Coffeeneuring #6: Illy Cafe

Illy cappuccino for #coffeeneuring 6
Cappuccino from Illy Cafe at the Renaissance Dupont.

Everyone has their secret spots, places that they only know about.

For me, it’s Illy Cafe at the Renaissance Dupont at 22nd and M St NW. It’s a hipster-free zone, without  a beard or skinny jean to be seen. There’s also no wifi, so you don’t get laptop campers or deluded grad students.

A beautiful cappuccino is only $3.08 – probably the cheapest in the city.

And for the price you get to hang out in the Renaissance’s spacious lobby. It makes a great place to read a book.

Renaissance Dupont lobby
Plenty of places to sit – plus they have a bar.

I’m reading Lawrence in Arabia, which is a fascinating history. We’re not the only country to screw things up in the Mideast.

reading Lawrence in Arabia
Reading on the Kindle Paperwhite.

The Renaissance is also a great place to write a book – I wrote part of my second novel Don’t Mess Up My Block here.

iMacs waiting for use
I wrote a book here.

Cappuccino downed, I returned home from my coffeeneuring adventure via the L Street Cycletrack. The Stoney’s on L Street looks very close to opening. Tables and chairs are all set up. It looks ready to start serving Fat Tire and grilled cheese to the masses.

Stoney's - coming very soon
Coming soon – really!

And on 15th Street, DDOT is finally finishing work on the cycle track. They’ve been horrible during the process – unresponsive to public feedback and failing to protect the bike lane during the reconstruction process. It’s a miracle no cyclists were killed during the of bike lane projects.

One interesting innovation, however, is the bike box at 15th and M. It’s a space for bikes to wait until the light changes, designed to provide separation between them and cars. It also makes it easier for cyclists to make left turns.

green box for bikes at 15th and L
Bike box at 15th and L.

Despite the incompetence of DDOT, this city is still one of the best for biking. And the perfect place for coffeeneuring. Six trips down – one to go!

Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is a writer, photographer and web person from Washington, DC. The author of several novels, Joe won the City Paper Fiction Competition in 2020. In his free time, he enjoys wandering about the city taking photos.

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