Thursday, October 28, 2010

Washington D.C., October 2010, Day 1

Journey To The "Rally To Restore Sanity" Part I

Several weeks ago, Jon Stewart announced on The Daily Show that they would be holding a Rally To Restore Sanity, an effort to prove that the people who are not at the extremes of the political spectrum are passionate about this country.  Barbie decided almost instantly that we would travel across the country for this event, and I was glad that she did.

It turns out that Day One has a photographical theme.  A little more than half the pictures were calling out to be turned into black & white, and once I reached that tipping point it became clear that the journey from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. would have to be entirely free of the modern invention of color photography...

Here you have it, the first ever but long awaited entirely Black & White Waste.

A shot from the taxi, a block from home.
Hopping out of the "green taxi" at LAX.  You know, if it was not for the fact the we pack so lightly, we would not be able to take the Prius taxi.  Thankfully we each have one carry-on suitcase and one personal bag for our nine days away from home, making it easy to put everything in the back of this vehicle.
LAX Candid, October 2010.  (If there is one thing that you know I love, it is taking a picture of large, public spaces.
Fast Food Candid, October 2010.  Our first official meal of the trip.
Based on the recent news cycle, you might be asking yourself how long it would take for this "food" to decompose.  Personally, I felt it rapidly decomposing inside of me for the next six hours.
Airport Family Candid, October 2010.  Sometimes there is luck.  Dad moved at just the right time for this shot.
Boarding.  The airplane should never cease to be a marvel.  The idea that this carriage is coing to take us across a continent is easily ignored.
The good-bye shot of Los Angeles.  We shall be together again, and I shall walk that beach.  They say what they will about you, but I know better.
Reading on the plane.  If you look at my elderly Sony Reader and think that it should be replaced by an iPad, you are correct.  Perhaps I will set up am NPR-style donation drive for this purpose.
Self Portrait, Los Angeles to DC, October 2010. 
Dulles International Airport Candid, October 2010.
Accidental Foot Candid, with the contrast pushed to make invisible shadows appear.  Take an indoor picture and push the contrast; you may find there are things in the room that had been invisible before.
Interesting that they welcome you to the airport as you leave it, after you have been walking through the airport for fifteen minutes.  A technicality, to be sure, but the sign should say, "Thank you for visiting Dulles International, Welcome to Washington DC."
For a shot from a moving car at night, this picture came out quite good.  And if you have spent time with the Waste through Europe, you know the importance of any obelisk, let alone the largest in the world.  Yes.  The Washington Monument, measuring 555 feet 5.5 inches, and completed in 1884, is the tallest obelisk in the world.  
The atrium of the Grand Hyatt Washington, beloved by Barbie & Jeff mainly because it connects directly to the metro.

Now, as luck would have it, as we checked in at 11 pm we happened across another couple who was on their way to dinner.  They are here for the rally.  We are here for the rally.  It took a matter of seconds for us to decide to join them for a late dinner.  They happen to be from Sherman Oaks, which places them 15 minutes from where we live in Los Angeles.  And this, honestly, is a big part of what attending a rally is about.  It is about coming together with like-minded people in an effort to draw attention to a cause.

I have never personally attended a political event. I have always been extremely interested in and passionate about politics, but there has never truly been a candidate or political movement that matched my own perspective closely enough for me to attend anything.  Well... the Rally To Restore Sanity is specifically about drawing attention to the center, away from the extremes at both ends of the political spectrum.  It is not only about moderation, but it is about how you react to people with opinions different than you own, as in you can agree to disagree and not pretend that the other side is evil and aims to destroy the fabric of our nation.

Three blocks from our hotel is Chinatown.  Washington D.C.'s Chinatown is one of those parts of the city that has been reborn through urban development.  In this small area you find a countless number of restaurants and clubs, the Verizon Center where the Washington Wizards of the NBA play (they really need to go back to being "The Bullets"), and a transplant from Hollywood, a Lucky Strike bowling-alley-night-club hybrid.  

I know you cannot see it, but that Starbucks also features a sign in Chinese.
Our destination, the world-famous Clydes.  (I will learn in a few nights that the original is an institution in Georgetown.)
How well does this menu typify the point of our visit to D.C.?  If the opposing parties were still able to meet in the middle, we would not need a Rally To Restore Sanity.

This soup was fantastic.  It was a rich, tasty chicken and mushroom sort of a thing.  The kind of soup that makes you wish you had gone with a bowl and not a cup on the first taste.
Barbie and I shared the pulled BBQ pork sandwich.
Sometimes, things get weird at a restaurant, right?  You never know why, but for some reason that hint of bad service turns into a full-blown situation that you cannot ignore.  I promise you I can tell this story quickly enough to not be a bore.  First, one of our lovely new friends ordered a Coke with cherries.  She got a club soda with cherries.  And it took, no joke, around 15 minutes and several requests to get that Coke.  No big deal, right?  Then extra BBQ sauce, salad dressing, and basically anything at all became a bit of a challenge.  Because the food was great, we said nothing.

Until our waiter set down the bill and said, "My shifts over.  Have a great night."  He went to another table, and as he passed again we asked about dessert.  "Kitchen's closed."  He walked away.   This is not the end of the world, but I could not help but point out that sometimes, like, every time ever, the waiter comes over and asks if you would like dessert before the kitchen closes.  One of our new friends asked for the manager, and when the manger arrives he told him that the food was great but that the service was lacking, and the manager said all of the right things, explained that our waiter was a little new, and threw some free dessert at us.  (Dessert that apparently could be delivered in spite of the closed kitchen.)

And all that explains this next picture; two great pieces of cheesecake.

I did not get around to taking the picture until the cheesecake was nearly gone.
Candid, Clyde's Chinatown Bar, October 2010.
The man to the far right inspired the taking of this picture.
Look!  One of the great things one sees in Europe, public rental bicycles, have come to our nation's capital.   The first half hour is free.  Brilliant!
The Grand Hyatt Washington's Lobby, Glass Peacock.
And with that, the first day of this trip has ended.

Comments welcomed.

No comments:

Post a Comment