After 15 hours of driving we left the beauty of the East Coast for the flatness of the Midwest. Now at this point in my stay in the vast under appreciated and unnoticed middle of the country I must point out that there are many lovely things in MN; they are just separated by a few hours of driving between each of them.
The greatest charm of the East Coast and Washington DC in particular is that they are concise. Everything you could want is in DC inside a ten mile radius and if you decide to travel Baltimore is forty minutes by train, Philadelphia an hour and a half, and New York 3 hours; everything is reachable.
Just look at all those neighborhoods; each one a little gem and rather distinct. I knew all the ones north of the Anacostia.
I spent my two full days in DC walking. I probably walked ten miles each day and ate more then is seemly (or healthy. +5 lbs ; salad times ahead).
Dupont Circle. Many happy afternoons reading here.
Adams Morgan. Falafel; the first place I stopped in DC.
U Street. I love U Street. Specifically the stores in the basements or up on the second and third floors of the row homes.
The Eastern Market (being rebuilt thankfully). They have erected a temporary building after the fire and were opening it to much fanfare as I walked by on Wednesday. Our cheese shop was here and the old couple who ran it thought that Flopper and I were European (go figure).
My Italian Store Litteri's hidden near the Florida Avenue Market in the food wholesale district. The only good hoagie in the city and in a neighborhood that scares the majority of yuppies away. There are no windows and the rows are so crowded and narrow you don't even consider bringing a cart down them. I love to kvetch with the guys who work here; frumpy old Italian men and Salvadorean teenagers for the most part.
Teaism. The Salty Oat Cookies are laced with crack. I bought a bag and they were gone before we made it to Iowa.
These and a myriad of other haunts that I frequented alone and with Flopper greeted me as I wandered the city. While most CUA students huddled on campus ferrying into the better parts of the city on the metro Flopper and I biked almost everywhere and intimately knew the city block by block. I felt a bit naked without my bike but there was no way for us to bring them.I miss being connected to the place I dwell. Perhaps my few months in Minneapolis this spring semester will let me forge a bond with that city. I can't wait to move back to a city on a long term basis.