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Adams Morgan Day: DC Needs More Festivals

by Borderstan.com September 13, 2011 at 8:00 am 2 Comments

"Adams Morgan" "Borderstan"

September 11: Adams Morgan Day 2o11 on 18th Street NW. (Scott Leibowitz)

From Scott Leibowitz. Find him @Lebodome on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

The 2nd Annual 17th Street Festival is coming up Saturday, September 24. It will run from P Street north to Riggs Place NW. Look for the Borderstan.com tent!

There are lots of different types of fairs, carnivals, and street celebrations in the life of a busy city, especially one such as Washington DC. Last weekend our small corner of Northwest DC was host to what I think is one of the most fun and easy going around; the 32nd Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival.

For a place that can be generalized by most DC residents as just a “strip of bars and pizza” (not sure if that’s a bad thing or not), Adams Morgan I like to think is one of the truer neighborhoods in the district. I use Mr. Rogers’ word here in the sense that a general continuity of both the businesses and the regular day people who live in a space where most idiot undergrads try to use their fake I.D.’s.

As I have mentioned before, I live right in the heart of 18th Street and from my window have seen things that I can’t publish on this site, but suffice to say they are more graphic than my four years in a fraternity. This festival is a great way for DC to enjoy the area in the sunlight and freely move around the streets and enjoy plenty of amenities, without the usual nonsense. Some highlights…

Carnival Food. People from Minnesota will always tell you, food tastes better on a stick. 18th Street NW was overwhelmed with BBQs, tasty drink stands, and my personal favorite; fried stands with funnel cake and other treats. It always shocks me how these types of food tents aren’t more common, I mean we could all use more fried plantains in our lives.

Feel Good Art. I am not the most cultured person but I enjoy my fair share of art. Adams Morgan brought together a great variety of local artists on a side street and their stuff was great. Some were friendlier than others but all were happy just to be sharing their art with their fellow residents. Special shout-out to Michael J. Auger, love the cow.

Free Stuff!! The world needs more of it. Companies like Mellow Mushroom and Bolt Bus had raffles. PNC Bank gave away pens. I just love free stuff.

The Whole Family Sure I am in my mid 20s, but I still love two stages of music and ski ball as much as the next 10 year old (maybe more).  There was a bouncy castle too but the line was a bit too long for me.

Overall, kudos to the people who put this one together. A great day of activities followed by one of the best and quickest cleanups I have ever seen on a city street. I overheard some grumbling from some local business people that actually most of it was done with people who don’t live around the area, but who cares. A great festival is a great festival.

Thought of the Week

Football season is here and I am always going back and forth with people on where is the best place to watch their team; their bed, couch, next door bar, huge sports bar, rooftop, etc. Over the next few weeks I hope to examine this issue quite scientifically so would love to hear some thoughts.

Where you do like to watch games and most importantly, why?

Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!

Breaking the glass ceiling, one sports video game at a time.

New Ben & Jerry’s flavor named after classic SNL skit “Schweddy Balls”.

Serena Williams lost in this year’s US Open final, and had this outburst.

Comments (2)

  1. I’m still not quite sure why this was called ‘Adams Morgan Day’ since it did nothing but put a further strain on local businesses by hiding them away behind crappy, overpriced carnival food. Why can’t it be more like other neighborhood block parties and incorporate the local bars and restaurants into the event itself A number of local bar and restaurant owners took a financial hit during ‘Adams Morgan Day’, which is slightly ridiculous given the fact that it was also Week 1 of the NFL, which is generally a very lucrative day for bars. From what I’ve heard, it cost $1,000 to put up a merchant tent during ‘Adams Morgan Day’, my question is, who is taking in all of that money (over 100 tents, you do the math) and what is it going towards? I can only hope that it goes toward neighborhood social projects b/c otherwise this day is stupid and pointless.

  2. Ben, you didn’t attend the same Adams Morgan Day that we did. There were at least 20 or more Admo biz that had booths and Most all ground floor businesses were packed, inside and decks and sidewalk cafes. Especially since this Festival does not allow any Festival alcohol sales or beer gardens which is what brings in the bucks for other Festivals. You must be intentionally lying because any Adams Morgan business gets a discount and retail and non-profits pay $225 or $300. No one pays 1,000 except for a couple national corporations, per the public vendor app.

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