Ali, Jeth and I went ventured out into the cold and wet night last night to see some sights, do a little shopping, and have some dinner for Ali’s birthday, which is Wednesday. Jeth was bundled up nice and toasty, and uttered not a peep all night.
We saw some cool new sights, some funny sights, and some sights of the season.
We have to start with the funny one. We were walking down to the Sculpture Garden Ice Rink on the Mall, and crossing over Constitution Ave on 7th St we saw that the city crews had pre-salted Constitution with massive amounts of salt, in anticipation of the HUGE STORM!!! You can’t see it too well in this picture, but it gives you an idea.
Then, as we walked about 50 yards up Constitution, we saw that the bright lights at Public Works had dumped a massive pile of salt right in the middle of the road. Check it out:
Apparently the DPW crews and their supervisors were so frantic and scared of the HUGE STORM!!! that they failed to notice that instead of making the main thoroughfare of the nation’s capital safer, they made it more hazardous. When cars would come in pairs of two or three and had no room to go around the salt, they had to drive right over it.
Way to go D.C. govt!!!
So on to the cool sights. We saw the new Shakespeare Theater’s Harman Center for the Arts, right across the street from Verizon Center. Absolutely gorgeous! This picture doesn’t even do it justice.
We also went into a cheese shop near the Spy Museum and stared at all the $20-$30/lb cheeses, ate a sample and then high-tailed it out of there before we spent ourselves broke.
We watched the skaters for a few minutes in the Sculpture Garden.
Then we walked back up into Chinatown and had a nice time at a bar table inside Rosa Mexicana, home of the best guacamole in D.C. The Wizards were busy beating the Sac Kings inside Verizon-MCI-Global South-Bell Atlantic-AT&T-Comcast-Verizon Center, and the town was pretty busy, so it was a fun night. Ali and I were still amazed, however, at the difference between a busy D.C. nightscape and Manhattan, where the sidewalks are besieged at this time of year.
I think, actually, that on a fairly busy night, where lots of people are out at the movies, theater, NBA game, etc, D.C.’s sidewalks are probably way more empty than lots of other urban centers around the U.S., because everything’s spread out or something. But the difference with New York is staggering. Of course, there are 8.2 million people in Manhattan and the five boroughs, compared with about 5 million people in the D.C. Metro area. And that D.C. Metro number includes the suburbs. Only about 581,000 people actually live in the city. Then you add to that formula the number of tourists who visit New York at this time of the year compared to D.C., and you have very crowded streets versus very sparsely populated streets. Unless you’re around when the game lets out. But we were out of there by then.