Tag Archives: Arlington

It’s been a while.

25 Oct

Since my last post, I have been working in New York as much as possible to afford to get to Australia, and then made my way West, often without any WiFi or internet access. My bad.

But here is what has happened in a nutshell (or a few).

I was working hard in NYC, right up until my last day in the city. It was tough, but I made it: I got my plane ticket, and a series of buses and trains totalling just under 4,000 miles, all for under $1,000. Which made me happy. So I said my goodbyes to New York, and got on my first bus.

Washington DC. 

The capital of the USA is an odd city. It’s laid out in an odd way, it has a massive social disparity and an eclectic atmosphere. On the one hand, there is the National Mall, the face of the United States of America, built in imposing white marble which is unfortunately falling apart. On one end is the Capitol, looking a little like a cleaned up Ion Cannon that the Rebels take out a Star Destroyer with in the Empire Strikes Back. Following it down, a green expanse, flanked by the Smithsonians, until it is broken up by the tatty Washington Monument, and the White House. Then, the memorials: the World War Two, Korea and Vietnam memorials, with the incredible Lincoln Memorial at the far end, with the reflecting pool dug up, echoing a scene from Fallout 3. Across a small body of water, the Jefferson Memorial watches over it, and the new Martin Luther King Jr memorial is just to one side.

Firstly, the Smithsonian Museums are incredible. The Air and Space, especially. They are chock-full of so much amazing exhibits, the Hope Diamond, the Apollo 11 reentry module, John Glenn’s Mercury spacecraft, SpaceShipOne, the Bell X-1, the Wright Flier, the Spirit of St Louis, the original Star Spangled Banner… if I had to describe the Smithsonian in a word, I would just say ‘go’.

Then, Arlington. Devastatingly sad, I spent my few hours there in the blazing heat whizzing around the massive expanse of graves trying to find the couple of ones I wanted to see enough to fit into my short time there. John Basilone, JFK, RFK, the Unknown Soldiers.. Kids were walking around with T-Shirts bearing pictures of the fathers they had just buried, veterans were finding the graves of their close friends, it was a massively sad few hours.

Washington DC is a fantastic city. All it needs is some form of local government with a say in Congress – it is wasting away with its current lack of money. But perhaps Obama’s successor will be more open to Change.