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Top 10 Reasons Why DC > Boston

TOP 10 Reasons Why DC Is Better Than Boston:

online poll by Opinion Stage

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Washington, DC is home to 19 Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo -- all available free of admission fees.

Washington, DC is home to 19 Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo — all available free of admission fees (unlike Boston).

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We always thought we hated riding DC's Metro System...

We always thought we hated riding DC’s Metro System…

... until we took a ride on the Boston T Green Line.

… until we took a ride on the Boston T Green Line.

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Family values and southern hospitality.

Self-explanatory: Southern Hospitality.

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GQ Ranked Boston as the #1 Worst Dressed City in America, "where everyone dresses like the proprietor of his or her very own meth lab."

GQ Ranked Boston as the #1 Worst Dressed City in America, “where everyone dresses like the proprietor of his or her very own meth lab.”

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If you're asking if driving is really that bad in Boston, the answer is YES.  Don't bother bringing a map and GPS is futile.

If you’re asking if driving is really that bad in Boston, the answer is YES. Don’t bother bringing a map and GPS is futile.

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Hope you enjoy living with salt-covered roads in a snowsuit without greenery, because Boston gets 3X the amount of snow annually.

Hope you enjoy living with salt-covered roads in a snowsuit without greenery, because Boston gets 3X the amount of snow annually.

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Stay off the roads.  Despite shorter serving hours and equal access to public transit, Boston managed to tally up 7X the number of drunk driving arrests.

Stay off the roads. Despite shorter serving hours and equal access to public transit, Boston managed to tally up 7X the number of drunk driving arrests.

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Both cities offer great running along the water, but you can't beat DC's national monuments.

Both Boston and DC offer great running paths along the water, but you can’t beat DC’s national monuments during Cherry Blossom season.

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Boston has breakfast, but DC's Sunday Brunch reigns king: home to bottomless Mimosas, BMs and Crabcakes Benedict.

Boston has breakfast, but DC’s Sunday Brunch reigns king: home to bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Marys and Crabcakes Benedict.

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Both Boston (#10) and DC (#9) ranked on USA Today's Cities with the Worst Commutes.

Both Boston (#10) and DC (#9) ranked on USA Today’s Cities with the Worst Commutes.

Tonsillectomy and Septoplasty: Patient Experience

"His mother wants to know if you'll give him a haircut after you remove his tonsils..."

“His mother wants to know if you’ll give him a haircut after you remove his tonsils…”

So, you’ve been told it’s time to say goodbye to your tonsils, and the last time you were able to breath properly through your nose Facebook had just launched to the public.

The good news is that undergoing a tonsillectomy and septoplasty are some of the most common surgical procedures in modern medicine today.  In fact, operations on the tonsil were first performed back in 1000 B.C., although much has clearly evolved over the course of the past 3 millennia.  While not as common for adults, over 530,000 tonsillectomy procedures are performed annually in the U.S. for patients 15-years and under.

As a patient, I was interested in knowing in advance what to expect post-op, in addition to how both procedures are performed.  YouTube was an excellent resource, however if you have a weak stomach or are already concerned about the surgery, watching graphic videos of surgical procedures is not something I’d recommend (see instead: WebMD Guide to Tonsillectomy).

The best advice I can offer is to secure the assistance of a loved one as your home nurse.  You’ll need it, and I can’t even imagine doing this without my home nurse :-)

DAY 1 – Surgery Day and Post-Op (Weight: 247)
Woke up from surgery under heavy anesthesia.  I could hear everyone talking, but found it hard to open my eyes as they felt like 10-lb. weights were fastened to each eyelid.  My memory is a bit foggy, but I do recall reprimanding our cab driver on the way home for bouncing us around like a ping-pong ball due to their driving which resembled a teenager’s tendency to slam on the brake.

imagesOnce in the comfort of my home, my stock pile of Frozen Italian Ices and Gatorade were a luxury to my throat.  My mere existence for the next 36 hours consisted of sleeping off the anesthesia and pain meds (Roxicet), drinking Gatorade, and eating box-after-box of these icy treats.  As I learned, pumping back acidic Gatorade and acidic icees for 2 days will wreak havoc on your already compromised stomach, so try to mix in some ice cream, smoothies and ice water.

DAY 3 – 4 (Weight: 242)
Woke up dreaming of a medium-rare, herb crusted 14-ounce Rib-Eye, but when reality set in, found myself back in bed with the italian icee in hand.  I started reusing the plastic icee cups for homemade frozen gatorade and frozen smoothies for an easy way to save a buck and the environment.

Pain tolerance is a personal thing and varies patient to patient, but I found the pain at this point to be more of a nuisance than agony.  Having a large plastic cup filled with ice water by the bed helped tremendously, as I found the only real episodes of pain to come when your throat dries out.

Stoffers

On Day 4, I had my first “real meal” in days: Stoffer’s Mac ‘n Cheese. A delectable dish of only the finest noodles and abundant gooey cheese, cooked to perfection in the microwave in under 5 minutes.  After living off a liquid diet for the past several days, I loved my new found food.  I continued to progress beyond the first box on to the next 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on.

