Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm going to be sore tom..., er, right now.

My raging case of cabin fever couldn't take it any more. The sun was out and I decided to use this first day of spring to begin my season of semi-weekly walks and Cleveland Museum of Art contemplation sessions:

The map above, courtesy of Google Earth gives me claim to nearly 10 miles (9.99 miles to be precise), and I must have fallen further out of shape than I thought: Forget feeling sore the next day, truly my favorite part of the first few walks of the year in that I feel like I've actually done something; I was feeling sore at about the 6 mile mark, while staring at Picasso's Harlequin with Violin (Si Tu Veux).

I'm also seriously pissed that I felt the need to use a belt with my "slim fit" 30x32 jeans. Come on, I know I'm a toothpick but is it asking too much for jeans to stay where I put them without external assistance?

I started out aimed generally at Shaker Lakes but quickly decided I needed a warm beverage because jeans and a long-sleeve shirt weren't quite cutting it in the 45 degree-with-wind morning: Detour to Phoenix Coffee on Coventry for a caramel latte to go, and down Coventry for a lap of the lower lake, then generally down Fairmount to Cedar Hill, through the CWRU South Residential Village, past University Hospitals and to the Cleveland Museum of Art.
I'm generally a very acoustically-oriented person; rarely will you find me without music playing, or the TV on, primarily as a white noise. My weekly visits to the Museum of Art are my respite from the week, my place where my thoughts are generally the loudest thing in the room, and where something different catches my eye every week. Generally, I spend most of my time with the works in a different gallery; Sometimes my reactions are deeply philosophical, others I'm lucky if I get "It's Green!" -- then, days like today it's "Why is there never a frigging bench where you really want to sit? My thighs are killing me."
My visit to the museum completed, I found myself hungry. I had considered "real food" but I am also sucker for sidewalk hot dog vendors. I very nearly choose the later based on sheer convenience, but having a favorable impression of L'Albatros from the wine and cheese following the Cleveland Orchestra's Meetup event on Thursday, I found my feet moving me in that direction.
Quickly seated at the bar I decided to try the Watercress "Caesar" (with Anchovies) and the Hanger Steak with Pommes Frites. Heed the warning of the quotation marks and don't be deceived by the inclusion of the word Caesar: A fan of the traditional Caesar, neither the salad or dressing really gave me what I was looking for. On the upside of that dish, it was laden with items that I didn't recognize--including the Anchovy. Generally a picky eater, I took the opportunity of being in a solitary corner of the bar to try a little bit of everything: No new loves, but nothing invoked my hair-trigger gag reflex either.
The Hanger Steak and accompanying Pommes Frites, on the other hand, was amazingly good in every way. Despite knowing that I had at least another 2 miles or so to make it home, I nearly cleaned the plate. Service was prompt, and I think set a record for time between placing the order and appearance of the salad.
Waked through Little Italy, up Mayfield, hung a right on Lee, hiked up the stairs to my living room and collapsed on my very comfortable couch where I am typing this blog entry now.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love living in Cleveland?

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