5cense Vicariously along Mass ave to my own private microcosm to complete every state-named street in D.C.


18 Aug 2020> Lucky post 777 happens to coincide w/ the post we finish our Microcosmic DC project... saved Mass Ave for last (+ Idaho, a short street that shoots off Massachusetts) cuz it's where a majority of the embassies reside + also cuz it's the longest (10 miles), so long that we split it into 2 days. Today we walked the part from Dupont Circle southeast to Capitol Hill.

There's a little more to Mass Ave on the other side of the river in Anacostia, but we did that segment already when we walked Pennsylvania. Before we even got to Dupont we saw a # of embassies, mostly along New Hampshire so maybe we mentioned them already: Argentina, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana +   Mozambique. Most of "embassy row" is northwest of Dupont, but there's a few to the southeast: Uzbekistan, Chile, Colombia, Trinidad/Tobago, Peru + Australia. JHU/SAIS (School of Advanced International Studies), where our bedder-½ works, is also on Mass ave near Dupont (tho obviously not since March). Mass ave continues straight thru the heart of D.C. to Union Station + then into Capitol Hill where it gets narrower.


Botswana embassy


fungus found along the way


Penn quarter


Tunisia embassy


where the Australia embassy used to be (+ will be once they remodel it... for now it's in the National Geographic bldg)


1 of many fine booxes in Capitol Hill

Swapped some books along the way, scoring this booty:

The Bin Ramke book was in the same box as the Denver Quarterly issue, strange considering he's the editor, or was, back when we were published in DQ.

On the way back we went along A street SE, as a sort of segue into the next alphabetic extension of our Microcosmic DC project, wherein we will systematically walk all the letter-named streets A–Z (north + south so there's 2 sets). Nothing to report about A st SE except there was some good booxes + it runs nearby to where we lived our 1st year in D.C. (2015). Then we passed by the quadrant plaque in front of the capitol where we posed w/ 1 appendage in each quadrant (sporting our stylin' Swans mask). 1st street doesn't continue west of that cuz the mall is in the way. 10+ miles in all, getting used to walking again...

August 19> Feels good to do long walks, but don't think our heel is ready yet for running. Our weight still fluctuates 3-5 lbs a day, though now our lows are down to 165 + we stay below 170. We've been drinking less coffee + alcohol, or no hooch at all, or not after 8 pm, but it doesn't matter, we usually don't sleep well + lose 3-4 pounds through the night, even if we drink water every few hours, it's like we're leaking. But we're trying to drink + eat (especially salt + sugar) less in general + everything in moderation + more spread out instead of eating 1 big meal, perhaps it helps for our Ménière's, tho it's hard to say. Been working out a bit harder. Our body feels totally fine except where it meets our head at our neck, like our head is out of whack. Our hearing is getting worse, our ears constantly ringing, especially our right ear feels 80% deaf + it seams we perpetually have slight vertigo, feels like our head is off-kilter. It's not that big of a deal + not painful, just worries us that we will never recover hearing in our right ear. We've tried everything (less salt, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, etc.) nothing seems to matter. Maybe it's these low pressure fronts, or maybe it's cuz we've been mixing music w/ our headphones, who the hell knows. The other day we had accompanying visual hallucinations (a 1st for us)—swirling bands of flashing lights, how people describe the onset of a migraine, tho we didn't get a headache, just felt like we were on acid. We had been at the computer pretty intensely, editing static images, so perhaps it was induced by eye strain... but if we can't use our eyes or ears (sorely needed right now to mix our album, or which we'll release a single from in 3 days), what else can we do? Speaking of, the images we were processing were scans of y.0, another art book object we posted on Calamari (as a free dbook, the original we're keeping).

20 Aug> Last night we were travelling somewhere maybe Europe + we was in the bathroom when this woman (in uniform) came up to us + demanded to see our passport + we handed it to her + without looking at it she said she was confiscating it cuz we'd been to a Muslim country twice w/ this passport + we was questioning her, saying how did she know where we was + how would we get back to the U.S., then we aksed to see her identification, that we needed to take down her badge # if she was gonna take mine, or get a receipt of some sort, but she wouldn’t. This other young guy came in + helped us keep her from leaving while we found a paper + pen to write down her name + badge #. She started panicking as we told her that she would lose her job once we reported this then we’d both be fucked, all for what? We started to get meaner, saying do u know what it’s like to lose your identity, to be stranded without a passport? And she started crying + buckled down to the floor. We grabbed our passport back + said she would have bad karma as if this was the worst insult imaginable, then wondered if she was Muslim + if this was inappropriate to say. Then we noticed she had crutches + the other young guy was helping her so we helped her get up + felt kind of bad for making her cry.

21 Aug> Finished the our Microcosm DC project today! Exactly a year after we started it. At least the state-named avenues, we'll tackle the letter-named streets now. We went Northwest up Mass ave starting at Dupont circle + stayed on the south side of the street + once we got to the Maryland border we came back on the north side of the street except for a slight detour we took to take in Idaho Ave NW which runs north off Mass Ave for a bit, 11-12 miles in all. Our bedder-½ who has some fancy ap to map our walks tell us that in total we walked 343.2 miles doing all these state-named streets.

IRL we lived not so far from Massachusetts back in 1997 in Portsmouth, NH, so used to go to Boston a lot + since then a few times more + Idaho we've been a few times, once in 1996 to survey some radioactive sites in a 6-wheel dune-buggy contraption + another time in 1993 but we haven't transcribed those journals yet (maybe next post). Mostly Mass ave was about hitting a bunch of embassies, the part northwest of Dupont in particular they call Embassy Row. Incidentally, the Embassy Row hotel (on Mass ave near Dupont) is where we stayed when we returned to DC in 2019 before we moved into our new home.

There's a 175 embassies in DC + in total we saw 121 (that we’ve taken photos of as proof (there are others that we’re pretty sure we saw but forgot to take photo or can’t identify from photos). Embassies we saw today (not previously mentioned) include: Portugal, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Togo, Sudan, Bahamas, Latvia, Ireland, Korea, Burkina Faso, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Côte d'Ivoire, Madagascar, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Bolivia, England, Azerbaijan, Norway, Nepal, Cape Verde, Finland, Iraq, Iran (empty, peaked inside), South Africa, Oman, Belize, Turkey, Lesotho, Marshall Islands, Zambia, Chad, Haiti, Croatia, Cameroon, Vietnam, Kenya, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Greece, Bulgaria, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Mali, Niger, India + although not technically an embassy, the "Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See". A cool exercise to do during covid, cuz in a sense we got to travel to 121 countries without getting on an airplane or train or even a car (which we haven't done since March). Also a nice substitute for the Olympics (we've also watched a few recaps from past years on Criterion).

Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See


Côte d'Ivoire




Iran (abandoned since 1980, we peeked inside + it seems to have gathered quite a bit of dust)


Islamic Center of DC (Oman embassy behind it)










Latvia (note book box to back up this rather awesome statement... now we want to move there)

Scored a few more books on this walk, including Delillo's Libra which we haven't read.

776 <(current)> 778> Liner notes + a horsey sea songs mixtape for ill Mare
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