eliza berkon is a journalist and musician based in washington d.c. 

12 Of Our Favorite Events In D.C. This Week

Late July proves to be a great time in D.C. for lessons on technology, the economy, and meditation. Plus, there's a new craft beer in town, courtesy of Brooklyn.


DISTRICT OF COLOMBIA: Latin Grammy-winning group Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto has been performing since the mid-20th century and returns to the Millennium Stage with its traditional Colombian music, featuring a hypnotic blend of percussion, flutes, and vocals. (Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, 6 p.m., FREE)

SEEING THINGS: Embrace the sensational properties of virtual and augmented reality (explainer here) at Rooftop Realities, a party where you can test out some seriously new VR technology, while enjoying music, hors d'oeuvres, and drinks at a cash bar. It's hosted by the local chapter of the VR/AR Association at one of The Wharf’s newest additions. (The Penthouse at La Vie, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., $25)

MORE: Monday Evening Yoga at Rooftop Farm (The Farm at 55 M Street, 6 p.m., $15), Live Like Fine Wine: Getting Better With Age (The Lemon Collective, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., $30)


NEW BREW: Because D.C. can never have enough craft beer, celebrate the arrival of Brooklyn-based Braven Brewing Company (say that three times fast) as it begins distribution in Washington. Pours of several Braven beers will be available, along with a chance to meet the brewers. (DC9, 6 p.m., FREE)

THERE SHE IS ... Former Fox News anchor and recently installed Miss America chairperson Gretchen Carlson, who won the Miss America crown in 1989announced with Miss America executives in June that the pageant will drop the famed swimsuit round at future competitions. Learn more about Miss America 2.0 at the NPC Headliners Luncheon with Miss America Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson & CEO Regina Hopper. (National Press Club, 12:30 p.m., $24-$39)

TAKE WEDNESDAY OFF NOW: For the second year, El Centro is throwing a beach bash in honor of National Tequila Day, a holiday that's definitely real. Their Georgetown and 14th Street locations will celebrate with plenty of tequila, bubble machines, water guns, kiddie pools, and other things to help you forget that there will likely be a storm a-brewing outside. Start practicing your Pee-Wee impression now. (El Centro Georgetown and 14th Street, 3 p.m.-11 p.m., free entry)

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?: With controversial Initiative 77 still in the spotlight, it's easy to find local discord about just how much service-industry employees should be paid and by whom. But the minimum wage isn't the only point of contention—for years, economic theorists have also debated the value of a wage limit, or "maximum wage" on high earners. Discuss the new work of analyst Sam Pizzigati at The Case for a Maximum Wage. (Politics and Prose, 7 p.m.-8 p.m., FREE)

MOREDiary of a Chambermaid (French Embassy, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., FREE), Cybertacos (MXDC Cocina Mexicana, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., FREEFirst in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents, and the Pursuit of Power (William G. McGowan Theater, Noon, FREE)


SONGS ABOUT HOME: Last month, Anacostia Musical Theatre Lab debuted East of the Riverabout an Anacostia neighborhood's response to the arrival of a new Whole Foods, featuring lyrics that reveal "raw anxieties and anger and pride that, together, offer a hopeful melody." Catch a workshop performance of the piece, based in part on interviews with community members about increased gentrification in the area. (Anacostia Arts Center, 8 p.m.-9 p.m., $15)

TAKE A DEEP BREATH: Wednesday is an ideal day for some self-care, a chance to shove the stress of the early week to the back of your mind and fully access the present moment. Embrace the calm at Inner Beauty, Outer Radiance: An Evening of Meditation and Wellness.(The Apothekary, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., FREE)

THE POWER OF FOOD: And if meditation isn't your thing, you can still get a work detox at High Vibrational Beauty, a discussion of the "magical powers of plant-derived fats, superfood powders and adaptogens" (No clue what an adaptogen is? Here you go.) with some plant-based foods and kombucha on hand. (MakeOffices at Logan Exchange, 6:30-8:30 p.m., $25)

MORE: Gallery Talk: Heavy Metal (National Museum of Women in the Arts, Noon, FREE), Chinese Street Food: Small Bites, Classic Recipes and Harrowing Tales Across the Middle Kingdom Q+A (Gelman Library, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m., FREE), HumanitiesDC Celebrates! (Art Museum of the Americas, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., $50+), Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story(Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m., FREE)


VOICE OF PERSEVERANCE: When Mandy Harvey was 18, a connective tissue disorder caused the singer-songwriter to lose her hearing. Yet the vocalist, who competed on America's Got Talent last year, continues to perform, relying on muscle memory, visual tuners, and feeling the tempo through vibrations. See her in a performance that honors anniversaries of the Americans with Disabilities Act and disability inclusion organization VSA. (Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, 6 p.m., FREE)

MIGHT WANT TO BRING YOUR BIKE: You have to wonder whether phoning home would have been a bit simpler for E.T. with modern-day cell phones. Conjure up your own alien-contact app as you watch LOC Summer Movies on the Lawn: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial under the stars. (Library of Congress North Lawn, 8:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m., FREE)

BRAVE NEW WORLD?: Is our continuing digital revolution creating a utopian reality or a dystopian one? Explore the potential ramifications of our increased reliance on the "frightful five" in World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech—A Conversation with Melissa Chiu and Franklin Foer. (S. Dillon Ripley Center, 6:45 p.m., $20-$30)

MORE: American Association of University Women: Work Smart in DC (Dorothy Height Library, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., FREE), North Korea: Now What? (National Press Club, 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m., FREE), Art of the Americas Exhibit Opening (Art Museum of the Americas, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., FREE), Full Moon Hike (National Arboretum, 8 p.m.-10 p.m., $35)

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