sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 4, 2017


show us what america looks like
posted by soe 3:10 am

This is what America looks like:

No Muslim Ban March

I’d suggest clicking through to see that in a slightly bigger version.

These were all taken at the protest at the White House — which turned into an impromptu march to the Capitol — as a result of the anti-Muslim/anti-Middle East ban enacted last week.

If you are feeling alone in your anger/sadness/grief/rage, know you are not. We are all there with you.

No Muslim Ban March

This protest came together in less than a day. I don’t think anyone, including the organizers, expected this many people to show up. (I do think the surprisingly strong response was due, in part, to liberals in D.C. receiving a week’s worth of emails demanding we call the Congressional representatives that we lack to express opposition to Cabinet nominees and executive orders. We might not have anyone to call (or protect us), but, damn it, we can show up in person…)


No Muslim Ban March

People of all size, shape, age, color, creed, and ethnicity came. A friend brought his children, making it the first protest rally for all of them.

No Muslim Ban March

No Muslim Ban March

The cheer at this point was, “This is only your ninth day. We’re not going to go away.”

No Muslim Ban March

This is the Old Post Office Building, which is now owned by the same family occupying the White House. Locals do not use the new name.

No Muslim Ban March

I wish I could give you a sense of how many people were there. Let’s just say that it’s 16 blocks from the White House to the Capitol. When we reached Pennsylvania Avenue (2 blocks in), we could see crowds seven blocks away, which I guessed at the time were associated with the Chinese New Year Parade. They weren’t. When we reached the Capitol, there were still people streaming all the way back. The best I can offer you is a link to one of the photos of the people taking pictures from the balcony at the Newseum.

No Muslim Ban March

No Muslim Ban March

As my friends and I headed off to find a late lunch, the crowd was chanting, “See you next week!”

(This week, though, instead of hitting up the White House & Capitol Hill, I’ll be taking part in the candlelight vigil tomorrow evening between D.C.’s mosque/Islamic Center and the Vice President’s mansion a few blocks away in my own neck of the woods.)

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

January 25, 2017


women’s march: d.c.
posted by soe 2:13 am

Saturday, I headed down to the Mall to the Women’s March along with 1.3 or so million of my closest allies. I was by myself, so I went a little later and, as such, ended up back in the crowd, far past where the sound system for the rally was capable of projecting. Without being able to hear those in the front, folks in the back got restless and started the march an hour before the program was due to end. According to my coworker, the official march didn’t actually get moving until two hours after it was supposed to, by which point I was already walking. So what you’re seeing in my pictures is part of a march that stretched more than four hours long.

Women's March on D.C. 2017

That first shot in the slideshow is from the teach-in Politics and Prose, one of my local indie bookshops, held the afternoon of the Inauguration. Just after I took this shot, an employee had to come and close the door, since they were packed.

The second shot is of the new addition to the Hinckley Hilton, where President Reagan was shot in 1981, taken the night of Inauguration, as I was walking home from grocery shopping.

The rest are from the march itself. (And, really, the shots are just better bigger, so I’d suggest heading over to Flickr to look at them.

Category: dc life,politics. There is/are 5 Comments.

November 24, 2016


more foliage of d.c.
posted by soe 1:36 am

I spied these trees while walking this morning before heading out of town.

Oak Leaves

I particularly like foliage where the colors fade from one to another.

Maple Fade

Driving north, I noticed that the line between leaves and bare branches seem to be northen New Jersey (just in case you were wondering).

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November 20, 2016


getting toward the end
posted by soe 4:02 am

Just after I headed out on my bike ride this afternoon, storm clouds moved in and the wind picked up. Rudi mentioned that as he was returning from his bike ride that he was being pelted by falling gingko fruit. So, I’m thinking we must be getting close to the end of D.C.’s foliage season. But in the meantime, here’s a shot of our local color, this time from Virginia:

Across the River

Category: dc life. There is/are 1 Comment.

