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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Loosen the Beltway in Washington, D.C.


5. Oddball Day

The sign and interior of the Palace of Wonders.  

For a city that’s filled with button-downed Brooks Brothers shirts and Ann Taylor pantsuits, it’s great to see that there’s still some dirty, weird folks around. Their neighborhood is the Atlas District, along the H Street corridor north of Union Station. The number-one place to hit for strangeness is the Palace of Wonders, the only vaudeville stage, museum of oddities, and bar in the world. It’s certainly the only place in D.C. where the booking agents eat fire and the general manager is a burlesque performer. If you’re stumbling around Atlas on a Tuesday night, $12 will get you a shot and a haircut at the Red and the Black, a New Orleans–inspired bar and music venue. If you’re hungry late night, the pirate-themed Argonaut is one of the few kitchens to stay open in an otherwise early-curfew town. You can eat the New American food with organic accents till 11 p.m. during the week and midnight on weekends.

Published on Jan 23, 2008 as a web exclusive.

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