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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

Relapsing: A Visit to D.C.

Today I visited with my ex... D.C. You all might remember my 1-year, at first reluctant, but in the end happy romance with Washington D.C.? No, it didn't last. I knew it wouldn't, but even so, this perhaps short-lived relationship was one in which I grew a lot, healed some wounds and, it is one that I remember fondly. So we have remained friends and whenever I leave Rome, I let myself relapse a little and go back to DC.

Besides, I have a lot left to explore in DC. Even on my monstrosity of a list (D.C. Listography), there are things that I never got to. And since DC is an ever-changing metropolis, there are some new places to add even since my departure nine months ago.

Authentic French Bakery: Paul

This french bakery opened its first store outside of France in 1985. Since this one in Barcelona, Paul has opened stores in Tokyo, London, Dubai and Washington DC. Luckily, I am not a huge fan of pastries. Bread, however, I worship. And in this respect, Paul is worthy of worship.

A Performance at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Of the many many museums in DC, I had never made it to this particular one. So it was a welcome opportunity to go today with some friends. We happened to enter the museum right as a show was beginning featuring the native dances and songs of Git-Hoan or "the people of the salmon."

The hand-made costumes and masks were truly impressive and the dances were fascinating representations of their folklore. At the end, I was a bit annoyed at myself for not having made a greater effort to go to this museum during the year I lived in the area. But at least I got to it now.

Old Favorites: Julia's Empanadas & Red Velet Cupcakery

I finished my trip with two of my favorites: A Vegetarian Empanada from Julia's...

And a red velvet cupcake from the aptly named Red Velvet Cupcakery. Both masters in their field. I have found no better empanada or red velvet cupcake than those respective places.

Not that I want to make you jealous, Rome, but you're not the only city out there that knows food. Fortunately, you still have the Coliseum going for you...


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