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Draplin Design Co., North America


Citizens, first! Tourists, second!

We’re citizens and we are in the Nation’s Capital. And I feel connected to it, just enough for me to set aside my cynicism, bad attitude and general disdain for all things big and bureaucratic.

This is a town that quickly makes you feel this sense of, “You’ve/We’ve got no business being here.” Checkpoints, barricades, sirens, security cameras and so many branches of authority milling around. An intense place. My favorite is the Secret Service guy with a machine gun on his chest and a calm, resolute look that says, “Don’t even think about it.”

And we’re tourists. Of the worst kind, of course. You know, walking around all dazed, fumbling for coins at metro gates, being lost, pointing at shit, etc. Bumbling idiots. Completely anonymous, and just taking in the electricity of the city. And fuck if I don’t love it.

Barack Obama is the 44th President of these United States, and that’s gonna be very official in two days.

Everywhere you look in D.C. you are reminded of this. Be it street peddlers hawking novelties or packs of jolly revelers or ominous buildings with large banners marking the momentus inauguration. It’s pretty exhilarating, really. Leigh and I are VERY glad to be here seeing everything.

Once an hour there’s a haunting thought comes to my halfwit mind: What would the town be like if McCain took it?

Then I shudder. That’s a dark thought. Scary as hell. Palin? You gotta be kidding me. The town just feels, uh, positive. I mean, the town is buzzing with excitement. People are walking around with big smiles. All kinds of people. Every color. All sizes.

Tonight, after a supper of Tandoori Chicken at an Indian joint on 7th street, Leigh and I caught a cab up to the White House on a tip from Seth. Obama’s motorcade was on the move! We got dropped of a block from the White House, and walked up behind it to the Blair House, or, as close as we could possibly get, which was 50 yards away. This is where the President-elect stays, days before the inauguration.

The place was swarming with Secret Servicemen. Just standing there, staring you down. Of course, we had questions, and of course, “They couldn’t disclose anything.” And you just get the feeling they LOVE that power over you. I mean, they are very, very professional, and on a patriotic level, I dig that. They keep the leaders safe. It’s an fascinating relationship.

As we walked up to the gates, a husky extended Lincoln limo rolled by. Presidential motorcade?! The “44” on the license plate gave it away. It was followed by a black suburban with dark-looking heads in it. But of course, the professionals on the other side of the fence couldn’t comment on that.

Highlights of the Day:
01. Seeing Barack’s motorcade limo, and thinking about all the top-secret features and stuff.

02. Seeing Jon Bon Jovi, and all mysteries within, in the Smithsonian . “Hey, Jon, you remember me from 1987? Joe Louis arena! 4th balcony, to the right of the stage! Livin’ on a prayer? Ha! Remember me?”

03. Walking around and thinking about things like:

- Fugazi in 1987.
- Minor Threat in 1982.
- Henry Rollins working at a Haagen Daas in 1977(?).
- Dischord records.
- That Bad Brains record cover with the capital getting struck.
- Presidents, past and present.
- Power, and the mystique behind it.
- Dick Cheney’s motives.
- Barney the dog.
- Senators and Congressman, over the years.
- Tourist stories. “How far did they come to be here?”
- Where the fuck are we?
- Which way is North?

Here’s the shots from “Day 03” of this adventure: “DDC vs. DC, Day 03”

There Are 9 Comments

FUCKING A… I feel like I’m seeing it first hand through the grain of the lense to the reliving what this damn country is about!!! Great work!

Down 37, 25 - FOURTY FOUR- hike!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: styk on 01/19/09 at 12:49 AM

Oh and before reading this I had just put on some Boss… then I read this while its playing… not planned, FUCK! Even better….

Have fun in Jungleland!

Posted by: styk on 01/19/09 at 12:52 AM

I always remember hearing someone on npr talking about going to see Martin Luther King speak in DC. Dude goes to get a hot dog and comes back and the crowd is going nuts - turns out he missed the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech going for a fucking hot dog.

Keep your wits about you, maybe invest in some sort of pee bag or something cause we want pictures.

Posted by: bendall on 01/19/09 at 1:22 AM

Man, I’m so jealous. Great shots of type and signage and DC in general. Have fun out there and keep posting!

Posted by: Andy on 01/19/09 at 8:16 AM

You ever see this?

Lots to see and do in DC, but this online / live tour is punk rock gold.

And because I used to go there and just trip out…The Ian / Henry Haagen Daas is gone from Georgetown, but was there was a long ass time. As is the pet store they used to work and Ian’s movie theater. Landmarks if you ask me.

Posted by: Chris on 01/19/09 at 8:59 AM

What a historic day. I’m so jealous of you and all the others that were able to be in Washington to see history being made.

My take on the day’s events…


Posted by: Chris Murphy on 01/20/09 at 10:21 AM

so the money will be flowing now. I doubt it, damn good thing that you are there to have a real perspective of the mint. got any details?

Posted by: G Aleshire on 01/20/09 at 3:49 PM

I’m pretty certain that Obama has had two Cadillac limos built for his use.

Posted by: Walker Hamilton on 01/20/09 at 5:16 PM

ahhh the chocolate city, did you get to check out the Manifest Hope show at 3333 M Street? visit 13th and E Block, aka Pulaski Park, aka Freedom Plaza? Check out the Nat’l Building Museum? or the Newseum? wish i was there for this historic event

Posted by: chase on 01/20/09 at 5:24 PM
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