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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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GW’s guide to non-alcholic fun

In most people’s minds the thought of college fun conjures up images of bars. But what happens when underage students do not have a usable fake ID, know a bouncer at the door or have another brilliant plan to get in? And what do students who are of legal age do for fun on the weekend? They are left all dressed up with no place to go.

“One of the reasons why I wanted to come to school in Washington was because there are so many things to do here for fun,” freshman Sarah Toque said.

Freshman David Hoffman said he thinks D.C. lacks underage activities.

“I was expecting there to be a lot more parties and clubs to go to around here,” he said. “Now, I find myself trekking out to University of Maryland on the weekends to go to parties with my friends who go there. I wish that there were more options in DC and around campus of fun things for people like me.”

Some students are into the club scene but are not of drinking age. Many clubs feature special under-21 nights for students with all tastes in music.

Thursday nights, students age 18 or over can go to Dream in northeast D.C. is a multi-level club featuring house and trance, salsa, hip hop and Middle Eastern music. Students under 21 can dance their way into Nation in southeast D.C., two for the price of one for industrial and Goth music. Platinum, near Metro Center, is a swank dance club that offers spin, house and Latin music, has a discounted admission with a student ID. Polly Esther’s also close to Metro Center plays 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and gives students the opportunity to wear Afro wigs and bell-bottoms.

Badlands is also open to an 18-plus crowd on Thursday and Saturday nights in Dupont. The club has no cover charge with a valid student ID. One of Dupont’s less conservative bars, Badlands features a huge dance floor, multiple bars, drag shows and a karaoke night.

“Going to clubs gives me the chance to dance and let loose with other people my age,” sophomore Dan Tepperman said. “They go to show you that you do not need alcohol to have a good time at school.”
Junior Emily Clarke said it is hard it hard to find underage places to go to at night and not spend a lot of money.

“At least when I go to a club, I pay a cheap cover charge and then I can stay there all night,” Clarke said. “But on nights where the clubs aren’t open to underage people, I find that I am spending more money. Going to dinner and a movie will cost you a lot more than going to a club or bar.”

Students trying to save money can try a moonlight monument tour, stopping by the lesser know Einstein Memorial on Constitution Avenue. There is also a professional tour called Monuments by Moonlight. For $25, a trolley chauffeurs patrons around on a two-and-a-half-hour tour to more than 100 points in Washington, departing from Union Station every night at 7:30.

There are also many restaurants in D.C. where students can enjoy more than just food. At Benihana, in the Georgetown Mall, the chefs cook Japanese dishes on a hibachi grill right in front of their customers. Enjoy chicken teriyaki or miso soup as the chefs throw knifes in the air and make an art out of cooking. Students who show their college ID get a 10 percent discount off the price of their meal.

For a Middle Eastern atmosphere try Marjan of Georgtown. In addition to choosing what to eat, customers can choose what flavor tobacco to smoke out of a hookah, deciding whether cherry, mint or orange would complement humus and pita or falafel. The hookah and tobacco total about $10.

“It’s very chill during the week nights and on the weekends,” freshman Seena Ghaznavi said. “It’s like a social hub for the casual hookah smokers of D.C.”

The ESPN Zone, located near Metro Center has a fun atmosphere for watching sports and eating wings. Students can take a break from the TV and go to the arcade filled with all types of video games.

“My friends and I love going to the ESPN Zone,” junior Adam Finkler said.

“It can get a bit pricey at times, especially when they implement extra charges.”

On big game nights, such as Sunday and Monday night football and the World Series, there is an $8 minimum charge on food and beverages per person per hour.

Another entertaining restaurant is Cafe Japone in Dupont. Enjoy sushi or other Japanese food while watching your friends belt out Guns and Roses’ “Paradise City” on the karaoke machine. Make sure to stop at the ATM before heading to Japone, there is a minimum of $10 per person on weeknights and $15 per person on weekends.

Senior Sean Dumas said since he turned 21 his social life improved.

“I am not a big drinker but I like to go to jazz clubs and just sit and listen to music and talk to my friends and when I was under 21, I couldn’t do that,” said Dumas. “My friends and I were often intimidated and did not go out as much because we were afraid of being caught.”

Underage students can groove in an ambiance reminiscent of the jazz clubs of the 1920’s and 30’s. Blues Alley in Georgetown, which has varying cover charges, has showcased internationally renowned artists such as Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan. The Bohemian Caverns in Adams Morgan reopened in 2000 to a first floor restaurant and jazz scene. The downstairs club has a cafe motif, but may limit underage customers depending on the night’s event.

“Now, my friends and I go to this upscale bowling alley called Strike Bethesda,” said Dumas. “Sometimes we will get a drink too but mostly we will just bowl and listen to the music and meet other people.”

Strike Bethesda is open to underage patrons only on Monday nights. The bowling alley, which features 34 lanes, glow-in-the-dark balls, DJs and a VIP room, costs $15 ($12 after 11 p.m.) for unlimited bowling and shoe rental.

A relaxing night with friends in a coffeehouse may relieve some student’s stress. Cosi in DuPont Circle, for example, is open to students until 2 a.m. on weekends. People of all ages are invited to curl up on a couch, drink fancy coffee beverages and eat dinner or dessert – especially their famous s’mores or s’moreos. Other coffeehouses in the area include Zebra Lounge in Glover Park, Kramer Books & Afterwords Cafe in Dupont Circle and Donna’s Cafe Bar on M Street.

For students who enjoy theatre there are always events at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The National Theater. The Kennedy Center features the National Symphony Orchestra, ballets, “Sheer Madness,” an interactive comic murder mystery set in a hairstyle saloon, and other shows that vary in price.

The National Theater located near Metro Center gives students half-priced tickets and features Broadway shows and is currently playing “Man of La Mancha.” Also coming to the National Theater this school year is “Les Miserables,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “42nd Street”.

The D.C. Improv can also cure a slow night. Located downtown on Connecticut Ave., the comedy club features amateur and professional comedians from Sunday to Thursday and two shows a night Friday and Saturday.

Interested in seeing a movie? Cineplex Odeon Uptown on Connecticut Avenue (off the Woodley Park Metro stop) offers a different type of movie going experience. The art deco-style theater takes the audience back to the era of movie palaces. There is only one huge screen in the theater and there is a newly renovated balcony with more than 300 seats. Currently playing in what awarded the “Best Movie Theater” of 2002 is Red Dragon.

“It is hard for me to say that I have nothing to do on weekend nights,” junior Ari Brown said. “Being underage has not stopped me from having a great time and has really introduced me to some of the great things the city has to offer.”

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