Saturday, July 23, 2005

(From Washington D.C.) getting it right

Rouse yourself. Don't be a passive reader. Figure this one out:

A mother and two grown daughters have brunch in Alexandria, Virginia. It is a dazzling day by all accounts and Alexandria is totally charming.

The threesome choose this place for brunch. Why? For the important reason that the color of the exterior matches the top the mother is wearing over her polka-dot skirt.

DC July 05 047

The three place an order.

Question: What did the mother order?

Choice A:

DC July 05 048 bloody tasty

Choice B:

DC July 05 052 greens with celeriac and grilled shrimp over mango chutney

Choice C:

DC July 05 053 blueberry wonderful


The mother almost never eats lunch.
When she does order lunch, she rarely has anything apart from plain water to drink with it.
The mother loves blueberry anything.

The mother used to make mean bloody marys for brunches many decades ago.

Answer: Choice B.
The mother is having a 24 hour dazzling day (see first sentence). All rules are suspended.

After lunch the mother played with a parrot.

DC July 05 067

And across the Potomac, all contemplated a familiar sight:

DC July 05 058

(From Washington D.C.:) three “cities,” three train “stations”

Staying at the Georgetown Law Center in DC puts me two blocks away from Union Station. For many reasons then (Metro, latte, Metro, latte) I have become familiar with it.

Madison, of course, does not really have a train station. But it has a train. Driving to the airport yesterday, I crossed the tracks and noted a big cardboard sign saying “Trains depart at: 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm…” etc. I wasn’t sure where they were departing to, and you could hardly call it a station, but in Madison, that’s all you’re going to get.

Grand Central in NY has been splendidly updated, but it has, to me, a fatal flaw: apart from the downstairs food courts, it has no places to sit. Now, maybe there can never be enough seating anyway for the millions who pass through it daily so why bother, or maybe the Mayors Giuliani and at present Bloomberg want to keep the homeless from appropriating seats for their personal use, but given that most people actually arrive at stations more than ten minutes before their train is taking off – it is a nuisance.

At Union Station, seating is abundant. Most is straightforward, in the style of airport stuff, but in some hallways it is not only adequate, it is quite pretty. This morning as I was in hot pursuit of a latte, I saw it in its empty incarnation.

DC July 05 Union (not Terrace, Station) chairs

(From Washington D.C.)

One tiny plane now flies alllllll the way from the wee little city of Madison directly to DC. Shocking, isn't it?

I enjoyed sitting in the last row (that would be row 12) and counting the number of times people used the restroom in the course of a 90 minute flight. Repeat offenders were especially scrutinized.

How humid is it here? So humid that you’d think DC was built on a swamp. (And so it was.)

How good is the food? I’ll just give you the beginning and the ending, bypassing entirely the moulard duck breast with coriander cassis sauce, sweet potatoes and spicy orange ginger marmalade.

It's all about taste. And color:

DC July 05 015 chilled cucumber with cilantro, chilies, lime and shrimp salsa

DC July 05 019 classic strawberry shortcake

DC July 05 024 espresso of course

Finally, some photographic musings on amusing scenes from an evening walk around Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan.

DC July 05 026 he's just not into her

DC July 05 028 he's into her

DC July 05 025 window lights

DC July 05 037 window lights, two

DC July 05 039 Madam's organ at Adams Morgan