Wednesday, October 26, 2011

High-Heel Races and Tightrope Walks -OR- Sunday in the Park & Midweek Good Reads

Updated 4:11PM 5/30/2014: See below.

The annual piles of pumpkins outside Allan Woods Flowers on Connecticut Avenue, NW, near Woodley Park Metro, Washington, D.C., 7:26PM, Oct. 22, 2011.

I say "annual" because there was a similar pile outside the place last year that I posted back then.

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So what to write about? 

I think in this entry I'll just post several links to columns / op-ed pieces I read this week that I like. But I would also like to post some additional pictures that I took this past weekend. I'm still very remiss in posting the remainder of my Florida pictures.

The enormous house -- which resembles more one of those "residential" nursing homes -- at 3808 Huntington St., NW, next to River Rd., NW, Washington, D.C., 6:15PM, Oct. 22, 2011.

This house is located next to the one at 3816 (posted in my previous entry). I was walking with K. from our early dinner at Chadwicks -- and I walked all the way back home.

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Updated 4:11PM 5/30/2014: Content removed

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Sunday in the Park

Here are some images I took this past Sunday in Meridian Hill Park.

The bottom fountain of the network of terraced fountains in Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C., 4:50PM, Oct. 23, 2011.

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No, I will never call it "Malcolm X Park" (as the D.C. Government has tried to do at times since the early 1970s) no matter how good of a man Malcolm X ultimately turned out to be.

However, for starters, above is an Google map aerial view of Meridian Hill Park showing it in relation to its surrounding Washington, D.C., neighborhood, with the park's boundaries highlighted in light green -- and my own building circled in red.

The park sits between the U Street corridor, Adams Morgan, and Columbia Heights.

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For starters, the park's name is Meridian Hill for important historical and geographical reasons, specifically as quote from this NPS site, "because it comes from a proposal in the early 1800s to establish an official meridian or longitudinal base point, for map-making and other purposes, through the mid-point of the White House. A plaque at the upper entrance to the park from 16th Street takes official note of an 1816 meridian marker which stood on the proposed meridian."

The bottom fountain at Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C., 4:50PM, Oct. 23, 2011.

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In addition, the park sits on the very East Coast fall line as it passes through D.C. between 15th and 16th Streets, and it is consequently very near the meridian that connects the North and South Cornerstone of the original Federal Territory of Columbia; and (2) the "Malcolm X" name, though dating to the 1970s, bespeaks of a certain 1980's sensibility and mindset during the heyday of Mayor-for-Life Marion "Mobuto Sese Seko" Barry.

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Two white oak trees at the northwestern corner entrance of Meridian Hill Park ("MHP") at the corner of 16th and Euclid Streets, Washington, D.C., 4:35PM, Oct. 23, 2011.

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A walkway on the west side of Meridian Hill Park on a pleasant fall day, Washington, D.C., 4:35PM, Oct. 23, 2011.

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I don't have any images of the park's wide assortment of statuary of famous historical figures from Dante to James Buchanan, except for the one of the hapless Joan of Arc (see below).

The Joan of Arc statue on a Sunday fall afternoon, Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C., 4:40PM, Oct. 23, 2011.

The statue has been missing its sword for decades (long before I came to Washington and first saw it). I can actually see this statue, ironically enough, with the window open in my bathroom. I can see it between two buildings at the top of the rise atop which it she sits.

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As it is, the park features a weird and eclectic hybrid of bums and homeless people, granola neo-hippies, weekend D.C. yuppies, Hispanic families, and that Sunday African drum circle crowd. For as "Occupy Wall Street" liberal as its crowds can be, it also can be a really dangerous place at night (one does not walk through it after dark alone).

To begin with, there were (as ever) a bunch of people practicing tightrope walking ...

Tightrope walking in Meridian Hill Park on an autumn day, Washington, D.C., 4:45PM, Oct. 23, 2011.

They do this tightrope walking barefoot -- and, in fact, a significant number of the crowd seemed to be without shoes or socks on. I don't quite get that. The tightrope guy, who was actually kind of attractive, seemed to be one of those people who looked like he could walk over a just-barely-cooled lava field sans shoes. Or through a grungy urban park. Not I.

Of course, I couldn't balance myself on a tightrope to save my life.

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Congo Bongo ...

The African Drum Circle in Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C., 4:39PM, Oct. 23, 2011.

Apparently, this drum circle directly stretches back to the 1960's Civil Rights era and -- according to this Washingtonian article -- actually goes all the way back to the immediate post-Civil War period when freed slaves would beat drums at MHP and in Fort Reno.

With my apt. windows open, I can sort of (unwanted) hear this regular Sunday event.

Usually, I just keep my windows shut, have my window a/c turned on, and listen to the jazz and/or singers and swing channel on my RCN.

Hmm.

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The southeast side of Meridian Hill Park at the corner of W and 15th Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., 4:52PM, Oct. 23, 2011. This is less than 1,000 feet from where I live.

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Some columnar good reads ...

While ANYTHING by the Great Paul Krugman is worth a read, both on his regular New York Times-hosted blog and in his biweekly print edition column that is also available online, his Oct. 24th one, "The Hole in Europe's Bucket" is great.

