Whenever something big happens politically, locals always have an urge to flock to The White House. Even though President Obama was in Chicago to celebrate his victory over Mitt Romney in last night’s Presidential Election, people from all over decided that the best place for them to celebrate was at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Sure other neighborhoods celebrated with dancing and fireworks, but there’s nothing like reveling in front of the home of the President. When Obama clinched the Electoral College I grabbed my camera and drove down to see the crowds and they did not disappoint. Most of them were young, probably intoxicated college students who held up signs and climbed trees. Phones were out either for calling loved ones, taking photos, or checking in on Foursquare. Over 200 people were checked-in at The White House when I checked-in.
Here are a few images I took as I swam through the crowds.
White House Homebrew! Party on, Mr. President!
I have been avoiding this topic on purpose. First, it’s that ugly political season and this is not a political issue. Partisan politics is good at driving people apart and beer is good at bringing them together. Whatever ills arise between people can often be soothed by a draught of beer and a cup of merriment. In fact, beer is so intertwined into the fabric of our nation that it cannot be neatly undone and cast aside. Beer is part and parcel of the American dream, a beverage whose roots are democratic, thus serving as a microcosm through which to view our nation, preferably while staring through the bottom of an upturned glass.
courtesy of ElvertBarnes
If you were surprised by all the underwear-clad Metro riders on Sunday, don’t be one of those people surprised by the orange and black human chain during lunch break on Wednesday.
On Jan. 11, activists from around the country will be locking arms from the White House to the Capitol to protest the 10th anniversary of Guantanamo Bay prison. Organizers need/expect at least 2,771 people to complete the chain, which equals the number of detainees still held at Guantanamo and Bagram.
The protest starts at 12pm with a rally at Lafayette Park and is sponsored by Amnesty International and a bunch of other organizations. To get involved, register with any of the sponsoring groups, wear black or orange on Wednesday, and keep up with the campaign via the hashtag #closegitmo.
Oh yeah and eat an early lunch. I doubt it’s polite to break the human chain for a Chop’t run.
The White House Driveway
courtesy of tbridge
The White House’s Office of Public Engagement and Office of Digital Strategy combined yesterday to host about 150 people for another White House Tweetup at the Old Executive Office Building, and upped the ante by providing with it a tour of the White House made up for Christmas. I was fortunate to be a late addition to the group, and Tiffany and I joined the audience for a program with a number of administration officials, from the pastry chef and the florist, up to the President’s CTO and the head of the Office of Digital Strategy.
courtesy of ‘giantminispacegoat’
This Wednesday, the White House wants to know what you think. They’re sending Michael Blake from the Office of Public Engagement to lead a Town Hall event at All Souls Church in Columbia Heights for two and a half hours this Wednesday. If you want to go, the event is free, but requires an RSVP. Want to know if President Obama is going to barter away any more of your freedoms to avoid further concessions to the Republicans? This would be a great place to ask. Want to know if the President actually supports local autonomy for the District? This would be a great place to ask.
See you Wednesday at All Souls!
Towards the end of Friday night’s Suicidal Tendencies concert at the 9:30 Club, lead singer Mike Muir brought the band’s photographer on stage to share his experiences in DC earlier in the day. The photographer introduced as “Luke from Australia” is in the United States for the first time while video-taping ST’s tour. Their DC tour stop gave Luke the opportunity to do some sight seeing earlier in the day. One of his stops was the White House; where he was briefly detained and questioned by security; for taking pictures while wearing a Suicidal Tendencies t-shirt and having an accent.
Hard to believe this was five months ago:
As of noon, DC has officially hit 100ºF, according to NBC4. The record to beat is 103ºF. We’re getting close!
To help you stay in a cool state of mind, here are more photos of the White House and Lafayette Park area from right after the February Snowpocalypse: Continue reading
Is that the White House… by a river? Nope, look again — it’s the Senator’s Park Hotel in Kiev, Ukraine!
Built to closely resemble DC’s own White House, Senator’s Park is “committed to providing visitors with an authentic and luxurious American experience without ever having to leave Ukraine!” There’s even a Barack Obama cutout by the door to make the experience even more authentically American.
(Hat tip to English Russia. Спасибо.)
‘The White House – The Dream Home of Many Children’
courtesy of ‘adcristal’
There are all sorts of rules and regulations about the proper display of the American flag– when it can be displayed, where it can be displayed, and how it should be regarded. For example, apparently it’s a violation of the Flag Code to display the flag horizontally on a football field, as is a common practice in games across the country. Whoops! But what about the White House? There’s a legend out there that the US flag is only flown over the White House when the President is in the District. If he’s not in DC, no flag is flown. With all the specifications and regulations in the Flag Code, I wouldn’t be surprised if this one was true– but is it?
‘Down to the Oubliette’
courtesy of ‘Karon’
According to an Obama administration official, Desiree Rogers will be leaving her post as the White House social secretary. Rogers was a much hyped hire for the Obama Administration, and was even featured in the February 2009 issue of Vogue.
