You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Travels’ category.

Like I wrote in my last post, I had gone to Crofton to attend a vendor event that was being held by my support group for people who are separated or divorced mainly because a recruiter was supposed to be there as well. I decided to go just to give that recruiter my resume and talk to him. I had no intention of staying long. But then the recruiter wasn’t there but he texted the organizers that he would be there soon. So I killed some time by checking out the vendor event then walk next door to the Festival on the Green where I took some photos.

I arrived back to the church where the vendor event was being held only to discover that the recruiter ended up being a no-show. So I decided to drive back home since it had started to rain. The rain grew so bad that I decided to drive along the back roads because I just didn’t want to deal with the crazy assholes who speed in any weather on the interstate highways. When I hit Bowie I became more nervous because of the weather so I ended up stopping at the Bowie Library.

I have driven past that library building numerous times. I had even taken a photo of the building when I was stopped in traffic and I wrote a post about it four years ago. But I had never stepped foot inside that building until recently.

I knew the library looked big from the outside and it looked just as impressive on the inside as well.

The children’s area had the theme of Main Street. There were all kinds of decorations to make it reflect Main Street, such as these signs.

There were all kinds of decorations that represented pretend versions of a post office, an Internet cafe (where there were computers but no food or drinks were served), and a fire engine.

My personal favorite was the area that was set up to represent a pizza place.

No pizza or any other kind of food was served because, despite the decorations, it’s still a library. But I thought the pretend pizza oven was cute.

The table tops resembled a large pizza that would be shared with three or more people.

The menu was pretty cute as well. It listed, in menu form, what foods are healthy and nutritious to eat.

Compared to the children’s area, the adult and teen areas were relatively plain. But there were plenty of books to read so I had no problem with being stranded in a library.

There was a mural which reflected the history of Bowie, Maryland.

I basically stuck around for a couple of hours. By the time I left, the worst of the rain had ended and there was a fine mist that made everything damp. At least it was better than driving in heavy rain.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Advertisements

When I made my previous trip to Tyson’s Corner Mall last month, I had a few reasons for making that trip. One was to get away from my ongoing personal problems for a few hours. Another was to check out the 2018 Girl of the Year doll at American Girl Place. The third reason was because I wanted to see what kind of 90th anniversary Mickey Mouse items were on sale at The Disney Store. Well, I managed to achieve the first two goals but The Disney Store announced that the 90th anniversary stuff would not go on sale until the following month.

As it was getting closer to the 90th anniversary of Steamboat Willie I saw more and more Mickey stuff on sale at stores closer to my home. A few weeks ago I decided to make a follow-up trip to Tyson’s Corner where I hit pay dirt. Not only did The Disney Store had 90th anniversary Mickey stuff on sale but I saw that other stores sold Mickey stuff as well. I already documented the Mickey stuff I saw at Tyson’s Corner Mall in this recent blog post about the 90th anniversary. This post is dedicated to other things I shot while I was at Tyson’s Corner Mall they had nothing to do with Mickey Mouse or Disney.

On my last trip it was raining like crazy outside. This trip was sunny but it was very cold outside. (The temperature was just above the mid-30’s.) The weather was making a comeback from this nor’easter that hit the entire area the day before. (I ended up being stranded indoors at home so I did some drawing that day of a dinosaur for my recently finished animation The Gift of the Dinosaur.) The Metro Plaza outside of the mall entrance has these life-sized bird statues placed all over the area. The majority were of small birds like cardinals and mourning doves. I saw this large bird on the ground that I thought was real until I approached it and it didn’t move at all. (A real bird would’ve flown away.) I don’t recall seeing this particular statue before so it’s either a new statue or I just didn’t notice until this last trip.

The area was already looking pretty festive with an already decorated Christmas tree. (I visited this mall just a few days before Thanksgiving.)

