Sunday, June 30, 2013

DC: The Fun and the Fabulous


Washington Monument

The Capitol

I've had my Carrie Bradshaw moment.

You know, from Sex and the City?  It's that moment of taking in the glorious city around you, feeling the rush of humanity bustle about, and charging the sidewalk like a runway knowing that you're fabulous and ready to take on the world.

Constitution Gardens
I've always dreamed of living in a big city and yearned for my Carrie moment.

It finally happened just outside of the Farragut West metro station downtown.  I emerged from the dark, dank enclosure of the subway into the bright sunlight, glittering buildings and a merciful breeze.  I looked around and felt like the young ingĂ©nue who just got off the bus with nothing but a suitcase and a dream.  It was my first trip on the metro alone, and it was empowering.  Laptop in tow, I stopped at a Starbucks for an iced coffee before making the trek to the beautiful Constitution Gardens where I worked on my play. 

I've been living in D.C. for two weeks now, and it's been full of adventure, emotions and life lessons.

The first week in town, I had to push myself way outside of my comfort zone.  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, the neighborhood isn't exactly what I'm used to, so I was a little nervous walking around by myself.  I'm not really scared for my safety or anything, I just really don't want to be accosted in any way.  I'm used to having the protection of my car, and I feel much more vulnerable having to walk or take public transportation. 

I am learning, however, and the best way to become comfortable and learn my way around has been running.  I can run a few miles with my head phones in and no one really pays me much mind.  I've seen some lovely neighborhoods, learned the layout of the area and am getting familiar with street names.  I've also found this fantastic little Ethiopian coffee shop, Sidamo, that has a lovely garden patio where I can concentrate and write.  It's on the H Street corridor, a cool up-and-coming neighborhood.  Although it takes a good mile to get there, once I'm there, I'm near Union Station, Capitol Hill and many other great areas.  When you can run 5 miles at a time, walking 2 or 3 seems like nothing.  I'm so glad I started running.

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden
US Botanic Garden
Robert and I did some sight-seeing last weekend.  We headed to National Mall and enjoyed a rather touristy day.  We visited the National Botanic Gardens, the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and Constitution Gardens.  It was a beautiful (and hot) day, but it's so good to take advantage of the sights this city has to offer.  Other fun activities include taking the "roommates" to dinner at a delicious Thai restaurant (Beau Thai) and spending an evening with two of our friends from RYLA, one who lives here and one visiting for work.

Love our fellow RYLArians!
We also have a new Sunday tradition, it seems.  Eastern Market, a traditional produce, meat, and flower market in South East D.C. open 7 days a week, turns into an open air craft show/farmer's market/flea market on the weekends.  There are fresh produce samples, jewelry stands, homemade jams and salsas, paintings, photography, clothing, purses, furniture, and nearly anything else you can imagine.  So far, we've bought: a pomegranate, a necklace, a cross-body purse, hummus, salsa and black bean dip.  I've also got my eye on a couple of watercolors of a typical D.C. neighborhood.  The market is surrounded by a number of bistros, cafes, pubs and eateries.  It's conveniently located near the Eastern Market metro (imagine that!) on the orange and blue lines.  If you ever visit the district on a weekend, this is a must do!

At Shelly's Cigar Bar

We are planning a visit soon to NCC or National Community Church.  It is the church our "roommates" belong to, and we think we will like it based on the people we have met from there so far.  Last week, Robert attended a men's fellowship event (aka barbecue) at the home of one of the care group leaders in the church.  He come home raving about it.  Thursday, we attended the newlyweds care group hosted by our roommates, and it was very good as well.  We shall see how an actual church service is, but I think we will enjoy it.

Admiring the beautiful reflecting pool
Remembering where we come from
I am really starting to settle in, and this week, I'm sure, is going to increase my fondness for the city.  I have a volunteering shift scheduled at a theatre in Virginia tomorrow afternoon, so I'm hoping that goes well.  Also, this Thursday we will be spending  Independence Day in our nation's capital followed by a camping trip to the Shenandoah Valley.  Um, yes, please!  We are beginning to feel more at home here, so, who knows what the future might hold?  Maybe I'll be the next Carrie Bradshaw, D.C. edition!

Here are some more sights from the last two weeks:

World War II Memorial

Supreme Court
 The Whitehouse

Lincoln Memorial

National Archives
Typical D.C. row houses


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