Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Northern Virginia Photo-Memorial Day 2008



Above: The nighttime view from the revolving Skydome lounge of the Crystal City (Arlington) Doubletree Hotel looking north into Washington, D.C., across the spaghetti maze of freeways that forms I-395 on the south and east side of the Pentagon leading toward the various spans of that jointly make up the 14th Street bridge over the Potomac River.

That's the Washington Monument toward the upper left in the distance, and on the far right side, the illuminated object is the U.S. Capitol dome (about 3-1/2 miles away).


Slappy Gerry took this picture. My cellphone pictures were all blurry, like this one here (below) of the same view that I took a bit earlier at dusk.

It takes the revolving restaurant / lounge -- the only one in the D.C. area I know of -- about an hour to revolve through 360 degrees.

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The rest of the pictures below were taken by me today and are presented in chronological order as taken during the drive through the suburban wilds of Northern Virginia that Gerry (the driver), Gary, Kristof, and I took this now-concluded May 26, Memorial Day, 2008.

Yay, a pretty little Bradford pear tree in the Ravensworth Plaza parking lot, Springfield, Va., May 26, 2008. Oh, the Bradford pear.

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We went to Kilroys at Ravensworth Plaza, a sort of hybrid Irish-American military theme restaurant, for a late lunch. The 9/11 imagery of the burning World Trade Center is a bit over the top ...

The World War I and World War II era poster reprints are captivating, though, like the ones above (captured by my blurry cellphone camera -- I really oughta get a digital camera).

You can still smoke in bars in Virginia. Boo.

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My friend Gary at Kilroys in Springfield, Va., this Monday ...

Gary had us all really laughing in the car doing his "going to an after hours party" routine, specifically, as phone calls are being made at 430AM once a club closes. ("Ah, yeah, can all 11 of us fit in your car?? We'll be there at 6AM. DJ Myyykee from the Blue Room at Bent will be showing up at 7AM to spin for a while. ")

You know, Gary would be good as a gay comedian. He's quite funny, not to mention a very good person who is one of my best friends -- and so unlike certain truly unfunny and mean so-called "A List" gay guys who really have nothing of real value to say to the world, humorous or otherwise.

Wait, where was I? Oh, yes ...

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Kristof ...

Yay!

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Gerry playing that bar trivia game with Gary.

"GERRY/GERRY/BO-BERRY/BERRY/FEE FI / MO - MERRY..."

... SCREEEEECH ...

"Get out, Regulus."


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AAAAHH!

Yours Truly, Regulus, Kilroys, Springfield, Va., May 26, 2008.

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Turning onto Little River Turnpike, Fairfax County, Va., May 26, 2008 ...

I love the name "Little River Turnpike." As for the etymology of the word "turnpike," it is here. Of course, there are no tolls or turning pikes on Little River Turnpike.

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More Little River Turnpike, westbound, Fairfax County, Va., May 26, 2008.

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Turning onto Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax, Va., May 26, 2008 ...

... that was a cop car cruiser turning in front of us.

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Random Hills Road, Fairfax Co., Va., May 26, 2008

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The tree-and-brush-overgrown lot at the intersection of Oakton Rd. and Waples Mill Rd. (Waples??), Fairfax Co., Va., May 26, 2008.

The 8 to 10 inches of rain we've head area wide this May has made everything so vibrantly green this spring season. And kept the pollen lower than normal. Yay!

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The bucolic intersection of Fox Mill Rd. and Lawyers Rd. (yes, Lawyers Rd.), Fairfax County, Va., May 26,2008.

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Fairfax County Parkway near Fair Lakes Parkway, Fairfax County, Va., May 26, 2008

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Transmission and/or cellphone towers along Fairfax County Parkway, Fairfax Co., Va., May 26, 2008

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Heading back toward D.C. on I-395, the Henry Shirley Memorial Parkway. That would be Gerry driving.

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We drove over to Gravelly Point along the Potomac River on the north side of Reagan National Airport, detouring through the airport on the way there.

Above is a picture of the control tower at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), May 26, 2008.

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When the wind is from the south or southwest, the jets do the "downriver" approach into and take-off from National Airport, and conversely, when the wind is from the north or northwest, the jets do the "upriver" approach into and departure from National Airport.

In those (nowadays rare) times I fly out of DCA, I always try to get a right side window seat in the event there is an upriver departure, and when flying into DCA, I try to get a left side window seat in the event there is a downriver arrival. This is in the hope of getting the brief, spectacular view of D.C.

I'm not sure how it works if the wind is from the northeast, east, or southeast.

(If it is an upriver approach from the south or a downriver departure to the south, it doesn't matter which side you're one.)

In any event, when the jets do the downriver approach into DCA, they come screaming in over Gravelly Point park at literally just a couple hundred feet up. This is a picture of Gary as a jet approached. That is the 2 mile distant Washington Monument. Gravelly Point Park was packed today.

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Yours Truly, Regulus, and my fat ass trying to do a flip. I've never been so fat in my life, my butt is huge. I weigh 168 pounds these days (I'm 5'7-1/2"). I really oughta go to the gym.

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Here is a picture of Kristof and Yours Truly. That distant object over Kristof's right shoulder is actually the approx. 2-1/2 mile distant U.S. Capitol dome.

Thereafter, the four of us went to the Skydome (as mentioned above). The TWO Long Island iced teas I had and the motion of the revolving restaurant made for an interesting combined effect.

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On Saturday, I spent the afternoon with my other good friend LP on the Montgomery County (suburban Maryland) side of the DC area. I took a few pictures but I'll post them later.

