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Road Trip 2012 – April-June 2012



June 5 Washington, DC

Slide Show



It's Dive Bar Crawl day.

I've got a list of joints that I've gone to over the years that I want to see again.

We start off on the Metro to the Foggy Bottom station.

We run into a chain of two year olds out for a stroll.

They are all holding onto this long tether.

Voluntarily, they are not attached.

Bet they can't do that with 3 year olds.


We're in the middle of the George Washington University campus, so there's a need for a few more bicycles than other spots around the city.

That was the Capitol Bikeshare rack at 21st and Penn.

They have these all over the city.

The first half hour is free.


Except that it costs you $7 for a one day membership or $15 for 3 days.

If you will be here for a long time, it's a much better deal at $25 for a month or $75 for a year.

We find the first dive bar on my list.

The Red Lion.

I once won a few hundred dollars from a guy playing darts in here.

About 35 years ago.
It's lunch time, so we have a nice chicken Quesadilla.

Very good.

And we have a couple of Miller Lights and the crawl is on.
We walk up to 21st and I and catch the Circulator bus which takes us to the Farragut North Metro station, where we catch a train up to Dupont Circle.
We get to the Dupont Circle Station and the 19th street exit is closed so we have to use the Q street exit and walk back down through the Circle.

This is an interesting crossover to get into the Circle.

There are two different lanes of traffic that alternately use the two seperated lanes.

As a pedestrian, you get a walk light that gets you to the little island.

You need to stop there, because there's a bunch of cars about to show up on the inner lanes, and they have a green light.

So today, some tourist types walk across the first set of lanes, and just continue into the circle without noticing the big red hand flashing at them.

They are in the middle of the street and here come the cars.

They completly ignore the honking and just continue on.

There's a DC Police car in the bunch coming around the circle and the loud speaker comes on.

The lady in the squad car blares out, "If you get hit, I will put a ticket on you."

The tourists are oblivious, but the natives find it humorous and give her a hand.
They have a bunch of chess tables here in the park.

And they get a lot of use.

There's also a lot of other things that go on in this circle that are not quite so esoteric.

But entertaining, nonetheless

We are going to visit what used to be Mr. Eagans restaurant.

Olga hasn't been here since the late 90's and wants to see what it looks like now.

It's now the Cafe Citron.

And it doesn't open until 16:00.

I guess she has to wait a while longer.


It is time for a rest stop so we decide to go to the Big Hunt.

It used to be the Dupont Villa, which had the best pizza in the world.

And it's also closed and doesn't open until 16:00.

Best Italian restaurant in DC.

Otello.

So Olga needs to use the facilities before we continue our trek and we stop in at Kababji's.

A nice enough Lebanese joint.

I get a beer while I wait for her.

$7.

Enough said.

We walk up to 17th and Q to one of the old time classic dive joints.

The Fox & Hounds.

It's on my list.

I've spent a bit of time here.

 I'm not giving a link here because they have an intro page with music you can't easily turn off.

Irritating and rookie web site design.

It also doesn't open until 17:00.

What is going on here.

Is this really the Dupont Circle neighborhood I used to hang around in.

So, I get to walk back to Connecticut Avenue.

Nice house here though.

We get back to Connecticut and Q, and stop in at what used to be The Childe Harold.

At least I've finally found something that is open.

Although when we got here, we were the only customes.

We walk back over to Connecticut and Q and catch the 42 bus to Mount Pleasant.

Where we find an old time classic dive.

The Raven Grill.

Where they have the world renowned National Bohemian beer.

$2.

Some people might think that's a lot for a National Bo.

It's a classic.

And it has a sign expressing my sentiments at the moment.

I want a T-shirt from the Raven, but they only come in a Large.

And, it turns out, that's the only size they ever had.

No good for me.

Olga's watch has broken and she needs a new one.

Where else would you get a nice new watch except at the Dollar Star next door to the Raven in Mt. Pleasant.

And she picks up a stunning design that's just right for her.

It was a tad on the expensive side, however.

$10.

And across the street looks like a nice place to sit outside and watch the criminal activity up and down the street.

Mt. Pleasant is still a little rough around the edges.

Dos Gringos.

That would be Olga and I.

But it's not on my list.

So we go to the bus stop and I sit ddown next to this black guy that reminds me of an old friend, Charlie Buggs.

He's got some grocery bags and a backpack.

He turns to me and yells, I'M A FAGGOT!

I say, "Yeah? OK with me."

Everybody else around just ignores him.

So then he ignores me and takes out a bottle of water and has a little swig.

I'm pretty sure that was not water in the water bottle.

We catch the bus back to 18th and Columbia.

The Charlie Buggs look alike gets on the bus with his bags and just walks past the driver without paying or saying anything.

The driver starts yelling at him to come back and pay up, but, he just keeps going all the way to the back.

The driver gets out of his seat and is on the way back to see him..

This could get good.

But, alas, he puts down his stuff and comes back and pays up.

We get back to 18th and Columbia where they are putting in new sewer lines.

I thought this was some interesting brick work being put on one of the man holes.

The Reef is on my list.

Good rooftop bar.

