I left Boston on a rainy Thursday, and made it to DC eight and a half hours later, helped by a cd copy of the book, Moneyball.
I hadn't really felt the gravity of the situation until I pulled away from my apartment with a full car. Boston has been my home for 15 of the last 16 years. It is where many of my friends are. Despite the lack of a grid or signage, I know the crazy roads. I have opinions about where the best Reuben can be found, good bike rides, hiking trails, and auto mechanics. My familiarity with the subtleties of the city have made it a comfortable place to be. As I drove away, I was sad about leaving friends and my sense of belonging, yet also excited about and humbled by the opportunity.
(My first stumbling block in learning DC is which ice cream to buy from the grocer. My Boston staple, Brigham's chocolate, is not available here. Any suggestions for a regional favorite? Thankfully, they do sell Entenmann's here.)
DC is hot. I know September hot is nothing like July hot, but it's still hot. I've always experienced the dry-heat / humid-heat thing by going from Boston to Tucson or a similar dry-heat place. Now I've gone to super humid-heat and it's a doozy. I am used to walking fast, but will have to learn to pace myself and allow for stop overs in stores with a/c along the way. I'm not looking forward to this heat while wearing a suit.
My apartment is great. The pictures the landlord sent do not show how great it is. There are a few things I'd do differently, but overall, I love it. It is in the same block as the Verizon Center, a neighborhood that has tons of restaurants, shopping, a movie theater, and lots of pedestrian activity. Having never lived downtown before, this has been an excellent sensory experience. So much going on. Late night noodles and dumplings are in my future.
This morning, I went on a six mile ride around the Capitol, Supreme Court, down the Mall to the Hirshhorn sculptures, past the Washington Monument, and was headed to the Jefferson Memorial when the bees attacked. I was approaching a crazy man. He was jumping and flailing around. I assumed he was nuts, but harmless. While planning a route around him, I was swarmed. The bees were not happy. I joined the man in jumping and flailing, and got away with only one sting on my shoulder blade. Jefferson will have to wait.
I'm about to go meet my classmates in a pre-training welcome outing at a bar in Virginia. It's an unofficial outing, but it feels like the beginning of my experience here.
Tomorrow, I become official.
Arcade Fire video