Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ringing in 2012 in Great Cities of the World; Navigating Washington, D.C., in "227" Reruns

Fireworks shoot from Big Ben Clock Tower and above Westminster Palace (British Parliament building), London, January 1, 2012.

"Big Ben" is actually the name of the Great Bell inside of the Clock Tower at the north end of the Palace of Westminster, which houses the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Clock Tower -- which is also called Big Ben -- houses four quarter bells. Thus, there are five bells in all inside the Clock Tower.

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This is my first entry of 2012 on this my Regulus blog.

This entry contains mostly some New Years Eve celebratory images from some of the better known cities and their celebrations on Planet Earth to ring in the New Year. The second portion of this entry contains some pictures my own New Years Eve in suburban Maryland (Rockville) and back in D.C. They don't really capture the night but they are the ones I took.

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New York City ...

The penultimate New Years Eve place on Planet Earth: Times Square, New York City, at the midnight hour, Jan. 1, 2012.

Of course, I would not like the 12+ hour wait that some folks have just to be in that location. I don't think I could hold out that long.

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A festive crowd at Times Square in New York City, New Years Eve 2012.

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More throngs of revelers amid a blizzard of confetti, New Years Eve 2012, Times Square, New York City.

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London ...

Fireworks shoot from Big Ben Clock Tower at the stroke of midnight with part of the great London Eye Ferris wheel in the foreground, London, Jan. 1, 2012.

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Fireworks shoot inward from the London Eye and above Westminster Palace, London, Jan. 1, 2012.

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Another New Year Eve 2012 image of fireworks above Big Ben Clock Tower, London.

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Still more fireworks in interesting formation over Big Ben clock tower in London, New Years Eve 2012.

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Paris ...

New Years Eve 2012 revelers in Paris amid a spray of champagne with the illuminated Eiffel Tower in the distance.

New Years Eve revelers in Paris on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées with the Arc de Triomphe in the background.

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Berlin ...

Fireworks over the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Jan. 1, 2012

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Close-up of fireworks over the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Jan. 1, 2012

Germany and its frickin' euro and its self-righteous, probably racist-based, certainly doomed-to-fail deflationary economics / all-austerity-all-the-time as "punishment" for the peripheral countries of the EU are really getting on my nerves.

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Athens ...

Speaking of one of the peripheral countries of the EU  (Greece) that Germany feels it needs to "punish"...

Fireworks over the Acropolis with the crowning nighttime-illuminated Parthenon in Athens, Greece, New Years Eve, 2012.

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More fireworks over the Acropolis with the crowning nighttime-illuminated Parthenon in Athens, Greece, New Years Eve, 2012.

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Moscow ...

New Years Eve 2012 fireworks over St. Basil's Cathedral at the Kremlin, Moscow on what appears to be a cold winter's night. 

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Fireworks over the Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower, New Years Eve, 2012

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And, of course, Sydney ...

Year after year, no one does it quite like Sydney with the great pyrotechnical fireworks display shooting from the Sydney Harbour Bridge with the iconic Syndey Opera House in the foreground, Jan. 1, 2012.

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Close-up view of New Years Eve 2012 fireworks launched from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and above Sydney Opera House.

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Still more spectacular New Years Eve 2012 fireworks images over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

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Seattle ... (A city I love)

New Years Eve 2012 fireworks over the iconic Space Needle, Seattle, with silhouetted figures watching in the distance.

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More New Years Eve 2012 fireworks over the Space Needle, Seattle.

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Spectacular fireworks launched from the top of the Space Needle, Seattle, New Years Eve 2012.

Crocodile DG was somewhere in Seattle celebrating on this night (judging by the text message he sent me).

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Taipei ...

Here is quite a fireworks display being launched from Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper in Taipei and presently either the second or third tallest in the world.

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Hong Kong ...

New Years Eve 2012 revelers on Hong Kong, one carrying an interesting and hopeful message.

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Illuminated paper dragon lantern in Paju, South Korea near the Demilitarized Zone.

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A happy girl rings in New Years Eve 2012 in Hong Kong.

OK, that's all for the New Years Eve pictures. If my Statcounter is any guide, I will have a flurry of hits on these images next New Years Eve (2013). I'm sure the above image is likely eventually to get an incredible number of hits from the Far East.

