The Perfect Sunday in Georgetown
Georgetown is one of Washington DC’s oldest neighborhoods filled with old brick streets, very high end shopping, and occasional sewage issues that make it the Venice of DC. Encapsulated by the Potomac River, Dupont Circle/Foggy Bottom, and spanning northward to the edges of Maryland, it’s a small but highly populated area for a perfect Sunday.
Now, if you spend the previous night indulging in too much that the city has to offer, Sunday is the best day of the week to get back into shape for the perpetuity of the sure-to-be-hellish workweek. How does a native do this? Prepare mentally, physically and foodically for the trudges of city life? Like a pro by following these steps.
Physically – Stand-up Paddle Boarding at Jack’s Boathouse on the Potomac. Sure, it has its issues with sewage problems, but I’ve known several folks who have fallen into the nasty waters of DC and haven’t developed any diseases so far. For all I know, maybe one day they will develop super-human power. From a distance the water is really scenic and you can paddle board by all the people-watching masses aligned on the waterfront and attempt to stay standing when the waves from the yachts throw your balance. This is great core exercise and you’ll need it because foodically is next up.
Jack’s is open every day at 7am and closes when the sun goes down. Since the waters get too cold during the late fall and winter, the boat house only allows stand-up paddle boarding during the warm weather months. The boat house also offers other rentals, like canoes and kayaks, and almost every activity is around $20 for one hour with all equipment included.
Foodically – So if you’re in the mood to read menus in German and English, head to the tiny alcove near the corner of M street and 33rd. You’ll walk under a small archway right off the brick street and to a staircase, at the bottom of which is the patio for Kafe Leopold. Al fresco on the patio, or inside the welcoming industrial-esque bistro, the menu is intense and filled with German classics for any time of day. Their nearly unending dessert case has unusual delicacies made by their own bakery. If you’re trying to keep it healthy, try the Zwei Weiche Eier ($7) or give in to your hedonistic human nature and get the Fraisier ($7) – it’s got fruit in it, so it’s kind of healthy. (Or be like me and get both, take pictures of them, and tell the waiter that you HAVE to have both because you’re writing an article – it’s not like they’ll ever check.)
A small detail that I really appreciate about this place is its friendly staff and attention to the details. They even serve a basic coffee elegantly on a silver tray along with their own personalized chocolate, which is not just a nice touch, but a rarity for any place offering reasonably priced food in such a unique environment.
Kafe Leopold’s is tiny and always packed. It opens every day at 8am, and if you want to eat a leisurely meal and have a bit of elbow room, I’d suggest a morning meal there. If you want to people watch, just arrive any day around noon, but be prepared for a long wait. You can always pass the time by watching the folks lining up across the street at Georgetown Cupcake – a played out tourist food-attraction.
Mentally – So, you have the option of strolling the waterfront, M Street, or any random trail, but after a big meal, I say it’s best to hit the cinema while all those calories turn into adipose tissue. The AMC Lowe’s Theater on K Street generally plays the big blockbuster hits, for which you need neither brain power, nor absolute attention to follow the storyline. If, like me, you’ve just stuffed your face with a massive breakfast, this is the kind of wind-down no brain cells needed distraction to close out your day. Plus, you’ve just saved a ton at Leopold’s, so why not stimulate the economy by purchasing those movie theater m&ms that cost more than your ticket?
So remember, when closing out the weekend in Georgetown to start your angst-filled week, get your exercise, then stuff your face, and then stimulate the economy. Or feel free to mix it up and do your own versions of those things because Georgetown has everything to offer, but make sure to bring your wallet because, sadly, none of it’s free.