Chatter: The Big Uneasy
What you said about what we said last week
Before H Street NE’s TruOrleans was shuttered this month for unpaid taxes, it built a rap sheet that included persistent neighbor complaints, lawsuits, citations by alcohol regulators, and one extended melee involving margaritas and an actual food fight. Jessica Sidman ran through the Cajun/Creole restaurant’s many woes in last week’s Young & Hungry column, and readers showed little sympathy for the felled establishment. “As a resident who lives a few blocks away, I can’t tell you how excited I am to see TruOrleans disappear,” wrote NoMa Resident. “The only thing the food was any good for was throwing,” commented Jimbo.
“Feel that hate!” wrote Roll Call After Dark blogger Jason Dick, who observed that the closing of TruOrleans “was reminiscent of when LuLu’s Club Mardi Gras, another infamous Faux Orleans joint, closed its West End doors in 2006, delighting everyone except for underage George Washington University students.”
Back in our comments section, reader DC found one nice thing to say about TruOrleans: “When this place opened, I was skeptical it could deliver a true New Orleans experience. Turns out that between the fights, the drunks, tax evasion, and the public pissing/puking it achieved a genuine Bourbon Street flavor.”
In his history of the Black Cat, Brandon Gentry recounted plenty of shows that took place at the 14th Street NW rock club. Readers added a few more: Dudeman remembered a gig featuring Slant 6 and The Fall, 20011 shouted out The Wrens, and Puddle wrote that “Mary Prankster stole my heart at her first show at Black Cat, and I have never been the same since.” Not a happy customer? Milton Noones, who wrote, “Never been a fan of the sound system which has resulted in many mediocre shows. I definitely enjoy the bar and the backroom though.”
Gentry’s article inspired Slate economics blogger Matthew Yglesias to riff on the economics of club booking. While Yglesias disagreed with Black Cat owner Dante Ferrando’s counterintuitive assertion that more competition leads to higher ticket prices for concertgoers, he found Ferrando’s theory that a proliferation of venues has weakened D.C.’s rock scene more interesting. “I think what you really want to say isn’t so much that a smaller number of venues is better, but that the optimal scenario involves a high ratio of bands to venues,” Yglesias wrote. “If the supply of venues expands faster than the supply of bands, then you end up with an undesirable equilibrium where the bands play too frequently and the rooms aren’t full enough.”
Ward 1 already has two candidates vying for the so-called “progressive” vote, but if incumbent Jim Graham runs in the hopes of keeping his D.C. Council seat, do challengers Brianne Nadeau and Bryan Weaver have a chance? Will Sommer was skeptical in last week’s Loose Lips column, as was reader Typical DC BS: The only way to beat Graham is to “run ONLY one candidate in the Democratic primary opposing him. If there are multiple opponents, Graham will win.”
Commenter Murph, however, opted to hate the game, not the players: “Unless we reform our election laws to somehow take into account voters’ preferences (i.e., instant runoff voting), challengers will have to engage in these awkward attempts to push their opponents out of the race...incumbents will rake in the developer dollars, and use their Constituent Slush Funds to convince low-information voters what a dandy job they’ve been doing.”
Department of Corrections
Due to a reporting error, last week’s Housing Complex column misspelled the last name of Danae Tuley.