A Belle Leaves Brooklyn: Part II

I wake up Saturday morning to the sound of chirping birds. It's like 85 degrees and apparently they haven’t gone South yet. I guess it’s only September and just because it’s Labor Day Weekend and my summer Friday hours are no more that doesn’t mean the season is over. I look at the clock. 9AM. Damn, birds.

I pad to the kitchen and in the process discover no one’s home. My father is likely at the golf course, my mother at the hair salon. These are their weekly rituals. I check the fridge for breakfast contents. It’s virtually empty– except for lots and lots of meat, which I don’t eat. My parents, like everyone else in the county, are on Atkins. It’s the Master Cleanse of the suburbs. I nibble on leftovers from last night’s dinner, get dressed to run on the track. (Just because I’m away from home doesn’t mean I slack off.) I always run in the gym and everyone keeps telling me running outdoors is better. Apparently jogging in a circle beats running in place. I figure I’ll try it out. And I can breathe fresh air into my citified lungs while I do it here. I take a Claritin in case my allergies flare again and head out.

I’m only supposed to do 12 laps, but I end up jogging 15. The local community college men’s track team is doing an informal training and what’s another .75 miles when I can ogle fine young men with tight booties, strong broad backs, and narrow waists (it’s all about "The V," I tell you.) A too young cutie with pretty white teeth hits on me as I’m doing my cool down lap. He’s chocolate and 18. I could show him shit he’s never seen, the 7 wonders of the world. (ha!) He asks my age. I tell him, and 18 says, ‘wow, girl, you look good…. for your age.'’ I ain’t showing him shit.

Back home, I shower, change into my father’s sweats (the A/C is set to Arctic, but I’m not complaining.) I’m in the lounger trying to figure out how to work the fancy panel screen TV when Ace calls. Apparently, I am not sitting in the house until tonight. I am going to Georgetown.

Before I moved to New York, Georgetown was my favorite place on Earth. It reminded me of the Village, which I always hung out in on my 2 annual trips to NYC. Then I moved North and realized I was deluding myself. (Since I moved to NY,I don’t even bother shopping in other American cities--except LA. If I want it, New York’s got it, so what’s the point?) ‘’I don’t wanna go,'’ I tell Ace.

‘’Be ready in 30. You’re driving.'’ Click.

Georgetown’s better than I remember, has most of the chain stores from back Home, they’re not crowded (by NY weekend standards), and the store and dressing rooms aren’t cramped. Plus, all the weird, funky clothes I like are there in my size. Most are even on sale. (I don’t care how great DC’s club scene is, it’s still a conservative-dressing town). I pop into Urban Outfitter’s and pick up a pair of high-waist jeans that I’ve been searching for. In the Georgetown Mall, I find a handcuff-bangle at Taxco Sterling Silver (I forgot about this place. I dropped entire paychecks from my part-time job here back in the day.) I stop in a boutique and check out cocktail dresses to wear to CBC if I come back in town at the end of September. Ace and I make our way through H&M, Intermix, Zara, Arden B, Bebe, Anthropologie, Disel, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Pottery Barn, Betsey Johnson, and a few boutiques that sell quirky-cute clothes. Four hours later, I am pooped!

Fendy, the Too Cute Assistant from Love calls my cellie. Apparently, Love owner Marc Barnes is opening another space on the 14th Street corridor called Park Place and she thinks I should check it out. (Full disclosure: I mentioned I might write about my DC trip. That’s why she’s calling.) When it opens during CBC Weekend, it will set a new standard for DC restaurants and lounges, she promises. Too Cute Assistant is in PR mode (they lie for a living) so I’m skeptical. (Sorry to all the PR people I just offended. But ya'll know it’s true.) It’s still a work in progress and the Gorgeous god Among Men will be there to show me around… if I’m interested.

I'm definitely interested.

We’re headed to Lauriol Plaza (www.lauriolplaza.com) in Adam’s Morgan or Busboys and Poets (www.busboysandpoets.com) off U Street, both chill sections of the city by day with plenty of boutiques, ethnic restaurants, and bars. Even after hanging out in the West Village for so many years, this strip still reminds me of the West Village. We turn the corner to get back to the car and spot the cutest restaurant with outdoor seating. Ace looks at me. I look at Ace.

‘’Sangria?'’ we ask at the same time. (We know each other way too well.)


Ney-La (www.neyla.com) has the best waiter on the planet who tells us we should have a pitcher instead of a glass. ('’The pitcher will make you feel better,”’ he says with a knowing look.) Two drinks in, the conversation has turned to boys and sex and I am laughing way too hard and telling too much too loud about the time I.. When he.. And how I shook and cried tears of joy after… And he laughed at me!… I was mad… Till he did it again. (I gotta blog about that someday.) I am officially tipsy. That’s when I realize I HAVEN’T EATEN all day. We immediately order a plate of the biggest grilled scallops I’ve ever seen to share and though the Middle Eastern meal does not come with pita bread, the waiter drops off a basket for us anyway. I think he knows we’re tipsy.

