21 Hours in Washington, D.C.

Twenty-one hours in D.C. is a mistake. It is a decision you will regret even if you have no money to afford a hotel in D.C. That’s what credit cards are for. The chance to go to there does not happen often and there is so much to see.

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In the short hours that I was there I did not wander far. My hotel in Chinatown put me in walking distance of so many beautiful things. I had a short window of time when I arrived to find something for lunch. I needed to eat fast and be ready to walk with my boss to a meeting. A block from my hotel on the corner of H and 6th I came across Beef and Bread. With my first bite I declared it to be the best sandwich I’ve ever had.  Upon reflection, that seemed hasty but I cannot remember ever eating a sandwich more delicious. Life changing. It is called Chinatown. The roast beef was tender and piled high. The jalapeno sauce was flavorful but not overwhelming. The cilantro, sprouts, tomato and lettuce were fresh and delicious. The bun, soft and fresh.

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I wish that I could have gone to the Spy Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (that’s a thing!), the National Portrait Gallery, all of which were in walking distance from Chinatown. I took a thirty minute walk to stretch my legs between meetings. I had my headphones in providing an upbeat soundtrack to the warm, autumn day on the bustling streets. I saw all sorts of people. School groups, obvious tourists, business people, uniformed men and women, people of all ages and colors. A true city, a true melting pot, America. I was about to turn around when I saw a sign indicating the White House was ahead. Of course, I had to continue. So strange to be so close to the White House, barred by tall fences, a central figure in our nation’s history. And I was surrounded by fifty high schoolers taking selfies. I’m not sure what that indicates.

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That evening we went to Masa 14 for dinner on a recommendation from my boss’s sister. It sounded interesting, described as Latin Asian fusion. That probably should have been an indicator. While we did not order cocktails (apparently we should have), we went with the server’s recommendations for the small plates to share: kimchi brussel sprouts, pork belly steamed buns, rainbow roll, a shrimp tempura roll, and seared diver scallops. While the scallops were tasty and tender, nothing else is worth mentioning. It is safe to describe all as okay, a bit bland, not bad. It felt like a giant waste to be in such a mecca of food and have chosen poorly.

There were museums to see, people I would have liked to connect with, culture to experience and food to eat that I missed by coming home. Next time, I’ll figure it out. D.C., I’m going to come back to you!

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