Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Books That Shaped America

In The Library of Congress Jefferson Building is a new exhibit called Books That Shaped America. Over the lunch hour we quickly walked through it following a presentation we saw in the Middle Eastern Section. There are original copies of several favorites, including Gone With The Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird. It is my understanding that the public has an opportunity to voice their opinion and vote for the books they feel had the most impact on them personally or collectively. If you have a chance to see the exhibit, you won't be disappointed. Every time I walk through this magnificent building, it is hard to believe that we can visit it just about any time. As you can imagine, the exhibits are always changing and the subject matter appeals to a lot of folks. I never had this kind of opportunity in previous work places. I can't imagine a lot of others who do.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Red Dog

Pepe Food Truck

Over the last week the food trucks are more numerous and varied. Today's new entry was Pepe. It is Spanish, with Sangria, chicken noodle soup, a variety of seared tenderloin, pork and ham sandwiches, as well as eggplant. Lucky for the folks who live and work in the neighborhood to have a choice for lunch. We have never tried any of these venues, because I walk home and in two blocks I am there with lunch waiting. I know I am very lucky, and appreciate it every time I walk out of the office. I much prefer leaving at 5:30 than at noon. But there is no room to complain here. I still wonder what the brick and mortar restaurants think about all if this. Especially when the trucks are parked right outside their front doors.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Cat

Church Street, Frederick Maryland & The Tasting Room

Our friend retired on Friday and to celebrate we all took a ride to Frederick, Maryland. We stumbled upon The Tasting Room on Market Street two years ago after visiting the so called show house at a farm during the afternoon. I like Frederick because of the Civil War history and the Medical Museum. The downtown is quite charming. If you like antiques, this is the place for you. We took a walk around town passing by City Hall and a house where Lafayette slept and Francis Scott Key wrote a poem. But Church Street struck my fancy this time. The steeples against the blue sky were all shouting for attention. The dinner was great but the company was even better. The ride home was just as fun. At least we can say we have great friends both here and Milwaukee. We consider ourselves very fortunate. All the stuff is just background to the great company and conversation.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Man and Dog

Floral Library

As you pass by the Washington Monument along Independence Avenue, just look to the opposite side. There is an exquisite show of flowers. And the display changes depending on the season. In the Spring are the tulips and bulb varieties. Now there are annual beauties asking to be photographed. There are gardens all over the city, but this one has a map and descriptions for each of the flower beds. And behind it is the Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal Basin. This is one of the reasons we like to drive along Independence Avenue. There is always something new to see- and it is free.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Happy Birthday H

Senators Enzi and Rockefeller

We live on a street where you are bound to run in to just about anyone.  Senator Enzi from Wyoming lives a few houses down. We met him when we first moved here at a birthday party for our grandson. The good Senator gave him a Sacajawea coin. If you believe in six degrees of separation, one of my high school friends is somehow connected to one of the Senator's kids. Her best friend is married to one of them or something like that. I saw Senator Enzi walking in front of the house on his way to an early evening event. As I was walking home for lunch today, there was a sign at the Truckers Association Building that there was a luncheon for Senator Rockefeller. I don't know him, but my grandson, who was about six years old at the time, met Senator Rockefeller at a hearing that he attended with a friend of his. This friend's father was being confirmed for a National Security position. When I walked back to work, the black SUV limo with West Virginia license plates was parked out in front of the building, ready to escort the Senator back to wherever he was headed after lunch. I don't recall running in to anyone like this in Milwaukee. And I know that when I was six years old, it was the furthest thing from my mind. I wonder if it will mean anything having had all this exposure to people we hear about and see on the news. I like to think of it as living history, and continue to get lessons on a daily basis.

Capitol Hill Police Presence

We live in a neighborhood with exceptional police presence, for obvious reasons. There are Metro police, DC police, and Capitol police circulating around in cars, vans, motorcycles, bicycles, and on foot. Every day at work it feels like I am going through airport security, except for the pat downs. In Milwaukee, we saw a police car once in while, and rarely stopping at a house in the neighborhood- except when we visited back home this month, a police officer stopped to buy some lemonade from the kids. Since we've been back the sirens have been blasting, and the police are ever present. We are even on a list serve that sends several messages a day from the DC Police Department about nonsense happening on Capitol Hill. And it's not so unusual to find not one, but two or three cars in the circle driveway. I don't really want to know why they are there- just glad they get there when they are needed.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Walk At Your Own Risk

The sidewalks in the neighborhood are quite uneven, although I do need to say there has been a serious upgrade all around since we moved, and in particular, this year. I always wear comfy shoes to and from work, and carry the office shoes with me. I also have a few pair stored away to match whatever I happen to be wearing that day. And a one inch heel is the max. I wasn't quick enough with my phone to catch a really short skirt that was blowing in the wind and really high platform heels on an attractive young girl on my way back to work from lunch. But when I was coming home after work, I was captivated by the grace and sheer height of the fashionable foot gear on an equally attractive young lady on her way out. I do remember wearing platform shoes in the 70's in college. I don't recall having a problem with them. I suppose it is just a sign of getting older, and maybe wiser (?) to steer clear of these potential leg breakers. I fell on my face once already without the benefit of fashion. And many others have suffered similar consequences that required surgical intervention. I can't help but be amazed, but can understand it simply must be age related. I think I'm past the trying to impress stage of my life, and kinda like it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Capitol Hill Dental Group

