27 July 2008

Superland, in more ways than one

Friday we meet friends we haven't been able to see for many months. We enjoy their company, dinner and cards. The gathering breaks around 10 pm and it is a gorgeous evening: warm with a light breeze. We do not want to go home so as we are driving through Arlington we turn in on 23rd street. We are shocked. There must be at least 30% turnover of establishments on the two block stretch over the last year.

"Wait, didn't that used to be a Thai restaurant?"
"Yeah! Wasn't that that Middle Eastern place we ate at with X & Y?"

I feel a little sad realizing that these places, where we had good times, are gone. There are just as many restaurants and bars but now there are many unfamiliar names. We decide to check out the Tortoise & Hare, which also very recently was something else, because it looks to be hopping without being mobbed. I like their tag line: "Hop in, Crawl Out".

The bar is smoky (the joys of Virginia) and the atmosphere is pleasant although nothing exciting but the band playing is Superland. Imagine: a nine piece funk band including four brass players producing a lot of good music and no cover charge! Their keyboardist is absent but they still manage to produce amazing sound. Superland plays Stevie Wonder; Michael Jackson; Pink Floyd; L.T.D., The Ides of March; and more with uneven success but a lot of heart and, surprisingly, it's their originals that are consistently toe-tapping. According to one of their drummers, they're out of College Park and play the 8X10 Club in Baltimore.

When we leave at 1:30, they are still kickin' it and the crowd is loving it and I am once again left with tremendous appreciation for the area we live in and all that it offers.

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