09 August 2006

Punk Alive & Well in DC?

Maybe it's that I just toured the Anglomania exhibit at the Met, or maybe punk's back in DC. Either way, I have to say that I was thrilled to death to see a gaggle of teen punks hanging in Tenleytown.

From what I see, DC teens tend to rebel with goth. And while it does take me back to high school & my theater friends (ah, play practice), it's a little stale, as far as rebellion goes. So when the girl in front of me on the Metro escalator was in full Brit-punk regalia, I nearly stopped her to tell her how great she looked. Never mind that she probably would've taken one look at me and run home to change out of an outfit that "the (wo)man" liked.

So, props to Tenley Punk Girl: messy bob with multiple reds/browns, long cigarette jeans flipped into a big tight cuff (hitting right at the ankle), wide studded belt (nice classic punk touch) turned around backwards (I think I'm going to steal that one), green-yellow cheetah print T, and baby sneakers in a funky print. Nothing overt about it, but it was all hers. She seemed comfortable in her own skin - which is a lot more than most teens can say.

And as we got off the escalator, rounded the corner, I saw her with her punk crew. Honest-to-gosh spike mohawk, chains, and the like. Of course, they were in front of Starbucks, but hey - we are in the US of A.

There's something just so refreshing about punk. In our jaunt to Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side, we ended up in a dive, just us, the barkeep (very large man), and two other guys. Practically no light, but the bathroom was clean (I really had to go!), and the club soda (too much bolognese & grappa in Little Italy earlier) was cold. And on the two TVs, a documentary was playing about a current punk band & their journeys (wish I could remember who - H - any idea?). Fascinating stuff, to watch them follow their dreams in broken down busses and group houses. The whole of what we saw, though, and somehow, the whole punk thing, can be summed up by the best line:

"If I'm gonna be homeless, I wanna be on the Lower East Side."

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