Adams Morgan continues to represent one of the great partying districts of Washington DC. One of the older streets in the city, it's lined with row houses dating back to the early 1900s and tiny side avenues covered with a twisting, impenetrable mass of parked cars. Foolish tourists or suburbanites may be lulled into thinking there is parking on these roads. This is at best a pipe dream - even Dupont Circle has nothing on Adams Morgan when it comes to lack of places to put a pickup or SUV.
The other major feature of Adams Morgan is that it's a taxi spawning ground. The broad array of South African, Middle Eastern, and New Yawker accents competing for fares may lead you to believe that the drivers are from other countries. Don't be fooled - they aren't. DC taxis are born, bred, and released upon the wild of our nation's capitol from Adams Morgan.
What's along Adams Morgan in 2012? Still a ton of bars. Still a metric asston of clubs. The aptly-named Diner, open 24/7. Fast food places. Let's go down the list:
- Madam's Organ is still full of life. Sporting the massive mural of a rambunctious whore, it remains a popular attraction for the Georgetown students and tourists alike. It's a pretty good dive bar, but people don't go to the district for dive bars.
- The aptly named Bourbon is rather more like what the deep-pocketed 20-30 something residents of the Beltway prefer. Home of a broad and friendly leather menu with an even broader and friendlier array of whiskys, this place is inexplicably filled with skinny steel chairs. After consuming the fine drinkables here, the bathrooms are in a dungeon-like basement with inexplicably immaculate monastic cells for bathrooms.
- If you're another exile from the West Coast, you're going to want to visit Tryst. Home to a full bar, a great kitchen, and a wide and delicious array of caffeinated products, this coffeehouse is open till 3 AM on the weekends and midnight the rest of the time. The atmosphere is great, too - the broad and refitted first story of a rowhouse plays host to dozens of couches, armchairs, and carefully dim lighting by which to woo flannel-clad paramours.
- Lurid with brightly-colored signs and swarmed by club-goers, Jumbo Slice is open all night, seemingly. Even if it isn't the case, it's never bereft of visitors - the local bums seem to converge on the place, probably for the dumpster diving potentials, or for their regularly scheduled beatings by the Capitol Police, who also converge on Adams Morgan in half a dozen police cars at a time.
- If you're from the suburbs and didn't take Metro, you're parking at Colonial Parking. DC natives know that parking anywhere in the richer parts of town is a recipe for disaster, and these one star reviews bely the fact that finding a parking garage anywhere outside of Capitol Hill or Dupont's Circle is approximately like finding a unicorn grazing beside the Reflecting Pool.
- There is no Metro station in Adams Morgan. Don't be silly. You and everyone else are taking taxis.
Given the parking situation, the infestation of 20-something upper class college students, and the prevalence of overly-moneyed and self-important 30-somethings, one may wonder why one would visit Adams Morgan. The sad truth of the matter is that for the most part, DC is a cultural wasteland with sky-high rent, a cutthroat government contractor culture, and a lot of three letter agency wonks drinking away the sorrow of their latest polygraph.
Adams Morgan represents a rare parting of the upper middle class culture in Northern Virginia and DC, making it a precious, funky jewel amidst a pile of bland Chanel jackets. It may be the one place in DC that West Coast folks might not feel homesick - at least, until one gets out to the countryside and finds the local flannel outlet and grocery store.