at hyper speed, and this time it’s Kwame Onwuachi throwing his hat in the ring.
The former Top Chef contestant is the Executive Chef and owner of The Shaw Bijou, a highly anticipated modern American restaurant on the corner of 9th and Q Streets NW. Onwuachi, a graduate of the famed Culinary Institute of America, grew up around the food industry – his mother operated a catering company when he was growing up – and his love for cooking and extraordinary talent led to work at New York City luminaries Eleven Madison Park and Per Se. The Shaw Bijou is Onwuachi’s first restaurant of his own, and is offering a $185 tasting menu for groups of up to 6. Be on the lookout for our in-depth feature later this week. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez
When it comes to food events in DC, this is the best of the best. On Thursday, November 10, DC Central Kitchen is once again putting on its signature fundraising event, the Capital Food Fight. Over 75 of the Washington area’s greatest restaurants offer tastes of their best dishes, and admission includes unlimited tastes at every booth.
Celebrity chefs and hosts (Jose Andres and Spike Mendelsohn take over hosting duties this year); a live cooking battle on the main stage, where four local chefs compete in an Iron Chef-style battle going to head-to-head with a secret ingredient; and 100% of the proceeds go to DC Central Kitchen to combat hunger and create opportunity in DC through job training, meal distribution, and local farm partnerships.
There’s a VIP Reception with craft cocktails and artisanal samplings. There’s a speakeasy with exclusive culinary offerings, bar service and flat-screens showing the live battle. There’s a Chairman’s Overlook that offers access to the gorgeous second floor balcony with the best views of the live, on-stage chef battle and access to special food offerings and cocktails.
Point is, if you’re going to pony up for one blow-out food event, make it this one. Philanthropy and food are a great match. -Logan Hollers
I’m psyched for this year’s third annual D.C. edition of the Emporiyum, a unique and super fun food-focused marketplace held November 12th and 13th at Union Market’s Dock5. The scene features over 75 (and growing!) vendors from across the nation (with loads of local representation) and combines the best of all worlds for food fans: there’s free ood and drink samples, local breweries, cooking and cocktail demonstrations, and what seems like every artisanal kitchen product ever made.
It’s different from the usual food event – instead of people rushing to eat everything that’s free, the Emporiyum is more like an art festival…you walk, you check out products, you taste, you try, sometimes you buy. Much more chill. At last year’s D.C. event, I left with a bellyful of fried catfish courtesy of Chef Ed Lee, one of the best slices of pizza I’ve ever had from Timber Pizza Co., a pack of D.C.-shaped coasters, some sea salt that’s hand-harvested by a gal and her dad in North Carolina, a bloody mary with Gordy’s pickle juice and Green Hat gin, a Moroccan-cilantro cheese spread, two batched cocktail mixers from Bittermilk, and far, far too many “tastes” from One Eight Distilling and Virginia Distillery. Among many, many other goodies.
Pro tip: there’s more than enough samples to eat and drink without paying any extra past the ticket…but you’ll want some cash to buy, whether it’s food or cool kitchen stuff. Trust me. Last year’s D.C. event hosted more than 7,000 people; here’s hoping this year will be a little more manageable. Actually, whatever – I’ll gladly wait in line for shit like this. -Logan Hollers
Old Ebbitt Grill is once again throwing its huge Oyster Riot party (the 22nd edition!) on November 18th and 19th. Tickets include entrance and all the wine and oysters you can handle. Challenge accepted.
There’ll be live music, along with some passed hors d’oeuvres and beers, but the real draw is oysters. Like, a shitload of oysters. 25 different types of oysters from both coasts, shucked to order (last year over 50,000 oysters were sucked down in two days). There are always a few other items like fruit & cheese, shrimp, and crab claws, but this is an event for oyster lovers. As Old Ebbitt says, “If you don’t like ’em, and you still want to come, we suggest coming early and having a burger.”
