Life and Times

Life and Times from 2017

Life and Times from 2016

Life and Times from 2015

Life and Times from 2014

Life and Times from 2013

Life and Times from 2012

Life and Times from 2011

Life and Times from 2010

Life and Times from 2009

Life and Times from 2008

Life and Times from 2007

Life and Times from 2006

Life and Times from 2005

Life and Times from 2004

Life and Times from 2003

Life and Times from 2002

Life and Times from 2000

If These Streets Could Talk

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 3

After making my transfer, I did finally arrive at Union Station.  I stopped for a quick snack at Au Bon Pain inside Union Station, paying an exorbitant amount of money for a small amount of food.  You see, that’s the difference between things.  The name “Au Bon Pain” is expensive (I joke that it’s Au-Bon-Painful in the pocketbook to eat there), and you’re paying for the privilege of eating food that’s been associated with that name.  I just went through because the line was short.


Union Station, with Au Bon Pain at left.

Union Station, with Au Bon Pain at left.


While I sat at a table at Au Bon Pain, which is right next to one of the main passageways in Union Station, I recalled my first visit to Union Station in February 2003.  Boy, was I impressed back then…

Going further around, welcome to the shopping areas!  This area is actually the area where the floor collapsed after a train accidentally crashed through a wall and into this area in 1953.  Nowadays, this area is a very convenient place for tourists and commuters alike to drop their money and buy some stuff. Going further around, welcome to the shopping areas!  This area is actually the area where the floor collapsed after a train accidentally crashed through a wall and into this area in 1953.  Nowadays, this area is a very convenient place for tourists and commuters alike to drop their money and buy some stuff.

Going further around, welcome to the shopping areas! This area is actually the area where the floor collapsed after a train accidentally crashed through a wall and into this area in 1953. Nowadays, this area is a very convenient place for tourists and commuters alike to drop their money and buy some stuff.

Going further around, welcome to the shopping areas!  This area is actually the area where the floor collapsed after a train accidentally crashed through a wall and into this area in 1953.  Nowadays, this area is a very convenient place for tourists and commuters alike to drop their money and buy some stuff. Going further around, welcome to the shopping areas!  This area is actually the area where the floor collapsed after a train accidentally crashed through a wall and into this area in 1953.  Nowadays, this area is a very convenient place for tourists and commuters alike to drop their money and buy some stuff.

I still enjoy Union Station, though now it’s become another one of my designated “rest areas” in between the planned events of my DC days.  Additionally, since I first did my photo set on Union Station, I’ve made better sense of how the station is laid out, and can navigate it far more effectively.  In my first visit to Union Station, I had no idea that I had actually looped completely around the building and had come back to where I had started.  I just followed where the building took me, and had no clue exactly where in the building I was going.

After having that quick snack at Au Bon Pain, I was once again on my way to see what I could see.


As expected, the area in front of Union Station was fairly quiet, with people passing through on their way to and from the station, to shop, eat, or catch a bus or a train.  As expected, the area in front of Union Station was fairly quiet, with people passing through on their way to and from the station, to shop, eat, or catch a bus or a train.

As expected, the area in front of Union Station was fairly quiet, with people passing through on their way to and from the station, to shop, eat, or catch a bus or a train.

As expected, the area in front of Union Station was fairly quiet, with people passing through on their way to and from the station, to shop, eat, or catch a bus or a train.  As expected, the area in front of Union Station was fairly quiet, with people passing through on their way to and from the station, to shop, eat, or catch a bus or a train.


A table was set up nearby where members of the Church of Scientology were giving free stress tests.  I took one of these, and it was interesting, as they had you hold two metal cylinders, one in each hand, and watched and asked questions as the needle moved up and down on the machine that the cylinders were connected to.  I don't know how it was measuring stress, but it was interesting.  The ultimate motive behind the stress test was to promote the book Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard.

A table was set up nearby where members of the Church of Scientology were giving free stress tests.  I took one of these, and it was interesting, as they had you hold two metal cylinders, one in each hand, and watched and asked questions as the needle moved up and down on the machine that the cylinders were connected to.  I don’t know how it was measuring stress, but it was interesting.  The ultimate motive behind the stress test was to promote the book Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard.


I commented to one of the people trying to pull people in for the stress test about the time that I was there in January, when the place was swarmed with demonstrators when Union Station played host to the Freedom Ball, which was one of the Inaugural Balls on inauguration day.  I told the lady about how there was a big demonstration sponsored by Code Pink.  The lady replied, “Well, we’re having a demonstration today.”

Somehow I think I missed something, since the lady compared an apple to an orange.  While they were indeed giving free stress tests, that’s not the kind of demonstration I was thinking about.  When I talk about a demonstration at Union Station, I’m talking about a big, honking protest, like at the Counter-Inaugural

The person who seemed to be the icon of our demonstration was a small woman wearing the standard black mask, holding up a large black flag nearly as tall as she was. The person who seemed to be the icon of our demonstration was a small woman wearing the standard black mask, holding up a large black flag nearly as tall as she was.

The person who seemed to be the icon of our demonstration was a small woman wearing the standard black mask, holding up a large black flag nearly as tall as she was.


This demonstration at Union Station was full of familiar faces from earlier in the day, like this woman with her "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind" sign standing on top of a concrete barricade.

This demonstration at Union Station was full of familiar faces from earlier in the day, like this woman with her “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind” sign standing on top of a concrete barricade.