I finally got around to making an appointment for a routine six month dental check. Based on our experience, it is better to be safer than sorry, so we make every effort to try to make these dates. The nicest thing about going to the dentist here is that the office is located about one block away on First Street - the same path I take to walk to work. In Milwaukee, it was a long ride, a one dentist operation, and took forever to have work done. Three hour sessions were not unusual. Here, right before Bullfeathers, you turn off towards the alley behind the homes and businesses, and take the stairs to the second floor. It's a nice little office with a father-daughter partnership, 4 dentists all together, and it has served us well since we moved. I fell on my face a while ago and thought I broke my front tooth as I landed on the very uneven red brick sidewalk right outside our house. They have state of the art equipment, and the dentists and staff are really great. I had jaw surgery over twenty five years ago so going to the dentist is taxing. They make it nice and easy...even had a crown done in one session. Today I got out with a clean slate. Let's keep it that way.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Longworth House Office Building Post Office

It is a rare event for us to have to mail anything these days. We try
to avoid it at all costs. Usually my husband will walk down
Pennsylvania Avenue to the Post Office, or go just around the corner
to FedEx. This time I thought it might just be easier to use the
services in the Longworth House Office Building. I was introduced to
it via my colleague here at the Library. The interesting thing about
it is that one reaches the destination through the basement, then the
tunnels that connect the buildings on Capitol Hill. The Longworth
Building is reached by first traversing the Cannon Office Building.
Along the way are cobblers, snack shops, the old entrance to the
Capitol Visitor Center, and a lot of Congressional staff. Every once
in a while I see familiar faces from Wisconsin, like Paul Ryan or Gwen
Moore It is very convenient and the errand fit right in to my
afternoon walk. Not a bad thing at all- even if it is a Monday.

Happy Birthday W

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Walk to Nationals Stadium

By the looks of it, there appeared to be more Atlanta Brave fans walking over to the Nationals Stadium for the baseball game this afternoon. The dark colored caps outweighed the bright red ones. Generally there are hordes of people trekking their way over from our neighborhood...so much so that we avoid moving the car during peak season. The stadium is only a few blocks away. Oftentimes we see our grandson and daughter in law, neighbors, and a host of others parading past the house. That is one of the reasons we like this location because there is always something in our view. Our house in Milwaukee was also located in such a way as to easily watch the passers by. But our house in Florida was on a very busy street. Not only was there pedestrian and automobile traffic, it was a good excuse my parents used not to have a dog for fear it would run out in to the street. But as a teenager learning to drive it was quite daunting. If you could successfully figure out how to back out of our driveway on that street, you could do it just about anywhere. We know people who make a fortune renting out an extra parking space if they have a driveway. Unfortunately for us, we don't have one anymore. But we can still enjoy the traffic that does pass by, and walk over ourselves if the mood strikes us.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

East Potomac Park Fishing

Every once in awhile we take a side trip through East Potomac Park on our way home from Alexandria. Today was particularly dreary and more noticeably so because it's been so hot and sunny these past several weeks. But the weather never seems to derail a diehard fisherman. This was obvious as we came upon many of them all along the way around Hains Point. There they were with their fishing rods and chairs and patience. Some needed to be covered with rain gear or tent. While others simply braved the elements. The only fishing I ever did was with a bamboo pole and bread balls at the pond in Florida. One time I went deep sea fishing and caught what had to be a baby shark. A friend of ours in Milwaukee can't live without it, and has a cabin and fishing boat "up North." On one side of Potomac Park is the Anacostia Branch, with the fish stores, Fort McNair, and the Titanic Statue in the distance. On the other side is Reagan Airport, the metro and Amtrak tracks along the Potomac. Ironically, it does seem peaceful, even in the mist.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Self Storage Options Abound

We took a drive to Waldorf, Maryland this afternoon. I can count on my hand the number if times we've been this way. For some reason, we tend to hang around Northern Virginia. Along the route was the road to Mary Suratt's Boarding House and a sign to Dr. Mudd's place. There is even a road named Surratt. What I was struck by most though were all the self storage facilities that dotted the path. They started in our neighborhood with a huge U Haul building that sits right across from the Nationals Stadium and thereafter at regular intervals all along the way. When we moved here from Wisconsin, we literally left everything behind because nothing we had would fit in to 500 square feet of living space. And we did not want to deal with having storage space that would need to be maintained and rented out. We figured if we would not be using it, we should just leave it behind. Apparently not a lot of folks think the way we do.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dr. Mahdi Aminrazavi and Omar Khayyam

Today was one of those days that my husband joined my friend and colleague for a lecture at the African Middle Eastern Division in the Jefferson Building. And for once, I really liked and enjoyed it. We sat in the front row, heard every word, and the subject matter was even interesting - for me. Usually I don't always connect with the subject, but this presentation was well done. The speaker is from Mashad, one of the many cities we visited in Iran a couple years ago. What I like most about this type of event is that it gives us an opportunity to enjoy the perks of working at the Library of Congress. After the questions and answers ended, we walked back through the tunnels that connect the Jefferson Building to the Madison Building and have lunch on the sixth floor. The view from there overlooks our neighborhood and you can see our house. What I miss on these days is the walk home, and lunch at home, and a quick cat nap. But every once in awhile, this is a treat. And something like this never happened in any of my previous work places.