People wear some crazy stuff, and shit gets buck. Worried about all those oyster shells? Don’t be – every one is sorted and reused to grow over a million baby oysters. Sowing the seeds of future Oyster Riots and all. Also, it goes without saying that oysters are aphrodisiacs and there will be a ton of wine. You’re probably going home with someone. -Logan Hollers
Thanksgiving November 24
Jenn Wasner makes gorgeous, heart-wrenchingly sincere music no matter the alias she uses. One half of Wye Oak, Flock of Dimes is Wasner’s solo project, and If You See Me, Say Yes captures so many of the feelings and introspection that makes Wasner such a compelling artist and songwriter. This album took approximately three years to complete – an eternity for someone as prolific as Wasner – but it was well worth the wait. Considering Wye Oak routinely sells out the 9:30 Club, you should absolutely make the most of a chance to see her at U Hall’s intimate quarters. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez
Lambchop is one of the most underrated bands going. Hugely consistent, quietly experimental, with another huge sonic leap offered up in the form of FLOTUS. Frontman Kurt Wagner’s newly vocodered vocals soar over smooth alt-country/indie rock compositions that push formal and structural boundaries (album closer “The Hustle” is over 18 minutes long and earns every second), making for an engaging, rewarding listen. Love these guys.-Matt Byrne
Over the course of their last several albums, Wild Beasts have become the Prince of art rock. Their songs drip with funky melody, their vocalists have disarming falsettos, and most of their songs are about sex. Their new single “Get My Bang” is as bass-heavy and intense as anything they’ve released, for example, and “Alpha Female” is a sultry slow-burn. Count on their Black Cat show to get folks grinding. -Alan Zilberman
The reliably great ambient/electronic composer Loscil’s got another excellent collection of cold weather concoctions, featuring gently pulsating drum patterns and smeary washes of synths. Monument Builders is their 11th studio album, reportedly inspired by the works of Philip Glass, specifically his work soundtracking the legendary doc Koyaanisqatsi. -Matt Byrne
The Chilean-American DJ and producer is known for his infinitely danceable, funky sets that routinely sample Motown, French pop, spoken word, and even natural phenomena. This show sold out weeks ago, so your best opportunity is to try and snag a ticket via Craigslist or StubHub, but in our opinion it is totally worth it. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez
Wet have been slowly building up and refining their sound, re-releasing (and re-mastering) a few of the songs from their self-titled 2013 EP on this year’s debut album Don’t You. And the changes work! The dreampop trio has a tightly crafted sound, great stage presence, and an interesting visual aesthetic. -Jose Lopez-Sanchez
Newseum Nights is an event series hosted throughout the year where DC’s coolest museum welcomes young professionals in the DMV area to come party at the Newseum after hours.
November 15 marks the next iteration, Newseum Nights: Act Up! (presented in collaboration with Art Soiree), a wildly entertaining after-hours spectacle you don’t want to miss. Guests can enjoy an open beer and wine bar from 7 to 9:30 pm, a performance by Dem’ Raider Boyz (the #1 all-male step team in the DMV, or so I’m told), the Haiku Guys & Gals typing up custom on-the-spot haikus, a glow-in-the-dark silent disco, a live mural painting, a Flying Dog Brewery tasting station, fun finger food stations (popcorn chicken, tater tots, and a popcorn bar), live intuitive personality portraits, and powerful art installations from amazing local artists. Also awesome: giveaways from sponsors ThinkFoodGroup, &pizza, and Oyamel.
A lot of museums in DC have after-hours parties. The problem: most of them make you pay a cover to get in the door; add to that having to pay for food and drinks, and what should be a fun night at the museum turns into dropping $200. But at Newseum Nights, tickets are all-inclusive – $40 for general admission, $30 for Newseum members, or you can sign up to become a Newseum member for $75, which comes with a slew of its own benefits, and get a free ticket to the party. -Logan Hollers
I truly believe in my heart of hearts that ice skating is one of the best first dates in the world. You’re strapped into boots that don’t quite fit right, with blunt metal blades on the bottom, put onto a surface that humans weren’t built to walk on, then glide around like a confused duck for two hours. All of this might seem humiliating, or stupid, or a waste of time. However, it helps to break down a very important barrier right from the very beginning: not taking yourself too seriously in front of a prospective partner. Humans are humorous creatures. If you can both learn to laugh at yourselves, and laugh at each other, and do that from the get-go, you’ll likely fall in love.
I also believe outdoor ice skating by one’s self is perfect Zen. Concentric loops, repetitive body movements, relatively low-impact physical exertion, and being outdoors with a cold breeze all make for a wonderfully meditative state.
