Showing posts with label Megan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Megan. Show all posts

Thursday, January 10, 2013

MNF, Part II

That’s me in the corner. That’s me in the spotlight, losing my religion.

Trying to keep up with you and I don’t know if I can do it.

Oh no. I’ve said too much. I haven’t said enough.

                A whole 2 weeks for Part II (Remember Part I)!  Hope I haven’t lost your interest!  We are in the MIDST of football playoffs, so let's wrap up Monday Night Football... To recap – we’ve left Chinatown’s bat cave and head to the infamous Capitol Lounge on Capitol Hill, a New England Patriots bar (I recently discovered) to catch the Monday Night Football game.  If I were to make a list of the things I love most about DC, near the top would be the fact that DC is an international and domestic hub for individuals from all types of backgrounds.  It’s a skittles commercial-all the colors of the cultural rainbow.  And here we are – a Monday night in our nation’s capital, and this Southerner is surrounded by New England Patriots fans with Mark Wahlberg accents and his reaaally NSFW (unless you're Officer Dignam) The Departed vernacular.

                Capitol Lounge (Cap Lounge as they call it on the street) is located on the strip of Pennsylvania Avenue restaurants down the street from the United States House of Representatives office buildings, nestled between Capitol Hill and Eastern Market in Southeast DC.  It is a Republican-owned (but bipartisan in business) playground for congressional staff, particularly interns and younger twenty-something staff.  The d├ęcor is pretty austere, but it is adorned with aged political paraphernalia (the walls are a collection for Reagan and Nixon campaign swag, hung amidst red+white+blue and stars+stripes fabrics/flags/buntings, etc.).  Of bars in DC, with such power-packing patronage, Cap Lounge is the Jenny from the Block version of Jennifer Lopez – the inconspicuous, no frills neighborhood pub, full of fully suited puppeteers for our federal lawmakers.  It is a staple in Capitol Hill so there is no need for inventive concoctions or promotions, although they do offer a few good ones, and I would call it unpretentious for that reason but doing so would only be half-right.  Among the political and patriotic stylings are signs stating, “I don’t care who you work for.”  And, if you show up AFTER the safety hours of happy hour, the place is full of political loose lips and poisoned philosophies, all willing to dive into a debate on House Resolution yadayada, the exact role/size of the federal government, skinterns in the office of Congressman Cat in the Hat, to whom and how much big donors have spent this past campaign cycle, the economics driving the American job market, and of course, how this/that party is screwing over America’s future. 

                The yin to balance the yang, however, is that Cap Lounge will often reserve entire levels for private parties, like it is on this particular night as the main level has been hijacked by a trivia night.  The private party this evening (for what, I’m not quite sure) is closing down, so the staff has been kind enough to let our small group enter the private party for the tail end so that we may catch kick-off while trivia concludes.  Not that there aren’t enough televisions upstairs, but we absolutely take the offer.  The space has mostly cleared, with a few lingering behind, most of whom are vortex’ed into liquored-up conversations, with exception to a small, isolated table which is shared between 3 suited men (much grayer than the usual suspects) who are holding their alcohol much better than the usual suspects as well.  This particular exclusive table is enthralled in a quiet conversation, with a private television, a table of beer, catching the beginning of the game between incognito conversations, all of which is being kept quite private. 

                In the same room, I’m sitting adjacent to 2 fine, young, over-served gentlemen I’m fairly certain wound up here from the Hill, discussing the state of our country and slurring their personal patriotism. “I mean…dude, I rreaaally love the Constah-tution,” divulging very little into any substantial political theory at this point.  Full confession - by the end of the night, I will be guilty of similar crimes myself, bickering with well-informed friends over whether or not the state of Texas will remain red or turn blue in the 2016 presidential election.  #onlyinDC  In my experience, veteran Hill staff tend to turn their noses at the thought of Cap Lounge after work, probably because at one time they’ve done this exact, roll-your-eyes-the-next-morning-in-embarrassment, type of thing.  I label it infamous because by the end of the night, it can be fall-down drunk, the last place that you didn’t need to visit on your way home from the evening’s shenanigans, yet you’re inside ordering another round and plunging money into the computerized jukebox. 

                Around 9:00, the majority of the trivia masses leave the bar, and Cap Lounge releases their Jerry Jones-sizedsuperdome screen (well, for a bar space it is huge) and we head upstairs to the main room.  The crowd has dwindled, but that will change before halftime.  The bar offers great specials for the football game, including $5 pizza which is my favorite from their food menu.  If pub grub is not pleasing your palette, the location is perfect to explore other eatable options-Top Chef’s Spike Mendelsohn offers 2 amazing restaurants: Good Stuff and We the Pizza, located just across the street, perpetually packed with power players including President Obama.  Cap Lounge is now packed with sports enthusiasts at this point, in particular New Englanders from the Hill, small business owners, veterans, lobbyists, and a few 2012 Presidential battleground campaign staff.  After 9:00 on most nights, you are bound to see just as diverse a crowd...

My last call:  great locality, interesting crowd, even more interesting conversations, most of which devolve into superficial matters.  It is the bar for workers of politics to unite, and a spot for the rest of the world to watch the beer-based bipartisan common ground burn up in flames. 

Until Next Time,

xo, Megan

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

MNF Part I: I will bring you down, baby. I will bring you down to Chinatown.

Meet you downstairs in the bar and heard

Your rolled up sleeves in your skull tee-shirt.

You say, “What did you do with him today?”

