The building is modernistic and rather plain, at least judging from the hall we were in. They had the reception catered by Kosher Mart in Maryland, so it was not particularly exotic, but the food was tasty and plentiful. It does raise the question of what the proper wine to have with a pastrami sandwich might be. (I waited until after the talk and had a glass of merlot.)
The talk was given by a representative from the trade ministry and was titled "From the Land of Milk and Honey to the Land of Tech and Money." The most interesting chart was probably the one on citrus vs. software, highlighting the transformation of the Israeli economy. It also reminded me of how much the socialist Zionists have declined in influence. Another interesting point had to do with the relatively low labor participation in Israeli society, which was attributed to cultural values of Orthodox Jewish men and Arabic women.
By the way, the ambassador and his wife came in briefly at the end of the talk. (They'd been at a reception at the Russian embassy.) All in all, it was a very nice event.
The trip home was a bit less pleasant. I walked back over to the Van Ness metro station and, while waiting for the Red Line, heard an announcement that there was "an incident" on the Orange Line to Vienna and all trains were holding. When the Red Line train came, the driver announced that there was single tracking on the Blue Line between Federal Triangle and Farragut West due to reports of someone struck by a train at McPherson Square. At Metro Center, there was no indication of any Blue or Orange Line trains running and an announcement that trains were turning back at Federal Triangle and at Farragut West. There was a claim that there were shuttle buses, but no indication of from where. (The Metro Center station has at least 4 exits, so this is significant.) I figured that the best bet was for me to take the Red Line back a stop to Farragut North, exit, and walk the one block to Farragut West. This did, indeed, prove to be a good approach.
Not that there was any more information at Farragut West, beyond confirmation that somebody had been hit by a train at McPherson Square. I waited on the Vienna platform with several other people griping about the loack of information. A train pulled in on the opposite platform and, when people got off, they announced it was going out of service. Then they announced it was going to Vienna, so I went across to that platform and got on. Then they announced it was going out of service and we all had to get off. But, before we did, they announced it really was going to Vienna. Which it did. (It switched back to the correct track between Farragut West and Foggy Bottom, by the way, so the ride home was quick enough.)
No metro issue can go by without my writing haiku about it, of course. Hence, these offerings:
Nearly once a month
some jerk commits suicide
using the metro.
This is really most
inconsiderate to do.
Please use gas instead.
(By the way, there was an article not long ago in the Post re: the psychological impact of metro suicides on the drivers of the trains which have struck and killed people. So it's not just the inconvenience to think about.)
is the hallmark of metro's
info to riders.