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MJ and Chimp: Not part of Policy’s pop-culture decor

Last night, as I was hanging with restaurant designer Walter Gagliano, we stopped at Policy to check out the interior at this new 14th Street hotspot. Gagliano had plenty of interesting things to say about the restaurant/lounge, far more than I thought any human being could possibly have for a spot that looks, essentially, like an S&M dungeon with designer cocktails.

But as we were sitting there, dipping our toasted pita into a trio of spreads, I couldn’t help but notice the music. It was one Michael Jackson tune after another. Finally, after about the sixth song from the King of Perpetual Adolescence, I turned to Gagliano and asked, “Have you noticed the music? It’s all Michael Jackson. Do you think that’s on purpose?” It didn’t seem to fit the vibe, nor the target audience, that Policy was aiming for.

Gagliano appeared perplexed as well and wondered if Policy didn’t have a jukebox tucked away somewhere, to which an obsessive MJ fan was feeding a bank roll of quarters.  Neither one of us had the desire to go searching the joint for that possible secret jukebox.

Later, as I was standing on the sidewalk and talking via cell to Amanda Hess to relate Gagliano’s thoughts on Policy, The Sexist told us the bad news: MJ was dead. It all suddenly made sense, and I had a newfound sense of respect for Policy for dropping all pretense at hipness in order to mourn a man/child whose once immense talent had been reduced to an unfortunate freak show. I wish I could go back to that moment at Policy and relive it, knowing what I know now. The experience would have been far different.

If you haven’t read them yet, Walter Gagliano also shared his thoughts on two other 14th Street/U Street spots: Cork Wine Bar and Station 9.

Photo by dalbera via Flickr, Creative Common