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ryan grim can’t seem to make up his mind about HR-57, first calling the music and cultural center a “dump,” complaining about the sound and food, and then going on to admit that it’s one of the last truly unique and down-home places left in an increasingly homogenized, overpriced, and stultifying D.C. cityscape (“Room to Improv,” 9/29). The most outrageous part of the article, however, is the sense it gives that this is not a place one would want to visit. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have been going to HR-57 for years and have introduced many folks to the center. Virtually everyone has come away from it commenting on its warmth, sense of fun, and community orientation. In other words, it is the exact opposite of what so many have to endure in “official Washington.”
Yes, there can be problems with the sound system, but those are, in fact, rare. Most of the time the music sounds great, the food is tasty, and the spirit of camaraderie and love for jazz and what it represents is pronounced. Don’t listen to Ryan Grim and his handwringing musings about the place. Come check it out for yourself. You’ll be back.