Growing up in NYC, I was taught to avoid alleyways like the Black Plague, so saying it was a complete shock to me when my sister started leading me down Blagden Alley in the Northwest corridor of D.C. on Saturday is an understatement. Now if you’re anything like me and have never been to Blagden, your mind probably went straight to imagining Diagon Alley out of the Harry Potter movies, sorry to disappoint, but it’s nothing like that.
The wide-open alleyway was home to various bars, coffeeshops, and restaurants; but what truly identifies Blagden Alley is the D.C. Alley Museum. Murals painted on the brick walls and garage gates brought out a certain energy on the grey and gloomy day. Some pieces were dark and matched the weather, but other pieces were bright and emitted a very powerful sense of light and hope. My favorite was a four-piece mural spelling out “love” by Lisa Marie Studios, it almost felt like the world wasn’t going to sh*t as I stood there for longer than necessary taking pictures like the tourist I am and admiring the work, while my sister stood there awkwardly holding my now cold coffee in her hands. I’m not a huge art buff, but there was something about these murals that drew me into them and made me want to know more about the pieces.
Staying on the art theme, that evening my sister and I went over to Georgetown to look at the light installations done around town. We only looked at a few before we got distracted by a TJ Maxx and food, can you blame us? But it was cool to see how many people came out for the opening night of the installations. During the day, the city was an empty ghost town, but by night you had to squeeze through hoards of people wandering around town trying to get the best picture for their Instagram page and snapchat story, myself included. (@thiswideworld_blog and @this_wideworld respectively, yay for shameless promotion!)
On Sunday, we hung out with my sister’s roommate and spent the entire day Skipping around the city. No, I don’t mean holding hands and singing the soundtrack to Sound of Music as we galloped around like a trio of idiots. In D.C. there are motorized scooters you can rent for as long as you’d like (and as long as they’re charged) for reasonably cheap. One of the brands of these scooters happens to be called Skip. You simply download the app onto your phone (or tablet if you’re one of those people), input your credit or debit card information, and off you go.
I definitely thought I was going to die for the first few minutes as we rode down 14th St., a road filled with potholes and cracks as bad as NYC as I tried desperately to keep up with my companions zooming around like they were pushed out of the uterus on a Skip. But by the end of the day I was hooked, they are so much fun, and if you’re anywhere as lazy as I am, they are a hell of a lot better than walking. About an hour later we had visited the entirety of the National Mall, where I was forced to take a picture with Lincoln, so my sister can blackmail me later in life, and had ended up at The District Wharf. While the Wharf is a cool place to hang out, my favorite place by far was the swings they have on the pier. Talk about bringing out your inner child. Unlike traditional swings, these ones seat two or three across and really aren’t meant for competitive swinging. However, being the daredevil that I am I did try to see how much height I could get on it alone, and they did not disappoint. It takes a little more ab work to get there, but you can get some pretty good height out of these b*tches. Now I’m trying really hard to avoid creating an actual travel guide, there are tons of books and websites devoted to that, but I highly recommend checking the swings out if you happen to be by the Wharf. Like Nike says, “Just Do It.”
We finished up my weekend trip in the best way possible, by visiting Barbie Pond on Avenue Q. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like, a little pond filled with Barbie dolls. Because it’s now December, the current Barbie Pond theme was Christmas, complete with a little remote-control train and reindeer. I think my favorite part of the whole thing were the elderly couple admiring the pond as we rode up on our Skips, of course. The woman made a comment about herself once looking like a Barbie, presumably meaning a tiny waist with tig ‘ol bitties, and the man’s response, in perfect timing was “I never remember you looking like that, I’d have never f***ed you if you looked like that.” This is one of those things I’d call (as the Disnerd that I am) a “magical moment.”
Why there are half naked Barbie dolls who look like they just got their tickets to a Beyoncé concert, I’m not sure. But I am 100% about it.