sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

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.

November 19, 2018

epic fail
posted by soe 1:52 am

I intended to spend this afternoon bicycling over to the Deanwood, a neighborhood on the other side of the Anacostia that’s home to an award-winning branch library. I had an entire game plan that started with a pop-up Christmas shop across town, progressed to a once-a-week coffee shop at one of the rec centers, and stopped at the library. I was then going to come back home via the Kenilworth Aquatic Garden (where in the summer they apparently have amazing water lilies) and the new community coffee shop by Union Market. There were contingency options built in for not getting as early a start (skipping the pop-ups) and for not wanting to bike as far, including taking a bikeshare so I could leave the bike by the library if I didn’t want to keep cycling and take the metro home.

I reiterate, I had a plan.

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

It started out okay, although I left later than I’d hoped due to an uncalm stomach, so I ditched both pop-ups from my plan and decided to hit the Aquatic Garden en route to the library. It’s less than a ten-minute ride from one to the other and this way, I thought, I wouldn’t be riding in a less populated area as it got darker.

Anacostia River Parkland
(I suggest you click through and mouse over the above shot on Flickr, because I’ve put in a note showing the Washington Monument, which is too small here to see.)

Anacostia River Parkland

All this was true. It’s beautiful over there and it’s so secluded you’d never know you were in a city. I passed a few people on the trail, but not many, and I had an eye on the clock so I wouldn’t get to the library too late to explore.

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

Apparently, I was so busy taking in the scenery and the time that I missed my turn off the trail and back to civilization. When I did finally reach a turn, it was a little later than I’d expected, but not bad. However, it wasn’t the turn I’d wanted. Come to find out I’d overshot D.C. and was now out in Maryland.

Anacostia River Parkland
(Not D.C.)

This is where things start to go off the rails. Consulting Google Maps, I asked it how I should best progress back to Deanwood. Back through the woods, it said. But it was nearly 4:30 at this point, and I was worried about being on the trail alone as it was seriously getting dark. So I nixed that idea and looked at the road signs. I was already on a fast-moving four-lane road, which although it had signs saying cyclists should take the lane, I wasn’t convinced the drivers of it were similarly inclined to agreement. And I was at an on-ramp to what looked like potentially to be a highway. I definitely didn’t want to take a highway! (I have accidentally done this at one point, coming out of National Airport and I do not ever want to repeat that terrifying experiment.) Possibly those roads would have been fine, but I decided to call Rudi and ask him to help find me a way home since he has more experience cycling in outlying areas.

He did find me a route that didn’t involve biking on highways or through dark woods, although it, too, was not without perils (mostly due to poor pedestrian signage and nonexistent warnings about dangerous sidewalk conditions on a stretch of road that I prefer not to bike on during the day, let alone at night (due to the high speed drivers like to take, not for it feeling otherwise dangerous)). By the time I reached home what was supposed to have been a manageable ride of a dozen miles turned into nearly double that and had me pedaling for nearly three hours straight. (Yesterday, I asked Rudi to come meet me because I didn’t want to add two miles to my ride.) The only thing that saved me was that I had taken one of the electric-assist bikes that was nearly fully charged when I borrowed it, but, still, that was a lot of energy expended. I will sleep well tonight.

But it was beautiful before it got stressful…

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

Category: dc life,sports. There is/are 0 Comments.

September 30, 2018

posted by soe 3:35 am

We did not art ALL night, but we did art SOME of the night…

Rudi Arting All Night