No one knows quite what to expect on Dec. 21, when a 5,125-year cycle of the Mayan calendar draws to a close. But as the supposed apocalyptic deadline draws near, the question looms: How would you spend your final night on Earth?
With end-of-the-world parties planned throughout the city, organizers are hoping the answer involves revelry, not cowering in doomsday dread.
Inspired by rumors of solar storms, earthquakes and polar shifts, the crew at Brightest Young Things will convert the underground level of the space at 700 H St. NE into a secure fallout shelter (which it actually was, back in the day).
They plan to party like there’s no tomorrow, thus no hangover to fear, with strong drinks and four musical acts, including remix masters RAC and synth-pop band Ghost Beach. Local arts group No Kings Collective will unveil disaster-themed art installations and a photo booth will be on hand so you can update your Facebook profile picture one last time.
The party starts at 8:30 p.m., and early bird tickets are available for $16. Organizers plan to pause the ballyhoo at midnight for a group hug, pending a reprieve from cataclysmic destruction, and continue partying until 2 a.m.
Another consideration for civilization’s end is where to reserve your last supper.
Penn Quarter favorite Poste Moderne Brasserie (555 Eighth St. NW) guarantees its “Final Feast” will keep you sated for eternity. The eight-course meal prepared by Chef Dennis Marrone will feature oysters, caviar, foie gras and other extravagant delicacies, each paired with wine or spirits. Guests can raise glasses of rare Armangac, tete de cuvee Champagne or Casa Dragones tequila — which retails for about $250 per bottle — to toast the end of mankind.
Keeping with the Mayan theme, the $180 prix-fixe menu includes a dessert course of chocolate buttercream cake, garnished with flakes of gold. Two seatings are available, at 6 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.
The Jefferson Hotel’s restaurant, Plume (1200 16th St. NW), is another option for doomsday dining that doesn’t consist of hunkering in a bunker with canned soup. An “End of The Mayan Calendar Tasting Menu” from executive chef Chris Jakubiec and sommelier Michael Scaffidi features decadent offerings such as lobster thermidor gratin and pave of Kobe-style beef, prepared with a nod to Mayan culture. The six-course, prix-fixe spread will cost you $85.
For an early taste of the end times, the hotel’s cocktail lounge, Quill, will be serving caviar tacos throughout the month, with a potato “shell,” horseradish creme fraiche, red onion and parsley.
If the catastrophic comets, asteroids and/or hidden planets rumored to be colliding with Earth four days before Christmas make you feel more like thrashing than feasting, Black Cat (1811 14th St. NW) has you covered. The independent music venue and dive bar has lined up four local punk acts to provide a soundtrack for world destruction: The A.K.s, The Max Levine Ensemble, The Shirks and Booze Riot. Tickets are $10, and doors open at 9 p.m.
If you don’t believe the doomsday theories, sunnier predictions have cast the end of the Mayan calendar cycle as an opportunity for new beginnings.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.