Catching the Scene From a Barstool in Washington, DC
Converse sneakers, Tory Burch flats, and Adidas tennis shoes climb their way out of the U Street Metro Station in Washington, DC. They head across the street to visit institution Ben's Chili Bowl, west to be seen at hotspot Local Sixteen, or south, below the popular corridor, to 14th street. There, hipsters and high schoolers line the outside wall of an all-ages club, Black Cat, transforming a block that just hours earlier welcomed quiet, pram-pushing boutique buyers. Those in line await a barstool, to sip a beer and choose their own musical adventure (via jukebox); or a backroom show featuring a humble guitar-strumming up-and-comer; or a mainstage show, soon stuffed to the brim with the bespectacled and plaid clad. Sounds cold, but the venue's cool, warmed by stiff drinks, good music, and lighting low enough to disguise staffers from scenesters. A reflection of DC far from the reflecting pool.