I decided to check out American Girl Place. Since I took a boatload of photos the month before, I thought I wouldn’t feel the need to shoot any pictures. This store had some new displays and Christmas-related stuff so I basically focused on them.

Here are a couple of the modern Truly Me American Girl dolls and their dog showing off some winter outfits.

American Girl Place has its own Christmas tree, which looked pretty nice.

I personally prefer the historic BeForever dolls over their other dolls because I love the attention to detail regarding the doll sized miniature versions of items that were actually used in the years that the historical doll represents. Here’s the 1950s historical doll Maryellen Larkin in her cute Christmas outfit.

Some of the tiny ornaments and punch bowl reminded me of what I used to see in the homes of my family, neighbors, and relatives when I was growing up. (Even though I grew up in the 1970s, there were still plenty of 1950s and 1960s stuff that families still used in their homes. The attitude was that you used something until it breaks or wears out.)

I still have the red plastic cookie cutters that my mom used to bake Christmas sugar cookies when I was growing up. I haven’t baked any sugar cookies in a few years. Maybe I should think about making them again.

Melody Ellison, who represents the 1960s, looks adorable in her winter coat with matching hat and mittens.

Julie Albright, who represents the 1970s looks cute in her New Year’s Eve outfit.

Rebecca Rubin, who represents the 1910s, also looks adorable in her winter outfit.

Josefina Montoya, who represents the 1820s, looks pretty regal in her Christmas outfit.

Kit Kittredge, who represents the 1930s, also looks cute with her plaid dress, Christmas stocking, and sock monkey.

The last picture show more modern Truly Me dolls in their Christmas outfits.

I took a couple of photos of Build-A-Bear Workshop. I saw this sign announcing that Build-A-Bear now has its own online radio station that one can stream for free.

I saw this gorgeous reindeer that I fell in love with. If I had more disposable income, I probably would’ve made an impulse buy. Instead I had to settle with just taking a picture of this gorgeous reindeer.

I ate dinner at a Mongolian grill place called Asian Bistro. I found the food to be tasty. After I was done with walking the mall I decided to take the Metro back home. Since it gets darker these days, it was nighttime by the time I left so I saw everything lit up.

Barrel & Bushel had these flaming torches on its patio. In warmer weather there would be tables set out and people would be eating and drinking al fresco. I found these torches to be gorgeous. Unfortunately, these photos don’t do them justice. They looked far prettier in real life.

Like I wrote earlier, this giant nor’easter went through out area the day before dropping rain, ice, and snow. By the next day most of the ice and snow were melted, except for this one small pile of snow that was near the Christmas tree.

The Christmas tree looked gorgeous at night. It was lit up with a variety of rainbow colors.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I attended my first-ever meetup of a group known as District Creatives. I’m trying to expand my network of people that I know so I can take advantage of whatever opportunity comes my way. I ended up leaving for DC a few hours early mainly because I wanted to avoid paying the higher rush-hour Metro fares commuting to and from the event. (I managed to do that, which made me happy.)

I decided to take the Metrobus to the Metro station instead of driving because a roundtrip Metrobus fare is only $4 while parking in the Metro station parking lot costs $5.20. Since I was attending a meet-up for a group that is interested in using technology in a creative manner, I decided to bring my Makies doll, Victoria, since she was printed on a 3D printer to my specifications and I customized her. It’s only too bad that Makies as a company no longer exists. In any case, here she is at the bus stop.

Here she is riding the Metro subway. I only brought her along as a potential conversation starter. I ended up not using her at all during the meet-up.

I arrived at the Eastern Market Metro station. I had a few hours to kill so I decided to walk around the area while taking pictures.

The next photo shows the historic Eastern Market. It’s a pretty popular food market area, especially on the weekend when there are local artisans who sell their wares outside of the building.

Here are a few shots inside of Eastern Market. They sell all kinds of fresh foods but the prices are a big high compared to the grocery stores in the suburbs.

I walked around Capitol Hill while I saw that some of the houses were decorated for Halloween.

