We were flagging by Day 9 of our US trip. The oppressive heat, weird US spelling and lack of artisan sourdough were taking their toll.
But we were perked up by the arrival of US Dave’s wonderful cousin Jan, who lived a few blocks away from our Pentagon City base and has probably been wondering why it’s taken so long for me to write up this post.
Jan arrived at our hotel lobby with a smile and a portfolio of maps and advice like “WALK” and “DON’T EAT THE CHEESE”.
More importantly, she made sure we covered the main sights in DC in two hours flat, without once giving us a date to remember (1776 ?). She was a brilliant person to walk around with, unlike some people who keep pushing you into pubs all the time.
DC reminded me a lot of Adelaide. Low rise, handsome, dull commercial district, world-class park. All it lacked was a cricket ground by the Potomac but these things take time.
Jan then introduced us to the joys of DC’s free museums, which really are startlingly good (and cool, importantly).
In two days we covered American History, the American Indian and Art. Lots of art.
Here we have Simon contemplating life after his eighth pint in Burton yesterday.
And some paintings of BRAPA bacchanalian excesses in Burton, yesterday. This from the Japanese exhibition.
After that, you need a peaceful video of a waterfall in the Art Gallery.
DC is spotless, and unless there’s 2 billion people in town for a Trump inauguration, surprisingly tranquil.
As you know, this blog has limited patience with tranquility.
The pace picked up a mile east, where Chinatown Express gave us enough food to keep even Matt full till we got back to New York. London prices, at worst.
I was left to explore the bars by myself. Most of the entertainment seemed to be along the attractively named 14th St, where ChurchKey dominated RateBeer ratings.
ChurchKey is no Spoons. Narrow, dimly lit, a row of seats for diners along the wall and a row of seats at the bar for drinkers.
Looked quite suave and sophisticated, a bit unlike me.
But they had baseball from West Ham.
And they had a “curated” beer menu to rival Torst.
And, surprisingly, cask from home.
Yes, Lees Harvest Ale. My nemesis (look it up on this blog).
The exemplary barman kept plying me with iced water, I kept plying him with dollars which apparently is how staff get paid in the States.
You don’t really want to know what I drank, do you ?. It was all good, apart from the American cask which was suffering more than the Lees Harvest Ale.
You want to know they were playing “Heartland Rock” and Style Council, Weller and Costello, and that I was commiserating with an Arsenal fan from Swindon on his way to see “soccer”.
It won’t be getting in the GBG until they introduce cooling, Si will be pleased to hear, but I loved it all the same.