When I worked in downtown DC, I rode the Metro from where I lived uptown. The first year out of school, I lived in a great duplex (in PA I learned the word is half-a-double) with three other women. (Our landlord only knew about two of them. Shhh…) We all took public transportation, a fact of life in DC, but two of us owned cars. From our house, we could catch the 30 buses north to Bethesda and south through Georgetown along Wisconsin Ave., or the D buses north to AU’s campus and Spring Valley (Starbucks!) or south into Dupont Circle and beyond. I commuted to my job on the National Mall by way of a handy little commuter bus route that only stopped a couple of times before dropping me by the IRS building on Constitution Avenue.
When I got my own apartment in Cleveland Park, I became a Metrorail girl. I hopped on the Red Line a block from my place and was usually at work in 15 minutes. Rather than getting off at Farragut West, which was technically my work stop but required a transfer, I’d get off at Farragut North and walk to my office further down K Street.
It was because of this little half-mile walking commute that I developed a bad Cosi and Starbucks habit. There were two Starbucks on my walk to and from work, a Cosi on the way and another one around the corner on 14th Street just past Au Bon Pain and Corner Bakery. You think the lines at Starbucks and Cosi are crowded at the Promenade Shops? Please. There was no lingering over s’mores at the downtown locations – it was hurry up, pay and get the hell out of the way. In DC, everyone knows what they’re ordering before they get there, because you’ll get killed by the people behind you if you don’t. When Cosi opened in Center Valley I was stoked to get a fix of my “usual.” I walked in and rattled it off: signature-salad-multi-grain-no-gorg-add-feta-lite-shallot-sherry-dressing. The guy behind the counter in Center Valley wasn’t ready for my pro ordering style, so I repeated it again, more slowly the second time, while happily chewing on “the ends” of the bread left out for squirrels Cosi patrons.
*Special note: Once for my friend Becky, I carried on a box full of Cosi bread from the store in Dupont Circle, DC, when I was flying up to visit her in Rhode Island. She had the oven warming when I arrived.