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Mini-mixtape: being an A-town girl hurts sometimes

I went into DC this weekend, and wanting to avoid experiencing the desolation of Clarendon (seeing how I grew up there, 4 blocks from the metro station), I hit up Georgetown and Adams Morgan with a friend from high school.

Let me explain the Clarendon situation as I know it: I was a little too young to be concerned when it began in the 90s (or the 80s, for that matter), but sometime in the past 5 or 6 years Clarendon's previously moderately-paced transformation mushroomed into an outpouring of awfulness. So the Blockbuster and Dunkin' Donuts disappeared, no big deal. And Whole Foods arrived, still not a problem. Then came Barnes and Nobles and the accompanying aggregation of expensive vanilla stores, the Container Store, the Cheesecake Factory, the Apple Store, Crate & Barrel, Ann Taylor loft. Not too bad. I thought the coming of yuppie-ville would stay isolated. But with the stores came condos that multiplied like sex bunnies. The Clarendon ballroom (see the photo at top left, from Metroblogging) became the new hot spot for the 20s former-frat-and-sorority bar-hopping crowd that I so despise (because they park their cars in the neighborhood and used to walk past my house incredibly loud and drunk every weekend night at 3 a.m.).

This was all entirely awful but bearable until the inevitable came: we lost the locals and mom-and-pop's - the hardware store, Lazy Sundae, The Museum of Modern Art, and others I'm forgetting. The most recent victim is Orpheus, Clarendon's record store, which was owned by this old guy who I always resented because he wouldn't give me a job in high school. Now he's gone too. A whole block's worth of stores were sold sometime within the last 6-8 months, and the emptiness behind glass windows glares out at you.

Clarendon is soulless.

These songs remind me of those nights when you can get lost in the flurry of people and colored lights and hide your loneliness in the dark ...and sometimes the urge to run away from the city when change becomes too much.

David Gray - Babylon
Regina Spektor - Summer in the City
(Buy Begin to Hope from Insound)
The Postal Service - The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
Bloc Party - Blue Light
Rufus Wainwright - Going to a town (Rufus has very different reasons for being tired of America, but...)
(Buy Release the Stars from Insound)
Andrew Bird - Plasticities
(Buy Armchair Apocrypha from Insound)

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