Saturday, March 30, 2013


Dr. Steve and I eventually settled on Chadwick's in Georgetown. Chadwick's, a lively bar-restaurant at least two stories tall, is located down by the river on the appropriately named Water Street. Before we drove to Georgetown, though, I had an unknowing brush with fame: Steve noted, as we were walking out of the Wardman Marriott Hotel, that the wild-haired guy walking into the hotel, not ten feet from us, was Oliver Stone. "Fucking traitor," I joked. Well, half-joked: Oliver Stone is certainly a kindred spirit with Sean Penn, whose priorities regarding our country are similarly upside-down. Stone was, it turns out, the keynote speaker for the conference that Steve is attending and presenting at. When I asked Steve, later in the evening, why he wasn't sticking around for Stone's keynote address, Steve said that he doubted he'd hear anything particularly new or interesting. "Hard to please," I gibed. It's something of a running joke between us: Steve rarely likes the movies he sees, the books he reads, or the speakers he hears.

The drive to Georgetown proved fairly easy despite the rush-hour blockage: the hotel was on Woodley, which ran into Connecticut Avenue; from there, it was a matter of finding K Street and taking the Whitehurst Freeway into Georgetown. I had suggested The Tombs as a possible dinner spot, but Steve was in the mood for something different: Thai or whatever. I suggested parking down by the river and deciding where to go by consulting Yelp or some other online source. While we were driving downhill on Wisconsin, I remembered that Chadwick's was right down the hill from us, so we eventually agreed to go there.

The resto turned out to be OK, if not spectacular. The quesadilla and calamari appetizers were good, but not particularly large. Steve's main course was Ahi tuna with rice and vegetables; his tuna was seared to perfection, and looked pleasingly pink, almost like salmon. I ordered my first-ever Cuban sandwich, and found it to be quite tasty with a mac-and-cheese side and a horseradish dip. Dessert was apple pie for me and a deconstructed root-beer float for Steve. By "deconstructed," I mean that Steve was given a mug of soft ice cream (no ball-shaped scoops) and a separate bottle of root beer. I'd never seen a root-beer float served that way, but despite its strangeness, Steve pronounced it delicious. My pie was also quite good.

Talk ranged all over. We covered Buddhism and Buddhist meditation (Steve's a regular meditator, although I didn't catch what tradition he's meditating in), changing jobs, job satisfaction, good and bad students, weight loss, weight gain, exercise, the new pope, the previous pope—shop talk, basically. Our friendly server popped by intermittently to ask how everything was; we told her it was all good.

Steve insisted on paying: his university was giving him a stipend to attend the conference, so we ate on the university's dime. After Chadwick's, I drove us to Georgetown University campus, where we went for a stroll from one end of the campus to the other, marveling at the many changes: some for the better, some for the worse. The place seemed quiet; it could have been spring break. (A look at GU's calendar shows that the school is currently on Easter break, having recently enjoyed a spring break. Georgetown is a Catholic university, so it's not shy about proclaiming the Reason for the Season. Happy Easter, by the way.) Our walk took us from Lauinger Library to Village A (the spacious apartments where the basketball players live), then over to the ICC Building; from there, we headed across Red Square, past the Reiss Science Building to Henle Student Village (my senior-year apartment). We passed Henle, ambled by Darnall Hall, and found ourselves in front of Saint Mary's, my freshman-year dorm. We then walked back to the Leavey Student Center, went up to its roof, walked over to the McDonough Fitness Center, went back downhill and past the Jesuit graveyard, then went up the hill past Village A and Lauinger Library, and back to my car. It was a cool night, but I was sweating like a champ by the end of our walk.

I drove Steve back to his hotel; he claims he's got a pile of student papers to grade, but I'm betting he'll spend the evening watching cable porn. I wish Steve good luck with his presentation tomorrow.


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