Posts Tagged With: Washington, D.C.

Marching for America (Or: Demonstrations in Amsterdam this weekend)

I occasionally receive emails from the US consulate in Amsterdam for things happening in The Hague and in Amsterdam. I’ve blogged about it before, most famously for the email I received regarding the New Years Eve celebrations a few years back. That one definitely made the Netherlands seem like a war zone…

This morning I received an email regarding two demonstrations taking place this weekend around the US Consulate:

Dutch authorities have informed the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam that demonstrations to protest U.S. politics are scheduled to occur near the U.S. Consulate General on Friday, January 20, and Saturday, January 21, 2017.

On Friday, January 20, two groups will demonstrate:  one group of demonstrators will gather in front of the U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam on Museumplein and the second group of demonstrators will form at Dam Square in Amsterdam before joining the other demonstrators already gathered at Museumplein.  Both demonstrations are scheduled to begin at 1900 and continue until 2100.  Police estimate approximately 2,000 demonstrators and over ten official sponsors of the demonstration.  There will be a large police presence, including riot police.

The Saturday, January 21, demonstration will begin at 1200 and end at 1500.  Approximately 3,000 participants are expected to assemble in front of the U.S. Consulate General on the Museumplein as part of “Women’s March Amsterdam.”  Police will be present in large numbers.

Read more here.

The Women’s March is definitely worldwide – at last count it was in 57 countries. The sheer logistics is staggering – for example, the march route in Chicago had to be shortened after the number of marchers jumped from 22,000 to 50,000 in 2 days. 

The original march (Women’s March on Washington) has a list of buses going to DC, by state. Also a list of “Sister Marches” if DC is too far away. At I am writing this there are 616 marches worldwide with an estimated 1,364,000 registered. It is a staggering amount.

Should be an interesting weekend. Don’t get me wrong though – I hope for the best for this administration! Even if it feels like an ocean away. Because the laws they make over there still affect me over here.

womens-march-on-washington-2017-map-of-sister-marches

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Wrap up (Or: The remaining days in Washington DC and Indianapolis)

As I am a bit behind in posting my Washington DC and Indianapolis pictures, I’ve have decided to combine the remaining two posts into one. Let’s see..

Of course, being a librarian I had to visit the Library of Congress in DC. We visited it after our tour of the US Capitol, as there is an underground tunnel which connects the two buildings. Here is a look at the rather famous Reading Room (from above):

Reading room at Library of Congress

Continue reading

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Food trucks and hockey (With: Some culture in between)

Towards the end of the week in the Washington, DC-Indianapolis vacation, we spotted some food trucks, went to a Washington Capitals hockey game and toured the US capital. Two days packed with food and culture!

food trucks in Washington DC

Food trucks in DC

That was on Thursday morning. After that we went to the National Archives and saw, among other items, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights (no photos allowed, but that’s what Google Images is for). Then we went to the Newseum, a visit I can definitely recommend – especially the FBI section. They had various items, including the cabin where the Unabomber stayed and the SUV from the attempted Times Square bombing a few years back.

Thursday night Marco and I went to the Washington Capitals hockey game against the Dallas Stars. It was a lot of fun, especially since we weren’t rooting for either team. A good thing to, since the home team lost…

Washington Capitals vs Dallas Stars

On Friday I had arranged tickets to the US Capitol tour. That was also a very interesting tour, which began with a very pro-America, very patriotic video (of course). The highlight was the National Statuary Hall, of which below is an example:

National Statuary Hall in the US Capitol

Each statue is allowed to donate two statues. The only rules are that the statue must be of someone who passed away and they must be made of either marble or bronze. The statues can be replaced with a different person’s statue as desired. In the middle with the black base is a statue from Nebraska of William Jennings Bryan.

