Monday, May 11, 2009

Erica does D.C.

They say it's more about who you know than what you know. If you want to work you'd better network. So, after a few nibbles in the job market, I decided it was time to explore the full potential that is Washington, D.C.

I had a very productive week and enjoyed my visits with representatives of a variety of agencies working in the international public health and development scene. The information was helpful in helping me further define my direction for this next stage of my career.

But I also had a lot of fun.

Okay, so it rained. Really, it rained every day for the week I was there. The sun did come out: between the hours of 11 AM and 2:30 PM on Wednesday, May 6. I got sunburned - and bragged about it to all my friends stuck in cubicles who were convinced it had simply rained again that day. (And I began to wonder why I would want to be in a cubicle in the basement of a building where I wouldn't know if it rained or shined...)

I saw nearly a gazillion old friends, some for the first time in ten years! I am happy to see how people hardly change - and I hope that continues for years to come, since they are already some of the smarted, healthiest and most beautiful people I know.

I also had some spare time to see a few more of the smorgasbord of sights that is your national heritage. I also highly appreciate the fact that my friends who live so close rarely visit many of these national treasures - so I'm taking advantage of time now least I become a DC resident.

First visit was to the Library of Congress, in honor of my mother (the librarian)'s birthday:

I know, all your hometown libraries look like this.

Well, either way, next time I'm going to come up with some excuse to use their reading room. Shhhhhhhhhh.

I also did the requisite mall-walk (after the sun went back into hiding Wednesday afternoon) and took my requisite Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue pictures:

I also dove in and out of a few of the Smithsonians - but a few days simply could never do them any justice. The Museum of the American Indian was another first for me - and very enjoyable. Downstairs they featured some handmade sea, river and lake watercraft, including this Wisconsin birch-bark canoe.

I spent a lot of time just wandering DC streets and stopping in green oases between meetings. The leaves were out and the flowers were blooming -made it a little harder to come back to Wisconsin!

The Smithsonian Ripley Garden seems to be recovering nicely after getting trampled flat during the Presidential inauguration.

But the gardeners still have some day-to-day problems to deal with:

Maybe it was the rain, maybe the fact that I discovered the function of the manual ISO setting, maybe just because DC designers seem to like building fountains, but for some reason I was inspired to photograph water.

The Sculpture Gardens:

Dupont Circle Navy Memorial:

Entrance to departments within the Justice Department:

Fountain Garden, Smithsonian garden:

DC is a great city for walking - as my shoes took me through nearly 30 miles in 3 days. Now, if only working in DC didn't entail working, I might actually enjoy just living there.