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   low-demand pilgrimage
Friday, October 29 2010

location: near Sligo Creek Park, Silver Spring, Montgomery County, Maryland

Today was the day before the Rally to Keep Fear Alive, and Gretchen had planned it out as our annual low-demand Washington, DC pilgrimage. We wouldn't be meeting friends, just touring restaurants. We decided to leave our car at her parents' place and travel exclusively by Metro. Happily, Gretchen's parents' place is within walking distance of the Silver Spring Metro station. Unhappily, some homeless guy had been wandering the tracks between two stations on the Red Line and the track had to be inspected for bombs before our train was allowed to roll through. That took at least 20 minutes of us sitting in a Metro car with nothing to do.
But eventually we got going and eventually the ride came to an end, coincidentally with a volume in my bladder that could no longer be contained. We ducked into a department store whose fashions Gretchen found uniformly ugly just so I could restore myself to a person whose main concern was no longer the fullness of his bladder.
We immediately had lunch at a place called Café Green, a hip new place full of gorgeous (though occasionally high-maintenance) people that serves only vegan food. The sandwich I ordered was actually rather meh, but everything Gretchen ordered was delicious, as were the chili "cheese" fries (which had received a bad review in a recent article) and my black bean soup.
After lunch, we walked gradually northward, stopping at various places (mostly bookstores). A National Geographic museum lay in our path, and we went in and made the most of a sort of interactive display intended for children, where we screeched various waveforms into a microphone and saw how they plotted on a screen and then banged away in an interactive percussive studio where the best sound was that of a dog barking (all the other samples were too long to work as percussion).
Eventually we reached the neighborhood of Adams Morgan. At that point I wanted to sit down and relax, and there were plenty of happy hours to choose between on the somewhat douchey Adams-Morgan main drag. The only happy hour that seemed to be happening was at Tryst, which I know mostly as a coffee shop (and setting for a memorable event early in my relationship with Gretchen). So that was where we ended up. They had a serviceable IPA on tap, and there fun free newspapers for the reading, including one reaching out to fake protestors (presumably what we'd be at tomorrow's rally to keep fear alive). We were there for well over an hour, sitting in some comfy couches.

For dinner, we went to Meskerem Gretchen's favorite Ethiopian restaurant. As always, the food was excellent, though we found ourselves seated near a table where gentleman progressively showed us more and more of his ass crack, starting at around two inches and ending close to four. By the end there we were wondering why the Meskerem staff wasn't making him trade places with his tablemate whose ass was facing a convenient wall.
After Meskerem, we continued northwestward on foot, crossing Rock Creek over the Duke Ellington Bridge and eventually catching the Metro back to Silver Spring. Unfortunately, our train was delayed because some idiot had committed suicide on the tracks earlier today.

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