Tryst Misadventures

This weekend was jam-packed between fancy lunches, the symphony, art museums, and Oklahoma! (the musical). One theme, though, stands out among the rest: my persistent attempts (and often failure) to go to Tryst, the coffee shop half a mile from my house in D.C. Sorry if the title of this post misled you. If you’re uninterested in my obsession with coffee shops, you may want to tune out now.

Tryst is one of the best places for coffee in D.C. It’s owned by the same people who own Open City, a block from where I live. Open City has more of a sit-down, restaurant-vibe, although they also serve Tryst coffee and desserts in addition to meals. Tryst seemed better suited to doing homework and grabbing a quick coffee with friends.

That’s not to say I don’t love Open City. I go there several times per week and always order the same thing.

Lighting at 10PM may not be the greatest there, but that is green-apple-jasmine tea with animal crackers and a snickerdoodle cookie. It’s pretty close to perfection.

Anyway, I attempted to go to Tryst Friday night with a friend. Earlier that day, the Wells Fargo down the street from the shop experienced a huge robbery with a suspect at large, so people warned us it wasn’t the safest place to be. We went anyway.

First though, we wanted to get some homework done, like the good Stanford students we are. We decided to head there at 9PM. On the way, we stopped at Idle Books, a secondhand bookstore, because I’ve never met a bookstore I didn’t like. Although I could have spent hour perusing the shelves, I kept my browsing to a short 20 minutes. Adams Morgan, the neighborhood in which Tryst is located, is known as a great nightlife destination. Neither my friend nor I is twenty-one, so we went solely for the purpose of grabbing coffee. When we arrived at Tryst, a man was checking IDs at the door. I walked right in, looking for a spot near the counter just inside. He asked for my ID. When I said I was just getting coffee, he asked to see my ID again.

Apparently, after 9PM on weekends, no one under the age of 21 is allowed in because the place serves alcohol. My night  therefore ended at Open City, soothing my disappointment with green-apple-jasmine tea and a snickerdoodle cookie.

After a delicious lunch Saturday, I hurried again to Tryst with a bag full of reading. This time, I was allowed inside and snapped up a spot in a large, comfy armchair. I ordered a cafe au lait, thinking it came in a nice, standard 12 oz. cup. The mug delivered to my table fit about 20 oz. of coffee– not that I complained. I remained there for several hours. It was a bit noisy and I had to switch seats a couple times, but overall, I decided I loved it so much that I would come back the next day. The other customers were super friendly, the coffee was fantastic, and I was productive there.

Sunday afternoon, I started off yet again for Tryst, knowing that I had only a couple hours between brunch and a visit to the Phillips Collection. It was drizzling slightly, and I had forgotten my umbrella back at the house. When I arrived at the intersection separating the residential Woodley Park/Adams Morgan area from commercial Adams Morgan zone, I found the intersection surrounded by police cars while officers cordoned off the area. When I saw the police evacuating people from nearby building, I decided that it was time to turn around and head back.

In three attempts, I made it to Tryst only once this weekend. Perhaps I’ll have better luck this week.

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