Miles From Monday: Moreton Island

Moreton Island, Queensland, Australia

“Oh, it was very seductive, this tropical thing. Papaya juice in the morning, a chatter of birds, a warm breeze, the changeless rhythm of blue skies and surf pounding, sunsets, nights sprinkled with moonlight. A man could get lost in all this, he thought. A man would need a strong will to keep from melting away under the sheer pleasant strangeness of it all.”

-Mark Childress, Gone for Good

Miles from Monday is a weekly travel series focused on venturing out of the spaces we inhabit during our work week and retreating to landscapes that feel far from routine.

September 24, 2012, Washington, DC: I read Gone for Good sitting in the sand on Moreton Island off the coast of Queensland, Australia in February 2000. At the time, turning those pages in that place and time felt serendipitous, like the words were written just for me. When the words are right, they inspire our own, and so lost in the sheer pleasant strangeness of Moreton Island, I shook the sand off my notebook and began to write:

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Celebrating Fall on Barracks Row

Barracks Row Fall Festival, September 22, 2012. Photo Credit: Kate Gallery

Barracks Row Fall Festival, September 22, 2012. Photo Credit: Kate Gallery

September 23, 2012, Washington, DC: Look at this place! Yesterday hundreds of people swarmed to Barracks Row for the annual fall festival on our neighborhood Main St. What I like about this festival is its odd blend of elements. The Marine Barracks at the heart of the neighborhood’s geography and identity plays a key role in the festival, opening the celebration with the presentation of colors, hosting a Military Chef’s Cook-Off, and giving tours of the Commandants Home and the barracks themselves. At the same time, drummers and swing dancers, artists, families, and foodies celebrate in the street. Walking away from the festival yesterday afternoon, I could hear drumbeats from 8th St. bouncing off buildings in one direction, and cheers and music erupting from Nationals Park in the other. I took photos of the Barracks Row Fall Festival for the organizers yesterday and included some of my favorites here. Click below to see the rest.

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Miles From Monday: The Day We Kayaked to Lunch

King's Kitchen, Southport, CT, September 2012
Miles from Monday is a weekly travel series focused on venturing out of the spaces we inhabit during our work week and retreating to landscapes that feel far from routine.

September 17, 2012, Washington, DC: The three King brothers opened King’s Kitchen in June on Connecticut’s Southport Beach. It’s a tiny shack with fish tacos and lobster rolls on the menu, Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash on the playlist, and Adirondack chairs and picnic tables on the sand. It’s a spot where books are strewn about tabletops inviting customers to stick around. Not that we needed an excuse to linger last week during my first visit to King’s Kitchen. On a day like Tuesday with a sharp view clear across the water to Long Island, it was easy to let time slip away.

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Prime City Real Estate: The Dupont Underground

Dupont Circle Metro, Washington, DC, September 2012

September 8, 2012, Washington, DC: Ascending into the light from the Dupont Circle Metro station takes time. The escalator keeps going and going, rising out of the earth in the middle of the city. What I didn’t know until recently is that it carries Metro riders up past a huge piece of prime and vacant real estate, a former underground trolley station wedged between the circle at street level and the Metro station far below. I know this comes as old news to some of you, but my fascination with the cavernous space know as the Dupont Underground is just beginning. It’s another one of these pieces of Washington history that makes me wonder what the heck I was doing for the first six years I lived here, oblivious to knowledge about my local surroundings.

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What Summer Brought to Capitol Hill

Summer 2012, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

September 6, 2012, Washington, DC: Peaches, salsa, oysters, tortillas and more arrived in abundance this summer in our neighborhood on Capitol Hill. While every season in the city brings change, this time most of it revolved around the smell, sight and taste of food. If last summer was our summer of sweets, this summer was our summer of the salty and the savory. Within a four-block radius, our options multiplied, all of them focused on yet another great meal.

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Our City is Winning. In September.

Nationals Park, Washington, DC, Summer 2012, Photo Credit: Kate Gallery

“For my part I am never more at home in America than at a baseball game like this in Clark Griffith’s gem of a field, gem small, in beautiful weather in the capital of the country and my side winning.”

-From Robert Frost’s 1956 essay on baseball for Sports Illustrated

September 4, 2012, Washington, DC: It’s four p.m. on the Tuesday after Labor Day, three hours before game time. Vendors are arriving to work and a few early birds are milling about the box office outside Nationals Park, ready for the second game of this week’s series against the Chicago Cubs. I bike past them on my way home, detouring down the right field line and up the wooden boardwalk along the Anacostia River. I take the moment to imagine the possibilities: Could this city be home to postseason baseball for the first time since 1933?

From the upper deck yesterday, it certainly felt possible.

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