The homes in Capitol Hill are known for their gardens. Even though these photos were taken in mid-October, there were still plenty of flowers in bloom.

When I came upon this street sign noting Tip’s Way, I thought it was in honor of the late former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. A quick Internet search revealed that Tip’s Way was really named after a Capitol Hill lobbyist named E. Linwood “Tip” Tipton.

The next photo shows that Tip’s Way is basically an alley.

The house located next to Tip’s Way was all decked out for Halloween.

The one thing I noticed about Capitol Hill is that there are some subtle forms of resistance against Donald Trump and his administration in the form of the residents posting signs in their yards. The majority of them contained quotes on social justice from Martin Luther King, Jr.

I also saw some anti-Trump graffiti in the area as well.

One front yard had a Little Free Library box that was flanked by two signs featuring Martin Luther King quotes.

I took a rest inside of the Southeast Neighborhood Library, which was a nice and cozy place.

I took one final photo of Victoria reading a book. Like I wrote earlier, I brought her along as a potential conversation starter (since she was printed on a 3D printer) but I ended up not using the doll at all.

This library posted a notice on how to spot fake news and the characteristics of fake news vs. the real thing.

The meet-up was held inside of a digital design firm known as Taoti Creative. That firm had a giant spider outside that was put up just in time for Halloween.

They had a Minion serve as the receptionist. (LOL!)

Taoti Creative is located inside of a historic building. It’s a really cool mix of technology with history.

They had a bulletin board with the question “What makes me creative?” where people could write their answers on Post-It Notes then post it on the board.

Here’s my answer, where I wrote “The ability to create something from out of nothing.”

The next two photos show other people’s answers to that question.

The bathrooms also had showers, which may indicate that this building was once a private home.

The conference rooms are all named after Metro station stops.

The basement of the building included a Nintendo Wii with a Guitar Hero game and controllers and an air hockey table.

The bulk of the festivities took place on the rooftop of the building where, in good weather, one can see spectacular sunsets.

The tall thin structure on the left in the next photograph is the Washington Monument.

I was also able to check out the restaurant located next to Taoti Creative, including a giant mural and some of the TV screens on the upper level.

The white dome on the right is the U.S. Capitol Building.

Here’s another shot of the Washington Monument (located on the left) at sunset.

There were also a bunch of cranes among the skyline. I know that the entire city of Washington, DC has been going through many building projects in recent years.

There was a computerized beer keg complete with a computer screen.

There was a serious game of Jenga that was also going on where people played with a giant version of the game.

I shot a short video of one of the Jenga rounds that took place that night.

I managed to socialize with a few people even though meeting new people at a party doesn’t come naturally to me. But I made an effort to be sociable. Eventually I grew tired plus I was using public transportation to go from my home to the event and back again so I couldn’t stay too late. (I know that the party ended at 10 p.m. but some people were planning on checking out some of the trendy bars in Capitol Hill. Even if I wasn’t relying on public transportation, money is still too tight for me to do much bar crawling.) Here’s a shot of the Taoti Creative building that I took when I was on my way back to the Eastern Market Metro station.

Here’s a shot of the rooftop where most of the action took place.

The last two photos show the giant spider that lurked outside of Taoti Creative.

So that’s it for my attending the District Creatives meetup at Taoti Creative.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

All those months of dealing with my ex-husband ending all further alimony payments, getting one job where I was promised that I would eventually get full-time hours only to not being able to even get 20 hours a week after working there for four months while the boss was job hunting himself, and only being able to get freelance piecemeal work began to take a personal toll on me. I really wanted to take a vacation for just a day or two but I couldn’t afford to do it so I was trapped. But then I got my current gig where I was helping a therapist prepare for a series of upcoming webinars that are slated to begin next month so I managed to get just enough money in that I could do something fun.

