Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Washington D.C.

It's day 2 and I'm really enjoying my stay in D.C. the second time around.

The very first time I came to Washington D.C. was back in 1989 for the Close Up Program which gives high schools students the chance to see how our Nation's Capitol functions on a daily basis.

Let's go back in time, my freshmen year at Sherman Indian High School, circ 1989, Sherman takes a group of kids to Washington D.C. for the Close Up program, I didn't go because I wasn't interested at the time. A year later when I was sophmore, I decided to stay home and attend the Close Up program with Skyline High School, the only problem, how was I going to pay for it?

Fortunately for me, my mom is savy business woman, so she constructed a letter asking donations from the Bay Area community. The goal was to raise 1500$ and that little letter pulled in 3000$, more than enough for me to go. The Skyline High School counselor who chaperoned the trip, Mr. McGibney, kept my letter for future students who needed a templete on how to write a good fundraising letter and he also created a mini-fund with the extra money for future Skyline High School students who wanted to go on the D.C. All the credit goes to my mom on that one.

I spent 2 weeks in Washington that year and from what I can remember, that whole trip is a blur. I really hated that Skyline High School group, they were all snobby and uninteresting. When we got here, I just followed them around like a little puppy because I didn't know how to lead or go do shit on my own. I know I should've went with the Sherman group because those guys were my peeps and I knew I would've had a better time with them.

Moving forward to today. I've been in D.C. 3 days so far and have been on a non stop whirlwind excursion around town.

The parade and fireworks display was Monday evening. There were so many people in the National Mall area. People were everywhere. There were two big free outdoor concerts going on simultaneously, there was one on the Capitol Hill steps and the other one was at the Washington Monument.

The Capitol Hill concert seemed disconjointed from the public, so I was like fuck that, I don't care whose playing, I'm going to try my luck at the other venue. And who did I miss at the Capitol Concert, Singer Jordan Sparks, Actor Jimmy Smitts, Comedian Steve Martin and a few others.

When I got to the other stage, the Navy band was playing. I liked this crowd way better because they were more festiv. Some revelers even broke out into a Conga line, are you serious?

The National Reflection pool was blocked off because that's where they were lighting the rockets. On the other side of the Reflection Pool was the Abe Lincoln Memorial, from my vantage point, you could see a sea of people hovering around his statue. Lincoln's memorial looked eerie, it looked like a giant man sitting in a dark room on a chair. I couldn't help but wonder what Barack Obama's memorial is going to look like when he's done serving his Presidential terms. Maybe they'll have a statue of him doing cartwheels on the WhiteHouse lawn, I don't know?

For the rest of Monday, I managed to get some time in at the Botanical Garden and the NMAI.

The Botanical Garden was beautiful, my goal was to take as many pictures of flowers as I could. That's sort've my thing, I'm the new Georgia O'Keefe of digital photography.

The NMAI was incredible. If you're an Indigenous person from North America, you owe it to yourself to visit this the National Museum of the American Indian. While I was visiting the other museums, it became clear to me why we needed our own museum on the National Mall. I went to the National Art Gallery today and saw several George Catlin paintings, he was known for painting Native people & culture in the 1800's. When I went into the National Archive Building, I saw the Fort Laramie Treaty that the Lakota's made with the United States and pictures of the Navajo Code Talkers from WW II. I didn't get a chance to visit the American History Museum but I'm sure they got some Native stuff in there too.

This is why the NMAI building is needed, it's obvious our Native people & culture are deeply embedded into this country's history and that's why I love the NMAI because it provides a brilliant space to showcase our contributions to the people of the world.

The only part of today's outing that bothered me was when I visied the National Achive building and I saw this parchment called the Magna Carta, it's an English doctrine created by the King John of 1215 which basically gives liberty to the people away from the royal sovereign. This decree is important to England because it's the basis of their Parliment. The display also went on to say the Constitution was based on the Magna Carta. That's all wonderfull and great but what pissed me off is how the display failed to mention our U.S. Constitution is also based of the Iroquois Confederacy.

And people wonder why we have casino's today, it's because we're the ones who influenced the first loop holes.

Okay, I think that's enough blogging for today.

This blog is dedicated to all the people who gave money back then so I could come here all those years ago and fart around. I wanted to write this blog to show them their investment in me didn't go to waste.

And of course, I owe this 2nd trip to D.C. to my mom. It was her idea to come to our Nation's Capitol for the 4th of July, thanks mom.


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