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Family Trip to Washington DC for Veteran’s Weekend – Newseum, Capitol, the Mall & Smithsonian by Ann Treacy
November 10, 2019, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Washington DC

This weekend Aine, Auntie Katie, Bridie, Grandma, Grandpa and I all headed to Washington DC for a super quick trip over Veteran’s Weekend. It’s been a whirlwind!

We started yesterday with a walk past the Ruth Bader Ginsburg mural on the way to the Newseum, a museum dedicated to news. It’s funny, sad and informative. Most of all it’s an important reminder of the integral role journalism and the media play in our democracy – for better and for ill. From Washington Post (and several TC newspaper articles) to Twitter, the Newseum recognizes the importance of freedom of information inherent in the five promises in the First Amendment: free of the press, speech, assembly, religion and petition.

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, we got to touch a piece of the wall and see some old school German graffiti. And 50 years after the original Stonewall riots, we got to learn about day the actions that led up to that day and the progress we’ve made as a country is civil rights and sexual preference and identification. (Hopefully we’ll continue to make strides!)

The 911 exhibits were chilling. I shouldn’t admit but I remember little of that day – in part because with two sleeping babies upstairs and my work downstairs, I was oblivious until much later in the morning. We did remember that Grandpa was in DC at the time – heading to the Pentagon. Luckily Grandpa has always had a cell/car phone so we were able to reach him. But it was scary. Juxtapose that with the late night section featuring Jon Stewart, James Cordon, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah and others. It’s easy to see why we need a filtered view of what’s happening these days.

Pro Tip: The Newseum is slated to close at the end of the year. It’s worth a trip if your in DC.

After the Newseum, some of us headed to the US Capitol. We got there 2 minutes before the last tour stated. We didn’t exactly get an insider’s view of the building but we saw the glitz and glamour. It is a pretty amazing building. We learned that each state gets two statues. We saw a lot of them – but not the ones from Minnesota. Also, a nod to the pretty decent orientation video on “e pluribus unum” – out of many one on the idea of America being/needing to debate together to get to one voice.

Then one of us hiked back to the AirBNB. I love a hustled walk in a city like DC. Such a treat – especially when it seems so much warmer than home.

We ended the day at Bristrot du Coin. I’m just going to say – foie gras, paté, crème brule, salmon, mussels, champagne cocktail… So yummy and we got a quiet table in an otherwise bustling location.

Day two was the family-selfie tour of The Mall.

We picked the perfect day to spend outside. It was almost 60 degrees, in the sun. We started at the WWII Memorial. As we arrived a series of marching bands showed up. So we got to hear some touching songs and a speech recognizing the service of Vets. It was very nice.

Next up – the Lincoln Memorial – with a special stop at the “I have a Dream” memento on the steps where Martin Luther King Jr stood to give that speech. We learned that 37 people fall down the stairs to the Memorial each day. Pleased to report that we weren’t part of that statistic – on this trip. We checked out the Korean War Memorial and Vietnam Memorial. I like how these memorials recognize the personal sacrifice in a way that the WWII doesn’t. I think in the 1940s there may have been greater internal connection between individual and state (or nation), I’m not sure that’s there in the same way. Subsequently, featuring the soldiers coming out of the woods (Korean) or names of the deceased soldiers (Vietnam) is a nice touch back to the soldier as individual.

We took a walk down The Mall to the Smithsonian for American History. We trekked through to see our favorite things – the ruby red slippers, first lady dresses and a few techie things for me. DC is very fun – but it’s hard to be here when we are so divided as a people. For example, hard not to judge the reaction to the First Lady dresses. I love Michelle Obama, I have room for Nancy Reagan, love to hear about how Dolley Madison held parties to bridge hard topics but I wonder about the people swooning over the most current addition. I’m not necessarily proud of that; wish I saw a road to change it.

Our last gasp was the Sculpture Garden. I’m a sucker for a good Sculpture Garden. I walked through it just a month ago when I was in town to present at the First Native Broadband conference but always more fun to tour with family. Even if some of the family is super tired and ready for a rest.

The trip isn’t over quite yet – we’re resting up in Baltimore waiting for a crab-cake forward dinner before we fly out in the morning.



Going deep into the Department of the Interior – and a few obvious stops in Washington DC by Ann Treacy
September 24, 2019, 2:15 pm
Filed under: Washington DC

Day two of my work trip to DC. I survived moderating the first panel of the day. (Again I followed FCC Chair Pai.) Actually it was fun to hear about what folks are doing to build and use broadband on tribal lands. I’m always impressed with the champions of deployment who go from knowing nothing about broadband to knowing every nuance – because they have to. It’s like me learning how to build a car – just so I can drive it.

During a break I checked out the library at the Department of the interior. The had a exhibit on Women’s Suffrage. I’ll share the best and worst of it below. I feel like voter suppression supporters might use the same postcard today. Maybe not publicly – but internally. So scary and a good reminder to protect the rights we have!

