Farewell, dear Orpheus
The condos march ever onward in spite of a shrinking economy and a housing market that more and more acts like an angry, impotent man flailing about his useless, flaccid penis.
The latest victim is the soon-to-be decimated (in my own opinion) neighborhood of Clarendon. For as far back as I've lived here, it's been one of the best kept secrets of the metro area. Cozy, inexpensive ethnic restaurants and $1-beer-night bars shared street space with the kung-fu movie rental store and the world's weirdest overstock outlet.
Of course, for me, the centerpiece of the neighborhood is/was Orpheus Records, which has been a source for new and used vinyl for the last 30+ years. It was one of the few places in town to go to get new vinyl (from street punk to left-field indie to folk) and one of the best used vinyl sections in the area - their entire wall of jazz records and healthy collection of vintage garage and college rock kept me coming back. It was the place to go on a warm afternoon, where after one spent an hour picking through $4 doo-wop records, discovered an obscure bluesman, and perhaps came across a slab of wax that had been on one's wish list forever. (For this cat, it was finding first pressings from Wire, the Soft Boys, Sonny Rollins, and Adrenalin OD.) Then, depending on the hour, one could have have a snack at the Indian place next door, peruse tabloid rags at the British newsstand, people watch at the gravestone sales lot, or go get a drink at the hole-in-the-wall watering hole.
I sensed the end was near when Liberty Tavern set up shop on Wilson Blvd. Check it out here and you'll see what I mean - http://www.thelibertytavern.com/home.php . Dipshit Central is right. Khaki-clad Bluetooth slaves started showing up to eat $10 sandwiches and drink fair trade microbrew and nuclear-colored drinks with names like The Bahama Mama. Then the ancient deli shuttered. Then they gutted five storefronts to put in another goddamn CVS when there's another one two blocks away. Then future condo site signs began popping up like zits on prom night.
Orpheus is one of the last victims of this insidious plight. The building management is not renewing their lease, so goodbye to one of the last fronts in the War For Homogenization so that Johnny Tightass and Suzy Marketing Rep don't have to walk more than a block for overpriced drinks and yoga studios. Thanks for making everything the same and for making sure that nothing great ever gets to last beyond our lifetimes. Even the ultra-sketchy Peruvian Motors had a charm that overpowers the 15-story monstrosity you plan to replace it with.
Orpheus has until the end of March and is having a 50% off sale, so if you can, please please please go on a spree one last time and help Rick cover his debts and liquidate his stock. If you have any taste and there's anything left, I promise you'll find something you like.
One last thing before I collapse in bed in a fit. On the day I found out the store was closing, I was walking back to my car and passed Liberty Tavern. Outside were a gaggle of blonde-dyed ninnies all wearing matching khakis and black heel pumps and the inexplicably popular battered-wife sunglasses that everyone wears these days, and they were chattering away about the most inane things possible in the most boring, asinine way possible. The bar itself was blaring Ugly Duckling, an obscure, underrated rap trio from Long Beach. I didn't know whether to cry, scream, punch one of the women just on principle, or hurl a trashcan through the bar's front windows and scream "GODDAMMIT WHY CAN'T YOU JUST LET US HAVE ANYTHING COOL WITHOUT FUCKING IT UP?"
I went with Option 5: glaring witheringly at the dumbasses gathered outside and walking off in a huff. The last thing I heard before I turned the corner was "oh my god, this is just like on The Hills!" "HAHA INORITE?!?"
Godspeed, sir. Mailorder is still fun, but it'll never be as much fun.
I know this is DC and New York sucks a big bag of dicks, but I can't stop listening to this song today. Probably related somehow.
Simon and Garfunkel - The Only Living Boy in New York: http://www.mediafire.com/?im99nclrnjm