It’s Cultural

Spring time is the perfect time to get back into your cultural groove. I’m talking about going and doing things that you have neglected all winter while you were wrapped in a snuggie cocoon watching reruns of your favorite shows on TV. The weather is finally warming up here in the Mid-Atlantic, which means that people are emerging and adding color back into their wardrobe and onto their skin. How glorious!

This past weekend was a great cultural weekend for me. On Saturday night, I went out to see the new French-Canadian film, Starbuck. This movie is about a man who learns in a very interesting way that the mistakes he has made along the way not only affect his life, but the lives of those around him. David Wozniak donated sperm to a particular sperm bank in Quebec many times during a two-year period starting in 1988.  As it turns out, the fertility clinic ended up using his sperm exclusively during that time.  In 2011, he finds out that he has 533 children, 142 of whom are joining a class-action lawsuit to find out who their biological father is. David, who used the alias “Starbuck” when he donated his specimen, embarks on a journey that is both hilarious and filled with regret, while he learns some important life lessons and decides, due to certain new events in his present day life, that he needs to be a better person.

This movie is absolutely beautiful. I recommend that you go see it. You probably won’t be able to find it at your regular theater, but most likely at one of the Indie theaters in your city. The language spoken in the film is French, so if you don’t speak French, you will have to read subtitles. However, I think that the language of the film makes it even more unique and special.

Go see Starbuck!

Another cultural event that I attempted this weekend was the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Unfortunately, as of early on Sunday, there were not many blossoms blooming around the Tidal Basin in DC.

A couple girlfriends and I decided to get up at the crack of dawn and hopefully beat the crowds to the blossoms. Unfortunately for us, we ran into several roadblocks. First of all, Sunday morning was the start of the Cherry Blossom 10-mile run that happens every year around downtown DC. Even though we were not actually running, we did get caught up in the crowds of runners at 6:30 in the morning. (Side note: Funny thing about runners is they LOVE to talk about all the many races that they have participated in as they are getting ready to run a different race–Just an observation that I find in my encounters with this group of people.) Secondly, the weather was much colder than any of us had expected for that day. In fact, it was freezing! We tried to take some photos down by the Tidal Basin, but it appeared as though the blossoms were staying closed in protest, so we moved on to find something else to do with the whole morning still ahead of us.

Spring in DC
Spring in DC

We decided, in an act of blossom-watching defeat, to walk all the way down the National Mall to Capitol Hill and over to Eastern Market to enjoy the rest of our chilly morning. After taking some photos along the way at places like the Smithsonian Castle gardens, we finally stopped at a cute little coffee shop and bistro on the Hill called “Pound,” and we had one of the best rounds of coffee that any of us have had in a long time. We also enjoyed homemade (not frozen) egg, spinach, and feta sandwiches in a quaint, quiet, culturally-diverse little hideaway in the city. We sat in the back of the restaurant in what felt like a private bungalow miles and miles away from the bustle of the tourists and runners that we had waded through by the monuments. It was the perfect combination of location, conversation, and delicious coffee to make the early morning worthwhile.

If you are on Capitol Hill in DC, I recommend that you try this place. This was my first experience, but I would not mind going back for a breakfast bite (and definitely coffee), and I would love to try the Bistro for dinner sometime.

Delicious Cafe Au lait and reading at Pound
Delicious Cafe Au lait and reading at Pound

We continued our morning stroll (all six or so miles of it) through Eastern Market and to the Silver Spork for one more cup of coffee, stopping, of course, at Capitol Hill Books for a quick peak inside. I never make it through Eastern Market without stopping at my favorite bookstore. This is the type of place where treasures are found.

We rounded out our lovely early morning with an afternoon BBQ with new friends and old. It was definitely the longest weekend day I’ve had in a while, but by far one of the best. I’m looking forward to more Spring and Summer days like this. Bring on the warmer weather!

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