Notes From The Road: DC

I’m visiting five east coast cities over the course of three weeks, mostly busing and crashing on friends’ couches. You can check out past Notes From The Road (which are more international in nature) here. 



If you’re a Virgo/type A/deeply uptight person, I’d like to introduce you to your dream town: Washington, DC.This is not necessarily to say that DC is eat-off-the-ground clean or runs on time (what’s up, Congress?) but, you guys?  Those streets!  That grid layout!  I love nothing more than knowing that 14th street will be followed by 15th and that C street comes before F street.  And when you look down those gloriously wide, tree-lined boulevards and you can see forever?  Be still my little Virgo heart.

In addition to abandoning my map and swooning over city planning, I found time to check out some of DC’s best stuff.  The Holocaust Museum (those piles of shoes…), The White House and the Washington Monument, Busboys and Poets (the coconut tofu balls!) and all the wee boutiques and shops around Logan Circle and U street.  I also discovered my new favorite bar of all time: The Saloon.  No standing, no tvs, no martinis and 25 cents of every customer’s bill goes to help build schools in developing countries!

I also spent an afternoon at the Natural History Museum where I compiled an extensive list of New Animals To Like/Dislike.  (FYI: Kinkajou = yes. Highfin Tadpole fish = no.)

Next stop: Salem/Roanoke, Virginia!  Any advice?




Please please please make your way to Happys! Take an hour and you will find treasures to love and things that boggle your mind! If you go you must go into the huge dollar store just to look at the product names!
And if you can make it across the street to Bad Wolf BBQ have a bad wolf bowl! Not earth shattering but super yum!


My best friend is from Roanoke! She swears by this place called Awful Arthur's (which sounds…awful, but let me finish!) Okay, AA's is located in some kind of shopping center-looking situation, very unassuming. It looks like a seafood restaurant, and in fact, the front part IS. But if you keep walking to the back, you'll come upon a very spacious bar (plenty of room to move around without bumping into people!) and (potentially) karaoke on the big stage! They've been known to do live music and all sorts of fun stuff, but this was the part that got me: AA's has a micro-brewery somewhere nearby, and they supply the bar with their own brews! You can get a nice AA's beer sampler (yes, the irony of the initials is not lost on me) for very cheap, and they are pretty nice beers.

Okay, have fun in Roanoke!! Don't forget to check out the big star on the hill if the weather is nice!


Hey, me again: this is more about DC than Roanoke, and I feel bad for not sending this along earlier, because it really is one of my favorite things in DC. In Dupont Circle, right across from the metro exit, there is a late-night bookshop/coffee bar called Kramerbooks. Not only are the books fantastic, and not only are they open REALLY late (I think 24 hrs on weekends), but the desserts are delicious! Next time you're in DC, I highly recommend it!


I live in RKE now, and i second the star and Happys. As for stores, hit up Freckles, Urban Gypsy and Chocolate Paper. Our farmers market is fantastic (say hi to the pork guy and the seafood guy for me!). Also, please please eat Uptown Joes, Thelma's Chicken and Waffles, and visit Texas Tavern for the , uh, atmosphere. Also, walk the greenway …it is so pretty this time of year!


Oh man this makes me miss D.C. so so much! Glad you had an awesome time and when I get back to the east coast, a train ride to "my city" awaits! As does a trip to The Saloon!

p.s. I learned real quick here in Berkeley that A does NOT come after B! Dislike.


To be honest, I live here, and DC is really not laid out on a grid. Downtown is so as not to confuse tourists and generally numbers and letters go in order, but there are so many circles and angles and random insertions it's not really a gridded city. It's wonderful and I love living here, but it gets very confusing.


I really like your blog. I saw your guest post on blogging on another site and liked it so much I decided to drop in. Your blog is so fun and varied. Great job! I give you all the gold stars.


Oh yay! You're coming to my neck of the woods! I definitely second thelma's chicken and waffles! Delish! I also recommend the mill mountain star.

Have fun and enjoy the foliage and mountains! 🙂


Ditto on Chocolatepaper for your Roanoke experience! I think you'd enjoy the Taubman Museum of Art and the downtown Farmer's Market as well. I would recommend Table 50 if you can swing a nice dinner, their shrimp and grits is awesome.


Leave a comment