We sip and talk, talk and sip, till the pitcher is done. The best waiter on the planet doesn’t rush us from the table. He lets us marinate to enjoy the breeze and the view of cuties trotting past.

All the sudden I love DC. I think it's the liquor talking.

Finally, we sober up and can drive home to take naps before the evening's festivities. Back in the ‘burbs, Ace declares herself exhausted and passes on another night out. I’m tired too, but I don’t get a pass. Jason and Tariq are still taking me out.

After my nap (I’m old. I can’t run on adrenalin like I use to), I shower, put on my favorite short dress, and a pair of super high heels. Jason tells me we’re headed to an uber exclusive, boutique club where entry is based on the doorman’s discretion. Only the super fashionable and the super wealthy get picked to go in. I’m on a writer’s budget so I rely on a good outfit and hope sheer confidence will get me approved. Jason picks me up (Tariq’s meeting us later) and takes me to FLY (www.flyloungedc.com). The doorman singles us out in the crowd as we walk up and usher’s us in. I guess NY swag (J’s from NY) translates nationwide.

FLY is adorable. The spot looks like the inside of an airplane and the hostesses are dressed in stewardess uniforms. Flat panel screens line the walls and show pictures of friendly skies and gorgeous sunsets. I love it!

We hit the least crowded bar and order. I ask for a chocolate martini (my version of a Cosmo) and the stewardess tells me she’ll do better than that. She makes some concoction called an Almond Joy and I am in heaven after the first sip. The crowd is sexy and very Euro. The music amazingly good. I feel inclined to dance and so Jason and do another diddy, this time to some Justin song that sounds even better coming from these speakers. I could stay all night, but Tariq is waiting for us at LIV (www.myspace.com/livnightclubdc) right off the U Street Corridor. ("Corridor" is like DC’s favorite word.)

Jason calls the John Legend look-alike as we walk to the car. No answer. No Ibiza for us tonight either.

LIV is less posh and doesn’t give a damn about a fancy dress code. It’s a party-party, not a see and be seen affair. I’m freaking out about the wait till Jason calls a friend and gets us in without anymore hassle. Turns out the promoter for this party is a guy (Shi- Shiiiii!!! Inside joke) we went to college with at UMCP. A text from him to Jason’s phone deletes a wait at the door and the cover charge.

The decoration is minimal, the drinks are cheap, and the party is packed. We head upstairs to the balcony and we’re chatting it up about absolutely nothing when a burst of cold air assaults me and everything goes white. Seems I’m standing right under the fog machine.

Jason laughs at me. I laugh at myself.

Tariq and friends show up and I’m all golden. He’s brought the back-in-the day party pair with him. These two are married with a kid each now and it’s their first time out in months. We party like it’s first semester Senior year, 1999, when "International Players" comes on. The whole club breaks into song on the chorus. ('’I chose youuuu, Baby. I chose youuuuuuuu‘’) They go wild again for ‘’Superman That Ho'’ (I hate this song for content but it’s catchy as hell.) I refuse to do the Superman.

I dance so hard to everything the DJ plays that I sweat through my dress. I go stand near the fog machine so I can get blasted again and cool off. I haven’t partied like this since my undergrad graduation. And I’m drunk like back then too. Hanging with the fellas, I am subjected to drinking what they drink. No foo-foo chi chi ish like chocolate martinis. They keep coming back from the bar with Henny straight for themselves. Henny with Coke for me.

After another hour, Jason and I bounce to Republic Gardens (www.republicgardens.com) up the block. This is a DC staple and I partied here all through college. It has a new (non-black) owner, I hear, but dude has had sense enough not to change the décor or the vibe. We try to head through the sexy lounge area on One, but it takes forever because I’m cheek-kissing half the room. This is like Homecoming or something. Half the campus that I went to college with is in here. Upstairs we pass through the dance floor and find the other half of campus. EVERYONE is in here tonight! We head to the upstairs lounge and by the pool tables. There is just something so dang sexy about this place and it’s not just the nostalgia. Folks look good in their good wares. Fly, established, sexy, grown. I love it!

We mix and mingle till closing and outside we debate going to Adam’s Morgan for big pizza. There’s a couple spots on the strip that serve a quarter of a pie for $3.00. It’s the gooiest, cheesiest pizza on the planet and it sobers you up by the time you devour it. (No one just eats at 3AM.) I wanna go but I don’t want to walk, its far and I don’t have my back-up flip flops in my Louie.

Jason looks at me like I’m stupid when I say this. ‘’You’re in DC, D. We have cars here.'’

Oh. Riiiight!!! It’s what Oprah calls an A-ha! moment.

Jason drops me off at home and as I cuddle into my old bed at 4am, I realize I miss DC. A lot. I shouldn’t have stayed away for so long. That, and how is it I’ve been to 5 clubs in 2 days and haven’t heard go-go yet.

I have to hear some congos before I leave here. Jason will have to make that happen tomorrow. Part 3- SUNDAY, coming Sunday