We’ve noticed a change in around the neighborhood over the past couple of weeks: There’s hardly any traffic. We’ve seen fewer drivers and fewer pedestrians. Even during rush hours, there are plenty of seats on the bus. Local businesses have seen the change, too.
At the July 18th ANC 3F meeting, Van Ness Main Street Executive Director Gloria Garcia urged attendees to “think about our businesses first, because they are hurting right now.”
“Summers are always the slowest part of business,” Garcia said, “and this is an especially slow summer. So if you’re thinking about going out and doing anything, I hope that you think of our corridor first.”
With that in mind, we begin our August events and activities roundup with this suggestion:
Be a tourist in your own neighborhood. There’s probably at least one restaurant you’ve never tried (or an item on the menu you’ve always wanted to try), a side street or a walking path you’ve never traveled, or a shop you’ve never visited. You could spend a day wandering the gardens and exhibits at Hillwood, enjoy dinner at a Connecticut Avenue restaurant, and attend an evening book event at Politics and Prose. How would you spend a neighborhood staycation?
Learn how to make ice cream and “do-si-do” at free Peirce Mill events. Friends of Peirce Mill is showing its old-fashioned ice cream-making know-how on August 12th, and hosting a square dance with the DC Square Dance Collective on August 26th. To dance, no prior experience is necessary, and you don’t need to bring a partner to “swing your partner to and fro.”
Watch someone else dance. If that is your preference, head to the Hillwood Museum’s Lunar Lawn on August 16th for an evening with the young performers of the Dance Institute of Washington.
Explore the sky. On August 19th, the National Capital Astronomers will once again set up their telescopes for guided skygazing in the meadow at the corner of Glover and Military Road. That begins at 8:30 p.m., weather permitting. And at 7:30 p.m., rain or shine, watch a free planetarium show at the nearby Rock Creek Nature Center. Planetarium passes are first-come, first-served, and are handed out 30 minutes before showtime.
Lend the earth a hand. You may have seen the volunteers planting bee- and bird-friendly flowers along Connecticut Avenue last spring. They were led by Master Gardener Kathy Sykes. The first three Saturdays in August, she’ll be wearing her “Weed Warrior” hat as she leads volunteers in removing invasive plants and restoring the Rock Creek Conservancy “mini-oasis” in Reservation 630 West. Register for the events on August 5th, August 12th, and August 19th. Fellow Weed Warrior Rena Subotnik will be leading another invasives removal crew on the 19th, on the east side of the park. Sign up here.
Disclosure: Forest Hills Connection is a program of Van Ness Main Street. We maintain our editorial independence.