DC Social Sports Club encourages athletes of all abilities to join socially oriented leagues for more than 10 recreational sports at various DC-area locations. Competitors can throw tight spirals in one of the club’s Arlington-based flag-football leagues, run the base paths in coed softball near the Washington Monument, or sweep away subzero dust mites during broomball games in Rockville.
After games, competitors can squash rivalries and join forces at a league-affiliated, conveniently located bar, where they enjoy happy-hour specials. For those more interested in the social aspect, DC Social Sports Club offers special events such as advance movie screenings, field trips, drinking-game tournaments, and bar crawls.
In 2005, the Montreal Expos became the Canadian Expats, pledging a new allegiance and taking on a new identity as the first big-league club to inhabit America's capital since the Senators moved to Texas in 1971. In 2008, the team christened its new stadium, Nationals Park, which today welcomes up to 41,418 fans, its 4,500-square-foot HD scoreboard almost distracting from the panoramic views of the Potomac riverfront, the Capitol dome, and the Washington Monument. Accredited as a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design stadium, Nationals Park also sits 24 feet below street level, making its main concourse even with city sidewalks and saving many fans the danger of riding frozen, thin-aired escalators just to reach their seats.
Already an award-winning photographer, Cindi Hobgood also spent 25 years scouting locations for Hollywood studios and TV programs. Her locations were showcased on The Amazing Race, used by Disney, HBO, and Columbia Pictures, and shot by Spike Lee and Sam Shepard. As a location scout, Hobgood recorded her finds with a camera, carefully composing each shot in order to convey each scene’s mood, landscape, and lighting.
Today, she teaches others how to hone a similarly discerning eye during instructive photo expeditions. Magic Hour walking tour send participants snapping shots of the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Potomac just as the sun comes up. Memorials by Moonlight takes walkers on a nocturnal jaunt past sites such as the Lincoln Memorial, and Intro to iPhoneography helps pupils get the most out of their iPhone cameras. There are even a few out-of-town trips for adventurous shutterbugs.
Competition plays a peripheral role at Let’s Move Sportz. Coaches of the coed flag-football league, which welcomes kids aged 5–12, emphasize sportsmanship and camaraderie instead. Above all else, they aim to keep kids active and healthy, giving words of encouragement as budding athletes—clad in NFL flag-football jerseys—tackle the basics of noncontact football.
Inside a state-of-the-art facility with a restored 1938 theater, the American Film Institute’s 2011 European Union Film Showcase screens more than 40 box-office hits, directorial debuts, and Academy Award contenders from 26 European countries. This year’s selections include Denmark's A Funny Man, a look at the life and career of popular comedian Dirch Passer, and France's animated Tales of the Night. Anchored around John Eberson’s historic Silver Theatre, the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center shows culturally relevant films from three lavishly equipped theaters capable of showing film formats ranging from 16mm to 70mm, as well as digital projections and Lite-Brite art. Filmgoers attending Thursday or Friday showings can stop by the theater’s café from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. for happy-hour drink specials, festive music, and complimentary snacks.
Gui Melendez, a soccer instructor with more than 14 years of experience as a head coach of traveling and high school soccer teams, enjoys coaching soccer because it combines his love of teaching, working with children, and soccer. Along with fellow coach Oscar Caceres, Gui channels his soccer expertise and zeal into programs at Stars and Stripes Soccer Academy. Designed for girls and boys alike, the academy includes camps, clinics, and lessons for youth, middle school, and high school players of all skill levels. Through drills and scrimmages, Gui and Oscar's sessions cover the fundamentals any great soccer player should know, such as dribbling and placing a bullseye on the ref's back when he isn't looking.
Built around Dr. Sankofa’s Life Path Development Model, Zen Academy helps children excel both academically and physically. Instead of hosting study hall sessions, their after-school tutoring programs introduce children to their future passions, such as aviation, martial arts, or tennis. Educators with real career experience lead students through basic and intermediate lessons that not only cover the subject at hand, but also strengthen math, self-discipline, and reading comprehension skills along the way. Learning about air currents flowing over wings enriches students’ understanding of science, and fine-tuning their back swing inspires increased activity, reducing parents’ fears that kids will wind up in a fast food joint working as a box of french fries.