Week 5: BBQ and Argonauts!

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Sunday, June 29, 2014


Simon Patane

This past week was filled with more than a few adventurous days! Last weekend began with an outing to Jazz in the Garden outside of the National Gallery of Art. Mark and I planned on meeting up with several of the other interns, but my plans changed slightly once we arrived. The garden was absolutely packed and the music was amazing - it was funk day! But unfortunately, I had not eaten anything since very early that morning. In our quest for food, Ben, Stephen and I headed over the nearby Hill Country BBQ restaurant. Toni recommended Hill Country as a venue with reasonably authentic Texas BBQ, so the three of us couldn't resist taking her up on the recommendation. We were not disappointed! Although I've never been to Texas, I've been told many times now that the restaurant has a very Texan vibe. I certainly felt like I was stepping into a whole other state when we arrived at Hill Country! Ordering our food was done with a meal ticket that we brought up to a counter and asked the staff to prepare our order fresh at the counter. I got an amazing BBQ chicken meal with mac n' cheese. Later on Jake, Kearns and Nick joined us and also discovered the amazing experience of Hill Country. All I know is - thanks Toni! We definitely enjoyed that meal. On Sunday we went to the National BBQ festival and enjoyed a great day of free samples! Although there was a $15 entrance fee we more than made up for it by plundering all the samples. I was surprised by the sample tent that the sponsors had set up, but was grateful that we could get our money back in food. The line was a little longer than I expected, but worth it nonetheless. There were also many booths for companies I did not expect, such as the car share company Uber and a Snyder's pretzel stand with a giant crate of bagged sample pretzels - a source of days of snacks for this past week's lunches. Not so surprising and quite hilarious was the Rolaids stand which was giving away free antacid samples to accompany the inevitable onset of thousands of burning hearts. Luckily I didn't get heartburn, but I'm sure that their stand was very much appreciated! There was also a veggie racers booth, pictured below, which I believe speaks for itself.

No day at the National BBQ festival would be complete without a legion of veggie riders! On Tuesday eight of us went out to the Argonauts restaurant to compete in their science night. Between an egg drop and a trivia contest we cleaned up, so to speak, and became only the second team to ever win all the prizes. Our gift card prize should hopefully cover our next outing to Argonauts - I recommend them to anyone in the DC area. Science night isn't the only themed night they sponsor and it was a blast. Between the food, the contests, and the egg-stravagant egg puns I cannot think of a more enjoyable way to spend a weeknight.

At work the teacher's guide is coming along nicely as well. The two graduate research assistants, Jake, and I are still working away at the lesson plans. On July 18 we will be meeting with a few notable figures in the history of science community whose research focuses on the same topic as ours: African-Americans in the physical sciences. By that date each of us will have at least 6 lesson plans apiece finished to present and discuss with our guests. Right now I'm at three lesson plans done so I am confident I'll have plenty to share with our history of science colleagues.

Simon Patane