Monday, June 23, 2008

DC's Hipster Scene: Adventures at Rock and Roll Hotel

So I'm not really a Smith Point type of gal. I can't say that the thought of Ronald Reagan or reliving his presidency does anything for me, but at the same time I can't really consider myself a hipster gal. In large part because I look teeeeeeeeeeeerible in skinny jeans, but also because I lack tattoos, artistic talent, and a general distaste for consumerism. (Quite the opposite. I loooove shoes. And bags. And dresses and... well you get the idea.) So although the hipster genre fascinates me, I just never felt starved or drugged out enough to really be a part of it. For this reason (and also for sheer laziness), I never ventured out to some of the notorious hipster hubs in H Street, although I'd been dying to give them a try.

One day, however, I could no longer resist the temptation of drunk Jenga, and some friends and I decided it was high time we get our butts out to Rock & Roll Hotel to participate in that most American of pastimes (which they host every Thursday!). I was a little nervous that we would totally stand out at R&R. Back in my waitressing days, I sort of fit into that scene, but I am law firm Cara now. Would they be able to smell the stench of corporate greed on me? Would they intuitively sense I spent 40 hours + a week helping corporations escape any sort of culpability for their actions? Would they know I'd sold out on the hipster life I could have had waitressing for good benefits and a steady paycheck?

Maybe they did know all that, but they didn't care. The staff at R&R is cool as shit. No one judges you for not looking good in skinny jeans. (Sigh of relief.) They served us icy cold PBR's to accompany our Jenga as quickly and politely as they served the big biker dudes who looked like regulars. (Side note: if you play Jenga, the PBR's are only $2! Sooo cheap!) The punky bouncer type guy, who was wandering around, turned out to be super friendly and chatted with us for a bit on how he was very careful of his spiked bracelets when he was in charge of crowd control. Then when Erin lost the second round of Jenga, the penalty was to ask the bartender his interpretation of the "bases," something we had been debating all night. As embarrassed as Erin was, the bartender totally took it in stride and gave us his honest opinion. Then he decided to help us in our quest for consensus on the subject and asked his friends sitting at the bar their opinion on the matter as well.

We all ended up having an awesome time just playing Jenga and pinball together. There wasn't too many people there (kind of surprising for a Thursday). So there was plenty of room to spread out and be all giggly and silly. I'm looking forward to going back (as soon as I overcome that laziness factor again) and come up with even better dares for the Jenga losers!

Another side note: the decor at R&R is awesome. It's like abandoned warehouse + Victorian haunted house + rock band haven + kookiness. There's the vintage (aka falling apart) brocade couches, the winged guitars hanging from the exposed steel beams, and the gilded frames containing creepy ass pictures with cut out head imposed on... say... a family portrait of the Kennedy's. The scenery is nothing short of entertaining.


Global Chameleon said...

Pinball too? Nice! Good description and endorsement of the place for the 99 percent of us who did not step out of an American Apparel ad - will have to stop on by

The Search for J Street said...

The pinball was awesome! I played the Soprano's themed one. It came with gratuitous violence and cursing. Plus strippers who twirled when you made it up the ramp! I definitely recommend trying it out.

Camden said...


Love the blog (esp the restaurant reviews). Please keep it up when you can. Do you know if they still do Drunk Jenga at R&RH? Have they stopped?

Anonymous said...

Have you shunned a hipster today?