Eye of Ike

by wjw on September 16, 2008

I fell asleep as I was crossing the country, and woke up at sunset. The cloud-tops below were a brilliant pink, as were the edges of the aircraft’s wings.

The plane was also bouncing around a good deal. I realized I was flying over the remains of Hurricane Ike, stretching from horizon to horizon.

And then I saw a huge gap in the clouds off to the south. No way, I thought, could the eye of the hurricane still be intact.

Sure looked like it, though. A huge gap in the storm, many miles across. Triangular rather than circular, but then you’d expect it to be rough at the edges.

It looked like the Eye of Sauron in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Maybe it was just a coincidence, that a gap in the clouds formed right then.

Washington seems to be the Land of Delays. A 20-minute delay in getting my bags and a 20-minute wait for the next Metro car, all of which got me to the hotel after all nearby restaurants had closed. So I ordered a pizza, and that took ninety minutes to get to me.

The pizza sucked, but I didn’t care.

Tumbleweed September 16, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Welcome to DC. Sorry about the pizza. If you’re looking for some good eats try 5 Guys Burgers. Excellent local chain.

Where are you staying? I used to live there and can give some good hole in the wall recommendations.

Thai September 16, 2008 at 10:26 pm

I live on the DC border in MD and can also sahre recommendations if you need any.

Thai September 16, 2008 at 10:27 pm

meant “share”

… but probably not typing advice 😉

john_appel September 17, 2008 at 12:35 am

The Shepherd’s Pie at “The Dubliner” is quite a treat – although some swear by “The Irish Times” instead. If memory serves they’re right next to each other in Capitol Hill.

Thai September 17, 2008 at 12:53 am

Now that I think on it, if you want an old fashion “DC” political restaurant, there is the Occidental grill– apparantly one of the tables is where the cuban missle crisis was averted at and the Old Ebbit Grill where just about everything has happened at.

Food is pretty good too

dubjay September 17, 2008 at 12:53 am

I’d appreciate any recommendations you can send me. Particularly if they involve fresh seafood, which is a little scarce in the desert of New Mexico.

And if it happens to be near a metro stop, all the better. I’m in the middle of Nowhere, Alexandria, where there’s really nothing but office buildings and an old hotel— but it’s right near a Metro station.

Tumbleweed September 17, 2008 at 12:59 am

For fresh seafood you can’t beat Kincaids (sp?)

For a REAL treat take a cab to the Marina and get a peek at the fresh fish, crabs, and stuff. Whenever my wife and I go back to DC to visit family we pack up a cooler of fresh fish on ice for later consumption. But they do have excellent oysters, steamed crabs, etc.

Crab bakes are a real strong motivation to head that way for me 🙂

Thai September 17, 2008 at 1:12 am

Alexandria is awsome! You aren’t looking in the right places.

What kind of seafood? Haughty? Or a Chesapeake Bay crab house where they roll the paper across the table, hand you a hammer and a pitcher of beer and suggest you wear a bib?

If you are looking for ‘haughty’ seafood, I would personally either recommend 1. (my favorite restaurant in DC) Kinkead’s (pricey), or 2. Oceanaire (also pricey) or 3. Sequoia (which is good-not as good as the other two-but can be a very fun people watching place and has the added benefit of being on the Potomac waterfront in Georgetown).

… FYI, now that I think of it there is a Chart House on the waterfront in Alexandria which is OK and is close to you if you don’t want to go that far.

And if you want a real Maryland Chesapeake Bay crab house–if you want a good ones you’ll have to come up to Bethesda Maryland where I live and I’ll buy you a bushell of crabs and a pitcher of beer at the one around the corner from my house (it’s metro accessible and everything).

Otherwise you have to go to Annapolis, I don’t think there are any good ones in Alexandria.

Thai September 17, 2008 at 1:25 am

Here is a Google map of Alexandria with the Chart House on it.

Just toggle out to see which metro stop you are at.

As a general rule however, If you don’t want to go far (i.e. want to stay in Alexandria), just walk east. All the action in Alexandria is around King and Washington. There are art galleries around the waterfront by the Chart House (in a building known as ‘The Torpedo Factory’… since they came from an old renovated WWII torpedo factory).

Have fun

dubjay September 17, 2008 at 2:37 am

I’m more in the mood for haughty seafood. I’ve found that once the novelty of smashing my own crabs wears off, I find that I’d rather have someone else smash the crabs, pluck the meat out, and do something interesting with it.

If you know a great place in Alexandria, sing out. I’m way south of the National Airport, so I don’t think I’m near the old town at all, but I’m nearer to that than to DC.

Thai September 17, 2008 at 2:42 am

Sorry, don’t know any on there.

This is the best I can do for you.


Tumbleweed September 17, 2008 at 2:53 am

Oh man…take a walk to old town Alex if you can. It’s cool. Touristy, but cool.

But for great seafood do Kinkeads (thanks to Thai for the correct spelling). Ruth and I send all our out of town friends there. They all rave about it. (we make our own, but that’s a self-satisfaction thing)

It’s definitely close to a metro stop or a few blocks walk at worst.

I’m kinda annoyed with myself. We had the chance to be there this week but I demurred. Would have been nice to meet and get my copy of Implied Spaced signed (hint, hint)

Ralf the Dog September 17, 2008 at 3:16 pm

DC has a very cool Irish restraunt. I think it’s named something like McDonald’s. Their specialty is a slab of ground beef between two slices of lightly toasted bread with a special sauce. They call it a “Hamburger” (I know it sounds German.) The bread makes it less messy to eat with your hands. The hamburger is traditionally served with cucumbers that have been boiled in vinegar and aged with a touch of dill.

The one item of sea food on the menu is called a Filet-O-Fish. I don’t know how fresh it is.

McDonald’s is not yet well known. Reservations are not generally needed, however you should plan on spending a bit more time if you go around lunchtime.

dubjay September 19, 2008 at 4:22 am


I had oysters and stuffed flounder at Kinkeads, and it was very very fine. A perfect end to a very long day.

Thank you, Thai, for the recommendation.

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