• I spent most of today at the Museum of the Bible at a conference in advance of Friday’s 46th March for Life. At one point I stepped out into the hallway to call in for an interview with Jim Havens of Love Will End Abortion, where we talked Americans United for Life, our publication Defending Life, Leana Wen of Planned Parenthood, and simple ways to respond with love and charity to friends with differing perspectives. This was my view from the hallway as we recorded that segment:


    As evening came on I joined a group heading to Pearl Street where we had what turned out to be an uninspiring dinner, but good conversation:


    I appreciate scenes like the one above, because they show how little it can take to enliven a public space. This would not be nearly as picturesque or welcoming a street without those little twinkling lights stretched overhead. We can do little things like this in our own homes and communities to improve atmospheres that architects and public planners spent too little time considering.

  • Georgetown snow

    Georgetown snow

    Arrived back in Washington late last night as snow began accumulating meaningfully throughout the area. There was that absolutely-silent calm that follows snowfall.

    In weather like this, I wonder how much quieter daily life might be a century from now if and when electric vehicles have wholly supplanted the internal combustion engine. Another way to think of this is to wonder how much quieter daily life was something like 125 years ago.

  • Visited Georgetown Waterfront Park shortly after Christmas. If you didn’t know better, these photos look practically like summer. Rode an electric Lime scooter for the first time, which was both a funner and sturdier experience that I had thought it would be.

    That’s the Key Bridge linking Georgetown with Arlington, Virginia that I cross twice daily.

  • Unseasonably warm walks

    I spent two days between Christmas and New Years walking amongst Washington’s monuments with my brothers, introducing them to most of them for the first time. Especially on New Years Day, I thought it made sense to share some of those photos as proxies for the principles and things that don’t change with the changing of years.

    Like this unseasonably warm New Years Day, we were fortunate to have beautiful mild winter weather during both our initial evening walk and the next afternoon’s walk along the Mall and Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial.

  • Post-Christmas Washington

    I’m back in Washington, back to a city that’s somewhat subdued post-Christmas.

    We’re somewhat in the midst of a normal working week for some, and somewhat shutdown for government workers.

  • Lime-E bikes in Washington

    I was walking to my office in Arlington earlier this week and I passed by a dozen or so brand new Lime-E electric bikes. News later in the day confirmed that Lime had just launched its e-bikes in Washington and the surrounding area, joining JUMP bikes as the only electric, dockless bikes in the area. There are a handful of electric Capitol Bikeshare bikes, but I haven’t come across any to try. It was a beautiful, only somewhat chilly day that day, and there were still a few of these left outside the office at the end of the day, so I hopped on one and rode it home to Georgetown:

    Rode as well as the last time I was on one, which was in Seattle over the summer. Total fare come to roughly $3.50, which is a bit more than Metro would have been (but which would have involved a substantial walk from Foggy Bottom), and a bit less than the typical $4.50 Uber Pool from my office to my apartment.

  • I’ve been watching Washington’s second Wawa take shape over the past few weeks near M Street in Georgetown. Here’s a photo from this afternoon:

    When I mentioned to a Washington friend a few weeks ago that Wawa was expanding here, and that its second location was to be in Georgetown, he scrunched his face in genuine confusion and asked, “Wawa? They’re putting a gas station in Georgetown?” Wawa Food Markets didn’t generally have gas stations until about 15 years ago, but I guess its expansion has shaped most people’s experiences at this point. Anyway, as a Pennsylvanian at heart, I was thrilled to see this Wawa—which did not bring a gas station to the neighborhood—officially open today:

    The Georgetown location will offer free coffee for customers through its first weekend of business. …

    To commemorate Wawa’s arrival near Georgetown, a new Bulldog Double Shot latte (iced or hot) is available at its touchscreen ordering counters. The themed drink is filled with salted caramel, a double shot of espresso, whipped cream, and blue and silver sprinkles. It will be available during the store’s first three months of operation. 

    The 7,000-square-foot convenience store is open 24/7 and sports Wawa’s new urban interior design. Free Wi-Fi encourages study sessions. 

    The first 200 customers through the door at 8 a.m. get free T-shirts, and Wawa’s charitable arm will announce a new community partnership with MedStar Medical/Surgical Pavilion at the Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center.

  • A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre

    I saw A Christmas Carol for what was probably the first time in person this past Thursday. It was also my first time inside Ford’s Theatre. It’s a small, comfortable playhouse. The cast of A Christmas Carol was great. Craig Wallace played the role of Ebenezer Scrooge and Rayanne Gonzales played the Ghost of Christmas Present, and were my two favorites. Rick Hammerly delivered as Mr. Fezziwig, one of my favorite bit characters.

  • Steady rain showers

    It has been steady rain showers all today; not a downpour, but just consistent wetness. It’s still early enough in winter that it’s the sort of rain accompanied by a petrichor in the earthier parts of the neighborhood.

    Walked along M Street, grabbed a Chipotle burrito, walked down to the Canal, and up Potomac through the neighborhood before returning home.

  • Amazon Books

    Amazon Books

    I checked out the Amazon Books store on M Street around Thanksgiving, mainly for novelty’s sake. It’s the sort of bookstore that I can see doing better than the older book retailers (maybe) because it doesn’t have a lot of depth in its titles. The books there are popular/consensus titles that are popular on Amazon, and so it’s a good place to see a physical version of the literary spirit of the moment, grab a coffee, browse, etc. Abha Bhattarai wrote on the opening of this Amazon Books earlier this year:

    The online behemoth, which has helped drive a number of traditional bookstores out of business, is hoping its loyal online following will translate into in-store customers on Georgetown’s M Street NW, in the same building that Barnes & Noble once inhabited before shutting in 2011.

    At 10,000 square feet, the store is among the largest of Amazon’s 15 bookstores. It includes 5,600 book titles — all of which are displayed with their covers facing out — as well as dozens of tablets and smart-home devices on display for customers to test. (Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post.)

    Instead of price tags, each book comes with a review card that shows its star rating on Amazon.com and includes a snippet of a customer review.