And sniffed me out like I was Tanqueray

                First things first – blogging is very new to me, so I apologize that I’ve had many distractions on my tab as of late and have not posted as quickly as I had been hoping.  It has been holiday season in the DMV, meaning back-to-back Congressional receptions, K Street galas, and personal holiday Kikis, on top of the usual cocktail hour in the Capital, and I haven’t set enough time to formally write it all!  But, my mama always told me, don’t make excuses.  Learn, live, and change the course ahead, so I’mma make up for my absence from last week's postings.  Hope you enjoy! xoxox  

                 It’s (well, it WAS) Monday night in the District, and a friend of a friend is throwing a birthday celebration together over…you guessed it, happy hour.  The celebration location: Rocket Bar in Gallery Place/Chinatown, a location I frequent fairly often due to its convenient location in the middle of Capitol Hill and “Downtown” (downtown as the ubiquitous phrase for DC’s K Street – the lobbying world).  Rocket bar is another car in the train of one of the newer trends to hit the Capitol City – an adult Chuck E Cheese, meaning saloons that will serve you the sauce alongside skeeball + shuffleboard (and pool, darts, etc.).  There was first the cupcake craze, then fro-yo fever, and now it’s this - DC has undiagnosed ADD.  This fad appears in diverse forms across the District as well – there was the Cereal Bowl in Cleveland Park, which has since closed (I’ll give you 1 guess as to the heart of their business), and now we have Ted Bulletin’s on Barrack’s Row, famous for their creative homemade poptarts.  These bars are a forum for residents to break away from their city’s habit of taking itself too serious, through a taste of nostalgia…

                The night is early and while it’s also early in the week, there’s a sizeable crowd on hand.  This is not my first rodeo with Rocket Bar, and though the throng is smaller than it is later in the week, you’re bound to find a high percentage of the congregation populated by younger Administration staff (the Dept of Justice, the FBI, and the Dept of Labor all have offices nearby), young business and consulting staff (Living Social is doors down), DC City staff, and local and federal judicial staff.  On the other hand, there are few heavy-duty lobbyists, limited Hill staff, and even with a Georgetown basketball game playing that evening across the street at the Verizon Center, the inundating sports crowds pre-gaming the area are not packing the joint either. 

                The staff at Rocket Bar is accommodating-this place is everyone’s basement, where you can avoid the formalities of DC life, let your hair down, and kick back over games that remind you of your childhood while simultaneously catching professional athletics alongside Sportscenter, all of which are blasting on multiple big screen TVs.  This is a guy’s place-I’ve never had a girlfriend suggest Rocket Bar for the evening, and the drinking menu is a clear reflection of that.  The emphasis is placed on the brew, and while there are other options for those who prefer a drink that other than beer, Rocket Bar offers the basic minimums for wine and mixed drinks.  What to eat with all this beer?  Rocket Bar is also one in a chain of bars which don’t serve food but welcome patrons to bring their own food-BYOF.  With so many excellent bites to satisfy your time frame, taste, and billfold budget around the GP/Chinatown, this is not a loss for patrons.  However, for my group this evening, it’s an inconvenience to leave for nourishment and return, so we decide to bounce the bar and the neighborhood entirely in search of a location where we can get eat, drink, and be in football merriment... 

                My last call on Rocket Bar: uber laid-back, sausage-infested 20-somethings/young 30-somethings crowd, looking for an economical beer and cheap bar thrills. The patrons are typically well-vetted and this is an escape from business, so their confidential business will stay in the office or more formal, discrete locations; office fantasy football scenarios, however, will not.

MNF To Be Continued…

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Allow myself to introduce...myself

She had rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes
And I knew without asking she was into the blues
Hellew, gorgeous!  I’m Megan, fellow SEC-rooting, Southern-raised, single twenty-something living and working in our great country’s capital city.  I have recently partnered up with the amazing, stylish Emily as a contributor to BlueDogBelle, and I am elated to join the blog-o-sphere for the first time!  So what will I be adding to BlueDogBelle, you wonder…

I have a Carrie Bradshaw-level of adoration for my city, Washington, DC.  It is a little big town amidst an atmosphere of heterogeneity.  Any taste of life an individual could desire can be found here:  history, music, passion and activism, thoughtfulness, diverse backgrounds and perspectives, politics/policy/philanthropy, and all balanced out by the finer (literal) tastes of life, with a varied palette of globally-influenced spots to wine and dine.  One of the most surprising discoveries I made as a 22 year-old graduate was just how much of a role this last item plays in the DMV culture.  Restaurants and bars were obviously an area to socialize with friends, but post-college I came to the realization that this particular arena serves as a remote location for professionals from every office level to meet, to play, to network, and to wheel and deal.  We all have heard that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but in the District this saying transcends romantic strategy and overflows into the business of the city.  Of course, occupational drinks and meals aren’t a concept exclusive to DC - just the particular type of business dealt, and the power of the individuals at the table (or bar counter as the case may be), in these situations is nearly exclusive to DC, namely as the center of American politics.  

Which brings me to Blue Dog Belle!  I’m partnering up with my beloved fellow Southerner to dive into and celebrate DC’s Don Draper-esque scene, where bourbon meets business.  I’ll be bouncing around the District’s watering holes, both high profile and low key local favorites, and will jot down my experiences at each saloon, focusing on the style, the atmosphere, the crowd, the conversation, and naturally the highlights of the heart and barter of these spots - the libations.  Full disclosure, I’m afraid the meat of the true wheelings and dealings, as sexy as that would be to whistle blow, will not be the focus of my entries, as my attention will be on the spaces and the use of these spaces within the District. 

Thank you for visiting, and please stay tuned as I make my first entry this week!

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