In fact, Adams Morgan almost elicits pity, as all anyone ever really does is make fun of it. But, sometimes a cliché is simply the truth in its most banal form. Adams Morgan deserves its reputation. It really is just as bad as everyone says. It's the Howard the Duck of nightlife districts.
Saturday, I was roped into a visit to the Icky Strip for a friend’s birthday. He likes Adams Morgan, as it offers the best eavesdropping in the city (a personal fave of ours, "I didn't want to make out with that guy, but there was nothing else to do!"). He wanted to drink, he wanted to dance, he wanted me to curl up into a ball of pain and weep. Lucky for him, we achieved all three missions. Happy birthday, dude.
The men were mostly 'burban meatheads, circling and gaming their prey. The women were all meticulously dolled up, wearing their finest low-cut dresses, and rounding out their Big Night ensembles with the loveliest accessory of all…cheap plastic flip-flops.
Side rant: Why flip-flops? Aside from taking even an ounce of pride in your appearance, why would anyone want any part of their skin within close range of any surface of Adams Morgan? And why would you wear something that exposes you to serious injury when that drunk chick in the stilettos lurches your way? Shoes, people. That's what separates us from the animals.
Really, forget shoes. An evening in Adams Morgan requires a full body condom or Hazmat suit, followed by a hot bath, delousing, and a tetanus booster.
So, we drank, we danced, the birthday boy and another friend performed Michael Jackson dance moves to the giggly enjoyment of the entire bar. It was sort of fun, even. I forgot about being at the pub equivalent of a bunny slope or kiddie pool, drank a Stella (which I checked for roofies), and rocked out.
Once the party had broken up, I headed down the Hill of Despair to catch the Metro. I wove through bachelorette parties. (If I ever marry again, and someone tries to get me to run around Adams Morgan in a veil and penis stickers, I will hurt them. Severely. Yuck!) I wove through daisy chains of drunk chicks, holding hands and guiding each other through the throngs on the narrow sidewalks. I elbowed my way through a group of popped-collar meatheads, walking four abreast and jabbering loudly about who had packed the condoms.
But I survived. I made it home, and the contents of my mailbox gave the best proof that I had outgrown the likes of Adams Morgan: an issue of Elle Décor and a baby announcement. I showed off the baby photo to some neighbors, we squealed with glee and swapped recipes.
Adulthood is a beautiful thing.