Atlas Redux

The weekend is almost upon us, rearing its happy head. Already friends are congregating online, busy whipping up plans – “Where to go, what to do?” Well, let me inspire you with the tale of last weekend’s return to the Atlas District.

Fast becoming my favorite nightlife destination, I first wrote about the burgeoning H Street NE cluster last summer. It continues to evolve, but one of the main things I’m noticing is the crowd – multigenerational, lowkey – I’m purposefully not calling it a “scene,” because so far it’s managed to maintain a blissfully unpretentious edge. I’m doubtful that will change anytime soon. My theory is that it exists because you have to really plan a night out in the Atlas District. It isn’t particularly close to anything else, so transportation has to be worked out in advance, preferably with a DD as end-of-night cabs can be a real bother to get. Because of this, the people who are going really want to go there and have a commitment to having fun and hanging out, as opposed to a “see-and-be-seen” attitude. Not to mention the grit, which thankfully frightens away any frat/bachelorette element.

Take last Saturday, for example. Friends of mine dj’d an all-Bowie night at the Rock & Roll Hotel. I wasn’t sure what to expect, frankly. Would people really get into dancing to the Thin White Duke all night long? Or would it be a night of crazily costumed glamsters posing along the walls?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs
It turned out to be a night packed with – people dancing. No pretension, no wallflowers, several fun costumes, but mainly it was euphoric non-stop dancing to an oeuvre that stretches across a generation. I was thrilled to make it in time to belt out “Moonage Daydream” (thanks, wRONg!). Not to mention the great bartenders and a lively space where you can dance or head upstairs to curl up in a sofa with a Strongbow watching people play pool. It was the sort of magical night where the atmosphere is so friendly you end up flitting from person to person, having intriguing conversations, people-watching devoid of cattiness.

So yes, I continue to love the Atlas District. And though I bemoan the sparse cab situation at last call, that can be remedied by forethought. Perhaps it really is responsible for the laidback vibe…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

As one of the founding editors of We Love DC, Jenn’s passions are theater and cocktails. After two decades in the city, she’s loved every quirky, mundane, elegant, rude minute of her DC life. A proud advocate for DC’s talented drinks scene, she’s judged the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s ARTINI contest, the DC Rickey Month contest, the Jefferson Hotel’s Quill Cocktail competition, and is a founding member of LUPEC DC. A graduate of Catholic University’s drama program, she toured the country as a member of National Players, and has been both an actor and a costume designer before jumping the aisle to theater criticism. Writing for We Love DC restored her happiness after a life-threatening illness, and she’s grateful to you, dear readers. Send your suggestions to jenn (at) welovedc (dot) com and follow her on Twitter.

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