Running in Washington

I’m on my way back to Philadelphia from Washington this afternoon. I came down last night to run this morning’s 12 K’s of Christmas Holiday Run that the DC Running Club organizes.

I’ve run at least one official race a year since 2009, but this year I came close to falling away from that habit. I ran today’s Christmas 12K to keep that tradition alive, but also because I generally haven’t been running very much this year, and knew I’d head into Christmas feeling terrible about missing any major run this year.

It was beautiful, running along Washington’s Canal paths. Lots of great people, some dressed wildly for the holidays, many who were helpful to keep pace with. A red-bearded guy was especially great; we ran along with each other for most of the second half, intermittently passing each other and keeping pace.

It wasn’t a super run, but it felt good to get it done.



Writing from Vesuvio Cafe in North Beach, San Francisco, enjoying my first Anchor Christmas Ale of the season. Visiting for only a few days, and wanted to take my first Detour with a friend of mine who’s bullish on Andrew Mason’s latest company.

The Detour experience was great—app driven audio tours of the city, each with a distinctive theme. Available in only a few other cities and still a bit buggy, but worth trying. One of those things that feels like the future.

What I like about Anchor’s annual Christmas Ale is that it combines both tradition and freshness. An annual tradition with its roots deep in the past, yet with distinctive, never-to-be-repeated recipes to honor that tradition:

This is the forty-first annual “Our Special Ale” from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, as is the tree on the label, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew.


Jazz vespers

I first learned about St. Peter’s jazz vespers service in September. Specifically, from this feature on Vincent Piazza, who starred in Boardwalk Empire as Lucky Luciano. Since then visiting St. Peter’s has been in my Todoist in the “new experiences” list.

Vespers means evening prayer. As a form of ritual prayer, it’s an ancient Christian practice. What I experienced was a very contemporary interpretation of vespers. St. Peter’s is in Midtown at 54th and Lexington. It’s a Lutheran parish that’s been doing “jazz vespers” for decades.

Although strange to hear, “a reading from C.S. Lewis” (rather than from Scripture) from what seemed to be a pulpit in a place that purports to be a church, it was a peaceful service that seemed to touch people. I recorded a few minutes to share:

Worth experiencing.