Sunday, April 22, 2007

DC weekend

Last weekend I went to visit Anthony in DC. So ok, I've been to DC a bunch of times and I didn't need to be touristy or see "the sites," I just wanted to see the REAL DC, hang out with my friend, and enjoy being away from NYC for a weekend.
Soooo, I needed to do my 13 mile training run for this half marathon, and I think Anthony either thought I was kidding or wouldn't follow through... oh, but we most definitely did it. So basically DC isn't all that big, and when you run around for 2 hours you can see ohhhh approximately everything in the city. We ran by John Kerry's house, down into Virginia and allll along the river, then back and did a big loop around the Mall, stretching from the Lincoln Memorial at one end to the WWII Memorial to the Washington Monument and finally the Capitol.

Now, I think prior to this run I had somewhat glossed over the "hill" part of Capitol HILL. But let me just put it out there that when you're an hour into your run, it's cold and windy, and you're used to running in flat NYC, you are very nearly cursing the hill upon which that beautiful building sits. Really. Big. Hill. But well worth it.

So, after that I basically wanted to sit in bed all day, which was not helped by the self-induced coma-like state that I entered after getting back, immediately chugging the glorious smoothies Anthony had made, cold water, and then hopping in a REALLY hot shower cause I was shivering. And I wondered when I felt like I was going to pass out. So we took a nap (at noon) and regrouped. Anthony said there would be "no walking" involved in the days activities, which sounded ideal to me.
We went to Arlington Cemetary. He failed to mention that the tomb of the unknown soldier is on a hill. Another large hill. And we were too good for the bus, so we walked it. In the rain.

No, but in all sincerity, it was really cool, and it was one site to which I'd never been. Good stuff. And we decided that the whole "large slabs of marble that are carved with hyper-emotional speeches and quotes" are totally an American thing. All the monuments have them. All the cemetaries, we just love quotes carved in marble. But you don't see that in say, any other country in the world. Interesting.

The following are my observations about DC, which were made more acute because of my life in NYC.
1) It's clean. Really really clean.
2) It's quiet. Really really quiet.
3) It's hyper PC. REALLY really hyper PC. This one needs a qualifier. So, for instance, we were running on a trail and there was a sign that read... "Bridge freezes before trail." I'm sorry, but are you KIDDING me? You are putting that on a trail for runners?? Give me a bloody break. And then I also love that not only do they have the little man or little hand to tell you to go/stop at lights, but they ALSO have a countdown and in some places even also have a little beeping noise for the blind. Now, ok, the latter is totally legit, but I mean, seriously?
4) Their Metro is really clean. And nice. Like carpeted floors nice, which, based on what I see the NY subway floors look like when it rains, seems somewhat odd, but it works. And the stations are kind of like the Jetsons. But really dim. And it's also kind of a farce that you have to swipe your card as your leave, as it's priced by distance, but we'll let it slide. That's the government for ya.
5) The food- not so noteworthy. Everything was good, but now I guess I understand why you never heard about DC restaurants. They're just... ok.
6) Students. Lots of them. I loved it.

Yeah, that's about it. It's so fascinating to me to go to other cities and observe it from the "ground up," so to speak. Cause each one is a little different and has its own quirks and idiosyncracies. So I'm just takin it all in. I could live in DC, in fact I think I might some day do so for a time. Grad school perhaps? Hmmmmmm.

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