Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fister? Wisler. Wisler? Fister.

The pitching match-up at the Thursday, June 25 game between the Nationals and Braves reminded me of David Letterman's odd opening joke at the 1995 Oscars ceremony. "Oprah? Uma. Uma? Oprah.," the host introduced the two before adding, "I feel much better." Me too.

Melvin and I met for the game, checked off the new stadium for him, worked out some August roadtrip details (now updated), and generally enjoyed each other's company. He was in town for a conference and compared to my life recently, driving nine hours round-trip for a baseball game with Melvin sounded like heaven.

The Nationals won this one with ease, scoring one in the first, two in the second, and three in the third. The team could not maintain the progression, which would have resulted in a 36-0 shutout. They did blank the Braves, however, rubbing salt in the wound with a final run in the eight.

At the stadium, we started with the 1500 South Cap Lager brewed exclusively for sale at Nationals Park, 1500 South Capital Street SE. Well above average for an American lager. After a supper in (at? on?) the Scoreboard Walk, Melvin and I had a gingery saison I also thought was from the Atlas Brew Works but don't now recognize by name.

I had a pint of Rowdy, a rye ale from Atlas, the next day at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café & Grill. I found it the least interesting of the three.

Scoreboard Walk is its own world

After the game, we met a college friend of Melvin's at Courthaus Social, "An American Beer Garden," in Arlington. A religion major who went on to get a divinity degree, he now works in information technology. I am sad that I will probably only talk with him once. Courthaus had a thoughtful selection of beers but our cute little waitress with the prominent bosoms knew nothing about them.

I originally planned to return to New York the day after the game but decided to linger, spending half a day at the National Building Museum. Among other exhibitions, there was an extensive exhibit by/about BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. A side room contained five videos including one by WAAITT on the Danish Maritime Museum designed by BIG.

I could watch that over and over and in fact have, even as it exists mostly to make BIG bigger. Also fascinating to see was The BEACH being installed, the half-formed structure more interesting to me than the finished product with its hordes of children.

building The BEACH

Lounging at the hotel on the second night, Melvin and I agreed to fly to Colorado in August and drive to Montana from there. We will save some money on our flights and it will give us the chance to see the Rockies' Pioneer League affiliate, which moved to Grand Junction after we had seen every other team for 500 miles in any direction.

Melvin and I decided, as much as we love state fairs, the Western Montana Fair doesn't need a whole day. We also committed to looking for the remnant of the Montana Perimeter Acquisition Radar site, part of the never realized Safeguard anti-ballistic missile program.

image courtesy of Sherrie Murphy

As we negotiated these details, we drank a bottle of 14, blended by Firestone Walker to celebrate its fourteenth anniversary, which I brought from home after cellaring for five years. Rich and complex with a satiny mouth feel—the heavy bridal satin—and meant to be drunk, not stored.

On paper, this trip makes little sense. I spent nine hours behind the wheel so I could see a baseball game at a stadium I have been to before, hang out with a guy I will probably never see again, and go to a museum. Oh, and spend time with Melvin. We'll both be embarrassed if I write how much he means to me. The three days were so relaxing, in many ways more satisfying than much longer itineraries.

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