They're invading my favorite bar.
I managed to pay sporadic visits to the finest drinking establishment in DC and therefore the world during my Nashville exile, probably around once a year. Other bars flared brightly only to burn out; even the mighty Common Share went down in a tide of slumming legislative assistants, although that will happen when you have the balls to sell Guinness at two bucks a glass. But this place remained in its effortless indie rock-meets-Baltic expatriate groove. It was one of the last places in the city where I still ran into friends completely by chance. Only the jukebox (best one in town) would tell you it wasn't 1999.
We stopped in last night--a little on the early side, I admit--to find the place filled with polo-shirted post-collegiate preppies. They're still prepping for something, I guess. Eighties clothing was bad enough the first time around that the resurgence of the placket is a sure sign of a culture that has run out of ideas. Funny thing is, the culture industry was trying to sell an eighties nostalgia kick when I left--anyone remember "That 80s Show"? or want to?--but it wasn't taking. I guess the last couple of years have been rough enough to wear down even the hardiest immune systems; shit, with all the war, recession, and state-sanctioned torture those polo shirts almost look like they belong. But to see them spilling into the Pharmacy fucking killed me.
I should have seen it coming; we spotted two different bachelorette parties roaming down 18th Street and I'm sure there were more inside the clubs. Christy turned to me after the second one and said you knew a place was ruined once the bridezillas started moving in. This is the ugly face of gentrification, and it wears a veil. Now it's only a matter of time before some tipsy policy wonk is demanding that I suck Life Savers off a beer-stained T-shirt that's touched the lips of every other motherfucker in Adams Morgan.
I'm glad to see the neighborhood is doing so well that the Georgetown crowd thinks it's safe--I always found it plenty safe--but the last thing DC needs is another Georgetown. This city has too much fucking money, and that money likes to transform every neighborhood into the same crass habitation for itself.
An aside to the three people in the world who will appreciate this: now I know what Morgan Adams' last case must be.
Everything else from the tap to the jukebox to the rest of the crowd was as good as ever, although there was this bizarre video hunting game that offered the white-knuckled, hyperrealistic experience of standing in an open field and blowing away herds of animals that stood calmly about ten feet away. The polo shirts loved it.