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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Washington Wake Up and Smell the Seafood


The warm weather last Thursday gave me the notion to wander down to Hains Point to see if anyone was out waxing their car, but I ended up at Maine Avenue instead, gazing at a shrink wrapped, once presidential Sequoia.  Wandering up stream, my companion and I came upon the Channel Inn- a remarkably ugly building aptly named for its water front location on the Washington Channel.  I'd walked by it many times, but now I  remembered that my one and only association, "The Oldest Inhabitants of DC," have meetings there so we ducked into the Engine Room Lounge to check it out.

As luck would have it, we stumbled upon a free happy hour buffet. Wilson, our bartender, was friendly in a professional way, and the dozen other patrons were all clearly regulars. Definitely old school. Definitely somewhere we felt at home. We kicked back after filling our plates and were happily getting to know Wilson when he suddenly announced that this was the end of an era. All of the furnishings had already been sold, and the place was slated to be torn down soon. Their last day is March 30.

Yeah, I should have seen that coming. 

After promising Wilson we would return next week to say good bye, we wandered down to the fish markets and learned the same sad news.  The wharf will also be closing at some point- maybe this summer. The developers say the fish market will be back, but it will never be the same, of course, and the waterman we talked to didn't know how he would survive the proposed two year closing.

The Washington we once knew is fast slipping away- eroding quicker than a beach at high tide- so explore it while you can before the whole city qualifies for "Ghosts of DC" - a great site for those who like walking backwards.

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