The plan was, go to Denver to see a show. Then I figured; “Why just go to Denver? If you’re already going to be hitting the road, might as well see some of the people you love on the way.” So I took off a bit early and headed to DC. Then I found out that the band playing in Denver was of no interest to me, so I canceled that part of the trip and decided to head back to NY, but first thing’s first… DC and the awesomeness that ensued there.
Brando had organized a tubing trip in Shenandoah and this was way more thorough than anything we ever did back in the Ville. There were busses and the organizers gave you different tubes to fit your needs. You got a cooler? They have cooler tubes for you. Need some string? They got you covered. It was very well done and Brando, Natalia, Claudia and I were pumped to hit the river.
The float down took about 3 hours and the water temperature was perfect. When we got to the bottom there was a bus waiting to take us back to our car. The drive from Shenandoah was pleasantly American, hills and farm houses and such, and on the way home we hit some local BBQ spot where I had the most heavenly biscuits with sausage gravy.
The next day we had a 4 or 5 hour dim sum and bottomless cocktail brunch at Zengo in Chinatown then headed to the National Portrait Gallery.
The portraits were great and there were some very interesting pop art and modern performer sections but the crown jewels (mostly because they were totally unexpected) were the Nam June Paik installations. Paik was introduced to me as a teenager by my Father and on one of my birthdays he gave me “the worlds of Nam June Paik” a book which I treasure to this very day.
(as always, my watermark does not imply that I created or have any rights pertaining to these works of art, just the pictures of them)
The next day Brando and I set out to try and get some things accomplished, but those plans were dashed so we wound up at a quaint Irish pub called “Shenanigans” to watch the Germany world cup game. We tried to pace ourselves at the beginning, but considering that we were 2 of the 5 patrons in the bar, we quickly built a rapport with the bartenders. After several rounds of shots and swapping bar stories, one of the bartenders asked “Have you ever been Iced?” To which I replied “no” because in several years of bartending and skillful Icing nonsense, I had actually managed to evade being a victim of the foolish act… He responded by slamming a Smirnoff Ice on the bar………
He got me.
The next day Brando had arranged for us to get some behind the scenes access to the US Capitol building which I was pretty excited about. His cousin is an agent with the Capitol police department and was able to get us into some spots that transients aren’t usually allowed to see. It did not disappoint and I think we owe them a pretty big debt for allowing us to move around such an important space so freely.
These are the old Congress chambers, notice the polite placement of the spittoons.
These are the original Chambers of the Supreme Court Judges.
Then we went out to the balcony outside of the present Congressional meeting room, they took our phones and cameras away in the actual room where the president gives the state of the union addresses and stuff, but it was pretty insane being in there. Apparently some Puerto Rican activists shot the place up a few years back and some of the furniture still has bullet holes which was interesting. But check out the view from where our laws get made:
Not too shabby.
Our last stop on the Capitol tour was the underground train system, there are several automated trains but what really astounded me was this archaic mode of transportation that required an attendant and moved all of 200 feet. A sidewalk would have been much better suited for the task.
We got to ride the little guy to both of it’s destinations which took all of 2.7 minutes.
We then moved on to watch America’s first world cup match of the quarter finals vs. Belgium, there was a damn serious turn out and I was feeling the patriotism here in our nations Capitol.
Unfortunately we lost but the Segermeisters and I did manage to pull a 2nd place finish at Wonderland trivia so I leave DC with a smile on my face.
Once again, another successful visit to DC, thanks entirely to Brando and Natalia. Thanks guys, can’t wait to party with you again in a couple of months for your “wedding.”