2001 YAL Washington, DC Weekend
folks, YAL Washington, DC Weekend 2001 has come and gone.
This event had about as much anticipation in this town as the Redskins
first win this season. (Ok, for the
Greek Community, it was a pretty big deal.)
Overall YAL Washington, DC Weekend was a great time with very little to
be disappointed with over the course of the three days.
It’s hard to say anything critical about this weekend, but as always,
there’s room for improvement.
weekend’s festivities kicked off on Friday night with a Greek Night at Ooh La
La on M Street. This was the first
time a Greek Night has ever been held there, but it was an excellent venue for
this event. There was a good-sized
crowd, despite the absence of the under-25 Maryland contingent that often
dominates most Greek Nights. The
few under-25 Virginian non-YALers who were there commented that they had only
heard of the Greek Night that day, and some hadn’t even heard of the Dance on
Saturday night. The music was okay,
although the American mix was a little much at times, and didn’t really stand
out as being good or bad. The Greek
music, and thus the great majority of the dancing, didn’t really start until
later in the evening. While the
dance floor could have been bigger, the rest of the club definitely did not have
the usual Greek Night feel about it, which was a good thing.
Unlike Greek Nights at Pangea or Diva, there wasn’t as much pushing or
elbowing and people were able to stand still for more than five seconds without
being forced to keep moving by the mass of people behind them.
There was actually plenty of standing room on the far side of the bar,
with room for people to have a conversation far enough from the music without
screaming into each other's ears. Just
beyond the far side of the bar was a plush lounge area with glass doors that
muffled the music allowing for relaxed sit-down conversations.
This was supposed to be the venue of the Speed Dating sessions.
happened to Speed Dating? There was
great hope for this to be a fun twist to the normal Greek Night early in the
evening. There were two lists going
around the room asking for guys and girls to sign up, with the plan of starting
the game around 11:30. As predicted
in last week’s column, there was more participation by the guys than the
girls, but we were shocked at how skewed the early results were appearing.
The discrepancy early on in the night had guys signing up at a 4 to 1
ratio, with over 20 guys and about 5 girls having signed up.
We must commend the organizers for not letting this initial setback
discourage them, because by the end of the evening the ratio was almost even,
with about 25 on each side ready to go. The
only problem, and the reason that Speed Dating never happened that evening, was
that when the ratio got even, sometime well after midnight, the Greek Night was
in full swing, and to pull people from a good party at that point would have
been anticlimactic. Still, just the
fact that you could get 50 Greek-Americans willing to participate in something
like this is a good sign that there may be hope for this community being able to
not worry so much about perceptions and just have a good time.
really can’t give a first-hand account of the Capitol Tour as we, like many
DC natives, due to size-limitations for security reasons, voluntarily opted
out to allow for the out-of-towners to get a chance to participate.
We heard that there were only about 20 people on the tour as too many
DC natives voluntarily gave up their spots.
The Barbeque back at St. Sophia’s was a good time.
St. Sophia always knows how to throw a good barbeque with plenty of
food and drink and a good-sized area to relax with friends and play
Dance on Saturday evening was a really great time. The organizers decision to bring the event into the heart of
DC, back from such outposts as Frederick, Maryland, led to about three times as
many people attending this year’s event.
The Philly-based band, Atlantis, which played at last year’s event, was
back again this year. Their music
selection was the opposite extreme from the Greek Night, with the band going
exclusively Greek after 11:30. This
was a little disappointing because unlike the Laconian Dance in November, a
bunch of Greek-Americans in their 20s and 30s (perhaps pre-partying with 40s)
can have fun on a dance floor without their parents, who in their 50s and 60s,
would be resurrecting dance moves would from the ‘70s.
With regard to the Greek music, it was good to hear at least a few
Tsamikos being thrown in with the heavy doses of Kalamatianos, Tsiftetelis and
Zeimbekikos. Speaking of Zeimbekiko,
four goats goes to the staff of the Grand Hyatt who cleaned up the broken
Heineken bottle in the back right corner of the dance floor immediately before
it became a hazard. Remember fellas,
china has a much lower shrapnel risk than green glass, which is hard enough to
recycle as it, so think before feeling the need to show your appreciation by
breaking things. (“Smash
Responsibly. A message from The
Guys @ DCGreeks.com.”) Speaking
of beer bottles, there could have been at least one more bar in operation in the
ballroom to cut down on the ridiculously long lines that kept people away from
While we’re still on the subject of the Dance, we just have to comment on how amazing everyone looked at both the Dance and the Greek Night on Friday. We’ve put many of the pictures from both nights on the site. While we are by no means professional photographers, just look how good everyone looked, both the girls and the guys. It was like the residents of Mount Olympus decided to go slumming on Capitol Hill for the evening.
were a few after-Dance options for those who weren’t staying in the hotels.
We checked out the Metro 29 diner in Arlington, which had three full
tables of Greeks in there until around 3:30 A.M., staying open later to
accommodate a good Greek crowd. Although
the Metro 29 breaks our “If it’s not on the cone, leave it alone” rule on
gyro, you can’t complain about the sheer quantity of food at 3:00 in the
morning. Anybody make it to church
at St. Sophia’s on Sunday? If you
did, sygharitiria, because there was no way The Guys @ DCGreeks.com were
waking up in time to make it back into the District.
There was brunch after church as well, which we’re sure was excellent.