City of Immigrants

If Washington DC is anything, it is a city of immigrants. I myself walk these streets (bike these streets), a foreigner in a foreign land, navigating illogical institutions a diversity of subcultures. Roasting Sidamo coffee on H Street

An Ethiopian man, now a resident of DC for more than two decades, manifests his passion for coffee and his homeland in the care with which he personally roasts the beans at his small cafe, Sidamo, on the rapidly gentrifying stretch of H Street NE, just east of the Capitol. Sidamo, a small region of his home country Ethiopia, is recognized as the origin of some of the finest coffee in the world, a claim that I can attest to.

Perhaps on a different level, the physical space within which I do my Good Work is far from a great many of my previous experiences.

Ergonomic? Maybe... not.

Though as different from a St. Paul editor’s office or a student’s apartment in Indonesia, the claimed space nonetheless begins to take take on a bit of its occupiers persona.

Caffeine and Boredom

Thanks to the NY Times, I can now explain – and relish in – the occasional state of boredom. According to a Health article on Tuesday, August 5th, I may be bored because my brain has “concluded there is nothing new or useful it can learn from an environment, a person, an event, a paragraph.” So if I seem bored during out conversation, no offense…

Also, the Times has doubly blessed me today, as Jane Brody’s article in the Health pages talks about the false dangers, and even the possible benefits, of that wonderful beverage coffee.

Not that I was going to stop drinking it anyway…

Making a Statement, Without Taking a Stand

Not Apathy, but Ambiguity

“Washington DC: Taxation Without Representation” (the DC license plate), “Someone Else For President” and The American Flag (the bumber stickers).

Americans have been charged, in recent times, with apathy. Someone else will solve health care, a loss of interest in the wars being fought in the Middle East, an outright ignoring of the constant punditry coming from the presidential campaigns.

However, take a look around, and you’ll see the popular culture of America is chalk full of opportunities to express yourself politically. Car bumpers, t-shirts, a bicycle, “I’m carrying a re-usable Whole Foods shopping bag, you plastic bag toting earth killer.”

However, what seems to characterize a lot of what is being proclaimed in logos and statements is not so much apathy, but ambiguity. Mnay people are fine making a statement – though they may be reluctant to take a stand.