4.25.2006

Never Send To Know For Whom the Bell Tolls...

I used to have a favorite theatre in Washington. It was right across the street from the Fox Studios on Wisconsin and Harrison. It was one theatre with super-cushy seats and overpriced concessions. They were always playing the movies I was most interested in. You know, indie, but not too out-there.

Here's a sampling of the films I saw there: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Kill Bill: Volume One, The Man Who Wasn't There, Punch-Drunk Love, and et cetera.

Naturally, because DC sucks, the theatre was closed down. I walk by it everyday on my way to the Metro. It makes me sad. It's being replaced with a home and garden furnishing store. I noticed that the renovators don't lock the doors, so I may sneak into the theatre and pour a 40 where the screen used to be.

Up the street a couple of blocks lies the remains of what used to be one of my favorite bars. Babe's Billiards had a ton of great beer on tap, a great jukebox (and not of them fancy Internet jukeboxes, thank God), a Ms. Pac Man machine, and phenomenal appetizers. It also had the benefit of being the only tolerable bar from Friendship Heights to Glover Park. Naturally, it got shut down to make way for a condo.

The building was painted black. A few days ago, Maxim Condominiums put a gigantic black tarp on the building to announce their invasion of the neighborhood. From the website:

Coming soon to Tenleytown: Brand-new high-performance condominiums. For those who know that excellence is not a luxury, but a way of life.

Great.

I have no problem with new people moving into the city. I do have a problem when it's at the expense of two of the best establishments within walking distance of my old college and my new house. This city is going out of its way to become less fun and it drives me insane. What's next? Maybe they'll replace Rodman*s with a Trader Joe's.

I mentioned this before, but, it bears repeating. Before you know it, Upper Northwest DC will be indistinguishable from McLean. And that makes me ill.

36 comments:

  1. It tolls for us. We are witnessing the mass deodorization of a city, and no one is getting angry. See this wonderful article (by a very talented writer), which lamented the trend via a much-loved (now extinct) downtown bar: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/28/AR2005082801049.html

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  2. I read that in the paper.

    Hilariously, the one time I was in Stoney's, I immediately left. Five minutes later, I wandered into a brothel.

    This was by a good writer, though I hear his editing skills were shit.

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  3. I loved that theater too (it was called simply the "Cinema"). I'd go there whenever I had the chance.

    I always meant to check out Babe's, but I missed the boat on that one.

    What the hell is a "high-performance" condo? My boss's boss's boss want call our office a "high-performance organization" and no one can figure that out either.

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  4. If NW DC starts looking like Mclean, remind me to shoot myself.

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  5. If Rodman's ever leaves, I don't know what I'll do. I practically live there. From the odd international assortment of baked goods to the mega cheap wine to the rude cashiers, Rodman's is a freaking gold mine.

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  6. Krystal Koons (AKA THE PIMP DADDY)April 25, 2006

    Rusty, what's your take on the black church on 9th st that's up in arms about the proposed gay bar across the street, aside from the obvious tension caused by "gentrification"? Or do you only comment on lily pad upper douchewest?

    Or maybe I'm violating the posting rulz here. If so, fuck you.

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  7. McLean does frighten me!

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  8. Pimp Daddy, I was actually going to write about the parking and gay bar situations in Logan yesterday, but

    1. What I wrote was much shittier than my average post.

    2. Toby is handled the gay bar part over at vividblurry.com

    3. DCist is handling the parking angle on an almost daily basis.

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  9. Funny how I make a joke about editing and then write "is handled."

    Apologies for that ghastly error.

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  10. You see, in Boston, establishments just don't close down like that. They stay forever and ever. And the same people work there for generations. Honest to God. I went to a coffee shop in the North end : Cafe Victoria, and the place is still run by the same bald man "Kenny" from fifteen years back when I went there as a kid. Those places dont change. Same old Frank Sinatra playing and one dollar vanilla cannolis.

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  11. " It also had the benefit of being the only tolerable bar from Friendship Heights to Glover Park."

    somebody's never been to the malt shop.

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  12. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH

    PLACES HAVE BEEN CLOSING HERE LONGER THAN YOU DOUCHEBAG TRANSPLANTS HAVE BEEN LIVING HERE

    GET OVER IT

    LIFE IS TOUGH

    DEAL WITH IT

    IF YOU DO NOT LIKE IT MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE

    THIS AREA HAS BEEN GOING TO SHIT EVER SINCE THE MID 1990'S

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  13. fuck cinemas and bars
    i miss my $400 a month townhouse payment from back in the day

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  14. I hate to agree, Rusty, but Babes (and to a lesser extent that theatre whose name escapes us -- but where I saw Empire Strikes Back when I was little - big DC cred points for me!!) were nice reprives in two otherwise sort of soulless neighborhoods. Lots of good nights at Babes.

    But here's the kicker: Babe's had been closed for months and months and months and just about no one even noticed. Including me. So, you know, i guess maybe I just liked the idea of it being there more than I liked playing pool and loading up the juke with entire albums worth of Sabbath and eating burnt burgers and loving it.

    Sigh.

    Tommy

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  15. Tommy, I was at Babe's on its last night. I knew it was going. But the black condo drape made me sad.

    And, to whomever is defending The Malt Shop...God, I hate that place. And even if I actually liked it, that shithole got renovated too.

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  16. Crisfields(the orignal) Silver Spring represent!

