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19

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For finicky members of the District’s barhopping scene, the Raven on Mount Pleasant Street NW is a nightmare: no velvet ropes, no valet parking, and the people inside wear (gasp) sneakers. My friend Daniel, on the other hand, loves the place (note: he also thinks it’s cool to wear an America’s Most Wanted baseball cap), but even he has his complaints: His idea for a Raven T-shirt—”If there isn’t a spring up your ass, then it isn’t the Raven”—was inspired by the bar’s notoriously lumpy booths. Still, the Raven’s dark, dank seediness makes it the perfect refuge from the pathologically sunny, smiley set. So if, and when, poetry is read at the bar, it’s got to be melancholy and depraved. Tonight, the words of Edgar Allen Poe, for instance, should make an appropriate accompaniment to the cheap bottles of Miller High Life and the misplaced springs. Poe’s “The Raven” will be read in honor of the poet’s birthday at 8 p.m. at the Raven, 3125 Mount Pleasant St. NW. Free. (202) 387-9274. (Felix Gillette)