Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cool Disco Donut no more!!?? Cool Disco DAN

A new donut shop set to open tomorrow in Dupont Circle has changed its name after being accused of co-opting the identity of one of the city's most famous graffiti artists, writes the City Paper.
The donut shop, which was to be known as Cool Disco Donut, was named after Cool "Disco" Dan, the infamous tagger that left his mark all over D.C. in the 1980s and 90s. According to a Washingtonian profile, the shop, owned by local restaurateur Aaron Gordon, would pay homage—somewhat light-heatedly—to the style of the 1980s:
“When you get these trends, there's so much seriousness involved,” he says. “We wanted to go the opposite way in our vibe and look.”
What that means: graffiti, ’80s-style track suits, and and the likes of “Sardines” by the Junkyard Band and Prince’s “Purple Rain” blasting from a boom box, all of which you may find in the shop come four o'clock Friday. The old-school aesthetic is an homage to the Washington that Gordon grew up in, when go-go bands like Rare Essence ruled the game and graffiti artist Cool “Disco” Dan tagged every other surface in the city. The name of the business is a nod to the underground operator, though he has no official affiliation. Another local street artist, Juan Pineda, is behind the vibrant designs.

But Gordon tells the City Paper that he's changing the name to Zeke's D.C. Donuts, mostly because of some critical responses he got to the use of the tagger's name.
"I thought it would be whimsical and fun and silly. But in the last couple of hours since the name was announced yesterday, there's been a number of people saying that it disrespects the legend of Cool 'Disco' Dan … As a doughnut shop, we really want to make people happy," he said.
The timing is interesting. Next month the Corcoran will open an exhibit on the punk, go-go and graffiti scene in D.C. in the 80s and 90s, featuring imagery of Cool "Disco" Dan's work. Additionally, a long-awaited documentary on Cool "Disco" Dan will premiere in late February at the AFI in Silver Spring. (The trailer is below.) Some people with links to the film even threatened to protest the shop's soft opening tomorrow.
The donut shop's name could well fall into the category of "swagger-jacking," a term coined by a contributor to The Root D.C. Live last year to describe when entrepreneurs adopt names, events and identities linked to D.C.'s past. Or it could have been lighthearted fun with an eye towards D.C. history.
Either way, Cool Disco Donut is no more.

The location is the old Tasty-Di light and before that the Tangy sweet yogurt shop! and before that it was Rock Creek clothing store!

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