Dinner at DeCarlos

13 Dec

We eat at DeCarlos all the time. It is a wonderful restaurant for local people. We love to go there because we feel completely comfortable. Low lighting and no steps to enter the place make it easy for anyone using a walker or a wheelchair.  The parking is easy, too.  There are a whole lot of neighbors who use DeCarlos as their “go to” dinner spot.  And it is to their credit, that the waiters learn what drinks their regular patrons prefer.  They pride themselves on getting those drinks on the table, while the guests are still settling themselves into their chairs.

It is quiet because the tables are covered with table clothes, often two deep.  There is carpet on the floor and acoustical tile on the ceiling. The place is a lot bigger than it looks. It can seat something like a couple of hundred diners, in a night. Usually, it is NOT that crowded.  That is part of its charm.  Guests often feel like they are among the ‘few’ customers, in any given night.  But actually, the place has a lot more diners than are obvious at a glance.  There are several private rooms and alcoves and booths. Even if you sit out in the middle of the front room,  you can not really tell how full the place is.

We love going there. My 100 year old mother feels comfortable and cared for by the staff.  When they see she is coming in to the restaurant, the manager immediately grabs two pillows to put in her chair.  This is especially for her because she likes to move out of her wheelchair and sit in a regular chair. Almost every table seems to have at least one patron in a wheelchair, with a walker or at the very least with a cane.  There was a period a couple of years ago, when I was in a wheelchair, due to a broken ankle/leg and my mother was using a walker.  We were able to do just fine there, because it is so accommodating.The Italian cuisine is delicious and augmented with specials, which change daily.  They have wonderful things such as a whole steamed artichoke. This makes a low calorie, but delightful one dish meal when I am cutting calories. They usually have calves liver and bacon, which is “soul food” to me. The owner, Lucy DeCarlo runs a tight ship.  She is personable and friendly and often greets her guests in person.

The place which is located on Yuma Street behind the Spring Valley Shopping Center, is wonderfully near to our house. It requires little effort to go there.  The moment we walk in, we feel peace and familiarity.  I recommend it for those who may be physically impaired.

I often go there for lunch with a friend.  It even has a bar where one can sit and have drinks or a light meal.  This is the perfect neighborhood meeting place for enjoyable dining experience.  Don’t miss DeCarlos, if you are in North West Washington D. C. and feeling hungry. You won’t be disappointed.

Copyright©.  2018 Bonnie B. Matheson

What can be done about the young people growing up today?

1 Dec

It is absolutely unbelievable to me how impaired young people are today. Political correctness gone wild … I am so tired of being called a racist, homophobic, Nazi, Elitist! I am not any of those things. But, I do say my truth. It may be different than someone else’s truth because of their background or indoctrination!
The fact that our colleges and universities have become so expensive and yet they are turning kids against their grandparents is shocking!! One of my favorite grandsons is refusing to talk to me right now, because of my views. Specifically, I said in my blog that I agreed with Meagan Kelly that “blackface” as a costume is harmless and no insult to blacks. And I believe that!
Now in my 70s I have more and more friends who are black. I consider them a blessing in my life. And yet, I am frequently called “racist”. Go figure!   When I was young and knew no one except casual servers who were black, then it was probably true.  If you want to end racism, you need to get people together.  Keeping them separate does not do it.  And yet, there is a black history month, and black students Union at some schools.  It is true that sometimes it is easier to be with people who are exactly like you, but no one is.

 

I don’t have an appropriate photo, so here is my dog, Magnus. He has manners and civility, both.

Today I went to a luncheon where most people disliked the President of the United States.  That is allowed, in this country. No one will arrest them for their views.  But, one man said something that has really made me think.  Someone asked “What ever happened to civility and manners?” And He said “That was before they began to calling manners and civility ‘Political Correctness’ and mocking them.”

This surprised me.  I NEVER think of manners as being politically correct.  Manners are simply manners.  But, it is true that Political Correctness stops conversation. It is true that it shames people, on purpose. To me Political Correctness is the thing that keeps us from being able to speak truthfully about anything that might be called a stereotype.  Where do you think Stereotypes come from? It comes from things being lumped together, rightly or wrongly.