This winter, skip the indoor brunches, and go for a few hundred loops around the rink. A few Washington, D.C. outdoor rinks will open in November. Come back later in the month for our annual guide. -Jonny Grave
Stan Against Evil now on IFC
The brilliant comedic mind Dana Gould has birthed Stan Against Evil, a new comedy/horror hybrid series coming to IFC this month. It looks to be a silly, referential treat for horror fans to keep the October spookies going a few weeks longer. -Matt Byrne
Search Party premieres on TBS November 21
TBS’ new Alia Shawkat vehicle Search Party has a stacked supporting cast and pretty good looking trailers! Looking forward to checking this one out, if only for the goofs provided by the always-funny John Early and John Reynolds. -Matt Byrne
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premieres on Netflix November 25
The most anticipated Netflix reboot since Arrested Development – sorry, Fuller House – brings us the return of Lorelai, Rory, and the Star’s Hollow gang (minus, sadly, the late Edward Herrmann). If you don’t get nostalgic at the mention of Luke’s Diner, you don’t know why Friday dinners are laced with tension, or you’re not sure whether you’re “Team Dean” or “Team Jess” (no one is “Team Logan”) the reboot probably isn’t for you. But now you know what the book-loving, fast-talking, coffee-drinking women in your life are doing the day after Thanksgiving. -Trisha Brown
Privilege is having a well-deserved moment in the social consciousness. If we aren’t keeping the powerful in check for the foibles of their privilege, hopefully we’re examining our own to see how we can be better. Why not take that trendy introspection down to the theatre? Starting on November 9, Studio Theatre is starting its run of Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee, a play they call “comedy that confronts the complexities of identity and hypocrisies of privilege.” You’re speaking my language, girl. (Only $25 if you’re under 30!) -Matt Ingram
Once you’ve whetted your appetite with a little bit of white male hypocrisy, hop on over to Woolly Mammoth to see some class-A funny people perform Black Side of the Moon, a show that “deconstructs and reconstructs Blackness through comedy.” An all-black cast from Chicago’s Second City will be running this show from November 12 through mid-January. It looks like this show relies heavily on making fun of the things that generally tear us apart. And since this year in politics reads like a giant prescription for satire, there’s really no better way to spend any given autumn night. $20 tickets for students and other youths who are still under 30. -Matt Ingram
You could argue that A Christmas Carol is passé or schmaltzy. Or you could argue that no script for the theater can capture the narrative skill in Charles Dickens’ original novella. You could even argue that no play about Christmas should debut a week before Thanksgiving. But for those who joyfully indulge in the sentimentality of the holiday season, the annual run of A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre is one of the DC area’s most charming traditions. -Trisha Brown
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare available November 4
Call of Duty games are a dime a dozen these days. They release a couple every year–what started as a series of first-person shooters set in the Second World War has evolved into a billion dollar franchise of epic proportions. Not all of the games are particularly memorable–the level designs and voice acting performances are usually admirable, but they’re mostly designed to be played online, and as a result, the story modes are treated as an afterthought–they just feel a little soulless. Infinite Warfare is the first game of a new COD series, and the setting has shifted to the only place yet to be addressed by the franchise: space. Here’s hoping it’s heavy on Star Wars and light on Moonraker–not that there’s anything wrong with Moonraker. -Norm Quarrinton
NES Classic Edition available November 11
Nintendo has got to be the most overconfident tech company around. Which partly explains how they slipped in the pecking order after pretty much dominating the video-game market for all of the 80s and most of the 90s. They take a lot of risks, and not all of them pay off. However, one thing they can rely on is consumer nostalgia. For all the technological advances made in the gaming industry, gamers love to reminisce of simpler times–and very few companies know how to exploit nostalgia as effectively as Nintendo. They’re about to expertly cash-in on a product that most gamers are too young to remember. The NES Classic is pretty much just a NES, only smaller, and with 30 classic games programmed into it. It’s a bit dumb, especially because all of the games are playable elsewhere (emulators etc), but it’s a neat little trinket. It’s a bargain at $60, and almost every major retailer has sold out of pre-orders, so if you want one, you’ll have to try your luck in person. I’ll be outside GameStop when it opens. See you there. -Norm Quarrinton
Dishonored 2 available November 11
Set in a totally rad steam-punky universe that’s reminiscent of the British Empire in Victorian times only with a lot more American accents, 2012’s Dishonored was praised for its unique art-style, engaging universe, and gameplay elements that made it possible for players to take several different approaches when beating the game–with each decision having its own set of consequences. It was possible to finish the entire game without killing any enemies–which gets you the preferred ending–but then you don’t get to use all the awesome powers and weapons. It had its flaws, but that didn’t stop it becoming one of the year’s most popular games. Dishonored 2 takes place 15 years after the original, and features two protagonists: Corvo–the hero from the first game–and Emily–the heir to the empire (and the little girl from the first game). It looks like they’ve tried hard to rectify some of the issues from the original game, and the setting has changed too, so expectations are high. -Norm Quarrinton