Friday, September 28, 2012

Being a Tourist

 Most days I don't feel like a tourist when I walk around the city. I know to stand on the right side of the escalator and walk down the left. I have an actual metro card instead of a paper one and I can j-walk across Pennsylvania Ave like a pro. Each day when I go to work I walk past the Capitol, behind the Library of Congress
and behind the Supreme Court of the United States of America. There's something both empowering and scary about it. It's empowering because I feel like I fit-in here. But its scary. When I was in Europe I use to wonder how the people that lived in these great cities could walk by these amazing buildings and sights of history everyday and not even look up. Now. I get it. Every week day I pass the United States Capitol, the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States and each day of the week, I don't look up. My focus is on getting to the Metro stop, what I have to do what that day and what upcoming assignments I have. When you walk past something everyday you stop seeing it as it is and it becomes just another building.

Tourists get bad reputations. They stand on the wrong side of the escalator, they slow down the lines in the Metro stations  and they clog up the sidewalks taking pictures and trying to figure out maps. But tourists...they appreciate. They see
these buildings I walk by everyday but they don't just see buildings, they see amazing works of architecture and places of history. 

Maybe it isn't so bad to be a tourist...

There moments when I am dumb-struck. One night I was walking towards the Capitol. It was lit up and it got my attention. And I was stuck by the idea that, "Hey, I live here". And suddenly I'm a tourist stopping to snap a picture with my iPhone. A moment of appreciation caught forever in an iPhone. It happened again when I was on the other side of the mall and I
I happen to turn and looked at the Washington monument on this overcast day.

So maybe being a tourist isn't such a bad thing. In fact going back and looking through my pictures I've realized I've done my share of being a tourist...


 A National's Baseball Game
A  D.C. United Soccer Game
Madam's Organ Blues Bar
Located in the Adams Morgan neighborhood in DC Madam's Organ is a DC landmark. The bar is popular for its nightly live music (especially blues and bluegrass) and happens to be the location of the first annual Interns Night Out. --Madam's Organ features a large outdoor mural, which shows "The Madam", the bar's burlesque mascot.  [[from wikipedia ->]] "The bar's owner, Bill Duggan, says he commissioned the mural as artwork, but the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs ruled it an advertisement because it includes the name of the establishment. In court, the owner refused to remove the wording from the breasts, claiming that to do so would only further expose the madam. Since Madam's Organ did not have a permit for the mural, the bar owner was fined. The case remains in the Court of Appeals". --The history of the bar is pretty cool, the name "Madam's Organ" is just a play on words for "Adams Morgan". Adams Morgan comes from the two schools that used to be located in the area, The Adams School and The Morgan School. In times of segregation, the one school was designated for white and the other for black. The bringing together of the name represents the bringing together of the people. "Now, the Adams Morgan neighborhood is much more than just black and white; it's a thriving and exceptionally harmonious multicultural society".

The Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden:
I can't say I understand Modern Art, but it was interesting to walk around and at least pretend to understand.


The Library of Congress National Book Festival (on the Mall in front of the Smithsonian Castle)

The H Street Festival:

This man was doing this buffalo wood carving/burning using a magnifying glass on the hood up his black Charger.  
 Funky jaw/teeth wood-carved chair.

 And too finish it all off, a wonderfully tourist like photo of me in front of the Capitol.

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