I love this city. Had my first taste with Toby in the first week of january. We came down for the weekend from NY. We did a mish walk from our hotel, passed the White House and then around the Mall, stopping at the monuments and memorials along the way. I don't think I could've had a better person to do it with. The planning of the mall/capitol area is insane. The architecture is stunning. And the weather on that day was impeccable.
Evangeline joined us part way through our walk, and Celia came down later that afternoon. We just chilled out that evening, and the next morning went and saw Tubs off, back to NZ. Thanks dude, dc was great. I ended up staying an extra day with Celia, and we pretty much did more walking around - it got a bit rainy, but the thrill of being here was still there. Hard to fathom that this was going to be home for the next four months.
I moved down the next weekend. Found the local fair trade (which is not local at all) store - but I think I may love it more than trade aid, coz they give you free coffee and have a book station so you can just chill out and read there. I'm staying with Bukola. She's awesome - just cracks me up all the time, intelligent, and she's so generous with her stuff.
Weekends have been spent checking out the (mainly free) museums: Holocaust (harrowing and informative), Air and Space Museum (the Wright brothers were NOT the first to fly thank you), Museum of American Art and National Portrait Gallery (not so big on it generally, but seeing Colbert was wicked), Hirsshorn (modern sculpture? smeh), Museum of African Art (fascinating), National Art Gallery and so on. Also got to hang out with the girls (and sometimes guys) from work. We went to Georgetown one weekend - it looks kind of main streety, and is pretty much just for shopping. There's this one called the Paper Store. Three stories of cards, paper and ribbon. I was SO in my element. It took great self control not to indulge myself.
We've also started a tradition on Saturday mornings of brunch in Eastern Market. It's pretty much like it sounds - a market in eastern DC with fresh produce, gourmet stuff, artists and this crazy cafe. And then there is the best bookshop ever. It's a second hand place, just floor to ceiling packed with books - and good books, not the kind that people tend to get rid of. Scored some great bargains. Actually, eastern market deserves its own post. I'm gonna take pictures next week and put them up coz it's too hard to explain.
One of the highlights for me thus far was seeing the Juilliard String Quartet. It was in the arboretum of the National Art Museum. You have to imagine this cavernous rectangular room with columns, filled with bamboo and foliage in the four corners and a fountain in the centre. Perfect acoustics. And then some of the best musicians in the world playing Verdi and Beethoven. It was superb.
That's probably enough for now - though I do promise to write more now that I've settled in. Laters.