Long story short, the two kids and I got to be good friends in the couple months I lived there, and they took to inviting me along on their evening outings. They were especially keen on hauling me to some of the gay bars accessible by metro: Tracks (now defunct, alas...a great place with live music, pool tables, and a volleyball court!!), the Frat House (oof...the videos!) (name changed to maybe chi omega?), and the Fireplace (see photo on preceding post). Upstairs, the Fireplace also had hanging TVs (usually devoted to cable soccer, etc.) like any bar but with those videos that were so uninhibited they made me titter like a maiden aunt. The other type of outing the kids enjoyed was hauling me on the bus. They'd spend their time teaching me ASL, especially sex signs and fingerspelled dirty words. They would laugh and laugh as I blushed.
At the end of the summer, I moved out and have never been back to any of those places. Luckily, though, I met some of my best friends at Tracks in those early days in DC. "Oh, HI!! My goodness! I'm surprised to see YOU here!" followed by "And I am surprised to see YOU here!" We'd meet often on campus for lunch, and it was all very pleasant.
I moved to DC without knowing a soul other than the two people who interviewed me for my first job. I had decided I would NOT own a car in a place with such wonderful public transportation. This definitely cut into my social life, since almost everyone FLED the campus at the end of the day (earlier on fridays if they could manage it) to Maryland or Virginia and didn't return until time for work again. Thanks to the two rambunctious young kids who thought it was FUNNY to discover an adventurous old grandma living in their rooming house, I had a most enjoyable summer meeting new friends and learning all about lots of things totally unrelated to academia. (Well, not totally....)
Anyway, using the free wifi in this wonderful coffee house is as close to the Fireplace as I get now. The fire still burns behind the glass on the corner of the building (not sure if it's visible in this photo). A whole new generation warms itself there.