Monday, November 14, 2005

My Trip To D.C.

Well, I made it to D.C. and sat in the hotel for two days straight. I made it out to Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan. I’ve come away with some opinions of D.C. The people are lame. I saw a lot of trendy people but they all seemed young. The whole town has the feel of a Young Republicans convention. On the weekend nights there seemed to be lots of people who were ridiculously drunk being ridiculously obnoxious. The average age looked about 21 or 22. The guys paraded in suits and the women were dressed up like mannequins at Nordstroms. It has a very different vibe from Portland. There were no handmade clothes, nothing looked thrifted, no tattoos, no piercings, no goofy outfits that will be hip in two years, no good beer, no good coffee, no good music. Intellectually D.C. may be very alive, I don’t know. Culturally it is barren. For the most part young Republicans are square. (This impression may also have influenced by the fact that there was a big Federalist Society meeting at my hotel. Those people freak my shit right out.)
D.C. is also hopelessly tech unfriendly. I can’t find a wireless connection anywhere. This will probably end up getting posted at the airport in Minneapolis. (This ended up not being posted in Minneapolis b/c I couldn’t find a fucking electrical plug. Internet 1 Antonio 0.)
I did get to do some touristy stuff. I saw a couple monuments. The new WWII monument is huge. It makes the WWI monument look kind of pathetic. There are relief sculpture panels around the monument depicting events during the period. I know most of you will be shocked that none of the panels depicted any Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, or African Americans. But of course the white folks of the U.S. won that war all by themselves.
By the White House there were some people protesting torture. That was kind of sad. That really shouldn’t be something someone has to protest against the U.S. government about. I’m of the “torture is bad” school. I don’t know what euphemism the other school is going to take as their name, the “McCain’s a pussy” school?

I went to the National Archive and took a picture of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and Marbury’s commission for the bench. It was nice to see that Article VI is still on the Constitution. I know it’s towards the end but maybe President Bush will get around to reading it before the end of his term.
I also made it to the Supreme Court Building. I couldn’t find any “My attorney appealed my case all the way to the Supreme Court Of The United States and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” T-shirt. If anyone does get around to making those t-shirts I submit alternative endings of “all I got was this lousy denial of writ for certiorari.” and “this lousy 4-3-2 opinion.”

I also got a picture of this guy, Rochambeau. It’s like the game. They should redo the sculpture and have him playing rochambeau. I looked around for a plaque explaining who he was. I was hoping for a story of a French advisor who kicked British troops in the crotch, but there wasn’t one. I also considered doing the “Dead White Guys in Knickers” tour but it looked pretty long when I saw how many statues of dead white guys in knickers there were around town.
After all that walking I’m kind of tired. I don’t smell too good either. I feel bad for whoever has to sit next to me on the plane. (Turned out to be a fat guy who spilled over onto my seat. Motherfucker, I do the spilling.)
Anyway, I’ll be back in Portland soon and after some sleep I plan to go to work, school, and $.25 taco night at the dive bar around the corner. After that I may tell you all about the wonderful experience I had at the hotel. Rock on.


Blogger Azu said...

Which dive bar has $.25 taco night? That's a great deal. I'd hit it.

2:31 PM  
Blogger cindylu said...

Why do you smell bad? Don't they have showers in DC?

12:54 AM  
Anonymous lin said...

"But of course the white folks of the U.S. won that war all by themselves."

You really think the artist/designer or those approving the sculptures (WWII monument, etc..) really thought about depicting race.

By your reasoning, there should be depictions of all the ethnic groups here in America in order to be accurate. Hell, I guess we should also be sure to include short and tall people, maybe a midget or dwarf too. We don't want to leave anyone out.

That monument commemerates "Americans" who fought in WWII, regardless of race.

6:41 AM  
Blogger jaime said...

my guess is that you found the city/people "lame" and "trendy" because you only made it to dupont, adams morgan, and the mall - all quite gentrified and commercialized. what doesn't fit on tourists' maps is where many of the "real" people live, namely NE and SE. D.C.'s minority are the whites and Republicans - it's just that the parts you visited are often only affordable to the minority. the metonymy of "Washington" is far removed from the reality.

i hope you visit again and are able to see the realities of our culturally diverse city, including poverty smothered in a lack of Congressional voting rights. i think you'll also find handmade clothes and much that is thrifted - though i can't guarantee the "barely making it" look will be all that hip in two years.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Elenamary said...

i am always impressed by your writing.

anyway, yeah DC can be a very lame city full of yuppys. even the "liberal" white people in DC have sticks way to far up their asses...sadly it took me not being in DC for awhile to realize it.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

You should come back to DC sometime and not go to Adams Morgan. At all. It's a great place to live (convenient) but as you said, the 'scene' is full of preppy children. The only thing to do in AdMo at night is eat Ethiopian, Eritrean, or Salvadorian food. Go hang out in Eastern Market on a Sunday morning for great coffee.

DC's a hard nut to crack - most of the people who live here don't even know about the cool stuff.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Jane, Zack's Mom said...

After they built the Metro in DC, someone wrote an articfle comparing it with Boston's subway. He said that in Boston you go on the subway in the morning and there are lots of regular folks, and they're drinking coffee and eating doughnuts, and it feels like a real place. But when you ride on DC's Metro, it's shiny and clean, no food or drinks allowed, and everyone's wearing grey and carrying a briefcase. I lived in DC for seven years and would never live there again.

10:44 AM  

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