Three other items:

* First, I do want to say that I have not been by any of my blogger buddies blogs in a long time, and at this rate, I'm not sure when I will. I am sorry. But it's not like I'm being missed in some huge way. I guess I should appreciate those bloggers who are my regular readers than I do, by which I mean returning the favor and visiting their blogs.

*Secondly, I have to go to the eye doctor for that follow-up visit tomorrow. I really hope I don't have to do the pupil dilation thing again. Gary is taking me / picking me up. The place is in Riverdale, Md.

* Third, I still haven't updated my Arcturus blog, though I intend to do so in a few days, but I must say that I'm not feeling all affectionate these days anymore toward a certain person in particular -- that gratuitous and shitty cheap shot at my expense last week really irked me -- so why the heck should I bother. I may just turn that blog into an astronomy / weather / political commentary one. That might be a better idea.

--Regulus

11 comments:

fifi said...

oh. where to start: the lights of virginia, which of course I do like, that very ROUND pear tree. (A pear tree!)..

I like the plane about to touch down on your buddy's back, and I like the cuddly picture of Krystof and you. You are both completely gorgeous.


(I went to the eye doctor this week, got the wrong prescription and now feel like my skull is unscrewing...oooh.....)

Regulus said...

Hi Fifi

Yes, the lights are pretty ... the world is pretty from a GOD'S Eye view ...

That tree is a Bradford pear. The tiny pears aren't actually edible. The tree was a sort of genetically modified version of a Callery pear. The trees are small with weak root systems and their trunks tend to split when they (the trees) get mature. They have pretty white blossom flowers in the spring time and colorful fall leaves.

As for Gary, he's crazy about jets. He actually has a private pilot's license.

Thank you for the kind compliment about me and Kristof. He is kind of cuddly.

Your eye doctor gave you the WRONG prescription? I think that sounds malpractice-able to me, esp. since it is your vision we are talking about.

I actually skipped the eye doctor follow-up appointment today. Boo. Maybe that wasn't a good idea but I think I'll be OK.

Bryan said...

I like your bum.

You have nice looking friends as well... **swoons**

Slappy said...

That was a lot of fun! However, I must take issue with your picture captioned "Turning onto Fairfax Blvd".

It is clear you are not in tune with Zen of the Northern Virginia Clusterfuck.

We were making a left and therefore not turning on to Fairfax Blvd. "But Slappy," you say, "that's stupid. I saw a street sign and it clearly said Fairfax Boulevard."

At that intersection we were on Main Street (Rte 236...formerly Little River Turnpike...formerly Duke Street). If we had turned right, we could have been on Fairfax Boulevard (Rte 50 and Rte 29). If we had continued straight (ha ha...) we would have been on Fairfax Boulevard (Route 50). But we made a left, and that put us on Lee Highway (Route 29). It only looks like the same road to the untrained eye. But we disciples of the Northern Virginia Clusterfuck know it's totally different.

Street signs don't mean dick in Fairfax County, where the same road can have 8 names. 2 bottles of beer? Makes you crazy, doesn't it?

fifi said...

Eyes. I have this BRILLIANT set up (cough) where in one eye I have my distance prescription, and i the other I have a lesser one, and together I am suposed to be able to see everything...but he decided to make the left eye weaker, and it gave me a total migraine type headache. Is this making sense? Its called binocular vision, but I have gone back to the old prescription.

I am sure you were absolutely hiving to know all this.


I DO like the pear tree. Edible or no.

handmaiden said...

Well, you did come & visit my blog, that was nice, but don't worry, I really don't expect you to comment on every post.

Lately, I have less & less time on my hands for that sort of thing, too.

travistee said...

Regulus doing a flip...I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself!
Glad you got out and about with some friends this holiday weekend.
I went to a local watering hole and ended up sitting next to a squadron of very overweight, smoking, beer-chugging, shaved head lesbians.
I've never seen anything quite like it before...

Big Pissy said...

Hey!

How are you?!?!? Seems like it's been forever since I left you a comment. I'm sorry. :(

Things are crazy for me...as you know...but I'm trying to get my life back to some kind of "normal". ;-)

{{{hugs}}}

Pissy

krzysztof said...

Slappy, if I had realized that Northern Virginia Clusterfuck is so complicated and deceptive in its street naming conventions I'd have been too scared to ever cross over the fair waters of the Potomac.

BTW, my spell checker doesn't recognize the word 'Clusterfuck'. It suggested 'Cluster fuck' instead

Regulus said...

Slappy: Thank you for that explanation. You know I totally defer to you on ANYTHING having to do with the Commonwealth of Virginia. As I told you, you ARE Northern Virginia to me (your concerns about its odious but fortunately basically unenforceable social policy toward gays being understood).

Well do I remember on those cold winter mornings in late 2004 - early 2005 looking through the slotted blinds of the private bathroom on the 8th floor of the GWMFA before my psych appt. with Dr. P. near Washington Circle across the miles into Virginia -- or what I thought was Virginia and I would think of you, until that one morning when I turned the swivel button a little more and the outside blinds opened a bit more and -- shocker! -- I was looking at the Washington Monument and realized that the distant, low ridge wasn't Arlington but actually Suitland/PG County in MARYLAND, but that doesn't change the feeling.

I know that probably made no sense.

Regulus said...

I mean "looking out from the window ..."

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Fifi: Everything you say is interesting to me.

TravisTee: Thank you for stopping by -- it's been a while since we've talked.

"I went to a local watering hole and ended up sitting next to a squadron of very overweight, smoking, beer-chugging, shaved head lesbians."

Pretty.

At least here in DC you can't smoke in the bars anymore.

BIG PISSY!!!: So nice to hear from you, sweetie. No worries about not being in touch. I sent you an email earlier today. I've also added you to my blog roll (sorry about that omission).

Kristof: I'm exhausted and worn out this week, baby doll.