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A Room With A View - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
A Room With A View
And to give a better sense of why I love the Dupont Circle area, here's the view from my hotel window:

People who haven't been here before -- and I'm seeing a surprising number of them in my time at the MLA -- have been saying the thing that newcomers to D.C. always seem to say, which is that the city is "very European." By that they mean that it's not dominated by highrises and that there are plenty of trees. In other words, they have the post-urban planning Europe of the late 19th century in mind, more specifically Baron Haussman's wide-boulevarded Paris, which Walter Benjamin wrote about in his Passagenwerk. Last night I heard a talk about the McMillan plan for Washington D.C., which dates to 1901-1902 and was implemented to give the city precisely that look and feel. So that "very European" is ideologically loaded. But I still appreciate what the aesthetic does for the flâneur's experience of the city. In fact, I'm going to go be a flâneur right now. Why take a pricey cab or the Metro when you can walk?

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Comments
art_thirst From: art_thirst Date: December 28th, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
After living in SF I still compare them to that ability to just walk the streets if for no other reason than to just see what's there at that particular moment. I enjoy seeing people, meeting people, in that way. Miami/ Ft. Lauderdale, gawd, if you're walking any distance you only seem to run into people that have little choice but to walk because they don't have a car or, who knows what. South Beach is different because you don't drive short distances as there are limited parking spaces. SoBe also has lots of interesting characters to meet in those travels. Unfortunately, architecture here isn't all that exciting. And parks, well, I guess because so much grows here previous city and county planners did not make it part of their planning to have neighborhood parks, until just recently. Anyway, I hope you have a good trip and a safe return. :-)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 29th, 2005 06:14 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thanks! D.C. and S.F. are my favorite American walking cities. I hear Montreal is great, but have never been there. Manhattan is awesome, but almost too much. I want to make it to South Florida some day.
pissang From: pissang Date: December 28th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That shot makes me a bit nostalgic. My favorite Dupont-area establishment is the Brickskellar. Over 800 beers. Number 2 is Pizzeria Paradiso. I think I've told you that.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 29th, 2005 06:09 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I love the Brickskeller!
frostedfuckhead From: frostedfuckhead Date: December 29th, 2005 02:45 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
wait what? 800 beers? surely you don't mean on tap...? i went on a trip a year and a half ago that ended in brugges, belgium, where i was supposed to enjoy a bar that had 400 beers on tap... it was fucking closed for 2 weeks. owners were vacationing apparently.

but i go to dc all the time! i'll probably go there next summer for a bit... so i need to know!!!!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 29th, 2005 06:08 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
It's a lot, I know. I've been there. Very impressive.
pissang From: pissang Date: December 29th, 2005 08:30 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
not on tap. but the beer list is quite a document. over 800 beers from all around the world. and the place is pretty neat too. it's in a basement, kind of like a brick dungeon. i know how to walk there from the dupont circle metro stop but for the exact address, i refer you to the yellow pages.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 29th, 2005 07:15 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I lived at 1739 U Street from January 1980 to March of that year. I thought you'd want to know. Dupont Circle was my Metro stop -- when I didn't walk. I was an intern at the Library of Congress. It was a great walk. My memory of why the city is laid out as it is -- the circles that is -- was that it was done as a military defense. Is Adams Morgan still a place to go? We used to go to bars there, and some pizzalike joint called, I think, Millies. I never really liked that town. So white by day, so black by night. Laura
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 1st, 2006 06:06 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Well, it's black all day in the parts near where my parents live. But I really like the tony areas near Connecticut and Masschusetts Avenues. I can't help it. Adams Morgan is somewhat more gentrified than in the 80s but still "transitional" at times.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: December 31st, 2005 04:56 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
You know, this explains a great many things about the why I likely remember my four or whatever days in DC in November the way I do. So fondly, so much as an absence of high rises. But the funny thing is I'd never seen high rises, having never yet ventured to New York, Chicago. Boston at age 6 would seem not to count but perhaps I remembered something I don't remember now. I think it was different. But I don't remember Boston.

So I guess when I say this explains things I mean more that the wandering paths in my memory have me feeling most Benjaminian tonight and so this resonates. I keep thinking about the trip to DC that I never took more than a year after that first, for instance. In any case, I'm glad the trip seems to be going well. Safe travel home.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 1st, 2006 01:09 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

DC is Underrated

I just moved to DC this summer (to teach at Catholic University) and I've had a similar experience. Dupont Circle is a wonderful neighborhood, the whole city well worth exploring. I'm new in town, so I wasn't clued in to Brickskellers, but I'm definitely going to have to check it out.

Chuck

http://chutry.wordherders.net
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 1st, 2006 05:57 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: DC is Underrated

Thanks for writing. I'm missing the neighborhood fiercely even though I'm happy to have arrived home safely to the resumption of my domestic duties.
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