sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

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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October 6, 2021

in america: remember
posted by soe 1:28 am

In America: Remember

We passed 700,000 dead from COVID over the weekend. And “In America: Remember,” an art installation on the Mall from Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg recorded each one with a white flag.

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

I visited twice: once while they were setting up and then Saturday night. You can see in the daytime shots the expanse of space that was still needed to be filled.

In America: Remember

Each time I was struck by the sheer waste.

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

It didn’t have to be like this. No, we probably couldn’t have saved everyone. But just this volume. This many people.

Those who’d lost loved ones to COVID were invited to personalize a flag in their memory. Because each one of these flags represents a person who had a life — friends and family, pets, jobs … Holes in the fabric of our country.

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

In America: Remember

If you haven’t been to D.C. recently, it’s hard to impress on you the sheer size of this installation. It takes up at least two square city blocks. It’s enormous.

In America: Remember

It’s devastating.

In America: Remember

And more than 30,000 dead in just the two weeks the exhibition was open.

In America: Remember

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September 12, 2021

posted by soe 1:18 am

Towers of Light Tribute from the Pentagon

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August 4, 2021

spectacular sunset
posted by soe 1:29 am

Tonight’s sunset, particularly when viewed from the ballpark, was particularly amazing. We all felt lucky just to be there.

Just before Sunset

Mackerel Sky

View Over Left Field

Panoramic View


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July 24, 2021

feast fit for an emperor
posted by soe 1:26 am

I decided at some past Olympics that it seemed only fitting to celebrate Opening and Closing Ceremonies with a nod to the host nation.

With this year’s Olympics being held in Tokyo, that means Japanese, and D.C. did not leave me hanging. About eight blocks away from the Burrow is Hana Market, a tiny Japanese grocery (and one-time tourism agency). After work let out, I wandered over to pick up snacks to eat during tonight’s broadcast. While I have been to Hana before, it’s either been to pick up a specific ingredient or to buy a mochi to snack on. This time I took a less strategic approach and just picked up things that looked interesting.

I came home with a bag of supplies, including:

Japanese Snacks

Peach caramel corn pops, seasoned seaweed, coffee-flavored black sesame candy (I missed the fact that they were coffee), matcha Kit Kats, chocolate stumps, roasted bean snacks, and chestnut mochi served as appetizers.

Tasty Mango Cream Soda

Mango creamy soda, which contains 0% juice, but does contain milk. I’d buy it again.

We paused in our corner-store delights to have some actual dinner, picked up from the nearby Japanese restaurant, Sakana, that we’d never been to. Rudi ordered a roll and a sushi bento. While I considered an entree, I’ve rarely been to a Japanese restaurant that offered an entire section of vegetarian sushi/maki, and that won out in the end:

Veggie Sushi

The roll at the top is tempura vegetables. The one on the right is ume shiso, or pickled plum. The one at the bottom left is kanpyo, or dried gourd. All three were delicious.

And then for dessert, Rudi and I split these two red bean paste mochis, a favorite of mine.

Red Bean Paste Mochis for Dessert

That’s a pretty good feast, wouldn’t you say?

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