There was so much more in Arsene Wenger’s interview with L’Equipe Sport & Style that I would have loved to talk about as the International break continues. The events in Paris on Friday changed my focus, as I’m sure they changed yours. It was a time for reflection and prayers and concern for our brothers and sisters so far away. It still is. We are forever changed, but here’s hoping that lovely Paris never changes.
I’m traveling again! Washington D.C. this time, to work in one of my company’s other offices. I came on Sunday night and will go back to Chicago tomorrow. I love D.C. So easy to get around and so many fun restaurants. And the people….It’s said that some of the nicest people in the world live in the Midwest, but Washington D.C. puts us Midwesterners to shame, so friendly and open are they.
As I walked to the office from my hotel on Monday there was a tremendous police presence throughout the neighborhood, many streets blocked off and people congregating outside of their buildings, traffic backed up completely on the main thoroughfare that remained open. Since ISIS had announced plans to attack other cities, including Washington, D.C., I wondered if the police presence was terror-related. It turned out that a woman was experiencing a “mental health crisis” and had barricaded herself, armed, in a building nearby. A woman having a mental health crisis, and you realize it’s not yourself. There isn’t much to celebrate right now but we’ll celebrate that.
Before I came to D.C., I checked the Gooner Bars & Pubs page on the Arsenal web site for the Arsenal soccer bar in D.C.. I also asked some colleagues who participate in a soccer chat board what was the best soccer bar near the office. All signs pointed to the same place: Lucky Bar.
Lucky Bar’s website gives off a single, clear message: “If you need a slick website instead of a great soccer bar, don’t come here.”
So I went with one of my colleagues after work. The place was swarming with Chile and Uruguay supporters, US supporters, Brazil and Peru supporters, and random others having a beer. The bar is not so different from the website. There is not one slick or contrived element in the space. It is purely designed for one purpose: fit as many soccer fans as one can into a space perfectly shaped and managed such that each visitor can see a TV and get to a beer. They packed many of us in today.
The big attraction was the Uruguay v. Chile match, playing on the biggest of the TVs. Even the Trinidad and Tobago v. USA match, which started a few minutes before Uruguay v. Chile went to half time, played on smaller TVs. It only moved to the large sets when Uruguay/Chile went to half time. The fans were friendly, chatty, and enthusiastic. When Uruguay scored the first goal a huge roar went up, even though Uruguay supporters were the smaller of the two fan groups.
My Anchor Steam was gone just after halftime and my colleague and I were ready for dinner, so we headed out.
Lucky Bar is a great place to watch a match. Great set-up, solid service, excellent selection of beers, fun atmosphere. Can’t wait to see an Arsenal match at Lucky Bar sometime when I’m back in town.