This year, for my birthday I facilitated an online class for 6 hours, including 2 spent in live video chat. I'm pretty sure I ate out after the workday concluded, but I remember the beer more (Zoom fatigue is real, y'all). Much like everything this year, this was a great contrast to my birthday dinner last year. In 2019, a friend I was happy to be reunited with in DC met me at Morris American Bar for a swanky cocktail (top left). I requested ethnic food for the main meal because I was still reveling in the many cultures within the Beltway, and my friend delivered with Asian tapas at Momofuku (top right). But the real icing on the cake, to confuse a metaphor, was my dessert: ice cream from Milk Bar next door, complete with a token candle (bottom).Rehoboth Beach with another friend I was happy to be reunited with in DC. Even then, the beach wasn't that crowded (left), but I still wouldn't have been willing to replicate the trip this year, given the COVID numbers on the Delaware shore this summer. Which means, unfortunately, that I wasn't able to have another helping of avocado toast with crab at Egg, right down the street from the hotel where we stayed, Ocean Glass Inn (right).
Smorgasburg, with vendors offering a diverse spread of street-food snacks. Looking for something different, I munched on okonomiyaki, an unusual Japanese pancake, and collared green spring rolls, an East Asian/Southern-fried fusion with mumbo sauce (left). As I feel daylight hours dwindling now, I remember how last year, as summer turned to fall, I made it to one last market, at Waterfront Station, before sundown on my way home from work (right).
At this time last year, I was getting ready for a half-marathon in Brooklyn in November. I used my training runs at the time as an excuse to reward myself with beer. One of my long runs was to the Port City beer garden in Alexandria's -now-more-developed Waterfront Park (left). My last long run before the race was to Novemberfest at Rustico in Alexandria. I celebrated the end of my training with samples of some unusual and high-ABV beers:
- The Answer's Fancy AF hazy IPA
- Wheatland Spring Brewery's Natural Remedy, a dark saison
- Black Narrows Brewing Co.'s We Will Reap, a wild ale
- Commonwealth Brewing Company's Phosphor hazy double IPA
- Crooked Run Brewing's Bloom Berliner Weisse
- Benchtop Brewing Company's Wicked Walter imperial stout
- Back Bay Farmhouse Brewing Co.'s Macaron imperial stout
After I actually placed in the Brooklyn race, I decided to continue by beer-motivating tactics in preparing for the Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon in DC, which was originally slated for March 2020 before it was rescheduled to November 2020 then pushed back again to March 2021. One day from work, I did a mid-range run to Audacious Alewerks in Falls Church before catching the Metro home (right).
Even when I wasn't training, I managed to intersect beer and exercise. As part of DC's annual Beer Week, I did a fun run from Right Proper in Brookland (top left) to Red Bear in NOMA (top right). The event this year runs for two weeks, Sept. 13-26; sadly, I will miss the festivities. Last year, I attended the kickoff party at Bluejacket (bottom left), where I was given a free Solidarity 2019 IPA because an extra was poured accidentally. As I drank it with my hush puppies, I felt great solidarity with that kind bartender (bottom right).
After riding my bike to Oktoberfest at Port City, I decided to skip any further beer-related physical exertion that day and watched the stein-hoisting competition from the sidelines instead (top). I exerted myself just a little bit at a lambic event at Anxo. Although I went to try some of their Belgian beers, I ended up catching cider from their casks (middle). At another fermented-apple mecca, Capital Cider House (bottom left), I did absolutely nothing but 4-ounce curls with a flight of their first-class offerings (bottom right).
I am quite beholden to beer and inclined toward cider, but I am willing to give other alcohol a try, which is why I attended the quarterly whisky-laced dinner at Catoctin Creek Distillery last December (left). Still, the group I went with enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at Adroit Theory, which specializes in creative fruity goses and strong dark beers. I had the B/A/Y/S imperial stout variant, whose cocoa nibs and maple syrup got me in a yuletide mood. To top it off, when I got home that night, I listened to Christmas carolers croon for my neighbors (right). And so I wonder: What will the holidays be like this year? Will Santa bring me the ability to unrestrictedly eat and drink out in the new year? Hopefully I've been a good enough girl. Hopefully all of us have.