However the best I was able to afford was taking the Metro to Tyson’s Corner Center in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. It was better than nothing so I decided to go for it. It was raining heavily that day but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. Besides, I was riding a Metrobus to the nearest Metro subway stop so I didn’t have to worry about driving on slippery roads. I rode the Silver Line Metro to the Mall. When I arrived at the plaza that has the entrances that are located the closest to the Metro station, I noticed that it looked pretty deserted due to the rain.

That’s in contrast to past visits where, depending on the time of the year, there is usually some kind of activities for people to participate in, whether it’s playing with a giant chess set or a giant ice skating rink.

I found out that this year is the 50th anniversary of Tyson’s Corner Center and there were signs touting this fact everywhere.

I walked past the Microsoft Store. I can count the number of times I’ve actually stepped inside of that store on one hand. I walked past the entrance but I didn’t go inside on this trip.

I’ll admit that I only went to this mall for a change in scenery. I didn’t do much shopping because money was still too tight for me at the moment. I basically shot photos of whatever appealed to me at the time.

At least I found out that Golden Girls socks are actually a thing this year.

Pez dispensers have always been a bit on the kitschy side but Pez has really outdid itself with pink flamingoes Pez dispensers.

I made a brief stop inside of the Apple Store, where I saw the latest computers with the large monitors.

I also got a look at the new iPhone XS, which has received a lot of press for its over $1,000 price tag. I have to admit that the iPhone XS has nice sharp graphics on its screen. If the phone allowed for people to do their own upgrades (such as adding more memory or replacing the hard drive) it would be one thing but, as far as I can tell, this smartphone is just like all of the others where you can’t even open your own phone and it will ultimately be disposable once it stops working completely. I’m going to stick with my Samsung Galaxy J3 phone for the time being.

I came across this kiosk that I haven’t seen on previous visits. It’s for a store called b8ta and it sells a mix of Google products and technology products that are created by smaller companies.

I made a brief stop inside of Build-A-Bear Workshop where I saw these cute Halloween plushies and a brontosaurus on display.

I eventually made my way to the American Girl Place. I haven’t been there since last December so there were plenty of new things to see. I saw that Felicity Merriman, the historical doll who’s supposed to represent the American Revolution era, has been taken out of retirement and is now available for sale once again. She’s on display with Addy Walker (who represents the American Civil War period) and Samantha Parkington (who represents the first few years of the 20th century that’s known as the Edwardian Era).

Here’s another historical doll, Nanea Mitchell (who represents Hawaii around the time of the Pearl Harbor bombing) with some new accessories available for sale.

Maryellen Larkin, who represents the 1950s, relaxes in her trailer, which is sold separately from the doll. The details of this trailer are pretty impeccable.

Kit Kittredge, who represents the Great Depression, sits behind her newly released vegetable stand.

Last year I saw Z Yang for the first time. Even though she’s a contemporary doll, this one caught my eye because she’s into photography and videography like I am. I learned that she is among the dolls who will be retired soon. I would say that I’m sorry to see her go but I’m still a bit cash-strapped at the moment so there was no way I could afford this doll and her accessories. There is also the issue of space because I really don’t have enough room to have a huge collection of large dolls.

This doll in the next photo was a bit of a surprise. Gabriela McBride was released last year as American Girl’s Girl of the Year Doll for 2017. Usually the Girl of the Year doll is on sale only from January 1-December 31 then she is retired. I was surprised to see that she was still around in 2018. I still remember last year the times I tried to take her picture but the first time I failed because the phone on my previous smartphone (Droid Ultra) began to act erratically and it wouldn’t take any photos while I was at the store yet it finally worked after I returned home. The second time I brought my older Canon DSLR with me but that effort failed because I had to be elsewhere and I shot photos at that other place before I arrived at the mall and I ran out of battery power by the time I arrived. My smartphone worked miraculously until I got to Gabriela McBride and my smartphone camera decided to stop working. The third time was finally the charm when I arrived last December with a Canon PowerShot camera that I purchased used off eBay and I took some photos of that doll and her accessories without a hitch. I thought that she would be retired at the end of 2017 just like her Girl of the Year predecessors but it wasn’t the case with her.

