The Mechanic and I spent the weekend in Washington, DC, dog-sitting for some friends. This is always a fun stay-cation, since we usually end up running around doing things we don’t normally do, and making sure we hang out with our DC friends on their turf. We had several things on the agenda for this weekend – an electronica concert at the Howard Theatre, the 8th Annual Parade of Trabants, and Artcrank, a bike art show benefiting WABA. All this, plus checking out new restaurants and bakeries and seeing friends, oh, and walking the dog, left us a bit exhausted!
The electronica concert (The Polish Ambassador headlining a permaculture weekend event) was The Mechanic’s thing, but I enjoyed the music, although I enjoyed the crowd event more; people-watching is an endlessly fascinating past time.
The Trabant parade, hosted by the International Spy Museum, was fun; The Mechanic had never heard of Trabis, and was unsurprisingly fascinated with the spartan designs. I think they are adorable, but the owners we spoke with said they don’t drive them much, and the cars can’t really handle much more than 50mph. These East German cars are getting a bit more attention these days, especially since Sunday was the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
(Side note: I was in Berlin the following summer of 1990, and witnessed people madly chipping off pieces of the Wall – sort of surreal to be that part of history)
Artcrank is a sort of tour that pairs bikes with posters, and has taken place in other cities around the US. This event benefited our local Washington Area Bicyclists Association, and not surprisingly, I ran into several old bike friends, and met some new ones. Everyone knows at least three other people, so it was a great way to mix and mingle. The posters were great, I wish we had the wall space to put one up. Alas, the beer ran out half-way through the event (oh, and it’s a good thing we rode Capital Bikeshare bikes, because there was no bike parking. Every street sign and railing within blocks was mobbed with bikes), so the crowd thinned out after that, but we both enjoyed chatting and admiring art.
Shinola was there with a bike and some accessories, and rumor has it that they are opening a store in DC. I didn’t talk to anyone from Shinola, but I find the idea very exciting. I like the lines of their bikes, and can see them doing well in DC. Not so much in Arlington, which can’t seem to get over it’s road bike-ness. The Mechanic and I enjoyed admiring all the practical bicycles we saw, with racks and baskets and fenders, and many clearly customized and well used. We also really loved all the protected bike lanes we got to use. And since we were staying near Right Proper Brewing Company, we got to walk past their extra long, always crowded bike racks several times. It brought a tear to my eye. I tell you, this alone is the one thing that might make me consider living in DC.
Artcrank, and staying in DC, made me realize that I need to spend more time in the DC bike culture, checking out the shops, learning all the bike lanes, getting to know more of the movers and shakers of the region. I guess I’ll add that to my 2015 resolutions – yes, it’s time to start thinking about those!
Yes, I need to spend more time in DC. Hopefully our friends will go out of town more often next year!