The PopCulteer
March 25, 2011

It’s another photo-heavy edition of The PopCulteer this week, as your PopCulteer uses the visual medium to relate his trip to Washington DC last weekend. Also, we bring you some video from one of the area’s newest weekly jam sessions…with a caveat.

Last weekend Melanie Larch are I made the trek to our nation’s capitol to see The Steppenwolf Theater production of “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf” at Arena Stage.

It was a spectacular production, staring Tony-nominated Amy Morton and Tony and Pulitzer winner Tracy Letts. We had a blast, and it was my first time in DC, so the whole experience was new to me.

What follows is the photographic travelogue. Enjoy!

PS: Some of the details in the captions might be a bit fuzzy. This week’s PopCulteer is being written under the influence of allergy meds after some unexpected exposure to tobacco Thursday night.

Your best friend in DC, The Metro! It's very fast, as you can see.

The building where all the unsavory characters gather

Ladies and Gentlemen...The Smithsonion!

A statue of Luden Smith. one of the Smith Brothers, who endowed the museum with money from his lucrative cough drop mines.

If only we had budgeted enough time to go inside...

Not everyone on the Mall were tourists. This lady, for instance, came to see a man about a horse,

The Washingtowel Monument. It's hard to believe that massive structure is made entirely out of compressed wash clothes. You ought to see how they scramble to get a tarp over it when it rains.

From The Base of The Washingtowel Monument, you can see the LanCome Memorial. The reflecting pool has been closed for repairs because apparently the reflections weren't doing what they were supposed to.

The famous "Bridge To Nowhere" was visiting from Alaska.

The main reason for this trip...

Arena Stage is housed in a building constructed by one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, George Jetson.

Inside, rich patrons eat at the fancy restaurant over the main stage and throw food down to the common people during intermission.

I snuck a picture of the set on my cell phone. I hope they don't find out about it.

We stayed in Shirlington, which seems to be a Mall masquarading as a village. It was very nice, and we found this place to eat breakfast.

If Taylor Books and The Bluegrass Kitchen had a kid, and that kid moved to DC, it would be Busboys and Poets.

If Taylor Books and The Bluegrass Kitchen had a kid, who then grew up and moved to DC, it would be Busboys and Poets.

Art covered the walls while pictures of Ghandi and Poems by Langston Hughes filled the blank spaces in the menu.

The food was all locally-sourced and organic. I had free-range wheat toast, holistic eggs, and grits. I was assured that each grit had been humanely euthanized.

Plus they had a free-trade store. It was fun. The food was very good, too.

We had dinner one evening at Johnny Rockets, right next to Busboys, where Mel partook of a Chocolate Malted with pixie-like glee.

Right across the street from Johnny Rockets was the Signature Theater, which we didn’t get to go to.

Seen here in daylight.

That’s my quick photo essay on my first trip to Washington DC. I hope it’s just the first of many.

Acoustic Jam At The Pour House

Something really cool is that The Pour House, in Dunbar, has started hosting an acoustic jam on Thursday night, hosted by our friend and RFC fave, Johnny “Hurricane” Compton.  We went to check it out just last night, and the good news is that it’s a great showcase for local musicians like Johnny, Sierra Ferrell, Mike Selbe, HoboClay Schwarz and others.

The bad news is that The Pour House apparently does not observe Kanawha County’s smoking ban, and Melanie and I are quite sick from the smoke. I have serious respiratory issues, and being around smoke for more than a few minutes is too much for me to bear. If there are typos in this week’s PopCulteer, I blame it on the fact that I can’t really focus my eyes right now.

I notice that, even though there was fantastic music, there wasn’t much of a crowd.  Maybe The Pour House could lure some more patrons if they enforced the county’s health rules.

It’s a great scene, and I hope to hear that they start enforcing the smoking ban so I can go back.  If you can tolerate carcinogen-bearing smoky air, you should check it out. I’m posting a couple of clips from last night below so you can see what’s going down.

It’s a great stage and a fun place to shoot. I hope they snuff out cigs so I can return someday. I’ll keep you posted and plug the hell out of the place if they clear the air.

Thats it for this week’s PopCulteer. Chcck PopCult all week long for our regular features.