Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Pleasant Walk to the Bookstore

Today I went to the Politics and Prose bookstore off Connecticut Ave (see first pic).  I took the Metro from the Vienna/Fairfax GMU Station, changed from the Orange line to the Red line at the Metro central station and got off at the Van Ness station off Connecticut Ave.

During the trip on the Metro I texted and read Fortune on my Kindle. I also watched people get on and off.  It is a great way to get into and out of Washington DC.

Unlike other excursions into DC, I had to walk about a mile from the Van Ness station to the bookstore. It was a cool day and lots to look at. For example, I passed several apartment complexes, all with vacancies. Names included the Chesapeake, Albemarle, etc.  Two embassies are off Connecticut Ave.  You will find three gas stations, a Shell, Exxon and I forget the third. The difference in the price per gallon of gas was $0.06, a little higher than I expected. You will also find two CVS drugstores within the mile walk.

The selection of restaurants was very diverse.  You had several chains like Potbelly, Subway, etc. You could also get Italian cuisine.  Some of the restaurants had outdoor seating. Finally, you could order a thick sandwich along the way to the bookstore.  The walk included going by a general store, Office Depot, and similar stores. 

I heard a three-piece band playing as I departed and returned to the Metro stop (third pic). They were across the street. The music of choice was classical.

Side note, when I walk or run, I do not listen to music, I prefer to listen to the sounds of the environment.  When I run on a trail, I can hear leaves rustling,  birds singing, and the sound of my shoes breaking twigs. 

What surprised me were the people walking on the sidewalk. Singles have headphones in their ears and/or constantly reading texts or emails or some website.  Now I ask you, what is so important that cannot wait until you have reached your destination. Enjoy the season and scenery. Listen to the sounds. Look at the people, architecture, and surroundings.

Instead of reading texts or anything else on my smart phone, I actually looked at the architecture of the various buildings, read the names, looked at how crowded parking is, the number of stories in the different apartment complexes, entrances of apartment complexes, and what is down each street.  Some apartment entrances were really classy. Also during my walk to the bookstore I could hear leaves rustling in the wind, cars and trucks drive by, brakes squealing, conversations of couples, and of course a three-piece band playing classical music.

After a brisk walk, I arrived at the Politics and Prose bookstore. If you watch CSPAN you may recognize the name.  CSPAN featured authors speaking at the bookstore throughout the years.  The bookstore is two stories, and has a coffee shop. A book group was meeting downstairs. The store had numerous staff to help.  A lady brought her Great Dane in, it was among the biggest dogs I have ever seen. On his four legs he brushed up against my stomach. I did not have to bend down to pat his large head.  My two hands together may have covered his head.  He had a friendly disposition.

After buying a book, I went to the coffee shop (the large cup of coffee was $2.00 with tax, refills $0,50).  Several people were in the coffee shop, two or three individuals on Apple computers, about three couples and one foursome. Lots of talking and drinking.  I read my Kindle and the Washington Post (see second pic).  After my second cup of coffee I left. I wanted to get back home for my afternoon run in the Manassas Battlefield Park.  Glad I did that, it was slightly warmer around 5 PM.

On the way back I walked at a leisurely pace, still enjoying the cool weather and local architecture.  I may do it again.

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