‘The End Of The Tour’


A friend and I saw it at the E Street Cinema in downtown (by the way, thank you for taking over the briefly defunct West End Cinema; that was a great place and I hope you keep its DIY, underground aesthetic).

Naturally, before the movie, we talked about David Foster Wallace. I’d read Infinite Jest when it first came out, mostly while working the graveyard shift at a gas station. Later, I read the essays in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again. A couple of essays published in magazines that I cam across, but that was it for my Wallace reading. And, of course, he had a big influence. But.

I told my friend that I still occasionally picked up A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, but it that exactly true? When was the last time I did that? A year? A decade?

He had such a powerful impact on the psyche, but he wasn’t someone I went back to. Certainly, I’m unlikely to read Infinite Jest again, as much because of the time commitment as anything else. But, then again, I’m re-reading Proust. In terms of word count, that’s a bigger commitment.

I’m not sure that Wallace is a ‘young man’s writer,’ but it seems that’s what he was for me.

On another note, the movie has a nice My Dinner with Andre quality, though not half as awesome as My Dinner with Andre because that movie never gets old (rest in peace, Andre Gregory).

My First Little Salon


I went to my first Little Salon on Tuesday night, at a condo in Parkview (a neighborhood near Columbia Heights that I didn’t even know existed before Google Mapping my directions).

There were some very nice paintings (okay – ‘mixed media,’ but can we just say they were things on canvass with paint and other stuff? because the term ‘mixed media’ makes me think there should be some electronics in there; actually, she was going to bring some music and computer accompaniments, but apparently there was some theft/car break-in thing happening, so that didn’t happen) by a Casey Snyder.

Bellwether Bayou, aka Laura Schwartz played violin and sang – using a loop machine to create a background and plucking her violin like a mandolin as much as she played it (or maybe it’s nothing like a mandolin; I have no music talent and while it might look like similar techniques to me, perhaps I’m just dead wrong).

Then a bit of a short story from a Lily Meyer and up to the roof deck to listen to a New York City based band called Rookin that has a lot of songs based on scraps of things by nineteenth century, Civil War era folks (note to Rookin: Drum Taps was by Whitman, not Melville). And they closed with Amazing Grace and that’s always awesome (the lead singer had one of those soft, fairly high pitched but still masculine voices that goes very well with something like that).

My only complaint is that it would have been nicer had been better half been around (she would have loved it, too).

 

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‘Pound The Hill’ Getting New Ownership


When Pound the Hill first opened up, it was pretty exciting. They made a great cup of coffee – for a while, they were even better than the folks at Peregrine Espresso, which is high praise.

But then they lost their way and got confused about what they wanted to be – or rather, they weren’t confused, they just didn’t want to be a coffee place anymore, which is what I wanted them to be. They tried to become a wine bar and restaurant with unusual, awkward, coffeehouse style seating options. On Sunday, I couldn’t get a coffee, pastry, paper, and a seat, because most seating was reserved for people who wanted brunch.

So, I stopped going.

Now, Bourbon Coffee is taking over and I’m really hoping that they focus on the core business of… coffee.

‘Tartuffe’ At The Shakespeare Theatre Company


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Washington, DC is blessed with not one, but two Shakespeare theaters. One is my neighborhood stage at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the other is the glass-fronted, Chinatown edifice of the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

From the moment I saw it on the schedule, I knew I wanted to see it. I’d read Moliere, but had never seen one of his plays performed before. And the reading can’t do justice to a broad, creepy, over the top, sexual and more than a little sado-masoschistic-y production. All of which should be considered good things. Once the audience got into it, there was always someone trying to hold back their laughter in a ‘I can’t believe s/he did/said that’ kind of way.

Oh. And the titular Tartuffe looked a Anderson Cooper at an S&M club, wearing a shirt with a nipple exposing flap on the front, if Anderson Cooper were sibiliantly voiced, classically trained dancer.