Category Archives: THE EAST COAST MISC

A first and last (for awhile) no-connection flight on southwest back from DC to dsm

imageWell this is weird and kind of nice but it won’t be happening for some time. My southwest flight from DC was almost direct to dsm. the plane stopped at Chicago’s midway airport but is the same plane going to dsm. Never done that before. And sadly won’t again because Southwest is replacing its Des Moines-Chicago flights with dsm-st. Louis flights. Oh well. I will miss the affordable flights to Chicago and to midway (goodbye Manny’s corned beef too) but one good thing: it appears that there will be Sunday flights to DC from dsm via St. Louis (there weren’t any via Chicag0.)

Two more good meals in DC, last night at graffiato, the top chef personality mike Isabella’s inventive Italian small plates and pizza joint near gallery Place. And tonight superb crab cakes at legal seafood in Reagan national airport. Plane is filling up again so signing off.


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Filed under airfare, Washington D.C.

More DC with Myra– a. Litteri, Le caprice DC, Zombie donut/coffee

 Back to bitter cold wind but at least it was sunny and after brief rain yesterday pm there was a stunning rainbow out side our sons’ row house on Meridian Place. We started with a morning pastry around the block on 14th st. at Le Caprice and then drove to the FDR Memorial, one of my favorites, where we found a handful of cherry blossoms still hanging on in bloom (a Myra must!) and a statue that seemed to have been added of FDR unambiguously in a wheelchair. Then onto thE MLK memorial, a short walk away. It always impresses me how accessible these memorials are – you just pull-up a short distance away, park for free, and walk a short distance (especially on an unseasonably cold Tuesday in April ), but I am guessing this is by design. This is the people’s city, right? WE were also struck, while reading the quotes at both memorials, how much the quality of our so-called leaders (republicans) oratory and thinking has declined since the era of FDR and MLK.

For lunch we went to Union market and then walked around a. Litteri, an old jam packed Italian market nearby. The area reminded me less of DC and more of detroits eastern market. Quick visit for coffee to Zombie cafe near the Columbia heights metro station and a sad farewell to myra who hit the road to return to Connecticut. Loved our visit!!image

Ps tips for dog shedding frimandrea: Sergeants des heeding brush on Amazon and swiffer for dog hair!

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Back to Columbia Heights with myra! MiCuba cafe and DC Noodles

imageimageimageReliving my youth with my college roommate Myra at our sons’ shared house in DC’s Columbia Heights neighborhood. They have introduced us to more great dining within walking distance of their house. DC Noodles on U street (pad see ew!) and Mi Cuba (Cuban roast pork, fried pork cubes, cassava, plantains, flan, mojito, sangria!) Great company and food. Myra and I had brunch at La Coupe on 11th street (hash brown bowl!) then walked all around the area down 14th street to u street and then over 8th street and the rapidly gentrifying Shaw neighborhood (warby Parker, dodge city, Salina …two Kansas names, no less). Much warmer day than yesterday morning when I watched Noah run in the cherry blossom run on the mall. Sunny but bitter cold wind. Didn’t expect to be that cold. But such a treat to be hear. Sunday the millennial cooked an elaborate and delicious brunch. Three of four house mates moms happened to be on hand, and then a bunch of visiting friends, maybe 15 people total. We drank mimosas, did the Sunday crossword puzzle online on the tv screen and sat around talking for hours. Loved it!

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Woodberry Kitchen, American Visionary Art museum, Hotel Monaco, light rail to Airport — Baltimore

imageimagei spent most of my two days in Baltimore in a hotel meeting room, as planned since it was a work trip, but the few trips I took outside the lovely if slightly faded Hotel Monaco were great, thanks in part to glorious weather— sunshine, high 70s. Dinner was at the Woodberry Kitchen in an interesting old neighborhood near Hampden. The outpost of a James Beard winner, the place completely lived up to the hype and was worth the minor aggravation of having to reserve a table weeks in advance and nearer to the date, confirm more than once that We would show up.

imageFlavor is the word that comes to mind from our dining experience. The food wasn’t particularly sophisticated or complicated or showy. just the opposition. The presentation was basic and the entrees clever at times but not kooky. instead the emphasis was on ingredients – delicious carrots, fresh oysters, special salt from West Virginia (yes West Virginia.) And the dishes we had were often old classics dine the best way possible, so the deviled eggs, for examples were super fresh tasking eggs with a super creamy whipped egg yolk, some crispy bits of cooked ham and some magical pepper. The oysters were roasted in a wood fired oven and topped with a creamy crabmeat sauce; the meatballs were soft and tasty, covered with a tomato and ricotta cheese. My pan fried (or wood fired oven roasted?) chicken looked like a brown leather shoe sole but tasted unlike any chicken I’ve had (as our enthusiastic and knowledgable server promised.) Somehow it manage to be crispy on the outside and moist and full of, yes, flavor, inside. it was served simply atop wilted collard greens and some sweet roaste carrots.aso excellent: shortribs, scallops, beets (according to my sister who likes beets) and a delicious cranberry crumble pie made with whole cranberries and oatmeal).

imagethe restaurant itself is really cool, a warm welcoming old mill with a very high ceiling, lots of the original brick, stone and wood. the servers wore plaid shirts and denim, looking sometimes like north woods lumberjacks. Next door was a cool glass blowing workspace and gallery (hence the photo above.)

Today I finally got to the American visionary art museum near federal hill and the inner harbor, which has long been on your list and it terrific — three old brick warehouse buildings full of painstaking, often strange art by self-taught, often mentally ill artists. i recognized a few artists — Wayne coyne (of the band The Flaming Lips, who we saw painting the sidewalk in Oklahoma City…his work is above) and Elizabeth “grandma” Layton, who served us lemonade in her home in small town Kansas many years ago and gave me a rare signed poster of her work that hangs in my kitchen!)

I ended up taking the light rail for $1.70 from the convention center downtown to the airport and stopped for a crabcake at Phillips, conveniently near the southwest gates.

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An unsettling surprise at the Holocaust Museum, Indigo, shake shake, Amtrak — DC

imageWithin the first 20 minutes of my visit to the Holocaust Museum in DC today, I got quite the surprise. During an early display about book banning and burning in Germany, at the start of the Nazi era, several names were etched into the glass in front of some photos and videos and one name jumped out at me because it was my own: Rubiner. The first name was Ludwig. I was stunned. Rubiner is an unusual name and I’ve long assumed that any Rubiners are related to me. I had not heard of Ludwig.  My dad seemed to know of him but I don’t know if he is a relative. apparently he was a poet and critic who specialized in expressionism and lived in Berlin, dying in 1920′ according to a man I spoke to in the research area of the museum on the second floor. will have to do some more research. I did use the museums database to find several other Rubiners linked to the holocaust in ways not very clear and some Reibmans (my grama’s maiden name). Some were from Kraków and Poland and Berlin, three places I visited a few years ago.

imageon a more cheerful note, I visited my son at his new office in the Hart senate building, (not far from my sisters office there),and we had a good Indian meal at Indigo, (Indian to go) a very casual place where you order at a window and are served in paper trays in a small room covered with intentional graffiti. There are a few tables inside and picnic tables outside, which people were sitting at thanks to glorious and surprisingly warm temps. i also stopped briefly in the Native American museum (must try their cafe sometime, which serves food from several regions). Also caught a glimpse of the African American museum rising up near the Washington monument. Really looking forward to that museum, in part because I have heard a lot about the architect. I am now in Baltimore at the hotel Monaco after an easy  and pleasant Amtrak train ride.


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Filed under museum exhibit, train, Washington D.C.

le coupe, Columbia heights Laotian food, wonder at the renwick gallery — DC

Columbia heights mural

Columbia heights mural

Great to be visiting Noah a newcomer in DC — plus my sister and husband who sare old hands here. first stop the charming red brick row house Noah shares with three people in Columbia heights, including my dear old pal/ college roommate Myra’s son Dan! the house reminded me so much of my grandparents red brick row house in Easton Pennsylvania, but Noah’s neighborhood has a lot more going on.

imageWe had a really good breakfast at a cheerful restaurant, Le Coupe, packed with people. Excellent lamb hash, eggs Benedict, hash browns, sautéed Brussels sprouts. Next stop: The Renwick Gallery which is part of the smithsonian and located kitty corner from the White House, for a fantastic show called Wonder (or Wonders) — site specific enormous installations by 9 different artists including Maya Lin and Tara Donovan. The show could also have been entitled “Mindblowing” — really astonishing work and great to see the place packed with all kinds of people and signs in each room that said “photography encouraged.”

imageNoah and I shared some good cheesecake at a bakery on 14th street in his neighborhood and later were joined by my sister, brother law and Noah’s roommate dan for Laotian food, also ion 14th street. Really fun day!

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Filed under museum exhibit, THE ARTS, Washington D.C.

ben’s chili bowl, rosa Mexicana : Washington, D.C.

IMG_1121Didn’t have much time to be a tourist this trip but I did go to a reception at Rosa Mexicana, which had good -you guessed it – Mexican food — near the gallery metro stop (and hotel Monaco, where my work meetings were). I also had a bowl of chili at the Reagan national airport outpost of the famous Ben’s chili bowl. Didn’t bowl me over. But it obviously lacked the more urban atmosphere of the original Ben’s.
I had hoped to go to the ramen noodle place, daikaya izakaya, my sister highly recommended, also near the gallery metro but ran out of time. Next trip.
Last night I made my requisite pilgrimage to Politics and Prose, a longtime favorite bookstore on Connecticut. Always have to buy a book there, every DC trip!

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Filed under Agritourism, Airlines, Washington D.C.