As far as years go, 2014 has come barreling out of the gate, with a whole host of happenings already lined up in Hampden.
Gallery 788, 3602 Hickory Ave., presents Learning By Heart, an exhibit and performance for children 4-12 with no formal training, on Jan. 19, from 4-8 p.m. It's sort of like the kiddie equivalent of outsider art. Kids can show their art work, sing, dance, recite, act or tell jokes. All performances must be non-violent and family-friendly. For more information, call 202-210-8361. There will also be multiple age-appropriate activities taking place in the gallery.
On January 21, The Great Northeast Brewery Tour rolls into Hampden as author Ben Keene will be at Atomic Books, 3620 Falls Road, to discuss his book of the same name and the great breweries of the Northeast. This event takes place from 7-9 p.m., and Atomic Books' Eightbar will be serving a Brewer's Art's Proletary Ale with Oak Chips, brought in especially for the event.
On January 23, The Wine Source, 3601 Elm Ave., is hosting a wine tasting with Marcos Fernandez from Argentina's Finca Decero from 5-7 p.m. These single vineyard wines are nurtured by hand, sustainable and from the foothills of the Andes.
Then later that evening, get ready for a pizza party. Author Scott Wiener is one of the foremost experts on pizza box art, and his new book, "Viva La Pizza! The Art Of The Pizza Box," is a history, explanation and collection of pizza box art. He'll be at Atomic Books from 7-9 p.m., to show and discuss some of his favorite pizza art and sign copies of his new book. And Johnny Rad's Pizzeria will be supplying pies that will satisfy vegetarians, vegans and meat lovers.
Between now and January 30, be sure to stop by The Golden West Cafe's Long Bar, 1105 W. 36th St., and check out the artwork of my pal Luster Kaboom. The closing reception takes place on the 30th from 5-7 p.m. Luster's stuff is crazy good.
And finally, why not close out the month with some delicious beer? The Wine Source is hosting a beer tasting from 4:30-7 p.m., with the New Belgium Brewing Company. You can sample its different beers and figure out which is your favorite. Flat Tire is the Colorado brewery's flagship title.
Let's keep it up in 2014! We are off to a great start of fun goings-on.