Kalila’s List — June 16–18, 2017

DC eating, seeing and doing through the eyes of a tourist

Written by Kalila Dahm, Canadian correspondent.

I, like most people working in DC, am not actually from here. However, I’m also not from the US, which has left me with some of the most intense feelings of homesickness I’ve ever experienced. To get over this longing for home and familiarity, I researched the ever-living hell out of weekend goings-on in DC. From my personal calendar, here’s a curated list of things to eat, see, do, listen and read in DC this weekend.


Truckeroo — Friday, June 16

Almost immediately upon moving in, one of my roommates fixated on food trucks and I fixated on new food. When I saw that this food truck festival was happening, I shot her a message to see if she wanted to go with me. For those who read too much into the tone of texts (@me) and those who know her, the seriousness of her answer terrified me but at least now I have someone to go with!

**There’s a truck called Urban Poutine and I am LOSING MY MIND. For those who don’t know Fine Canadian Cuisine™ here’s a [mediocre] sampling.

Around The World Cultural Food Festival — Saturday, June 17 — Sunday, June 18

It’s a continuation of my gluttony under the guise of educating myself about other cultures and ways of life. The stoke is unreal.


“A Magical Substance Flows into Me” — Saturday, June 18

Shortly before I left Ottawa for DC, I went to the Latin American Film Festival with a friend to see Maquinaria Panamericana. I think, in addition to food, looking at the sort of art another culture produces is a really fascinating insight into the region itself. The region, in this case, is the Middle East and A Magical Substance Flows into Me is part of a film series the Smithsonian is doing called The Arab World Now. Plus it’s free, DC is expensive, the Canadian dollar is essentially worthless and I like being a snob.

Yoko Ono: Four Works for Washington and the World — Friday, June 17 until Sunday, September 17

The Hirshorn is housing really interesting exhibits this summer, including Yoko Ono’s opening today. This one specifically is for the tenth anniversary of Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree for Washington where, in addition to displaying some of Yoko’s most evocative work and music, visitors will be able to add their own wishes to the Wish Tree.


Art Soiree — Rooftop Graffiti Night — Saturday, June 17

A part of me is taking a sick joy out of the cancellation of this event because at least that way I’m not reeling from the very specific brand of fomo that accompanies being 20 in the US. Unfortunately for me, Art Soiree continues to have amazing events throughout the summer, as seen here. If someone goes, can you maybe not tell me how it is?

Potluck Iftaar on the Mall — Sunday, June 18 at sundown

I was in Istanbul two years ago during Ramadan and my favourite memories are of the nights I spent wandering around the city after sunset. To see the city come alive like that, with children underfoot and families having picnics in areas previously overcrowded with tourists, was awesome. Much like Istanbul revealing another part of itself at night, Iftar on the Mall is a chance to see another side of DC come alive at night.


Pleasure by Feist

Even when I’m not homesick, my taste in music invariably drifts back towards Canadiana. When Feist announced her nomination for a Polaris Music Prize for Pleasure, I swapped out obsessively listening to Basia Bulat for Feist.

I know, Feist’s album came out at the end of April, but I saw Basia in concert in March (she’s one of those rarities who’s actually better in concert) and she’s been on my mind and in my heart ever since.

Here are two of my all time favourite songs by Feist and Basia.

I Feel It All by Feist (2008)

Infamous by Basia Bulat (2016)


This piece by Susan Chira about women being spoken over or getting interrupted sat with me and stayed on my mind all day after I read it. In Canadian news outlets, this piececaused a stir, largely because Scott Gilmore neglected to mention important pieces of the narrative he was trying to get across. In response, four Indigenous writers — Alicia Elliott, Robert Jago, Melanie Lefebvre, and Ryan McMahon — wrote this to follow up.

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