DC Bugs

I know many people are distressed about the presidential elections, but I take some consolation in knowing that Washington, DC, the seat of our national government, now has a wonderful source of chapulines (cricket tacos– a Mexican delicacy.)  I mean, if we could all just sit down around the dinner table and contentedly munch on healthy and delicious chapulines, think happy thoughts (like how much better raising crickets is for the planet), and just try to get along– how much better the world would be.

So this blog actually describes two trips to our nations capital-  the first was somewhat disasterous, the second was went much better.  My Ice Mountain friend, Rick Pomeroy, and I planned a bicycle ride around the National Mall.  I parked at Gravelly Point, in Arlington, VA, just north or Reagan National Airport.  But then I ripped off my derailer.  So I thought I’d just walk over to 12 St. NW and rent a bike.  All the old bike I knew are gone and Capital Bikeshare was much too pricey for this cheap guy.  Rick was a great sport– walking with me the whole time.  Despite the bike problems, I enjoyed spending the day with Rick and hearing more of his great stories.

Another bright point of the day was our visit to Oyamel’s Cocina Mexicana.  I had heard good things of their chapulines.  They were very reasonable costing only $5 for 2 tacos.  The texture was very nice– tender and moist.  They were distinctive in taste.  (They did not “taste just like chicken.”  They tasted like crickets.)  If someone likes the idea of eating insects, but they were having touble with the “ick” factor,  if you didn’t open the taco you didn’t have to confront it’s “bug-ness.”  Incidentally, the service was excellent, and Jason, the manager, made you feel pampered.  Whether you are an entomophagist enthusiast, I would recommend Oyamel’s with no reservation.

On my second bike ride, I visited Frederick Douglass’ home, Cedar Hill.  This is in Anacostia, SE Washington, DC.  The visitor center/museum and the tour of Douglass’ home is free.

I again parked at Gravelly Point.  In two hours I easily reached the mall, made the circuit of memorials and museums and returned to Gravelly Point.  Tourists driving into the city might want to arrive at Gravelly Point around 10 AM to miss the morning traffic.  You could then spend the day biking and visiting sights along the mall.  The National Park Service offers some wonderful free evening programs.  If you hang around until 6 or later, you probably won’t have to deal with bad traffic.

The places I photographed included the Jefferson Memorial,  and the Holocaust Museum .  The Old Post Office Tower is still under renovation so you cannot go in there yet.   It maybe the best (and free) way to see a bird’s eye view of DC with virtually no wait. I also biked by the  The Air and Space Museum  The World War II Memorial , the Lincoln Memorial, the Wall, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the FDR Memorial.   I got a photo of the cacoa tree for my chocoholic sweetheart at the National Botanic Garden (where Fast Eddy and the Slowpokes were playing a free concert..   The “Infinity” sculpture in front of the American History Museum always intrigued me.   The African American Museum (between the Washington Monument and the American History Museum) will open Sept. 24. Bike racks are at each of these stops, and a cheap chain lock will deter the “casual thief.”  I don’t think even the pricey locks deter the professional.  So you can take a break from riding and enjoy these and many other free attractions.

Before heading back to West Virginia, I stopped by the Washington Sailing Marina, just south of the Reagan airport.  The Sailing Club of Washington was hosting a “social sail.”  They graciously fed this biker.  And they had four Flying Scots in the water to take people for a sail, free.  I got to sail with Virginia, Cara, Ricardo and Capt. Chris — and irritate the osprey who were feeding their young.    Terry Lynn bought me a catamaran twenty some years ago, and I enjoy being on the water.  Membership is (I think) only $50/ year ($80 for a family)– agreat deal.  By the time we got the boat packed away, it was time to head home.

I apologize for this disjointed blog, but I had a great time and wanted to share the day.  But since this is supposed to be a bug blog, and I only included one paragraph about entomophagy, allow me to leave you with this video link featuring Metta World Peace of the Los Angeles Lakers.  You can also read about “Teaching Entomophagy” here.

I have mentioned before that our eating habits evolve.  Sushi which was perceived by many as wierd ten years ago is now fairly mainstream.  I will try to post soon a “how to” blog for making “N-sectsy Sushi.”  (Should I patent the name?)  Actually, I just found out Shoichi Uchiyama has been creating insect sushi for some time.  Here is more information.

Bug appetit!