Wednesday, March 5, 2008
(inter)cardinal sin- slice of life day 5
I got the call from my friend at 5:05 pm letting me know her metro commute had ended and she was downtown just as I turned onto 8th Street. It was five minutes after I said we (two other friends and I) would probably be at the corner of 8th and Pennsylvania at the Starbucks to meet her for dinner before we were off to hear novelist Susan Vreeland speak about her latest, "Luncheon of the Boating Party." Rare perfect timing. It is always questionable when driving into our nation's capital during rush hour. We hadn't picked a restaurant yet, opting instead to choose from the ten cuisines, various decors, and as many price ranges once we got there. Perfect parking karma. I had a spot in front of a Thai restaurant and considered this a sign. Just had to meet our friend across the street and lead her back to our pick. We scanned the crowd as we walked across the street. No friend. We scanned the crowd of commuters coming out of the metro stop. No friend. I called her back. She was in the Starbucks on the corner. Great. Walked in. No friend. Uh oh... a sinking feeling as I mentally read back my email sent earlier confirming our rendezvous time and place. I couldn''t remember putting SE after 8th Street. I committed the tourist's ultimate sin of navigaton in Washington DC. I didn't specify the quadrant! Doesn't help there are 92 Starbucks within a five mile radius. I called my friend. "Uh, are you at 8th and Pennsylvania, NW?" "Yes." I dropped the SE word on her. It's always good to refresh one's Italian driving technique. I actually hope sometime to use it again on real Roman roads. With my best autostrada skills I drove north and west on Pennsylvania past the Library of Congress and the Capitol and a few Capitol police cars, past the Botanical Gardens and the National Museum of the American Indian, crossed the National Mall and swung left at the National Gallery. We were a scene from National Treasure. Without the hanging from a van door of course. We arranged to pick up our hungry friend at the National Gallery EAST, drove back to First and C, SE and found a cozy, quick Mexican restaurant for dinner before heading to 12th and Independence, SW. Good times.