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broodings from the burrow

November 25, 2019

coffeeneuring 2019 #7 & #8: friendship cafe and java shack
posted by soe 1:50 am

I forgot I hadn’t added last weekend’s Coffeeneuring ride until I went to copy the details for this week’s. So you get both rides for the price of one!

Ride #7: Saturday, Nov. 16, evening
Friendship Café (2434 18th St., N.W.)

Friendship Café

I decided that while I wanted to get ride #7 in, I also didn’t want to go especially far. I’ve been curious for a while about Friendship Café, which is located on the main drag in Adams Morgan, across the street from the bar where I sometimes go after one of my volleyball league’s games. (more…)

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November 13, 2019

coffeeneuring 2019 #6: pluma
posted by soe 1:35 am

Ride #6: Sunday, Nov. 10, evening
Pluma (391 Morse St., N.E.)


I sort of procrastinated in figuring out where my next Coffeeneuring ride was until choices started dropping off my list due to it being Sunday and later in the afternoon.

After ruling out a different NoMa business after I arrived because I wasn’t feeling their menu that particular day, I pulled out my phone to see if I could track down an alternative.

Enter Pluma.


Pluma is the storefront for Bluebird Bakery and is located on a side street near Union Market. Their signage is minimal, and despite the fact that I’ve been over there a bunch of times (including the day before), I’d never noticed they were there.

This was a delicious oversight.


I opted for hot cider and a pear-ginger-hazelnut muffin. The muffin may look all healthy and bran-like there in its beigeness, but it is just trying to fool you. This is one of the best muffins I have ever had. The combination of flavors was mind-blowing. And the apple cider made the perfect crisply sweet counterbalance.

You’d better believe I’ll be back.

Pluma's Hot Apple Cider and Pear-Ginger-Hazelnut Muffin

In terms of bikability, there are racks across the street next to Blue Bottle Coffee. And the nearest Bikeshare dock is on the other side of Union Market two blocks away.

It got dark (and a little chilly) while I was sitting inside. Because I was wearing dark clothes and my helmet’s light has gone out, I decided to take Metro home instead of biking back.

Total mileage: 3.85 miles

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November 11, 2019

coffeeneuring 2019 #5: altani gelato and coffee
posted by soe 1:21 am

Ride #5: Saturday, Nov. 9, afternoon
Altani Gelato and Coffee (202 M St., S.E.)

Coffeeneuring 2019 #5

Because they were holding a book-themed event, I decided to bike over to Canal Park near the ballpark Saturday afternoon. I took the bike trail that runs from Rock Creek Park and along the Potomac and then dumps you unceremoniously into the street at the Wharf Part II construction zone. (Honestly, a sign announcing “sidewalk ends” located on the far side of an intersection and 15 feet from a fence is pointless.) The day was brisk, with a breeze, but not unseasonable for November, and the sun had peeked through the clouds. A sweatshirt, puffy vest, and cowl were sufficient; I can’t actually remember if I was biking with my mittens on or not.

Anyway, I got to Canal Park in time to do a little shopping, but not in time to enjoy the fire pits or s’mores (alas!).

The skating rink at the park was doing good business on its first day of the season, but the line was not long at either the pizza place or the gelateria/coffeeshop inside.

Coffeeneuring 2019 #5

While the gelato flavors looked exciting, I opted for the more traditional baked good and hot drink option. Cocoa would have been my preferred drink, but it was priced as if it were located next to a kids’ attraction, so I opted for a cup of Earl Grey instead. And at the barista’s suggestion, I opted for a pistachio croissant over a ginger puff.

Coffeeneuring 2019 #5

Both were excellent choices, perfect for sitting outside. The croissant was filled the old fashioned way — sliced down its length and slathered with pistachio butter. This guaranteed there weren’t any empty spots! And Earl Grey is always a nice choice on a day with a bit of a chill in the air.

Coffeeneuring 2019 #5

I watched folks skate for a while, as I perused my purchases. I thought about renting a pair of skates for a few minutes, but decided to save that for another day. But it was tempting.

Coffeeneuring 2019 #5

There is a Bikeshare station across the street (and several others in close proximity), and a decent amount of bike parking at the park.

With the sun waning, it was time to move on. Because I didn’t want to miss an art opening (or arrive at it gasping and sweaty), I opted to catch metro to the rest of the day’s adventures. But it was a good stop, and I’ll be back in the warmer months to sample the gelato.

Total mileage: 5.28 miles

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November 5, 2019

coffeeneuring 2019 #4: fresh baguette
posted by soe 1:35 am

Ride #4: Sunday, Nov. 3, evening
Fresh Baguette (1737 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.)

Fresh Baguette

After spending some time at the garden Sunday afternoon, I biked over to upper Georgetown to take care of some errands, with the hopes that Fresh Baguette might be a destination for coffeeneuring.

