Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Adventures in DC

It's been a wonderful, wonderful day, with only a few frustrations rooted mostly in painful feet and faulty logic ("there must only be one street called 5th street", "if this metro is not going to Shady Grove, it must be going in the opposite direction", "if I keep asking this graduate student questions about the MFA in Creative Writing, she will suddenly realise she does know the answers after all").

First, there were the famed scones from my host: while not (of course) the same as British scones, they are reminiscent of them, and were a great start to the day. Then I wandered down to Union Station to meet up with a Twitter friend - who turned out to be exceptionally kind, generous and encouraging. We prayed for each other right there in the station. Very cool.

I made my way to Dupont Circle, where in a misguided fit of excitement at having found the house where Donna lives in the episode of the West Wing where Josh throws snowballs at her window, I asked a passing stranger to take a million photos. A task she undertook with gusto and flair, but alas, all in vain, because although the houses are very similar in style, it wasn't the right one.

Still, it made me happy at the time. And under the blue, blue sky I made my way to Embassy Row, where after making admiring noises at posh buildings I eventually struck up conversation with yet another kind and knowledgeable stranger who pointed me in the direction of Georgetown. I'm not normally a walker, but my unusual physical exertions were amply rewarded when, somewhere on Q street, I passed a box marked with my two favourite words: Free Books. Among which was Hilary Clinton's autobiography, which I've been thinking of buying. Much happiness ensued. I continued my path through the beautiful Georgetown streets with the houses that are all so different yet somehow form a coherent whole. I could have photographed every single house; they all had character, and colourful charm.

Georgetown University was nice, too, and I love listening into students' conversations and imagining that I am still one of them. I walked and walked and walked, it seemed, in pursuit of a cafe that my guide book had recommended, but instead I passed one that called itself the "cutest in Georgetown" and it lured me with its outside patio and old issues of Time Magazine, and I'm glad, because although the coffee was terrible, the crepe with banana and Nutella was so enjoyable that I didn't even get cross at the article in Time about the alleged benefits of being an only child.

And in the evening, after much getting lost, I finallly ended up at Busboys and Poets, for an authentic DC experience listening to a Very Famous Man I've never heard of talk about the Death of the Liberal. Really interesting, and great food at the same time. Should I ever move here, this will become one of my favourite places.

Tomorrow, Eastern Market, Library of Congress, Hawk and Dove, and Politics and Prose, although that seems a lot to manage in a morning, so I may have to let one of them go. I love this place.


Anonymous said...

I laughed at your experience at "Donna's" house. My first trip to DC I photographed the wrong house. Got it right on my next trip and as it was near my hotel, HAD to walk past each morning. I imagined lots of snowballs and Josh! A favourite DC/WW experience

Claire said...

Any chance you want to tell me which house it was?! (My comments are moderated so I won't publish if you'd prefer not!) I'm almost certain that I got the right road, but I couldn't fid the right house - white facade, green door, black window frame... didn't seem to match any of them!

Hey I'd have walked past every day too!

Claire said...

Okay - I was definitely in the right street! Do you remember what number it was?! I couldn't find one that fitted the description exactly!