Wednesday, June 30, 2010

what was i thinking? and other random thoughts

Among the various, "Hey, can you...?" duties I've been tasked with this week since I'm out of school this week, going into the District is usually one of my favorites. This task seemed simple enough:
"Hey, can you go to Sticky Fingers in Columbia Heights to get some vegan cupcakes and cookies for Mr. X?

I know what you're thinking, readers in the Southeast. Yes, it does seem rather funny that a vegan bakery in D.C. has the same name as a barbecue chain scattered across the south.

Ordinarily, I'd Metro in, make a morning or day of it with my camera. Well, cupcakes don't travel so well in messenger bags, and summer temperatures (though lovely this week) don't really treat frosting all that well. I made the unthinkable decision to drive into the city to get said confections.

I thought to myself, "Well, it's after rush hour. Traffic shouldn't be too bad." Au contraire! It's summer. Traffic's always bad, especially when taking a tourist-laden route through the National Mall.

Forty-five minutes later (instead of 20), I arrive in Columbia Heights only to find that the streets are all under construction and turning off 14th Street is next to impossible. Bakery is quiet, but bustling. Luckily, I arrived just in time to snag the last two cupcakes that fit the bill.

Leaving, I find my escape route blocked by one way streets and Caterpillar backhoes. An ordinary Virginia driver might've panicked and run over a pedestrian or three while trying to punch in coordinates to a GPS.

Fortunately, my internal GPS kicked in, and I was able to escape the city in far less time than it took me to get in. I guess exploring the city on foot pays off every so often. If only the named streets made as much sense as the grid layout!

Two other random discoveries. The gas station at the corner of Rock Creek Parkway and Virginia Avenue must be the most expensive gas on the east coast. $4.25 for a gallon of regular when the station next to my apartment is less than $3? You must be joking! Second, I think I'm allergic to soy milk.