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Posts tagged ‘Metro’

Rolling Thunder Run 2016


Photo courtesy of

Every year, I’m driven a little crazy by those who think of Memorial Day as about cookouts and blowout sales.  Nothing is wrong with being excited by the start of summer, or a three-day weekend, or a nice discount: I certainly appreciate Memorial Day for all those things too.  But I do try to keep in mind, lingering somewhere, the reason why I get to sleep in on a Monday morning.  I indulge a little smugness and annoyance when I hear people talking about going to the mall or drinking beer on the deck, with no awareness of why they are getting to do those things on this day.

The last several years, I’ve attended the Rolling Thunder Run in D.C., which is usually equal parts humid, fun, and weird.  And perhaps what I appreciate most about this touching, extremely loud event is that it is a reminder that the holiday is a memorial: it’s about people who died.


Photo courtesy of

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Where to See (and Not See) D.C.’s July 4th Fireworks: A (Short) Roundup

I’ve seen the capital’s Fourth of July fireworks many times, from various locations and vantages. You don’t need to be anywhere near the Capitol Building to see them. If you’re like me, you don’t want to be near the Capitol, with its throngs. I don’t recall security checkpoints the last time I watched from the Mall, but they were set up this year to access the good spots near the monuments, which was an added reason not to go there.

I am on a quest to find the best view with the least number of people. I’m willing to sacrifice on the first to maximize on the second. I would probably watch the fireworks through a brick wall if the area was nearly deserted. A few non-Mall locations:

Air Force Memorial, Arlington

Air Force Memorial - July 4, 2011

Air Force Memorial – July 4, 2011

I can’t recall if we drove, Metroed, or jet-packed to the memorial.

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Our Nation’s Harbor: A Walking Adventure

Route: Alexandria, Virginia to National Harbor, Maryland and back again

If your goal is to see Old Town and National Harbor while walking for miles and miles and miles, here’s the day plan for you!

My sister and I started from Old Town Alexandria, which you can easily reach by Metro or Amtrak.  (If you are trying to park your car in Old Town on a weekend when the weather is nice: good luck.)

1) Start out with brunch in the morning in Old Town.  We ate at Flat Iron Steak and Saloon on King Street.  I recommend the Eggs Benedict, and don’t skip the home-style potatoes.  It’s a long, long journey, so be sure to eat a bunch of crap in advance of it.

2) Follow Washington St. until you come to the path leading across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.  The ground is marked with a big circle and an arrow pointing to “MARYLAND.”  Go in this direction.   Read more

Guide to Sports Enthusiasm for the Casual Fan

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted, but that’s probably because I’ve been so busy being a huge sports fan.

I’ve always liked pastoral, easy-to-understand, American-like-apple-pie baseball.  I never had much interest in anything else.  Football, for example, manages somehow to be at once both very dull and overly brutal.

However, since my parents started getting season tickets to the Washington Capitals, I’ve been attending hockey games, too — usually as the last-round draft pick, to employ a sports metaphor.  I’m not quite sure why I’m at the bottom of the pecking order when a ticket is available.  On an unrelated note, I don’t fathom why every so often the players stop skating around trying to shoot the puck into the net and instead all gather by one of those dots painted on the ice to stare at each other. Read more

What’s Been Happening

“Your towel is backwards!”

The last two Nationals games of the season were super exciting.  The home run that won Game 4 was all the more surprising after the previous losses.  I had just been happy to be attending what I had expected would be the final game.  That the Nats might actually win another one created a different feel in the air:  hope – and expectation.

Walking to the Metro, I passed a boy in a W cap swinging a baseball bat idly in his front yard.  About 14 or 15, he seemed solitarily adrift: too young for cars and girls and Friday night parties.  I imagined he was living on baseball and waiting only for the tv broadcast.  “You going to the Nats game?” he called after me as he noticed my W cap.  He seemed surprised, shaken from his reverie by the sight of a fellow fan.  I called back and gave him a thumbs up, and he grinned.
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