On an Anniversary the Generosity of Strangers

For our anniversary yesterday, Miriam and I went to Bethesda, Maryland (via Metro–much easier than driving) for dinner and an indie movie (why one of the best indie theaters is in Bethesda is beyond me).

Dinner was at Jaleo, a spanish place. They serve all kinds of Tapas, which are appetizer-sized dishes–perfect for Miriam and I, who normally split an entree at an american restaurant. The waitress said “3 to 4 a person.” We did 4 between us and that was perfect.

After dinner we went to Cosi, a kinda Starbucks-imitator, except they serve alcohol at night. We were just going to grab a blackberry steamer and an espresso, didn’t expect much, but by choosing to sit at the very small bar, we stumbled upon a secret spot in Bethesda

First, you need to understand Bethesda is pretty much all rich snobs. The reason the indi theater is there? So those people can feel like they’re being “intellectual.” But the vibe is inescapable, the strip is totally fake-town, and the whole thing reeks of Boca.

So when we met a handful of unusually pleasant characters hanging at Cosi, we were indeed surprised.

Top-left (on the left, didn’t catch the woman’s name, but asked her permission {only one of all these people} to use the shot): Daniel, a musician (a drummer) and photographer. He was getting lit on gin and tonics and enthusiastically asked about my camera. I shot this one while showing him the flip-towards-you-lens action of my Nikon. My “business card” was also making the rounds at that point. Already the most famous card in Arlington, now it has found its way into some MD hands as well.

Middle-left: Ryan, our host for the evening. A musician, also a drummer, spent some minutes talking with us, finding out about Bosnia, talking about the truly poor in this world, about workers in Cambodia. We told him about vagabonding.com. He told us to give his tip to the orphans in Bosnia. Struggling musician, giving his money to Bosnian kids. Yeah.

Bottom-left: Paul, also a musician (see any trends here?). He actually works at the movie theater we were going to. He was pretty quiet beforehand, nursing his Sierra-Nevada. But as we left to go the movies he goes, “Where are you going to the movies?” I said, “Right here around the corner.” He goes, “Did you already pay?” I said, “Yeah.” He started getting up out of his seat and goes, “I work there. I’ll get you your money back.” He was already getting out of his seat! He was going to walk over there! I told him we’d already got the tickets for free, from the last time we were there (a while ago) (the AC didn’t work and they gave us free passes).

So we went to see Russian Ark. Film buffs, for you a definite must-see. I mentioned it here on the blog when I found out about it, and finally I had the opp to see it! Very multi-layered, symbolic, and as I told the guys at Cosi afterward, it is like the meanings are there, you know they are there, but they are just out of reach. I would love to have a few college classes where we watched and discussed the film. Miriam hated it at first, but as we discussed it with Ryan and Paul at Cosi afterwards, she began to appreciate it much more. It is that kind of movie.

As you can tell, we went back to the bar at Cosi afterward. Very cool meeting all these true seekers.

Some shots at the theater. When I then saw them on the computer, I realized the cool thing is that feet are in focus while the rest of the body is a blur. Might have to experiment with these types of shots more in the future.