It was during one of my late July or early August nights out when en route to the Fireplace and Omega that I first noticed Goody's at 2004 P Street at Dupont Circle West.
Not only was I surprised to see so many folks congregating inside and milling about on the sidewalk in front of the place which for many years had been a similar establishment but of a different name. But as I proceeded west on P Street in the direction of the two gay clubs I passed numerous others who while walking west, as well, and chowing down on a slice of pizza juggled a box or two (of pizza) that they, apparently, had just purchased from Goody's. Though most appeared to have been college students, perhaps from GWU and Georgetown U, many of the usual P Street folks were in the mix, as well.
A large TV screen propped up against its right wall projected images through the front window as dance music from a local radio station reverberated out onto the 2000 block of P Street, NW, at Dupont Circle West.
After spending the next hour or so going back and forth between The Fireplace and the Omega Club, looking for a trick, and more than a bit perturbed with the institutionalized racism that as a 50 something gay black man I experience at gay clubs I headed over to the Green Lantern to drop off a dvd version of my FREEDOM 2007 - Capital Pride Parade - WDC - 08 June 2007 projections project for DJ Rob and DJ Bill. Whose mixologies I hope to feature in one or more of my future WDC projections projects that will integrate my photography with mixes created by dj artists whose mixologies ''... and without apologies ... reflect the rhythms of our times."
Heading east on P Street in the direction of Dupont Circle and passing a stedy stream of folks eating a slice of pizza with one hand while juggling a box or two (of pizza) in their arms I remembered my freshman and sophomore years at the University of Maryland, in 1973 and 1974, that when congregating at the Student Union Building or at fraternity houses on Fraternity Row or at the various beer gardens along Route 1 ... college mates and I ... ate and juggled pizza the exact same way.
Then, but, not unlike a flashback I then remembered that a concern that my four white Delta Tau Delta fraternity brothers and I always had when I drove them down to the Pier Nine and Lost And Found in SW and SE WDC in my VW was " ... will they let Elvert in ...?".
Which also would be a concern in the late 70's when I begin to frequent Mr. P's and in the 80's at the Fraternity House which, now the Omega Club, black men would be asked to present two ids. And while my white friends have always done and in many cases delt drugs ... in the exact same same way that black men will be asked to present two ids at clubs many a white man, over the years, have approached me for drugs.
As I walked pass 2004 P Street, NW, I could not help but observe that the crowd inside and outside of Goody's had mushroomed to an even larger number than just an hour before. Taking note of a white guy that I have often seen at the Omega Club who was sitting in the window eating a sandwich with a black guy I had little doubt that the white guy was 'juggling' the black guy same way that white men, over the years, had attempted to 'juggle' me. Observing the TV screen that was visable through the bay window I said to myself "... this may would be a great a place for my "Dupont Circle, Over The Years" photography exhibition".
On Saturday nights throughout the exhibtion and, of course, during the opening reception dvd versions of my dance music projections projects would serves as background music and visual effects.
After stopping in at the Green Lantern and dropping off the FREEDOM 2007: Capital Pride Parade dvd I walked home to SW WDC and while visualizing a "Dupont Circle, Over The Years" exhibition at Goody's and remembering the events and faces of that evening I reflected on the institutionalized racsim that I had experienced, over the years.
I seldom go to "the bars" anymore but during the two subsequent Saturday nights, in August, that I did visit the gay clubs on P Street, at Dupont Circle West, not only were there crowds inside and in front of Goody's but, many a folk milled about in the streets ... eating slices of Goody pizza while juggling carryout.
There is not a day nor moment in my life or a time, over the past 35 years, that when I have walked along P Street, through Dupont Circle or visited gay bars throughout the nation that I have not been confronted with institutionalized racsim and negative reinforcements.
When stopping in at Goodys a few days before my September visit to NYC to inquire if they would interested in playing dvd versions of my projections project on their TV screen I would learn that the TV does not play dvds.
And when I got home, later that evening, I would receive a phone call from a friend of friend who "... asked me about drugs" ... in the exact same way ... that when ever I walk along or visit clubs and venues on P Street that some white guy, in an attempt to 'juggle' me will 'ask me about drugs.
Having heard news in early August of the Delirum Sunday Tea Dance Party at Pasha's which I may would have attended over Labor Day Weekend had I not been in NYC after photographing the Black LUV Festival and Duke Ellington Jazz Festival at the Sylvan Theater on Sunday, 16 September 2007 I stopped at Pasha's to introduce myself to Bill Alldredge of ATMOS EVENTS. And to inquire if, at a future event, I could get a few photos and video shots of the djs and crowd as part of my ongoing DJ Artists and Out In the Life documentary series.
Mr. Alldredge said Columbus Day Weekend may would be a good time. Later that evening or, perhaps, the next day when I received a third phone call from that same 'friend of a friend' 'asking me about drugs' I could not help but reflect on the fact that each and every time that I walk along or promote my art along P Street .. . and in attemot to 'juggle me' some white man will 'approach me about drugs'.
Not a day goes by ... that I am not confronted with institionalized racism.
When at the beginning of my Saturday, 22 September 2007 Photo Walk that I felt 'faint', in Dupont Circle, I decided to grab a quick bite by checking out Goody's. It being mid afternoon, I was happy to see that there was no crowd.
The young man behind the counter was very polite and friendly. Feeling 'faint' I thought, at first, that I would get a slice of pizza. But, viewing the menu I saw that Goodys offers much more than pizza.
I ordered the Spring Chicken sandwich with Monterey Jack Cheese at $6.99 and a large Sprite soda. Within a short period of time, the young man handed me my sandwich. I sat at the same table in the front window as had the white and black guys that I spoke of earlier. While I now do not recall what was on the TV screen I believe it was some sports event.
The sandwich was fresh and very tasty. It was then that I realized why Goody's attracted such a crowd.
Acccording to its website, in addiction to Dupont Circle and Clarendon locations they also offer Catering and online / delivery service through Doctor Delivery. For Take - Out call 703.524.0800. I also observed a great selection of cakes.
Not only are there crowds at Goody's at Dupont Circle West on Saturday nights but when I passed by Goody's on Wednesday afternoon, the line reached out into the street.
When at Dupont Circle West that you are in need of or wish for a quick but delicious bite to may I suggest you visit Goody's Corner Eatery at 2004 P Street, NW. Since there may be a crowd you may should call 202-223-4646, first, for a take-out.