Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Washington, DC

Have you ever walked around Washington at night? You should. It's very pretty. At least the parts around the White House and Pennsylvania Avenue. I'm sure there are parts of the city that are a bit more unsavory, but that can be said of anywhere. Moving on.

This was my first visit to downtown Washington in four and a half years. Last time I was there, it was January 1998, and there were TV cameras everywhere to cover the newly-hatched Monica Lewinsky scandal. This weekend there were only a few protesters camped out in fromt of the White House to mar the scenery, but I suppose you can't fault them too much for that.
The monumental buildings are fairly impressive in the daylight, but at night they're all lit up and quite pretty. And the Metro in DC kicks the New York subway's butt as far as aesthetics and safety go, so it's all right to stick around that particular part of the District after hours. Not a lot of pedestrians, but lots and lots of cops and official-type people about.

Try to stop by the Old Ebbitt Grill as well. The menu changes every day, and it's quite reasonable. That's my recommendation for the day.


Sunday, October 6, 2002

Weiner Dogs and Woody Allen

This is why I love living in New York.

Despite weather forecasts that threatened the region with the remnants of Hurricane Lili, yesterday's weather was beautiful. So I decided to take myself to Washington Square Park, where something very special was going on.

Yesterday marked the date of the autumn Dachshund Fest. Hundreds of dachshunds and their owners gathered in the north end of the park (as the southern end was dominated by some very hopped-up nannies who were getting ready to march to City Hall to demand labor standards). The event culminated in the group gathering together to hoist their weiner dogs above their heads to sing the Dachshund song.

This, friends, is why you never leave the house in New York without a camera.

Not content to end my day with that, I paid a visit to the Met. As I was walking to the 19th-Century European wing, the family of three a few paces in front of me stopped to admire the sculpture courtyard below. It was Woody Allen and Soon-Yi, with their young daughter. They wound up in the same room as me a couple of times in the Impressionism section, and plenty of people noticed them, too. Nobody seemed to care all that much.

In three and a half years, that was my first celebrity-in-the-wild sighting. At least the first one that I noticed.

And tourism in this town is flagging? Come up and visit, people! All this happened in a span of four hours. Imagine what you could see in a weekend.


Wednesday, October 2, 2002


I was directed to a website a few weeks ago that claims to be the antithesis of any pet-related site extolling the various precious and cutesy-poo aspects of kitties. The site claimed to be dedicated to only nasty, wholly unlovable animals, and the webmaster invited guests to post their own bad-cat stories. Being the owner of a rather heinous cat, I decided to check it out.

What a bunch of sorry-ass cats.

These folks' idea of a mean kitty is one that likes to sleep in the bathtub or yell at the television.
Normally I wouldn't bother with such silly sites, but this one really needed rectifying.

And Gato was there.