November 15, 2016


coffeeneuring #6, 7, and 8
posted by soe 1:37 am

Coffeeneuring #6: Grace Street Coffee and Dog Tag Bakery (3210 and 3206 Grace St., N.W., Georgetown)

Sunday, Nov. 6; 6 miles
Masala chai and roasted pear and ginger tart (split with Rudi)

Rudi under Taft Bridge

Rudi’s and my plan was to ride up to Beach Drive, enjoy the fall colors of Rock Creek Park, and then find someplace for a drink. It started out fine, but at the Taft Bridge, cyclists were coming up the hill to say that the gate was locked at the zoo, making that route impassable. I didn’t fancy going up and around, just to get back down again, so I decided we’d seen enough foliage and, after fooling around on the exercise equipment and snapping a few photos, that we should just skip to the hot drinks.

Mugging for the Camera

Rudi said a friend had recommended Grace Street Coffee, a new coffeehouse in Georgetown, so we decided to check them out. Located down the street from Dog Tag Bakery and Chaia Tacos, Grace Street shares its modern space with a juice bar and a gourmet sandwich shop. They also have a back garden with seating, which probably gets some nice sun in the early part of the day.

Grace Street Coffee

Grace Street Coffee

Grace Street Coffee

We took our drinks across the street to the park along the canal, and I ran into Dog Tag to get us a munchie. The ginger-pear tart was delicious and substantial enough I didn’t mind sharing with Rudi. My masala chai was, however, the spiciest drink I have ever had; I’m pretty sure there’s now hair on my chest. (Ew!) While this makes a nice change from the overly bland chais I often encounter in D.C., it would have been inedible without a snack and water to clear the palate.

Coffeeneuring along the Canal

Grace Street has hardly any space for bike parking, which is really its only drawback, and its sidewalks are very narrow. Rudi and I ended up finding an alcove and locking our bikes together. If you end up going, I’d suggest bringing a cable lock, rather than a U lock. (Or, even better, there’s a Bikeshare station at the end of the block…)

Viv and a Leafy Hat

The knitting is a hat I hadn’t picked up since fall, with a complicated pattern, a misplaced stitch marker, and no notes on a pattern stored on my phone. The book is the second part of the Vivian Apple series of apocalyptic, feminist YA fiction. (more…)

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

November 6, 2016


coffeeneuring #5
posted by soe 2:39 am

Coffeeneuring #5: Grassroots Gourmet (104 Rhode Island Ave., N.W., Bloomingdale)

Grassroots Gourmet

Saturday, Nov. 5; 5.2 miles
Hot chocolate and mini bourbon chocolate pecan pie

I eschewed the sunshine of Big Bear’s west-facing patio for the shady sidewalk of Grassroots Gourmet, a new-to-me bakery just up the street.

At this point, I don’t think I’d say Bloomingdale is a transition neighborhood anymore, but it’s definitely more of a economic mix than my corner of the city. And I think Grassroots Gourmet reflects that, selling their baked goods at local market price, but their drinks for significantly less than you’ll get them elsewhere.

To be honest, I wasn’t blown away by either my drink — my cocoa was perfectly adequate, but nothing to write home about — or my mini pie, where the crust seemed to overwhelm the three-bite snack. (I totally recognize that a thinner crust would probably have created a dessert that wasn’t sturdy enough to handle, so this was probably just my being overly picky.) However, both staff members I met were super friendly and clearly went out of their way to know their local neighbors, and that would be enough to bring me back earlier in the day when I could catch some sun from their sidewalk seating and try one of their other baked goods (they also sell cupcakes, muffins, normal-sized cookies, and bars and quick breads, as well as being a retailer for local bread) with a cup of tea. As it was, they let me hang out outside there with my knitting (my Christmas fingerless mitts) and my book (Not Your Sidekick, from my Ninja Swap package) even after they closed up, even specifically telling me that if anyone hassled me about it to let them know.

Coffeeneuring #5: Grassroots Gourmet

There are several bike racks out front that they share with the bar/restaurant next door, that I’d imagine would be very busy during brunch hours.

The ride was fine, except for two things on the way back from the cafe: first, the light at R and Florida did not trigger for my bike, causing me to have to wait an extra cycle until a car triggered it), and second, at one point a flatbed truck moved partially into my bike lane to get around a car, causing me to shift too close to a piece of heavy equipment covered in orange mesh netting in the curb lane. My handlebar snagged in the holes of the mesh and I came up very short, but stayed upright (the light was red and I was going slowly; if it had happened at speed, I would have gone down). I may have gesticulated and yelled vigorously at the truck driver about rights of way before pedaling the adrenaline off the rest of the way home.

Category: dc life,sports. There is/are 3 Comments.