I biked out to Target in Falls Church this afternoon to get some things that are hard to find in my neighborhood -- at least until we get our own suburban strip mall, folded and stacked into an urban footprint, which looks finished enough that it could open in a couple months.
The errand was spurred in part by the fact that it was over 70 degrees and sunny this afternoon. This was jarring because yesterday afternoon at frisbee it had been chilly with a little drizzle. I hadn't checked the weather for today, so I was genuinely shocked when I went outside. The weather continued to be disorienting, because between when I left at 1:30 and when I returned at 5:00, the temperature dropped more than 20 degrees and it clouded up and started raining. (I took Metro partway back, and a couple people looked at me weird for having a cookie sheet and compact flourescent light bulbs in my bike basket.)
I generally don't like the Northern Viriginia suburbs very much, even compared to other suburbs. They sprang up long enough ago to be worn around the edges, yet are for the most part too recent to have any sort of charm. It also happens that they were built at a time when there wasn't much attention to urban planning -- or, at least, we weren't very good at it yet. Witness the suburban commercial hub I went to today:
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It's called Seven Corners, because there are, in fact, seven corners to this intersection of highways. That's seven arterial roads converging on a single point. (To be fair, it's technically only five roads, since two of them pass through, but it's still ridiculous.) It is pretty much the disaster you might expect it to be, especially if you're on a bike -- I had to choose a somewhat circuitous route to avoid certain death. (It might look like I took I-66 with my bicycle, but I was actually using the bike trail that runs alongside it.)
Anyway, it was worth it, because I will be happily toting my vegetable soup to work tomorrow in a ceramic mug with a spillproof plastic cover, fresh from Target.