Stereotype threat describes the experience of “being at risk of confirming, as self-characteristic, a negative stereotype of one’s group” (Steel & Aronson, 1995).
I had never heard of Stereotype threat until I began writing this blog.  It is a perfect example of the nonsense we are told daily. I “get it” but I do not agree that forcing people to avoid any possible chance of running into a stereotype is helping them.  People simply must “get a grip”.
I want to be free to say what I  believe without being traumatized by the threat of breaking some code of political correctness.  I have no intention of using bad manners. There is no reason for anything but civility.  So I do not understand that man’s saying that those who “mock” Political Correctness (that would be me) are contributing to a lack of manners or civility.

My contention is that we need a lot more of both of those things.  Manners are not taught to children like they once were.  And Civil disobedience is encouraged on school campuses.  No wonder we are living in a time when both are lacking.

A friend wrote about the young today:

“They need a taste of reality. For our parents, it was a World War, for us it was Viet Nam. These kids have seen no suffering. They have been been indulged, have no manners, and are incapable of serious logical thinking. “
I agree with him.

 

Copyright©.  2018 Bonnie B. Matheson

White House Christmas Party

28 Nov

White House Christmas Party

What a Hoot!!! I was invited to the White House for their first 2018 Christmas Party.

This was so much fun!!! Maybe the MOST fun ever, at this esteemed residence. The size of the place is deceiving. You don’t realize how big it is until you approach the doors of the East Wing Lower Level where most guests enter for a large party.

It is huge. The size of the columns and the width of the door way, remind one immediately that this is a special place. Once inside we proceeded down a long hall decorated with bright red Christmas trees made of cranberries and other red berries. There was a bright green runner that went down the center of the very long room, for us to walk upon. The contrast of white walls, red trees and green floor covering was very festive.

Once all the way inside and upstairs, we wandered around the state rooms freely. We were allowed to take photos and we took a LOT. The food and drink were plentiful. The gingerbread construction of the replica of the White House and several monuments looked good enough to eat. Truly an extraordinary effort, I photographed it from different angles.

The feeling of excitement which permeated the air reminded us how lucky we were to be included.

Going to the White House is always fun. The food was so abundant. The presentation was so creative and tasted even better than it looked. The trays of smoked salmon, the condiments, the baby French Lamb chops, the mint jelly, the many cold meats, macaroni and cheese, string beans, the cheeses, the crackers and breads and the way they were all presented. Not knowing better, I ate a great deal while in the State Dining Room. There was also a bar and a station for egg nog both plain and spiked. There was a fabulous station for deserts and cookies. I snagged one to take home to my mother and wrapped in a paper napkin with a logo of the White House.

The White House Aids and all the servers showed great skill. There was music playing. Christmas carols sounded throughout the large rooms. The decorations, different in each chamber showed great imagination. Tasteful and opulent at the same time, they were fitting testament to the great history of this house.

As we walked, gawking and photographing from room to room, we finally arrived in the East Room. There I discovered even more food. Sadly, I was already so full, I could only look longingly at it. Then I discovered a ravioli station, and found a corner of my stomach to fit a bit more food into. Sublime! The most wonderful ravioli, 2 different types with sauce and condiments. So much fun, but when I came to the Beef Wellington there was simply no room left, to try to take a slice. I was told by my friend that it was delicious, also.
When the First Lady came down the stairs to make a short speech to welcome us, I was in exactly the correct place to be. I saw her graceful descent of the stairs. Snapping pictures as she turned a corner and went out of sight, I could hear her words clearly. And then as she returned to the second floor I was still there beneath the open grillwork of the stairs and watched her as she paused. She turned around and waved slowly to us, giving us more time to get the perfect shot. She is a gracious lady. And as pretty as you can imagine. She does not disappoint. 

What an experience! How special our President’s House, and how welcoming to us the guests. In my memory the visions of floral arrangements, Christmas trees and decorated mantels all blend together into the entire party, as a dream sequence of a movie in my mind.

 

 

Copyright©.  2018 Bonnie B. Matheson