Michael and I had a great time visiting my old stomping grounds over the weekend. It was a twofer trip, first in Washington to help celebrate my friend Ken's mid-century birthday, then to see my brother Terence, who recently relocated to Frederick, Maryland, for a new job.
The birthday party was a beautiful affair held at Ken's friend and downstairs neighbor Jim's apartment and lots of Ken's friends from his past and present were there, along with his two fun sisters from Charleston, S.C.
Winding down: The birthday boy with friends Tory, Dave and yours truly; Tory is a dermatologist and without warning began examining my forehead thinking I had a HUGE cyst on the right side. He wasn't the least bit embarrassed when he figured out it was just my misshapen noggin, but I sure was.
OK, I'm still scratching my head about this one. The waiter said potatoes weren't included with the breakfast, so I ordered them separately. Later, I realized I was billed for making a substitution -- of something that wasn't included in the first place!!!
Then it was on to Frederick. Terence had actually lived there from around 1995-2000 -- which overlapped with some time I lived in D.C. -- so it was interesting going back and seeing how things had changed.
His apartment is downtown on Market Street, and while things are still happening around there (lots of bars, restaurants and shops), the major change I learned about was that rents have gone through the roof. Frederick is quaint and all (about 50 miles from D.C.), but it's not exactly a metropolis. I was really quite stunned. I was equally stunned by how wonderful everything was at Firestone's, the place Terence took us out for dinner. I'd forgotten that while New York City is a great place for dining, there's nothing better than steaks and crab cakes from where the stuff is really from. Dee-lish!