An American Girl in Washington

An unexpected visit… and more new places this weekend

Posted in Politics- as I see it, Weekend in Washington by AGinDC on 19 September 2010

Fridays at the gym usually don’t hold anything more interesting than another sweaty, painful workout session and the promise of a shower and a snack immediately afterward.  However, this Friday, my phone rang and I was so excited when I saw who was calling that I almost broke a cardinal Mint rule and answered.  Remembering just in time, I let the voicemail get it and quickly finished my workout.  As soon as I hit the locker room I checked my messages.  Turns out, three of my friends from law school were hitting DC for the day!  Woohoo!  This guaranteed a fabulous Friday night.

Sure enough, it was.  After stopping by the Lincoln Memorial (tourists, sigh.  But I do love visiting Lincoln) and the Monument for pics, we headed to McCormick & Schmick’s for drinks before din.  M&S’s happy hour is not nearly as good as the M&S Grill a few more blocks down, but after walking in the heat a $6 glass of house white was still refreshing.  Two $6 glasses of house white?  Even better.

Loosed and refreshed, we hiked back to the car (not being a DC driver, I was rubbish at giving parking advice) and headed to Cactus Cantina.  I know, I was there last week.  Which is why I suggested it.  I wanted another chimichanga and the CC margaritas are too good to pass up!  We were joined by a couple of guys who were in our class and who I didn’t know had just moved here in the last week!  Thrilled at the ever-increasing size of my entourage, I was only a little put out by the fact that both guys live in Virginia.  I mean, WTF mate?  Anyways, at least they’re in the area.  Yaay!

After CC we wanted to go to the New Orleans Cafe on 18th for beignets but he closed at 11!  So, we went to the Rumba Cafe for drinks instead.  The next morning, we got our beignets for breakfast with a side of cafe au lait and bread pudding.  😀

I was so excited to see my friends, there aren’t many really good people in the world and you have to keep in touch with the ones you find.  Plus, they’re all gorgeous and adventurous which makes them perfect partying and travel companions.  I also love it when my weekend takes unexpected turns.  I hope they come back again soon!

Later on Saturday I went to the H Street Festival with another friend, L.B..  H street is an interesting place. The clash of the people who have always belonged there and those trying to gentrify them out was a stark reflection of Tuesday’s election results.  A few years ago, no one went to H Street, there were no classy spas and overpriced bars and white folks never showed up at the festival.  There isn’t even a Metro stop.  Now, they’re building a useless streetcar and selling gourmet gelato on the streets.  This was a reminder of why I love local politics.  It’s sometimes difficult to see the effect that Congress’s actions have on every day people but every decision that a mayor makes shows up right at your front door.  And if I lived on H Street, I would have voted for Gray too.

The ridiculous thing is that neither Fenty nor Gray have the answer.  The solution isn’t to kick people out of their homes, refurbish apartment buildings, and then sell them for ten times their original worth.  Nor is it to completely ignore the problem and keep things the way they are so you can say you “understand”.  What DC, and every town like it, needs is a comprehensive solution.  Adult literacy and financial education, trade schools and job placement, serious investment in public housing projects, and services to provide courses and assistance with everything from parenting to healthy eating on a budget to protecting seniors and children.  But no one will do it, no one will invest in poor black people the way they need it and instead we’ll always have the same two choices:  Fenty or Gray.

On the plus side of gentrification, L.B. and I visited a great new bar called The Fruit Bat.  They have amazing fruit infused liquor like watermelon and basil tequila (delicious) and pineapple and cardamom rum (also delicious) (both $10 for cocktails, $12 for martinis).  I had a honeydew and banana smoothie with rum ($10) (do I even have to say it?  De-lish-ous).  Plus you can create your own fruit infused cocktail as the mood strikes you.  And, as if the yummy fruit infused liquors (that change frequently) weren’t enough, they also have great Cuban food like pork tacos and fried plantains.  L.B. and I decided that this will be a frequent stop on our new social calendar.  Gentrification.  If you can’t beat it, drink it.

After the Festival, I went home to sleep off my smoothie and get ready for a night out with a new friend, ChiChi.  I met her at OneLounge in Dupont Circle where we had a quick drink (most cocktails are $12, I had a G&T for $10) although the food looked so good, I wished I hadn’t eaten before.  Then we headed to Napoleon in Adams Morgan which I absolutely LOVED.  It has a Moulin Rouge boudoir feel, with comfy high-backed black leather couches, red and white striped balls, clever and attractive wait and bar staff, and crepes too die for (try the Josephine.  As in la Josephine.  Nutella and bananas.  Get it?).  I am so glad that this place is only a few blocks from me because I will be visiting.  Often.  Apparently there’s also a dance floor downstairs but we were so into our crepes that we never made it.

After Napoleon we went to Tryst just for the hell of it and then we headed home.  I love making new friends and it was so much fun hanging out with ChiChi.  I really think this whole DC thing is going rather well.  Now, if only I could find a job…

I’m taking today off, to rest and job hunt.  Off from what you ask?  Well, don’t ask.

Have a great Sunday!

AGinDC

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