A Romp on the Red Line, Part II

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

WHERE: The Sunday Source's Metro train trip returns to explore the west half of the Red Line's 27 stops, from Farragut North to Shady Grove.

WHY: The King of Brew, hot Bollywood bods and permanent arm candy.

HOW FAR: 16.77 miles, or 32 minutes without stopping.

Get a smart start to your Metro Red Line tour with a bit of JFK trivia: In 1963, the president's funeral Mass was performed at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, a 19th-century church whose interior glitters like a gold disco ball. A marble floor plaque lies before the altar, marking John F. Kennedy's penultimate resting place. The church's namesake floats above -- a 35-foot-tall St. Matthew, who has a full halo of hair and a guardian angel watching his back.

Just one station away is another history lesson at the Brewmaster's Castle off Dupont Circle. The late-Victorian manse was owned by Christian Heurich, a German immigrant who built a fortune from beer and hawked it as if it were liquid Botox. (He may have been on to something; Heurich died at age 102 1/2 .) On a tour that covers only a fraction of the museum's 31 rooms, you will see the balcony where musicians held house concerts, an elevator with three exits and the German breakfast room with wall inscriptions that will never be printed on a box of Wheaties. Only those who eat beer and cereal could start their day with such boozy aphorisms as, "There is room in the smallest chamber for the largest hangover."

Heading north to Maryland, you will enter the land of equal opportunity. The Montgomery Farm Women's Cooperative Market, near the Bethesda Metro, was founded by Depression-era farm women with bushels of produce and business smarts. But in recent years, Y chromosomes have been allowed to sell their wares at the indoor market as well. Look for the Thai jeweler whose goods include wrist-hugging silver bracelets made by northern Thailand hill tribes and hammered disk earrings so large they could pick up satellite radio. Of course, there's no denying the female touch: You'll also find Zsa Zsa Gabor-esque vintage furs and enough sparkly adornments to bedeck a full chorus line of Vegas showgirls.

There's nothing showy about Dream Wizards, near White Flint. But there is something mystical -- all the figures crammed in cases and on shelves. Doubling as competitive HQs for the next generation of Dungeons & Dragons players, the small shop is tucked in a strip mall. On varying nights, grown men twiddle around with miniature figures. Newbies are welcome to watch and learn; just don't buy a pack of Darksteel cards hoping for a stick of bubble gum.

After fraternizing with the Dark Side, you deserve a prize. How about something light and rainbow bright, like a winged unicorn? You can take one home, permanently, at Inkers tattoo parlor, near Shady Grove. Flip through the endless choices, some of which you can show your mother, others best left covered up. Our suggestion: Though originally smitten by the Chinese symbol that translates to "Ouch," after 14 stops on Metro, we'd be proud to the wear the big "M." Andrea Sachs

Metrorail's One Day Pass costs $6.50 and is valid weekdays after 9:30 a.m. and all day on weekends and federal holidays, until the last trains depart. Passes are available online ( http://www.wmata.com ) or at the electronic kiosks in all Metro stations.

Road Trip maps are available online at www.washingtonpost.com/roadtrip, as are addresses and hours of operation (be sure to check before you go). Have an idea for a trip? E-mail roadtrip@washpost.com.


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