DAY 5 (Weight: 238) — Back to the Operating Table

At 2:00am on Day 5, I woke with a mouth full of blood.  Call it the Mac ‘n Cheese, or a dry throat from sleeping, or call it what you may, but something went wrong.  I didn’t experience any more pain than what I had previously, but one of the scabs from the tonsillectomy had fallen off early.  After calling the hospital, they recommended I head back in.  At 3:00am I headed back into the OR to have the team remove a large blood clot and recauterize the tonsil.

Woke from the 2nd round of surgery, and was admitted as an inpatient for the day.  From Day 5 back to Day 1.  The pain was minimal, and the only thing I requested was…italian ice.

After spending the next 10 hours lying in a hospital bed and constantly being woken by the team of nurses, the only thing on my mind was breaking free to the comfort, and silence, of my own bed at home.  My discharge time was set for late afternoon, but by 2pm, I started disconnecting myself from the tangled mess of monitors and wires.  After getting the “official ok” from the doctor, I walked home this time and with the fresh, cold air mixed with a heavy Northeastern snowfall, I felt free.

DAY 6+ / DAY 2+  (Weight: 234)

skinny boy

Woke up and looked in the mirror.  Gone was the muscular build and
what was staring back at me was some skinny-looking emo kid with a beard in desperate need of a shower, calories and a work-life routine.

As of this post, I’m 12 days post-op from the original tonsillectomy and septoplasty (7 days from the 2nd complication surgery) and feeling pretty well overall.  I’m back to eating complete meals and real food has never tasted so great.  Pain still exists, but is mostly from talking too much and when sleeping (again when the throat dries out).  My only complaints are a sleep schedule that is completely upside down, and tiring easily from routine tasks.

With any surgery, there are risks involved and your surgeon can address any questions you may have.  The internet is full of resources that can also help answer questions, but sometimes this can create more concern than necessary.  Overall, the tonsillectomy and septoplasty recovery were time consuming and boring, but not overly painful compared to the pure agony of ACL-reconstruction surgery using a patella graft.

Thank you to my team of surgeons, OR staff and nurses from Harvard Vanguard Medical and Massachusetts Eye and Ear.  Above all, thank you to my incredible home nurse who monitored my progress and helped me each step of the way.

Note: the information contained herein is not to be construed as medical advice.  I am not a physician, and my documented experience as a patient is for informational purposes only.

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Washington, DC “Bucket List”

“Bucket List” — A term coined from the colloquial saying “kick the bucket” (originally cited in Francis Grose’s A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (c. 1785)) for a list of things to do before one passes.  A Bucket List can be created at any time in a person’s life and for any reason, albeit for personal motivation or mere self-reflection.  Having become a self-proclaimed Washingtonian, we compiled our own DC BUCKET LIST for the Washington DC’s things to do, and the “must see, taste, witness and experience destinations” that encompass the culture, history and existence of our Nation’s Capital.

*Note: Those marked below in bold are still on our “To-Do” List.  How do you stack up?

Attend a performance @ The Kennedy Center
Attend a performance @ The Warner Theater
White House Tour
Take a tour of the U.S Capitol
Jazz-in-the-Garden: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
Ice Skating @ National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
Eat fresh fruit @ Eastern Market
Baseball game @ Washington Nationals
Hockey game @ Washington Capitals
Look across the Reflecting Pool from Lincoln Memorial Steps
View from atop Arlington National Cemetery
Visit all of the Smithsonian Museums
Rock Creek Park Planetarium
Run along Potomac River / Georgetown Waterfront
Eat a “half-smoke” from Ben’s Chili Bowl
Witness the Presidential Motorcade
Arlington National Cemetery – Changing of the Guard
Spot Marine One
National Kite Festival
Meet a Member of Congress
Ride every line color on the DC Metro
Attend Sunday service @ National Cathedral
Use DC Capital Bikeshare
Locate the South Cornerstone (c. 1791) @ Jones Point Lighthouse marking DC’s Geographical Boundary
Walk the entire National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial to the steps of the U.S. Capitol
Attend U.S. Supreme Court Case
Visit the International Spy Museum
Visit the Newseum
Take a nighttime drive past DC’s Monuments and Memorials
Attend evening performance @ “Blue’s Alley”
Visit the Holocaust Museum
Ride the train into and out of Union Station
Visit the National Arboretum
Read America’s Historical Documents @ National Archives
Visit Smithsonian National Zoo
King Street in Old Town, Alexandria
Experience a wild night out in Adams Morgan
Eat a “Jumbo Slice” (or two)
Run the “Exorcist Stairs” in Georgetown
Fresh fruits @ Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market
4th of July Fireworks
Beers from the never-ending book of beer @ Churchkey
Read something, anything from the Library of Congress
Visit Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello (technically Charlottesville, VA)
Visit George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate
Attend an outdoor performance @ Wolf Trap
Watch aircraft takeoff and landings @ DCA Airport from Gravelly Point Park
Watch an outdoor movie @ “Screen on the Green”
The Cherry Blossom Festival
Witness a large-scale protest / march down Pennsylvania Ave.
Kayaking on the Potomac
“Picking” crabs @ Quarterdeck (technically, Arlington, VA)
Witness a Presidential Inauguration
Walk on Theodore Roosevelt Island
Dine on crab cakes @ Old Ebbitt Grill
Visit Ford’s Theatre
Dining on Cupcakes in Georgetown
Watch dollar bills printed @ U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Sunday morning coffee along the C&O Canal Towpath

