1. Before meeting with Anne McGrail at the Bar Dupont, at the Dupont Circle Hotel, I went on a scouting expedition around the Dupont Circle neighborhood so that if we should happen to decide to eat at Hank's Oyster Bar or at Pizzeria Paradiso or at Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe or at any one of the other eateries featuring Turkish, Chinese, Italian, Greek, Thai, Afghan, or just about every other nation in the world, I'd know generally where to go. It was a great stroll, walking in the shadows of many embassies from around the world, observing people happily eating outside at various restaurants, and having a very pleasant encounter with a tiny dog who sniffed my shoes, rubbed against my ankle, and gladly received me when I petted its head and back.
2. Anne introduced me to her friend from high school, Jeff, and the three of us launched into a wide variety of conversation topics ranging from Anne's upcoming presentation at the NEH, the world of theater in the D. C. area and at LCC, the many experiences Anne and Jeff had as young people in Fitchburg (think Piels beer!) to Jeff's love of Tiki bars. I had a superb time.
3. But! That's not all! We ate at India Gate, a cozy Indian restaurant where I loved eating a bowl of comforting, lemony lentil Daal soup, a spicy, invigorating bowl of Chicken Vindaloo over basmati rice, and a perfectly toasted and chewy hunk of garlic Naan. I hadn't eaten Indian food for a long time and this meal not only satisfied my taste buds, it animated me, brought me joy.