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Loyal City Paper readers know City Lights as their go-to section when they’re trying to figure out what to do in D.C. However, with COVID-19 spreading, we can’t encourage you to leave the house unless strictly necessary right now (and since so much is canceled, there’s nowhere for you to go). But never fear: For the foreseeable future, City Lights will provide readers with fascinating D.C.-related things to view, read, do, and make that are all available from the comfort of home. Stay tuned for daily updates on what’s worth watching while working from home. We won’t tell your boss. —Emma Sarappo
The Washington Free Press
Nothing enhances one’s understanding of another era like immersion in primary sources, so why not get to know D.C. in a new way by taking a surreal trip to the late ’60s? With DigDC, a web portal for viewing materials archived by the D.C. Public Library, you can browse issues of the Washington Free Press from 1967–1969. WFP was a far-left underground newspaper that frequently saw its offices raided by the FBI. (The paper’s successor, the Quicksilver Times, was infiltrated by the CIA.) Browsing the archives, you’ll find articles on radical politics, community organizing, and psychedelics. You’ll also read essays and travelogues (one journal by a student on a trip to Southeast Asia reads like it could be the inspiration for the Dead Kennedys’ “Holiday in Cambodia”), tips on how to qualify for unemployment insurance, the best ways to duck the cops, poetry, photography, original illustrations, and classified ads in which young couples invite singles to join them for group sex. References to familiar D.C. landmarks make reading WFP especially surreal, like peeking into an alternate universe. Archives from the newspaper can be found at digdc.dclibrary.org. Free. —Will Lennon
These days, it’s hard to imagine a fun presidential controversy, but the underrated 1999 comedy Dick cleverly skewers the Watergate scandal by reimagining it as the misadventures of two bubbly teens, Betsy and Arlene (Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams, dressed in full 1970s glory). The girls inadvertently witness the Watergate burglary the night before they take a White House tour; after noticing the same man in both places (Harry Shearer’s G. Gordon Liddy), President Richard Nixon tries to keep the girls from spilling the beans by flattering them with an offer to become “official” White House dog walkers. Hijinks ensue, and the girls end up becoming “Deep Throat” for Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Directed by Andrew Fleming (who also directed The Craft), Dick is blessed with an impressive comedic cast, including Dan Hedaya as the titular president, Ana Gasteyer as presidential secretary Rose Mary Woods, and Will Ferrell as Woodward. The brilliance of the movie is how its meandering plot successfully weaves in far-flung tidbits from the Watergate universe in a way that seems almost … plausible? Perhaps that’s why Dick proved to be a darling among critics but not so much among audiences: It’s most fulfilling if you already possess a good knowledge of the scandal’s twists and turns. The film is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime. $3.99–$12.99. —Louis Jacobson
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