I'm A Legal Alien Now

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Georgetown: A Quasi Pictorial Report (among other things)

Been a bit poopy recently. I could handle Christmas on my own, but then the triple whammy prospect of my birthday (verily, I am now 24) and then New Year's sitting in an empty apartment unable to justify even buying a bottle of wine (frankly this is probably a good thing) makes the whole expatriate thing seem a wee bit less glamourous. The people I'm closest too here are all away so a dead end there.

Luckily, tomorrow night Texas has invited me to her place for drinks. I'll probably be the youngest by a good ten to thirty years, but it's something.

Contributing to the general malaise is the not-entirely-surprising-nor-new experience of being letdown by someone I had foolishly let myself invest a bit of interest in. There was some ceremonial culling from the cellphone last night in a little pique (see, just as well there isn't any wine in the house).

In good news, my TV works thanks to some neat rabbit ears. I only get 6 channels which I believe in America qualifies me for welfare, but I get Fox 5 so I can get my Simpsons. I probably won't get cable until the new season of Project Runway next summer. That'd be rather funny-sad if it weren't actually true.

Now, on to the Pictorial Report

Beyond yonder gates lie Dumbarton Oaks, a grand ol' manor which was used to found the United Nations. So there. Stravinsky wrote a piece about it. I walk past it when I'm going to Safeway.

This is a little N Street NW moment. Typical Georgetown scene.

This, 3017 N Street NW, was the home of widow Jackie Kennedy after she had to move out of the White House. It's typical that the only trees left with leaves in DC are in my shot photo.

Typical Georgetown canal. Actually it's the only one and I'm sure a few moments with Google will tell me why Georgetown felt the need for a canal, but frankly I can't be arsed nor do I particularly care. I do like it though. This bit is wedged behind Dean & DeLuca and all those rather ugly buildings next to the freeway and the river. There is a multiplex there.

Typical Georgetown architecture. Rather pretty, non?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Tale of Nanna Trolley Woe

My nanna trolley arrived today to facilitate ease of grocery shopping... and it was faulty. Happily though I spoke to a lovely lady at the manufacturer, DURO-MED (seriously, just try and make the associate between that and nanna trolleys) and they're sending me a new one.

What is strange though is that at no point did they question whether I actually had a trolley or make any effort about proof of purchase. Not that I'm suggesting that rorting amongst nanna trolley circles is rife, it just struck me as odd.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Buffalo Bridge

Despite being rather inadequately dressed (which would have been amusing if I weren't so damn cold) I had a bit of a touring adventure today.

First stop was the Dumbarton Buffalo Bridge. This bridge is just down the road from me and is the border of Dupont Circle/Georgetown- I walk across it to and from work each day. There are four of these mammoth creatures, one at each corner. They each have a scrotum. That big white mansion in the background is the Turkish Ambassador's Residence.

Next stop was the Zoo. I've been there before but the new Asia Trail business had opened and you could actually see the Pandas without causing serious neck damage.

Then a metro to the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). This is the newest Smithsonian and a spectacular building. Sadly though I found the cafe the best feature. It's self service, but with different sections for different regions of Indian culture. It was a neat concept. The food I had wasn't great, but it was the cheapest option so no whining. I felt with the collection in the NMAI it assumes its audience has a certain base of knowledge about the American Indian culture. I found it confusing and not cohesive and I didn't really know what was going on.

One thing I do know however is that there is always room for one more photo of the Capitol.

Walking down the Mall was rather amusingly cold and people kept looking at me, eyes wide open, mouths gaping at how woefully under-dressed I was. Most people were in puffy down jackets and beanies. I was wearing a sweater.

I went into the Hirshhorn next, the Smithsonian's contemporary art collection. It is quite sensational really. I mean it's no National Portrait Gallery, but anyone who has this sensational piece in their collection is an awesome museum-

I tried to commit the artist's name to memory but the work is called Black Hole and the artist was born in 1974 in Munich but has a Nordic name. Bjorn something-or-rather. Anyway, I doff my cap to you. That is one seriously awesome piece of sculpture.

Bee and her husband are taking me out to dinner tonight for my birthday. Cheesecake Factory. Whee!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tra-la! Online!

I finally have internet in my new apartment! I'm currently sitting on the floor in an otherwise completely empty living room as I type this. It's all rather Zen, frankly. So much has happened in my days without the internet (baby, let's never fight again) and much of it isn't very interesting in the re-telling but to summarise:

1. RCN, my internet company, is evidently run by monkeys. Poorly trained monkeys.

2. I adore, adore, adore my new apartment and can't wait to have some, you know, stuff.

3. I proved I had l33t handyman skills when my Ikea bed was missing a part but I improvised. Come a night of raunchy sex though and it will probably collapse. C'est la vie.