There’s also an unmarked, empty grave in the middle of the rotunda. The intention was that George Washington and his wife Martha would be buried there once the capitol was completed, as the literal foundation on which the nation was born (the tour guide’s words). Unfortunately, they died about 30 years before the Capitol’s construction was complete and their family did not want them disturbed once the Capitol was ready.

grave at US capitol

the marker of the grave originally intended for George Washington and his wife

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Beginnings (Or: On the way to DC memorials)

As mentioned previously, Marco and I recently returned from a trip to Washington, DC and to Indianapolis (for the Thanksgiving holiday). One interesting thing I that I didn’t know about was the Zero Milestone near the fence in front of the White House.

Zero milestone outside White House

The Zero Milestone was a marker originally conceived to be the milestone from which all road distances in the US are measured. This never came to be (only the roads in Washington DC are measured from it currently). Which makes sense as the milestone is on the east coast of the country and not in the Midwest, a more logical starting point.

Nearby you have the Korean memorial, a memorial which contains a mural wall with images of the troops who served during the war as well as 17 statues which represent a squad on patrol, walking in a thick green brush at their feet.

Korean War memorial in Washington DC

After that we visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial. This memorial was recently finished in 2011 so it was the first time I had seen it. It stands taller than life. I didn’t crop the woman in the picture so that you could get a sense of its height:

MLK memorial at Washington DC

Two facts about the memorial include the dedication ceremony being delayed due to the arrival of Hurricane Irene as well as the paraphrase of a quote which was later removed.

We were not able to see it up close, but directly across from the memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. is the Jefferson memorial.

Thomas Jefferson memorial in Washington DC

The water looks very cold and uninviting in the photo. It was a windy day.

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A trip to the National mall (Or: Washington monument and surroundings)

Continuing the story of Marco and I’s recent travels to Washington, DC and Indianapolis…

We visited the National Mall on one of our days in the city. And no, it does not mean a ‘mall’ like a ‘shopping mall’ – it’s a strip of land where the majority of important buildings and memorials can be found. One of the memorials we visited was the World War II memorial:

WWII memorial, DC

I was able to secure tickets for the Washington Monument (you can either pay a small reservation fee or take your luck at free tickets the day of). This monument stands 500 feet tall (150 meters) and is visible from a far distance.

View of Washington monument from Lincoln memorial

View of Washington monument from the steps of the Lincoln memorial

I enjoyed the views from above – the monument provides great views of the surrounding area. Here are some examples:

View of DC construction work from Washington monument

View of … DC construction and remodeling?

Okay, maybe that wasn’t the best example. Let’s try this one:

Lincoln memorial viewed from Washington monument

View of Lincoln memorial from above

View of WWII memorial from Washington monument

View of WWII memorial from above

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A Thanksgiving holiday (Or: Washington DC and Indy)

Marco and I went to the US for the last two weeks for Thanksgiving. We spent a week in Washington, DC being tourists (a lot of sightseeing) and a week in Indianapolis being lazy (a lot of coffee and relaxation).

We stayed in Arlington, VA (at a Holiday Inn hotel) just over the Potomac river. We chose it because it was only one stop from DC and it was on one of the main metro lines. In fact, three different metro lines could get us into DC and beyond so we rarely had to wait long.

View from top floor, Holiday Inn Arlington VA

A view from Vantage Point – the restaurant on the 17th floor of the hotel. You can see DC across the Potomac river.

Here’s a shot of the Arlington National Cemetery – just the rows and rows of graves you’ll see:

Arlington National Cemetery

Something unexpected – there is actually a gift from the Netherlands to the US in the cemetery for the US’s aid during World War II. It is near the Iwo Jima memorial. The gift is called ‘Netherlands Carillon’, a set of 50 bells (Wikipedia: English | Dutch). Unfortunately a recent Washington Post article states that it has fallen into disrepair – during the summer the bells are played by a live person, but outside of the summer hours the concerts are done by computer. There has been an issue which prevents the automated concerts from happening. There is no word yet on when it will be fixed…

Netherlands carillon Arlington cemetery

And a piece of labradorite held at Smithsonian’s Natural History museum:

Piece of labradorite jewelry

What can I say. I am a sucker for blue.

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