H Street Festival Rocks The City Again

Along the entire H Street corridor in DC, multiple stages keep the place rocking throughout the day.
Along the entire H Street corridor in DC, multiple stages keep the place rocking throughout the day.
As improvable as it may sound, DC residents can let their hair down and can bogey with the best of them.
As improvable as it may sound, DC residents can let their hair down and party with the best of them.
Playing non-stop rock & roll oldies, the energetic middle-aged band brought the house down along H Street.
Playing non-stop rock & roll oldies, the energetic middle-aged band brought the house down along H Street.
As if the many bands at both ends of H Street were not enough, area DJ's kept the crowd dancing on the street.
As if the many bands at both ends of H Street were not enough, area DJ’s kept the crowd dancing on the street.
The festival is undeniably the best multicultural event in DC, where ladies with parasols and people grilling from inside the hood of their cars mingle for a day.
Undeniably the best multicultural event in DC, the festival brings together people from all walks of life for a day.
Absent the manicured galleries at other DC neighborhoods, H Street artists display their creations right where everyone can see them.
Absent the manicured galleries at other DC neighborhoods, H Street artists display their creations right where everyone can see them.

What can you say about the yearly H Street Festival downtown Washington, DC.  Have I mentioned before that this is by far my favorite street festival in the area?  Well, it is, and every year I go back to take some pictures and to enjoy the music, the incredible restaurants, and above all, the laid-back party atmosphere at the place.  Apparently I’m not alone in thinking that way, as judging by the wall-to-wall crowds, this must be one of the best attended festival in DC.  Not served by a metro station and somewhat out-of-the-way from the tourist areas in the city, H Street is one of those places that you reach by either intentionally walking there for a reason (and there are many reasons to visit) or simply by getting lost.  But no one has problems finding the place in September, when masses of revelers and artists descend on the neighborhood for a cultural festival like no other in this town of buttoned-up politicians.  Boasting some of the best ethnic restaurants in town, H Street more than makes up for its otherwise glamorous-challenged existence by becoming party central for a day.  That the festival happens to coincide with the start of the famous Oktoberfest in Munich is even better, because just like in that great German festival, the folks at H Street never run out of beer either.  :-)

My Favorite Street Corner In the World?

Local musicians jam away right outside the metro entrance at the corner of 7th Street NW and E Street NW in Washington, DC.  Leica M 240,Leica M 240, Zeiss Ikon 35mm f/2 T* ZM Biogon.
Local musicians jam away the corner of 7th Street NW & F Street NW in Washington, DC. Leica M 240, Zeiss Ikon 35mm f/2 T* ZM Biogon.

Is it possible to have a favorite street corner in the whole world?  I never gave this much thought until a few days ago when I happened to find myself in a very familiar spot in Washington, DC.  You see, I have a kind of strange fascination with the Penn Quarters section of the city, and in previous occasions this neighborhood has been the subject of this blog.  What makes this occasion different is that I just realized how much I really enjoy walking around this particular spot on earth with my camera.  No matter how many times I go out to photograph everyday life, I seem to always find way to this corner of 7th Street NW & F Street NW, and with good reason.

The place is a beehive of human activity, from panhandlers selling tickets to sports events, to elegantly-attired folks headed half a block up E Street to the imposing Shakespeare Theater Company.  It is like the point where various rivers converge, resulting in waters that become both turbulent and majestic at once.  For photographers and admirers of the human condition, this is definitely the place to be.  And no matter where other roads may take me from time to time, there’s one thing I know for sure: I will be back to this raucous corner many times in the future.  Not that everyone there is happy to see you with your camera, but rather that there’s so much going on all the time, that most people don’t notice you much amongst the constant flow of people that cross that intersection every day.  It is the perfect place to feel alive, and that puts it right up there on my book.