I have finally returned, and I come bearing gifts! I'm happy to announce that this blog post will have a few more pictures than usual, so you won't have to get too bogged down with reading about everything that's been happening (a lot, to answer that question) here in the good old District of Columbia.
Despite the ineptitude of our elected officials throughout the government shutdown, the city has been as lively as ever. And in fact, the weeks that have flown by during this whole federal debacle have been some of the most interesting and rewarding of the semester to date. I'll start with last weekend, when my girlfriend from Bowdoin was kind enough to make the trip south from Brunswick for the lengthy Columbus Day weekend.
Although it was wet and dreary all four days, from Friday night through Monday morning, the weather could not bring our spirits down. I was determined to show how much beauty and excitement this city has to offer. On Saturday morning we met up with two of my friends from class, Alex and Koichiro, and took off to the infamous Pennsylvania Avenue to attend the day-long Taste of DC, an enormous food festival where scores of restaurants lined the entirety of the street and offered samples of everything from beer, wine, and homemade root beer to doughnuts, hummus, and mouthwatering bowls of chili. Tickets to get into the venue were $10 each and the samples of food and drink ranged from no cost at all to $12, depending on how much was offered. Lines were long--especially for the beer and wine, naturally--but the wait for the food was more often than not worth the wait.
|Skyler and me at the Taste of DC on Pennsylvania Ave.|
Before this picture was taken, there was a man on the street who tapped me on the shoulder while I was stuffing my face with some savory chicken terriyaki and fried rice who had apparently noticed that I was sporting one of my Bowdoin jackets. He asked us if we were students, and after we told him yes, he informed us that his son had graduated from the College in 2002 and had gone on to medical school at Harvard to become a surgeon. It's a really small world, and encounters like this reassure me that there's still hope of avoiding life as a hobo post-graduation. Knock on wood, though.
Following the day-long festival, we ended up going out to dinner shortly afterward, of all things, even though we really weren't hungry. Alex, Ko, and I had gone to Sichuan Pavilion a couple weeks prior, and the food was fantastic despite the lengthy amount of time we had to wait to receive a table. Only two metro stops away from our home in Woodley Park, Sichuan Pavilion in Farragut North offers a range of spicy dishes influenced by the renowned food in Sichuan Province, China. When we went again that Saturday with Skyler, we were able to get a table immediately, and forced ourselves to eat more food. Worth it? Absolutely.
|The World War II Memorial during the day with the fountains on.|
|A plaque in the ground at the entrance to the World War II Memorial.|
|Abraham Lincoln in all his glory.|
|Can't keep us out!|
Since we were in no rush, Jack brought us through the residential part of Georgetown, and up through the Georgetown University campus, which was spectacular. We even had the opportunity go traverse the eery and drawn-out staircase that was featured in the horror movie, "The Exorcist." It is in fact as creepy as it seems.
|The stairs featured in the 1973 horror film, "The Exorcist."|
I will hopefully return with some philosophical where-is-my-life-headed posts soon enough. My time here in DC was all that I had hoped for and more. I am almost certain that I want to return and spend at least some time living and working here after graduation. I started the semester off knowing that I wanted to truly immerse myself in the foreign policy realm, where it all happens. I have not been disappointed; and each day I envision myself working in a place like the Pentagon or the State Department, rather than in a law firm. And it feels good. 'Till next time, friends!