The country singing pair of Tenney Grant and her friend Logan Everett were also slated for retirement but I didn’t bother with taking their pictures. I had already shot them and their accessories on a previous visit and there wasn’t anything new with those two.

I managed to check out the 2018 Girl of the Year. Her name is Luciana Vega, she’s a Latina, she’s into STEM, and her big dream is to work for NASA so she could go to Mars.

American Girl went all out with the space theme. In fact, one of my Facebook friends who works for NASA was posting approvingly about this doll earlier this year. (He’s the father of two daughters—both of whom are now young adults—and I’m sure he would’ve bought this doll for them if they were still kids.)

Seeing this doll in person I have to say that she’s gorgeous and her clothes are literally out of this world. (If there were ever human adult versions of her dresses, I would definitely want to buy them.) She has gorgeous black hair with a purple streak in it. If I weren’t so cash-strapped, I would definitely feel tempted to buy this doll.

Her accessories, which are sold separately, includes things like astronaut ice cream and a replica of an Apple Watch.

There are corresponding books, one of which comes with the doll and the other two are sold separately. A few days before I came to Tyson’s Corner I was at the library where I saw a young girl checking out a pile of books, including one of the Luciana books.

Among her separately sold play sets is one that resembles a STEM makerspace. There is even a cute robot dog.

If it weren’t for the fact that this STEM maker station cost $100, I would say that it would be a cool thing to purchase for the local makerspace in my area for the kids to play with.

I thought that this robot dog came with the maker station but I found out that this robodoggie is sold separately for $35.

There is also a space telescope so Luciana could look up at the stars.

Then there is this NASA space laboratory and a NASA space suit for Luciana to wear. I can understand why my Facebook friend was gushing about Luciana online. In fact, this capsule reminds me of my ex-husband, who works for NASA. If we were still together, I definitely would’ve urged him to go to the American Girl Place with me so he could see this in person. I also would’ve told him that we could stop off at Wasabi afterwards because I was trying to get him to consider the two of us eating there before he abruptly left me just three days after Christmas and three months after my hip surgery in 2011. (I had gone to Wasabi for the first time when I was still married in October, 2011 but I went by myself that time.)

The details of this capsule are pretty astounding. My ex-husband definitely would’ve gotten a kick out of it if he had seen it for himself in person.

Yes, it’s sad that visiting the American Girl Place so we could see this NASA space laboratory together is another thing I’ll never get to do with my ex-husband but that’s the way things go.

My ex-husband was never into dolls and normally I would never have been able to get him to even step one foot inside of that door. I think I may have gotten him to make a rare exception and actually visit a doll store because he definitely would’ve been impressed with the painstaking details of this NASA space laboratory.

Luciana is totally rocking this astronaut space suit.

For families who want to purchase Luciana and her accessories but who are cash-strapped, there are Mega Construx kit versions.

Like other Girl of the Year dolls, the American Girl Place has a designated space where people can have their selfies taken with a standee of Luciana Vegan and a space capsule.

The sign said to turn the handle and look inside but the door handle was broken when I was there.

The best I was able to do was to shoot through the door window.

American Girl sold separate Washington, DC souvenir t-shirts for dolls. They also had matching shirts for their human owners as well but I only shot the doll shirts.


I didn’t spend much time in the store beyond Luciana and the BeForever historical dolls. But I saw this car that looked cool. It reminded me of that Volkswagen that American Girl came out for the 1970s historical doll Julie Albright a few years back.

I also shot these two outfits that were released just in time for the upcoming winter holiday trio of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

After my visit to the American Girl Place I ate a sushi dinner at Wasabi, which is the place that delivers food on conveyor belts and you could pick which plates you want.

