Transportation Woes

18 06 2009
How do you get to work?

How do you get to work?

I am willing to bet that most of you commute to work.  Unless you’re one of those work-at-home types, and you can roll out of bed and straight to your computer, I’m sure you have had some interesting commutes.  Whether you drive, take the metro, pedal your bicycle, or, for the luckiest ones, walk to work, we have all had that morning where commuting just did not work out the way it should.  Tuesday was that morning for me. In fact, every single thing about the day’s transportation for me was a comedy of errors.

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DC Delights

20 02 2009

I went to some fantastic places in DC yesterday after work.

Took the Circulator bus to Georgeotown, where I haven’t been in months!!

Mie N Yu – had lamb kebabs with cucumber sauce & a French Kiss cocktail that was so strong it made me unable to walk straight.  I blame it on the lack of food.   Nobody was there when I went at 4:30, but it allowed me to fully appreciate the décor.   If you haven’t been, check this place out ASAP!

Dean & Deluca – bought and enjoyed one cranberry macaroon dipped in white chocolate, then some fig jam (my favorite!) and some almonds covered in dark chocolate mocha for my dad and I to enjoy.   This place was absolutely magical and totally made my week.   I’ve found my new “happy place”.

Annie Creamcheese – Fantastic vintage store, but way more $$$ than I’d care to spend.  Fun, though.  Reminds me of that place in Frederick…oh crap…I forget the name…oh! Vibrant Artwear.   But Annie Creamcheese is about 100x more expensive.   But maybe I’ll go back there again when I need a nice dress for an occasion.  Speaking of Frederick, I really miss it and would like to come visit again soon, please.

Then I walked back from Georgetown to Downtown.   A mistake, because it was so cold and I was wearing heels, but it did help kill time.  Wished there was a Starbucks open at 7 p.m. on a Thursday night, but there were none.  And I didn’t feel like walking back up to The Commissary.   On my way back down to 15th street, a man asked me for directions.  “Funny you should ask, because I’m a concierge at a hotel.”   I didn’t have any city maps to give him, but I gave him my circulator map and pointed him in the direction of Dupont Circle.  He had asked me where the closest bookstore was and if I knew of any good place in Dupont to go to.   I sent him to Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe.   In return for my help, he gave me his brand-new American Red Cross shopping bag as a form of gratitude.   He didn’t want to carry it anwyay, and wanted to thank me for my help.

So I walked around and around the neighborhood until my friend got off work.   We had dinner reservations at Equinox, a very nice restaurant with contemporary American food and fresh, local ingredients.  De-lic-ious! As you may know, it is Restaurant Week in DC until the 22nd.

We enjoyed a delicious three-course meal, as well as cocktails and a free appetizer, espressos and a special digestif that our server, Ed, called “a kiss goodnight”.   And then Ed told us that there was no check tonight, thanked us for dining with them and invited us to come back again soon, promising that they could be more lavish in their offerings when it’s not restaurant week.

I was taken aback; I knew they knew I was a concierge (and that I send people their way pretty often!), but I did not expect them to comp our meal.  I’m sure it helped that my colleague, our lead concierge, called ahead to the General Manager and let her know I was coming.   But wow.  An entire meal.  I sure hope we tipped him well enough, because I’m not exactly sure how much the bill would have come to.   Well, I’ll be sending a thank-you card pretty soon.

Well, even if they had not comped my meal, it is definitely a place I will be glad to send my guests.   The food is really top-notch and the service was impeccable. Such a creative menu.   And I felt healthy and satisfied afterward.   If anyone wants reservations, let me know!  I’ll request that they take good care of you.

Last but not least, I leave you with a photo I took as the sun was setting in Georgetown:

Georgetown Sunset

Georgetown Sunset

It’s still January, is it too late to wish you Happy New Year?

11 01 2009

I’ve been terrible at updating here, and I do apologize, but I’ve run into a few problems.

  1. I’ve been so very busy with work.
  2. I have almost nothing to talk about except work, which I can’t talk about here.*
  3. By the time I get home from work, I’m too tired to do much of anything, let alone try to think of something witty to put in here.

*For the most part.

One thing I can say about my job is that I’m loving it, I am enjoying getting to know my coworkers, and I am learning more and more every day.  I go to my first concierge reception on Tuesday evening after working a morning shift.  That will be fun and exciting.

Of note:

  1. My parents bought me two tickets to see West Side Story at the National Theater.  I am going to see it tomorrow with Peter.  I should tell you that West Side Story is my absolute favorite musical of all time.  Therefore, I AM VERY EXCITED TO SEE IT!!!
  2. Apartment searching in DC has become virtually impossible, what with all of the inauguration rentals.  Plus, my potential roommate is starting to rethink his options and may prefer to stay at home and save $$$.  It does make some sense.  Instead of forking over $600+ per month to live in DC, why not stay at home where it’s free room & board and put that $600+ into the savings account, and that way end up with money to travel the world?  Well, we haven’t entirely abandoned the search, but the chances are looking pretty slim.  I still really want to move to DC, but I don’t know if I can afford an apartment on my own.  It surprises me [and makes me feel a little depressed] that it is more expensive to find housing in DC than it is in Paris.
  3. For many reasons, I cannot wait until the inauguration is over.  Work will be absolutely insane these next two weeks.  People start to arrive as early as the 17th, and I think I am working at least 8-9 days straight during that time.  Sometimes I forget that there is life after inauguration.  I’m sure all of us in DC will breathe a collective sigh of relief once that business is all done.

Okay, I’ll give you one story from work.

I answered the phone one evening.  “Bonsoir, concierge, this is Sarah, how may I assist you?”

“Hello,” answered a man with a thick Indian accent.  “I was wondering if it would be possible to get an elephant for my wedding reception.”  I had to concentrate really hard to understand what he said.

“An elephant?”  (I’m thinking, What?!)  “All right, monsieur, I can certainly look into that…” I said as I raised my eyebrows and tried to mask my surprise as I wrote down the word “elephant” on my checklist.  “When is your wedding?” I asked.

“Approximately 3 months from now.”

“Oh, you don’t have a date set yet?”  (Wonderful.  That makes things a whole lot more difficult, I thought.)

(laughter)  The man on the other end of the telephone continued laughing and finally said, “It’s me, Lynn.”

Lynn, a concierge at another luxury hotel in the downtown area.  A prank phone call.  I began to laugh and said, “Oh wow, you really had me going!  An elephant!  Well, since you brought it up, would it be possible to get an elephant for a wedding reception?”

He said it was possible, and that both the Willard and the Mandarin (his hotel) have done it before — they rented an elephant from the Ringling Bros. circus.

grauer Riese, by marfis75

My supervisor, who is good friends with Lynn, told me that I am an official concierge now that I’ve been prank-called by Lynn.  And according to Lynn, I passed the test.
And now I know where to find an elephant in DC.


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