Actually, that would be “Waiter’s Race” – an annual event to celebrate Bastille Day. Outside Les Halles Restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue (which is conveniently across the street), they put up food booths, play loud music, and run the Waiter’s Race (read about it on WashPost).

No, it’s not a race to see how quickly they run up your bill. They actually block off about 4 blocks (from 12th to 8th street) along Pennsylvania Ave. and waiters must carry a tray with a champagne bottle and a full glass of champagne to the end of the course and back without spilling a drop.

My 6th floor window afforded a wonderful view of the race, so I watched as the three (clearly serious) competitors sped out in front of the 30 or so other waiters (both male and female) who must have hoped the advance team would be disqualified for spillage. Two men and one woman power-walked, one hand swinging wildly for balance while the other carefully balanced their tray (two hands on the tray is a no-no). The two men, who pulled out ahead, both walked with a gangly lilt, shoulder dropped to perhaps better balance the bottle (how’s that for alliterative reporting?).

I thought the race would have been a touch more exciting if complemented by DC’s infamous problem with exploding manhole covers. Now that would have been covered by ESPN.


One Response to Wait or Race

  1. natalie says:

    I have ALWAYS wanted to see this race and I never make it! C’est la vie, non? On Sunday, however, the Takoma Park Farmers’ Market will have crepes to commemorate la jour de la Bastille! Come on down for Nutella crepes!

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