October 2007



My time in Washington is done, and it’s time for New York City.

I never got around to downloading the rest of my photos from DC, so you’re probably going to have to wait until I am back at home for me to download the photos from my camera and then upload them to the ‘net.

Business-wise, it was a very productive time in DC. The meetings were good, the socializing fun, and the opportunity to see the monuments awe inspiring.

Again, it has been a long time since I was last in DC, so essentially much of the city was new to me. I tried to make the most of it as I wandered the streets, seeing things for the first time, again (e.g. Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial), and really for the first time (e.g. World War II monument, FDR monument, DuPont Circle.).

Experiencing the city as an adult is a vastly different way to see it—especially since I travel now and have seen more of the world, plus I have perspective gained from having read more history, and that is where DC excels—at least as far as America is concerned. It is the epicenter of American history, even if it was a swamp at the time of Independence.

In terms of the national capitals that I have visited, Washington DC is really the only national capital that is only a national capital. London, Brussels, Amsterdam (yes, it is the capital), Berlin, and Paris, (to name a few) extend beyond their role as national capitals to be so much more: centers of culture, business, and life. Washington DC was designed with one purpose in mind as opposed to inheriting its capital role over time.

I stayed at the William Lewis House, a gay bed and breakfast located at 13th and R, NW. It was comfortable although, I might note, it might make people who like to lock things up a bit worried: I left my electronics on the dresser and wandered off without locking the door to my bedroom. I was never concerned, but I could imagine that this might make some people anxious. After Sunday morning breakfast, I never saw my host again—and the house was quiet, so I was able to recover from jetlag fairly quickly.

As I am writing this I am on Amtrak’s Acela Express train from DC to The City. Let me say, it is 19 minutes into the ride and it is not very good—the ride is extremely rough. I will admit that I get a wee bit sea-sick on the train from Weimar to Frankfurt because there are places that the rails are not as smooth as they should be and I really dislike the resulting left-right vibrations at 150 kilometers per hour. This train, which goes nowhere near 150kph, has huge left-right vibration, as well as, oddly, front back vibrations and up-down jerking around.

Certainly providing high-speed service between Washington and Boston, via New York City, is a stop in the right direction, but I’d like to know how they managed to design trains that are so motion sickness inducing—couldn’t they have imported trains straight from France (TGV technology) or Germany (ICE technology)?

I think I am going to close before I get too seasick and try snoozing.

6 comments to DC 2 NYC

  • The Acela has been plagued with issues since it was introduced. Great idea, poor execution.

  • Ed

    I knew that The City meant New York. No city was ever like it or will be again. (Quote from Revelations) The Merchants stand out in the harbor and watch the smoke of it’s destruction. In one hour has thy judgement come. Scary isn’t it?

  • Oh, and too bad I didn’t know you would be in the city. I could have come up for the comittee meeting this week. 🙂

  • I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon–two days in NYC doesn’t leave a lot of time of freedom, but it would have been nice to have some overlap.

  • J

    I looked up pics of the Acela and it looks just like the Thalys, so I did a bit more digging around and found this:

    “It is a distant relative of the French TGV high speed trains, because TGV builder Alstom participated in the consortium that designed and built the Acela Express”

    I also found that Amtrak insisted it be built on US soil, so it is.

  • koko

    I get a little sick on the city bus…those drivers are insane!! it’s like a roller coaster ride…