Ms. Spy goes to Washington
We are racing down the East Coast on a train that lurches from side to side just often enough to make a cup of coffee sound like a bad idea, even though I’m kind of desperate for one. We’re heading to our nation’s capitol for a few day of sightseeing and visiting family, not necessarily in that order.
There was a time when I spent a lot of time in Washington. My best friend from high school went to Georgetown, so I use to spend a lot of my breaks down there. I didn’t do much, really. Just walked around. I used to hang out at the National Portrait Gallery and the Hirschorn Museum. But mostly I just enjoyed the change of scene and the opportunity to get around on my own two feet. I’m looking forward to doing some of that again.
We’ve just passed Philadelphia, where I once lived for a few months a few blocks the wrong way from the Penn campus. That summer I was incredibly broke. I took a job working for an orchestra for the experience, not the money, and they paid me just barely enough to live on. I used to walk to walk home from work at the Academy of Music to save bus fare. On the weekends, I’d walk to the cheap movie theater on the far side of town and sit in the back to stay cool – our apartment was unairconditioned and heated up like an oven, thanks to its skylight. I bought my groceries at the Italian market on Saturdays. I bought fruit from the Korean couple who ran a cart near my office. It was too hot for much of anything else.
It’s not hot today. We are wearing our winter boots and coats. We haven’t got a heavy agenda, just a long list of things we’d like to see and do and the knowledge that we will probably get to very few of them. Mostly, though, I’m looking forward to seeing my brother and family, whom I haven’t seen in nearly three years. My prediction is that there will be beer and silliness. This is all good.
Meanwhile, I am enjoying the train ride down. Mr. Spy showed me an article about how hideous this particular corridor is, but I say that it depends on what you are looking for. One of my favorite things about train travel is the view it offers to things you would never otherwise see, some of them beautiful, many of them not (I’m looking at you, Trenton). And it’s all a nice change from the subway’s blackness.