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broodings from the burrow

April 6, 2022

cherry trees at night
posted by soe 1:33 am

Cherry Tree at Night

I mentioned last week that we’d stopped by Hains Point one night to see the blossoms as we were driving back from Virginia.

Cherry Blossoms at Night

Going at night made it less obvious that the trees were past peak-flowering — leaves and blooms blended in the more monochromatic light — but you also lost the lovely pinks that draw people to them in the first place.

I’m glad that we saw the blossoms in any format this year and seeing the cherry trees at night had been a bucket list item. But as with many things you look forward to for a long time (like room service), it pales in comparison to the imagination. Next year, I’ll be back in the daylight.

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March 30, 2022

flowering trees in dupont
posted by soe 1:24 am

Cherry Blossoms

I didn’t make it down to the Tidal Basin this year for peak bloom season, which was early last week. While I still might go down to Hains Point, where they have a better distribution of early- and late-blooming trees, I did admire the flowering trees in my own neighborhood. While I put on Flickr that these blooms were cherries, they might, in fact, be crabapples.

Peach Blossoms

These are definitely peach flowers, because eventually this tree, located in the yard of the Colombian ambassador, grows fruit.

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March 9, 2022

winter-blooming jasmine
posted by soe 1:09 am

Winter-Blooming Jasmine

One of the things I appreciate most about the coolest months in D.C. is the preponderance of winter-blooming jasmine you see around the city, just waiting to make sure you know that spring is right around the corner.

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February 16, 2022

planet word
posted by soe 1:51 am

As part of my birthday weekend, I took myself to Planet Word, a new museum here in D.C. devoted to language.

The museum is housed in an old school, an appropriate location if ever there was one.

They suggest you start at the top and work your way down, so I did.

On the top floor, one room focuses on global languages. The other focuses on English and where our language’s roots. The former was interesting, but the latter was highly dynamic, using a textured backdrop and animation and lights to:

Planet Word

Planet Word

There are quotes and poems all over the walls in around the doorways.

Planet Word

Planet Word

Planet Word

On the second floor, there is a central reading room, made even larger by mirrors.

Planet Word

Planet Word

Interspersed throughout the bookshelves are these interactive dioramas that activate if you read a particular quote from the book.

Planet Word

Planet Word

Planet Word

You could record yourself giving a speech or share a story about words. And throughout are touch Picture-Picture-like screens with microphones to make the experience more interactive.

Planet Word

There were exhibits devoted to persuasive language, hate speech, humor, and poetic language and music (including some of the techniques that make a song an earworm).

Planet Word

Planet Word

Planet Word

It was such a good visit, I joined the museum as a sponsor as a treat to myself for my birthday. I’ll definitely be back.

Planet Word

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February 3, 2022

two holidays in the books
posted by soe 1:03 am

How the day began:

Potomac Phil

Potomac Phil predicted six more weeks of winter and six more months of political gridlock. Neither is surprising, since the spring solstice doesn’t show up for another six weeks and no one gets along anymore anyway.

How the day ended:

Good Job, Christmas Tree!

Hot chocolate bombs in front of the Christmas tree before undecorating it and putting the ornaments away. (I haven’t actually done that last step since 2019, so getting everything boxed up felt pretty good.)

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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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