Then I saw the weirdest grandfather clock ever. Apparently it was a gift to a former librarian – from her brother. It apparently exemplified her personality. It is shells and that fantastic demon face glued onto a grandfather clock. It almost makes me wish I had time to be crafty. (I;m also including the coolest shoes I’ve seen so far – beaded sneakers.)

Then I had lunchtime and post-conference daylight to catch some usual DC sites. I’m a big fan of Hirshorn – where much of the arty sculpture comes from (as opposed to the government/historical stuff.)

Finally I enjoyed a drink and the view at the W Hotel rooftop bar.



Quick trip to Washington DC – where I present with FCC Chair Pai by Ann Treacy
September 23, 2019, 12:13 am
Filed under: Washington DC

I’m not sure how I got here – but I am giving a couple presentations and moderating a panel at the National Tribal Broadband Summit in Washington DC. I start my day tomorrow moderating a session 20 minutes after FCC Chari Ajit Pai speaks. Mucky muck city.

But today I arrived early afternoon and I had a few hours to walk the streets for about 9 miles. I start with a visit to free festival at John F Kennedy Performance Center. It was fun to get in and check out the place.

Then it was a walk down the Mall. I decided I should try to check out anything that might be closed when I have time to walk around later in the week. So I checked out the Smithsonian. I had to check out the Ruby Reds – of course and the Wonder Woman costume. And I was obliged to check out the technology/phone stuff for work.

After that I started on a hike to find the Ruth Bader Ginsburg mural that popped up last week. It’s weird to be here and have no interest in visiting the White House, despite the fact that I’m staying about 3 blocks away. So it’s nice to have something to replace it – the RBG mural. But on the way to the mural I passed the National Museum of Women in the Arts – or rather, I didn’t pass, I stopped in.

They were showing Judy Chicago’s The End juxtaposed with Live Dangerously a collective with 12 women artists. No photos allowed – but it was a striking look at different views of death.

Live Dangerously shows dozens of photos from all over the world. in which there’s one woman lying as if dead in each one. As patron, I felt removed and even desensitized to the deaths, yet fascinated. Where Chicago has several parts to her exhibit that makes death very personal. There are a series of drawings that asks – how will I die? Asking things like – Will I die screaming in pain, in the arms of a loved one…  From desensitized to worrying about my own demise. Then she used the same process and drawing style to highlight extinct animals.  A heavy show!

From there to the big hike to RBG. It was fun to walk away from the Mall, to get a view of a part of the city I don’t know well. Then when I get there – super treat, there were several murals. Now – if I get any free time in the next couple days I will be tracking down every #DCMural I can find.



Another Day in DC by Ann Treacy
April 13, 2011, 2:26 am
Filed under: Washington DC

I got a lucky half day in DC on top of my full day. I spent a lot of it working but I did get out. It was a nice day (by Minnesota standards) so I got a good walk in. In the morning I walked down to Georgetown, to the River, around the Lincoln Memorial and to the Jefferson Memorial – which is quite a long walk but through the Cherry Trees. My timing for that was perfect. The Cherry Blossom Festival started the day I got to DC. I bet it’s even nicer when it’s genuinely warm – but it was pretty and if you were down wind you could smell the blossoms.

I also got to walk through the Korean War Memorial. Of the war memorials I saw, I like it best. It showed the soldiers and they seem fairly realistic (from my deep knowledge of being on the frontlines). I think you have to get a glimpse of what the war must have been like to really appreciate the impact for those who made it home and those who didn’t.

In the afternoon I visited places. I went to the Portrait Gallery and saw some Warhol; I went to the Library of Congress and saw lots of cool things. Actually, you can’t really get access to the books and materials without a reader’s card.



A Day in DC by Ann Treacy
March 28, 2011, 2:11 am
Filed under: Washington DC

I am in Washington DC for a conference. The fun part is that to save a lot of money ($800) on airfare, I came a day early, which meant I got to spend a fun day in DC. I missed the family – but the advantage of being by yourself means you only go to see the things that you want to see. And I saw a ton.

I started with a morning walk to the Washington Monument, Cherry Blossom Festival, down to the Lincoln Memorial and past the World War II Memorial and the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial. It’s kind of amazing how just walk from walk thing to another. There are so many things to see. (History lesson of the day – in the Lincoln Memorial they have the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address on the walls – but there is one typo. Well I guess I don’t know if you can call it a typo when it’s etched in stone – but in the Second Inaugural Address [Future] was etched as [Eutur]. I hope you can see the in the picture.)

I retrenched at the hotel, did a little bit of work and went back to another walk to the Mall. I went to the Smithsonian – the Modern American History section. I saw Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers, the Muppets, Cat Woman’s costume, All in the Family chairs, the Star Spangled Banner, Julia Child’s Kitchen and more.

I walked around the Mall and visited the Hirsshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. You can take pictures there! I got pictures of art from Max Ernst, Andy Warhol, and others.




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