Tag Archives: Washington DC

Day Twelve

My last day in DC was an eventful one. I had to go pick up my passport from the Israeli embassy the day after the two bombings overseas at Israeli embassies. Security was tighter and I had to wait an extra hour before I was aloud to enter because of a “security situation” they were handling. But the wait was fine because there is a bad ass park IN the district that I went and walked around in (Rock Creek Park for those who are going – it is worth checking out just don’t wear cowboy boots…)

I then went to Arlington Cemetery. I figured that I had been to the district enough to warrant a visit. While the history was interesting and the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier fascinating, I’ve decided that I’m in no hurry to go back to any cemeteries. I think there is too much to see outside of them to visit for anything other than a mourner/family member to go pay respects. I also was thinking about death and about one family member who, in my opinion, fears death. I don’t fear it and I was wondering why. I think I don’t fear death because it is the one thing that everyone, regardless of background or status, is going to be successful at. Life, on the other hand, is something that people could be afraid of. Success at life is by no means guaranteed. Food for thought I guess.

I then went to have lunch with my good friend Ryan who is definitely succeeding at life. He is working for a great cause in a great city and it seems like he has great things going on in his life. It is really cool to be able to travel to another city and catch up with old friends.

Then the day was wrapped up with a little people watching in Union Station and a train ride with Scott back out to West Virginia.  Scott definitely saved me while I was waiting for my passport.

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Day Five

Perspective.  Sometimes, you can get a totally different experience just by changing your perspective on something you have already become familiar with. I spent the day in bed with a cold.  Boo colds!  But around 8pm, I had enough energy to go out into the cold DC night and see something.  Saviya and I decided to revisit the Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.  It was nice to see the man towering out of the white granite rock at night when all the tourists where gone.  It allowed me to take in the quotes on a little more introspective level.  I think the one I enjoyed the most on this particular visit was:

I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against it not in anger but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and above all with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world.

It should be no surprise why this particular quote stands out to me. I do believe that if “War is the answer, we are asking the wrong questions.”  That we is anyone, the USA, Israel, Iran, anyone who would come to such a grave conclusion.  I also like the perspective that it is because he loved America that he opposed the war – it is a refreshing and, in my opinion, not often heard point of view against war.

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We then headed over to my all time favorite place in all of Washington DC:  The Jefferson Memorial.  This place is off the beaten path so I have never had to ‘share’ this space with many people.  It also constantly challenges me to think of the constitution in new ways with the four quotes around the circular colonnade – sometimes more conservatively and other times more liberally.  What I also love about this place is that when you are done getting your history on, you can turn around, walk out of the open air memorial and get one of the best views of DC.  Jefferson himself stairs directly north to the White House with the Washington monument just a jump to the right.  As you stand on the grand stares leading up to Jefferson, you can see the new MLK memorial to your left and the top of Lincoln’s memorial just behind that.  If you look down Maryland Ave, you can see the Capitol building. These views, are made even more pleasurable at night when the water of the tidal basin reflects some of these images off the water.

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Day Four

This morning, Saviya and I went to the Holocaust Memorial Museum.  It is one of the most well put together memorial museums of the holocaust I have ever seen.  I find it hard to write much more about it here tonight so I’ll just say you should definitely put this on your must-see list when you come to DC.

We then headed over to the newest addition to the memorials here in DC: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s memorial.  Although I’m not a fan of all the tourists that don’t seem to have much respect for what a memorial is, I was impressed with this new space.  The area is well utilized and I feel like most people looking to get a meaningful experience here will find one.

Two of my favorite MLK quotes are inscribed on the South Wall of inscriptions.  The first is one that I love for his interesting view on why he is against war – not because of the usual suspects (loss of life, moral ambiguity of intervention, etc.) but because of a love for his country.

I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America.  I speak out against it not in anger but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and above all with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world.

The next quote I love I actually had painted on a giant 10 foot by 30 foot banner.  The quote states:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.

But the speech continued (and you should read this out loud):  Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.  … The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. . .

This is a great memorial to an even greater man.  This is definitely a highlight of my trip.

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Day Two

Today, Saviya and I went on a tour of the White House (surprisingly short tour and very small when you think about it) and a tour of the US Capitol Building.  The later was a private tour by our Representative’s aide.  The picture below is from the Speakers Balcony overlooking the National Mall.

 

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Day One

I’ve decided I’m going to try to blog every day of my journey.  I’ll try to take photos and keep each day short and interesting – but I’m also going to be using this as my main journal for this trip so some of the information is going to purely be for me when I want to make sure I recall something in the future.

With that: Day One.

I got shit faced last night and somehow ended up sleeping for a couple of hours in Brian’s back yard after throwing up copious amounts of liquor and a delicious Outback dinner. I woke up 30 minutes later than I planned and had to literally run through the airport to make it to my gate.  I was able to check my bag at literally the last minute possible and was the last person through the jet-way onto the plane. My travel companion for Washington DC, Saviya, was not too happy with me.

Fast forward to tonight in DC.  Saviya and I walked around the Capitol Building, then strolled down the National Mall to the Washington monument.  The monument is still closed off and police-lined off because of the earthquake back in August.  However, I love going right up to the monument, laying on my back and looking straight up.  Since there was nobody around, that is exactly what we did.  There were no problems and after we had our fill, we left and started walking down the mound.  Then an overzealous police officer who had apparently seen us at the monument came up to us, asked us what we were doing, for our IDs and told us to sit down right where we were.  He proceeded to over-question two tourists who were just being touristy, even questioning if we new how to read “down there in Florida.”  Obviously we weren’t arrested or anything and we still got to enjoy the monument the way it should be.  We then went on to the Lincoln and Korean memorials before coming back to the hotel.

Take away from day one?  Almost missed my flight and almost got arrested… not a bad start to this trip.

xoxo

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Plans are actually in progress!

So I’m now a full time Occupier down at Occupy Tampa.  I have a lovely two man tent set up on the East side of the neighborhood.  The streetlight at the corner of Main St. and Albany provides me a lovely tint of night light when the sun has set and I’m just a few strides from the Kitchen.  Lovely if I do say so myself.  I’ll be working on getting the neighborhood to switch over to a credit union and whatever else I can do to support the economic justice movement.

Also, I’ve booked my flights to and from Israel!

23 FEB DELTA 268 NYC-KENNEDY 8:55 P

TEL AVIV 2:40 P

30 JUL DELTA 269 TEL AVIV 12:40 A

NYC-KENNEDY 5:25 A

I’m probably going to book my flight from Tampa to DC tomorrow and then I’m planning on hitch hiking from DC to NYC.

SO EXCITED!!

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Exciting trips coming up!

Hello again my old friend (and Allie too!),

I am very excited to give an update about life.  The wedding was absolutely fabulous.  I loved spending some quality, albeit short, time with so many in my family.  My mother and father, both brothers, my sister and sister-in-law, two aunts, two uncles and my parents new spouses were all there.  The wedding was small and intimate and the reception was perfect for our family.

Since then, I have been working two jobs, usually 80 hours a week.  I’m saving up for my 6+? months away.  I will be leaving for a much needed vacation to Washington, DC on Feb. 2.  I’ll spend the weekend there and then leave on Monday or Tuesday for New York City.  I’ll be spending two and a half weeks with Occupy Wall Street and whoever else I meet up with there.  Then, the last weekend of February, I’ll be flying out to Eilat, Israel for five months.

When I get back, I plan on going to see my family for a week or two in Pennsylvania.

So, I’m very excited about life.

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