Helloooo! As we enter a 90+ degree weekend here in the DC area, because it is the DC area and we had a very mild August, it is also the first full weekend of fall! Because it is the DC area. And our weather is some fucked up shit. In any case, that’s not stopping all of us here in the DC area from donning our infinity scarves and drinking pumpkin spice lattes like frat boys drink beer. So I’m loving the Friday Five theme this week introduced by Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC, Mar @ Mar on the Run, and Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?!
I know what you’re thinking. I’m gonna pick “pumpkin spice lattes, apple picking, pumpkin patch, baking cookies, watch the leaves change colors, and as a bonus, tailgate a football game.” These are all things I like to do except for the pumpkin spice latte, but I substitute latte with bagels, muffins, and anything else fattening and sugary. I am, after all, a basic white girl. However, I also have these random things that aren’t necessarily fall-exclusive but I really get in the mood for during fall. So to spice up your feed, I bring you, FAVORITE FALL ACTIVITIES THAT DON’T HAVE TO DO WITH PUMPKINS AND LEAVES.
1. Go to arts and craft festivals.
Technically you can probably find an arts and crafts fest in summer, and there are plenty to be found in the spring. I just really love to do them in the fall, when the knitted, crocheted items are things I’d actually wear some time soon and I’m in the “what should I get people for Christmas” mindset. This particular display was an artist I absolutely fell in love with and if I’d had thousands of dollars at my disposal and an apartment to myself, these are what the walls would look like. I get inspired and usually go straight home to my local Michael’s and get new canvas and paints to pretend to be Jackson Pollock. This weekend, for example, I am planning to hit the Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair downtown in Union Market, which always has a good range of everything from pretty tame but creative and lovely handmade goods to things like earrings made out of recycled skateboard and Kindle covers made out of recycled Nancy Drew hardback covers.
2. Go exploring.
I have a hard time staying in one place. Weekends in the fall (ESPECIALLY NOW THAT I’M NOT IN GRAD SCHOOL) are perfect for east coast day trips to museums, historical landmarks, or just pretty little seaside towns I might never otherwise have a reason to go to. I love checking out antiques (I’m turning into my mother) and old architecture of the east coast. And yes, New England does boast the best fall foliage in the country, so fall is the one time I’m okay with pointing the car north when I want to get out of town. In fact I may just do that tomorrow after my 10K. Sometimes I’ll just go to a museum 45 minutes away for an hour or so, sometimes I’ll drive two-three hours and spend the day wandering. A lot of the fun is having the car to myself and picking out whatever I want to listen to. Which brings me to…
3. Live music in the U Street area
For reasons I can’t quite put a finger on, I am always in the mood for a random show at Black Cat, 9:30 Club, U Street Music Hall, Lincoln Theatre, Velvet Lounge, all within a few blocks of each other around U Street downtown. I became a huge Maximo Park fan just because I saw they were performing U Street Music Hall one unsuspecting evening in fall one year and decided to go because the tickets were cheap and I ended up completely falling in love. (Paul Smith, the front man, is pictured above, yours truly as photographer from that show.) This fall I have Charli XCX and the New Pornographers already lined up at 9:30 Club, and outside of the U Street area, I’m seeing the Marshall Tucker Band at the Birchmere and am debating Brick + Mortar at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel, another venue that’s not in the U Street area but still pretty great. I absolutely come 1000% times more alive in the presence of live music and there’s something about the magic in the air of fall that makes it that much more exciting to check out a band in person and feel the vibrations in my ribcage.
4. Horror movie marathons
Again, something I am down for any time of year, but I can usually get more people on board once October rolls around. Whether it’s silly cult classic like Hocus Pocus, absolutely ridiculous (I just watched some ridiculous Japanese joke that I loved because it was THAT bad the other week), or legitimately terrifying (Friday the 13th is my all-time favorite but I still can’t watch The Shining without having to sleep with the lights on or avoiding identical twins for the next week), I am all about wrapping myself up in a blanket and letting the screams GO.
5. Reading under my covers until past my bedtime
There is something about it being warm enough to go to the beach that makes me too restless to sit still during the summer, and when it starts getting dark out earlier, there comes that key period of time between when you turn the A/C off in the house but you haven’t quite turned the heat on yet so your feet are always cold but your bed is always warm. This is when I can rock 300 pages a night and steamroll through a pile of library books like I’m paid to read. Just hook me up with that hot chocolate (probably in a mug I got a craft festival, after watching a horror movie and getting ready for bed listening to a band I’ve just seen live) and drop a book in my lap. I’ll be up for hours.
So yeah. I like crunchy leaves and infinity scarves and warm sweaters and pumpkins and lighting candles and I LOVE HALLOWEEN LIKE NOBODY’S FREAKING BUSINESS, but there are plenty of year-round things I also get extra special in the mood for in the fall so I thought I’d pumpkinSPICE it up a little for you. Make sure to add your Friday Five post to this week’s linkup, fellow basic bitches!