a few fall favorites

The following aren't just fall favorites, but DC favorites. An alliteration for the title seemed like a clever thing to do. The building in which I work is located on Pennsylvania Avenue... quite close to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The White House.

Lafayette Square: evidence it was fall for about a week. (Now it feels like winter) When it was slightly warmer (the first week of my new job) I would sit and eat lunch here and watch any demonstration going on across the street, just outside the White House fence.

One of the days last week, I went to Chinatown on my lunch break. I love the Chinatown gate. Unfortunately, Ben and I have yet to really discover Chinatown. But we will. We're excited to find that one Chinese restaurant that's always good for take-out.
This is definitely a forever favorite. This is the exit from the Gallery Place-Chinatown metro to 7th and H street. I probably just like it for its bright lights. But I think it's awesome. It sets the mood for entering Chinatown.

Last night I experienced something new, not necessarily a favorite, but an interesting opportunity for an anthropologist such as myself :) Each year around Halloween there is a drag queen high heel race near Dupont Circle. Unfortunately, due to the high influx of people and cars, we didn't find a place to park in time to actually see the race. We will have to see it next year. Men, dressed as women, racing in high heels for a city block. You can see it, right? So, we didn't see the race, but we did get photos with some of our favorite queens.
This is a Sarah Palin look alike. I can see it, can you? the high heel trophythis queen was my favorite
this was a headdress of one of the contestants. HEAVY. they were saying "we're hollywood dahling, we're hollywood..."
We didn't stay for long, because it was cold. Ben got a shot of mine and Katie's matching 600 feather count coats. It was a fun time... like I said, an interesting experience :) "We're not in Utah anymore..."



I know that Emily is the one who usually blogs, but from my own desire to blog and at her prodding I have decided to write my first blog. Yesterday Emily and I drove to Leesburg Virginia to attend a rally for Barack Obama. We got there a little late so we couldn't get super close. But after the rally we found the motorcade and waited. Soon enough Senator Obama's motorcade drove by and he waved to us.

This is Emily waving to Barack

Here is the video of the motorcade

Obama signed books after wards (major regret that we didn't bring a book)

I think it is great that Emily and I live in Virginia especially as the presidential election winds down. I have never been in such a politically exciting place at such an exciting time. I know first hand that good people disagree on political issues. But it makes me very sad to hear those who say that those that are "liberal" or those voting for Obama are un American in some way. Patriotic people disagree on political issues but we should respect others opinions and not assume that those who disagree with us are unpatriotic. In the end we should respect what others in our democracy have to say and not put down others who don't share our own political beliefs.

In closing I think that JFK described best why I am Liberal and why I am voting for Obama.
"What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then ... we are not that kind of "Liberal." But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal." [September 14, 1960]


iwo jima & arlington cemetery

Within the last week or so, we've enjoyed a couple more of the DC memorials which are extremely close to our apartment. We first tried to go to Arlington Cemetery, but it was closed (so we went later)--- a lot of free things close around 5 or 5:30. The only downside to something being free. So we walked to the US Marine Memorial a.k.a. the Iwo Jima memorial. The path was right in between the cemetery fence and the freeway. a little scary and I made a mental note: don't bring small children on this path.

the view from the path

This is the back view of the Iwo Jima--- I think it's cool seeing all the hands reaching for the flag. The memorial was adapted from a photo taken of Marines on Iwo Jima.

the front view

these flowers are fuzzy, so i wanted to touch them

this is the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington Cemetery.

I think these graves are beautiful--- the way they are set up and all equal.
who can spot the air force memorial? :)

a beautiful view behind us--- we were at the Custis-Lee mansion

Arlington house a.k.a. the Custis-Lee mansion

As Shayna would say, it's like we're living history--- being able to see all these historic sites and memorials :) We love it.



well... the economy is crashing. in hopes it will someday revive itself, i got a job yesterday. and i'm very happy about that. the office is across from the White House, awesome fun too. :) Ben and I celebrated... he got me some nice flowers :) and we went to a frozen custard place called the Dairy Godmother and got the flavor of the day, cannoli. it was so good! hooray for good news!!


unavoidable changes

recently, I got a new phone. and a new number. the first thing I thought of was how Carrie Bradshaw must've felt when she had to give up her old Manhattan area code. I'm sad. I went through four phones and actually, four years with my old number. who knows how many phone calls I went through? and texts? far too many, I'm sure. especially in the "foxes" years. ;)
I told Shayna I felt like a part of me had died. it's weird how I get attached to certain things like my phone number or cars... like when my green Honda got smashed, I didn't care I was hurt and had whiplash, I cared about the car! (and Brasil really is a big country, I'm sure Si would confirm that.) but I know I'm not the only person who gets attached to nonsensical, inanimate and intangible things... maybe somehow I felt like my phone number defined me. it was 4.3.5. not 8.0.1. and now? well maybe it'll be good for me to have a new number in my new stage in life. at least I wasn't really attached to any of the phones. I like my new phone.

as much as I'd like to avoid it, I feel like images define people. meaning--- the way you look and present yourself, the clothes you're wearing, your gender, hair, skin, height, weight. in general, people will make (usually quick) judgments and assumptions about who you are because of these things. Unavoidable. and sometimes it's not necessarily a bad thing. it's like when I see a girl in the metro with dreads. "Oooo, I want those." or I see hundreds of women in their business attire and stilettos and I am BAFFLED. "how can they walk in those all day long?"

but here I am. new phone number Emily. *sigh* maybe it'll get me a job.



