Andrew J. Lederer's BRAND NEW LIFE

Often, no, most of the time, when I’m down here it feels like I could be in just about any suburb in America, even though the political intrigue of DC is less than 13 miles away. My sisters don’t act like Washingtonians and I don’t think they feel like they are either. They are citizens of Costco and Starbucks and Wegmans supermarket and the increasingly complex — geometrically, anyway — “strip” malls which are the dots the lines of their daily lives connect. These dots and lines reveal a serrated picture that, to me, is sometimes soothing, often boring, periodically compelling and somehow wrong.

Last week, though, even before the Italian dinner at which I was the well-known Mister Funny, we drove in, early AM, to drop off my niece at Union Station. The younger niece wanted to go to Georgetown Cupcakes (it’s famous!), which I was certain would be…

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