Wednesday, July 18, 2007

DC...A Monumental City

What's up everybody? Well, I'm just at the halfway point of my amazing experience here in the Federal City (George Washington referred to it as this, as he was too humble to speak of a city named after him) and I still feel like I have so much left to see. I have done a lot of it, but in a place like DC there is always stuff you gotta save for next time.

Obviously one thing that makes DC special is the great selection of monuments. I have to say that this has been one of my favorite parts of the city. When I visited Europe, it was amazing to see all of their historic and important buildings. But DC, although it may not be as old, is definitely a special place. It sounds cheesy, but seeing the Arc de Triomphe or the Colosseum isn't as important if you are a tourist. The same goes for DC; standing at the Lincoln Memorial or reading the inscriptions at the Jefferson Memorial is a truly awe-inspiring experience when you know that everything you are seeing is part of your history and your country.

...can't you hear the Star-Spangled Banner playing? Since a wise man once told me that your history essays shouldn't end exhibiting that feeling, I'll move on.

This is a quote from FDR placed at the National World War II Memorial.

Apparently people were worried that this new memorial would disrupt the view from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. I'm glad they were worried, but it looks like it turned out okay to me.

This is the Freedom Wall. There are about 4,000 stars on it, each one representing 100 American dead during World War II.

All the states have a pillar encircling the memorial. I don't know what order was chosen, but for some reason Tennessee and Louisiana, the two states where I've spent most of my life, are right next to each other.

Of course I had to try my hand at one of the most famous photo spots in the country...what do you think?

Here's Lincoln - that pretty much says it all. Always ranked as one of the greatest US Presidents, reading the selections from his greatest speeches was quite moving, even though I had heard all the words before.

This is the Korean War Veterans Memorial. This was another new one for me, and I think it may be a new favorite. It's pretty simple - just about a dozen or so slightly greater than life size statues of men on the march, with a photographic wall in the background to further set the setting. I like how it portrayed the people as they would have been, rather than just use an austere building to commemorate them. Also, that shot at the top is a close-up on one of the soldiers.

When I went to DC with the Safety Patrol in 4th grade (yea, I wore a little orange sash and told kids a year younger than me to walk in the halls) the Jefferson Memorial was my favorite. Seeing it now, I feel like the water around it got smaller. I could have sworn that it was on the coast, like, at the ocean. Other than that, it's still my favorite Memorial. I love the bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson in the middle. Oddly, Jefferson is one of my favorite Presidents now. Maybe I subconsciously chose that because I liked his monument as a kid. Who knows?

IN RECENT NEWS my faaaavorite band, the Old 97s is coming to the area - Baltimore to be precise. That may not mean much for a lot of people, but it is huuuuge for me. This will be my third time seeing them. The other two were road trips to Texas, complete with late drives back home after the show, freshman and junior year at Cent. Maybe when you are at Centenary next year we'll both be lucky enough to have an area show. If you like their music and it happens, we will ride together.

In between the folklife festival and perusing the many monuments and sites, my girlfriend Ali came up to visit me and the Capitol for a few days, though I'm not sure which she was was really hurtin to see. We had a blast visiting museums, eating (which, in all honesty, was probably the highlight of our trip), and waterparking. We also enjoyed the 4th of July celebrations, tho we opted for the less-hectic/more free food version at the home of family I'm staying with. I'll try and chuck up some photos of that as soon as I get a hold of em.

P.S. For those of you who don't know, Ali is the standout keeper for the Centenary Ladies Soccer team. She was named 1st Team All-Louisiana by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, and it's also a well-kept secret that she has the Centenary record for both most saves in a game and in a season. She also ranked 4th in the nation among D-1 goalies in saves per game her sophomore year. Since this blog isn't about her, I'll stop. But that does give you one more reason to come to Centenary and help the ladies make their first winning season since I've been here. I bet that little tidbit is yet another well-kept secret around here.

But it's no secret that Centenary athletics needs allll the support it can muster. If you do come to Centenary in the future, you have to sign my online but nevertheless legally binding contract to come to one athletic event every two weeks and cheer on the Gents (or whatever they are by the time you make it). That, our new AD and the revamped image of our conference, the Summit League, and Ole Cent should be well on its way to reclaiming the glory days of stomping Notre Dame, Texas, and LSU in to the mud.

Like I promised two blogs ago, here's the shot from my buildings rooftop. Its a really nice secret up there. Me and other interns like to go up there and have lunch, warm up (its frigid in the office) and gossip about our crazy bosses...someone remind me to tell you all about my one boss, Richard James Burgess - there's a lot to tell. In the picture you can see the National Museum of Air and Space, the National Museum of the American Indian (yes, the Smithsonian doesn't say Native American), and the US Capitol Building. The latter two are among that list of sites I was talking about earlier that I still need to see. With that in mind, I need a full days' energy for tomorrow so I can keep it all up. I'll send you off with two of my attempts at artistic photography. Subject: the oddly-two-toned Washington Monument.

No comments: