I feel like I say this too often, but I’m back. Sorry for my long stay away! Tis life. Anywho, last month, I visited our nation’s capital for the second time. It’d been 10 years and I didn’t expect to be back so soon, but the presence of my auntie Lisa Marie Goodson prompted another visit. I discovered Lisa Marie a few years ago and her gusto and positive outlook (with a healthy sprinkle of realness that you know aunties give) drew me in and made me an avid subscriber. She’d just relocated from California to the south/east coast (what is North Carolina considered exactly?!) so I said, hey, DC?! That’s close enough and booked my flight and b+b.
Before I got to meet Queen Lisa, I left the airport, took a train and ride share to a walking art tour aptly named Art & Soul of Black Broadway. (You can find it on airbnb.) My tour guide was very knowledgable and showed me so much of DC that I didn’t realize existed! I want you to go, so without giving too much away, it covers the visual arts and musical contributions of Black artists and Black owned businesses that used to line U Street.
After that, my mom met me for lunch and Busboys and Poets. (Did I mentioned she semi-bogarted my trip when she saw those flight prices?!) Their food is excellent! And I dig the vibe of the restaurant slash bookstore.
We walked off our meal at the National Musem of African American History and Culture. I know there is/was a ton of hype about this museum, but I was underwhelmed. It is beautifully and thoughtfully designed, but that is as far as my admiration goes. I can see this being information overload for those who don’t know about Black history in America, but it covers just what’s been drilled into our heads throughout our school years; we were slaves. We were freed. Boycotts. Jim Crow. MLK, Jr., integration and civil rights. Oprah. Obama. I was hoping for a new narrative, something I’d never heard of maybe? And I was just… disappointed? I can see why people enjoy it, but I’ll just be nice and say I’m glad entry was free. And I’d maybe go back just to check to see if I missed anything, because it is huge and I didn’t see it all.
We took a night tour of the monuments and typical tourist destinations. The city is lovely at night but it was kinda boring and cold af. We made like 200 stops but I couldn’t get off the bus to take photos because.. I’d freeze to death. Our tour guide was hilarious though!
After breakfast the next morning, my mom got us lost looking for the bus stop to a day tour, but it helped us discover Bourbon Coffee, a Black-owned shop in Capitol Hill.It was super cute and the coffee was delicious! And this tour was muuuuuch better since 1. the sun was out! 2. we got to see more being on the top of an open air double decker bus, 3. my mom really enjoyed it and 4. did I mention it was warm enough to sit on top of an open air bus?! It was fun even though the last of my coffee had gotten cold during our long walk to this mystery stop that was never found -_-
I also got to visit The Spice Suite: a shop chock full of handmade spice blends, syrups and delicious goodies. I’ve been following Angel, the owner, and her business for months and she is such an inspirational Black woman! Read her story and how she pays it forward and I am sure you will fall in love too. Unfortunately I didn’t get to met her, but I was able to drop her off some goodies which she later told me she enjoyed 🙂
Anywho, meeting Lisa Marie was the highlight of my trip. She is just as warm and funny as she is in her youtube videos and just so dang refreshing. Please stay tuned for part two of this recap where I’ll share more photos and why you may also want to heed Auntie Lisa’s advice.