What do they do with detained booze at “Jazz in the Garden?”

As Lindsay’s earlier post mentioned, we recently got around to attending “Jazz in the Garden” for the first time. While Lindsay succeeded in smuggling in off-brand boxed wine, other unfortunate attendees were not so lucky (and, unlike Lindsay, lacked the determination necessary to ensure the contraband’s successful subterfugium.) I observed several hopeful smugglers get busted at the door when the security guards foiled their near-foolproof ‘lay a blanket over the bottle’ plan. They were given a choice between ‘storing’ the confiscated material or forfeiting it. Most attendees, eager to join friends inside and without access to a floating locker, chose the latter. The security guards placed the confiscated bottles – nearly all of them unopened – into a nearby bin.

“But what is that bin?!?” I naturally wondered. Surely, a few of us could dream up a use or two for a perfectly good and unopened bottle of booze. I needed to know what happened to those ill-gotten goods.

My Google prowess (er, rudimentary competence) led me to the discovery that the National Gallery of Art’s “Jazz in the Garden” series is run in conjunction with Guest Services, Inc. I consulted their press relations department and made a formal interview request (which felt very important and ridiculous, because if you know me, you know that I lack both a desk and a bedroom floor without underwear somewhere on it, so making a formal interview request made me feel like I was playing a game of “Grown-Up.”) In any event, I was kindly asked to provide information about the article I was publishing, and what I would like to ask. I replied with the URL of this site, and said that I was really only interested in knowing about the fate of the confiscated “Jazz in the Garden” alcohol. I was at first unsure I would even get a response, given the fact that at the time this e-mail was sent, the top post on our site gave readers a handful of tips on subverting the carefully laid-out rules of both Guest Services, Inc. and the National Gallery of Art. And, in a way, since the NGA is a publicly funded museum, we were thwarting the policies of the entirety of the American people. But, to my delight, we did get a response – Ms. Deborah Ziska, the National Gallery of Art’s Chief of Press and Public Information, issued the following reply:

“When guests attempting to bring alcohol into the Sculpture Garden are stopped by the guards, they are given several options: to put the alcohol elsewhere (car, etc) and return, to leave the premises, or to dispose of their bottles in the trash receptacles provided. Therefore, anything put in the receptacles is removed to the dumpsters throughout the evening. It is our hope that as people become more familiar with these policies, fewer bottles will need to be confiscated.”

At first thought, this pained me. I mean, they just throw it away? Brand-spanking new bottles of alcohol? I figured, at the very least, that they could be donated – or sold for a good cause, or something. I mean, think of all the teenagers who can’t find an irresponsible adult in the parking lot to buy booze on their behalves. Think of all the residents of DC whose house parties run dry after 10p.m. THINK of all the Civil War soldiers forced to undergo amputations in hospitals that have run out of anesthetic. All of these people would be beyond grateful to have even one of these discarded bottles. Did anyone think of them???


On second thought, though, who wants to join me in dumpster diving beside the Sculpture Garden right after the next Jazz in the Garden? BONANZA!

– Natalie

About Natalie Shure

literature, life and latte lady

2 Responses to “What do they do with detained booze at “Jazz in the Garden?””


  1. DC Link Roundup: Heard In The ‘Hood | Penn Quarter Living - 2011/07/25

    […] National Mall – We’re halfway through the summer so we might as well break it to you. The security staff at Jazz in the Garden, the weekly Friday night jazz performances at the Sculpture Garden, are being more strict about not allowing outside alcohol into the event. [Broads of the Beltway] & [Broads of the Beltway – Addendum] […]

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