DC and NYC

Last week I flew from Boston to Washington DC. I hadn’t been in DC for more than 20 years, so it was a real treat. I stayed with our former flatmate Brett, who is a superb chef and the kind of person you just like, automatically. He lives on M Street NW, and when I landed at Dulles I had no idea how far away everything is there. We had to take a strange bus to another building, then walk for miles (it seemed) to get luggage. I found Super Shuttle, boarded that, and then sat back for a 3/4 hour drive into DC proper. I was flabbergasted. I understand that the Metro will be extended out there in the middle future. It will be much easier to get into the city when it is.

Brett is, as you would expect, the superb host and we chatted and ate most of the time he was there. He had to duck out for a food gig in New York over a long weekend but otherwise we enjoy each other’s company and have much to talk about.On Thursday night we had dinner at a lovely Mexican restaurant across from the Verizon Center.

During the week I had a lovely visit to the National Portrait Gallery with , which was just wonderful and very educational for me. The pictures of Richard Nixon were quite amusing. That evening I had dinner with at Annie’s Restaurant near Dupont Circle, where I had a lovely burger. Afterwards we walked around a bit, saw the White House at night, and took pictures.

I nearly forgot! When I was checking in for the flight, the clerk told me that my suitcase was 5 lbs. overweight, so I shifted some stuff into my carryon. When I got to Washington, I discovered that my camera’s LCD screen was cracked. I presume that pressure from stuffing that material into my carryon is what did it. It took me a few days to find the Best Buy, but I bought a new camera, 12.5 megapixels, and it seems to work well. I hate airlines.

On Saturday I spent the day in Virginia with , who is a friend from soc.motss. She was kind enough to drive me far into the horse country in Virginia, where we lunched on (in my case) a burger (surprise!) We then went on to Chrysalis Winery and had a tasting, with some pretty good wines and a couple real stinkers. We were herded out in advance of a wedding party. We ended our day at a Chinese restaurant where I got attention because of my man bag (bought in Shanghai with “To serve the people” written on it in Chinese). Had Ma Po tofu which was a bit too white-peppered for me. Spent the evening at home.

Sunday I did laundry, then met my friend Randy, who owns Integrity Lightspeed, an email list for LBGT Anglicans and their friends, for lunch at a Thai restaurant at Dupont Circle–I thought it was called “Thaifoon” but can’t find a clear URL for it, so maybe not. Green chicken curry (natch) was very good, as was the conversation with Randy, whom I haven”t seen for many years. Lovely to see him again and hang out in the park watching the world go by.

That evening I had dinner with Brett’s and my friend Bev at the Sofitel hotel at McPherson Square, near the White House. The dinner and conversation were superb, and Bev being the head pastry chef there knew everything on the menu. The waiter was hot, too.

Monday I took a ride on the Red Line to its end in Maryland and back. Somewhat scenic. Then Brett returned from his (very successful) New York gig, and we had dinner at a Belgian brasserie close to downtown. Then I had to pack for travel on Tuesday.

A very sad goodbye to Brett, then a taxi to Union Station. I took the 1 pm Acela Express first class to New York. It was a lovely trip–the food (beef tenderloin) was excellent, much better than anything I’ve ever gotten on a plane. Taxi up to East Harlem where and KK live and where I am now staying. Their friend Susan gave me the keys and explained the key system, then left me alone to enjoy my stay here, as and KK are elsewhere at the moment.

Today I discovered that my left big toenail has separated from the bed yet again and a bit of fluid and blood squirted from underneath when I wiggled it. I cleaned it out with alcohol and put a plaster on it while I debated what to do. In walking to the subway I discovered that there is a foot doctor around the corner. I will call them tomorrow morning and perhaps get seen. I don’t think it’s infected. I bought some gauze, Bactine, and adhesive tape this afternoon and have disinfected and taped it up. I will keep tabs on it. However, I will need to go to the foot clinic at Kings next week and demand that they refer me urgently for orthopedic shoes, as they have promised three times. I need to protect my feet when I travel, as that seems to be the situation where things happen to my feet.

I went down to South Ferry to see the new subway station there. It was quite interesting how they have shoehorned it into the small spaces available down there. Now there is no reason to sit in the first 5 cars when going down there. I got a sandwich and Diet Coke for lunch and ate it in Battery Park.

Then I decided to get to 14th Street to buy an additional bag to travel back to London next week, and then get to 1st Avenue to take the bus up to 106th Street. So I got on the W train. Who should then walk into the same car and sit down but Nick Dowen, my good friend from Integrity/New York who lives on Staten Island! Such coincidences happen in New York! We will probably have lunch next Tuesday before I go.

This evening I went to dinner on 118th and First at Patsy’s Restaurant. Had 1/2 a pizza and a Caesar salad with my friend The Rev’d John Halborg, who lived on the floor below me in the Bronx and is now a retired New York priest. We discussed sad events such as the death of a good friend and laughed over memories of days past.

Tomorrow the reunion begins with a cocktail party in the evening. I hope that my foot cooperates.

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