Tuesday, March 30, 2010

District of Funk

So the title of this post has little to do with the following content, but sounds like a sweet band name, right? At least for DC street music.

I've been living in Washington, D.C. for three months now, but it took a few touristy friend visits for me to fully appreciate the city's offerings. The last few weekends have been a test of my Metro and hostess skills, and wonderful, sunny (except for last Friday -- ugh) expeditions. So I thought I would do a little pseudo-travelogue to point out some highlights:

SULU DC
Abstract poetry verses frustrate me, and if I don't get the gist of a poem on third try, I'm going to pick up some chick lit. I told my friend this as we settled into SULU DC, a showcase of underground Asian-American performance art held at the Ethiopian restaurant Almaz.
But then Michelle Myers from Yellow Rage came to stage and taught me how to get angry -- fists-clenched-teeth-gritted pissed off by listening to poem about a wronged immigrant or stereotyped women.
And after that, it was Sahra Nguyen, a woman whose heartfull, touching poetry delightfully pervades an cute, funny image. Example: describing her tiny, fierce Chinese mother in a poem "My Momma's So Gangsta".
Conclusion: My friend leaned over to me and said, "Now do you get poetry?"
I did.

Good Stuff Eatery
A crowded fast-food restaurant of Top Chef fame -- Imagine my surprise when one of my favorite vegetarian meals in DC took place at a burger joint. But when your "Vegetarians Are People Too" burger is actually a stuffed portabello mushroom with fresh cheese, flash-fried in Panko bread crumbs, well yeah, it's pretty freaking delicious.
Top that off with my first milkshake in about five years and an end to the grumbling tummy after a Capitol Hill tour, and we've got a winner.

A Loop Around the Mall
Even if you hate running, walking down the straight line from the Capitol, amid the Smithsonians, around the Washington Monument (WashMon, if you will -- I won't), through the World War II memorial and right up to Lincoln's lap will make you wish you were a DC jogger.
Springtime in DC is savory, and the Kite Flying Festival dotted our horizon like mass confetti. The famed Cherry Blossoms bow gracefully into the Potomac, and everyone's cutests dogs and children stroll around the mall. Tourist or not, it's a worthwhile walk.

Capitol Hill Books
Unlike what the name suggests, this rowhouse-turned-bookstore is an allergy-inducing mish-mash of stacked books, organized vaguely with post-it notes and rooms, and narrow enough for one person at a time on the stairwell (which is lined with World War II books).
So basically, it's perfect.
I read a couple of chapters of a novel, and looked up to find two of my UF creative writing teachers' names (Padgett Powell, David Leavitt) on the bindings in front of me.
If that doesn't call you name, browsing the surrounding Eastern Market's local crafts, hippie imports and fish counters, will.

5 comments:

flask said...

thanks for this.

i just want you to know that i'm out here, i'm following along, and that i'm enjoying the ride.

yeah, poetry. and the way you write about it, i can taste that sandwich and smell those books.

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