July 22, 2005

A July to remember, Part 2

Earlier this month, I made a list of nine things I wanted to do before the end of July that I, as a D.C. resident, ought to have done a long time ago. Here is a report on my progress.

Eat at the Supreme Court cafeteria


Yeah, yeah, the food was good. Considering the fact that it takes up about a quarter of the space used by the Senate cafeteria, it had better be just like mama used to make in comparison. But what took me aback when I went to SCOTUS were the media brigades camped out like a gaggle of gadget-inclined sunbathers. There were no women with "Keep Abortion Legal" placards and no forlorn-looking fundies with "life" taped across their mouths. Any news about a potential appointment (this was earlier in the month) would come from the White House or Congress, not this building. Still, the correspondents needed a backdrop in front of which to announce, night after night, that nothing had taken place. To support the anchors, several dozen behind-the-camera workers sat around all day, playing cards, reading The DaVinci Code and complaining about the heat. Haven't these people ever heard of a blue screen?

Visit the Zoo


Done, on the day the new panda was born, in fact. I didn't see the big event and nobody at the zoo said anything about the big (actually stick-of-butter sized) events taking place inside the Panda House. Knowing the zoo only from reputation and the Connecticut Avenue entrance, I found myself unprepared for the size of the place, wondering if I was going in one big loop as I past the beavers, sloth bears and piranhas in a long, slow, humid descent into Rock Creek Park. Maps are not free at the zoo, so you have to rely on the ones they have posted, which are increasingly infrequent the deeper inside you go. At the Amazonia exhibit, I found that I had spent over an hour and nearly soaked my shirt the whole way through with sweat just to make it to the farthest point from the entrance. By this point, I had no interest in seeing any more exotic animals, only in trudging uphill in the oppressive heat and humidity as fast as possible. The zoo is fantastic - in the fall.

Get drunk at Chipotle


This is the item on my to-do list that gets the most laughs, but I've been wanting to do it ever since the first Chipotles posted liquor license applications a couple of years ago. The beer is cheap, the locations are convenient, the chips, salsa and guacamole beat anything at a "real" bar. Plus, there's no fighting to get an order in at the bar, no frat boys poured uncomfortably into shirts and ties and no smoke. We went to Woodley Park for the outside seating area on a temperate Friday and got only a few odd looks from passerby.

Go to a Nationals game


Since I spent a lot of time in Yankee Stadium during high school, it's surprising that it took so long to go down to RFK for a game to see the much pooh-poohed (by me, admittedly wrongly) Nats. The lost to Colorado in a close game, but I'm still glad I went, since it gives me an opportunity to rant about RFK. It looks quite small despite its capacity because there are no outfield bleachers, just a green wall and an upper deck. No bleachers means no drunken bleacher creatures, very limited bullpen heckling and a huge missed opportunity for good, cheap seats.

Unlike many modern baseball fans, I do not lament the fact that the hallways, ramps and bathrooms are done in the parking garage style so popular in the 60s and 70s, nor do I care that you can’t get sushi. Stadiums are for watching sporting events, not sampling the cuisines of the world or doing your Christmas shopping in July. This leaves me torn. Yes, RFK is an ugly and unhistoric place, surrounded by nothing but parking lots and houses. But it's still functional and the proposed replacement will likely run far overbudget and will feature every expensive and stupid fad in modern stadia, from trendy food (Sala Thai concession?) to the faux-historical embellishments that make a mockery of the charms of actual old ballparks.

What is a fan to do? Continue rooting for the Yankees, I guess.

Find a go-go song I like

Sure, I played Trouble Funk's "Drop Da Bomb" (thanks DCeiver) and E.U.'s "Da Butt" at the Bluestate Battle Royale on Tuesday, but I don't think I'll be blasting either of those tunes on the highway any time soon.

Posted by rj3 at July 22, 2005 4:02 PM

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Have you considered "Pieces of Me" by Rare Essence? It's go-go. It's Ashlee. It's delightfully silly.

Posted by: chrisafer at July 22, 2005 9:57 PM

Chuck Brown's "Bustin' Loose" or "We Need Some Money" are classic DC Go-Go.

Posted by: dumbek at July 25, 2005 12:46 PM

Ooooh, getting drunk at Chipotle sounds like a fabulous idea! I'm thinking the one on Conn Ave in Dupont. The beer is a lot cheaper than at bars!

Posted by: Dennis! at July 26, 2005 12:20 AM

In addition to getting drunk at Chipotle, you can get an enormous quesadilla (with your meat of preference) for $2.25. Yes, a Sam Adams and a quesadilla for less than six dollars. No, it is not on the published menu. This item, along with others, is on the secret children's menu. It is a good way to fill yourself up before going to see the Nats.

Posted by: AJ at July 26, 2005 1:22 PM

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