Its an interesting feeling when you come speeding over a beautiful city in an airplane. Your checking out the view and its wonderful, especially since its about three in the afternoon, when the light is just rounding the even spot in the sky and becomes slightly dimmer. And all of this comes to a crashing stop as the plane smashes into the ground in what, I guess, was some type of windy landing. I laughed with my Dad as we both thought in our heads, “Welcome to Washington DC”.
After taking a long shuttle ride to several different hotels and squishing up close to random strangers in our tightly compact 15 person van, We finally arrived at the hotel. We walked in the very modern and “trying to hard to impress” lobby. My Dad asked my what I thought, I said, “It seems like a four star hotel!”. See there’s an art to over generalizing to avoid saying what you really think. We arrived at the room. It was fabulous! the view was spectacular. I held my breath for a moment and tried to help my busy mind realize the specialness of this occasion. Washington DC is gorgeous.
After a short lay down, We decided to go running. As soon as I stood outside of the hotel the feeling hit me. The crispness of fall, the ambient light reflecting off the buildings, and as coolness filled the streets with a fresh smell of autumn, the people bustled home from work as they do everyday. We were headed for the Washington Monument. I was filled with such eagerness and excitement that I was able to run almost the entire distance to the Monument.
The tallest structure in a city never has impressed me as much as this monument. While standing in front of the monument I had a realization of appreciation for the people and how they conceived the idea. Being able to look across the way and see the White House to the north, Capital Hill to the east, or the Jefferson Memorial to the west gave me even more appreciation for the time and effort dedicated to the layout of the city. Pierre Charles L’Enfant, designed the city in a baroque style layout. An angular type of layout that allows intersections to feel more spacious and allow for circles with pretty landscapes to exist harmoniously adjacent to active buildings and roads.
blistering cold. coffee hour, my happy hour. We trail over to a near by bagel shop where some locals were going. We both ordered a bagel. sausage, egg and cheese. I enjoyed it. Nothing fancy, just the peace of mind that it did not come from the same place McDonalds gets their crap (hopefully). I was interested in the people around me. It was interesting to me because they did not acknowledge each other except for this one instance, and when the person spoke it was almost a foreign language in terms of content. It was something along the lines of, “Judy up at ‘so and so’ is the building and its just aweful”. I admitted defeat and kept drinking my coffee.
So the walking began. Georgetown, the home of Georgetown University, and site to the most gorgeous set of homes that I have ever seen. It was clean, happenin’, and most certainly my new niche. there were tiny little nooks, old rusted railings (which it seemed that in order to have railings they had to be wrought iron and rusted, but painted over and slightly bent), and did I mention old houses? gloriously old, chipping paint and lovely structure problems. Character, the place had it.
The only problem, to my knowledge, is the lack of an underground pub. It would have been perfect. You know the kind, under a house, dingy (not like in a garbage way, rather a low lit, worn-in, preferably dark wood everywhere way) leaking out a great beer selection and locals that aren’t creepy but just love beer and good times.
hotel, power bar, rest, next!
Capital, oops, not open. we walked over to house of sleeping congress. Of course, no one was awake.. I mean they had left since it was after five. Fortunately we found an entry, it was A CONGRESSMAN FROM TEXAS! no, not the one I was hoping for. However, the receptionist kindly pointed me in the right direction of where I could find Ron Paul. Congressman Paul is one of the few politicians whom has remain diligent (awake) with his principles. I searched him out and found his Aid, Paul-Martin Foss. I talked with his Aid for a good hour about the Congressmen and we expressed our similar concerns with the economy and such. Must see other blogs for my economical views.
After this meeting I could have left DC, or for that matter, the earth, because my mission was complete.. well that’s a slight exaggeration. I decided I wanted to visit a local micro-brewery and that became the new priority. I looked back at the capital at night. Needless to say, the founding fathers knew what they were doing, not just in government, but also in beauty. The view is somewhat of a un-realistic feel. It made every aspect of our government seem like a comforting elder. The statuesque kind. The kind that has won battles, yet stands humbly looking back at the past, not boasting, yet proud of it’s grandurement. As was I, proud to be an American, not in the current-sense, but by nostalgia and simply by loving life. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m not.
And I digress. The brewery? well, let me explain something. I like beer, not water. Ales typically bore me. I got the highest percent alcohol I could order, which I regret to inform you, was four point five. The beer? eh, I learned something about breweries, and all local food for that matter. The appreciation does not come straight from the taste, but rather the custom surrounding the beer. Its a local beer, and thanks to micro-economics 101 I have learned that in order to appeal to enough people to run a brewery, the beer must reflect some since of standardized, local taste. Maybe Its the lack of alcoholics, or possibly the pretentious professionals (you know, the apple martini kind), or it could simply be the people here enjoy watery beer. Either way, I “appreciate” local, micro brews, but would probably stick to locally owned liquor stores in this area. My Dad and I went to one. It was much more satisfying. We were invited to have a wine tasting, so we did. And Oh My GOSH, it was fabulous. ehem..then we walked up stairs and bought a 350ml of some really awesome whiskey.
Day 3. (Yeah we just drank all night)
6:30 AM, went back to bed.
7:30 AM, stretch, Its morning! again, coffee hour. two cups. luggage, walking, and different feelings.
We start off by heading down the desolate, stark and shadowy, dew ridden, misty, Grey and tingly street. The emptiness of the city metaphored with me quite well. People here are still waiting for the dawn, and by people I mean Americans. Since DC is the heart of the country its also the physical representation of our system. fail or not. To quote Harvey Dent, “It’s always darkest before the dawn, and the dawn is coming”. this is a perspective on life that gives every person hope. whether it be religion, politics, or simple discovery like science. The greater discovery is that: what is more beautiful than dawn? its not the arrival of the answer, its the transition from night. One watches a sunrise, not glance at the risen sun. like all beauty, I propose that the flaw and transition of learning and progression is the what is so breathtaking. not having arrived. the comforting thing about this metaphor is that everyday there is a new dawn. DC will have its chance, people will live, die and grow old wishing.
After a short expected tour, I realized the satisfying part of my trip was over. Alone, I walked to Union Station where I united myself with a long island ice tea to last me the trip home. Camera enter slowly on dolly, panning in and around. gleaming light enter from windows on right. bartender tends to his glasses. the dust diffuses the light into an antique, warm toned palette. A welcoming feeling for a stranger alone at a bar at 1:17pm. Its ok, this is the way I like it.