Sunday, May 27, 2018

Quickie: Thoughts on a recent trip to DC.

This incident occurred in front of the Lincoln Theater on U Street in Washington, DC on May 12, 2018. I have no idea of what happened, nor did this situation last for long. There were 3 police cars on the scene, and they all appeared as if from out of nowhere. From what I can tell, the fellow with his hands behind his back is handcuffed, and the fellow in back of him is displaying a badge. Could they have been staking out a drug dealer? I haven't a clue.

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With all the bad news in the press these days, one would think could have happened in a bad part of town.  And one would be wrong - this occurred in a very popular and safe (to me) area.  It was very lively at 11 pm, and would likely to be so for some time yet to come.

Adjacent to the theater is a quintessential DC joint - Ben's Chili Bowl.  In one sense, it is "just" a place that sells some of the best smoked sausages you'll ever eat.  But in another, it is an icon to DC as is a popular NYC frankfurter joint at Stillwell and Surf.  And I make it a point to visit this place whenever I am in DC.If you look carefully, there is a mural on the side of the building and Obama is easily seen at this angle. Given the neighborhood's history and the food served here, you can bet that you'll never see Trump's face on a nearby mural.

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Next time I'm in town, I'm going to plan my trip more carefully.There is so much I would like to have done.  But with hot weather one day, a bum car that I worried about, and an overly long drive to DC, I only had one real day of value out of a 3 day trip.  This is not acceptable to me. I will likely go back to taking the train and making reservations in advance.  Let's assume the following transportation costs:
  • Tolls: $25 each way - $50 total.
  • Gasoline: $30 each way - $60 total.
  • Parking: $20 per day - $40 total for a 2 night stay
Transportation to/from DC cost me $150.  For just a little more than that price, I could have taken Metro North, the NYC Subway, Amtrak, and the DC Metro to get where I would be going.  (Amtrak would give me the best value for my dollar spent.) Even throwing in peak commuter train prices and cab rides, I still come in at the $150 range - and would not have any hassles with driving to/from DC.

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Assuming that I drive to DC again, it will likely be to a place with free parking, walking distance to the Metro, and will involve a longer stay in town. If I take the train, the likelihood is that I will stay in the same hotel in Rosslyn, VA, as it is very convenient for me to access sites in DC. If by car, this trip will also involve a couple of stops in between the two cities, such as going to the B&O Roundhouse museum in Baltimore and stopping in Philadelphia to see the Barnes and Mutter museums.  Hopefully, I'll be able to meet up with a couple of my online TG friends along the way.

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