Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Kirin is non-alcoholic beer

Tonight had a bit of magic to it. I was up late last night, so tired this morning and dying by 5:30 when I got home. I laid down and slept like a baby for two hours. This was one of those sleeps where you start off feeling just peaceful and relaxed, and wake up feeling completely refreshed. These don't come around often, at least not to me. I woke up around 7:15, made dinner and got ready to go meet Angel, Ian and their crew for karaoke at Cafe Japone.

I don't go to DC much these days, and Japone is in the neighborhood where I used to work. But more on that later. Coming from Virginia I have to change trains at Metro Center. I glanced around the platform in case I might spot anyone en route. That happened more than once going to parties back in the day, but not tonight. Just when I'd satisfied myself of that, though, I heard a familiar voice calling my name. It was Ryan Schutt, an old friend from Virginia Tech who was on his way home from the Nats game. He lives in Rockville but I almost never see him. He said he hardly ever comes into the city either, so the odds of us meeting like that are astronomical. He's doing well and is getting ready to go to Japan for two weeks on vacation. Didn't get much detail besides that as I got off the train two stops later, but it sure can be a small world!

I arrived at Japone a little early, so I decided to check out my old office building. It's still there, as is the organization I worked for, but I'd say a good 3/4 of everything around it has changed. An old womens hospital two blocks away has become a high-rent apartment building, there's a fountain and an outdoor patio bar where there used to be ..not that stuff anyway. Lulu's is gone, though I've heard of it lately so maybe it just moved. Almost every nearby building has had some renovation, an addition, new facade, something. I walked on over to Connecticut Ave, and saw a line outside the Lucky Bar. I knew that couldn't be right, and it wasn't; there's a place next door with loud music and what looked like the Tower Records logo for a sign. At least the Lucky is still there. Some things never change, like the McDonalds across from Joseph A. Bank on M Street. Others definitely do. There must have been 2-3 Cosis in the 10 or so blocks I walked, and of course many Starbucks. I saw a Krispy Kreme off Dupont Circle of all places, which amused me since that's about the last place I'd expect glazed donuts to be popular.

After all that, Japone was a letdown. It was good to see people but the room was small, the beer weak, the whiskey ready to run your car, and the other patrons far too loud to hear anyone sing. I think I'll stick with Freddie's for karaoke, but I wouldn't trade the rest of this evening for anything.

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