Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's Raining on Washington*

Red Baron likes Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story and likes to be in America, as the lyrics say. When Elisabeth and I arrived in Washington the government was shut down and with it the most important attractions and museums.
*Borrowing and translating the 1975 movie title: Il pleut sur Santiago

On our first day we walked from the hotel near Dupont Circle through a marvelous park to Georgetown. At the waterfront I showed Elisabeth the Kennedy Center and the Watergate complex, memories of times long past. Next we went to the Mall that being a National Park was closed although accessible. It was deserted except for an occasional tourist or jogger while the streets along the Smithsonian Museums being useless were barred.

The deserted Mall
The National Gallery of Art is closed during the shutdown of the Federal Government
The National Gallery of Art extends its compliments to Le Louvre
As a memento the earth quake-shattered and bandaged Washington Monument pointed into gray skies.

The umbrella was a must
The following day we had rain the whole day that occasionally changed from drizzle to downpours. So we spent most of the time on the siteseeing bus driving around the Nation's Capital talking to some lost co-passengers: Brazilians, Russians, and Australians.

The famous Washington fire station taken through the fogged window of the Big Bus
With the open upper deck and all the National Monuments closed the Big Bus Tours had on the occasion considerably thinned out their schedule such that we were deprived of circling around the Pentagon with a visit to a shopping center of the same name. So we wound up our tour of the city at the Union Station instead where we boosted our morale with a freshly prepared quiche and a pastrami with onion sandwich.

At the Union Station's food court
Back to the hotel I took a photo of the rain-soaked street with all traffic lights on no-go red.

When they eventually turned green people still had little hope hastening by with their umbrellas opened.

Let me finish this blog with an Ol' Blue Eyes medley: It's very nice to go trav'ling,
However not to London, Paris, and Rome, but
To New York, the city that doesn't sleep, where I never get any sleep either,
To my kind of town, Chicago is,
To Madison where I feel snug among friends,
But it's so much nicer
Yes, it's so much nicer to come home.

1 comment:

  1. Quite a few years ago, my wife and I arrived on the first warm and sunny day in June ... everything was open (non essential) but all the legislatures were gone! I was able to visit the Air and Space Museum several times! It was somewhat the reverse of your trip because sense there were no legislatures in their offices, nothing still was getting done! (essential?)