An Afternoon in Washington: Checking Out the Sculpture Garden, the Nat'l Museum of the American Indian & the Most Recent Iraq War Protest

A week or so ago I went with my friend Michael to the ice skating rink in the Washington Sculpture Garden. You can only enter the rink on the hour, and since we arrived at about five minutes past and the long line we saw was not moving, we skipped the skating and had a look at the art in the Sculpture Garden.

From there, we went walking and stumbled upon the Indian Museum, and since it was free went inside to have a look.

This has got to be the one of the poorest federal museums in Washington. It had an air of being some federally-mandated initiative, and as such failed in several key areas. First, the building looked expensive, and most of the space inside was poorly utilized. Half of the four story structure belonged to its atrium, in which only three quite recent recreations of Indian canoes resided. There was also an excessive number of retail shops. More confounding still is that the museum didn't focus on Indian tribes in the US, but aimed instead at the wider range of indigenous peoples of the Western hemisphere, which limited its utility for most Americans. Then, the material inside proved not to be very educational at all. The exhibits consisted of high-tech, modern media, with many a glass-enclosed showcase showing color photographs and looped videos played on monitors. What a waste of money, never mind the squandered opportunity to house some of the rarest and most important artifacts of indigenous culture in the country known today as the United States.

An upward view at the atrium ceiling

An example of an Aymara / Quechue reed boat (we saw similar ones in Lake Titicaca in Bolivia)

Another example of an Indian canoe and some art from a British Columbian tribe

Several examples of the Bible translated to Indian languages - I'm sure the accuracy is spot on

From there we wandered down the Capital Mall, and were reminded that there was a protest against the Iraq war that day. We commented to each other on the low turn-out as well as the fact that we and so many we know were not taking part despite extreme opposition to Bush's war. There are so many reasons, but none of them are very good, especially considering our good health and the warm temperatures that day.


Dinner at Michael's

One of the first weeks in January my friend Michael had me over for dinner, and introduced me to his friend Francy, who is the spitting image of Eddie from the series Absolutely Fabulous. We had a delicious meal followed by blueberry pie.

Back in the Distri't; Another Great Craigslist Find

I arrived back in Washington on the 9th of January. It was great to catch up with my friends here, and make some new ones.



I found the greatest roomate situation ever through Craigslist while I was still in Brazil. I had emailed and spoken on the phone with Marc, the owner of the house, several times. I also had my friend Chris go over to meet him and see the place in my absence. Despite a small amount of apprehension about moving in before ever meeting him or the other housemate, Leandro, I decided to move in. And what a surprise. I mean, talk about lucking out. I'm living in a three-bedroom house smack in the middle of Georgetown and Dupont Circle. The furnishings are beautiful, and I had to take very little of my personal belongings out of storage. I have the only bedroom on the second floor, which has its own bathroom and looks onto several tennis courts and a park. The house came along with a smart, well-behaved Corgi, a breed which I recommend highly as a pet. Here are some pics of the house and Bailey.

Spending the Holidays in NYC

I left São Paulo on Dec 24, arriving in Newark on Christmas morning. I took an expensive cab to my friend Colin's house in Brooklyn. The driver got lost on the way.

Colin accepted me warmly, and we hung out in his room, ate Chinese food and talked all day and evening as though I had never left. I would stay with Colin the whole time I was in the City, and thank him for having me.

A couple of days later, my former roomate Holly had her annual birthday part at the Roxy. On Wednesdays, they still have rollerskating as they did back in the day. Every time I go I am amazed at the skills of some of the guys and girls there, many of whom seem to have been regulars since the 1970s. It was great t see Holly and Amy, our other roomate from Washington Heights.

I also enjoyed seeing my good friend Lincoln and finally meeting his brother, Colton, after hearing only stories about him for so long.

Other friends, Gretchen and Jay, had us over for dinner one of the nights, too.

On the 31st, my friend Darren had me over to his and Patrick's apartment in Brooklyn for a New Orleans tradition: a New Year's gumbo. They call the New Year reveillon, which interestingly is the term also used in Brazil for that holiday.

For New year's Eve, I had dinner with my Colombian friends Pocho & Juan Manuel and Pepe and Juan, visiting from Spain and Argentina, respectively (see also Argentina entry on this blog). We also had dinner another night while I was in town.

Happy 2007
I also got to see my good friend Chuck a couple of times. Holly came along one of the nights.

I left NYC on the 9th for DC. Back to school:(