Walk to Congressional Cemetery

Wednesday I dropped $100 on new walking shoes — the first new shoes I’d bought in probably two years. Saturday, I put those shoes to their first major test — a walk from my apartment in Woodley Park to Congressional Cemetery, located on the west bank of the Anacostia in what can only be described as East East Capitol Hill. I’d never been to Congressional Cemetery before, and wanted to scratch it off my “to see” list.

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Of course, by the time I got there — about two and a half hours, and six and a half miles — I was pretty exhausted, so instead of an indepth exploration, I walked around a bit, rested, and then was off again. My plan was to walk to Farragut Square and catch a bus home, but instead, I caught the Metro at Capital South, giving me a total walk for the day of about eight miles. Not too bad. Some of the gravestones I took photos of are below.

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And I’m pretty sure I caught some Star Wars fans checking out my awesome C-3PO and R2-D2 t-shirt!


And then I had sort of an awkward encounter. I was a few blocks from Capital Hill South when a woman walking two Corgis turned onto the street ahead of me. Who doesn’t love Corgis, right? So I called out to her, “They’re beautiful!” and asked if I could take their picture. Which became super awkward when she posed, and I took a photo … of her Corgis. So, basically, I just became the cat-calling creep … who then ignored the pretty lady in favor of her dogs. I don’t think either one of us walked away from that feeling uplifted, and I just feel … mortified. I think I ruined her day. My deepest apologies, if you are reading this: you are lovely, and your puppies are lovely.

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STAR WARS TRAILER

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngElkyQ6Rhs&w=560&h=315]

New Star Wars trailer! New Star Wars trailer! It’s so easy to get caught up in it — OLD HAN and STILL LOOKING YOUNG CHEWBACCA — it’s easy to forget how much positive press The Phantom Menace received, almost two decades ago.

But I will remain optimistic until December.

(Also, does it seem weird to anyone else that Chewbacca basically doesn’t age?)

The New A/S/L

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I lost my job a year ago today. No fear: I’ve been reemployed since September 2nd. As a fortuitious coincidence, the week before I went from being gainfully employed to being gainfully desperately looking for work, I bought an Xbox One and two games: Battlefield 4 and Titanfall. As much as I wanted to love Titanfall — where you control really cool mecha and stomp your enemies from the map — I actually wound up playing a hell of a lot more Battlefield 4, which is, for me, anyway, one of the more challenging shooters out there.

Battlefield4_myview2 Sunday night I was playing on Pearl Market, which, if you’ve ever played BF4’s expansions, you know as a chaotic map of narrow alleys and wide streets, steep stairways and windows overlooking the field of combat, and roofs towering over all. In game death is all around you, and this round, sadly, we were losing — and it was not remotely close. Still, everyone on my squad was using their microphones, and we were coordinating quite well.

And then this guy joined. And instead of, y’know, “There’s a dude crouched on that ledge” or “Let’s push on objective A” or even “THEY’RE EVERYWHERE WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE” …

… he starts with, “What’s your name? Where are you from?” and then the next thing I know, his grandfather’s on the microphone explaining how they just got broadband internet in his remote Alaska village and he’s paying $300 goddamn bucks a month for it and I’m just staring eyes wide as I try to slay our opposition because, dammit, I love this map, and very few servers have it on rotation anymore, and what the hell is this?

It’s the new age/sex/location. That’s clearly what it is. Which for you young whippersnappers, is what you used to type into an AOL chatroom. It was the text-version of today’s Tinder.

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Julia’s Empanadas Casts Shade

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Currently Shenanigan’s Irish Pub, the green structure that reeks of fake-Irish has previously been McNasty’s, Angry Inch, and, taking a page from Harry Potter, the Leaky Faucet. It’s also one of the 25-Douchiest-Bars in DC, per Complex. I don’t know if Julia’s Empanadas put up this sign recently or not, but I only noticed it today: pointing and laughing at their neighbor’s name change, it reads: “We don’t change often/We got it right the first time.”

Exploring Klingle Road

Klingle Road runs west to east across upper northwest Washington, DC, with many interruptions: it starts just a little east of MacArthur Boulevard, branching off of Macomb, and runs into Arizona. It resumes on the other side of Battery Kemble Park, and runs here from Foxhall Road to New Mexico Avenue, a whole two blocks. It resumes for a much shorter stint — about a block — between 39th and Massachusetts. If it continued from here, after a block, it would then run through the National Cathedral’s Close. But it doesn’t, resuming its onward march from 34th Street to Woodley Road, where it sort of continues, but only if you turn and travel for a short distance on Woodley before making a left. Here it ends again — sort of.

Entrance to Klingle

An ugly gate, decorated with “Road Closed” and “Pedestrians Prohibited” signs, bars the way. It’s possible to enter the closed portion of Klingle by making your connection through the Tregaron Conservancy Trails, which have no signs barring pedestrian access, if you feel more comfortable.

Imagine a road running through a flood zone which has not been maintained for a quarter of a century. Portions of Klingle, especially where I first entered, looked as if they could be used again almost immediately. On other sections, however, fully 3/4ths of the road had eroded and collapsed into the Klingle Tributary.

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My personal favorite part of my exploration was where Klingle runs under the Klingle Valley Bridge/Connecticut Avenue Bridge. I’ve lived in DC for almost seven years and have walked across that bridge I can’t even count how many times.

There were sections of Klingle where the road had practically become one with the stream, and I had to jump from dry pavement to dry pavement — as I’m a bit on the heavy side, this probably looked as awkward as it felt, and it felt like I was going to slip and go down hard and wet (that’s what she said?).

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This was one of the few examples of the remaining street markings.

After exploring Klingle, I meandered through Rock Creek Park to Adams Morgan and walked downtown. I noticed quite a few people looking at my chest — maybe because they were admiring my man boobs, or maybe because they really loved my Dark Lords t-shirt. Or maybe both!

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We’ll see where I go exploring next week!