The graceful ease with which a good bartender mixes drinks masks the difficulty of the job, one that requires knowledge and dexterity—not to mention charisma. The seasoned barkeeps at Bartender of America, a TIPS-certified school, know what it takes to be a good bartender and lead their students through deliberate exercises inside a fully simulated tavern environment. Amid ambient sounds and music, novice bartenders dole out maraschino cherries and shake martinis while refining their conversational skills and learning how to identify underage kids by their mustaches. Fully committed students can opt for the entire Bar 101 curriculum, attaining a bartending license and valuable tricks for managing their resume and acing job interviews, while abbreviated classes offer insight into the fundamentals of the trade.
Ask Pound The Hill owners where they get their organic fair-trade coffee beans, and the duo can tell you the actual names of the farmers. This attention to detail springs from a passion for serving high-quality, aromatic cups of joe that come from the award winning PT's Coffee Roasting Company. By day, the airy shop is a bustling cafe, where baristas blend handcrafted drinks and servers plate freshly baked breakfast croissants and pastries. They combine Nutella-based syrup with espresso to whip up their signature nutella latte, a creamy concoction lauded by reporters from Roll Call.
Come nightfall, the cafe transforms into an elegant bistro, where customers clink glasses of craft beer and fine wines amidst the soft lighting and exposed brick walls. Chefs whip up innovative dishes, such as organic crab-stuffed chicken with butter-brined corn or blackened ahi tuna with warm spring tomato jam. The portabella veggie stir fry ignites palates with its mix of lemon-poached fava beans and ginger soy reduction. Patio furniture speckles the private back outdoor seating area, where customers nibble homemade chocolate truffles beneath strings of hushed light.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
Beyond providing an opportunity for friendly competition and social interaction throughout the DC area, the organizers of Capital Bocce League only have one mission: help players have fun. During each season, teams of up to 12 players compete in lighthearted bouts of the classic Italian game, which unlike other sports, requires little to no experience, physical exertion, or physics PhDs to master. After each game, teams can head to local bars for exclusive drink specials, and a variety of prizes await the victor of each season's playoffs.
Run or Dye is making race running a little more colorful, one major city at a time. This 5K is divided up into four separate courses of varying lengths, each designated by a separate color––which also reflects the color of safe, eco-friendly powered dye the participants get splashed with. At the end of the race, they'll cross into the aptly-named Dye Zone—a polychromatic free-for-all, where fluorescent color is thrown freely from all sides, allowing runners to splash their fellow runners or get colorful revenge on their friends, family members, and any cranky art-history teachers that happen to be walking by.
Unlike some races that rank runners by time, Run or Dye only measures success in color and fun. While the safe-to-eat dyes should wash out of clothing, runners are encouraged to wear things they don't mind getting dirty, preferably in white, grey, or another neutral color to allow give the dyes maximum visibility.