sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 20, 2022

volleying outdoors
posted by soe 6:14 am

As some of you know, I play recreation volleyball with a team. Some of us are newer to each other, while others of us have been playing together for several years. But we travel as a unit, picking up new players as need be to keep the season going.

We’ve been playing indoors and masked since September, so it was very exciting when we saw outdoor volleyball was an option once more. For the first time, we’re playing on the Mall, a few steps from the MLK Memorial near the Tidal Basin. Most of D.C.’s sand courts have been offline since the start of the pandemic — first because it was thought outdoor sports might be an illness vector and later because the National Park Service wanted to do some upkeep. (It just would have been so much handier if those had been concurrent decisions, rather than consecutive ones.) So we’re playing on grass for now, which I actually prefer. (I grow too much glass in my garden to feel excited about romping barefoot in D.C.’s parks.)

Today was our first match, which also coincided with the return of early March weather — biting cold and strong winds — that kept all of us in sweatshirts and guessing about the direction of hits and serves.

But in the end, none of that mattered — we were playing volleyball and playing it together!

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November 17, 2021

coffeeneuring 2021: ride #4
posted by soe 1:20 am

Hi, Rudi!

1401 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E.
Sunday, Nov. 14, afternoon
Conditions: A little breezy

Food halls are a big thing in cities these days. They’re essentially food courts, but not usually attached to anything else of interest and priced for yuppies. But I’d heard there was one over near Potomac Ave. with a coffeehouse in it (as opposed to the one six blocks from me that doesn’t have one), and I convinced Rudi we could combine leaf peeping, Christmas shopping, returning a library book, and Coffeeneuring all in one trip.

Tree Hugger

So, we took the long way to the Hill, ran our errands and then found ourselves at The Roost, the aforementioned fancy food court. They’ve got at least a handful of bike racks, so there was easy parking, and you could sit outside if the person you’re with doesn’t complain that he can no longer feel his fingers. Cameo shares its space with Shop Made in D.C., so you can browse while waiting for your order to come up. Or, wander to the pizza slice place 50 feet away and get some food.

I ordered a hot chocolate and we added chocolate croissants (baked by Pluma, a 2019 Coffeeneuring stop) to our order, too. They were both … fine. But the problem is when a place charges you $5 for cocoa, you kind of want more than fine. Or, at least, some whipped cream or marshmallows on top.

So, I don’t think I’ll be back unless specifically invited. But it was good to check it out if only so I don’t have to imagine a cozy shop where I wanted to spend hours anymore.

Total mileage: Rudi tells me it was nearly 14. I’ll update to an exact number sometime when he’s awake.

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November 9, 2021

coffeeneuring 2021 rides 2 & 3
posted by soe 1:17 am

D Light Coffeeneuring

D Light Cafe & Bakery
2475 18th St., N.W.
Saturday, Nov. 6, evening
Conditions: Pleasant

After reading last week that a new cafe had come to the old record store lounge space in Adams Morgan, I decided it needed to be a Coffeeneuring destination, and Saturday, when I had a little time between library-grocery store-garden run and video chat with friends, seemed like a good time. The cafe has a couple bike racks right outside, so it was easy to lock up right there.

D Light Coffeeneuring

The cafe’s menu skews Russian, with an emphasis on coffee-based drinks. They had matcha and some house-made herbal teas on their menu, so I asked the girl at the counter to recommend a tea.

D Light Coffeeneuring

She said that the pear-saffron was her personal favorite. I’m not usually a fan of herbal teas, but decided to give it a shot. Turns out, it was delicious. I’d absolutely get it again. I mean, look at what was left in the bottom of the cup when I was done:

D Light Coffeeneuring

I paired it with a croissant filled with bavarian cream and jam, which was also delicious.

D Light Coffeeneuring

The cafe’s interior is cute, but I’m not really down for eating inside just yet if I can avoid it. While they’re licensed to have streetery space, right now they’ve only got one table, which was taken. I took my repast down the street to the school to eat while reading a bit.

The cafe’s brunch menu looks good, so I’ll definitely be back, particularly once I’m feeling more comfortable with the idea of indoor eating.

