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January 31, 2007

Down to The Old Ebbitt...

Last night I was "stuck" in Washington DC, one of the few consistently interesting and civilized cities in the U.S. DC is my birthplace. I spent most of my career there, and I still have an office off Eye Street. So I left my hotel in the West End and went to the Old Ebbitt Grill on 15th Street near the White House to eat:

Twenty years ago, after quite a fight, they demolished the original Old Ebbitt, and the adjoining building, in which British soldiers, after setting a few fires in 1812, drank and gloated. And for generations after that (no fires, usually) at various times so did my dad, I, my best friend's mom, my DC friends, Peter Pan Georgetown grads with nicknames like "Baseball Bill" and "Cowboy", Dustin Hoffman, Carl Bernstein, Bill Murray, White House aides, reporters and lots of the usual serious DC werewolves with too much ambition and gall for polite company. The new Old Ebbitt is an ultra-slick and large but darkly-wooded palace--where I'm told I had a party just before I was briefly married in 1982. If you are in DC, just go there. The waitresses are still wonderful in their suspenders and red bow-ties. (If you abuse them in any way, make sure you tip $100.) You will hear some real "DC" conversations at the OEG--especially at the three long wooden bars there. And some wonderful, grandiose swearing--a dying American art form mercifully kept alive in the Beltway. Confidence, lots of it, is required at all times.

Posted by JD Hull at January 31, 2007 11:35 PM


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