Burdened by the weight of expectation of a garlic bagel breakfast sandwich (tomato, onion, cheese and bacon), I finally made to 14th and R last weekend for a blissful morning at Sparky’s. I had been in DC for almost two weeks, but had traveled back home the previous weekend and because of training didn’t have the opportunity to spend a morning at one of my favorite DC haunts. But…
Sparky’s. Has. Closed.
Yes, they are reopening at the end of summer, but in a new location. Who knows where? Who cares where?
It was in fact a crushing blow, compounded by my then visiting a relatively new coffeehouse called 14U at 14th and U St. (duh.) Because I despair still about Sparky’s, I will instead relate the 14U experience. First, it was freezing. Second, my slight perk-up at seeing the free wifi sign dissolved as I read the table placard which said (paraphrasing), “We’re glad you’re here and enjoy the free wifi, but since it’s expensive, you get an hour before you have to order something else.” Needless to say, I debated placing my coffee order and food order separately. I froze, and read, and froze some more, and thought of the booths at Sparky’s that were so much better than the wooden tables at 14U, and grew more and more bitter. Spirit of coffeehouse stabbed to an unglorious end.
In a fit of delirium, I somehow feel that I may be partly responsible for Sparkys’ closure. I wrote about it changing. I put the idea out there into the webiverse. And now, like Tom Hanks screaming for Wilson, the volleyball that kept him alive and sane in Castaway, I am adrift on 14th street, wanting to scream, “Sparky’s!!!!! I’m sorry!!!”