The pictures only begin to capture the oddness of the old streetcar tunnels beneath Dupont Circle. Graffiti covering the platforms, the short-lived and then transient-camp food court, two-thirds of the tour in darkness, interspersed with light shows and the balls from the Building Museum pit.
The tour provides the flashlights. You wear closed-toe shoes and watch out for stray metal. If you have serious asthma or similar issues, consider a mouth-and-nose covering. The guy who walks at the back of the tour and ensures no one disappears wears one. I felt okay, but the flashlights make the dust and dirt and trashed-plaster wreckage clear.
We followed up the tour with playoff football at Buffalo Billiards and a board game at Kramerbooks. (The board-game bar — who knew there was such a thing — was, to our surprise and to the bar’s credit, too full.) These activities felt nicely normalizing. After you get a glimpse of the end of civilization, surrounding yourself with people feels warm and helpful.
Here’s one of the light shows.
And here are plenty of pictures.