Sunday, September 11, 2005

Wonkspedition #1

Wonkspedition: an outing of policy dorks.

The housemates and I had quite an evening. Yesterday was the Silver Spring Jazz Festival, a free jazz concert just outside of the District. The big draw of the evening was the final act: Wynton Marsallis, one of the best trumpeters in the world right now. The plan was to go to the concert, then drift back for some housewarming parties in our neighborhood.

We hopped on a bus for the 15 minute ride north, and walked another 5 minutes to the large open space where the festival was going on. As we drifted in, there were a couple sax players, accompanied by a rythm section. Relatively OK, for a pair of saxes.

After a 10 minute piano solo with only 2 notes, several of us decided to go find a beer some place. The exact phrase used was "a quick drink". That was at about 8 pm. A five minute walk showed us only one restaurant--Ruby Tuesdays.

We waited for 20 minutes while one of the three tables outside were cleared off. Yes, 20 minutes to clear 1/3 of the available tables. Then it was another 15 minutes for our waitress to come by where we orded nothing but drinks. Nothing fancy. 2 beers and a whisky-diet. About 10 minutes after THAT a friend showed up and joined us. The waitress came back to tell us the bar ran out of clean mugs, and was washing them before pouring our drinks. Our friend ordered chicken fingers and a beer.

10 more minutes. Guess what shows up? Drinks? Wrong. Chicken fingers. That's right, it's 10 minutes to fry some chicken, but more than that to get beer from a barrell into a mug. 5 minutes later the beer shows up, but no whiskey coke yet. That's right. Our "quick drink" was an hour in the making. And we're not out of the woods yet.

The waitress disapeared before we could ask for the bill. So it took us another 15 minutes to get possession of the magical piece of paper that would allow us to settle the account. By the time we managed to leave the most wonderful of all restaurants in the DC area, it was 90 minutes. For 3 beers, a whiskey-diet, and chicken fingers.

Moral of Wonkspedition, phase 1: don't ever go to Ruby Tuesdsays. Ever. Especially not the one in Silver Spring, MD.

After having our souls worn down by bad management, poor service, and overpriced bad beer, we escaped the trap that is Ruby Tuesday. We went back to catch the second half of Marsallis's set. It was pretty good, he played a couple pieces that were based on New Orlean's Funeral march style. The songs were good.

Following the short respite of good music--what I'll call the evening's interegnum--the 6 wonks began the short trek home. Or so we thought. It took us...maybe 5 minutes to walk to the bus terminal, and another 5 to find our stop (it's a big station).

So we waited.

And waited. And waited. After about 15 minutes I decided to find out the schedule. If the schedule was to be trusted, the next bus came at 10:30--which was about 2 minutes ago. but it never came. Not until about 10:50. By the time the bus came, there were enough people lined up waiting for it that it was standing room only.

Moral of the story, part 2: take the metro. you might wait 20 minutes, but at least its only 20 minutes.

By the time we made it back home, and picked up our donations for the housewarming parties that we were hoping to make it to, it was pretty late, and things were winding down.

1 comment:

R. said...

So sorry to hear that Silver Spring Ruby Tuesdays let you down--I'd like to assure you that the disappointment should be limited to the eating establishment you visited as there are several other great places to go in the vicinity. With that said, I'd like to extend an invitation to you and your housemates to join myself, B, and B at Mayorga (see link below for more info) for some coffee, or other, more serious drinks and live music sometime soon.

Let me know if you guys are intersted...