Thursday, December 22, 2005

Back on the Bean in Washington

Francisco de Zubarán, Cup of Water and a Rose on a Silver Plate, about 1627-1630. National Gallery, London.

I am not officially a teetotaler, but until this week, I had been largely on the leaf (and off the bean) for quite a while. During my recent visit to the capital, I drank as much coffee in three days as I have in the past ten years, and spent my first night more or less velcroed to the ceiling of my hotel room.

I can’t help feeling some real fondness for DC, even while largely concurring with JFK’s assessment (northern charm, southern efficiency). There are many strollable neighborhoods and some very decent food, but here’s what happens if you order tea: They’ll bring you a cup of rapidly cooling water, and some packets of sugar (and fequal and splendelenda) and say “I’ll be right back with the bag!”

I am by no means complaining, you understand. I really cherish our quirky regional variations, and I did have some delicious coffee.

Riley, Gillian, and National Gallery (Great Britain). A Feast for the Eyes. London and New Haven: National Gallery Publications; Distributed by Yale University Press, 1997.


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