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broodings from the burrow

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.

October 27, 2016


coffeeneuring and yarning along
posted by soe 3:07 am

I thought I’d share some recent bike rides, part of the annual Coffeeneuring Challenge, along with the reading and knitting (none of which is complete to date) I was doing for each one as today’s Yarning Along post:

Coffeeneuring #1: Baked and Wired (1052 Thomas Jefferson St., N.W., Georgetown)

Coffeeneuring #1: Baked and Wired

Saturday, Oct. 15; 3 miles
Chaider and ginger pumpkin bread
Baked and Wired used to be a great under-the-radar place, with Georgetown Cupcake scooping up the crowds. Alas, that hasn’t been the case for more than a year, with long lines to be found outside most of the day. However, locals know you can usually sneak inside to the right of the door and order drinks and quick bread at the coffee counter, rather than waiting in line. This visit, though, was slow-moving even in the drinks line. I left my bike locked to a street sign (Georgetown is notoriously bad for bike parking) while inside, and then rode down to the Georgetown Waterfront Park to sit in the waning daylight.

Coffeeneuring #1: Reading and Knitting

That day, I had my Andrea’s Shawl with me. I’d meant to alter the shape of the shawl, but forgot to when I started the stripes. I’ve seen some reports that the weird shape blocks out, so I’m hopeful it’ll still turn out okay. I should really just finish that up this coming weekend. At the time, I was reading Fannie Flagg’s The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion. I enjoyed it, as I do all her books, but found it less uproarious than her novels usually are.

Super Moon

On the ride home, I enjoyed the rising Super Moon in all its massive glory. (It was not actually this dark, but I had to dim the ambient street light to get any contrast on the moon.)


Coffeeneuring #2: Teaism (2009 R St., N.W., Dupont Circle)

Coffeeneuring #2: Teaism

Sunday, Sunday, Oct. 16; 13 miles
Chai and a pecan-chocolate chip salty oat cookie

So, this wasn’t supposed to be where I went. I played volleyball at Malcolm X Park, biked home, then over to Capitol Hill, where I dropped off some cider with Sarah, before heading to the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital. I was there to see a Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy film I’d theretofore never seen, Keeper of the Flame. However, I was supposed to arrive with enough time to pick up a drink and beignets at the adjacent Bayou Bakery. Alas, I arrived a few minutes late, and they close at 4, so I watched the film and then planned to stop someplace on the Hill on my way back. But I was tired (that’s a long ride for me) and I just wanted to get home, so I biked back to Dupont and then stopped at Teaism, which is a block from my house. This is another spot where there’s inadequate bike parking, so I tethered to a sign and then watched as a van nearly backed into the bike (which was wholly, but just, on the sidewalk) while I was sitting outside.

Coffeeneuring #2: The Mall

Coffeeneuring #2

It’s a little dark, but you can see I was just starting the second sock of the vanilla pair currently in my purse. I’m still reading Kathering Zoepf’s Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women Who Are Transforming the Arab World, but only have a couple chapters to finish up, which is good, since it’s overdue to the library.


Coffeeneuring #3: The Coffee Bar (1201 S St., N.W., Shaw)

Coffeeneuring #3: The Coffee Bar

Saturday, Oct. 22; 2.6 miles
London Fog and Peach raspberry muffin

I spent the afternoon cleaning and really needed to spend an hour outside, so biked over to The Coffee Bar for their last hour of operation for the day. They have their own bike racks, which had empty sides to them, and empty tables at the patio, which made me happy.

I decided to finally get around to reading Magic in Manhattan, by Sarah Mlynowski, in time for Halloween. That’s the first two books, Bras and Broomsticks and Frogs and French Kisses, of that witchy YA series packaged together. I’m not loving it so far, but I’m hopeful it’ll pick up. I’ve started a pair of stripy pink and purple socks for me & love how the yarn coordinates with the book’s cover.


Coffeeneuring #4: Bourbon Coffee (621 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E., Capitol Hill)

Coffeeneuring #4: Bourbon on the Hill

Sunday, Oct. 23; 12 miles
Maple cocoa and a chocolate chip cookie

Another volleyball practice, followed by a trip to Capitol Hill once more, but this time in pursuit of a book for my Ninja Book Swap. Again, I just missed Bayou Bakery, but I knew I’d find something else in this neck of the woods. I wandered through Eastern Market and visited Labyrinth Games’ expansion and East City Bookshop, before settling down on Bourbon’s back patio.

Malcolm X Park

Constitution Garden

That’s the second of this year’s Sock Madness socks and Meg Cabot’s Size 12 and Ready to Rock, the fourth book in her adult mystery series. (I hadn’t realized it was the fourth book until I finished last night and kept being surprised as I was reading when they referenced previous murders.)

When the coffeehouse was ready to close, I biked back across town, watered the garden, and headed home for the night.

Category: books,dc life,knitting,sports. There is/are 4 Comments.