Coffeeneuring #7: Washington Navy Yard

Destination: Buzz Bakery, Navy Yard, Washington, DC

Total distance: 11 miles

The great thing about biking around a city are the surprises you see along the way. Being on a bike allows you to cover large amounts of ground quickly – but it also lets you stop and check things out, in ways that you couldn’t if you were trapped in  a car.

I was on my way to the Navy Yard for my final coffeeneuring adventure when I noticed that Constitution Avenue was closed along the National Mall. I stopped and asked someone what was going on. A historic Pullman train car was being installed in the African American History Museum. It’s such a large object that the Pullman is going in first and then they’re building the rest of the museum around it, which isn’t scheduled to open until 2015.

Watching the Pullman car get delivered
A historic Pullman train car being hoisted into the under-construction Museum of African American History.

After my brush with history, I continued down 15th Street to the Jefferson Memorial before making a left and following the river (more or less) to the Washington Navy Yard. With the Deadskins busy losing to the Eagles, it was a very quiet Sunday afternoon.

The Buzz Bakery at the Navy Yard is hard to find. I was standing right in front of it before I saw the little sign in the window.  It’s in an old building that used to be part of the Navy Yard. Where they used to make torpedoes, they now make red velvet cupcakes.

#coffeeneuring finale at Buzz Bakery, Navy Yard
A red velvet cupcake and coffee at Buzz Bakery, Navy Yard.

I took a look at Bluejacket, the new brewpub which is next to Buzz. Sunday afternoon looked like a good time to get a table at this hot new restaurant.

Poked my head into Bluejacket - looks amazing
Bluejacket really takes advantage of the beautiful windows in this historic Navy Yard building.

The Navy Yard neighborhood has changed dramatically over the past couple years, with the addition of new parks, apartment buildings and restaurants. It’s really an interesting corner of the city. There’s always something new to see every time I go down there.

Little bike, big ship #coffeeneuring
Little bike, big ship. My Specialized Sirrus next to the USS Barry.

For example, I didn’t know there was a pedestrian path along the Anacostia River by the actual working Navy Yard. I followed it past the USS Barry and all the way to the new 12th St Bridge. It’s a view of Washington that I’d never seen before.

Me and a view I've never seen before from bridge over Anacostia
The happiest photos of me are wearing a bike helmet.
Detail of #coffeeneuring 7 ride
My route through the Navy Yard, tracked by the iPhone app Moves, which is not exactly exact – I did not bike through the river.

I went over the bridge and through a strangely empty Anacostia Park before recrossing the river at South Capitol. I then meandered my way around Nats Park and Southwest before heading home.

Seven coffeeneuring adventures completed! Look for a summary tomorrow.

Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is the author of The Swamp, a funny new novel that mocks the city America has come to hate.

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