A dear friend arrives.
We walk through Eastern Market, buy a peach to eat on the way to Pound Coffee, where iced Nutella lattes are purchased (but there are no seats for us — too hopping of a brand-new place). We sip lattes as we walk up Pennsylvania Avenue, pausing before the Capitol, and onward to the Newseum. It is air-conditioned and informative, and we are happy. We are faced with the World, though, and a lot of it makes us sad. We see the a wall of front-pages from 9/11, a stack of newspapers that have discontinued print editions (including our own Rocky Mountain News). We fight back tears as we read about coverage of Hurricane Katrina and look at stark, stunning photos taken by journalists who played a dual role: rescuer and reporter. We are awed by portions of the Berlin wall and entertained by an exhibit on Presidents’ dogs. We laugh in the gift shop about mugs on which you “watch your civil liberties disappear” as your beverage cools and t-shirts with bleeding hearts… and the word “liberal” written below. This is a really great museum. Moving and informative and beautiful.
We walk towards our dinner destination and detour to the Mall. We pause to see if anyone has Bomb Pops (they don’t), and proceed to the Washington Monument. We walk through the grass to the WWII Memorial, where we hope that any child of ours would not be playing in the fountain, and reflect a moment longer in front of the names of states we hold dear (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona…). We take a (lovely, air-conditioned) cab to dinner, have a drink and spend more time ordering than we do eating. The food is good; the company is best.
Metro home, have ice cream, talk to roommates. Call a cab bound for Virginia (where work awaits). Enjoy the lightness that good, familiar friends bring to my heart.