This weekend, my friend Brooke and I organized a reunion for alumni in DC, meant to be a potluck picnic. It turned out so great, and our location was so idyllic that we were even featured in Prince of Petworth by a stranger.
It was pretty fabulous. We had approximately 1 million snacks and I didn’t ever do a headcount, but the group photo above was taken after a few people had already departed. We even had one member of the entering class of ’66 (the third class ever) and one from ’86. It is really impressive to look at the very recent graduating classes also. There is a really amazing concentration of us in the area, given the small size of our graduation classes. People are doing really great and interesting things! Among us there are law students, grad students, interns, employees of the government and private sector, commercial and non-profit, as well as doing impressive and inspiring things with their personal lives – really compelling hobbies and volunteer work.
Doug brought a grill and that was fantastic. People kept walking past and wondering aloud, either to us, or whomever they were with, if that was actually allowed in Malcom-X Park. We didn’t actually know, and at one point a park officer walked past looking menacing, and a hush fell over the crowd but he simply continued on his way and we all looked at each other gleefully and agreed that that was indeed a confirmation of just how allowed it must be. This was a tiny grill, but it was featured prominently within our little spread, and so we felt reassured by the unspoken approval of the “authorities.” Not that the approval of authorities has ever been a high priority among New College students or alumni.
Red heads - via Lindsey
So the moral of the story is that it was really wonderful getting everyone together, and it was great to see everyone, and we should do this a lot more often! Also worth noting is that this casual concept, born of a happy hour among friends and classmates, became an event endorsed by our alumni association precisely because they hope to host an official event sponsored by the alumni association, highly publicized, in the fall of this year, so please stay tuned in to the NCAA for news or announcements about other New College Alumni events! It’s nice to remember that we like each other and want to see more of each other.
Filed under Eat, Ramble, Wander
So… I’m finally getting around to writing about our picnic in the Arboretum!
It was basically an amazing trip. Neither of us had been there before, nor did we have any idea what to expect. The first thing to strike us was the sheer size of it. It is an enormous place, especially when you go there directly from within the city-est part of the District. I honestly felt like I was entering Jurassic Park or one of the filming locations from Lord of the Rings. The first thing you can see when you get past the welcome part with the maps and information and stuff are the columns from the Capitol Building (pre-(I think)1957), before it was expanded.
We walked toward those, and I knew I was interested in the flowering trees, just based on the time of year, so we meandered in that general direction and quickly ran into a woman walking her dog, who advised us that she had been there recently. She said she expected that the pink magnolias were in full bloom and that that would be a lovely place to picnic. (She must have noticed the baguette conspicuously hanging out of our bag.) She told us how to get there, and we took a short cut/scenic route through “Fern Valley.”
So we walked around to find the very best spot to sprawl, and then we did just that. We stretched out, read a little, ate a little, and it was completely perfect. I was totally awestruck the entire time, that we had found exactly the right thing to do on exactly the right day – and I was equally amazed that we had never done it before!
After lunch and and being lazy in the sun, we decided to explore a bit more. We went to the bonsai museum on the Arboretum grounds where they had incredibly, unbelievably old bonsais. There was one from the 1700s!
I definitely want to go back and find the actual very specific space that was once occupied by my grandmother’s home and my great-grandfather’s business.