In keeping with the theme of the day, it's not open until 17:00.

There is, however, a Mellow Mushroom here.

Jonathan turned me on to these places in Asheville, NC.

Really good pizza, but it's not on my list and is a pretty newcomer to Adams Morgan.

Construction on 18th Street in Adams Morgan.

Columbia Station is one my old dive bars, but I forgot about it and it's not on the list.

I'm heading to Dan's Cafe.

Now, this is one classy joint.

But, it's closed.

I did a little research on the Net, and I don't think it's permanantly closed.

Wolfie used to like this place a lot and I'm hoping Dan hasn't gone to meet him.

So, next on my list is Jack Rose, down by Florida Avenue.

And, what a surprise!

It's closed too.

As is The Blaguard next door.

Things are not going very well on this pub crawl.

I think I've had 4 beers and walked about 5 miles.

That's just not the way to do a pub crawl.

Around the corner on Florida Avenue, I find a joint that is OPEN.

I don't care if it's on my list or not.

So we plop down and have a couple margaritas and some Chile con Queso.

Which was loaded with sliced Jalapenos.

That's it for me.

I'm heading back.

We're going to take the Water Taxi from the Georgetown waterfront to Alexandria.

So we catch a bus on U street, go to 14th street, catch the Circulator to 13th and K, then switch to the Georgetown line.

It goes down K street, which is bumper to bumper traffic as it's rush hour.

But I have plenty of time, the Water Taxi doesn't leave until 19:30 and it's only 18:30.

We get off under the Whitehurst Freeway.

This is a nice freeway originally built to connect DC with Key Bridge to Rosslyn in Virginia.

It bypassed Georgetown.

K street under the freeway used to be pretty raggy.

A few nice bars like the Bayou and Blues Alley.

But mostly run down and ragged out..

The DC parking violation impound lot was here.

Many of us are familiar with that.

But, the developers found it and created the Georgetwon Waterfront.

I'm not sure what they did for flood control, but the Potomac used to overflow here all the time.

Interesting architecture.

I have a feeling these condo's might be out of my price range.

So we get to the Water Taxi dock in plenty of time for the 19:30 run.

It's only 19:00.

We go to the window to get our tickets and the guy tells us there is no 19:30 taxi.

It doesn't leave here until 20:30.

I whip out my trusty schedule I've been carrying around and point out that the taxi leaves at 19:30.

He points out that it leaves Alexandria at 19:30, not Georgetwon. That one is 20:30.

I believe I'm experiencing some geezer issues with my brain.
If anything had been open on the pub crawl, I could have blamed it on that.
But, sadly, I can't.

Remember the 70's and Watergate.

That's it.

And the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Great place in DC..

Key Bridge connects Rosslyn Virginia with Georgetown on the DC side.

I don't want to wait and hour and a half for the next Water Taxi, so we decide to head over to Old Town Alexandria and have dinner at the Hilton where we know the waiter.

So we get back on the Circulator, take it up to Wisconsin and M and transfer to the Rosslyn line.

That takes us to the Rosslyn Metro station.

Where we find one of the longest escalators in the DC Metro system.

I get a bit of acrophobia on this one.

It feels like the floor at the bottom is pulling me down.

Especially when I''m not holding onto anything while taking this stupid picture.

We catch the Metro to King Street and walk over to the Hilton.

We have a little in here.

The one and only waiter working this shift is the son of one my oldest friends.

We're checking him out for a possible position at our new concept restaurant.

A gourmet/dive/dart bar/restaurant with an eclectic menu of unhealthy food served with oversized drinks.

And a fleet of hot chicks who get to eat and drink free.

It's Creigh and you should visit him at Seagar's at the Hilton and tip him well.
Across the street from the King Street Metro Station.

We order an iced tea for me and a Vodka and Cranberry for Olga.

Creigh shows up with the drinks and says, "The first round is on me."

I tell him, "If I knew that I would have had a Johnny Walker Black."
That's what his father used to drink when we were in the coin.

Now we are down to John Walk About Almost Authentic Scotch.

I tell him, "I'm was just kidding."

But, pretty soon he shows up with a big glass of the real stuff.

I don't really drink this and wish his father was here.

But he says, "Just leave it on the table, I'll give it to my chefs later."

I try that, but I just can't do it.
So I drink it and enjoy it.

As well as the Sea Bass, which came with a very nice sauce.

So, we have a nice dinner, I get the tab and give Creigh my credit card.

It comes back in the little black book, I put a big tip on it, sign it and leave it on the table.

I leave, but Olga wants to leave some more tip, in cash, in the palm so that he doesn't have to share with the bus people.

We're catching one of the last AT5 buses up to Early Street, so I start over to the bus stop,

I'm a little gimpy, so it takes me a little while to get where I'm going.

Olga waits a while for Creigh, but he's in the kitchen doing who knows what.

He finally reappears after Olga sends the bus lady for him.

She hits him with the tip and we make the last bus.

We're sitting around at Early Street later and I get a call from Creigh's mom.

It seems he didn't actually run my credit card and was a little worried that I'd stiffed him.

Which was my plan all along, but they caught me.