Posts tagged ‘d.c.’

February 25, 2012

From island to mainland (Part 3)

I traveled to D.C. this semester to fulfill an internship position at the Jazz Appreciation Month initiatives at the National Museum of American History. The short three-month period I had in Washington, D.C. seemed to fly by. As the date of my flight back to the Hawaiian islands draws closer, I find myself daydreaming and reflecting back on several of my experiences in D.C. and contrasting them to my previous experiences on Oahu and the Big Island.

One major difference in D.C. is that public events take place all the time. I’ve attended a few great ones; the events that really stick out in my mind are the National Book Festival, National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, and Taste of D.C. The greatest part of these events is that I didn’t have to spend a dime.

The National Book Festival was a fun way to spend a day, with author readings, book signings and various activities to promote reading in the community. The two-day event held on the National Mall drew more than 200,000 people, according to Library of Congress news.

This is actually the Christmas Tree at the National Harbor in Maryland. It was windy, cold and miserable, but one of the UH Alumni treated me to lunch at McCormick & Shmick's Seafood Restaurant. Yum!

The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony was a more exclusive event. Patrons of this festival had to enter a lottery weeks in advance. And, even if you signed up, an element of luck has to be on your side to be randomly chosen to receive tickets. After receiving the tickets, doors open one and a half hours prior to the start of the ceremony, so attendants had to be prepared to endure 40-some-odd degree weather. My advice if you attend this winter-time festival: Be sure to bundle up!

Enduring the weather was worth it, though, as I finally saw Barack Obama in person. I was determined to see him; dang it, I had better see him, I’ve spent this entire semester in D.C., after all! Other performers included Marsha Ambrosius, OneRepublic, and Kermit: there was a performer for every age group.

Another really memorable festival I attended when it was warmer out, over Columbus Day weekend in October, was Taste of D.C. More than 60 restaurants lined up along Pennsylvania Avenue, close to the National Mall, to satisfy hungry festival-goers. Appetizers, entrees and desserts were passed out in exchange for tickets, which could be bought in packets of 10 for $15. A special discount of $5 was given to those who purchased 20 tickets online prior to the event. With such large number of participating restaurants, it was tough to make a decision on where to spend my precious tickets. Chili, falafels, samosas, curry, fried Oreos, waffles… The choices were seemingly endless. I walked around for an hour pondering the choices before I finally settled on a few plates that caught my eye!

As my time in D.C. inches closer to the finishing point, I can say one thing for sure about this busy little city: free activities are always in abundance for the adventurous, energetic city folk.

Like this article? It’s the last installment of a 3 part series. To view the previous articles, log onto harleydiven.wordpress.com.

The Office of Community and Alumni Relations at Hawai’i Hall 311 is currently accepting applications for 2012 internships in Washington, D.C. The deadline for applications is March 9, 2012. For more information and application packet materials, visit http://www.artsci.hawaii.edu/alumni/students/scholarships_internships.htm.

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