How Musician Aeryn Goldstein Would Have a Perfect Day in DC

In DC 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 DC area’s DIY music scene, playing in garage bands as she grew up. Now, she is training 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, who just released an EP, “The Fork Universe of Funky Love”, on local non-profit label This Could Go Boom! “This record is actually about my experiences in the DMV DIY scene,” says Goldstein, who cites Weezer, Ben Gibbard and DC hardcore legend J. Robbins as influences.

The 26-year-old’s Hyattsville home doubles as a DIY venue, which she runs with teammate Venkatesh Ananth Batni. The Classroom, as it is aptly named, is equipped to record and stream YouTube shows: lively local post-rock band spring money recorded there, and Goldstein and Batni recently live-streamed a series of Linkin Park covers (which she shared with her students). Goldstein studied music education at Towson University and has just completed his first full year of elementary school teaching. “I can play all the instruments up to sixth grade level,” she says.

Her dream day reflects her musical inclinations, her love for Prince George’s County and the energy she describes as a “big kid.” “It’s a mix, really, of all the best times I’ve had,” Goldstein says.

We will get on the bike and head to Greenbelt. We enter from Crescent Road, cross Buddy Attick Lake Park, then head to the Roosevelt Center and have breakfast at New Deal Cafe. This is where I played my very first concert, when I was 12 or 13 years old. I had been playing drums for two weeks, and we were playing Van Halen and Led Zeppelin covers, like you do when you’re that age. I take a bagel with coffee. Nothing fancy, just black coffee and Tofutti cream cheese on an all bagel provided by the co-op just across the street.

I hang out at the Roosevelt Center. I practically grew up there. What my siblings and I used to say is we live in Greenbelt but sleep in Berwyn Heights because we all went to school in Greenbelt and we all worked in Greenbelt . I get out of the manuscript paper, I start writing stuff. I have my guitar on my back, so I rip chords and write something that will maybe form a melody.

Let’s take Route 1 back and cycle up to College Park. We are passing CDepot. This is 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 I’ve browsed and actively listened to. I’ll pull this up and see if they have any. I’ll pick up some of the early albums I bought, like Linkin Park’s ‘Minutes to Midnight’, Brad Paisley’s ‘American Saturday Night’, Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’. Any of those early formative albums.

We will continue to cycle north to Beltsville. We will go to Atomic Music. The people there are the best, love them, super helpful. When they try out instruments, they know what you’re looking for. I’m going to trade in my old guitar for something less janky sounding. Probably a Taylor, something with a nice warm sound. I bought my first guitar and my first drums there.

Let’s get an appetite. I want to cycle part of the Anacostia trail network. We’ll head back down Route 1 to the University of Maryland campus and then enter the Anacostia trail system across Lake Artemesia to Hyattsville. Biking along the Anacostia is beautiful in itself. I love this river.

We have lunch at Shagga Cafe and Restaurant. It’s a great Ethiopian place. I have to get a large vegetable platter with lentils, beets and collard greens. I’ve been going there forever.

Let’s enter the city through the West Hyattsville subway station. We are going to natural History Museum. I love the dinosaur exhibit so much. I went there a week after they reopened. I made sure to go through it in order of geological time, and as soon as I saw this diplodocus skeleton, I was reminded of 1999 when I first entered this museum. I had to sit down and started crying. It’s so moving! There’s a lot more focus on weird animals that evolved during the Triassic period now. I loved that they brought light to these because they are some of my favorite prehistoric megafauna.

Let’s hit a bar: the Dewdrop Inn. I love this place and have played a lot of gigs there. I’ll see if they have music. If not, there’s probably karaoke. I played the “I only listen to nu metal” thing, so I’ll either do Rob Zombie’s “Dragula” or Limp Bizkit’s “Rollin'”. Nu metal is going so strong. Rockers don’t know how to have fun anymore. I love DC Brau Pilsners, so I’ll take one.

We will return to Hyattsville and go to franklin. I went to synagogue with the owner growing up. I go there a lot. I’m going to get some mushroom tacos. Probably also a house lager. We have to stop at their general store. You have the usual general store stuff, like candy, soda, all that stuff, but you also have gag gifts, like weird socks, which are my favorite. There are dirty fridge magnets. It’s all so close you can’t walk through it all – I tried.

Let’s take the friends DC9. We are going to see Spring Silver. Love them. We will also see the Neckbeards. They’re an emo band from southern Maryland, but they play here a lot. This is possibly my favorite band in the state of Maryland. Also Sheila: a pop-rock band from NoVa. I love seeing bands there. I love that it’s open, there’s room to dance, and I’m a sucker for a good old rooftop bar.

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