What do you love about your city?

Dear DC…


I love Amelia Earhart. And so does my character, Grace, who writes letters, often love letters to Amelia. It’s convenient when your character likes the same things you like, and so you can do bizarre things like book a day trip from Toronto to Washington, DC to see the airplane she flew from Harbour Grace, Nfld across the Atlantic to Ireland. And that is just what I did last week. The timeline was, er, tight to say the least, but it was an incredible trip.

I spent a bunch of time in DC a whole bunch of years ago. I was in a not-great-relationship with a fellow who lived there, but oh, THE CITY! Kramer’s, the most wonderful bookstore ever, the popcorn stands (like Toronto hotdog stands BUT POPCORN!), the carousel on The Mall, the Shake Shack burgers, Amelia’s Vega, and the FREE MUSEUMS. So many museums, holy smokes.

And so, even though I spent 12h travelling (taxis, ferries, buses, trains, subways, planes…) and only had 4.5 hours in the city to do Amelia plane research, I ALSO couldn’t help myself but bring write some love letters along the way…

The highlight of my trip (other than Amelia’s stunning red Vega) was seeing Barack Obama’s portrait at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. In a sea of white and grey, I wept in front of his bright, brilliant portrait. His benevolence, his kindness were so present. I’ve never cried like that in front of a painting—it was so moving. (Note: The Michelle Obama portrait is beautiful too!) So OF COURSE the National Portrait Museum got a love letter!

And right outside the National Portrait Museum was a farmer’s market! I ate the best peach I’ve ever had! I had to restrain myself from buying jars of pickles and flats of tomatoes. There was even a gin tasting!

And a quick note to anyone thinking about opening a sculpture museum, I’d highly recommend adding a beautiful coffee shop and selling INCREDIBLE gelato out of a shipping container. My trip to the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden was so inspiring, and coffee-and-gelato-fueled. Dolcezza, you have my heart.

(I was so distracted by the art, I forgot to take a picture of the love letter I left, but this shot of my peach-prosecco, oxblood plum and lemon basil ice cream will have to suffice!)

Till next time, DC!

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