May 28, 2010

Dragon Boats on the Potomac

About two years ago Jonathan first introduced me to dragon boating. At first I was skeptical, I am not coordinated or athletic by nature and many years ago I was always the last person chosen for sports teams in school. Would I be able to make a positive contribution to his team?

My first dragon boat practice was on a foggy morning at Lake Merced in San Francisco. I was given a paddle and PFD (personal flotation device) and headed down to the dock. Later that day I slowly walked back to the car physically exhausted, but exhilarated. I had finally found a sport I loved! In addition, I was excited to have found a sport that Jonathan and I both enjoyed and could participate in together.

Now, getting back to the present. Since my first dragon boat practice I have enjoyed participating in the sport every year. When we moved to Washington DC Jonathan and I joined the DC Dragon Boat Club. This past weekend was the 9th Annual Washington DC Dragon Boat Festival and my first time racing with Club DC.

The first day of the festival dawned with clear skies and warm – but not overly hot – temperatures. I got up early and headed down to the banks of the Potomac River. When I arrived teams were starting to set up camp on the strip of grass between the river and Potomac Parkway. After a few minutes of searching I located and joined my team and settled in for a day of racing.

It turned out to be a great weekend of racing! The weather was beautiful and we everyone had a good time racing or watching the boats. Club DC paddled hard and we had a lot of fun! Now, I am looking forward to the next festival!

Thank you to my aunt (Pat Case) for taking the photos!

May 10, 2010

New City, New Places, New Food

We moved to our new home, Washington DC, just about 5 months ago. During this time we have had the opportunity to visit many places that were new to us, but not the city. As spring arrives (and the economy shows signs of recovery), that is changing! We recently visited two new restaurants – Dickson Wine Bar on U Street and Ezmè Restaurant & Wine Bar on P Street in Dupont Circle. The former is a fashionable new wine bar and the later is a comforting place to enjoy excellent Turkish tapas.
Since chronology is always a good way to organize narratives, I will begin by sharing my experience at Dickson. Jonathan and I went there for a Friday night date a few weeks ago. Outside the building is has a late 1800s brick facade, while the space inside is a modern loft design with large windows, illuminated bottles along one wall, and an open area between the main and second floors. We decided to sit upstairs along the railing by the window. This gave us a view of both floors and the busy street outside.

The food and wine at Dickson is organic or biodynamic and very good. We tasted a few different wines and were pleased with the quality of our selections. And then the food! The menu here is creative and fun. We started with the warm marcona almonds, which were wonderful. Then Jonathan ordered a pork belly bánh mì and I chose the mission fig and gorgonzola flatbread. My flatbread was crispy and flavorful and Jonathan was thrilled with his sandwich. We ended our meal by sharing a delightful dessert plate and sipping wine. A wonderful date!

Now, Ezmè Restaurant and Wine Bar. We have had the opportunity to have dinner here twice and enjoyed both occasions. Ezmè is relaxing and shares a celebration of Turkish cuisine and hospitality with diners. The atmosphere is warm and bright colored tiles adorn the walls. And the food is excellent – exotic and yet comforting at the same time. On each of our visits we ordered a variety of different dishes to share. Everything we tried was very good, but my favorite was the Sebze Begendi – an eggplant and gruyere puree with sauteed mushrooms, zucchini, and peppers. To accompany the food they serve fresh, warm bread. In addition, we were pleasantly surprised to find the Turkish wine very enjoyable.

This cozy little restaurant is a perfect place to enjoy a meal with friends and family!

It's good to see new places – like these two – opening around the city!