Welcome to Brunette à Bicyclettea collection of thoughts, photos, and videos; my digital scrapbook of the people and places I’ve come to love, wherever I happen to be (currently, that’s Washington, DC).
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Category Archives: Washington, DC
The U.S. Postal Service has been in the forefront of the 24-hour news cycle lately, or at least that’s how things look from the non-stop-CNN-barrage that is my office kitchen. While I think I can learn to live in a world where I have to wait until Monday for a package transported over the weekend, the prospect of canceling Saturday deliveries seems to have provoked a bit of a panic (will they or won’t they?!?). I don’t propose to know the ultimate fate of mail delivery in the digital age, but a part of me that remains somewhat resistant to change understands the protectionist response. Getting a letter or card — that someone took the time to write, slip into an envelope and post — tops an email any day. I look forward to holiday cards from my mother (she even sends them for Halloween and Thanksgiving) and letters from friends who vehemently keep to the pen-to-paper correspondance. I just received a card from my grandmother and it made my day.
For all of these reasons, I’ve been pestering Z to go with me to visit the National Postal Museum, and he finally relented. Regular readers will already know that I love exploring quirky museums and monuments – little depositories that zoom in on one industry, hobby, person or anything someone out there had enough interest in to create a space dedicated to its memory. This one in particular, devoted to mail and the postal service, appeals to that little
geek girl in me that watched with rapt curiosity as Mr. Rogers explained where crayons come from.
Buds are appearing on branches here as little bulbs timidly peek out of the ground. As though to remind us that we’re still days away from the first day of spring, we plunged back into a cold spell. I reluctantly reached for my down jacket and gloves as we headed out to the farmers market. However impatient I am for spring, the cold weather gave me the perfect excuse to go explore a little place in neighborhood that has intrigued me for a while. Continue reading
Started by a homebrewer and the former beer director at the Big Hunt, 3 Stars Brewing Company is the latest addition to the growing number of craft breweries popping up in the District. Their facilities in Takoma are open Saturdays for tours, bottle sales and growler fills. However, when you pull up to this warehouse-turned-brewery, you’ll also see people leaving with plastic tubing and bags of hops underarm. 3 Stars has held onto its roots and their homebrew shop — the only one in DC — sells just about anything you’d need to start making your very own batches. (I’ll leave the brewing to the experts, but to each their own.) Continue reading
Is there anything better than freshly-baked bread? A warm baguette fresh from the oven on a chilly evening in Paris never made it home without the crouton. Warm and soft, delicious on its own but a little nob of buter wouldn’t be unwelcome either. Even the smell of freshly baked bread apparently makes us nicer people. Bagels, pitas, even the humble dinner roll are exponentially better the sooner they get to you from that hot oven. Here in the District, our bread experience has been a little underwhelming, that is, until we found the Pretzel Bakery (340 15th Street SE, 20003). Continue reading
Z had to work over the weekend, so I found myself out on a walk in the crisp fall air with an afternoon to myself. Just as I got to Lincoln Park, a sign stopped me in my tracks.
As I write this I’m listening to the sound of thunder roll through our patio doors on a warm evening. I keep thinking that this might be the last of these storms, one of my favorite things about summer. The air gets thicker and heavier until a loud clap and a cool exhale start the brief respite from the relentless, sticky heat. But, the air is getting crisper, I’ve been eyeing my coats and boots, a pair of beautiful carnival squash showed up in our CSA, and I’ve got to face facts. Fall is here. And ushering in these “R” months means one thing — oysters! Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I was standing in the perfect DC apartment. Impeccably well-maintained and at the bottom of our budget, it had everything we were looking for — hardwood, outdoor space, nice square-footage, tons of storage, right next to a bikeshare stop … The agent had already taken me there once, and we were back so Z could take a look. There were no applications in before us. In fact, we were the first prospective renters to even see the place. We were shoo-ins. And, Z and the real estate agent stared at me in disbelief as I turned it down.
My home, wherever it is and whatever form it takes, borders on sacred. I’d like to think I’m fairly adaptable generally, but on this point, I don’t budge. Call it basic, but I need to have a place, however small, that I can draw a mental line around and say “mine.” I think putting your whole life into boxes, bags, and suitcases over and over does this to a person. The uncertainty of apartment hunting is always stressful and down-to-the-wire, but I know when I’ve found something that I’m going to love (or not), and have trouble going against my gut. Continue reading
At this point it probably comes at no surprise that I love to cook. Whether I’m trying something new or scrounging through the pantry for what we have on hand, I love bringing things together to make something gratifying — or that’s the plan, at least. If not, thankfully we get 3 chances a day to eat something delicious! Continue reading
Although reportedly boasting some of the most enthusiastic drinkers in the country, the District has a history of hostility toward alcohol comsumption. Subject to Congressionally-imposed prohibitory laws before and after they were levied at the national level, DC still boasts lingering, hotly-contested blue laws today. However, there’s a growing brew culture and a string of small breweries are bringing local beer back to the DC metro area. The first of them, founded by Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock and christened DC Brau, became the District’s first local brewery in over 50 years.
I was pretty apprehensive to move to what I’d always though of as the “other side of the Mall.” We’ve lived in Dupont and Cleveland Park, and I’ve had my eye on Mount Pleasant for a while, but when Z told me we’d be at Navy Yard, my heart sank. People keep telling me this is the next “up and coming” part of DC. I’ve yet to be totally sold on that. Although living just blocks from the ballpark makes for an easy commute to work on the Hill and an ideal summer for Z, the biggest baseball fan I’ve ever met, there’s not much to do here … or so I thought. The truth is, there’s some really great stuff in Southeast and Southwest DC that I’d neglected because they were “all the way out there.” (Having to change Metro lines just once on a Sunday, when half the trains are single-tracking due to construction that never seems to end, can be a deal breaker in this town. At least it was until Capital Bikeshare showed up …) Now, I’m seeing all the things I missed out on and learning to love this part of the city in spite of myself.
One of those things is the Main Avenue Fish Market . Just a short bike ride away from our apartment, I find myself stopping by the Wharf a lot searching for something for Sunday dinner. Unfortunately, they do sell some fish here that are essentially a middle finger to the environment, but with a little information you can walk away with some delicious, reasonably-priced, sustainable goods from the Chesapeake and environs. Continue reading