The Bronx is up, but the Battery's down

The Bronx is up, but the Battery's down

Hi all, I have returned from my adventure in New York!  My trip was brief but it definitely managed to be insanely fun.  D.C. is unique in that you sense you are in a place where important things happen, great minds and great ideas are constantly surrounding you.

 

I must say, however, I have a special love for the rush of the crowds and the traffic that you only find in a place like Manhattan. In a short 48 hours I explored -- mostly by foot -- the East Village, the Upper West side, and Williamsburg. My trip was almost exclusively strolling around New York’s wide array of neighborhoods, as I did not have much time to visit a museum or see a Broadway show. Not that I am complaining; I had only been to New York once before when I was much younger, so it was wonderful to just soak in the city as an adult.  My one touristy indulgence: a visit to Tom’s Restaurant a.k.a. the "Seinfeld" restaurant.  I returned to D.C. late Sunday night exhausted but refreshed, grateful to have a weekend full of old friends and new places (not to mention SO much good food).

 

The restaurant made famous by Seinfeld...you can almost hear the bass line.

 

By the end of my Fourth of July weekend, I was anxious to get back to my daily routine. On Monday, the Political Leadership Program took a tour of the Supreme Court. The highest court in the land is much smaller than I had previously imagined, but a visually powerful place nonetheless. The magnitude of the decisions handed down within those walls act as an unseen feature of the Court, creating a sense of grandeur perhaps absent in the size and decoration of the room.

 

We were also given passes to the House and Senate galleries as a part of the tour.  Since I sat in on the House gallery a few weeks prior, I was eager to go to the Senate and witness the (relatively) more productive section of our legislative branch.  Although Monday’s are typically slow in Congress, we saw Senator Harry Reid condemn House Speaker John Boehner for obstructing the legislative process in following the Hastert Rule (which holds that the majority of the majority party must approve a bill before it is debated). This speech would make headlines throughout the week, but my favorite moment of our visit was witnessing South Carolina Senator Tim Scott’s maiden speech. I may completely disagree with Senator Scott’s political philosophy, but he was so persuasive I found myself almost nodding along with ideological sentiments I consider myself firmly opposed to. He may be on the back bench right now, but I am definitely going to keep an eye on his career in the future.

 

I have to say, it feels so good to be back in the District and back at work. I definitely needed the weekend breather, but I love living in a city chalk-full of people who share my interests (or at the very least can challenge the value of my interests with a good ol’ fashioned debate). I find it unbelievable that I only have a few weeks left, so here’s to a dash more of “carpe diem” in my summer going into my final month in D.C.

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