The new things I have encountered and accomplished during my first three days in DC can be best conveyed in list form:
1 Biden Motorcade encounter in Dupont! It is a poorly-hidden secret that I wish Joe Biden were my drunk uncle, so you can imagine the excitement that ensued.
MANY fantastic coffee shops. Favorite thus far: my present haunt of SoHo Tea & Coffee, distributor of an indescribable blackberry mocha. This combination of flavors has entirely altered both the drink menu in my ideal version of heaven and my future plans for cocktail experimentation. This was accompanied by a bagel served with, get this, Axelrod Cream Cheese?! YES PLEASE. Port City Java was also a nice place to stop after a Sunday stroll through Eastern Market.
2 catcalls yelled from cars?! I have dealt with the opposite, oddly enough, more frequently – this can be explained with the words “San Antonio road construction” – and in Houston, it’s mainly bored homeless dudes playing the “who can be more vulgar” game downtown. In any case, this is probably a natural result of walking much more. And I like that I can walk virtually anywhere here. Still wishing I had my (albeit critically damaged) car, mainly for the purpose of taking a weekend drive out to the Appalachian Trail or Shenadoah, but I’m becoming increasingly used to life as a permanent pedestrian.
Trader Joe’s. I will ammend my mental grocery store hierarchy to place this on par with Whole Foods but still, of course, below reigning king Central Market.
2 hostels. My room at GW isn’t open until July 3rd, so I am crashing in the absolute sketchiest of ways imaginable until then. It’s a very, very strange experience full of Germans. From discussions with my friends who have stayed in hostels exclusively abroad, I get the feeling that these maintain the basic structure of simple and cramped living quarters while lacking any sort of sense of community. So it’s very hilariously American – we will sleep in the same room as strangers, but still refuse to make eye contact or say hello.
Visits to TWO universities I am glad I do not attend. However, I will say without hesitation that I relentlessly envy the opportunities Georgetown and GW students have to intern in DC during the school year, basically without competition. Can’t imagine how advantageous that is, experience-wise, especially since Rice basically offers lab or Rockets or nada.
3 6-mile morning runs through and around the National Mall. This is undeniably my new favorite thing. Tourists think I live here, and I get to feel pretentious, and the scenery beats the outer loop any day. Also in my head this makes me feel constantly like a patriot and/or a badass.