Total miles: 3.51

Dawson’s Market
2001 20th St., N.W.
Sunday, Nov. 7, afternoon
Conditions: Clear, but rapidly cooling after sunset

I biked up to Adams Morgan to a friend’s apartment for a small gathering Saturday afternoon and, after it disbanded, I decided to continue on to a Coffeeneuring destination. But this was the first day of a return to Standard Time, and it was rapidly getting dark. While I had my lights, I wasn’t feeling especially trusting of drivers’ ability to look for me, and I decided just to stop locally, rather than pedaling over to Georgetown. Unfortunately, my first stop, Emissary had recently changed their weekend hours for the autumn, and had closed already. (Cafes have really dialed back their evening hours since the pandemic. I’m going to have to Coffeeneur earlier in the day… ) So I opted for Dawson’s Market, known familiarly as not-Glen’s, after the previous owner of the yuppie grocery/bar. They’ve got a couple bike racks curbside and are a regular favorite of cyclists.

Coffeeneuring at Dawson's Market

While Glen’s served coffeehouse beverages until the pandemic shut down their bar and cafe, Dawson’s has been slow to add those amenities back in. But they’ve been advertising them recently, so I took my chances. The girl at the checkout was very kind and went and found me some black tea down in their storeroom, so I took my Earl Grey and my Bethlehem Bar (like a seven-layer bar) and sat out at the picnic table to read and knit until my tea was cold and I couldn’t feel my fingers anymore.

And then I pedaled the rest of the way home.

Total miles: 2.12 miles

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November 2, 2021

cofeeneuring 2021 ride #1
posted by soe 1:45 am

Coffeeneuring Ride #1

2009 R St., N.W.
Sunday, Oct. 31, evening
Conditions: Pleasant

Okay, so I didn’t really have time to squeeze in a Coffeeneuring trip Sunday night in between apple picking and trick-or-treating, but I figured that’s why bikes were invented — to hurry up short trips. Plus, you have to start sometime.

So I pulled out the bike and rode down to the garden, which I hadn’t visited in a week and where I had sweet and regular potatoes I wanted to get into the ground before it got any later in the season. (With any luck, I’m still two months away from a hard freeze.) I got those in, picked some tomatoes, tomatillos (my plants grew an adorable second crop of tiny tomatillos after the regular sized ones), and basil, and hopped back on the bike. I took the long way back, past the library, and along the new-this-year 20th Street protected bike lane back up to Dupont.

I stopped at Teaism, which is only a block from my house, to pick up a chai. You’d think with Starbucks no longer next door it would be easier to park, but when they made the rule that scooters had to be locked to something, they didn’t increase the bike racks, and so now I’m finding it harder universally to find bike parking. I ended up locked to a sign. Chai in hand, I hurried home to grab my candy bucket and wait outside for my trick-or-treaters to show up.

Total miles: 2.1

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August 9, 2021

another japanese feast
posted by soe 1:50 am

Veggie Sushi

We paired the closing ceremony of the Olympic games to another Japanese feast. We got to try another restaurant, because the one near us is closed on Sunday. Umi also makes very good veggie sushi. I opted for tempura sweet potato, mushroom with cream cheese, and inari avocado rolls.


For dessert, I again picked up some mochi.


But I also picked up some dango, because it featured in the Google doodle Olympic game. It was very tasty, but I would definitely not want to eat it outside on a windy day!

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August 8, 2021

posted by soe 1:44 am

I don’t know about you, but I’ve watched a lot of Olympic coverage over the past two weeks. And I’ve enjoyed lots of it, particularly the volleyball, both beach and indoor, and basketball.

And I found lots of it compelling. I mean who doesn’t love watching a swimmer win his country’s fifth gold medal ever? Or watching a gymnast cheer her teammates to their own victories? Or a woman emerge victorious after her shoe sponsor dropped her because she’d had a baby and was never going to be fast again?

But I’ve also missed watching movies and tv shows, and I’m ready for those to return. Maybe next time they could make the Olympics be just one week, or better, yet, space the two weeks out better.

No? I suppose I can live with it as is.

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