So I got up this morning at 7ish, showered, talked to Anne, got ready and out the door at about 8am. I decided to check out Murkey Coffee, a local place I had found on the web that had free wi-fi (though I didn’t bring the laptop along), and is roughly halfway between the DNC and my new spot–an ideal place to start frequenting, assuming I liked the coffee.
While I had passed it walking back from seeing the place on Thursday, I didn’t stop in because I was soaking wet, and I just wanted to get some food and get back.
I took the route I had arrived at before–somewhat longer but much less confusing than the more direct route I had initially planned of walking up North Caroline Ave–of heading north to Independence Ave, and heading east, and then turning on 7th, where Murkey was.
And that’s when I realized that the coffee shop was right next to Eastern Market, which is both a Metro stop and a farmers/crafts market which Anne and I are both fairly sure Fred took us to when we visited here one year and he was squiring us around.
So it was kind of a happy and sad thing, as I like the idea of being 6 or 7 blocks from a farmer’s market every Saturday, and having this coffee shop that I do rather like about halfway between work and sleep, but boy, I’d give an awful lot to have Fred around now.
We were never super-close friends or anything–Fred was back for just one semester while I was at UA, and I was a rather callow freshman–but he and Anne were old friends, and he was always willing to give me the benefit of the doubt, and I like to think we’d have been able to have some fun hanging out while I’m up here.
But enough dwelling on those departed.
I had this idea I’d probably like Murkey when I noticed the sign outside that talked about how they were committed to servingWashington the best damn coffee around. “And yes, we said damn.”
I certainly appreciate the fact that their large lattes have 4 shots in them–this is a place for a serious coffee drinker. So I sat for the better part of an hour, drinking my coffee and reading the Washington City Paper, which is their local free weekly. At 9am, I got up and started walking.
Two hours later, I found myself outside the Uptown Theater near the Cleveland Park Metro station. I have no idea how far that is as the crow flies, but it would have to be one blind drunk crow to take as indirect a route as I walked. I know I generally walk at least a 20 minute mile, so I can guess that I went roughly six miles.
I think I went north on 7th until I hit K street, though there was maybe a little walking around in circles around Stanton Park, which I took west until I hit Mt. Vernon Square, where I picked up Mass. Ave (as they would say in Cambridge), which I took to Dupont Circle, where I found an open bank and cashed one of my traveler’s checks, and then picked up Connecticut Ave heading north. I passed the Marriott where they always hold the American Association of Law Schools (or is it Legal Scholars) conference, passed the Zoo, and just as I was considering whether to stop in at a Vietnamese restaurant before catching the Metro back to Union Station, where I was intending to indulge in a little mind-numbing entertainment by seeing some movie, when I realized I was outside a theater that had Alien vs. Predator starting in three minutes.
Now my friend George, driving me back to the hotel when we we were in town for AALS January before last, had pointed out the Uptown to me and said it was a pretty good theater. And I’d have to agree, it’s pretty cool. It is obviously an old theater–it actually has a balcony–but it’s got a recently updated sound system (which wasn’t too loud, either, which I like), and a curved screen, which I found strange but interesting.
After the show, I got lunch at the Vietnamese restaurant, which was very good but not great–I still think Pho Cali in Raleigh and Saigon City in San Mateo are the best Vietnamese places I’ve been.
I suspect that walking to the Uptown, catching a movie and some Vietnamese may become a regular activity on Saturdays I’m in town.
As I came out of Pho-79, it started to rain a little more earnestly–the weather had been perfect up to this point, overcast, cool, the occasional sprinkle of rain; I’m almost, but not quite, sorry Chet had to sit out a hurricane for me to have good walking-around weather. But now it threatened to get serious, and I couldn’t find anywhere to by an umbrella, so I hopped the Metro to Dupont Circle, where I judged my chances to be somewhat better.
The rain had mostly let up, so I decided to start walking the opposite direction down Connecticut, towards Farragut Square. I poked around in that area a bit, finally found an umbrella, then decided to catch the Metro to Union Station, just to see what I had ended up not seeing earlier.
I really wasn’t impressed. But I decided that this was close enough that I simply walked back to the hotel from there. I sat down for a bit, decided that I had to do something to make sure that my body wasn’t totally seized up in the morning from all the walking, did 45 minutes of yoga, then took a hot bath.
I briefly contemplated going back out to Dupont Circle–maybe to Kramerbooks, to pick up a Trent Latte or such–but decided that I needed more sleep, I needed to get this down on paper, and I needed to maybe do a little packing because tomorrow I have to schlep everything to my new place.
One out of three so far.