Dearest Honey Clique:
I am officially back from hiatus. I took a little summer break to recharge the fabulous and get some inspiration.
Although I spent most of July in the city, sweating like an extra in A Time to Kill whenever I peeked outside, I made it my mission to find unique, free events with ample AC. Nobody saw me at anybody's rooftop bar, outdoor patio or pool. You could have had both Lenny Kravitz AND Jason Momoa (research it!) summoning me to the P.O.V. deck, and I would have said, "Yeah. Sounds cool. But can we do this in October?"
I went to a couple of art and fashion events at Lamont Bishop Gallery. It's owned by two young brothers, originally from NYC. They've managed to make major waves on the D.C. arts scene in a matter of months, and the gallery has a wine bar in the back. The events I've attended there have had a mixed crowd of D.C. creatives, and one featured several local R&B acts (including Alison Carney and Amber Mims). You should definitely check it out.
Intrepidly attended the opening night party for the D.C. Fringe Festival. I wasn't sure what to expect, but Elikeh, a D.C.-based Afropop band, had the tent grooving. Folks were acting like FELA! extras, dancing barefoot and trying out moves they learned in their African dance classes. Fun and hilarious.
Took advantage of the free tickets to "Simply Marvin," the opening program for the DC Dance Festival. It was okay-ish. The program started late, and seemed like they could have used some additional dress rehearsals. However, Eric Roberson, Miri Ben-Ari and Urban Artistry performed well and powered through.
(updated) I completely forgot that I also dropped in at an opening party for the Hip-Hop Theater Festival at Marvin...long month.
I was up to some other randomness in July (including being literally beyond tardy for the party at a friend's bridal shower) but in terms of free, easy and sometimes artsy fun, I definitely had the city covered.
P.S. I FINALLY finished Valerie Boyd's biography of Zora Neale Hurston, after several starts and stops. Even though it was amazing, other books, blogs and mags kept diverting my attention, and you need to be fully present to savor every line of the story of Ms. Hurston's exceptional life. I really can't say enough about the book, but Zora redefined what it meant to be a truly free Black woman. Thank you, Ms. Boyd, for this celebration of her art and vibrant existence on this planet.