Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US


Day off - Washington D.C.

Slept late before staggering out of the hotel to inspect the surrounding neighbourhood of Georgetown, an upscale area awash with groovy shops, bars, etc. It was a very hot day, so I kept my ambitions low, but I was tempted into a small commercial gallery next door to the hotel, which I mooched around in for about half an hour. Upon exiting, I felt a dull, powerful "thud" come from somewhere underground and couldn't help but notice a ten foot high wall of flame burst out of a grille in the sidewalk in front of a shop on the other side of the road. Gosh, I thought, what a terribly impressive window display, but then spotted a huge, dense column of smoke pouring out through a man hole cover in the middle of the road. Within 30 seconds you couldn't see across the street, and I thought it perhaps best to leg it, pronto. I made it back to my hotel room just in time for all the power to go out.

The hotel promptly turned into a sauna, of course, and the staff response polarized between apathy and hysteria. I called Bruce and discovered that the crew hotel, just three blocks away, was unaffected, so wandered on down. The crew guys were naturally much amused to learn that the celebs and rich folks were staggering round their flash hotel in the dark. I spent the evening down there, calling the Four Seasons periodically to get updates, but all the windows were still dark when I wandered back in the wee small hours.

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