Restaurants & Bars 1

RW Presbycousis

StephenB | Jan 17, 2003 08:43 PM

Ha! Gotcha. It's not the name of a restaurant, it's a hearing problem in which the sufferer (me in this instance) has full auditory response in normal circumstances but misses the soft sounds such as f,th,s,sh, etc. in places where there's a lot of white noise. Thus I can hear fine but sometimes not understand. Another reason to miss Phyllis Richman, since one of her criteria was audibility.

There is a wide range of acoustics among the RW places that many of us have been to this week. Seasons (at the Four Seasons) is the best I've been to, probably because the tables are so far apart. Corduroy is the worst. I simply could not understand what my companion was saying. The people to the left and right were much more audible. Jeffrey's seems to be better designed, because although it was quite crowded and noisy this afternoon, the words coming at me across the table were crisp and distinct. I've had problems at Kinkaid's as well.

Not an RW place but worth mentioning because it's an acoustical disaster despite its tininess is Makoto on MacArthur Blvd. And I should mention that Full Kee for all its downscale appearance is acoustically fine.

The absolute worst place in Washington is that Mexican joint at Wisconsin and Macomb, whatever its name is. One of the best is the Irish Times on Capitol Hill, also a noisy place but unexpectedly easy to hear what people are saying. Go figure.

This subject will seem trivial to those who know not presbycousis, but it can be pivotal to the enjoyment of a meal. At Corduroy, I was forever leaning forward and saying, "Say that again."

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