Some days you just need to get out of town, and today was one of those days, so I dragged myself out of bed at an entirely reasonable hour, carried Brompty down the stairs, and zipped to the train station for a ride to Our Nation’s Capitol. Lucky me, I bumped into S. on her way to the archives. We don’t know each other well, but we always have a good conversation, and today was no different. The ride was quick with discussions of summer reading lists, how history is activism, why your community engagement might maybe be best if it engages with your actual community, and how much harder is is to do work when you know you are exploited labor, even if you love what you do. And then the train pulled into the station and she went on her way, me pausing to unfold the bike, and lo and behold, there was N., my friend from downstairs. We walked out of the station and happily acknowledged the small town-ness of this public transit, and then I was off and pedaling through Capitol Hill to meet V. for a chat and a walk and lunch and a walk and a trip through the amazingly beautiful and ornate Library of Congress. What if we didn’t collect a social wage and spend it on collective projects like this one, so we can have a central repository for our collected works? What a shame that would be. And then we crossed over to the Capitol Building and waited in line with all the kids from that high school with the green shirts–oh, I need to step in front of you, I’m with them, yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda–for a trip through the metal detectors (it’s late and I’m tired and I just mistyped “dictators,” but I caught myself just in time–it’s detectors, silly) that caught my contraband banana. The main entry hall was big and crowded and my stomach started to roil with it all until a friendly volunteer took hold of us and directed us to the ticket counter. We got our tickets, filed into the big theater for the movie about how ideal American Democracy is, I called bullshit, and then we were trapped with our tour for almost an hour of mutterings about statues and such (each state gets two, and one of Florida’s is to the guy who invented air conditioning–well deserved, I say). Finally getting out of there was like the freedom their movie was going on about. A walk back to Capitol Hill and I was back on my bike, following my googleymaps to Adams Morgan to meet M. and J. for dinner. For much of the ride I was in the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lane. I snapped this picture while waiting for the bike light to turn green. Look at this thing–plenty of space, no parked cars, separate lights to avoid right and left hooks–it’s a dream. It was all quick-turn directions after this, but I made it for another walk and another pizza before riding to the metro to take me to the train station so I could ride home from the other train station in Baltimore. Not bad, Friday.