The "Abu Ghraib Fraternity" also made another appearance, with their "Torture U" sweatshirts.

The “Abu Ghraib Fraternity” also made another appearance, with their “Torture U” sweatshirts.

Now that’s a demonstration!

Leaving Union Station, I dropped myself off right smack in the middle of downtown Washington DC, taking the Metro from Union Station to McPherson Square.  It was time to take another walk near the White House…


Lafayette Park, directly across the street from the White House, has an equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson as its centerpiece.

Lafayette Park, directly across the street from the White House, has an equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson as its centerpiece.


Beyond Lafayette Park, and across a restored Pennsylvania Avenue, lies the White House.

Beyond Lafayette Park, and across a restored Pennsylvania Avenue, lies the White House.


The White House certainly looks charming in the late afternoon sun.  Though I still think it looks even more charming just after the snow has fallen, such as it appeared when I photographed The White House in Snow back in 2003.

Interestingly enough, the snow was so bright as to cause the White House to appear dark by comparison!

Interestingly enough, the snow was so bright as to cause the White House to appear dark by comparison!


The North Portico originally was used as the White House's main entrance, but soon proved to be inadequate, creating the need to erect bridges from State Floor windows to allow for traffic flow.  Since 1902, visitors enter the White House through the East Wing.

The North Portico originally was used as the White House’s main entrance, but soon proved to be inadequate, creating the need to erect bridges from State Floor windows to allow for traffic flow. Since 1902, visitors enter the White House through the East Wing.


The White House looks amazingly similar to how it looked back in its early days, thanks to the efforts of many, who, when enlarging the White House, did so by low-lying structures vs. huge wings.

The White House looks amazingly similar to how it looked back in its early days, thanks to the efforts of many, who, when enlarging the White House, did so by low-lying structures vs. huge wings.

After photographing the White House, and having to wade through a sea of tourists to get through, I headed west towards the World Bank.  The World Bank would see a bit of action in a few weeks, with the spring meetings of the World Bank and the IMF, and the related demonstrations.  However, on the way there, I was able to say, “Now I’ve seen it all…”


A mobile Starbucks!  I believe that I have now officially seen it all.  As if it's not enough to have a Starbucks on every corner, we also have a tiny little Starbucks kiosk right on the sidewalk.  And this just steps away from a full-size Starbucks, too.

A mobile Starbucks!  I believe that I have now officially seen it all.  As if it’s not enough to have a Starbucks on every corner, we also have a tiny little Starbucks kiosk right on the sidewalk.  And this just steps away from a full-size Starbucks, too.


Arriving at the World Bank, you have to admit that the building is architecturally appealing, even if their policies are not so appealing.  Arriving at the World Bank, you have to admit that the building is architecturally appealing, even if their policies are not so appealing.

Arriving at the World Bank, you have to admit that the building is architecturally appealing, even if their policies are not so appealing.

Arriving at the World Bank, you have to admit that the building is architecturally appealing, even if their policies are not so appealing.



Discussing the World Bank in my recovering-from-a-cold slightly-hoarse voice.


As I mentioned in the movie, lots of things happen in Murrow Park when it comes to activism, mostly in regards to the semi-annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  When this photo set was made, the most recent meetings were the fall meetings, the demonstrations for which I covered in my Day of Activism photo set.  That time around, the demonstrations were kept low-key in order to keep the attention focused on the upcoming presidential election.

Underneath a small tent in the middle of Murrow Park sit various people participating in the vigil outside the World Bank. Underneath a small tent in the middle of Murrow Park sit various people participating in the vigil outside the World Bank.

Underneath a small tent in the middle of Murrow Park sit various people participating in the vigil outside the World Bank.


Around the tent, cloth banners were hung, painted with images stating viewpoints on the activities of the World Bank and the IMF. Around the tent, cloth banners were hung, painted with images stating viewpoints on the activities of the World Bank and the IMF.

Around the tent, cloth banners were hung, painted with images stating viewpoints on the activities of the World Bank and the IMF.

Around the tent, cloth banners were hung, painted with images stating viewpoints on the activities of the World Bank and the IMF.

I’ve always found it somewhat curious to have a Starbucks so close to the World Bank, since it to me just seems to be asking for trouble, and in fact, people have demonstrated in front of it before.  But here it is, no more than a couple of blocks from that mobile Starbucks…


This is the Starbucks across the street from the World Bank.  I had said at the time that I wondered whether or not their windows would survive the A16 demonstration in a few weeks.  As this photo set is being put together after A16, I'm happy to announce that this Starbucks did emerge with all its windows intact.  This is the Starbucks across the street from the World Bank.  I had said at the time that I wondered whether or not their windows would survive the A16 demonstration in a few weeks.  As this photo set is being put together after A16, I'm happy to announce that this Starbucks did emerge with all its windows intact.

This is the Starbucks across the street from the World Bank.  I had said at the time that I wondered whether or not their windows would survive the A16 demonstration in a few weeks.  As this photo set is being put together after A16, I’m happy to announce that this Starbucks did emerge with all its windows intact.


And finally, after photographing around the World Bank, I headed to the Farragut West station and called it a day. Thanks for coming with me to look back on old times.

And finally, after photographing around the World Bank, I headed to the Farragut West station and called it a day. Thanks for coming with me to look back on old times.

Comments are closed.

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 3