Key excerpt:

"The story of postwar Europe is deeply inspiring. Out of the ruins of war, Europeans built a system of peace and democracy, constructing along the way societies that, while imperfect -- what society isn’t? -- are arguably the most decent in human history.

"Yet that achievement is under threat because the European elite, in its arrogance, locked the Continent into a monetary system that recreated the rigidities of the gold standard, and -- like the gold standard in the 1930s -- has turned into a deadly trap."

Apparently the little sign the Berlusconi doll is holding states, "I am innocent. The accusations do not touch me."

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Some other good reads...

Michael Lind on why Bush's sky-trillion dollar, million-dead U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has been an unmitigated disaster four (if not six) ways to Sunday, so to speak, for the U.S.

Yes, this is an image from my Aug. 13, 2008 entry featuring photos of Bush drunk at the Beijing Olympics.

David Sirota on why America is (as I always like to say) an Imperial power, possibly in the late stage sense, in the traditional sense of that word.

Alex Pareene on Fred Hiatt and The WaHoPo's latest pile of steaming media poop: Its new political blog "The Insiders" to be co-written by two mindnumbingly compromised corporate whores of the sort that would be the envy of uber-corporate whore James K. Glassman (my analogy). It even quotes Fred Hiatt promising a civil debate and how much "fun" their bullshit will be to read.

Speaking of James K. Glassman, there was this story about a man, Mark Lindquist, severely wounded and badly maimed in the Joplin, Mo., tornado last April who lacks health insurance and has now $2.5 million in medical debt without a prayer of paying -- and who was just turned down for workman's comp. by Accident Fund Insurance Co., though the bad press caused the company to change its tune.

Aside from the fact that this is what the howling GOP base would love -- in particular if the man just died -- let's see what James K. Glassman has to say:

**Updated 4:11PM 5/30/2014: Content removed**

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Yes, Metrorail car 1000 -- the first numbered in the original 1976 1000-series and "married" to car 1001 -- on the Greenline yesterday nearing U Street / Cardozo station, Washington, D.C., 11:36AM, Oct. 24, 2011.

I rushed home from work briefly.

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Here cars 1001 and 1000 are seen accelerating out of the U Street / Cardozo / African American Civil War Memorial Station, Washington, D.C., 11:40AM, Oct. 24, 2011.

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OK, that's really all for now. However, I would like to end with a particularly lovely Florida image. LP took this one with his digital camera -- rather than another one by me with my little cellphone camera.

Minutes after sunrise over the tranquil Atlantic Ocean as seen from room 421 of the Wyndham Hotel in Deerfield Beach, Fla., around 7:15AM, Oct. 12, 2011.

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OK, that's all for now. My next planned update will be on Friday or Saturday.

--Regulus

3 comments:

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

dude,

i am glad everything went fine in florida (don't remember if i already mentioned that somewhere on your blog).

the tightrope walking thingy is everywhere, it seems - galina and i saw people doing it in both sevilla and madrid last week. (or maybe it's old news, then, oh, well... )

i had another episode of my complex migrane - ended up in ER again (second time since july), but was let go much earlier and without much testing (except the mandatory ct scan). this happenned last tuesday, on the day of our wedding annisersary.

i am glad that it seems you are in much better spirits. i wonder if you realize that... but it's clear to me - having not read your posts for some time...

Regulus said...

Thank you, Mike, for the comment. I don't get many comments 'round this blog anymore. I am really sorry to hear that you had another migraine episode. Did the doctor you saw prescribe anything for it? Is there anything you can do when one hits?

As for your observation about me seeming to be in better spirits, thank you. I didn't realize it and I just thought I was just as bitchy and irritable as ever. I appreciate the observation.

So how was Malta? Do you have any pics to share? I first heard of Malta was in 1980 when I saw the movie "Popeye" with Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall. That's where it was filmed. The place looks quite fascinating.

In another 50 million years or so, it will just be a large high spot with a somewhat cooler climate than the surrounding deadly and mostly arid salt flats of the old Mediterranean sea bed -- the Straits of Gibraltar having finally and forever sealed up as Africa pushes north into the underbelly of Europe, raising up ever-higher the Trans-Mediterranean Mountains (the descendant range of the smaller Alps). At least that's how it was shown in one of the segments of "The Future is Wild."

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

hey-hey!

malta was fine, except that it had very little vegetation... understandably so...

people are very friendly... besides maltese, they speak english (as malta used to be in the commonwealth) and italian. weather was very nice, sunny, light winds, water temps in mid 70s. my friend's appartment was right on the sea front, so we could go swimming 10 yards away from the appartment building. the "beaches" are mostly rocks, but there are ladders and you could jump in easy.

in other parts of the island there are sandy beaches as well. obviously there are lots of historical places in and around valetta, and other small towns. we also went to the neighboring island of gozo, just took a 20 minute ferry there.

i did send you several pictures from malta - with my classmates, with galina and just the azure window by itself.

as soon as i create picassa web album, i'll send you the link.

what are you plans for the halloween? any tick-or-treating?

regarding the migraines... the doctor basically said to take a 600 mg dose of ibuprofen during the attack, and go hide in a dark room to wait it out. they usually pass after an hour, sometimes leaving you with a horrible headache.