Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Fourth of July

Happy Independence Day. We celebrated by traveling to the National Mall this afternoon for another crack at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.* Our plan was to hang around until the fireworks, shortly after nine. The first indication, besides common sense, that this was a big ordeal in DC was the special holiday Metro schedule: yellow and blue lines had been switched south of Arlington Cemetery, and north of the cemetery all lines heading into DC were now orange. This meant that twice the normal number of main east-to-west lines were running. Also, Smithsonian Station was closed today. I'm glad we noticed this, since Smithsonian was where we'd been heading. The reason for the closure was apparent after we detrained at Federal Triangle and walked south to the Mall: they had fenced the whole grassy expanse off and were checking bags at the entry points. There were police roving everywhere on horses, bikes, and motorcycles. It was really hot. Around six, we started noticing cruisers driving along, making announcements about gathering at the museums. It took us a while to hear this information, since most of the announcements were distant or oblique. Finally we flagged a park ranger down; he told us there was a severe thunderstorm warning and that the collective Smithsonian was the best shelter. We were advised to seek the closest museum. Since many Smithsonian museums are made of glass, we opted for the solid stone National Gallery, and waited on its many steps until they forced us to go on inside. We walked around the exhibits a while, among other Folklife refugees sitting with cafeteria pizzas arrayed around them on the floor. When we attempted to leave we had to use the back door: the National Mall had been evacuated entirely though no storm ever came. [Cavin]

Then, a 1 sided conversation ensued...

To which Blogger Ellie added:


Friday, July 06, 2007 3:00:00 AM  

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