my date with the city

recipient:

O, the Oprah Magazine/ PO Box 7831/ Red Oak, IA 51591-4831

sent:

Taqueria Nacionale business card

reasoning:

there’s an episode of sex and the city where all of carrie’s love relationships are going wrong, but one thing she can depend on for company is New York City, her constant boyfriend. while the dry cleaners are never open, there are movie theaters, museums, beautiful parks, and cheap but delicious food to take part in. by yourself. you definitely have to be in a comfortable and confident mood to take on seemingly social activities alone, but when all the components are there, it’s a wonderful, warm and fuzzy feeling. i like the anonymity of cities, but also if you seek out the cultural opportunities, and talk to random strangers, the city can embrace you, like an old friend. it can also screw you over royally in so many ways, but i had a good day today, so let’s stick with the warm and fuzzy.

i made a new friend in AG today, she’s the friend of Lost with Eve‘s older sister and works at The Campus Kitchen Project. she bought me lunch at Taqueria Nacionale, one of the local joints right by the Capitol and Union Station. simple, cheap, and tasty. small corn tortillas, topped with either beans, chicken or steak, a bit of cilantro, add some spicy tomatillo green sauce and it’s scrumptious delicious. their fish tacos and yucca fries are awesome. we sat on the grass underneath a tree, and AG told me about her past job experiences, and gave me recommendations on job search books.

i was about to hop on the metro to get to the National Gallery of Art, but she gave me some simple walking directions if i didn’t mind the stickyness and heat outside. of course, i got lost, even with a map. but coming upon the Gallery was like finding an oasis, i quickly moved past security and asked the information desk if i was late for the movie. the old lady didn’t know, but she directed to the auditorium. i found an empty area, sat down and within a minute the lights went dark, and Kite Runner began. what good timing! considering i thought i was already half an hour late, how lucky was i? the movie was sad, sick, and heartstrings-pulling emotional – a perfect ‘cry your eyes out’, hate that people can inflict war on each other, hate that war has evolved past guns and bombs to rape and pillage, and hate that we’ve created hierarchies of people in ethnicities, gender, and history, but somehow there’s still room for humanity and a feeling that justice can be achieved. i walked out slightly frustrated, slightly angry, but also humbled.

i walked around the Mall for a bit, and walked over to the Sculpture Garden for their Jazz in the Garden

series. people everwhere, dressed in suits and summer dresses strewn on blankets everywhere – every piece of grass, every piece of cement, everywhere except the sculptures themselves. finally found some Smithies, we had wine, cheese, cake and slices of watermelon. afterwards, HK, LC and i walked into Chinatown to get some actual foodage at Five Guys – a fast food burger place with vegetarian options! still wanting to stay out, HK and i had a drink at Matchbox, a place I would like to bartend at once i’m living in the city. it was a hot, and sticky day, i got a major sunburn on my back, but i was content. a day when i found local, delicious, and cheap (!) food, saw a great movie, made new friends and enjoyed the sun. a day in which i have found a new love interest in the city of DC.

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