Breakin’ Rules: Jazz in the Garden


After reading this post from the DCist, I had to add to it. It says very explicitly that outside alcohol is not permitted at Jazz in the Garden friday nights in the Sculpture garden in DC. Some say it’s because they want to sell you their overpriced alcohol and make a killing. Others will say it’s for safety reasons and having potentially broken glass on the grassy areas. They have security guards at the entrances to check bags for alcohol, but let’s face it – they’re not checking too hard.

I’m going to post some of the ways I saw people get outside alcohol in. Without doing TSA-type of searches, the NGA is only confiscating alcohol from the dumbest people in DC – these aren’t difficult, they just require a little preparation.

1. The Fedex box. Take a boxed wine apart and take the bag o’ wine and put it into a new Fedex box, then seal it and put the address of a congressman or something on the outside so it looks official. You can try packing a six-pack and pad it heavily so it doesn’t roll around. Security may ask what’s in it and you can say “legal forms for congressman X”. The weight of the box should be about right. I doubt they’ll force you to open it up to show them what’s inside.

Wade-sized shipping box

2. The Camelbak. For those of you that don’t like boxed wine ,you can just as easily take a camelbak hydration bladder and fill it up with your favorite wine. I have a backpack that has a specific zippered pocket for a hydration bladder that you won’t find unless you’re looking for it. you can combine this method with the Fedex box for ultimate discovery avoidance.

Emergency Kit - Hydration

3. The “Water” Bottle. Everyone carries Nalgenes, Siggs, Camelbak, Kleen Kanteen, and other sort of water bottle made of either colored plastic or aluminum. Unless they ask you to open each bottle to smell it, security isn’t going to find it. And, most of those bottles are 1 liter-sized, perfect for storing a 750 mL bottle of your favorite white! PS, clear liquors look just like water! mixers anyone?

Sigg bottle from Ellie!

4. The Bait and Switch. The plastic pitchers given with every order of sangrias are the same type every Jazz in the Garden. Buy a pitcher of sangria, then keep it for a future visit. You can bring your own wine/sangria in a box/bottle/bag and fill ‘er up for cheap, then you can “hide” your outside alcohol in plain sight.

it seems easier to do one of these options than to risk “losing” your bottle of wine or other drinks. I’m not saying everyone screw over the NGA, but these just happen to be ways I saw other people breaking the rules.

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