the wonderful world of veena.

18 March 2014

40 days of giving back, day ten: talent show.

I was supposed to tell someone about the tools I listed on Day Three [see link below for details], but I kind of flaked on doing that. But I will say that Saturday was a bit of an adventure, which I stated I am always up for, so instead I will recount my day.

Shalini and I slept in and awoke with no real purpose for the day. We knew we were meeting Dylan later in the night for drinks, but we had about 9 hours to fill before then. Our first order of business: food. Preferably brunch with drinks.

While Shalini showered, she told me to look up brunch places in Georgetown, so I got to looking on Yelp and found the names of a few places that sounded interesting. But of course I didn't write down the addresses for any of them, and as soon as we left her building and I lost my internet connection, that information was lost [Shal's phone had died at this point, so we made a pretty solid team].

We decided to wing it, and after a scenic walk along the river, we headed up to M Street to see what was on offer. After walking for about 10 minutes and collecting some options, we decided on Bandolero. It was a beautiful day out, and they had their windows open to the street, so we could sit and watch the people stroll by and sip on our strawberry mimosas - amazing, by the way - while we snacked on yummy Mexican food.

Once we ate, we decided to see what time the Veronica Mars movie was playing. Shalini is a huge fan of the show, and I was up for a movie, so off we went. The next showing was about an hour away, so we decided to grab some dessert and enjoy it by the river. We planned on picking up a cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake, but the line was wayyyyy too long - like out the door and around the corner and snaking up the street too long - so we headed across the street and got Pinkberry instead. We enjoyed a nice little picnic down by the river before heading in for the movie.

After the movie, we decided to go ahead and heat for U Street, figuring we could find a place to grab a drink or two until Dylan and his other friends were ready to meet. The first place we both spotted was a slightly dim placed called The Saloon, which appealed to both of us, so off we set across the street and down the steps.

We grabbed two seats at the bar and soon met our hilarious bartender, who we came to realize over the course of the night was also the owner of the joint. He asked us what kind of drinks we liked and then suggested what he thought we might like to try. Over the course of the night, we had a great time chatting with him and irritating him, and at one point he even gave us a channa-like snack for free when we asked him to suggest something for us to snack on. And the place is chock full of signs that encourage you to strike up a conversation with your neighbour while you enjoy a beverage or some snacks, which we did with people who strolled in and out around us.

But perhaps the greatest part about The Saloon is that it's not just a pub you pop into for a drink but a pub that's trying to do some good in the world. The bartender/owner I mentioned, Kamal, has created The Kamal Foundation to build schools and clinics in the developing world. And 75% of those costs are covered by The Saloon, from food and alcohol sales as well as by donations made by patrons. He has information sheets on hand as well as an album with pictures from their projects. And in reading one article, I learned that Kamal shuts down the bar for a period each year, usually in the late summer or early fall, to go and help with the construction himself.

And yet our day still wasn't over after The Saloon. Dylan met us there, and then the three of us walked over to meet his friends at the Gibson, a speakeasy around the corner that specializes in 1920s era cocktails, where we wiled away a few more hours.

So all in all, our Saturday consisted of: brunch overlooking the street complete with strawberry mimosas; Pinkberry in lieu of cupcakes; the Veronica Mars movie; discovering a sort-of not-for-profit pub; a speakeasy; and a 2.45am Metro ride home.

It might not have been bungee jumping or skydiving, but it was still one hell of an adventure.

Previous Tasks:
Day One - Start a Journal
Day Two - Create a Generosity Jar
Day Three - Tool Up
Day Four - Connect
Day Five - An Attitude of Gratitude
Day Six - Reach
Day Seven - Redial
Day Eight - o.t.t.
Day Nine - Listen, carefully

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