Sunday, June 7, 2009

Unicorns, Bacon Marys & the The DC Circulator: A Life-Changing Sunday

This afternoon, I traveled to the U Street Corridor, apparently now billing itself as "MidCity," for brunch at Bar Pilar, home of the famed (at least from my perspective!) Bacon Bloody Mary. My plan, initially, was to take the L2 bus down through Adam's Morgan & then walk from U Street & 18th to Bar Pilar, at 14th & U. Unfortunately, I missed the L2 & instead walked down to Woodley Park, intermittently running alongside the bus I was still trying to catch & then battling for sidewalk space with tourists who insist upon walking four deep on their trip to/from the National Zoo.

When I got to Woodley Park, I spotted a DC Circulator bus, one of these new-fangled, previously-a-huge-mystery buses that apparently only make a few select stops along their route, connecting riders to DC hot spots more quickly than they could otherwise reach them on buses that stop every four blocks or so. Until today, the Circulators were like mythic unicorns - I'd only ever heard of their magic & glory.

OK, fine, unlike unicorns, I'd actually seen Circulator buses before, though, so maybe they weren't unicorns. How about rainbows? The DC Circulator was, until today, like a rainbow whose origins & shining, golden riches I could never locate the source of. Like, where do they stop? No one ever appeared to know. Total mystery.

Until today! Today I took a chance & hopped onto a Circulator bus at its Woodley Park starter stop, assuming it'd take me through Adam's Morgan like the L2 would've.

Ummm, I was wrong.

Instead, it quickly shot down Columbia, & by the time I realized, I was headed in the exact opposite direction in which I wanted to be traveling. I began to freak out, estimating the cab fare and/or the walking distance to Bar Pilar. But no worries! My trusty Circulator made a stop at the Columbia Heights Target (a little slice of sub
urban heaven plopped right inside the District!) & then continued down 14th - exactly where I needed to be!

The moral of this story, especially for all you non-Washingtonians who aren't following my directional descriptions, is that I've now discovered a quick, cheap, easy means of traveling to the one area of the District that I rarely make it to but am most interested in frequenting. U Street (MidCity?!) is amazing & has so much to offer - a real city feel, not this gentrified, Cleveland Park-y bullshiz), but it's too far from home for me to ever be very interested in trekking over there.

But the glorious Circulator costs a mere $1.00 & runs every ten minutes rather than the L2's shoddy every-half-hour-if-you're-lucky-&-only-when-you're-in-a-hurry. What's best is that unlike the L2, which ceases service circa midnight, the Circulator will take me to U Street & back until midnight every weeknight & until 3:30 a.m. on the weekends.

Sorry, sorry. The real moral of the story is this:
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