Saturday, June 14, 2014
Late night in DC, 14th Street, after the bars have drawn their shutters and closed up. Young folks, curious types, vaguely Asian and some Latin inhabit the tables of Amsterdam Felafel. The smell is funky, and the condiments are pickled, babaganoush, hummus, the air within spicy, the aroma of cooking beans and fry oil. The feel of being in a bazaar. There is talk of international relations and intellectual types who don't drink much and talk of nerdy things. I use the bathroom and split. At Taylor, a sort of a delicatessen, serving hoagies, the crowd is mixed, international, social in a dating way. I order a kind of meatball sub, but in a gluten free wrap. (Everything else is cured, or vegetarian.) The staff is friendly. I ask a guy, perspiring behind the line and calling out ticket numbers, how long his shift has been. He got there at ten, and now at three thirty, it's happily time to close. Up the street, at Black and Orange, the burger place is busy too with DC locals who heartily admit and cater to their needs, booze, dancing, red meat and then quite possibly, sex. Cars wait outside on the street. Up on U Street outside of pizza slice place mobile types with agendas, places to go, are eating their slices out of the box or on paper plate, or just folded, leering around a touch, carefully. A shout from across the street. A guy leans out of the back seat of a car spitting up puke on the curb nearby. At the corner I give the homeless man Mr. Giles, still with his insulated pants on, easy to deal with, and not crazy, a buck.