Monday, September 13, 2010

d.c. veg fest 2010

Last Saturday I was able to make it out to the DC Veg Fest at George Washington University. I took off from Leesburg, VA at about 10:15 AM, and made it to the Falls Church West metro by about 11AM. The Orange Line was a brief straight shot to the Foggy Bottom exit, and the Fest was a few blocks away. I got there by about 11:50 AM, giving me some time to spare. I knew they were handing out freebies (Veg Fest bags with goodies and such) to the first 400 participants, so I wanted to get there when they started around noon. People started to trickle in early, and I'd say by about 12:30, the place started to get pretty packed and long lines were beginning to form at the various food vendors. While getting there early was a good idea, I made the grave mistake of not bringing any cash - something I rarely carry around with me. Apparently nobody took credit cards. To say it was torture was putting it mildly. Smelling all the good food and seeing everyone eating around me was tough. I would say, for those skeptics out there who still believe that vegan and vegetarian food tastes bad, the Veg Fest would be a good place to find out otherwise. I've eaten at several of the places who set up shop there Saturday, and only wish they were located closer to Leesburg. Kris always says it's probably good they aren't though, 'cause we might go broke supporting them all the time. I did end up stopping by a neat little hole-in-the-wall called the DC Cafe for an amazing falafel and fries for a very low price. Anyway, the weather worked out for the best - was absolutely gorgeous, and everyone was really nice there. In a little over an hour I got to check out a great variety of vendors and info booths and talk with some folks. There were some cooking demos going on, and even Animal Planet was there filming for a new series. There was an estimated 6,000 people who showed up that afternoon, and like I said to some friends who attended later that day and met me in D.C., it was nice, for once to be a part of the majority. I didn't get to check out any speaker presentations, since I wanted to check out the excellent Phillips Collection, which was about an easy mile's walk away and is free to the public up through the end of the month due to current construction on the building's exterior. I've never been there before and was thoroughly impressed. For me the highlight was Jacob Lawrence's "Migration Series", which can be found on the left-hand side of the museum lobby, upon entering. Later, I walked a few blocks down the street to catch my friend and colleague Brian Kirk's artist reception at Studio Gallery in Dupont Circle. Brian's work is always a feast for the eyes and the Studio Gallery is a beautiful historic structure featuring three floors and a wide variety of great art. So, it turned out to be a weekend well spent in the District of Columbia, and if there's one thing I've learned from the Veg Fest experience, it's to BRING CASH next year!