The Washington Post

Bands, dinosaurs and novelty socks

- — as told to Rudi Greenberg

WIn D.C. Dream Day, we ask our favorite people in the area to tell us how they would spend a perfect day in the District.

Aeryn Goldstein practicall­y grew up in the D.c.-area DIY music scene, playing in garage bands as she came of age. Now she’s educating the next generation of musicians as an elementary school music teacher for Prince George’s County Public Schools. “I love nostalgia,” Goldstein says. “Most of my songs are about stories from when I was in high school. That’s why I teach. I’m like a big kid.”

Goldstein, who grew up in Berwyn Heights, fronts the energetic, horn-laden rock band Professor Goldstein, which just released an EP, “The Fork Universe of Funky Love,” on the local, volunteer-run nonprofit label This Could Go Boom! “This record is actually all about my experience­s in the DIY scene of the DMV,” says Goldstein, who cites

e’re going to get on the bike and head to Greenbelt. We enter through Crescent Road, go through Buddy Attick Lake Park, and then we head on down to the Roosevelt Center and get some breakfast at the New Deal Cafe. It’s where I played my first show ever, when I was 12 or 13. I’d been playing drums for two weeks, and we played some Van Halen and Led Zeppelin covers, as you do when you’re that age. I’m getting a bagel with coffee. Nothing fancy, just black coffee and some Tofutti cream cheese on an everything bagel supplied by the co-op right across the street.

I hang out outside in the Roosevelt Center. I pretty much grew up there. What my siblings and I used to say is we live in Greenbelt but we sleep in Berwyn Heights because we all went to school in Greenbelt and we all worked in Greenbelt. I take out some manuscript paper, I start writing some stuff out. I have my guitar on my back, so I pluck out some chords and write something that will maybe form a tune.

Let’s get back on Route 1 and bike up to College Park. We swing by CDEpot. That’s where I bought my first CDS. I’m a sucker for nostalgia, but I gave away all my CDS from my childhood. I actually have a spreadshee­t of all the albums that I’ve gone through and done some active listening to. I’ll pull that up and see if they’ve got any of those. I’ll look for some of the first albums I ever bought, like “Minutes to Midnight” by Linkin Park, “American Saturday Night” by Brad Paisley, “American Idiot” by Green Day. Any of those first, formative albums.

We’ll keep biking north to Beltsville. We are going to go to Atomic Music. The people there are the best, love them, super helpful. When trying out instrument­s, they know what you’re looking for. I’m going to trade in my old guitar for something that sounds way less janky. Probably a Taylor, something with a nice warm sound. I bought my first guitar and first drum set there.

Let’s work up an appetite. I want to bike through some of the Anacostia trail system. We’re going to head back down Route 1 to the University of Maryland campus, then enter the Anacostia trail system through Lake Artemesia, all the way down to Hyattsvill­e.

Biking along the Anacostia is beautiful itself. I just love that river.

We’re getting lunch at Shagga Coffee & Restaurant. It’s an awesome Ethiopian place. Got to get a big veggie platter with some lentils, some beets and some collard greens. I’ve been going there forever.

Let’s go into the city through the West Hyattsvill­e Metro station. We’re going to the Museum of Natural History. I love the dinosaur exhibit so much. I went there a week after they reopened. I made sure to go through it in geologic time order, and as soon as I saw that diplodocus skeleton, I just flashed back to 1999 when I first walked into that museum. I had to take a seat, and I just started crying. It’s so emotional! There’s a lot more focus on the weird animals that evolved during the Triassic period now. I loved that they brought light to those because those are some of my favorite prehistori­c megafauna.

Let’s hit a bar: the Dew Drop Inn. I love that spot and have played a lot of shows there. I’ll see if they have any music. If not, there’s probably karaoke. I’ve been playing up the “I only listen to nu metal” thing, so I’ll either do “Dragula” by Rob Zombie or “Rollin’” by Limp Bizkit. Nu metal goes so hard. Rock people just don’t know how to have fun anymore. I love me some DC Brau Pilsner, so I’ll have one of those.

We’ll head back to Hyattsvill­e and go to Franklins. I went to synagogue with the owner growing up. I go there a lot. I’ll get some mushroom tacos. Probably get a housemade lager there, too. We have to stop in their general store. You’ve got the usual general store stuff, like candy, sodas, all that stuff, but then you’ve got gag gifts, like weird socks, which is my favorite. There’s dirty fridge magnets. Everything is packed so close together that you can’t possibly get through all of it — I’ve tried.

Let’s take the homies to DC9. We’re going to see Spring Silver. Love them. We’re also going to see the Neckbeards. They’re an emo band from southern Maryland, but they come up and play here a lot. They might be my favorite band in the state of Maryland. Also Sheila: a pop-rock band from Nova. I just love seeing bands there. I love that it’s open, there’s space to dance and I’m a sucker for a good ol’ rooftop bar.

Weezer, Ben Gibbard and D.C. hardcore legend J. Robbins as influences.

The 26-year-old’s Hyattsvill­e home doubles as a DIY venue, which she runs with bandmate Venkatesh Ananth Batni. The Classroom, as it’s aptly named, is equipped to record and stream shows on Youtube: Buzzy local post-rock band Spring Silver has recorded there, and Goldstein and Batni recently live-streamed a set of Linkin Park covers (which she shared with her students). Goldstein studied music education at Towson University and just wrapped her first full year teaching elementary school. “I can play every instrument up to like a sixth-grade level,” she says.

Her dream day reflects her musical inclinatio­ns, her love for Prince George’s County and her self-described “big kid” energy. “It’s a mash-up, really, of just all of the best times I’ve had,” Goldstein says.

 ?? DEB Lindsey FOR THE Washington Post ?? ABOVE: A couple browses the wares inside the general store adjacent to Franklins in Hyattsvill­e. Goldstein is a frequent customer and especially likes the “weird socks” for sale. LEFT: A diplodocus looms over the fossil hall at the National Museum of Natural History. The museum’s dinosaurs are Goldstein’s favorite.
DEB Lindsey FOR THE Washington Post ABOVE: A couple browses the wares inside the general store adjacent to Franklins in Hyattsvill­e. Goldstein is a frequent customer and especially likes the “weird socks” for sale. LEFT: A diplodocus looms over the fossil hall at the National Museum of Natural History. The museum’s dinosaurs are Goldstein’s favorite.
 ?? AMANDA ANDRADE-RHOADES FOR THE Washington Post ?? Her mother and grandmothe­r help Kayla Robinson, 7, learn to skate at the Lake Artemesia Natural Area. Music teacher Aeryn Goldstein would bike through the region on her dream day.
AMANDA ANDRADE-RHOADES FOR THE Washington Post Her mother and grandmothe­r help Kayla Robinson, 7, learn to skate at the Lake Artemesia Natural Area. Music teacher Aeryn Goldstein would bike through the region on her dream day.
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 ?? Marvin JOSEPH/THE Washington Post ??
Marvin JOSEPH/THE Washington Post

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