April 2007


We went to Fish in the ‘Hood tonight, and it exceeded my expectations. I loved this place the moment I heard its delightful name. But even more pleasing to the senses: its delicious food. I love you, Fish in the ‘Hood.

Fish in the ‘Hood is strictly a take-out venue. It’s not a dive — it has nice glass cases full of fresh fish on ice, cute benches for waiting, plaid wallpaper. It’s nice — not so much that we fit in while waiting there in our work clothes (nor would I want it to be!). But an upstanding seafood establishment.

We ate: fried trout, cornbread (both recommended by the drug dealers in the ‘hood), catfish, macaroni and cheese and collard greens. All of it was scrumptious. Even the collard greens. (Quite the accomplishment because, let’s face it, it’s pretty easy to make some colossally bad collard greens.)

They sell fresh seafood by the pound, and they fry it for you there. And it is so good, it will make you want to slap your grandma. Oh, fish in the ‘hood.

While Mr. Fish in the Hood was packing up our order, he also gave my husband some great culinary wisdom:

“Now, when you eat this, you want to feed it to your woman by hand. That enhances the flavor of the fish. You also want to call her ‘my queen,’ and look into her eyes… that also enhances the flavor of the fish.

“Try it, and if it works, come back Sunday, and we’ll have you give a testimonial. There are some people who are having some troubles.”

Bill’s Seafood Fish N the Hood: 3601 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, DC

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Tuesday, April 17. Like everyone else in the country, I am sad about the recent tragic events at Virginia Tech. Things, it seems, have gotten pretty bad in the world. Jesus, come back.

I have found myself weeping along with NPR and the Washington Post, or just tearing up while waiting for the light to change. Maybe the woman on the bus felt the same way.

I was on the bus this morning, en route to the Supreme Court, of all places. There weren’t many people on the bus, then it was just me, the bus driver and one other woman. The woman was griping about her bus transfer and singing to herself (with a very good singing voice!).

“Cry, cry, cry,

Cry your eyeballs out.

The more you cry,

The less you pee.”

She cracked up at her own wit. Not seeing a lot of support from me for another verse of the song, she went to the front of the bus to dispute her bus transfer with the driver. It was a standard transfer that would give her free entree for any bus within the next two hours. But singing woman argued the standard should be a three-hour transfer, because what if, for instance, she had to take a bus across DC, then up to Silver Spring, then over to Gaithersburg, then back to DC? Surely that would take longer than two hours.
The bus driver was unimpressed. So she sang to him:

“Cry, cry, cry.

Cry your eyeballs out.

The more you cry,

The less you pee.”

“That’s an original composition,” she said. (and here we thought it was a new Ashlee Simpson tune) “I just wrote it right here.”

She then departed the bus. (“There’s always a crazy one,” the bus driver told me.) But her song stayed with me. It was a catchy little tune, to be sure. And its utter goofiness made me snicker all day — a great comfort on a day when I really do just want to cry my eyeballs out.

Thursday, April 12. There is a house on my street that is infamous for drug dealing and associated illicit activity (like drug use, and, oh, the occasional drive-by shooting). There are always a lot of guys sitting around outside in front of the house. Tonight as we were parking, they were just settling down to some take-out. I wondered, “Where do the drug-dealers* eat?” So we asked them.

(*I will note that these guys might not be drug dealers at all. But they are sitting in front of the drug house, so they are probably at least friends with drug dealers.)

us: Hey, watcha got there?

guy one: Trout, some cornbread. This cornbread is good. It’s only 75 cents.

us: Really, where is it from?

guy one: Where? Oh, what is the name of that place?

guy two: Fish in the ‘Hood.

guy one: Yeah, that’s it. Right. Fish in the ‘Hood.

Fish in the ‘Hood! Of course! Why would I have thought it would be anything else? Hollywood could not have scripted such a perfect eatery for the drug dealers of my street. Fish in the Hood. Your name is like honey on my lips. Now we must visit there.

We bought a house a few months ago. We are located in the city, just about three blocks east of gentrification. Our neighborhood is wonderful, quirky, diverse, active. I love to observe life here. And now I will share these observations with you, my friend, bloggie.