Rachel and I spent the weekend in Washington D.C. attending Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. This was the first real rally of any sort I have attended and did not know what to expect. In short, I had a great time and so excited to attend the event.
We took the train to D.C. on Friday afternoon and arrived in time to get a good dinner. It was been a long time since I last took the train and I will definitely be taking it again next time I need to travel along the east coast. Price in comparable to flying, but it is so much easier. There is none of the stress of getting to the airport on time, checking bags or going through security and you have cell/internet service the whole way.
On the morning of the rally, we got up in time to leave our hotel around 9am. By the time we booked our hotel, all the rooms in D.C. were booked so we had to stay in Arlington, Virginia. We were right around the corner from a Metro stop. As we were getting to the Metro, Rachel was receiving texts from a friend and seeing on Twitter that the Metro was a bit crowded. When our train pulled up, we saw car after car of people smushed up against each other. We knew if we didn’t get on this train, the next one would be just as bad, so we dove into the crowded train and squeezed as much as possible to keep the doors from hitting us. I wanted to take a picture of just how crowded the car was, but I couldn’t move my arms down to my pocket and back up to actually take the photo. That was a fun train ride.
We made to to the rally sometime before 10am and found a comfortable spot near the third set of screens. We laid our blanket down and chatted a little with the people near us. It didn’t seem that crowded, but even by then we didn’t have any AT&T service. So much for meeting up with our friends via texting. Rachel decided to go walk around and check things out and see if she could find our friends. Needless to say, she was not able to find them and almost couldn’t find me again.
The Rally program, itself, was really fun and combined musical and comedy entertainment with, in my opinion, a sane message. Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy singing You’re Not Alone was the musical highlight for me (surprise!), but the Roots opening was a close second. Stewart’s closing remarks were also were also very direct and exciting – most of us work together everyday, without any issue, and let’s not let any media outlet make us think any differently.
The most inspiring part of the rally for me didn’t take place on stage – it took place on the Mall (and on all sides of the Mall and even beyond the Mall). The number of people that came to show they didn’t want to take their country back, but rather move it forward (paraphrased from one of the many cool signs I saw) was awe inspiring. I expected to see mostly college students and thirty-somethings (and saw plenty of them), but the Rally was a very even distribution of people of all ages.
After the Rally we explored the city by foot. We visited a few of the monuments and then met up with our friends for dinner.
Today we went to the Postal Museum and the National Portrait Museum. I loved seeing the portraits and wished we had more time (and energy) to see and read more about the art on the walls. I think it is fascinating to see who curators choose as nationally important figures. We also took a quick stroll by the Capitol again on our way to the train station. I spent hours staring at it yesterday and wanted to get a change to see it up close again.
Now we are on the train back to New York and I couldn’t be happier about our choice to attend this Rally. I am thankful to have enough disposable income to be part of this movement and even more thankful to be married to a woman who would walk all over the city with me at 8pm in the cold to try and find the Ducks on TV.