Ben and I went to the ZOO yesterday: yet another Smithsonian perk... free :) Sadly, we heard on the radio yesterday that Smithsonian is thinking about charging admission for their museums&zoo, because they want to become self-reliant. I would be so sad if they started charging. It would totally change my view on the whole Smithsonian wonderfulness.
We keep picking really good days to go out and about. Yesterday was perfect jacket weather and since the summer is over, the District isn't rampant with tourists. I think going to the zoo is such a fun thing, for all ages. Especially when one can just walk around leisurely and not have to worry about spending money.

A little panda bum and a little taste of China.

Red panda. Who knew?

Yes, I look pasted into this photo.

These lion monkey thingers are so cool looking. I remember them at the Hogle Zoo.

This prairie dog was so funny. When we walked up to its cage it just came and stood like this right up against the glass. The ONLY animal that would do that.
So Ben got even closer.

The closest I will ever be to a chipmunk.


beaker was my favorite

Yesterday, we went to a Jim Henson exhibit at the International Smithsonian museum. I'm really glad we went--- since its last day on exhibit is today. There was no photography allowed (unfortunately) but it was fascinating to see his initial sketches of Beaker & Bunsen Honeydew, Bert & Ernie. There was also some original puppets on display (sadly no Beaker) but of course, Kermit. Henson made Kermit out of his mother's spring coat and made his eyes of ping pong balls. I know for me, that makes Kermit that much cooler! There were a ton of people at this small exhibit--- it was fun seeing everyone reliving their childhood.
We then went to the sculpture garden and put our feet in the water, ate an apple. Highly recommended :)


Since I couldn't post a you tube video, here's a link to a good Henson memory.


visits & adventures (continued)

Here are a few more photos from our week with Dave and Linda. The full blog is below :)

National Cathedral doors.

On the Potomac.

The Asian Collection at the National Arboretum.

The herb garden at the National Arboretum.


visits & adventures

Last week Ben's parents came to visit because, well... they love us but also because Dave had some work out here. So Linda and I (and sometimes Ben) got to be together during the day and explore :) The night Dave and Linda got here, we went down to the Air Force Memorial and the new Pentagon Memorial (dedicated on September 11th). Both memorials are super close to our house, so we see them almost everyday, but we hadn't stopped and looked at them closely yet.

This is the view of the Air Force memorial we see almost everyday. The highest of the three (far right) was positioned to represent the flight path of the plane that hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

This is the Air Force star in the middle of the memorial. You can see the Washington monument in the background.

This is the new Pentagon memorial. There is a "bench" for each person who died either in the plane or in the Pentagon. If you are reading the name of the person (the skinny part) and you are facing away from the Pentagon, it means they died in the plane and visa versa.
September 11th was more of NYC thing to me until this year...

Ben, Linda and I got to go to the National Cathedral, which is actually an Episcopalian cathedral and not Catholic. Who knew? It was beautiful.

You know me... I loved the stained glass :)

I was totally fascinated by these flowers. They looked like corkscrews--- which is funny because they are called corkscrew vines. Next time we have a big event, I'm getting these.

On Tuesday we went to the Mount Vernon, George Washington's place of residence. This is Ben with the Potomac behind him.

All of us in front of the home of George. It was so fun inside (we couldn't take pictures)--- a lot of green walls. We got to explore the grounds a lot as well. It was a lot of fun.

Linda and I got to go to the National Arboretum and learn about "power plants"--- plants which are used for bio-fuels, et cetera. These are soybeans and made me want to eat Edamame.

We visited the herb garden (one of the only things in bloom this time of year). This is cockscomb, the flower I really wanted in my bridal bouquet but it was unfortunately really hard to get.

There was a fish pond and the fish followed us all the way down the pond because they thought we were going to feed them. I loved the arboretum (and so did Linda)! I'm excited to go back in the spring when more is in bloom.

One of my favorite things was going to get crabs at Tim's River Shore. It's about 45 minutes from where we live, so it is way out of the city and right on the Potomac. Going all the way out there is worth it because it is all about the experience. Crab tastes so much better when you have to work for it. And it's just a lot of fun!

Somehow I always chose the crabs with only one front pincer thinger.

Yes, Ben does Rulz.

Well it was a lovely week and I hope next time we can make it to Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown :)