That’s how President Kennedy once described life in Washington, D.C. But when you’re in the dog days of summer, southern efficiency sounds like just the right speed.
It’s also the name of a fantastic place in the District to escape the heat – a small whiskey bar in Shaw. It’s part of a trio of bars fashioned out of restored row houses on 7th Street by D.C. writer and cocktail guru Derek Brown.
Most people’s instincts are to avoid alleys. At least in fiction and film, nothing good ever comes from taking a wrong turn into one.
But when it’s the opening of a new coffee shop in an old District alley way, you can’t keep me away.
Saturday morning I ventured into Blagden Alley in the historic Shaw neighborhood for a first taste of La Colombe. It’s a trailblazing coffee company from Philadelphia, with cafes also in New York, Chicago, and Seoul. They’ve recently been supplying coffee to some notable D.C. restaurants, and have finally opened an outpost here in the District.
There have been a lot of significant Civil War anniversaries as we pass through the sesquicentennial (that would be 150 years) of America’s greatest conflict.
Today marks one of those – the failed assault on Fort Wagner by the 54th Massachusetts regiment, one of the first African-American infantry units to fight in the Civil War.
If you’ve seen the movie Glory, then you’re probably familiar with the story and its significance.
But what does that distant battle off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina have to do with Washington, D.C.?
For me, this anniversary hits close to home – literally. I live in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood, an historically African-American part of the city near U Street.
The neighborhood is named after Colonel Robert Gould Shaw from Boston, who was the commander of the 54th Massachusetts (and played by Matthew Broderick in the movie).
NPR had a story today on the influential Shaw Memorial by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens – an amazing piece of bronze sculpture depicting not only Shaw, but his regiment of soldiers marching out of Boston and off to war.