Places (Not) in DC, III

Dear internet,

Yet again another edition of Places Not In DC!

Where is this place of tall towers located? Bonus points if you can guess the neighborhood, not just the city.

ballston arlington empty streets
Absent from the landscape are the native fauna, the Bro-a-saurus




Democracy Dies in Darkness

Dear internet,

The Washington Post.

what. a. bogus newspaper.

So for years and years (19 years??) i have read the online chats in the washingtonpost. I am only semi-literate, at best, so the orality of the chats appealed to me greatly. I liked the food chat and the travel section and hank steuver’s delightfully mean girl takedowns of bad television. i liked it all.

But my favorite chat was gene weingarten’s chatological humor. Always irreverent, sort of weird, definitely off color, but always in good taste. It had gumption. Anyway the Post changed their chat software to something truly so dreadful, it was like guaranteed to cause seizures from the blinkiness of it all. the interface was so bad it had to be a joke. Not even AOL engineers in the mid 90s would have accepted that crap.

So gene weingarten took the side of the chatters who were rightfully complaining that about this literary malpractice.

The washington post responded to this helpful feedback by…axing chatological humor.



I could not believe it at first. I looked forward to those chats one tuesday a month. Sometimes a year would go by and I wouldn’t read the chats, but then I’d remember and read all the chats at once.

During coronavirus, gene weingarten started chatting weekly. and man. you know what? it was a really great thing to look forward to. the covid lockdowns felt a little like drifting in an ocean with no shore in sight. the chatological humor chats felt like a sandbar that appeared with the low tide, reliably, every week, with a little tiki bar set up so people could congregate and chat before the waters rose again and we all had to get into our little boats and wait out the waves alone again.
The online chats were this unique feature of the washington post that drew people in, a little corner of the Original World Wide [Wild] Web when it wasn’t all about the SEO and clicks or whatever.

But I think the Post just engineered that situation (horrible chat software, outspoken host) to justify ending chatological humor. Because having a bunch of randos write into a chat that was then archived on their pages, did not fit with their business model. They couldn’t censor it or monetize it, so they ended it. And thus, in darkness, democracy dies.*



*Which should have been the post’s slogan all along, but I guess I am not the only semi-literate person on the internet.

Volume on low

Dear internet,

With masks on, everyone’s on mute. Walking down the avenue, people shouting to each other.

I was making a phone call and my interlocuter couldn’t understand me. And then I realized I had a mask on, duh, but it wasn’t necessary because. telephonic communication.

I wish there were an option on youtube to skip over the ads you get all the time so you don’t get them all the time. Like I am well aware that Grammarly exists. and if you need some kind of app to help your job-related writing duties, maybe don’t be in marketing? Have you considered engineering?




Parallel Parking

Dear internet,

today I parallel parked. on the street. in the pouring rain.* 

It may not sound like much but I have never parallel parked before. wasn’t necessary when I got my license and I just…never learned. Always found a garage or a regular parking space. My condo has a parking space. It’s maybe 100% of the reason I take public transit downtown.

And yet I was able to do it when I needed to. (I mean, I didn’t need to. I could have gone to the garage. But I was’s free. It’s right there on the street. It’s a pretty big space.)

Weird! It is nice to be surprised by heretofore unknown abilities as an adult. 



*I would have taken a photo but, you know. Pouring rain. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Places (not) in DC II, solved

Dear internet,

The answer is, the perpetually under construction Arlington Memorial Bridge!

Usually I take the Key Bridge but there was crazy traffic and Waze suggested the memorial bridge. “It’ll save 6 minutes!” it chirped.

HAHA lol, memorial bridge was super backed up, then rock creek parkway was being weird, so we went around in circles for a while but we eventually got home.*

Arlington Memorial Bridge, under construction
Blurry Neoclassical Elegance & Traffic Cones

And the clue photo:

artfully blurred picture of the Washington monument and Lincoln memorial
the monuments are of course the Lincoln and the Washington**

Fun fact, it is technically a drawbridge, but it stopped opening in 1961. The construction project should reinstate the drawbridge functionality. The other drawbridge in the area is the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, as a child I always hoped to be there to watch when the bridge opened. Never accomplished that goal, but I still love bridges. and ferries.



*Rock Creek Parkway is usually a two way street EXCEPT during rush hour when it becomes one way. and then sometimes there are events at the Kennedy center and they just block off lanes. which is what happened. Had to turn around the Valero gas station and then get on I-66 then immediately get off it to re-approach rock creek parkway while staying in the two left lanes, which is, hoo-boy, a lil stressful. Shoulda just taken the key bridge and dealt with the veeeery slow light.

**This probably ur classic “This tv show is set in DC” image. I was surprised at how many people were biking at night along the Mt. Vernon Trail.