Tuesday, October 10, 2017


The depression died down a bit when I reached the capital. I still maintained my new evening schedule, though. Washington DC is amazing after dark, even if you have a shitty phone camera. Just taking a stroll is a worthwhile activity because there are a lot of parks and various places to explore. There is this two-mile stretch that they call that National Mall. Suffice it to say that most of the attractions you'll like to see are within this area. I can't imagine gallivanting out there in a sweltering afternoon, though. 

I don't know what the East Coast's glitch is but the humidity makes it feel as though we're still in summer this late in October. As such, the evening strolls were just perfect. To the far west is Lincoln's grand monument. To the extreme east is the Capitol. At the middle is Washington Monument, which is hard to miss because of that obelisk reaching for the sky. The White House is somewhere closer to downtown. 

I wanted to see the White House. You know how when aliens come to destroy Earth (By Earth we mean the US, because they own this planet. We just live on it. 'MERICA!) they always hover above that cool domed building before obliterating it with a fat laser beam and then everyone in the audience becomes squeamish and shit because we are being invaded by extra-terrestrials? It turns out, that domed building is the Capitol, NOT the White House. First, they tell you Santa ain't real. Now this? FML. 

And so I Googled "Independence Day" and "White House" and realized that the aliens did destroy the White House, NOT the Capitol. What the fuck is wrong with my childhood memories? In any case it doesn't really matter. Political Science geeks will tell you that politics in 'Merica operates following a three-branch system of government which allows for checks and balances. This means destroying either the White House or the Capitol or the Supreme Court will leave a dent on the country's power dynamics anyway. 

But I have no alien invasion plans as of late. My people and I gave up on that a few centuries ago because we are all aware that you are a fucked-up species and we don't want anything to do with you. You are doing a pretty good job screwing each other up. No help needed. We'll just grab some popcorn and watch. Easy as that. And so I started walking towards the White House and was rather underwhelmed by how small it is from afar. One of the security personnel said you can book a tour if you want to go inside. 

I wonder if that tour includes meeting the Donald. Go to the northern edge if you want to see the façade up-close. It's brightly lit at night and there's always a bunch of people taking selfies. I then headed to the obelisk en route to Lincoln's Memorial. Crossing the street, you will pass through the War Memorial before reaching giant Papa Abe. There's a really cool fountain as well as pillars dedicated to the territories involved, the Philippines included. The place is well-illuminated at night. 

When you're done, head west towards Lincoln Memorial. Housed in a white Parthenon-like structure, it's punctuated by bright yellowish lighting and tourists, even late at night. I think Grandpa Abe's monument was the highlight of my DC trip. He looks so cool and the feel is very Gwanghwamun King Sejong-ish. The view from the stairs is also worth the photo-op, even at night! The way the obelisk is mirrored in the long pool across the street is Instagram-ready, although I bet it'd be way better under stark sunlight. 

My final night was spent around the Capitol grounds. I hopped off the bus just in front of the Library of Congress and then I also took pics of the Supreme Court down the street. Still, the Capitol outshines both of its neighbors because of that imposing dome. There's just no winning against a building with a domed roof, guys. Sorry. We heart domes. I went to the other side facing National Mall and just sat there eating the Twinkies I bought at a convenience store. Mosquito invasion aside, it was all chill. 

I think the best way to craft your DC itinerary is to do all the walking outdoors at night and reserve the early parts of the day for museum-hopping. The Smithsonian museums are all free of charge and they are open until 5 PM. I don't think even a week will be enough to see them all. And yeah, the buzz word here is FREE. I am so going to do that next time when I'm not caught in between online shifts. For now, seeing DC after dark is enough. It was all chill and I really enjoyed the visual treat. 'MERICA! XD


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