Category Archives: outdoor roadside attractions

Taste of Arlington (VA) bigger than ever, but charges admission, leading to lines to get in

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.

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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.

(Posted: Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 6:30 PM EDT)

 

Easter Sunday service at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC

For the first time ever, I attended the Easter Sunday Sunrise Service sponsored by Capital Church in McLean VA today at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.  In 2014, I had attended a service at Arlington Cemetery and filmed it.  But this service lasting about 70 minutes, was “contemporary” in style.

Here is a list of clips.

1  (birds, while waiting for Uber, which did come right away;  Metro wasn’t open yet)

2  The hymn “He’s Alive” reminded me of a Sunday night service in August 1979 at the old MCC Dallas (long before the Cathedral of Hope got built in Dallas) where a young man sung this with his guitar and a woman, paralyzed, got up and walked.  I actually saw this.

3  “Praise the Lord”

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At the end, there was an evangelical appeal to people to raise their hands as a sign of personal commitment to Christ, in public.  This is more common at evangelical services.

(Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 at 2 PM EDT)

A visit to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad site on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

On “Palm Monday” I visited the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park on the Maryland Eastern Shore (south of Cambridge), which is also a national monument run by the National Park Service.

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland on 1822. She was injured in a shop when struck by an object thrown by an angry slaveowner weighing goods, aimed at someone else. She managed to escape, and eventually settled in Auburn, NY (near Syracuse), but made return missions and helped rescue over 70 families along an “Underground Railroad” which the motorist today can drive up Md 16 toward Denton on 404 (Reboboth Highway).

The exhibits diagram how slavery worked in southern Maryland. Farms were smaller than in the deeper south, and slaves were traded more often. Undercover “informants” would pretend to help slaves and then turn them in for bounties. Escaping slaves were often kidnapped, and sometimes free men were taken my mistaken identity and returned to slavery (as with the 2013 film “12 Years a Slave” by Steve McQueen. Slaves had a sense of very low station in life. The over all impression left by the museum is one of overwhelming racial bigotry.

The exhibit also raises the question of “resistance” (a term we hear today) in a moral context.  When is it right to disobey existing law?  How do we deal with this in the Bible (like here in Ephesians)?  We see this problem in other contexts, like African American soldiers serving in segregated units through World War II (remember the HBO film “Truman“).

The museum offered a 2 hour presentation of the opening ceremony by video, with Maryland governor Larry Hogan (Republican) speaking.  Later a biographical film will be offered.

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(Posted Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 9:45 AM EDT)

Palm Sunday in the DC 17h Street corridor

The First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC had a congregational “Adventuring hike” today after the Palm Sunday service, up 16th St and down 17th Century above Annie’s, below Cobalt.

“The band played on”, providing folksy music.  The march lasted about 20 minutes.

It ended up near the Embassy of Australia.

I did hear from one person that people have recovered relatively well from the flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew last October (when only a Category 1) in eastern North Carolina, especially along the Tar and Nuese rivers.  I do want to get down there soon (no later than early May) to see it.  Resilience is a big issue for me to film and report on.  In West Virginia last summer, people were much more handyman-self-sufficient than the outside world thought after the valley floods in late June.  I did visit Lumberton (where, according to David Lynch in “Blue Velvet”, “woodchucks chuck”) in Sept. 2015.

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(Posted: Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 9 PM EDT)

Cherry Blossom Parade, Wahington DC, 2017

Here is some footage from the Cherry Blossom Parade on Constitution Ave in Washington DC, Saturday, April 8, 2017.

The marching bands remind me of the “innocence” of high school.

The Cherry Blossom Queen looked like a monument to the conventions of the heterosexual world.

The Washington Nationals appeared with their bobblehead.

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7   Washington Nationals baseball

(Posted: Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 4 PM EDT)

Cherry Blossoms in Washington got to about 40% of their potential after cold snap

I did get to the Tidal Basin in Washington late today to see the cherry blossoms.

They seemed to be only about 40% of what they should have been.  Three nights in the mid twenties last week after the snow, and one cold night this week did severe damage after early blooming starting in late February.

Occasionally, especially near the water where it was warmer, one tree would be fully bloomed.

In the mean time, the GOP was pulling the American Health Care Act from the vote.  But along the Basin, nobody cared.

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(Posted: Friday, April 24, 2017 at 11:30 PM EDT)

A visit to Infinity Mirrors by Yayoi Kusama at SI Hirshhorn in Washington

I visited the Infinity Mirrors Exhibit by Yayoi Kusama at Hirshhorn today.

I showed up for the day-pass line at about 9:10 AM.  The line was combined with the other line, and slowly started moving at 9:35.  I finally got my pass at about 11:20,  over two hours after I arrived.

Two hours of my time are worth money.  I would rather pay a fair price for a ticket (maybe $10) at a specific time by credit card or Paypal and not have a hassle.  The Monday noon ticket giveway times out before most users can get ticket.

Before I got in at 1 PM, I encountered Chris the Mockingbird.

Later I encountered him in the garden and he seemed to recognize me.  Mockingbirds are musicians.  But the males do not have plumage color that gives them the obvious external trappings of manhood.  They seem to have made some sort of sacrifice.

In the museum. there were five rooms with the last one temporarily closed.  You go into the room and have 20-30 seconds.  The effect is to see many copies of yourself as in the movie “Interstellar”, where in the end people are saved by creating their own little tesseracts.

You’re not supposed to use flash, and I apologize for one shot;  I thought I had turned it off on my Canon Power Shot but it went off.

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There was also artwork simulating life on other planets.

Are these plants or animals?

And there was a piano room.

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More pics

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(Posted: Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 6:45 PM EST)

Arlington VA, where woodpeckers peck

Today, after service at the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington VA, I stopped to take a recording of some bird sounds in the “mountain” of “Chapel Hill” behind the church, which protects the area from damage from the strongest winds in storms.

Say, “Arlington VA, where woodpeckers peck”, a rewrite of the narrative line “Lumberton NC, where woodpeckers peck” in David Lynch’s 1986 masterpiece “Blue Velvet”.

Maybe this is like a nature sound in a Mahler symphony.

(Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 1:45 PM EST)