Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Washington Day Three: Things get better

Yikes. Had a long day today and I'm writing this about yesterday so it may not be as long as it could.
I woke up early, at about 8 am in preparation for getting up at 4:30 am the next day.
Went over to the National Postal Museum first thing:

It sucked. It was really geared toward children with lots of movies with actors re-creating scenes. Like for example they had this one skit where people from different eras went up to the postal window for services. The first woman was from the 30's and she wanted to open a savings account for her grandson. She went on about how he was getting such good grades in school and offered to show a picture, etc. It was death.
The best part was a whole section on crime in the mail, including mail bombs, thefts, and the actual handcuffs used during the capture of the unibomber.
Leaving there I walked past the State Capital:

And found my way to the National Gallery. Here's one advantage of overthrowing a government and installing a puppet government loyal to you:

The National gallery was good, lots of variation in themes. Of course lots of religious crap I practically ran through but some cool newer things like this which I thought my friend Joe would like:

And an excellent photo series from Richard Misrach called "On the Beach". "On the Beach" is one of my favourite books and was made into a movie starring Anthony Perkins and some dancer fellow. Anyway, it's plot was an atomic bomb was set off in the northern hemisphere and the people of Australia were waiting for the gas to come and kill them all.

The photos really capture the sense of isolation, like these people are the only ones in the world, and some give the impression of people lost at sea.
From there I went to the National Portrait Gallery which had some good choices, but a very wide mix. I wonder what their criteria is. They had a commissioned picture of every president done during their term. JFK was abstract and kind of cool, whereas Nixon was painted by Norman Rockwell.
They also had some stars like Elvis:

And this stunning painting of Christopher Reeves in the centre of the room, very arresting:

This next photo shows four men demanding to be served at Julius's Bar in Greenwich Village. At the time many bars refused to sell liquor to gays because New York regulations forbade it. This was one of a series of public protests planned by Criag Rodwell and the Mattachine Society to be more confrontational and push the gay civil rights agenda. He also was a part of the Stonewall riots and organized the first gay rights march in New York City.

This photo of Judy Garland was made all the better by the text below:

Apparently Liza is coming to Toronto in March. If it's not $300 I'd love to go.
Ok, so I left the gallery and went back to the Hostel and packed up so I wouldn't make so much noise when I left at 4 am. I got to the stadium:

Notice all the soccer stuff? Turns out I was at the wrong place. I wondered why there were only about 10 people going to the game. So I paid to get on the subway AGAIN and finally got to the game:

They had a free t-shirt giveaway but as I got there in the middle of the 1st inning I missed it.

I left about 9 or 9:30, after the 7th inning and they came back to tie the game as I was leaving but I didn't really know where I was going and I had to get up before dawn so I left. As I was leaving I tried to buy the souvenir cup I always get and they said they were all out. So I went to the next stand and they said management takes them away in the 7th inning. WTF??? So I went down to the first level hoping some rich person was throwing one away and found a stall still selling them. The guy who sold me the cup got yelled at by the manager but I got it. Then I got back and fell asleep to wake up at 4:30 am.... to be continued.

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