12 W North Ave., thewindupspace.com, (410) 244-8855
Windup is known for its music and art offerings. But it is a great after-work bar in which to find yourself embroiled in interesting conversations. On a recent Tuesday evening, when we stopped in for some drinks and ping-pong, we saw beat-boxer Shodekeh, Del. Mary Washington, and WYPR personality Aaron Henkin, all sitting around the bar shooting the shit, while rapper Height worked out lyrics or something at a nearby table. (They didn't come together, mind you.) After Del. Washington played some ping-pong with a homeless man, she got deeply entangled in a discussion about legal gambling with Shodekeh, who was simultaneously trying to sucker people into chess games. A little bit later, pianist Lafayette Gilchrist and irrepressible impresario Bernard Lyons stopped in for a serious meeting that turned into more drunken ping-pong. And the bar's owner, Russell de Ocampo was wearing tight, aqua-colored ping-pong shorts that were only about half as long as his beard.