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Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

D.C.'s Holiday Makeover

If you haven't seen my revised D.C. List, you should check it out. Not only have I created new, fun and relatively odd photos for each category, I am now up to 350 things, only 15 shy of the total. You'll notice I have also crossed another tranche of these activities, and I have created a new section for Holiday activities, as cities tend to redefine themselves when the season changes: a seasonal make-over if you will. 

You have already seen some of my winter outings, such as the Holiday market and Norman Rockwell exhibit. However, this weekend was a blowout of other seasonal offerings.

The Willard Intercontinental Hotel decorations:

The Willard Hotel's Christmas Tree/Lobby

Beautiful outdoor decorations. Unfortunately, a below-par camera. You'll have to wait until I pillage my friend's photos to see them properly. 

The National Tree

do you think you can see this from space?
Of course, we had to go see the National Tree. Thankfully, it is bright (more like electric neon) enough not to need a flash despite it being nighttime.

White House beyond the glow of the tree.
Random Santa Clauses 

Throughout the day, we saw random Santa Clauses, Reindeer and Elves parading the streets, shops and even clubs of D.C. Aside from a general outpouring of Christmas spirit, we never did figure out the direct motivation behind all these suits.

Some other non-holiday related events, but worthy of mention:

Rosa Mexicana

Yummy Guacamole at Rosa Mexicana made right before your very eyes:

Local 16

A roof-top, HEATED, bar at Local 16, a new favorite of mine now, for many reasons including its great happy hour prices ($5 mango martinis), innovative Harvest pizza (butternut squash and caramelized onions), its ample space and friendly staff. I already know that this is somewhere I want to hang out in the summer when the heaters disappear and the rooftop opens up to the world. No photos of my own. You'll have to go here to see what I mean.

My one disappointment of the weekend:

Not making it back to Yogen Fruz for the limited time, holiday flavor: Candy Cane and White Chocolate. How amazing does this look, even if you are not a Mint-nut like me!