Crios: Bringing Modern Mexican to Vibrant Dupont

The District has Mexican restaurants.  It was missing a neighborhood destination in Dupont where modern influence results in refined Mexican cuisine.  The kind of menu inspired by traditional, bold flavors and fresh ingredients, but also able to offer diners a twist on the usual suspects without pretentious prices.  Enter, Crios.

Crios comes to Dupont from the same minds next door at Scion Restaurant (home to our favorite destination for Sunday Brunch), and brings a unique dining menu and creative cocktail list to P Street.  The exterior’s large, floor-to-ceiling glass facade gives way to a vibrant color scheme, modern decor and open concept inside.  The atmosphere is casual, fun and exactly the setting we seek for a night out in the neighborhood with friends.

As to be expected, Crios offers a range of carefully selected beer on tap much like its sister restaurant, and serves up a fresh spin on the traditional Margarita with your choice of fresh fruit.  Crios’ fresh approach to the traditional Margarita will certainly have us coming back for several future rounds.

The dinner menu is ideal for sharing, with a range of starters (“Bocaditos”), tacos and house specials.  We opted to start with the House Guacamole, Duck Sopes and the Rockfish Ceviche that was so ideal it would make our Mexican friend’s family ceviche recipe jealous.  The Dr. Pepper Carnitas tacos (pork shoulder braised with Dr. Pepper and served with arugula, chipotle adobo and queso fresco) were a unique spin on the traditional recipe, but the carne asada tacos (grilled skirt steak, pickled onions, guacamole and queso fresco) were some of the best we have had since moving to The District.  These corn-tortilla wrapped bundles of flavor will have us coming back for these alone, and we highly recommend an order…or two.

Lastly, we’re not usually one for the after-dinner sweets, but having sampled the fried ice cream and another dish of chocolate pastries, any visit to Crios must end in trying these.

Our dining experience was much like the setting of Crios, with its fun and laid-back atmosphere, and our fellow diners appeared to be equally pleased by the setting and menu.  Our only setback was the missed opportunity to sample the house-made salsa when our server forgot to bring any to our table.  Sadly, we sat idly in anticipation, but were left to the expressions of enjoyment from the tables surrounding ours.  We definitely look forward to trying the salsa at our next visit to Crios.

In a town that is increasingly being inundated by Mexican dining establishments, Crios stands out in Dupont Circle.  The welcoming atmosphere, causal vibe and table sharing menu is sure to carry on the Scion tradition down in Dupont.

Crios on Urbanspoon

PX Lounge – A Secret Worth Sharing

If you find yourself down in Old Town, Alexandria just outside DC’s jurisdiction, you might want to seek out the blue light off of King Street.  No, we don’t mean Walmart’s KMart’s Blue-Light Special of the day or your typical neon sign beckoning for beer patrons.  We’re referring to the “signal” — the “unmarked sign” — for one of the area’s only speakeasy-esque bars, more commonly known as PX Lounge.

If you’ve been to NYC, Chicago or Boston, chances are probable that you might have visited similar establishments.  Those “underground” destinations where the setting is intimate, darkness is separated by mere candlelight, the drinks handcrafted and an experience which pulls you in a bit more with each sip of your drink.  Having visited countless bars and lounges across The District, PX is one of few which naturally slows down a world increasingly compounded by “mind traffic” — those Monday-thru-Friday brain battles between sanity and a paycheck which leave us praising the weekend arrival.  PX is a destination for those seeking such an escape.

At the helm is Todd Thrasher: the mixologist/partner and skillful mind behind PX’s cocktails.  Mr. Thrasher and PX’s cocktails are award winning combinations of top quality spirits, hand-squeezed juices, house-made bitters and exceptional, unique ingredients that leave us wondering if he was an alchemist in a past life.  Our favorite example: The Smoker’s Delight (bourbon, Virginia-made honey, lemon, and the pièce de résistance — a few dashes from a blend of Old Virginia tobacco steeped in hot water, strained and reduced with sugar).

To find your seat at the bar or along the plush chairs under the chandelier lighting, first find the light.  If you’re lucky enough to arrive with the blue light on, dare to take a step up and have a knock on the front door.  Our experience left us wondering if we had the wrong house or if this whole thing even existed, as we stood anxiously awaiting a response.

If you’ve made it this far, we’ll leave you to discover PX for yourselves.  (We recommend a reservation by the way).  The journey is all part of the experience, but know that once you’ve arrived you are sure to find cocktails you won’t taste anywhere else.

PX – a great destination for an evening outside the ordinary.

PX on Urbanspoon

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