Thursday, March 31, 2011

Noruz and Early Spring in the District

In the weeks since I last wrote, lots has been happening. On the work side, we were extremely busy with nationwide community service projects and hosting large conference featuring some pretty influential speakers. We are now gearing up for more events, and I am busy as ever writing articles, figuring out placement for the summer, as well as housing for the summer and fall. Through friends, I started taking a small, conversation-based Farsi class. It is really good to be practicing speaking again, as I haven't had much of an opportunity since graduating in December. The class moves quickly, and it's pretty impressive how good some of the American students are with the language.

Noruz, Persian New Year celebrated on the vernal equinox annually, was on March 20th this year. It is now the year 1390. Part of Noruz traditions involves gathering with family to celebrate, but this year, since I am on the coast, my family was fortunate enough to visit me. We spent the time going to several DC attractions including the Air & Space Museum, American Indian Museum, Botanical Gardens, Library of Congress, and the Vietnam, World War II and Lincoln memorials. We
also visited the Shahnameh exhibit at the Sackler Gallery, Moby Dick House of Kabob, and Maz Jobrani’s comedy show, to add a Persian flare to the DC experience. The Sackler also had a Noruz special for the community where I had the chance to play some backgammon.
Listen to Maz Jobrani on NPR:
For Noruz, we went back to Kabob Bazaar in Arlington for their special buffet of traditional foods and all the rice one could ever eat. It was amazing, to say the least. After dropping my family off at the airport, I spent the rest of that day walking around Georgetown.
Since everything closes early in DC, if I am looking for something cheap to do afterward, I usually head over to the local Barnes and Noble bookstore. I finished To Kill a Mockingbird, a book that I had always wanted to read but had not yet done so until now. I have moved onto a book called The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. After only the first chapter, I am hooked.
The weather has started to get warmer and cherry blossoms and magnolia trees are flowering everywhere. The Cherry Blossom Festival will begin in April, and I have some friends coming into DC just to see it. The waterfront area of the southwest side is also very pleasant to walk around, and I wandered there this past weekend. In exploring the area along the river, I saw a random sign for a Titanic memorial. After following the sidewalk along the marina, I found it. It's nice to know that Washington, DC decided to immortalize Leonardo DiCaprio in a monument somewhere. And I think I found the place to throw my sabzi into the river on Sizdah Bedar...


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