This past weekend I went down to Washington DC to visit my sister (who actually lives in Maryland on the outskirts of DC). I’ve been to Washington a number of times in my life (given that I grew up in Philadelphia, it’s pretty close) but it been at least a few years and I hadn’t actually looked around in a while. So I took a train down in the morning and I spent the better part of Friday walking from Union Station over to Georgetown, making a number of stops along the way at places like the White House and the Washington Monument. Overall I like Washington but it doesn’t really give me a good vibe as the type of place I would like to live. With all of the bland buildings and lack of a skyline, it just seems very cold and not welcoming to me. I do like certain areas, like Georgetown. But after living in Philadelphia for the past two months I just can’t say that I would take Washington over Philly in terms of a nice walkable downtown area. Maybe there are better areas in Washington and I didn’t see them but from what I saw, that’s the conclusion I would draw.
One of the reasons for my trip (besides visiting my sister, of course) was to go to an M83 concert at a place called Black Cat. It was a pretty small venue but M83 did a double header (6PM and 9PM shows) and both were sold out and tickets were selling for a number of multiples of face value on StubHub. So I definitely think they need to pick a bigger venue on their next tour — and they need to put Philly in their plans. The concert was awesome. I was able to hear all of the songs that I really wanted to hear. And I was pretty into the opening band (called Active Child), who I hadn’t heard before.
I recorded a bunch of songs on my iPhone using the Voice Recorder app. I know that it isn’t exactly audiophile quality. And I had people around me talking the whole time so you can hear them sometimes. But I wanted to see how it would sound and I also like listening to live music sometimes. So I uploaded the tracks to SoundCloud. You can play them here:
You can also view, play and download the set of songs here: http://soundcloud.com/natarem/sets/m83-at-black-cat.
Also, here’s a picture of my view:
Overall the trip was a lot of fun and I’m glad I went, despite the crappy weather/snow (!) last Saturday. I’m attempting to get onto a White House tour with my sister in January so I’ll go back down for that assuming the White House lets me on the tour. In case you White House background check people are googling people and you come across this blog: hook it up please.
To switch gears to future travel, I’m pretty excited to be headed to Paris for a week starting this Sunday. I’m going for the World Weightlifting Championships. Like many Olympic-level sports, Olympic-style weightlifting has regular World Championships (every year, except for Olympic years) and this year they decide to hold them at Euro Disney, also known as Parc Disneyland. It’s in the suburbs of Paris and I will be there for the whole week pretty much. I’m going with John Broz (a well-known Olympic lifting coach from Vegas who has one lifter competing in the men’s super heavyweight category). I’ve become pretty good friends with John over the last year so I’m looking forward to the lifting competition, seeing Paris and hanging out with John and Pat (his lifter who is competing).
On another note regarding weightlifting, I’ve finally found a good place in Philadelphia to lift. I’d all but given up on it but I finally found a CrossFit that happens to have four platforms in the basement. I agreed to loan my equipment to the gym while I’m training there. I have really high-end equipment so it’s generally only being used (hopefully) for Olympic lifting and not for CrossFit. But I’ve been going in and squatting for the last week. And I’ll start doing the Olympic lifts in the next few weeks as my leg strength recovers. I’m already feeling a decent amount stronger than I did last week during my first session but I’m still a decent amount off of where I was earlier this year (and even then I was weak by any respectable lifting standards). So I’m still playing catchup. I will be training a lot though, assuming I don’t get injured.