Thursday, August 29, 2013

MLK's 50th Anniversary and a Life-Changing Milkshake

In the midst of Miley's moronic performance and Syria's chemical warfare against her own people, the 50th anniversary of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech was yesterday.

To celebrate, we shared a life-changing milkshake and an 800-mile walk. And a chat with a  new friend.

First, our friend's store:

I can't recommend this store enough, not just because it's a friend's store but also because it is filled with some cool stuff, not just random crap from China but lovingly found and restored object and one-of-a-kind pieces in addition to carefully selected funky home furnishings. There is one in Charm City, too. The store in DC has pieces of petrified wood that are 10-15 million years old, a selection of beautiful old typewriters, and an $11,000 table handmade from a hunk of maple. Among other things.

Next, our life-changing milkshake:

(not our picture. TOTES accurate, though)

If you are anywhere near a Good Stuff Eatery, stop reading and go get a Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake. Yes, they toast the marshmallows. Yes, you need a spoon, but they don't have one (use the straw, which really should have been wider but the frustration and reward is part of it, like milkshake S&M). Yes, you will want a large but won't really need one, so get a small or share a large. I can also personally recommend the Sunnyside burger (served with cheese, bacon and a sunny-side up fried egg, HELLO) and a side of fries. Good LORD it was delicious. I almost bought a t-shirt, and those of you who know me know I am not a commemorative t-shirt buyer. LIFE-CHANGING milkshake.

Next, our seat at the party:

Can you see us? No? That's because we were not even within earshot. It has been a long time since I have been to a function in Washington, Bill Clinton's inauguration to be precise, and apparently you can't just waltz up to the Lincoln Memorial when the President is speaking and get a decent place to sit. Or stand. Or hear. So we took a picture of us and walked on. And found a guy who was selling t-shirts who opened his car and blasted CNN radio so we could hear Bernice King speak. I felt more  a part of the speech on Constitution Avenue then standing with my back to the Washington Monument. The t-shirt guy offered his umbrella to a couple sitting next to us, which was a small but significant display of how awesome people can be.

So here we are, right before we left to walk the 400 miles back to our car:

Sicily is still smiling, which belies how much her freaking feet hurt. In reality, our walk from the car to the speech and back was approximately seven miles. This was a very, very long walk. We consoled ourselves will a large Icee, a large buttered popcorn and the movie Jobs, which was just meh for me but which Sicily liked. I am going to make her read the book, which we just so happen to have on the Nook.

This newsy little post on what we did yesterday doesn't quite cover how the whole day was. It is always pretty amazing to be in DC when an event like this is happening. Regardless of your politics, it is a privilege and an honor to be able to walk in and around the buildings of your government, to be able to listen to your leaders and to join a mass of humanity who may or may not agree with you but who come together to participate in the democracy of the land. It's not perfect. It's not even close. I am not a nationalist, and I criticize the hell out of our government and our system. We could be so much better. But. There is something about the potential of this nation's people that is stirring, and although Obama's speech yesterday was just okay, the ideas behind it, the distance we have come together and the road we still must travel, resonated with me. Being in DC is inspiring (if a little tiring), and I am glad we got a chance to be here on this day, even if we couldn't be in the middle of the action.

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