Letter from Washington: The Bars Are Returning

drinks with friends at Heurich House
Are we happy because we’re drunk or frozen? Drinks at the Heurich House.

The bars are returning.

With strict covid rules in place, many of DC’s bars closed for the winter. The fear was that they would be gone for good. Now they’re planning to reopen.

This bit of news cheered me for I am getting very, very tired of drinking outside. During this covid time, I’ve had old-fashioneds while being frozen solid on a street corner. Sipped bourbon on a snow day in the park. And met friends for beers on a cold afternoon at a golf course.

Did you know that there was a golf course in DC? Several of them in fact. Hains Point is near the Lincoln Memorial. It’s on a peninsula that people like to bike around. There’s also a pro shop where you can get a beer and sit outside. Despite extra layers, after two beers, I was freezing. On my way home, I pedaled as hard as I could just to generate some warmth.

Last night, I was better prepared. The Heurich House Museum, a historic Dupont Circle mansion, has a lovely outdoor garden where they do happy hour on Thursday nights with beer, mulled wine and other treats. Wearing a sweater and a jacket, I was too warm. An hour later, when the wind picked up, I was very glad to have overdressed.

With my friends, we talked the usual subjects: covid and politics.

Everyone wants the vaccine but it’s like getting concert tickets for the hottest band in the world. The DC web site failed again (thanks Microsoft). All the vaccine appointments were gone within ten minutes. Vaccines are coming but they are in short supply.

In politics, Trump is like a bad addiction. A friend confessed to watching Trump’s speech on Sunday because he had to get a dose of the crazy.

I will be forever thankful to Twitter for banning Trump from the platform. Out of the Presidency and without a social media platform, he can no longer troll us. My mood has improved 100%.

But the consequences of his disastrous time in office remain. Q cultists believed that yesterday, March 4th, would be when Trump would return to power and hang traitors like myself. Fortunately, this did not happen, though security was strengthened around the Capitol, which is already guarded by troops and surrounded by a three-mile-long fence topped with razor wire.

I was amused to hear the complaints of the surprisingly mild QAnon Shaman and the Arkansas insurrectionist who thinks being locked up is unfair. Republicans love watching Cops but when the police come for them, what they gonna do? They cry.

It’s also funny that Senator Josh Hawley is awfully concerned about the FBI sweeping up cellphone metadata from the totally non-surprising January 6 attack on the Capitol. I watched as he kept asking the FBI head about phone records. It’s rare that a defendant gets to ask questions of an investigator.

Now we wait for the cherry blossoms. They’re predicted to reach peak bloom April 2-5. Around the Tidal Basin, you can see the first buds on the trees.

In the name of covid, the National Park Service may restrict access to them, like they did last year. No matter. There are plenty of cherry blossoms around Washington, DC, to see.

In the words of Pablo Neruda:

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.

The bars will reopen soon. The cherry blossoms are coming. Trump is gone. That’s enough for me.

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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