4. I had a rather bizarre night at Cobalt, a gay bar, last Saturday.

5. I adore my new neighbourhood. I'm on the border of Dupont Circle and Georgetown so frankly there's nowhere else in DC I'd rather/condescend to be. Every day I've been going for walks through Georgetown. Up the road from me is Dumbarton Oaks which is where in 1946 the UN was founded (then ratified the following year in San Francisco). A ten minute walk away is Wisconsin Ave and M Street which are two of DC's big shopping areas- upmarkety High Street stuff like Banana Republic, Restoration Hardware and best of all Dean & DeLuca.

6. Thanks to Christmas Shutdown, I have this week off.

7. Christmas was boring. I wasn't depressed or upset but it was largely because I just convinced myself Christmas wasn't happening. Went for a long walk in the rain and found a bar open on M Street where I was able to have a vodka lunch.

8. I have been having many a hot bath with a block of Dean & DeLuca chocolate and the double thickness Christmas-issue of the New Yorker.

9. There will be a pictorial report of Georgetown when there is another sunny day. This may not be until March.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Three trains, two buses and a cab later...

I had my Ikea adventure today in preparation for the move tomorrow. It was a bit of an odyessy out to College Park on public transport (though, happily, was easier than expected on the return despite comically oversized shopping bags full of stuff).

Originally I was intending just to buy the mattress at this stage to save some money, but since I had to pay $80 for delivery anyway I also bought the frame and slats as well. All up, including next day delivery, $400. Then I spent another $100 on linen, towels, glasses, cutlery, plates, shower curtain + rings and tea towels. And a sleek washing up brush thing. I'm very pleased with my shower curtain. It did feel not quite right to be having such an Ikea moment without Anne.

So for imminent move in, all I'm really missing is a blanket/quilt affair.

I went to my apartment (which, thank god, I still love) to dump this stuff... whereupon I christened the toilet and when I went to flush it the bathroom flooded. Some dude was supposed to call me back by 6pm... didn't happen. Will be on management's case tomorrow. I don't even have a mop!

I'm so tired. I could've gone to bed at 8pm. I know it's the exhaustion of this whole moving shebang contributing, but recently I've been feeling a bit lonely. Christmas isn't really worrying me, I guess it's more I would've liked to be have had this chaos with a completely impartial shoulder to lean on.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Been a while...

But I've signed a lease! I move into my stunning new bachelor pad one bedroom-corner apartment-bit more than I wanted to spend but what the hell I'll live on Ramen apartment Sunday night. I have no furniture of any description, not even a towel, so it will be a Christmas adventure.

This week has been a massively busy blur. Honestly, it's pouring out of my head as I type and I can't even really remember why my feet hurt so bad.

Tomorrow morning I'm hiking off to Maryland to visit Ikea. Ikea in this country puts middling Springwood to shame. I like how you can hire an Ikea car to take your new furniture home. I ordered a microwave from WalMart today, so I've pretty much condemned myself to hell in pursuit of a $40 microwave. I have $400 to pretty much furnish an apartment to the liveable stage and the frightening thing is- with Ikea it can be done. We're talking bed, towels, linen, glassware, cutlery and flatware. No sofa yet mind you and I may temporarily skip on the bed frame.

I went to a special preview of Night at the Museum at Nat Geo tonight. It was an awful lot of fun- a really good holiday flick which makes you laugh, is good to look at and has a happy ending without requiring too much expenditure in the brain department.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wireless, baby!

I have taken the $120 plunge and bought a wireless card and I'm wondering why it took me so long. My battery is so flat my laptop can never really be truly wireless, but it is an exciting development nonetheless.

I'm still C's spacious basement having been a playmate/babysitter for the four year (five, as of today) old who is a scampish but ultimately good kid. It's also rather nice to be temporarily part of a family unit again.

Brief post really considering it's been a week but the strength of the connection is a wee bit variable in the basement.

After a very frustrating week of homelessness, I put the rather monstrous deposit on a magnificent one bedroom apartment on the border of Georgetown/Dupont Circle/Rock Creek Park (really, the location could not be better for the price). Technically I'm, oh, about $30,000 short of the income requirement but it's extraordinarily high so it hopefully will not prove a problem. I intend to debate if it does. I'm trying not to get too excited in case it bombs out, but fingers crossed.

In the spirit of 'not getting too excited' today I went and priced mattresses.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Packin' Up

This could be last post for a bit because in about half an hour I'm out of U Street. Packing stuff up (and it's amazing how much has accumulated since July) was more depressing that I anticipated by a long way.

It brought up a whole lot of mixed emotions about what I'm doing here. And whilst moving into C's place while I continue to look should take the pressure off but for me it only makes it worse because I hate to take advantage of hospitality and if I'm still there in a week I'm going to feel incredibly guilt-stricken. So for the first time, I'm actually quite worried about where I'm going to live.

I've already lined up another viewing on Monday at lunch. God only knows what happened to the Tiger at Q Street. For someone who boasted of his ability to do what he says he'll do, he didn't particularly follow-through on that claim. I find it amazing that it took me about 10 days to find a house when I arrived cold in Washington, and now that I'm here it's taking at least four weeks.