However, recently Rogers had faced a wealth of criticism for the handling of the Salahi-Dinnergate kerfuffle that took place during a November 24 state dinner for the Prime Minister of Indian. Whether or not this debacle factors into her departure is unknown.
courtesy of ‘N.S.’
A man shivvied out of his clothes yesterday, over near the White House at 5pm, to go for a jog around the White House. The Secret Service were rather upset that the man just left his clothes in a bag, which had to be deemed as a suspicious package, at the corner of 15th and E Street to run around, and for his troubles they took him in for indecent exposure, but he has not yet been charged.
No word on how badly 25 degree windchill affected the jogger’s suspicious package.
‘Christmas in Washington – 090′
courtesy of ‘giantminispacegoat’
Welcome to a holiday edition of Mythbusting! This week we’ll be figuring out exactly what is going on with the Christmas trees in DC. How many National Christmas Trees are there? There’s the one outside the Capitol and the one outside the White House, but are there more “official” Christmas trees in our federal city?
Yes, there are! There are three official national trees in our fair city: the Capitol Christmas Tree in front of the Capitol. the National Christmas Tree near the ellipse at the White House, and the White House Christmas Tree inside the Blue Room of the White House. Read on to find out the difference between these trees, where they came from this year, and which one is a DC native!
‘White House Christmas tree’
courtesy of ‘afagen’
It’s the most wonderful time of the year … or at least – it almost is!
The White House Christmas Tree is ready to sparkle in the night sky. The lighting ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday evening, featuring The Obamas and musical guests Sheryl Crow, Common, and Ray LaMontagne. Click here for a complete list of the night’s performers.
This year’s tree will be draped in 750 strings of white LED lights while those 2,800 folks who got seats and the 7,000 dedicated American’s who nabbed “standing room only” tickets huddle together for warmth, basking in the glow of the illuminated blue spruce.
You can catch entire ceremony from the warmth of your own living room live on WETA – TV or at WETA’s website.
The Washington Monument is not on axis!
I admit it, I’m definitely a perfectionist. I’m a big fan of symmetry and straight lines and order. I think that’s one of the reasons I like DC so much– L’Enfant’s plan is so orderly, with the important sites marked by radiating avenues, and the clear axis of power coming straight down the Mall. But something has always bothered me– the center of the White House doesn’t look like it lines up with the Washington Monument. Why, in a city so based on order and symmetry and strong axes, does the Washington Monument not line up?!
Because the ground right at the intersection of the center of the White House and the center of the Capitol was not strong enough to support such a giant structure. Originally, L’Enfant had proposed a small equestrian statue of George Washingon at the intersection of the east-west axis of the Capitol and the north-south axis of the White House. But plans changed, and the Washington Monument went there instead. The Monument was larger and heavier than anything that L’Enfant had envisioned, so it had to be shifted off axis to avoid less solid, marshy ground. The Monument now rests “about 300 feet southeast of the crossing point of L’Enfant’s two primary vistas” (from Grand Avenues, page 271). Mystery solved!
So has anyone besides me noticed and been bothered by this? Or am I the only one who will be sleeping easier tonight knowing that there’s a reason behind the off-axis placement of the Monument?
* Ok, so I realize this isn’t a myth exactly. But it’s something that’s always bothered me about DC that I couldn’t figure out. If you have a DC myth in mind that you’d like me to bust/confirm, please e-mail me at shannon (at) welovedc.com. Thanks!
‘White House Easter Egg Roll’
courtesy of ‘dbking’
The White House is livestreaming everything from the Easter Egg Roll… including the chef’s cooking lessons from Top Chef Spike Mendelsohn, Art Smith of Art and Soul and Jose Andres of Zaytinya, et al. You can also catch other adorable things like DC United soccer players reading to kids (swoon) and Ziggy Marley on the music stage.
If you’ve got a specific star or act you’re following, you can check out the PDF schedule to see when you can catch the stream from your desk. It’ll be like you were really there. Except not. Hello, Web 2.0 at the White House, we missed you…
White House photo by Pete Souza
I’m actually really pleased at the way the White House has handled the arrival of the new pup–the post on their blog was understated (“In case anybody was wondering…”) but they must have known that Puppywatch 2009 had been going on since Nov. 2 and people are understandably excited. There was even a minor controversy when a blog leaked a photo before the Washington Post’s exclusive article hit. Hilarious.
So, now that we’ve got an official dog in the White House, can we go back to talking about fixing the economy or even how awesome the rescue of the sea captain from the evil clutches of the pirates was?
Photo by Wayan
You have to love the stamina of Washington DC protesters. This Saturday, its going to be a high of 90 °F and Accuweather is calling the “RealFeel” at 96 °F.
That would be hot enough to fry some brains, especially those that are crazy, or dedicated enough to wear a black hood on a DC summer day. Whatcha say is the heat stroke probability for our black hood friend here?
I for one say that instead of sweating, this guy should be enjoying the best summer refreshment: Beer + Lime + Ice.