Sunday, August 28, 2011
Eastern Market and...Earthquake?
Tuesday the kids & I went into DC to check out Eastern Market for the first time. The outdoor tables & stalls are only open on the weekend, but there was still lots to see inside the building. We were meeting some friends for lunch; I had a really good crab cake sandwich and probably a third of the grilled chicken sandwich I'd ordered for the kids. (They were not especially enthusiastic about eating, that day.)
Since we'd arrived a bit before our friends, we walked around a little and then found a big open area at one end of the building with a decent sized dance floor. There were already several other little kids playing there, and Soren & Eleri joined right in. They were having a grand time until Soren tripped and bit his lip, but with a little bit of ice he felt better quickly.
After lunch, we all took a stroll around the block. It was just about Eleri's usual naptime, and she passed out in the pouch on my back while we were walking. So we said our goodbyes and headed back to the metro in the hopes that maaaaaaybe she'd stay asleep on the ride home.
We were stopped at the McPherson Square station (underground), still well into the city, when the train started jerking forward & backward like the engine was jumping. It wasn't the sort of thing to be immediately concerned about; rather more one of those eye-rolling "ugh, these old trains" moments. But I did notice, or thought I noticed, the lighted billboards in the station flicker briefly, one after another, and I momentarily considered and immediately rejected the idea that the shaking might have been from something like an earthquake. After all, we don't generally have those out here.
Heh. Obviously, if you've been keeping up with the news at all this week, you know that it was indeed an earthquake. A 5.8, no less, shallow and centered about 90 miles southwest of us. Which, while not nothing, isn't exactly enormous either. So it was first with amusement that I regarded all of the "ZOMG EARTHQUAKE!" freaking out that went on around here immediately after. And then I took a minute and remembered that...oh yeah...everything here is made out of bricks. And almost nothing is built the way things in California are built, specifically with this sort of seismic activity in mind.
After the quake, the metro trains were all running at 15mph until all the track could be checked, so it made for a long remainder of the ride home. Eleri did sleep through the shaking itself, but she woke up not long thereafter. Ah well.
Anyway. We got home to discover our building was still standing (phew) and generally took it easy for the rest of the afternoon. I took a nice long walk (about 3 miles) after dinner. And that was that.