Fresh Baguette's Wares

It was and they had a full selection of tasty things to try, including their namesake item — freshly baked baguettes, which are produced every two hours. While I did buy and tear into a baguette before I left, I also opted for a hot cocoa and pumpkin croissant. Look how pretty that croissant is.

Coffeeneuring Stop #4

As this was the first day of the return to Standard Time, sunset came awfully early, so I opted to eat at one of their handful of tables, rather than taking my snack outside. As Fresh Baguette doesn’t have any outdoor seating, I would have had to walk over to the nearby rec center, so it seemed reasonable to stay.

Everything I had was delicious.

Because this is in Georgetown, bike parking is horrible. There are definitely no racks outside and even skinny street signs are decidedly lacking in the immediate vicinity. There is bike parking at Safeway up a block, and also probably at the rec center, and back down a block at the library. And there’s a Cabi rack another block past Safeway, so that’s not an unreasonable walk for those of us who use that option.

I consumed my tasty treat, walked over to do my grocery shopping, and then took bike share home, arriving back in Dupont by 6, but still totally in the dark.

Total mileage: 2.48 miles.

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November 4, 2019

coffeeneuring 2019 #3: northside social coffee & wine
posted by soe 1:57 am

Ride #3: Saturday, Nov. 2, afternoon
Northside Social Coffee & Wine (3211 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA)

Saturday after the parade concluded, I hopped on metro out to Arlington’s Virginia Square stop to pick up a book for my new book club (my friend has DCPL’s copy out). Seeing as how it was lovely out, I decided to check out what my local options were for coffeeneuring. I noticed that Northside Social Coffee & Wine was down the road back toward D.C. and decided to head there.

Northside Coffee

What a pleasant place!

While the second floor is a wine bar, the first floor is dedicated to a bustling coffeehouse, with two rooms of tables. There is also a patio, which is covered by a heated tent outdoors in the cooler months.

I opted for a masala chai and what they called an apple pop tart, but which was made with puff pastry, rather than shortbread. Both were delicious. Because it was sunny and warm, I found the single table outside of the tent that was located in the sun and sat there listening to a guitarist they’d brought in for their Day of the Dead celebration, knitting, and reading.

Coffeeneur Stop  #3

There is a bikeshare station right outside, and many racks, so they clearly welcome cyclists.

I biked home through Clarendon, Court House, Rosslyn, and Georgetown, and up the Rock Creek Parkway multi-use path, arriving home just before sunset.

I’m so glad I stopped, and I’ll consider returning anytime I’m at the Central Library.

Total mileage: 4.66 miles

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November 3, 2019

let’s have a parade
posted by soe 1:25 am

The Nationals and D.C. held a parade and rally today honoring the 2019 World Series champions, and I braved the crowd for the parade part. (Honestly, I sort of envisioned the rally as a bacchanalian party, which was not what it turned out to be, but I enjoyed my afternoon anyway, so it’s best not to have regrets.)

I cannot tell you what was happening in the parade in between the buses, because I was far enough back that sometimes I could see the plumes on band members hats, but that was pretty much it. I saw Teddy (Roosevelt, the racing president) on some sort of micromobility device (a scooter, maybe?), and I could see the Budweiser dalmatian, but not so much the Clydesdales. And my cell phone camera was really not up to the task of getting photos that were both zoomed and detailed.

But I was there, and that was what was important.

This is relief pitcher Sean Doolittle, whose name you should know if for no other reason than that he visited indie bookstores on every road trip during the season this year. And he succinctly defended our closer, Daniel Hudson, when he decided to miss the first game of the NLDS for the birth of his third child — a decision questioned by a lot of dude bros, including a lot of media and at least one (non-Nationals) sports team owner. (“If your reaction to someone having a baby is anything other than, ‘Congratulations, I hope everybody’s healthy,’ you’re an asshole.”) He also was the first National to declare he wasn’t going to the White House (and gave measured reasons for his decision — the highlight of which was “I don’t want to hang out with someone who talks like that.”). A huge Star Wars geek, Doolittle famously celebrated the NLDS victory by wandering back out onto the field with his light saber and asking camera crews, “What are you talking about?”

Sean Doolittle

And here are first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, “Mr. National” himself, and manager Davey Martinez (on the far side) holding up the World Series Commissioner’s Trophy for everyone to see. Zimm was the first player the Nats signed as a rookie after moving to D.C., has long been acknowledged as the District’s favorite player when a walk-off homer is needed (he hit the game winner when the Nats moved from RFK to Nationals Park in 2008), and will surprise no one if he announces that he’s going to retire after this season. You may have heard each Nats player had a home run dance. 35-year-old Ryan’s mimics using a walker. (Incidentally, did you know that there is now only one player born in the 1970s in MLB — Nationals relief pitcher Fernando Rodney? Don’t you feel old knowing that?)

World Series Trophy

Should you ever get a chance to watch one of your favorite teams be feted with a ticker tape parade (or the modern equivalent thereof), I recommend it, even if you are crowd-averse. You’ll be glad you were there.

Fight Finished

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