Much of Valentine’s Day was spent in some solitary wanderings on crowded streets. My better half was away (the third year in a row we have spent February 14th apart, which, in a way, is not so bad, because, like New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day tends to pile on such overwhelming expectations of joy, romanticism, and impossibly good sex that it tends to crush the possibility of all three; that said, I’d rather she were with me, if I had my druthers), so I took a bus to Chinatown and carelessly browsed the Smithsonian Museum of American Art until it seemed a good time to find a spot on the street to watch the Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year) Parade. Last year, I was on my own, I walked randomly about town and found my way to Chinatown and, unexpectedly, the parade. So I thought maybe I’d start to make it a tradition. Or not.

The parade itself contains a surprising number of white people and while I’m never exactly sure when these things cross the line from solidarity to appropriation, I suspect that that said line was, indeed, crossed. Whatever. I just watch it to see the little kids trying to manipulate dancing dragon costumes and props.

When the parade was over the subsequent parade of pols marching to the podium to speak was too much, even for me (in case you’re interested, Jack Evans was the straw that broke this camel’s back), I took a metro up to Petworth to make my first visit to Upshur Street Books.

It’s a nice little bookstore, but the selection is not very large, particularly the poetry shelves, which were few. Unusually for me, I did not buy anything. Something will, no doubt, bring me back, but it’s not going to be a regular thing.

I walked back (taking about an hour) and met a friend for a movie and then another friend and his wife for noodles.

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