Dump Trump rally

There was a fairly small Dump Trump rally yesterday, on the corner by the soon-to-open Trump Hotel. The rally was sponsored by D.C.’s shadow representative, Representative Garcia, and the other shadow, Senator Strauss, also spoke. Both men spoke about the goal of not having the city or its residents drive any money toward the Trump Hotel (which is scheduled to open on September 12th).

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Senator Strauss speaking, with Representative Garcia listening
Senator Strauss speaking, with Representative Garcia listening

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NPS 100th

Today is the 100th birthday of the founding of the National Park Service, and in celebration NPS staged a massive version of their logo on the Mall. It was created by 1,200 volunteers holding colored umbrellas, and photographed from above by a helicopter.

Here they are getting ready for it:

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And here’s what it looked like when the photo from the helicopter was taken.

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Disarm Hate

The Disarm Hate rally took place on August 13th at West Potomac Park near the Washington Monument. Its goal is “LGBTQ equal rights & realistic gun law reform,” and is allied with a large number of other groups, including the Newtown Action Alliance, the Trevor Project, and the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence.
I heard several of the speakers, including the incredibly moving Christine Leinonen whose son Drew died at Pulse, and Mathew, brother of Vicki Soto, who died at Sandy Hook while trying to protect her students.

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Other photos from the event:

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The Corpse Flower

Titan Arum, aka the corpse flower, blooms seldom and unpredictably, storing up energy in its large bulb until it is ready to go. I saw (and smelled!) the last time the U.S. Botanic Garden had a blooming corpse flower in 2013, and was eager to see it again. It didn’t disappoint. Here it is a few hours after it opened:

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There were large crowds to see it, with everyone taking photographs:
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The botanic illustrator at the garden was documenting it throughout its progress:
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I’d been going to the Botanical Garden for several days preceding the bloom date so I could watch the progress:

July 27th
July 27th
July 28th
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July 30th
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July 31st
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August 1st
August 1st

After a long wait, it finally bloomed on August 2nd. This was the first bloom for this plant, which is six years old. The Botanic Garden also had the plant’s mother on display nearby, which is genetically identical. It has not bloomed in its ten year life.

Tango

On summer Sundays, tango dancers congregate at Freedom Plaza.  With the Capitol in the distance and the evening light, it combines for a wonderfully romantic scene.

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And the shoes are amazing!

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Democratic National Convention

On the second day of the DNC, I went up to Philadelphia to see the action surrounding the Convention. Here’s what I saw:

Bernie Sanders rally

There was a large Bernie Sanders rally at Thomas Paine Plaza, across the street from City Hall, which went on for most of the day.

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Around the city

There were vendors around the Center City convention center (a satellite location for the Convention), and painted donkeys for each state located around the city.

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City Hall rally

A rally that started at City Hall eventually marched down to FDR Park. The sponsor of the rally was Shut Down the DNC, later joined by Black Lives Matter and Flint Lives Matter, and a few Frank Underwood supporters.

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FDR park

There was a large sprawling crowd at FDR Park, mainly Bernie supporters but with other issues mixed in. Some of the protestors went up to the barricade fence trying to get the delegates to see their signs on the way to the Convention. Other protestors were using art for protest.

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ICEBERGS

The new exhibit at the National Building Museum, ICEBERGS, takes over the great hall with icebergs ranging from 16 to 56 feet tall. The work was designed by James Corner Field Operations, who also was the lead project architect for the High Line in New York.

The icebergs are in an enclosure surrounded by netting, with blue lights shown on it to create an eerie underseas glow. Here’s the view from outside the enclosure:

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Inside the enclosure, you feel like you are underseas in a blue world:

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There are stairs up to an observation deck, and a slide:
ICEBERGS

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ICEBERGS

ICEBERGS

There are also icecube-like pillows to lounge on:
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The exhibit transforms the Great Hall, and the Great Hall transforms the exhibit, as the dramatic windows cast light and shadows everywhere:

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ICEBERGS

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Concert on the Avenue

Tuesday nights during the summer, the Navy Band performs at the Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue, in a series they call “Concerts on the Avenue.” One of the highlights of their performances is the fifty-state flag ceremony that opens the concert.

The flag bearers are in two lines, marching together until they split to go around the perimeter circle of the Memorial.

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In addition to the state flags, there is the traditional presentation of the U.S. flag marching up the center aisle.

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The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed but also formal and inspirational. The flag bearers manage to keep all elements of their uniforms perfect despite soaring heat.

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