Tag Archives: Einstein

Washington DC and Me

4 Nov

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Is our long national nightmare over yet?

How is this election still going on?

Have you seen how much we have all AGED?

Remember back in 2015 when we were young and pretty and David Bowie was still alive?

Sigh.

That said, ONE good thing that happened this year was my first legit trip to Washington DC. I was there back in 2007 for an afternoon when my husband and I took a cross-country car trip but that was it. We had plans to go in 2014, even bought tickets but then…well stupid cancer!

So clocking in a full week, I have to say I loved it. And could easily have filled another week.

I mean how can you not? It’s beautiful!

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We hit up all the monuments:

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Strolling around the Mall

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Einstein!

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MLK Jr:

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And of course the Museums. There is so much Art in DC it’s ridiculous. Both inside:

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and outside (snicker snicker):

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And of course the amazing National Museum of American History which had:

Kevin Arnold’s JACKET!!!! You know I love me some Wonder Years.

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The Lady who needs no introduction:

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There’s no place like home!

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The Woolworth Lunch Counter Sit in Protest

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A Life Mask of Abraham Lincoln (more on him later!)

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The NBC microphone that broadcasted War of the Worlds

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My boys and their duck:

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Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves

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Apple computer from the 80’s

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En Vogue!!! Never gonna get it, never gonna get it, never gonna get it

(you’re welcome for getting that song stuck in your head)

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And what I thought was the most incredible part, the hat Lincoln wore to Ford’s Theater the night of his assassination.

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Speaking of Lincoln, one of my absolute favorite experiences in DC was the Ford’s Theater Tour.

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Waiting for the talk by the Park Ranger – which was INCREDIBLE

This is the booth as it was then, still today:

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And here’s Lincoln’s seat:

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After the theater talk you get to go next store to the boarding house that Lincoln was brought to, in there was the bed he died in:

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Or NOT because when you read the note next to it it explains that the real bed is in Chicago as part of an exhibit. Grrrrrrrrr. Still Ford’s Theater was incredible.

One of the other museums that I really wanted to go to was the Museum of African American History which opened up the weekend we were there so getting tickets was impossible. But we got to look at how pretty it is.

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Hopefully next time.

And of course there was the Air and Space Museum which this little space nerd went bonkers over. First off, you can touch a piece of the moon!!!unnamed-30

That’s the moon and I touched it!

And they had a capsule:

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and a lunar module:

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And lots of suits:

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And one of the coolest things they had was a recording of the noise that Jupiter makes.

I’m 100% not kidding. See:

 

Also the air and space museum has the Spirit of St. Louis:

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And the Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Vega 5B which she flew alone across the ocean and the United States – both a first for women.

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Speaking of Earhart, did you hear the new castaway theory?

Anyway, my point is it was a really great trip. And it was incredible to be there while Barry was in office. Speaking of, at one point near the White House they made everyone stay where they were on the sidewalk and they closed off the street and 5 SUV’s came down and the woman next to me started freaking out saying that Barry was in the middle one (which makes sense considering the layout of the cars). To say I was excited was an understatement. You couldn’t see in but I assume it was basically this:

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I’m looking forward to going back to DC.

And this time with a woman in the White House.

Cause we’re going to do the right thing on Tuesday, right America?

Yes, we are. Because we are NOT THAT. We are better than that. We are With Her.

Don’t forget to VOTE ON TUESDAY!

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Peace, love and starbursts,

Ally

Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Prague: Refugees Welcome (Part 3)

12 May

When we last checked in with our heroes, they were heading out of Germany, a train strike looming in the future and no known way to return to Berlin in order to catch their (already paid for) flight home….

The train rumbled into Prague and upon disembarking we went straight to the ticket office. My theory being there MUST be a non-German train going from Prague to Berlin. Czech Republic MUST have a train system – they’re a nation for chrissake. Finally getting to the front of the line we discovered that there are in fact trains to Germany (run by the Czechs) but (grrrr) they only go to DRESDEN. I asked about a bus and was directed to the tourist point and from there to Student Academy which ran buses out of Prague and, falling to my knees in thanks, was told there were two seats left on the 11:00 bus on the day we needed.

We snatched them up and we were off to Prague, which is the most beautiful city I have ever been to.

