Food and Fireworks

Food and Fireworks

I’ve been waiting for years for this day to come; the day I would spend the 4th of July in the nation’s capital. The celebration of America's Birthday in the District is like no other. Seriously, think about it. What better way to celebrate Independence Day than by relaxing and watching fireworks from the National Mall? But let me warn you in advance, it is no small venture. And here’s why: hundreds of people go to events at the Mall, every single one of them wanting to join in on the festivities.

Several days before the 4th I was warned, told that to get a good view of the fireworks I would have to go early. So how early? Earlier than whatever time you’re thinking. Many native Washingtonians, in fact, told me that the crowds felt like herds, some even said it wasn’t worth it. Did I believe them? Not really. After all, this was what I was waiting for all my life.

Well, after all the anticipation and waiting and expecting, the day of the 4th took a turn for the unexpected. It started off with me getting some lunch with some friends at one of the best Italian restaurants I have ever been too – Bucca de Beppo. After welcoming us, the hostess asked if it was our first time. We replied that it was, and because of that we got a tour of the restaurant. She then talked a little about some of the 3000 decorations that covered the walls of the restaurant before we were seated. After that experience, I would definitely add Bucca to list of recommendations in my last post.


 

Before me and my friends realized it was too late to go to the Mall, we had missed our window of opportunity to grab good seats. Instead of going to the Mall we decided we would watch the fireworks from the roof (an advantage of TWCs housing). Surrounded by red, white, and blue, with people chanting USA over and over, you could feel the patriotism. Although, in a different way than I had expected, I was able to cross this off my bucket list. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t love crowds or the feelings of being herded, watching it from a roof top is for you. However, if you know a person who works on Capitol Hill, you may be able to watch the fireworks from the steps of the Capitol. In any case, no matter where you are, you better hope and pray it doesn’t rain because that, I can attest to, will not be fun. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the best pictures because of my phone, so I’ll just let you come experience it for yourself.


Weekend after the 4th

Since we haven’t spoken in a two weeks, you (my readers) have a lot to catch up on. After recovering from Independence day celebrations, another week flew by, and it was time to relax and enjoy another weekend in the District. For this weekend I had planned to check out Jazz in the Gardens, for two reasons. One, who doesn’t love Jazz? And two, I had heard a lot of good things about it. Turns out, this event like the 4th of July fireworks required early arrival to get good seats. Nevertheless, we found a nook to sit in and we were able to sit back and take in some good music and food. Jazz in the Gardens is a summer staple here in D.C., and even though it may be hot and humid, it’s an event to visit.


 

In other news, this weekend I also participated in some local civic engagement. One of the Washington Center’s civic engagement requirements is to volunteer a minimum of five hours with a local group. I chose to work with Cultivate the City. Cultivate the City is organization that consists of farmers and educators who work to provide their families with fresh, locally grown produce. They also help growers develop skills and access resources to start successful and sustainable farm operations. Personally, I opine that it is extremely important to be civically engaged. A civically responsible individual views themselves as a member of a larger social entity, and therefore does not leave social problems to others. Moreover, civic engagement means working to ameliorate the civic life of our communities and develop knowledge, and galvanize inspiration to make a difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes. Going into in and not knowing much about gardening, several people including myself worked with Cultivate the City to develop a produce garden at a local high school. In the process, I was not only able to help the community in a way I have never done before, but I was also able to learn some nifty gardening skills. For you, future TWCer, I highly suggest doing something you wouldn’t normally do. For me, it turned out to be a better experience than I had imagined it to be.


 

Hopefully you all had just as awesome a 4th as I did, and I hope you have a great week!

 

Until the next post,

Obed

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