November 05, 2009

Washington DC '09 trip (Day 2)

Continuing the report begun in Washington DC '09 trip (Day 1):

After dozing for maybe an hour, I got up for my fun-filled day of sightseeing.

First I went to the Dept. of Agriculture, where I met my contact Richard Regan. I was in time to see Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack speak to an audience of tribal leaders. Then we checked the auditorium where I'd be speaking the next day.

Then I headed off for a long day of walking the National Mall. I went by the Holocaust Museum, but it hadn't opened yet. I circled the Tidal Basin to see the Jefferson Memorial and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Back on the Mall, I took in the National WW II Memorial.

Then I retraced my steps to the Dept. of Agriculture and continued to the National Museum of the American Indian. I had a chipotle chicken taco in the Mitsatim cafe. I left a message with Indian Country Today reporter Rob Capriccioso, who supposedly was visiting the NMAI also, but couldn't connect. So I toured the permanent exhibits--Our Universe, Our Lives, Our People--and the special Brian Jungen: Strange Comfort exhibit.

It was getting late in the afternoon, but I had enough time to look through the ground floor of the National Air and Space Museum. I don't think I'd been there since 1976. Finally I toured the Hirshhorn Museum's sculpture garden because I love public art.

I was supposed to meet Ruth, an old Internet friend, for dinner, but I took the wrong Metro train and ended up in a bad part of town. No problem: I took another train back and then got on the right train. Ruth and I walked to the well-reviewed Enjera, an Eritrean restaurant, but it was boarded up. So we had a decent meal at the Ethiopian restaurant across the street before heading our separate ways.

I ended up taking more than 600 photos that day--a new record for me. My feet were sore, but the day was good. Fourteen hours straight of seeing and doing things is my idea of living life to the fullest.

To learn what happened at the USDA meeting, see USDA on Discrimination Case:  Working on It. For more on the subject, see Speaking on Stereotypes at the Capital.

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