Archive for July, 2008


A trip down Massachusetts Avenue, “Embassy Row” as it is sometimes called, is always beautiful, following green Rock Creek, past the many Embassies and Consulates built to convey the grandeur of whatever country is housed within. Sometimes, this trip is even exciting.

Protesters and counter protesters at the Turkish Embassy

In front of the Turkish Embassy, up the hill a bit on Mass Ave, a group of protesters and their friendly counter-protesters gathered, shouting at each other from opposite sides of the street. On the right side (East side of the Avenue), the group held signs proclaiming “Free Cyprus” and “Cyprus Independence.” Across the street, the group shouted and held signs as well, countering the pro-Cyprus crowd with slogans of “Turkey – One Nation” and “Save Our Turkey.” One might wonder whether English is their first language…

The Corcoran is just one of the many fantastic art galleries in town

Another wonderful art gallery in Washington, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, next to the Red Cross Building, between the White House and the National Mall. An impressive exhibit of politically inspired art, showing a chronological view of some of the impacts that artists have had in American culture and politics.

The Morning After

My bike seat was still full of rain water from last night, though morning sun was beginning to break through the now white and fluffy clouds as I left Glover Park, bound for 1401 New York Ave, early this morning. Needless to say, my butt is still wet.

Obviously, my emails can become pretty… honest, stream of conciouss, at the end of a late night, with a tired body and mind. Hopefully not overly so.

Washington DC, glimpses as pictures

Despite the fast paced excitement of the office, we still make frequent trips to McPhearson Park, a few blocks away from 1401 New York Avenue, to eat lunch in front of the White House. It is usually more interesting to watch the tourists, however, and to be a part of their pictures where we sit at the base of one of the grand statues in the park, than it is to gaze at the marvelous architecture.

One of the most spectacular museums, though hardly known, is the National Building Museum.

The National Cathedral is up the hill from Calvert Street, in the North West of the District, in the green part of town. Towers over everything, glaring down at the nonbelievers.

The ride to downtown each day brings me past the Oak Hill Cemetery, evoking scenes out of Harry Potter as I pass it in the twilight. I have yet to Venture inside, but I’m sure there are some famous people laying under those amazing mausoleums.

Finally, there are some pretty cool bikes in this town. I’m convinced it is someone’s compensation for settling for a bureaucratic job in DC, as opposed to the world of espionage that they had always envisioned.

Indonesian Embassy, Massachusetts Avenue, DC

Houses and Handlebars

The architecture of Washington DC has a sort of comforting consistency, certainly not the wonderful chaos of a city like New York or Chicago, though it still manages to make me smile quite often.

This is one of the many row houses, in the Dupont Circle neighborhoods, an area that I find myself frequenting. They’re all there, the same height, indeed, in a row, yet personality the do have.

The Beast has finally donned its new handlebars, as well, after much fiddling. The Profile Airwing bars. Now all we need is some new brakes and some bar tape, and we’re ready to go.

Save the Bag? The Chinese are doing it…

I had heard rumors of this, even when studying in the South Western Province of China,  Yunnan, over a year ago. Now, apparently it is official. Free plastic bags are to banned in the coming year in the Yunnan Province.

Apparently there are certain benefits to a semi-authoritarian government that can impose its will on the business sector, for the good of the general population – even when it is “inconvenient.” God forbid the government get in the way in the name of the environment.

Although there are economic benefits for the consumer here in the USA, for those that drop the extra plastic baggage. Many stores give a bag reimbursement – a whole five cents even… it adds up – if you decline a plastic or paper bag. I recall Kowalski’s back in lovely Minneapolis/ St. Paul, and Safeway and Whole Foods here in DC.

Bike Project #2: Aborted

Instant gratification is going straight from work to City Bikes in Adams Morgan, the best bike store in DC in one of the city’s hippist neighborhoods, and walking back out onto Columbia Ave with a brand new pair of lovely Profile AirWing bullhorn handlebars. Long term frustration ensued, however, as the mosquito infested front yard on Calvert Street played host to a rather pathetic attempt to mount the new crown on the new-used urban transport machine.

Making progress towards installing the new Profile handlebars
Need a different size bolt for the stem of the bars, apparently. I’m looking forward to riding the hood with these bad boys, all the way up the mountain from Foggy Bottom to Glover Park.

The house on Calvert Street, an aborted bike project...