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Posts tagged “Washington DC

National Museum of African American History and Culture

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Yes, it’s free. But that is not the only reason we attended. It opened about two years ago. It was pretty moving. I learned more than I wanted to know. For instance, the ship model cutaway shows slaves stacked like cargo. Exactly. And it was assumed that there could be as much as 33% loss of cargo during the voyage. Really! I never knew the inhumanity. And it was not confined to a single country. Multiple nations took part and profited. The suffering was enormous. I can admit that this was not something taught in any school I attended. History is written by the winners. The losers don’t get much mention. I’m truly saddened and appalled.

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Reflection – reflecting pool/waterfall. It was on the list of places to see in the museum.

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This cutaway model shows how human cargo was stacked/arranged for the long voyage from Africa to the colonies. I was shocked. Somehow, i never realized the utter lack of regard for human life. I am ashamed at my ignorance of human suffering. I am sad.

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Cherry Blossom III

More images. What the… it was on my bucket list. Go for it. I was there at the peak time. It’s like a full moon. It is because they say it is. There’s a window of opportunity. Days. We missed in late March. The blossoms weren’t open. Climate change. The bloom occurred weeks later. There is no climate change. Or as the lion in the Wizard of Oz said, “I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks.”


Cherry Blossom II

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Too many images, not enough space. But, hey, this was my bucket list. I had sort of assumed that a quintessential image would jump out. Instead, I’ve seen blossoms – lots. And I saw more. There was a slight disappointment. I was uninspired. Oh well, I’ve been there and done that. No need to repeat. I tried all the tricks of composition and angle. I got images. It was a clear cool day. There were plenty of tourists and plenty of serious photographers. I’m not sure I saw anything new that hasn’t been seen/done before.


Cherry Blossoms

 

Bucket list. It’s been on my list to see the cherry blossoms. It was never very far away. I’ve just never been… till now. What’s so special? I’ve seen plenty of blossoms. There are said to be about 2000 trees. The DC folks have a whole festival about it. They warn tourists not to pick the blossoms because it will kill next year’s blossoms. I mean it’s all well and good. I didn’t come away with a quintessential shot. I got the requisite images. I got the monuments in the background. I’m vaguely missing the point here?


Flags

It’s cherry blossom time. The Washington Monument makes the perfect foil. You cannot miss this icon and everyone knows where you are. Flags blowing in a stiff breeze make for a striking graphic. Once again, vertical vs horizontal (composition)? Shoot both. Ha! But then you gotta choose. Luckily I can show you both.

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Meanwhile it’s also cherry blossom time. The Washington monument is a giveaway of the location. And of course I want everyone to know I was there for this showing.

 


National Portrait Gallery

It’s free! Well, no. I paid taxes. Therefore, my entrance fee is built in. Go figure. What  if you don’t pay taxes (see President Trump)? It’s still free. These days if it were up to the Republicans, there’d be no arts, no museums…. Meanwhile, aside from the portraits, there is art – aluminum foil art, and steam radiator art. The atrium is cool with a flat fountain (remember it’s free). And then, our government thought enough to make two museums in the same building. So, half and half. You can do that if your patron is one and the same (our fearless government).


They try

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It’s inevitable that you run across construction. So, you take what you get. The tulips tell you that it’s springtime in DC. Meanwhile we were here to see the cherry blossoms. I’m just one among many (photographers) trying for a quintessential shot. This wasn’t it. But, I like the graphic anyway.

It also leaves me with a philosophical/existential question. Am I shooting to post? Or am I posting what I shoot? I thought I’d post what I shot? That was the beginning. But it’s way easier to remain in the present than the past. Hmmmm….


Traffic

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Today, it ain’t about the picture. This is generic. You been there? I have. Done that. Done as in past tense. It’s the Washington beltway. I don’t envy the poor souls traveling in the opposite direction. All my life I traveled from Manhattan to the suburbs to work (against the rush hour flow). Ok! But it was still a royal pain in the ass. You always encountered traffic. I paid extra toll to go through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel just so I wouldn’t have to battle the rude drivers merging in at the Brooklyn Bridge.

Nowadays I just go. Go! Yeah! I rarely have to sit and stew in traffic. Do you know how many hours I’ve done in my lifetime? Years! I’ve sat in my car literally for years. If you calculate the miles you’ve driven… Oh my! Yes! I have sat in the car for years. No s**t Sherlock. So, to all of you who still sit in traffic, my sympathies. I am free! Yes, occasionally I sit. Not often. Thank you. Have you guessed yet, that I’m pretty happy about that?


White House

Considering the state of our government it’s better if we don’t see all. You can walk around the building but there is only one view that allows a relatively unobstructed view from afar. Everywhere else you get a partial view. The fake president was off to Florida to play golf while the nation marched for gun control. He didn’t have the balls to stay in DC and face the crowd. It was his prerogative to ignore a million or so people who gathered within hailing distance of the White House. Secret Service police were assigned mandatory overtime to protect the building. The one officer I spoke with had been on duty 17 straight hours and would stand post till the event was finished – about a 24 hour shift. I’m disconcerted to see the security guards on the roof. I learned this from one of the recent White House movies.

Meanwhile our fearless leader kept quiet and didn’t tweet about the “March for Our Lives” at all. The NRA had him in their pocket I guess. His kid has Secret Service protection in school. Maybe ours deserve as much too?


Look-out

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You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Just when you think it can’t get worse, you realize that a serious mistake was made. Things never felt right since the election and inauguration. Things feel right; well, a bit better.

It’s not over by a long shot. People still believe in 45. But they were always a minority. Each day becomes a little more desperate. Just because Fox says “it is” doesn’t make it so. There is no fake news. It is what it is. Platitudes. But the truth is becoming more apparent with each passing day. One news show opens with, “Today is Day 432 and counting” as though the count will end at some point. We are getting nearer and nearer to the Day of Reckoning. We don’t need no stinkin’ yard signs to tell us which way this one’s going. Pack your bags.

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Do you suppose they might pass gun control laws if they took away security at the Capitol and the White House? You know? Replace it with the same security they have at the school. How long will congress put up with the same security like the kids in Parkland or in any other public venue near you? You should have equal security and equal healthcare to congress. Why not?