Tuesday began with a run. I started at Yanda and Mona’s place and then ran to Theodore Roosevelt Island, in the middle of the Potomac River. There’s a bunch of trails there, and it gets hilly as you run towards the center. It reminds me a bit of the Al Buehler trail in the Duke Forest actually.
After that, I came back, showered, and then got lunch with Yanda at Pho 75. I haven’t had much pho, but it’s definitely the best I’ve had so far. Most people who come here must be regulars, because 30 seconds after we got seated, the waiter came back for our orders. Yanda and I both got a large bowl, which was $7.95 (cash only!) It came out super fast.
On Yanda’s recommendation, I also got this Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk. You get a nice glass filled with ice and a separate cup with a pour over filter. After stirring the coffee, you can then pour it over the ice.
After lunch, I went to the National Mall. I hadn’t been there since freshman year, three years ago. That was during Thanksgiving break too, but I’d bussed into Union Station at five in the morning and it had just begun to drizzle. As soon as I tried to open my umbrella, the entire top popped off, so I got to spend the entire morning getting wet. Even worse, I’d brought my multivariable calculus textbook along expecting to study (I didn’t use it at all), and so I made my back and shoulders sore carrying that around in my bag all day.
This time was better though. I traveled light. The sun was out. And it was about 60 degrees—warm enough to wear a t-shirt. I got off at the Smithsonian stop and then walked across the National Mall—almost called it a quad—passing through the National Gallery of Art’s sculpture garden. My friend Angus had recommended it, especially this thing called “House I” that plays with perspective.
There’s also an ice rink.
The National Gallery of Art is split into two buildings—East and West. East has all the modern stuff (my favorite) so I went there first.
Other than the usual paintings and sculptures, there was this one 61 minute long video from 2011 where this guy slowed down footage of New York City. Literally feels like you’re there, floating through the streets.
The East building has a bunch of towers with open area in the middle. Most of the art is in the towers and you can actually come out onto the roof, where there’s a giant blue rooster, some other interesting sculptures, and a great view of course.
When you’re done exploring the galleries, you can go all the way down to the bottom floor, where there’s a concourse between the East and West buildings. There’s a short conveyer belt thing with a bunch of cool lights (reminds me of the United Airlines concourse in O’Hare).
There’s also a window with water on the other side.
I then finished off the evening by getting dinner with Yanda and Mona, before metro-ing over to Eden’s place where we prepped the turkey for Thursday. We found this fancy “Splayed Turkey with Herbs” recipe on the New York Times. The hair dryer was our own innovation.