Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why, oh why...?

I have just been to the worst bar in the world.

It doesn't even deserve the tiny chance of 'immortality' that naming-and-shaming on my 'Hate List' would confer.

I wonder why such bars are ever conceived and built.

It is because there are people who will go to such bars.

Why do people ever go to such bars?

I think it is because affluence smarts like acid on the soul. And affluent people seek to salve this hurt by haemorrhaging money. Bars like this are a leech treatment for the spiritual malaise of the excessively wealthy.

I hate them, hate them, HATE them.

Building a big bonfire of money would do the same job, and be way more fun.


The British Cowboy said...

Unfortunately the majority of bars in DC are of that type.

If you remember the Simpsons episode where Moe jazzes up the Tavern, calling it "M" and kicks out Homer for not being classy enough? I ended up one night in a bar on U street which was exactly that, down to the big screen TV on the far wall playing bizarre surrealist stills flashing from one to the next.

The closest thing to a real beer there was Amstel Light. I ordered one and was charged $8, at which I proceeded to laugh at the bartender, and ask him how much it really was. He was less than amused. It got better when I asked him to switch the big TV to the basketball game. I then lit a cigar simply to get thrown out and went to the next bar on the crawl to wait for my friends.

Froog said...

Ugh, that does sound awful.

No, I don't think I have seen that Simpsons episode. What happens to Barney??

Hmm, is it strange to be concerned about the fate of a fictional - animamted - character? Particularly in something so ephemeral as a 20-minute TV show??

Come to think of it, I'm really very Simpsons-deprived. I think the terrestrial TV (originally Beeb 2, and now Channel 4) exposure in the UK is pretty much limited to the early seasons. I've seen just about everything from the first 4 or 5 years at least a dozen times each; and I saw pretty much the whole of '97-'98 season because I was living in North America then; but since that..... hardly anything in the last 10 years.

Think I'm going to have to get me down to my local pirate DVD store and buy up some boxed sets.....

Tulsa said...

I think Barney gets all sophisticated to match with 'M'...

but I don't really remember (I remember the episode, but not exactly what happens to Barney).

I have a suspicion about this awful bar you refuse to name - I will text to avoid naming it on your blog.

I think I'll be sad to return to DC and see what U street has turned into...

Tulsa said...

and, no, not strange to be worried about Barney. not strange to me, that is.

but depends on who you ask that question, right?

Tulsa said...

No, I'm wrong. Barney gets sophisticated in a different episode.

Okay. I'm going to stop commenting on this now.

Froog said...

Oh, you can come out with it, if you like.

Yes, you were right - the scene of last night's horror was Block 8.

I never thought I'd say this, but.... it actually makes Centro look good. Well, almost.

Thanks for the updates on Barney, T.

Homer starts his own bar in the garage?? I've got to see that episode!

fg said...

Places like the one you describe are often empty so be assured you are not alone in your view. I don’t suppose Block 8 will last long unless its owner only keeps it for show and not for profit.
Also I bet if you asked people what they are doing there they would fall into 1 of 3 categories:

1. They are 'hangers on', know the owner and lurk for the complimentary drinks and in exchange are supposed to make the place look good - busier.

2. They think that if they hang out in such places they will meet similarly " haemorrhagingly" rich people to date. Sorry it sounds bad but long ago I began referring to such types as ‘euro trash’.

3. They don't know why they are there, (ie not their decision – a work event etc), don't much like it and will most likely never return.

I guess you are a No 3.

Also many people will give a bar one try in case it happens to be good. If everyone 'on the circuit' looks in for one drink the owners are laughing, can rake in the cash and then move on refurbishing a new place almost identically BUT with a new name and so the cycle turns.

Sort of depressing and vacuous but lets not forget this is just ANOTHER industry designed purely to get money out of your pocket.

At least we can vote with our feet.

Tulsa said...

well said FG! Who are you??

Tulsa said...

Froog, in ans to your text "How DID I guess?"... I'd been there before, as a #3 (as described by FG), just the once, on a first date. (Knowing the venue, you shouldn't need to ask if there was a 2nd date).

I planned to go out last night-- well, i was wavering about it-- and when I found out the venue for the night's gathering, I wavered my way home.

Froog said...

I had arranged to meet my recording partner, DD, there - purely as a prelude to trying to lure her over to Jianghu (she only lives half a mile away and she's never been - ridiculous!).

When I arrived and discovered what a stupendous steaming-turd-of-a-bar it is, I immediately tried to SMS her to abort and find a new rendezvous: "Where are you? What are you near? Whatever the nearest bar is, get out of the cab NOW and go there instead. I'll be with you in 15 minutes. This place is HORRIBLE."

I was hoping she would have been caught up in early evening traffic, and still be crawling down Gongti Beilu in the vicinity of Sanlitun. Alas, no! I was just seconds too late firing off my warning message.

We only stayed for one drink - chatted with a couple of other Type 3s and then vamoosed.

The British Cowboy said...

Homer gets banned from Moes, and starts a "hunting club" in order to have a bar in his garage.

He ends up conning REM into playing an environmental benefit concert there.

Overall, not a great episode, but tolerable.

And tulsa? U street is an abortion. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say that the DC bar scene generally blows. I am much happier in Alexandria/Arlington.

The British Cowboy said...

Greatest Moe moment is in the "Squidport" episode.

A la Baltimore, Springfiled revitalizes the squidport into a pedestrian boutique and restaurant area. Moe builds an incredibly long wooden tunnel to the tavern.

Two guys walk down tunnel, and enter Moe's.

"Hey, this isn't faux dive, this is dive dive!"

Moe then replies with what has become one of my standard go-to comments.

"You're a long way from home, yuppy-boys. Shall I start you a tab?"

Froog said...

Ah yes, that one I have seen. And - if I ever open a place of my own - that line is going to be on a plaque behind the bar!

That reminds me, I really must write something about Hogan's one day - definitely up there amongst my Top 10 Bars Of All Time.

The British Cowboy said...

Hogan's just rocked. I miss it terribly.

It rocked so much that I actually bought my house because it was close to the bar.

And further, how can one complain about a bar that had a Jerry Springer happy hour?

fg said...

"You're a long way from home, yuppy-boys. Shall I start you a tab?"

That is classic! That will keep me happy today even if I hear nothing else.

"a Jerry Springer happy hour"


Froog said...

I was telling Leah about the "Jerry Springer Happy Hour" institution at Hogan's just the other day. I don't think she approved...

Hogan's was definitively "dive dive" - but, as dive dives go, it was one of the very best! I will get around to writing about it soon.