It might be hard to be the transgendered reincarnation of Andy Warhol’s favorite muse, but that’s okay because Edie is currently tearing up the US of A from Washington D.C. with a multimedia assault in the form of tributes to the dear celebrities we hold close to our hearts. Whether you want to hear Edie’s take on the secrets of the Beltway, find out about how to write yourself a discount a music gear store (even if you don’t want it), or just want to learn an Indian hand-jive, this guide to the White Chocolate City has the Ghettoblaster stamp of approval.
What’s your town’s nickname?
Some call Washington, D.C. “Washington.” Others call it “D.C.,” or just “DC” (but, when spoken, you can’t hear the missing periods). Still others call it “The District of Columbia.” Still others call it “Chocolate City,” as many black folk live here (though, these days, it’s kind of a white chocolate city due to Caucasian yuppie invasion). Still others call it “Dodge City,” taken from the Go-Go Posse’s “D.C. Don’t Mean Dodge City,” a response to the metropolis’ high murder rate in the early 1990s (the murder rate has since declined). George Washington called it “The Federal City.” Sarah Palin calls it “Inside the Beltway.” I’m not friends with Sarah Palin, so I don’t call it that.
Why do you live there?
I am a “brain punk,” not a “pop punk,” or a “gutter punk,” etc. Brain punks like D.C. because you can go to law school or work on Capitol Hill, but you can also see Dischord bands and volunteer at Food Not Bombs. I never volunteered at Food Not Bombs, though.
What is your favorite local attraction (monument, park, etc)?
There’s a statue of Albert Einstein on Constitution Avenue near the Mall that’s friendly and makes me feel warm inside. Since most people think of a huge phallus (the Washington Monument) or staid marble memorials (Lincoln, Jefferson) when they think of D.C., this friendly rococo statue is a pleasant departure from our downtown’s severe classicism.
What is the best time of year to be there?
Summertime is boiling and muggy and sweaty. Most people hate it and blast their air conditioning, but I just lie around in my hot house and try not to move and am glad it’s not icy and freezing and January.
Who is your favorite local celebrity/personality?
Blelvis (a.k.a. “Black Elvis”) is a colorful local semi-homeless alcoholic who knows the words to every Elvis song and will sing to you for money. Also, if you don’t see him for awhile and ask where he’s been, he says, “Don’t you know? I’ve been in Blemphis, studying at Blemphis University.”
Where is the best place to drink and what’s their specialty or happy hour?
I don’t drink, but I like the Abita root beer at the Black Cat, a local indie rock venue of some repute.
What is your favorite local band?
Protect-U. They are an instrumental electronic duo that pioneers an aesthetic called “swimming pool” or “spiritual techno.” I recorded their 12-inch in my studio. Also, I am currently sleeping on their couch.
What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
There’s this insane Indian buffet in College Park, MD right outside of town called “Woodlands.” It’s vegan friendly, and they have these awesome enormous portraits of Indian ladies doing this funky hand jive that’s like some kind of yogic hand jive or something. Also, they have Indian Chinese food.
What is your favorite local shop?
Atomic Music is this paradise of well-priced vintage gear. I wrote about them once for Washington City Paper, and now they give me deals. I didn’t write about them to get a discount, though. In fact, every time they give me one, I want to explain that it’s unethical for me to accept it, but there wasn’t an explicit quid pro quo, so maybe the discount is okay. I also don’t have the heart to turn them down because I know they’re just being nice to me. Also, once, they gave me an oversized T-shirt. Also, the deals aren’t that great, I think just like $20 off. I’ve probably spent like $10000 there since 1996. Maybe more.
What is your favorite local publication (alternative weekly, zine,
website or blog)?
I’ve written for the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, and this hipster doofus website Brightest Young Things, but I’m not sure if any of them are my favorite publication. I really like this weird zine called Many Hills Mostly that’s done by my bandmate up in New York, so I guess that’s not really local, but he distributes it locally, so maybe it does count.