Logan Circles

Mural on building at the corner of 14th and T streets recalls the pre-Civil Rights equality struggle.

Mean Girls in Town

Mid City, U/14 and our sister neighborhood of Dupont Circle have survived a great deal of drama over the past month. At first it was Hurricane Sandy storming through Mid City and the rest of the DMV giving, us a pre-Halloween scare with her whistling winds that made many a roof tremble! Then it was a storm of another kind as high-heeled drag queens descended on hundreds of spectators at the 26th annual High Heel Race, which is really more of a mini-parade of LGBT creativity and flair. After all, the race itself lasts usually less than 10 minutes.

During this month of Thanksgiving we can all be grateful that no serious damage has befallen the city or our neighborhood streets, in particular in the wake of the storm that caused much more serious devastation in other parts of the country. As the holidays approach, look for things to calm down a bit around here as attention turns to celebrating and enjoying the seasonal festivity. Oh sure, restaurants like Matchbox at the corner of 14th and T Streets will be opening afresh, and stores like Urban Essentials, now in its new location at the corner of 14th and Rhode Island Ave., will probably decorate to the hilt in order to lure holiday shoppers, but that is part of the fall/winter revelry that we experience every year. Whole Foods will soon have Christmas trees for sale, undoubtedly, and we will know that it is time to breathe in the holiday spirit!

What’s Ahead for Fall?

So what else can we look forward to in these parts? One of my favorites is the annual Logan Circle Holiday House Tour. As of this year, this event will have happened 34 times and it really just gets better every year! The 2012 tour will be held on December 2 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Tour tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on the day of. Expect some of the best looking properties in Logan Circle to be part of this tour! In the past it has been a mixture of older Victorian properties and new apartments and condominiums, of which there is no shortage on these streets.

Speaking of the old, did you catch the annual Tweed Ride the weekend before the election? The fourth annual event, becoming a local fall tradition, saw nattily dressed men and women riding their bikes around U/14 as if they were spending a Sunday afternoon near Downtown Abbey. A new restaurant, Brixton, at the corner of 9th Street, seemed to have opened for business specifically for this occasion, as many of the riders ended up there, perhaps knackered from the sporty ride, only to be revived by gin punch and Dandy Wellington and his six-piece jazz band, who were playing on the roof and perhaps drowning out the blaring 80s dance tunes coming from Nellies across the street.

Brixton has the air of a club room at Oxford University, or perhaps a more Americanized New England version of one. The leather club chairs and sofas really set a tone, but I wasn’t sure of how old-English-aristocratic the antler chandeliers are. Can someone please enlighten? One big draw to the place is the roominess. It reminds me fondly of the student hall of my graduate school days on one of America’s old Gothic campuses.

Music jams aren’t just for summer, in case you didn’t know. Last year jazz lovers enjoyed WPFW’S second annual U Street Jam. This year the event is planned for Saturday, Nov. 10 at Prince Hall, located at 1000 U St. NW. All proceeds from the event benefit the city’s struggling jazz station, WPFW, 89.3 FM. According to Jim Byers, host of the station’s popular “Latin Beat” program on Sunday evenings, “the event has evolved during the last few seasons into a real bash featuring a cross-section of genres heard on WPFW.” 

After this fractious election season, can’t we all benefit from a little hand-dancing before we feast?

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