Not being from Washington D.C., I just always thought of the capital was a city full of old power-hungry men making terribly misinformed decisions for the rest of the general public.
Oh, and a lot of cool museums too.
But that was before my college roommate, Charlie, landed a summer internship for one of those power-hungry old men.
I made fun of him for how bored he’d be in D.C., but only a week after moving, he was calling me almost every day telling me about all his misadventures. Apparently, with all those students, interns, young professionals, and super-hot assistants trying to work their way up, the whole city is just run by a bunch of young people constantly looking to blow off steam.
After winning a of couple hundred bucks in Vegas (that’s a whole ‘nother story), I had some spare change to blow on a plane ticket, and the next thing I knew, I was landing into Dulles International, with views of the whitewashed neoclassical buildings whizzing by.
Charlie picked me up after his 12-hour workday that capped off a 70-hour week. I figured he’d want to relax, and knowing his cosmopolitan attitude, I assumed that would include something pedantic like reading up at the Library of Congress. But when I asked what he wanted to do, he only had three words for me: the simplest, most awesome three words anyone can ever say (no, he didn’t tell me he loved me. Not this early in the night at least).
“Let’s get weird”, he exhaled, and I suddenly remembered exactly why I booked the flight in the first place.
I barely had time to drop off my things before we began our Friday night of hopping around bars in D.C. Charlie first led us to an inconspicuous looking sports bar called Rhino for the extended Friday happy hours. I later learned that Georgetown University was just around the corner, which explained why halfway through our second pitcher, I noticed the influx of throngs of thirsty co-eds, and before long the place had gone from mellow to an unruly atmosphere of debauchery.
We decided to escape the prepped-out, former lacrosse stick carrying, East Coast elites and headed to Eighteenth Street Lounge, which Charlie failed to mention was one of the coolest places ever. The run down exterior transformed into a three story, 19th century Victorian mansion once stepping inside, with chandeliers, velvet-lined chaise lounges, dark tapestry, and tons of young people getting absolutely trashed to the in-house DJs. It was literally like if Theodore Roosevelt had decided to throw a blowout kegger house-party for his re-election.
The Eighteenth Street Lounge was enough to forever convince me that D.C. was a happening place, but then Charlie took us, in our already questionable states, to Madam's Organ Blues Bar. I mean, this is one of those places where you can walk through the doors completely belligerent and feel right at home.
The place was packed with everyone from students to young white-collars to hipster artists to even the old politicians, all with one thing in common – their blood alcohol levels. Madam’s was just straight up three floors of epic debauchery. Charlie’s ginger hair even got us half-off Rolling Rocks, and the rest of the night was spent schmoozing with a couple of beautiful girls that were working for the IRS, and would probably be auditing my IRS forms in some distant future – I made sure to let them know I’d mess up my paperwork if it meant them showing up at my door.
By the time the place was closed to last call and the memories were going in and out, Charlie and I went up to the rooftop deck and smoked some fatty cigars, wondering if this is what it felt like to be one of those capital big-shots.
Travel diary shared by dhogan