Category Archives: D.C.

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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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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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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Phife is Living!

Words Beats & Life held a big festival yesterday at Marvin Gaye Park in Anacostia. It was in honor of Phife Dawg, who died in March. There was a drum circle, two stages, sports, chess sets and a chess tournament, and mural painting.

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Smithsonian Folklife Festival

This year’s Folklife Festival featured the Basque culture, including demonstrations of dancing, singing, sports, and boat-building.

The dancing included traditional dancing, contemporary dance, and the characters used in the dancing:

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Joaldunak Procession

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Basque dancing.

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Some of the dancers were from a young California dance troupe, here waiting to go on stage:

Basque dancing.

Basque dancing.

The rural sports demonstrated included an anvil lift.  The object was to do 100 lifts, touching a 10-kilo anvil to the base and then the top plate. The winner was a man doing it solo, in 1 minute 41 seconds. The women did it in teams of two, trading off after each 25 lifts, and were a few seconds slower than the man.

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There was a sandbag run, carrying a 40 kilo sandbag.

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The sawing contest was very interesting since it required strength and speed but also finesse – they had to cut 6 slices that were no wider than 3 cm each, which they managed to accomplish in just under 3 minutes.

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There were several craftsmen demonstrating boat-building techniques.  In the 16th century, the Basques were considered the best whalers, using a small boat called a txalupa.  A model of a txalupa was brought to the festival in a partially-finished state, and was worked on during the festival.

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