For a Rust Belt city, Bethlehem, Pa., has fared relatively well. By the time Bethlehem Steel ceased manufacturing in the 1990s, the local economy was already less reliant on it—aided by its proximity to New York and Philadelphia, the growth of local colleges, and a modest tourism industry. The city’s emphasis on entertainment is most obvious at the foot of Bethlehem Steel’s blast furnaces, where some of the land has been converted into a complex called Arts Quest. It’s a bit surreal but it certainly makes a statement about finding value in tough places. A principal from Spillman Farmer, the architecture firm behind Arts Quest, will discuss it as part of the National Building Museum’s “Industry to Art: Revitalizing Cities through Culture” program. Read more>>> The program begins at 6:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $12-$20. (202) 272-2448. nbm.org. (Joe Warminsky)
The best party of the year? It’s tonight. We may be a little biased, but we’re pretty sure our Best of D.C. fête tonight is going to be awesome. We’ll have 50 of the city’s best restaurants from Range to Hank’s Oyster Bar to BLT Steak serving bites alongside beers from all of D.C.’s breweries plus cocktails from our favorite mixologists. It’s not too late to get tickets. Buy them here. 7 p.m. at the Carnegie Library, 801 K St. NW. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
Local music series All Things Go presents another New Noise showcase, this time featuring two of City Paper’s favorite bands: shimmery pop duo Gems and synthpoppers Ploy at the Gibson Guitar Showroom. More details available on Facebook. 7 p.m. at Gibson Guitar Showroom, 709 G St. NW. $12.
Self-described “post-punk soul band” JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound has drawn comparisons to Otis Redding and Curtis Mayfield, but its music remains rooted in this century. Judge for yourself when the group performs at Tropicalia with George Smallwood. 9:30 p.m. at Tropicalia, 2001 14th St. NW. $10.
Starting this afternoon, the Washington Project for the Arts presents “OPTIONS 2013,” its biennial show of work by 16 lesser known DMV artists. 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free.
If you missed former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor‘s talk last month at Sixth & I, fear not: she’ll discuss her latest work, Out Of Order, tonight at the Aspen Institute. 6 p.m. at the Aspen Institute, 1 Dupont Circle NW. Free.
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