Tag Archive for 'bars'


I tried to play pool in Bethesda, MD on Sunday. I should have known better.
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The Golden Flame

I’ve spent the past few years bemoaning the gentrification of Silver Spring. How the town has lost her charm, her spice. How our dive bars have died. How we’ve been colonized by hipsters, transplants, neo-yuppies, armchair liberals, and the saccharine, mindless masses of salary serfs and condo owners. How we must endure the herpes-like sores of places like Firestation One and 8407.
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Quarry House

Silver Spring’s historic dive bar, the Quarry House, is dead. What it used to be, that is. The old Quarry House.

It’s taken me six years or so to come to grips with this.
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The Nest

I set out to review The Nest, a slightly off the beaten path yuppie hangout in Bethesda, MD, but then I found myself with the same problem as when I tried to review Fire Station One in Silver Spring. The Nest, while obviously a great date spot if you’re into that noisy herd of transplants thing, is, essentially, boring. Yet another overpriced and soulless watering hole.
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In Session

I have a dream. I’m going to move to New Orleans and open up a DC-themed bar. I’m going to call it “In Session” and set it up somewhere posh where we can pick up tourists and commuters. For all the expats, it’ll be a true home away from home.

The first thing I’ll do is raze any historic buildings that are in my way and then build a faux-French Quarter style building that is, somehow, cold, brutalist, and unwelcoming.

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Day Drinking

It’s time to answer the question that, I’m sure, is foremost in everyone’s mind: Where can I get a beer in Union Station at 8:30am?

And I don’t mean buying one at the liquor store, or getting one down at the weird pizza joint in the gladiator pit food court and drinking in a corner like one of the bums. Fingerless gloves, covered in ash from sweeping chimneys, drinking from a plastic cup and staring at the deaf girls from Gallaudet. That’s what I do every morning!

No, it’s time for A Touch of Class. I want to sit at a bar like a normal yuppie and be served a beer by a bartender. And I don’t want to have to cajole the bartender into doing so, or be given a judgmental stare like I just sat down and screamed, “I CAVORT WITH SATAN!” I want someone to serve me a beer at 8:30am like they do it all the time.

You’d think that, at a cosmopolitan railway station, and here at the Capitol of the Empire, bartenders would serve you in the early AM without hesitation. “Hiya Floyd, I just signed a bill that’ll murder millions. Can I have a beer?” Or, maybe, “Hiya Floyd, my motherfucking MARC train was just delayed for 17 hours because of a flash flood warning 1500 miles away in Louisiana. How about a beer? And some heroin?”

The plan: I leave home early, hit Union Station at 8:30 or earlier, find an open bar, and gauge reactions and quality of service. I’ll drink like a fish, scribble insane notes in my little reporter’s notebook, then totter to work and pretend like everything’s normal as I throw up on my supervisor’s shoes and then feverishly masturbate in the bathroom stall to mental images of the deaf girls from Gallaudet.


Harp and Fiddle

The thing I miss the most about Bethesda, MD, is the somewhat downtrodden have/have-not divide of the 80’s and early 90’s. Before it became a glittering jewel in the Galactic Empire’s crown.

People make fun of me when I rant about gentrification but, seriously, retards, look around you. Most days, I feel like I woke up from a hundred year sleep. Look at your space buildings! And you’ve exterminated the Spanish and the lower income people! Well, Bethesda did that long ago. Silver Spring’s the suburb with active extermination camps. But, still, what the fuck happened to Hot Shoppes?
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Actually, Bethesda…

I can’t explain why, but I religiously follow the Bethesda Actually blog. Maybe it’s because I lived on Battery Lane for several years in the 90’s. That was before Bethesda turned into… I don’t know. Little Dubai.

I don’t mean that in a racist way. I just mean to say that it’s full of huge, glittering shit that doesn’t make any sense. Let’s rip down all the old, quaint stuff and build giant condos in 32.8 minutes that only have a 25% occupancy rate! Yay! Because that’s how humans like to live. If…they’re planning to emulate Charles Whitman at some point.

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It’s so perfect, that it’s boring: A Fire Station 1 Review

I wanted to be open-minded. I wanted to embrace Fire Station 1, Silver Spring’s newest bar.  I wanted to write a good bar review. So I hit them Friday night, two hours after they opened their doors for the first time.

From a marketing perspective, good bar reviews at GS are poison. I write a bad review for 8407, and it’s as if I confessed to sodomizing the historical society’s president’s grandmother.  But the dozen or so bars I’ve given a good review to go without comment.  You all want to hear me go off. You all need a touchstone for your rage.

So I figured Fire Station 1 was a great opportunity to thwart you. How can it go wrong, really? They’ve spent a fortune working on the old fire station for the last year, they’ve been training their staff for weeks, the location is simply worth killing for, they have more outdoor seating than seems decent, they’re family friendly, they have two bars, and they just seem…cool.

But it can go wrong.

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Silver Spring Needs Hookers

I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong with my town.  I’ve watched it grow up from scary urban wasteland to gentrified post-suburban neo-yuppie masturbation sock, and there’s just a little something that’s off.  A sort of sanitized soullessness that breeds boredom and frustration.  And hookers can fix that.  Wouldn’t it be nice to walk down Georgia Avenue and get propositioned a few times?  There are certainly some individuals who need a good, cheap blowjob — from the arrogant, socially-retarded president of the historical society to all of those whining simpletons who defend pretentious shit bars.

But, I will admit that streetwalkers may be crossing a line. Therefore, I propose that the next Silver Spring bar not be a pretentious shitfest but, instead, we do what Bethesda has done for their hookers.  Open up a place like Tommy Joe’s, which seems to mysteriously shirk all the Orwellian laws of the People’s Republic of Montgomery County.
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