A couple weekends ago the other Mr. MyPorch and I went out to Bethesda, Maryland to a stereo repair shop and ended up having a blast.

Let’s unpack that rather loaded statement:

  1. Bethesda, Maryland is a suburb of Washington, D.C., and, while easily accessible by both Metro and automobile, we pretty much never get out there. Living in the District and commuting by foot and Metro, it seems the only time we get in the car is to make a trip to the grocery store and the occasional trip to New York. (After almost three years our car only has 11,000 miles on it.)
  2. In our disposable, it is cheaper to replace it, way of life, who in the world knew that stereo repair shops still existed? However, lo and behold in the yellow pages–yes the big yellow book still exists as well–there were a few listed for the Washington area. The folks at the Electronic Clinic in Bethesda were as friendly as could be and their shop was chock-a-block with every kind of stereo equipment and electronics you could think of. Although some of the equipment was definitely of recent vintage, the shop was like a step back in time. Opened in 1969, the year I was born, it took me back to my youth when not every store was a chain. I also felt rather proud of the fact that I was having my 20-year old Kenwood amplifier repaired. I bought the thing when I was a junior in college, and let me tell you, I could not afford it at the time. I charged it on a credit card and felt so guilty for not putting cash on the barrelhead that I covered it with a towel and didn’t use it for about 3 weeks. Perhaps even more of a throwback, was the fact that I was getting the amplifier repaired so that I can listen to my turntable.
  3. Had a blast in Bethesda? It was great to poke around a part of Bethesda (or anywhere for that matter) that still has space for small useful shops like the Electronic Clinic. There were enough other interesting shops and restaurants that we ended up spending the rest of the afternoon in the neighborhood. One particularly nice shop we almost passed by without going in because it was such an unlikely building and location for such a nice store. Specializing in Swedish antiques, the store Tone on Tone is a spacious and calm haven of beauty. Our only disappointment was that our 1400 square feet can only fit so much furniture.

Lesson learned: Get out of DC more often.

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