Looks like somebody else is as unimpressed by the aging frat boys and bachelorettes invading Adams Morgan as I was. From the Washington City Paper, artist Greg Houston brings you a portfolio of illustrations from DC's hottest nightspot in decline.
The funny thing is, to view these pictures and read the accompanying text you'd get the impression that Adams Morgan is Yoshiwara, and maybe it's as close as DC comes. But when I went there in August I was disoriented by how tame the place felt as the slummers finally overwhelmed the neighborhood.
I don't think these two observations are mutually exclusive. The slummers bring their own slum with them, a moveable feast of spilled beers and emptied stomachs and bumped shoulders and drunken fights. Nothing "Funky, ethnic, bohemian" about them or the trouble they cause--that's just shit they wouldn't leave on their own doorstep. All of which is to say that as Adams Morgan becomes rowdier it also becomes less of a break from the city around it, just another Georgetown filled with the very assholes it was supposed to be an escape from.
But the underlying neighborhood is still there. Most of my recent visits have been off-peak; one Sunday night it was deserted, prompting some good comedy about Adams Morgan after the rapture. (On reflection we were dead wrong. Adams Morgan would be more crowded after the rapture.) The Pharmacy, I'm happy to report, is as solid as ever. On my last trip there wasn't a polo shirt in sight. But then, we had the good sense to get out long before closing.
Sign of the times. The last time I was down in Adams Morgan--in the middle of a placid post-drizzle afternoon--I saw an advertisement that perfectly captures this city in its local and national obsessions. Bear in mind that the skyrocketing real estate market here has finally started to cool, if not collapse.
The poster was for a real estate agent looking to attract sellers eager to dump their houses. The caption read
WHAT'S YOUR EXIT STRATEGY?