Friday Night in DC

I went running again last night: standard 5 mile circuit on the National Mall, from Capitol to Lincoln Memorial and back. Thanks to use of the wrong shoes for about a month, my right knee has been hurting after a mile or two of hard running, so I wear a neoprene brace for pressure and support, and slow to a brisk walk when the ache starts, being careful with impact and distribution of weight. I wear proper running shoes with lots of cushioning now, and the knee hurts less. Hope it heals soon.

As I passed by the White House, Marine One flew right over my head and landed on the White House Lawn, carrying Bush or Cheney or some foreign VIP. Circling through Constitution Gardens, I cautiously jogged through a flock of geese on the path by the pond; they eyed me annoyedly, but did not attack. On the way back, I passed by the DC World War I Memorial, a remote, neglected marble dome hidden in the trees behind the much more famous World War II Memorial.

Approaching the Capitol, I was surprised to hear strains of the “1812 Overture” coming from a band playing by the Capitol steps, with a small crowd gathered to watch. Inexplicably, the Overture switched over to Yankee Doodle, accompanied by an organ alternating between “Charge” (popularized by American baseball) and Bach’s Dm Toccata and Fugue. They wrapped up the mutant Overture as I arrived on the Capitol Lawn, where I was told that it was the U.S. Army Band, rehearsing PDQ Bach. Quite amusing. The band struck up Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” and I lingered for a bit before heading home.

On the way home, I spoke a bit with an elderly couple walking back to the Hyatt about eating places in the immediate area; not much around the Capitol, nor in the Union Station foodcourt after 9pm, but there were other eating places there, plus the slightly overpriced Senators Restaurant at Holiday Inn on the Hill. Hyatt’s own Capitol View Restaurant, with its $50 entrees, is never an option for dining in DC.

It was a pleasure to get home and step into a cool shower, followed by a hearty dinner of spam and rice and a quick phone call with the girl I love.