It’s Sunday, if you follow our model, and don’tcha just feel more patriotic already? DC is a beautiful city even if it is an infuriating one to drive. A clearly interpretable street or expressway sign seems a foreign concept here. I decided to embrace the enigma it as part of the city’s charm, personally. I got lost at least once every single day. And locals tell me I’m to be applauded for having made it out of DuPont Circle in under three tries (got it in two, thank you very much!). We will not discuss the friendly yet firm policeman who pulled me over (which in DC meant I double-parked) for driving while consulting a map. I’m rather proud of myself for not saying what I was thinking (not a characteristic often attributed to me), which was “have you SEEN this town???”
I made it a matter of pure pride not to cave and get the GPS system on my rental car, something I now consider a foolish frugality. You need it. Some ideas will give you a basic knowledge, like the friend of mine who cautions “stick to letters and numbers and stay off anything named after a state.” My advice? Pop for the GPS and save your brain cells for the intarsia. You know, I’m thinking I might just be ready to tackle driving in Paris after my capitol stint. I bet they have yarn stores there….
…Ahem. I digress.
Today, as in all other DestiKNITions final days, we take it down a notch. Some gentle sight-seeing, a little retail therapy, a good book store, and some other goodies all on the Northwest side of the city.
Baked and Wired
1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW
Washington, DC 20007
While it’s a bit of a hike from our other locations, the distance is worth it to start off your day in this much-loved Georgetown gem. If you want to get all healthy and be the muffin or quiche type, be my guest. I, however, am going straight for the caffeine-and-sugar combo, as Baked and Wired is known most of all for its amazing cupcakes. Yes, I would (and have) eaten cupcakes for breakfast. Repeatedly. Shamelessly. I’m developing a theory that where there’s good yarn, there will be good cupcakes (see CHARLESTON and CHICAGO episodes for further evidence of this supposition). Favorites from those I polled included the Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, and Coconut varieties, but this is one of those places where you simply can’t go wrong. Add the fab coffee, and this day is already going extremely well.
If you’re the “walk around the charming neighborhood” type, Georgetown is ideal. Spend as much or as little time as you see fit, then work your way up north to Connecticut Avenue. Yes, it’s a state name and I know I just told you to avoid those. It’s rather unavoidable under the circumstances, because we’re going somewhere it will be fun to walk off all those calories…
The National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
If there’s a panda fan in your life, this is the nation’s capitol for more reasons that donkeys and elephants. The pandas are the big ticket draw here. Like many of the tourism goodies in DC, the attraction is free but parking is expensive (sense a theme?). It’s very easy to get to by metro, so do consider public transportation if it’s an option (I was nursing a bad foot on this trip so I had to budget my walking). There are lots of places to sit and admire the animals, perhaps while getting a few rows of your favorite current sock pattern done in the process.
After you’ve gotten your wild animal fix, it’s time to head farther up Connecticut Avenue to encounter predators of another sort…
Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse
5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
A decidedly political bookstore in Washington DC–imagine the novelty! Actually, this is a really good bookstore on any number of subjects, not just its civic-focused claim to fame. It’s quite frankly one of the best independents in the country. Author visits are daily fare–seriously, every day–at this place, so you’re just as likely to find an author reading as you are to find a good book. There’s an excellent children’s section downstairs, and if you’re fortunate, a parking space in the alley that backs the store.
Scoot a bit west over to Wisconsin Avenue (yes, I know, another state name) to a nifty shopping district to get in a final blast of retail therapy. The 5200 and 5300 blocks of NW Wisconsin host a variety of consumer favorites. When you’re ready to carbo-load for the trip home, head into Maggiano’s Little Italy at 5333 Wisconsin for monstrous portions of good food and the treat of choice, the Apple Fritata.
There you have it–four fiber-filled days in our nation’s capitol. Hope you had fun!
Stay tuned for our first Knit-Along, the lacework scarf from Aylin’s Woolgatherer.