This piece originally ran on July 11, 2013. We figured you may need it today. -ed.
By Legba Carrefour
Everyone needs a vacation, even your friendly, neighborhood anarchist. But not everybody can afford a trip out of town, especially your friendly, neighborhood anarchist. So what’s a friendly, neighborhood anarchist to do? Staycation! Our friendly, neighborhood anarchist Legba Carrefour has designed the perfect escape from the mundane! Ladies and gentlemen, here’s the D.C. Anarchist Staycation Guide!
Obviously, we’re not endorsing breaking into places and stuff. Don’t be dumb. -BYT
3900 Harewood Road NE, Washington, DC 20017
(202) 635-5400 (By appointment only)
You went down like Icarus and rise like the Phoenix, hungover. You feel guilty and nothing fixes a Catholic Guilt Complex like a trip to venerate our newest canonized saint: Pope John Paul II. Noted for his refusal to use condoms during rough pre-marital sex and being fucking old, the Shrine is a testaments to his grand works. You’re not entirely sure how to pray but you brought love potion foot powder from your local Santeria botanica. You’re asked to leave after screaming “Jesus was Black!”
FUN FACT: A local DC designer built the chair that Benedict sat in on his historic visit to the neighboring basilica.
1424 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 797-9826 (Not gay. Located in Dupont Circle)
Okay, Catholicism isn’t your bag. You decide an interfaith exploration is in the cards. Scientology, the only major religion founded in the 20th century, lets you rub elbows with celebrities and has a museum. When you enter the building a greeter rushes to your side. The first thing you notice is the uniform: dressed like a Mormon missionary with a fashionable two-tone tie. The second thing is the piece of paper waving in your face: a lengthy document asking for your name and address, Just in case there’s a fire and we need to know who is in the building so they can identify the bodies. You write in an ex’s new partner’s information and start your tour. The museum is made up of rooms that look like the trifold stands for a science fair with an interactive video presentation where interaction is demonstrated by pressing “Play” and sitting down. The first is a biography of L. Ron Hubbard. You learn that he earned 21 merit badges, favored ties as an attractive young man (yes, he was) and ascots in his twilight years, wrote tens of millions of books, believed in top down/bottom up solutions (not gay), and something, something. You’re offered an IQ and Personality Test, with 200 questions, including “Do you get random muscle twitches” and “Have you any fears?” At the end, you get asked to sign a paper promising to a five-year commitment to Scientology. No matter how hard you try, they won’t ask you to leave.
FUN FACT: You’re served Kool-Aid. No Jonestown-style poison though.
- P Street Beach
23rd and P Streets NW Washington, DC 20037
Unlisted Number (Check Craigslist)
Your eyes bulging from the assault of information designed to weaken your resolve and common sense, you check out the public park a few blocks away to rest your feet. But hey, who’s that strange man, under the bridge, staring at you and slowly unzipping his pants. You freeze, unsure of what to do. Then it hits you. Before Grindr, there was public cruising. You remember the old Dupont, the days of bicycle thieves, crack dealers in the circle (you can buy a pipe kit, consisting of a pen and a Brillo pad, at a nearby gas station), shops that weren’t chains, and actual homosexuals. You make a dash for it, only to trip over the guy in a Speedo, sunning himself. He stares at you angrily before taking a dive into Rock Creek, ignoring a large sign informing you of the sewage outflow five yards from the swimming hole. Hey, it gets better.
FUN FACT: Yelp says, “You wanna get you B effed? Or have about your D essed? This is the place! Leave your swimming trunks at home, bring wet wipes.”
Near the Holocaust Museum
So your attempt at a breath of fresh air failed miserably. You decide a little petty vandalism is in order. Spin magazine once described the Wall of Fame as the longest graffiti wall on the East Coast, and it lives up to its reputation. A half-mile of tags, murals, and teenage poetry up to the ceilings, you dodge transients burning trash in oil drums, play Frogger with trains, and take a walk along tracks that stretch from Rosslyn to the south and under Union Station to the north. Get chased out by the 5-0? No sweat! You check out the world’s largest suburban lawn for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the world’s largest collection of fanny packs.
FUN FACT: You can shoplift spray paint from Home Depot.
400 block of I Street, we’re not giving you the address for obvious reasons
Night falls. You’re jacked on Adderall and Evan Williams. You’re too broke for even the diviest of bars; fuck it, time for crime. Gold Leaf was one of the last standing warehouses in the city, converted from its namesake to artist studios, band practice space, fashion outlet, and party spot. Closed in 2012, artists, musicians, and fashionistas were unceremoniously evicted. Strangely, the building still stands with zero development having taken place, even a year later. You hop up an adjacent building, jump down, kick in the door, and realize you’re home. Cavernous and more beautiful than any shrine, the empty space gives you a bit of vertigo. You see a band has written track names on the wall, there’s left over bits of art, a fridge that reeks of corpses, a fire extinguisher you fill with paint, and a door that leads to nothing but air. Suddenly, a growling sound rumbles. You flee, cursing gentrification and your sprained ankle from scrambling over the gate.
FUN FACT: Having sex in every room gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
500 Indiana Ave SW Washington, DC 20001
Your spree of trespassing, vandalism, and disorderly conduct finally gets your ass pinched by the fuzz and you land in the clink. Good going, buddy. You get driven to the Third District Police Station, where you sit in a solitary cell with a steel door, no shoelaces, and scratches in the wall that read “FUCK YOUTUBE.” [Also not making this up]. In the morning, they haul you to the courthouse. You wait. You wait. You wait some more. Finally, you get dragged into room C-10, reserved for the arraignment of misdemeanors (arraignments start at 1 p.m. and run all day). The judge starts by giving the entire courtroom a lecture and showing a video on the dangers of drunk driving. You miss the Scientology museum. After a million billion years, it’s your turn. Standing in an orange jumpsuit, shackled, you’re told by the bailiff to stand at a line made by tape. You see your court appointed lawyer and cry. You either get no papered (meaning the prosecution has declined to even file charges) or a status hearing where the case will either get dropped, dismissed, or diverted. Your community service involves poking at trash with a stick. You get a prison tat. Hard time changes a man.
FUN FACT: ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards).
622 Kennedy St NW, Washington, DC 20011
(202) 829-0721 (Call ahead for reservations)
You left court with a growling stomach and shits that spray like precision bombing in Fallujah. You realize your food stamps ran out and your probation makes another shoplifting binge questionable. You wash up at Tony’s Place: The last of DC’s tradition of dive greasy spoons where two fried eggs cost a dollar. The art deco sign rises a full story and blinks like a strip club, the Mumbo Sauce comes in gallon jugs, Tony probably died sometime in the fifties and left instructions for his ashes to be mixed with the pepper, but an entire meal of Teriyaki Chicken with rice and plantains will run you $7 dollars. You make a blowjob joke at the counter and nobody asks you to leave. Heaven.
FUN FACT: Vegans need not apply.