Today I did make a quick visit to Eugene Simpson field in the Del Ray section of Alexandria, VA, slightly north of downtown Alexandria, to the west of US-1 (just north of some of South Arlington and Four Mile Run). The YMCA is across a small parking lot. Much of the area has new upscale apartments.
The ballfield is the site of the shooting by left-wing terrorist Thomas Hodgkinson, of Belleville IL, of several Republican Congressmen (and their aides) practicing for a charity baseball game the next night at Nationals Park. Apparently he was perched behind the 3rd base dugout. Only the actions of two Capitol Police officers, both wounded, assigned to protect Scalise, prevented a massacre.
There are four schools just south of Alexandria and I-495/95 where I worked as a substitute teacher in the 2004-2007 period. One of them, West Potomac, which I have mentioned in other postings, is probably about 8 miles from this site.
Later I visited Leesylvania State Park on the Potomac River below Woodbridge, and then the Potomac Nationals minor league (Carolina League) baseball park near the Prince William County government center.
I did watch Rolling Thunder in Washington DC today, my first time. I got out at Smithsonian Station and saw the bikers rolling west on Independence Ave.
I walked west toward the Tidal Basin, and stopped for shelter at a Park Service station as a heavy rain shower with thunder lasted 40 minutes. Then I walked toward the Lincoln Memorial, pest the West Potomac Park where the bikers congregated, pasted the speakers at the Reflecting Pool and the assemblage honoring Vietnam War veterans.
I saw one biker with a jacket indicating he had been in the 1983 Marine Barracks attack in Beirut.
On Constitution Ave., near the Federal Reserve Building, there was a “Motorcycle Pride” fair. The bikers were released one more time (like ‘Nsync) and we had to wait for the train to pass to cross Constitution Ave.
The “Taste of Arlington” (Virginia) was bigger than ever, but charged $15 admission. Tickets were issued for alcohol, but food could be bought with cash. Food concessions were cheaper than at many festivals (offsetting the admission).
This event was perhaps “Gay pride for dogs” (or maybe Straight pride for dogs). I never saw so many dogs at an event, who would be more interested in each other than in all the people (although they did want the food — as a dog onetime begged me for some hamburger at Gay Pride in DC). Some of DC’s gay community (Cobalt, Town, Freddie’s, etc.) did seem to be around. I didn’t see an HRC pavilion, which might have been a good idea.
The area started farther south on Wilson Blvd than in the past, that is, just past where the Ballston Quarter is being re-constructed. It extended almost to Virginia Square.
There was a climbing pole and some basket-court games. The MLB Washington Nationals (who won today in Atlanta, breaking a 4-gane losing streak) had a major pavilion and advertised their new Visa card.
Something bizarre happened when I got the wristband wrapped on. “I’ll watch out for the hair”, the salesperson said, dispassionately, almost as if a character in “Twin Peaks”. That’s never been said even at Town. Last time was an “iv-critic” back in 1998 in the hospital in Minneapolis after surgery for my broken hip accident.
The Washington Nationals returned home from Mars-like Colorado where they dealt a 16-5 playground thrashing of the Rockies Thursday afternoon (while I was at FilmfestDC), so I went to the game last night. Max Scherzer was not shartp, as the New York Mets waited on his fastballs and the catcher drove in 5 runs with two homers. Ryan Zimmerman hit two homes for the Nats, who almost pulled ou the game in the bottom of the Ninth when Harper grounded into a double play. Earlier. Micheal Eaton seemed to sprain an ankle running out an infield hit . At least we hope that’s all there is. (Note: later reports indicate Eaton is lost for the season.)
A child sitting in a box row in front of me got possession of a foul ball, which I got to touch and photo.
The stadium has a memorial to an incident in the Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013.
Note that you enter and leave the Park behind Center Field. The compass on my iPhone implies that the playing field must be at only 30 feet elevation. (Coors Field in Denver is about 5,260).
Later, there was a spontaneous Blues concert outside (like “Two Trains Runnin'”).
And there was a military color guard before the national anthem (which could use more interesting harmonization, although when sung a cappella that doesn’t matter).
Afterwards, Town Danceboutique for a Post Cherry party.
I’ll add here some clips from the Chess for Charity tournament at the Our Lady of Good Counsel school in Vienna Virginia. My games scores are on yesterday’s post on my DADT blog.
This is not my greatest day of filmmaking. Outside, it was dreary and drizzly (the previous tournament there had been crisp and sunny). But an indoor chess sporting event cannot be rained out. At the same time, the Nationals were beating the Marlins in Miami.
I kept the camera restrained so as not to disturb players, but a chess tournament really is quite cinematic when in a large hotel room. It’s amazing how jumbled most middle game positions look. Maybe a Bond film will try it.
I finished 2-1. White won all three games. The last game turned into a “slugfest” in the late innings; both bullpens failed; both sides had deadly mate threats, and initiative was all that mattered; material meant nothing.