Appreciating the Beauty of Belly Dancing and the Happiness of Haberdashery

By The Metropolist
Friday, February 27, 2009

Our alphabetical waltz down memory lane continues this week with a belly dance.

Port Said

The nightclub Port Said in the 1960s was downtown just off Connecticut Avenue. The club specialty was belly dancing. When I was a college student, it was the perfect way to feel naughty without breaking any laws. I didn't know then that a female body could move in so many ways. As supporters of the art can affirm, belly dancing can be very erotic without being crass or uncouth. The emphasis was on the movement and muscular control. It was an epiphany for me. Some years later, my wife and her friends took belly dancing lessons. I fully supported them.

-- Michael Hoyt, Silver Spring

The Princess Theater

As a child in the 1930s, I remember attending the Princess Theater at 12th and H Streets NE with my brother on Tuesday afternoons for the magnificent sum of 5 cents. This included a double feature, serial and cartoons. I vividly remember my brother teasing me for hiding under the seat during the showing of the original "King Kong" with Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong. During the serial, "Flash Gordon," with Buster Crabbe, the movie screen would turn green when the rocket ship landed on the planet Mars.

Above the Princess was the Northeast Temple Bowling Alley, managed by Ollie Pacini. On Saturdays, he would host a bowling competition attended by some of the foremost duckpin bowlers in the country, some coming from as far away as Connecticut.

-- Gil Zabrek, Rockville

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