Sunday, April 16, 2006

dc space

My running joke on this project of seeing what has happened to important, former underground music venues, is that they would all now be Starbucks. In the case of dc space, at 7th and E Streets, the joke proved true.

This location is only about a block away from the Verizon Center (the DC sports arena where Washington's professional basketball and hockey teams play) and a few blocks from the old 9:30 Club. This area has undergone a complete transformation since the arrival of the Verizon Center. In the early 80s, the area had been pretty much abandoned. When I lived in DC over three years ago, the area was quickly gentrifying but still had gaps of boarded up or decrepit buildings. In other words, you could still see the past if you looked around. Today, the redevelopment of the area is almost complete with restaurants, shops, bar, and expensive apartments. It always surprised me that this area had fallen into disrepair since it was the historical business center of DC and so close to the modern business center of DC.

dc space, formally District Creative Space, opened in late '77. Originally hosting jazz, poetry and performance art, it soon became an important place for DC's growing punk scene. According to Dance of Days, Bad Brains was banned from playing the second floor performance area because the energetic dancing of the crowd threatened the collapse the 19th century floor.

dc space shut its doors '91. Posted by Picasa

space was the place, space was the place...

Where are they now? Bill & Susan Warrell? Al & Chris Jirikowic? Raymond Martin? Hassan? All the lovely bartenders, barmaids, cooks, waitrons and patrons -- that eclectic mix of gov't workers, artistes, goths, punks, gays, rastas and new wavers that made d.c. space the "neighborhood bar without a neighborhood" as it was so often called?


Sir, your latte is ready...
many fled to places far away saving themselves from the sadness of trying to explain what d.c. used to be. many stayed and became what they never wanted to become. and a few, keep on keepin on. let's hear it for the underground. amen. hallelujah. struggle.
7Chris is out in Westover Md and Al owns his own bar in DC and creating his own scene. Pat Ingram( PatConyers to DC Spacers)

PS Undergrounders have to emerge at some point!
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