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Washington, D.C. ...

Also, you will note that I have no pictures of New Years Eve 2012 in Washington, D.C. That's because D.C. is not now nor is EVER among those great cities with celebratory New Years Eve events.

The last time D.C. tried a New Years Eve event was for the arrival of the millennium in 2000 -- and it sucked beyond belief with poor and disjointed organization and a crummy, anti-climactic (and climatic) event.

As it is, D.C. does the 4th of July with a spectacular fireworks show.

The Rockville Metro station platform, Rockville, Md., 8:02PM, Dec. 31, 2011.

I had gone up to Rockville where I had dinner with my friend and co-worker DD and his family. We went to a Vietnamese restaurant in Rockville city center.

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The Friendship Heights Metro station's subterranean platform, Washington, D.C., 8:23PM, Dec. 31, 2011.

I stopped off at Friendship Heights to have a few drinks with K. at the Cheesecake Factory -- just like we did last year.

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Yours truly in the Chevy Chase Pavilion, Friendship Heights, Washington, D.C., 8:28PM, Dec. 31, 2011.

I was waiting for K. to show up to go to the Cheesecake Factory. We did the same thing last year. Of note, here was my entry from last year (Jan. 2, 2011) that included another picture in the same pavilion.

At the midnight hour of New Years Eve 2012, I was actually at a festive event with a group of friends at Larry's Lounge, including Kristof, Gary, Dilshan, Gloria, and K.

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Here was the sky earlier today as seen from my apartment looking at the Brittany, Washington, D.C., 1:56PM, Jan. 2, 2011.

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Washington, D.C., 227 in 2012

OK, that's all for now. I am home now at this late Monday night on the "eve" of the start of the regular 2012 year -- tomorrow is back to work after the holidays. I am watching alternately the Monday night reruns of The Golden Girls on We TV and the 1980s sitcom 227 on Centric Channel -- the renamed BET Jazz / BET J channel spin-off from BET.

There has been a 227 marathon on Centric Channel all day and through tomorrow morning. 227 was a sitcom on from 1985 - 1990 and starred Marla Gibbs, who was best known as Florence on The Jeffersons. Apparently Marla Gibbs is now 80 years old (!) while her Jeffersons co-star Sherman Hemsley is 71.

227 was supposed to be set here in Washington, D.C., except this opening image suggests that the address (227)  of their small walk-up apt. in a row house is located in a neighborhood relatively near the Washington Monument. I base that on this screenshot of the opening:


However, the Washington Monument's "grid location" is 16th Street (1600 block) NW on the axis of the National Mall ("unit block" if it existed there). Thus, the only possible neighborhood this could be -- with row houses of this nature -- is the Foggy Bottom area, and there is no 200-block in that area. For Foggy Bottom, the street numbers here start at their lowest EITHER in the 2000s (i.e., starting at 20th St. NW) and reckoned east-west between the north-south running numbered streets) OR in the 500s (i.e., starting at E St., NW, which is approximately the southernmost residential street in Foggy Bottom) and reckoned north-south between the east-west running lettered streets).

Google aerial map view of downtown / monumental core, Washington, D.C.

The only other possible 200 block for it to be located would have to on the north-south running streets, but that too makes no sense for a neighborhood that is supposed to be near the Washington Monument since it would have to be EITHER on the block between Independence Ave. and C Street, SW, OR Constitution Ave. and C Street, NW.

However, there are no residential structures in these areas.

Another clarification: Independence Ave. and Constitution Ave. are the old "B" Streets on either side of the National Mall.

In an actual D.C. neighborhood, it would have to be immediately off East Capitol Street (again between Independence Ave. and C St., SE, or Constitution Ave and C St., NE) in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, but either is at least 1.5 miles or more from the Washington Monument. And as for the image of the Washington Monument shown above in the opening, its sunlit side could NEVER be on the north, which rules out the NE section of Capitol Hill.

Finally, as for when the show was set -- 1985 to 1990 -- let's jsut say that D.C. was a pretty rough place as the crack wars erupted and Marion Barry had ultimate power. Nevertheless. I like the show, though, and the opening theme.

Got it?

OK, that's all for now. My next planned update will be Wednesday or Thursday.

--Regulus

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