By Ben |

This morning I biked to Shaw Ecovillage.  As an urban nonprofit organization, it has more in common with the Rhizome Collective I visited in Austin than the ecovillages I've visited in rural areas.  The basic idea is that the adults in the organization raise money and the kids -- teenagers -- decide how to spend it to improve the neighborhood.  They've created community gardens, painted murals, and started a community bike shop.  Because I visited during the school day, there were no teenagers at the shop, but the college-grad day managers, Max & Wakeel, were eager to talk with me.  We had a little mutual admiration society going for a while, and then they gave me a great deal on some bike parts.

I dropped off my stuff at the hostel, scarfed down some lunch, and then took the metro up to REI in College Park, Maryland.  There I finally found the most recent edition of the Maryland-Delaware Atlas and Gazetteer, which none of the local libraries -- including the Library of Congress! -- have purchased.  I didn't want to purchase it either, of course, since I'll only be in Maryland a couple of days, but I took some notes that should get me as far as Baltimore, where every library has the most current atlas on the shelf.  I also bought a bright yellow poncho to replace the one that blew away on Sunday.  The sales associate turned up her nose at the $4.99 vinyl poncho, saying it was "not exactly performance," but I don't spend enough time in the rain to justify a $60 high-tech rain jacket!  And I don't want to, thanks!

From Maryland I rode the Metro all the way through town to Arlington, Virginia, and met my friend Elisa's mother, Susan, for dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant.  Susan is in her final year as a fourth-grade teacher.