Friday, April 16, 2010
Having been to D.C. at least a couple of times, I knew that there was no better welcome mat to that glorious mix of museums, cultures, and politics than touring around with my friend Mehrun. I wanted to arrive by Saturday, so I found the cheapest tickets to Baltimore and took the train up.
The sundresses and rental camera were packed, along with a Malcolm Gladwell book, some copy editing homework, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It wasn’t until I arrived at Union Station to start my D.C experience that I realized I had forgotten one necessary element of being in a new city: directions.
After a short delay to call to get directions, I made my way to the metro, to the National Mall, and up the marble steps of the Library of Congress. Thirty minutes later and I was looking up at the rococo gold designs with Mehrun. This library houses everything from a map of overwhelming size from 1602 to archived tweets. We also viewed an exhibit on Afghan children's letters to U.S politicians and wondered the second floor looking up at the neoclassical paintings.
On to the metro again, to the Cherry Blossom Festival held near Dupont Circle. We mostly stayed at the middle, in the sake garden, taking in the crowd of manga-dressed teenagers to white women wearing kimonos under a cloudless sky. Surrounded on two sides by stages, we watched Japanese pop bands parade around singing in super high-pitched voices. Then we dug into our well-earned snack food of wasabi peas and ate ice cream filled mochi, which always seems to taste better outdoors.
From Dupont circle, our journey continued south along the National Mall to the shady side of the Washington monument, where we found a grassy patch to have some wine and meet up with friends. Hal, is a professor of history and went to school with Meh and Heather works at the Brookings Institute with him. Everyone seemed to savor this leisurely spring activity of drinking and eating at the park. That is, until the wind picked up and forced us to relocate.
We ended the day on Heather's rooftop where we ordered pizza and met some of her neighbors smoking hookahs and enjoying the view. It was a good day in D.C. with perfect weather to match.