I’m in Washington for a couple of days this week. One of my favorite places here is the Tombs. It’s a cozy little Georgetown bar with its own $3 “Tombs Ale,” just light enough that you can have plenty of them without feeling much. The posters on the wall, the bricks in those walls and the conversations and time that they bear silent witness to, the brass of the bar railings and the little plaques commemorating people past and still among us, the booths where the little conspiracies of life are still sprung—this place is the sort that allows one to feel like they’re living with a coherent tradition, even if they’re just passing through.

The Tombs is just above the “Exorcist steps” on the edge of Georgetown’s campus. Trinity Church is just around the corner, and Wisemiller’s deli is next door.

I’ve never lived in Washington, and I’ve only spent passing time in this neighborhood, but the Tombs and its immediate surroundings are an example of the sort of place and neighborhood feel that Jane Jacobs celebrates for their unplanned diversity, their history, and their value as gathering places amidst the newer and less human-feeling parts of a place.

Until next time…