Washington DC and One Nice Thing

Posted by jerry on May 7th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, Travel

Somewhere over the Pacific at around 3.00AM body clock time and unable to sleep I went in search of coffee. I had watched two movies and despite the gentle rocking of the plane – like riding over the sand where the waves had left tiny ripples – I found myself with a mug of coffee and a conversation with a businesswoman who was also travelling to the US.

After a few inconsequential remarks she says “So, what is your ‘One Nice Thing’?” The way she said it I could hear the inverted commas and the capital letters.

She took my quizzical look as a prompt and said that every time she travels for business she tries to take time out for one nice thing – some way to treat yourself, whether going to a favourite restaurant or a show, or exploring a new musuem.

The reasoning was that when you are old you won’t remember this or that business trip – but you will always remember the one nice thing. It’s a way of building positive memories for the future. What a great concept!

For me it will be to visit the National Museum of American Culture – part of the Smithsonian I have never been to.

What have been your one nice things?

While this is about doing one nice thing for yourself to actively build positive memories, there are other memes along these lines. For example, there is one associated with the concept of doing one nice thing for someone else – working on the ‘pay it forward’ philosophy. This is the concept behind Do-One-Nice-Thing.com. And a version has appeared on 43 things where people aspire to do one nice thing per week/day for someone else. I think it’s a reallly positive meme.

The Classic American Diner
In the meantime, the classic American diner is alive and well and living in Washington DC. I often wondered about the distinctive styling of the diner – with the corrugated metal cladding surmounted by continuous windows and styled with seat booths.

Then I saw the picture on the wall of this particular one that showed the original ‘Dining Car’ – a converted railway carriage – that explains it all in a nutshell. Even though the original rail car has long since been scrapped, the new simulacrum (not fake in a simple way) still references the classic railway carriage of the 1930s.



Comment by Linn

One of my “nice things” in Washington is a visit to the Folger Library. I always try to get in one nice meal when I travel and I allow myself one nice book in an airport bookstore – usually one about local history. I take it you weren’t invited to the State Dinner for the Queen?

Posted on May 8, 2007 at 9:47 am

Comment by jerry

Sadly, no invite from the Queen this time 🙂

Thanks for sharing your one nice thing


Posted on May 8, 2007 at 12:20 pm

Comment by Orinda

That Wash. D.C. is quite a diner.
There are many, but the best for us is the 66 Diner in Albuquerque New Mexico. The very best American style milkshakes.
There is another diner South of ABQ just off the Interstate 25. The Rio Grande Diner. It is long and narrow and very common, but a true diner.

What a trip

Posted on May 12, 2007 at 9:40 am

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