Today was a difficult day. Woke up sick. Went back to bed. Finally got up about 10:30 am to protests outside our hotel.
Our plan for the day? Avoid the inauguration and ignore it as much as possible. We decided to go to the International Spy Museum. We put on socks we felt were appropriate for the day and headed outside.
We exited our hotel to a maze of chain link fences, snow trucks and busses blocking the streets, police in full riot gear, helicopters overhead, protesters in the street. We were in full on inauguration day in Trump’s America.
We worked our way down to the Spy Museum and went on a great interactive spy adventure before touring the museum while Trump was being inagurated. We spent a few hours there amoungst the memoribilia of the CIA and the KGB and 007 movies. During one of the films about the cold war it mentioned how the KGB always wanted to get somebody into the White House. Well…now they finally have. Well played Putin.
When we came out of the museum there was more chaos. Protesters in the street. Lots of security. Some Trump supporters were there but in general the Trumpers and Trumpets seemed outnumbered by police and protesters. We headed back to our hotel to catch some news and realized our hotel had all the fencing and protests around it because that is where all the white people with fur coats on were queuing up to get into the “Liberty” and “Freedom” balls. The fencing, police, and furs were nearly as thick as the irony of the ball’s namesake. Sigh…
Thursday we headed to the National Museum of the American Indian by jumping in an Uber. “I’ve lived in DC my whole life, some 50 years, and I’ve never seen so much security and road closures.”. We had to make a long loop around DC to get from our hotel near the Mall and then still walk a considerable distance to the museum. There were so many fences and closed streets it was eerie. There was nobody around but the occasional lookee-loo getting their barrings for the upcoming event.
The museum is architecturally interesting and contains a comprehensive collection of Native histories. What stood out for me was the exhibit on universes and world perspectives from different tribes. It was fascinating to read their stories and histories and see the similarities and differences between them.
What probably stood out more, given the political climate and the recent protests at Standing Rock over the Dakota Access Pipeline, was the exhibit on treaties and how the Federal Government has a history of breaking them. It saddened me to think of how these treaties would be respected under a Trump administration. Sigh…
We ate at the Mitsitam Cafe which had a great selection of native dishes. Unfortunately, I was feeling a bit under the weather from a stomach bug I had picked up. So I didn’t get to taste much. I’ll need to return.
Afterward, we headed over to the American Museum of Natural History to check out the exhibit on Evolution before the Trump administration has it removed and replaced with “Intelligent Design”. Sigh….
Our last act of civil defiance for the evening was dinner at José Andrés’s restaurant Jaleo. José Andrés is currently being sued by Trump because he pulled out of a new restaurant at Trump’s new hotel in DC. We wanted to support José and had an amazing meal there.