Sunday, June 04, 2006

Kramerbooks & Afterwords


A friend sent me this photo of Kramerbooks & Afterwords, a book store/cafe/24-hour sanctuary that we used to frequent back when I lived in Washington D.C. many moons ago.

Shortly after college, I moved to our nation's capitol with a group of really close friends. This was probably the most special time in my life. Yes, I'm happy with my life now, but this period is forever preserved in my memory as perfect. I was 24, and still believed that everything was possible, like becoming U.S. Poet Laureate. *smile*

Kramer's was (is?) a small, independent bookstore, so when I walked in I was overwhelmed by paperbacks. Rows and rows of glossy paperbacks that I'd buy just because I liked the covers. And in back, there was a restaurant that served okay food and desserts. We'd never go there for dinner, but they were good for nachos and a slice of cheesecake. We'd sit for hours drinking coffee and tea, and then walk around the monuments at midnight--just because we could! (I was in great shape then, because I wasn't really trying. It was just fun.)

We did a lot of dreaming at Kramer's. That was our spot to celebrate and commiserate. It didn't matter that we were poor--you know, that 20-something-I'm-poor-but-will-spend-my-income-on-stupid-stuff-poor. We'd go there at 11:30 p.m. Saturday nights so we could get early editions of the Sunday Washington Post and look for our dream jobs. We'd talk about dating and not dating, travel, and how everyone else seemed to have it all wrong except us.

I haven't Googled them yet but I believe Kramer's is still in existence at DuPpont Circle, at least I hope it is. And I'm happy to say that I will be meeting these same friends for lunch in a few hours. I think we still see ourselves as those same 20-somethings who planned on taking life by the balls and making it scream for mercy. And while I don't think that everything is possible, I do believe that anything is possible.

Thanks for sending along the photo, "Suck Patch!" (You know who you are!)

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

what wonderful memories...

Alexandra G said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog this weekend so that I may now discover yours too! Its not too late to be the poet you always wanted. remember what George Eliot said? "Its never too late to be what you might have been."

bb said...

*And while I don't think that everything is possible, I do believe that anything is possible.*
(bb smiles) so true, so true.

January said...

Yes, one day I would like to be Poet Laureate. I think that's the greatest job in the world (next to motherhood).

Left-handed Trees... said...

Every writer needs a place like this to "dream". So beautiful...we only have a few of these places left around here with the influx of the monster-bookstores. I think these are convenient, of course...they can afford to price books at a lower rate, sure...but since they all choose the same 20 books to promote each month, I wonder what will become of the scrappy poets and writers who don't fit the mold? We need bookstores like your old haunt to keep literature fresh and alive! Thanks for this post...

January said...

I would give almost anything to live in a world where poets, writers, and teachers were valued more than actors and athletes.

As for those of us who don't fit the chain bookstore mode, we blog!

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