Tuesday, March 30, 2010

dc has hot elbows

The other day while I was waiting to alight my rigid airship to DC in Houston, I overheard an undergrad in Uggs say, "Oh. My. GAWD! Have you seen Eric's elbows? They are HAWT!" I immediately stopped desperately seeking a combination Taco Bell and Pizza Hut (so I could rap in it, not eat...gross) and reflected on that girl's thought. Hot elbows? Really?! Who notices something like that? It's a detail on a person that really shouldn't matter, unless, of course, Eric is into wearing old-man elbow patches and she was admiring the cloth and leather over his elbows. Or maybe...maybe this young lady has an elbow fetish, which upon reflection, is probably the case. Judging from her aforementioned Uggs (and I sure do like to judge), this is not a woman who would be interested in a guy who wears sweet elbow patches on his tweed sport coats. Wow. What a freak.

But I bring this incident up for a reason today (you know, other than to simply mock a person in Uggs). Nope, I bring it up also to mock a recent New York Times article, "Stimulus Programs That Roll at Night." First of all, that title is to headlines what Uggs are to footwear. It's f*cking retarded. But that only scratches the surface. If you read further, you'll find the article trying to accurately describe DC nightlife as "cool," as if it were a fully attractive person and not someone average with, say, just hot elbows.

"I don't associate these things with D.C.," Mr. [Shea] Van Horn [a promoter and DJ] said of the themed parties, which, over the last year or so have become an increasingly common evening activity in Washington. "I say 'It's so L.A.' or 'It's so New York' but it's also, now, so D.C."

Really, Mr. Van Horn, REALLY!? The hottest ventures in DC nightlife are "themed parties?" And somehow that's both "so L.A." and "so New York?" Isn't that also "so my Bozo-the-Clown-themed 30th 10th birthday party?" Because if "themed parties" are what makes a town's night life legit, then Mankato, Minn., has been ahead of the curve for years.

"At the dance hall Town, on U Street, Mr. Van Horn D.J.’d for an event where the crowd was packed with costumed characters: a dancing bear, a gaggle of drag queens, a go-go dancer in a low-cut rhinestone-studded Speedo. Mr. Van Horn, bewigged, appeared as his drag alter ego, Summer Camp."

Wow. That is GAY. Or maybe that's Moscow. Last decade. No, seriously.

Excuse the absence of the dancing bear. He's off in the bathroom bumping rails off a gazelle's ass.

But really, let's think about this. DC is many things. We boast the most lawyers per capita. We're up there with the murders, too. Oh, and let's not forget we're also The Capital of the Free World. I mean isn't that enough? Can we just not accept the fact that no matter how many themed parties Van Horn throws, we'll never be as attractive in that sense as L.A. or New York. Or even Moscow circa last decade.

Let's just accept that we're not fully attractive in that sense. Let's just accept that we only have hot elbows. That is, we have tiny little pockets of cool that most people (perhaps, unfortunately) don't care to notice. We have a few really stellar DJs here, for example. Van Horn may even be one, although having never been to a one of his themed extravaganzas (at least that I know of) I can't count him. These DJs I'm speaking of, who spin at places like DC9 and The Black Cat, help make a rather ugly DC at least have pretty elbows.

Also adding to DC's elbow appeal are a few bars and restaurants. The Passenger comes to mind, as well as St. Ex (which I will stick up for despite the wide array of hatery I hear about this place). And let's not forget Burritos Fast. It may be dirty and possibly violate many-a-health code, but it is delicious and the beans are divine. Mmm...beans...

But I digest (ha!), I guess what I'm trying to blatantly hint at in a verbosely straightforward way is that DC is still not "cool" in the way New York or LA (or Moscow last decade) is. And, honestly, it probably never will be thanks to the prevalence of government sh*t here, which, if DC were a person, disallows it from being any more attractive than Nick Nolte in 1992. Unfortunately, the world is not People magazine, which means we'll never be the most appealing.

I still can't believe People did that. Ew.

But getting back to the point, DC isn't an entire wash. Like I said, we have hot elbows. And as long as we remember to moisturize (and drag out ridiculous metaphors for as long as possible), I think maybe we can shine these elbows up enough to get the freaks interested. Or something. I'll do my part by resurrecting my Bozo-the-Clown-themed birthday party this year. I'LL FASHION MY GRAND PRIZE GAME BUCKETS OUT OF CANS OF BEANS!!!


Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

I _like_ Taco Bell...

Victor9000 said...

I'll go out on a limb here and say I agree with the NYT's basic thesis, even though you rightly point out that the evidence cited by the paper of record does not offer great support for it.
While hatery for certain scene-y establishments may be deserved (*cough*marvin*cough*), those places have created some sweet peripheral effects on their neighborhoods.
No doubt this topic has lots of ins, lots of outs, lots of what-have-yous, but overall I don't feel like a sucker for thinking that the city's become cooler over the last three or four years. Let history be my judge.

Jennifer Rados said...

OMG "that's so DC" should only apply to the 80s punk rock scene or politics! UGH erm UGG? I'm moving back in 2 months...help!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cool blog tho, always love reading it

Elsbeth said...

Ha I wouldn't know a hot elbow if I saw one. Now, a hot back is a different story.
Never been to DC but I think I'd rather see Belize first.

Agree with you on the Uggs:

Patty Duke said...

But do we really want to be LA or NY? I'm the kind of person who likes to go to parties. I dont like giving them. If we were LA or NY, or even Moscow ten years ago, our little city would be overrun w/ d bags from all over. Even more so then we already are. Let's hear it for cool elboows!

N said...

I read this when it came out (I think you were frolicking on a beach at the time) and my initial thought was, great another article that says U street is the new, hip place. Breaking news, NYT. This is why people need you and me to tell them where to go in this city.

Marissa said...


I like the Pizza Hut! I LIKE THE COMBINATION TACO BELL AND PIZZA HUT! (Just kidding. I hate both.)


Be careful with that comment. You're entering a DANGER ZONE!


Move back, yay! We can go egg Marvin together. Just kidding. I wouldn't want to waste good eggs on Marvin.


OH. MY. ISH. I just looked at your link. I think you know to what I am referring with that reaction. And yes, Belize should be hit up before DC. But still come to DC!!!


That's exactly it. I think if DC keeps trying to compare itself to other cities in place of just being our retardulous self, there will always be problems. Let's just embrace our dorkiness (our elbows, as it were) and build on that. We can have the hottest elbows around!


We have to get our project going.