Seriously, look at this:

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We were staying in old town right next to the Charles Bridge which we crossed immediately to go find the John Lennon Wall. This is a graffiti-ed wall that was erected after John Lennon was killed and has over time been updated with new art.

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And what’s even better than the John Lennon wall?

THE JOHN LENNON PUB!

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Yum…..dark beer.

Back in Old Town Square, they have the Astronomical Clock.

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It was installed in 1410 and is the oldest astronomical clock still working. This clock is amazing – there’s the position of the sun and the moon as well as the month day and time. The four figures flanking the clock which MOVE, represent the four biggest fears/faults/sins: Vanity, holding the mirror,  Greed holding a bag of money, Death in the form of a skeleton who rings the bell each hour and finally foreign invasion which is represented by a Turk which is, of course, totally racist. But it was 1410 so you need to sort keep that in context.

On the hour Death rings the bell and the two windows open and a bunch of saints go parading by, then the rooster crows and the show is over.

I’m not gonna lie – I watched this like three times. It’s just so awesome.

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Prague Castle was a nice long walk up a long winding hill that gave you great views like this:

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And the other really cool thing about Prague Castle is that it’s where Milos Forman filed Amadeus (which happens to be one of my all time favorite movies).

This was the building that was Mozart’s house:

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And even cooler (as if that were possible) down the lane from this house is this one:

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This is Tycho Brahe’s house. If you’re not familiar with Tycho Brahe – and you should be if you watched Cosmos – he was an astronomer, astrologist and alchemist back in the 1500’s. He was the last of the “naked eye” astronomers – those working without telescopes. While Brahe was in Prague, attempting to do his nightly observations of the cosmos, he was interrupted by the neighboring church service and, in a rare show of science over faith, managed to get them quit all church activities as soon as the sun went down so that he could work uninterrupted. The power of science!

On top of that he lost part of his nose in a sword duel and allegedly had a pet moose that got drunk and died falling down the stairs. Poor moose. I also think Tycho’s Moose would be a great band name.

We also saw his grave but we weren’t allowed to take pictures so you’ll have to settle for a Wikipedia one:

Tycho_Brahe_Grave_DSCN2900Prague Castle was nice. I wanted to move in.

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Afterwards we hit up the Old Jewish Cemetery:

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And when they say OLD they mean old. It was in use from the early 15th century and the last body was buried here in 1787.

The most famous resident is Rabbi Loeb who created the Golem!

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Rabbi Loeb’s grave

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This guy prayed for a really long time (with candles) so we took his picture.

And while Rabbi Loeb is pretty famous, Prague’s most famous resident is Franz Kafka. We did a whole Kafka walk, which I might highlight in a separate post for anyone itching to see places that Kafka lived.

In the meantime, here’s a plaque where his birth home was:

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and of course, his grave:

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And this is the monument they set up for him, strangely surreal, much like our boy:

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But Kafka wasn’t the only grave we saw:

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And just because it’s cool

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I want a grave like this. Seriously.

Prague is full of all kinds of cool stuff. Like this guy:

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And places Einstein lived:

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And this building called the Fred and Ginger Dancing House:

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And the hall where Mozart conducted Don Giovanni in 1787:

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But it’s definitely most famous for the Karlov Most (Charles Bridge)

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Which looks great in the day but breathtaking at sunset:

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Karlov Most shadows

And then, it was time to leave…..

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We took the five hour bus ride back to Berlin for one last night, during which it was the 70th anniversary of end of World War II. Being in Berlin on the anniversary of the defeat of Nazism, especially when the Russians were waving their flag around the Brandenburg Gate makes for a weird evening.

Then we boarded the plane and took the long flight back to New York.

Home. Home. Home.

I don’t like to compare trips, especially because it’s going to take a lot of time for me to really process everything we saw and experienced but I will say this – while this trip might not go down as the prettiest (except of course Prague) or the most “fun” (train strikes do throw a damper on things. Also, Nazis.) I have a feeling that it will mean the most. Maybe because of everything last year.

Maybe because I needed it more this time.

Maybe because it just will.

Anyway, it’s a big world out there. If you get the chance, try and see some of it.

Peace, love and starbursts,

Ally

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