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  17. "PLACES HAVE BEEN CLOSING HERE LONGER THAN YOU DOUCHEBAG TRANSPLANTS HAVE BEEN LIVING HERE"

    brilliant.

    in fact get this, places have been closing here longer than this douchebag has been alive. in fact places have been closing here longer than his grandparents have been alive as well...

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  18. Aka: the lip and the language. My goodness. And what's wrong with the pads of we lilies? We gotta be somewhere, like it or not.

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  19. brilliant.

    in fact get this, places have been closing here longer than this douchebag has been alive. in fact places have been closing here longer than his grandparents have been alive as well...

    GO FUCK YOURSELF YOU TRANSPLANT PIECE OF SHIT

    NOT MANY OF YOU TRANSPLANT ASSHOLES DOWN THE STREET FROM ME ON ALABAMA AVENUE

    I WONDER WHY

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  20. Anonymous is annoying me.

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  21. Alas the same thing is happening to my dear Doctor Dremo's in Arlington. Condos, condos, condos.

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  22. wrong all caps, I'm third generation.... just not ignorant and loud...

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  23. Krystal Koons (AKA THE PIMP DADDY)April 27, 2006

    If you think Dr Dremo's is worthy of anything other than a visit from a fucking bulldozer then you are a fucking clown. That shitbox serves the worst flattest beer I have ever tasted, doesn'c clean the lines that run from the kegs to the tap (not only with this make you give you a terrible hangover but can also make you sick) hasn't cleaned its bathrooms in 62 months, and generally sucks shit. The totem poles made of fucking hubcaps don't help any of this.

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  24. Nadia

    Halt die Schnauze gefallen!!!

    Halt die Schnauze gefallen!!!!!

    Sind nicht nur Sie dumm und stumm sind Sie auch sehr unwissend!!!!!

    Sie sind vermutlich eine sehr lose Frau auch!!!!!

    Gerecht wie ein Türdrehknopf. Jeder hat eine Umdrehung. So, warum nicht, schließen Sie gerade Ihre öffnung, bevor Sie sogar weiter sich in Verlegenheit bringen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  25. i am moderately surprised that you have not, in mentioning yarmouth, noted it's newest approach to education; that is, to divorce dennis and its ghettoport-inhabitants' offspring. or perhaps you have not heard...? i kid you not d and y are getting a deeeevorce. my former high school is operating out of fenced-in trailers. it's not a joke anymore. on a lighter note, sturgis has been letting idiots like a certain trifling ho we shall not mention dye their hair and rip their jeans and not get ranked with restrictive titles like "valedictorian" since they opened when i started high school, so thats nothing new. just a thought. btw, at least in all of your citys urban spring cleaning nobody interrupts precious minutes of your day by pulling into the driveway of your HOME and asking guests that have just arrived for directions to the Beach. when that happens, you have my permission to deal with the situation accordingly. i always do. *grin*

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  26. Ah, Sprechen Nine Deutche.

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  27. Correction:
    sprechen nein deutsche

    Im guessing it said something shallow and vaguely offensive. But being that you don't KNOW me, it doesn't offend.

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  28. Nadia, den Sie erlernen müssen, wann man Ihre öffnung!!!!!
    schließt!!!

    Sie müssen erlernen, wann man Ihre öffnung Sie GROSSES FAT SCHWEIN!!!! schließt!!!

    Nadia sind Sie eine Verlegenheit zu den grossen fetten Schweinen überall!!!!!
    Sind nicht nur Sie und Fett groß, die Sie sind auch sehr häßlich auch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Häßlicher als die Rückseite eines Elefanten Sie slut!!!!!!!!!!

    Nadia, den Sie erlernen müssen, um Ihre öffnung zu schließen!!!!!

    SCHLIESSEN SIE IHRE ÖFFNUNG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  29. Krystal Koons, I invite you to fuck off re: Dremo's. Now, it's a long way since the glory of Bardo Rodeo (and we shall not speak of Ningaloo), but it's still the best dive in Arlington. The beer is good (what, were you ordering Miller?), and despite being populated more and more by GMU 5th year seniors, has a pretty easy vibe.

    And fick du, anon.

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  30. I thought the movie theater closed because more people were going to E Street and Dupont.

    I don't mind dead parts of the city being spruced up (hello H St in NE) but it seems odd to make small quiet parts into condo central when you can really hype it up as a smalltown feel in a big city or some other sort of slogany crap.

    They're closing Dr. Dremo's? I always meant to stop by there so that I could talk shit about it.

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  31. Krystal Koons (AKA THE PIMP DADDY)April 28, 2006

    be happy you didn't stop by there. the hubcap totem pole is about as good as it gets.

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  32. As a native of Tenleytown, I share your lament. One of my best memories was lining up outside of the Wisconsinn Ave. theatre to go see Indiana Jones as a boy.
    Or using my first fake ID in Babes two days after it opened.
    If they close Rodmans, I will go postal.

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  33. PS Rusty:
    The malt shops new digs might be slightly shite, but at least it's still open.

    I grew up in that damn bar.

    the Theatre was "Cineplex Odeon Wisconsin Ave" I think

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  34. AnonymousMay 01, 2006

    Dear Hank,

    If you grew up in Tenleytown in the 80s why did you need a fake ID at all?? Maggie's Pizza was good enough for everyone in my high school!

    :)

    Tommy

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  35. I'll date myself. I was 15 when Babes opened. By that time stupid DC had actually changed its law and some places were trying to enforce.

    But yes, I did get shit hammered at Maggies at the ripe old age of 13.

    BTW what was the name of that place where the McDonalds used to be (and where the flower shop is now) that was across from the 7-11?

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