On Friday, Maggie and I brought Chester up to my apartment (there will be a separate blog post told from his point of view to come). After a power nap, we walked around the National Mall before heading over to Café Berlin for our 7:00 reservation. We started out with a pair of German pretzels with bier cheese (freaking awesome).
We both ordered a sausage platter; they were juicy as well. Neither of us were overly impressed with the German potato salad; the pickle and dill they added just didn’t work for me. The mac and cheese was okay, though Maggie didn’t care for the egg noodles she got (she is to German food what I am to pizza).
We then retreated to our separate spaces (her space in the living room, me in the bedroom) to crash early because we’d get up early the next morning to hit the National Zoo.
I’m only about a mile from the zoo, so we took the 20-minute walk there, where I was enthralled by all the shops in Cleveland Park, as well as the number of apparent singletons. There were a few coupley-looking folks there, but it seemed evenly distributed. And not a ton of PDA there, which I like. We met up with some friends of ours at the zoo (also singletons) to explore. This was my first time there, and my major takeaway was that tigers are introverts and lions are extroverts. I’m a tiger.
We walked back up to the Italian Pizza Kitchen, where Maggie had the best-looking Stromboli I’ve ever seen. I had two cheese slices; nowhere near as good as New Yawk, but not bad either.
After a powernap, we headed over to the White House and surrounding area. We came across a beautiful memorial devoted to the Black Lives Matter movement, with posters hanging from fences. I bought a purple Black Lives Matter hat; I would have gotten the black one, but it read “Black Lives MatterS.”
We then encountered a truck playing reggae music and some kids dancing to it. Maggie and I joined in for a bit before we headed over to Fat Pete’s in Cleveland Park for some Carolina-style BBQ. Of course, we got a picture of Maggie in front of a Jerry Garcia portrait that adorned the window of an art store.
I ended up taking my babyback ribs home, and Maggie and I retreated to our separate rooms for the night.
The next morning, we walked over to American University’s meditation labyrinth, which was about a mile and a half. Those houses on Van Ness Street are beautiful. And many of them had Black Lives Matter placards on their lawns, a nice contrast to the Trump ones I used to see in the South. I’d love to settle there.
The area around that labyrinth is quite verdant; I can see myself going there on a regular basis to meditate. It was a good place for me to reflect on all the activity that’s been going on the last couple of weeks. I’ve had some big things happening, and as I write, it’s nice to be able to spend some time reflecting.
We went to Bread Furst, where I was hoping to get a toasted bagel with cream cheese, but I learned they stop serving breakfast at 11, so I settled for a huge ham and cheese, of which I could only eat half. But that’ll make for a good lunch for today. After a powernap, we went for a walk and I escorted Maggie to Union Station. After we parted ways, I teared up a little bit. Maggie’s a close friend, but she’s symbolic of my old life in Hampton Roads, which is now officially gone.
I did enjoy the Metro ride home solo; it’s a reaffirmation that this is my city – at least, for now. I hope to stay here for a long time, but we’ll see what the forces of nature have planned. One thing I kept saying all weekend was, “I can’t believe I live here” as I admired the urban landscape and the constant stream of activity.
I still can’t believe it. In time, I’ll adjust.
My name is Craig. I'm an educator, writer, and unapologetic singleton. When not reading, writing, or teaching, I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and playing with my cat/son, Chester.