sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 27, 2019

a sign of things to come
posted by soe 1:04 am


Snowdrops by the bus stop to Georgetown.

Category: dc life. There is/are 2 Comments.

January 20, 2019

strolling through d.c.
posted by soe 1:12 am

Winter Flowers

As I was walking around northwest D.C. late this afternoon, I came across a flowering tree. We have a number of cherry trees that tend to flower in January (including some of the ones on the Mall, which always makes people worry there will be no flowers come springtime, but they’re two different types of trees). This one was in someone’s front yard, so I snapped a picture. It’s currently pouring out and temperatures are predicted to drop precipitously by Monday (it’ll be a 30 degree difference between now and Monday’s high), so I expect this will be it for these particular blooms. I’m glad I stopped to take their photo.

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January 14, 2019

more snow
posted by soe 1:53 am

Gandhi in the early morning:

Gandhi, 6 a.m.

Gandhi in the early afternoon:

Gandhi, 1 p.m.

After returning home from the farmers market early this afternoon, I didn’t venture further than the end of the block, so I can’t give you any further updates, but it continued to snow for another 10 hours or so after this.

The snow finally tapered off around midnight after about 10 inches and nearly 30 hours of snowfall (in addition to all the flurrying it did yesterday afternoon). It started out fluffy and easy to shovel, but after it warmed up this morning, it definitely got damper and more solid. A peek up at the sidewalk suggests that our mid-evening ice melt application has kept things from refreezing, so a final pass with the shovel in the morning should finish it off on our corner, other than the occasional clearing I’ll need to do to the curb cuts after the plows go through and then when the melting snow floods them. (Woe to those who waited to shovel until the end of the storm. A thousand people tramping down your snow makes for an icy mess.)

The city is shut down tomorrow to allow for cleanup, since roads became treacherous after sundown and they had to pull the buses from service until morning.

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January 13, 2019

gandhi, 6 p.m.
posted by soe 1:39 am

Here’s what the Gandhi statue looked like earlier this evening, just before the snow started sticking to the pavement.

Gandhi, 6 p.m.

Six hours later, we were about three inches deep.

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December 30, 2018

one last bookstore run
posted by soe 1:29 am

As I mentioned yesterday, Riverby Books, one of D.C.’s longtime used bookshops, is closing at the end of the year.

It has long been a favorite haunt of mine when over on on Capitol Hill, and I decided that I wanted to make one final pilgrimage before it was no more.

D.C.’s used bookstores each have their own unique feel. Capitol Hill Books is literally piled high with books. (They sit on the window sills, countertops, and in the bathroom, and used to be piled on the stairs until, I assume, the fire marshal shot that down.) Second Story Books in Dupont Circle has more of a storefront feel, with wide aisles and fluorescent lights. Wall of Books up Georgia Avenue is similar, but takes it further, being a bigger space, but it also is more a bookstore of the people, rather than of the collectors, so there’s less highbrow work and a broader selection. Idle Time in Adams Morgan has more ephemera (paintings and postcards), while Riverby fits into the upscale but laid back category, with a classy main floor (lots of wood, a couple wingback chairs, and a corner where you could brew yourself a cuppa to drink while browsing) aimed at adult bibliophiles and a cozier, more casual basement filled with kids books and a few overflow grown-up sections.

Riverby Books

Riverby Books

Riverby Books

For the holidays, they’d assembled book bundles — trios of books relating to a theme, such as classics or movie fodder or titles based on Shakespeare quotations. This one was my favorite:

Riverby Book Bundle

And did I come home with anything new, you ask?

Riverby Book Haul

As you can see, I had some luck finding an assortment of reading material. There are three books of poetry, including a local anthology; a classic; a middle-grade caper I’ve been meaning to read; three Christmas items (two dvd collections and one novella); and two books on language, including one by Bill Bryson. And with the closing sale discount, it all came out to less than $2.50 per item. Quite a good haul, if I do say so myself.

Category: books,dc life. There is/are 2 Comments.

December 8, 2018

virtual advent tour 2018: day 8
posted by soe 6:01 am

Virtual Advent Tour 2018, hosted by sprite writes.

Happy Saturday, folks! We’re entering the second week of December today, which feels rushed to me, honestly. Wasn’t it just Halloween?

Today I’m playing host again and, after reading an article in my favorite local news website, DCist, earlier this week, I decided to head to Georgetown this afternoon to capture a local tradition of which I’d been unaware.

Every year since 2006, the David M. Schwarz Architects has built Gingertown, a planned gingerbread community. They release an urban planning document and invite other architects, urban planners, engineers, and contractors to design a building for it. They provide the gingerbread, frosting, and candy, as well as the site plan (which does specify that certain lots must be reserved for certain types of buildings, such as a mill or a tavern.

Teams, who earlier put in bids for specific lots and submitted a charitable entry contribution, have three hours to construct their building before judging commences.

This year the theme for the village was medieval, so in addition to some lots that were available for general construction, required buildings in Gingertown included Gingerella’s Castle, St. Cadbury’s Cathdral, Bazooka Barracks, and Bubblegum Bandit Camp.

(Below is the album slideshow, which you can navigate. I’d also encourage everyone to click through to Flickr to look at some of the building details, since the shots here are really too small to do any justice to the skill and whimsy that went into each building.)

Gingertown 2018

This was a great village, where the cobblestones were cocoa pebbles cereal, bridges were pretzel rods, and jellybeans were waterways. The city did seem to have a dragon infestation, since I counted at least two definite dragons on roofs and a couple other rooftoppers that I think were dragons. I suppose even the best planned communities has some unforeseen problems. I cannot express to you how wonderful the foyer of this office building smelled. It was comparable to being in a room where gingerbread is baking.

After this weekend, the buildings will be separated and shipped off to various local charities, who will also benefit from the funds raised by participants. This really seems like a holiday win for everyone.

May your day be as sweet as mine was. I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Category: christmas/holiday season,dc life. There is/are 1 Comment.