After dinner I walked around the mall a bit. I found a temporary Halloween store that was selling costumes. This year they have costumes based on that mega-popular video game Fortnite. (I’ve seen kids play that game and they can’t seem to get enough of it. I haven’t tried it myself as of this writing.)

I did get a chuckle out of this obvious parody of My Little Pony‘s Rainbow Dash, even though I know nothing about Fortnite‘s Rainbow Smash.

They also had two costumes based on the late artist and TV personality Bob Ross. A couple of friends or lovers could dress up together as Bob Ross and one of his paintings, which I find hilarious.

Just a few feet away from the Halloween store is a Christmas store. This is crazy. Halloween and Thanksgiving haven’t even happened yet and there is already a Christmas store.

Just a few days after I took this shot of these Grinch ornaments I learned that someone is coming out with yet another remake of How the Grinch Stole Christmas that will be shown on the big screen. I guess that’s why there was a display of these ornaments. I personally think that doing yet another remake is so unnecessary. I have the original 1960’s TV special on DVD so I can always play that one on my TV screen instead of paying over $10 to see the remake in a movie theater.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I happened to be visiting a friend at his job in Takoma Park when I saw a recently finished painting project. Someone had painted the steps that are located outside of the Takoma Park Community Center in a variety of rainbow colors. In addition, it had a bunch of sayings in a variety of foreign languages that all had to do with rise, rising, rise up, or rising up. (Takoma Park is home to a huge number of immigrants who hail from countries in Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.)

I wrote a previous blog post about those steps. More recently I was visiting the same friend at his workplace when I saw that the painting project was finished. I decided to climb up those steps while taking these pictures.

I saw that the top of the steps led to an elementary school, which is currently closed for summer vacation.

Here’s a view of Takoma Park itself from the top of the steps.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I had a pretty busy Sunday on July 15, 2018. I went carpooling with one friend to church where there was a Tye-Dye Sunday scheduled. By the time I got home from church I turned around and went carpooling with a different friend to this meetup that took place in Rockville.

CoderDojo is basically a global network that provides free computer programming clubs to young people. My friend thought it would be good for me to check this out, especially since I worked as an assistant facilitator with the Takoma Park chapter of Girls Who Code over the past year.

The Washington, DC chapter of CoderDojo meets at the Rockville Public Library in Rockville, Maryland. I had never stepped foot inside this building before but I have to admit that it’s very impressive.

There was an art show going on featuring art done by local youths. It brought back memories of the first time my elementary school art teacher had selected one of my art projects to be shown at the Anne Arundel County Art Show that was displayed at the since-demolished Harundale Mall.

The CoderDojo met in a room on the second floor of the library, which is a designated STEM center. That room had an array of all kinds of stuff that one would normally find in a makerspace (such as computers and robots) but there was some pretty cool STEM-themed art as well.

The meeting started off with a presentation about what computing was like back in the 1990s (when the Computer Internet revolution was just beginning). I enjoyed it because I remember those days like they happened yesterday. There was a mention of using modems attached to telephone wires in order to access the Internet at a blistering 9600 bps.

I enjoyed the presentation very much. Once that ended, the kids started to work on their own projects while parents and other adult volunteers went around helping the kids with their latest projects.

By the time that meetup ended it was closing time for the library. My friend and I were heading back towards the parking garage by cutting through Rockville Town Square when I shot this photo of some kids playing in the fountain.

I also discovered that there was an It’s Sugar store located in Rockville. I had previously visited It’s Sugar in Baltimore and Chinatown in Washington, DC and I managed to convince my friend to stop in the Rockville store for a brief visit, where I shot these photos.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Once again I was in downtown Washington, DC during DC Pride Weekend, which was held as part of the month-long Pride Month. I was there to attend the latest DC chapter of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School (which I’ll get into in a future post). I decided to travel downtown just a few hours early because I heard that one of the leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign, Rev. Dr. William Barber was speaking at a Sunday service.

While I was walking on my way to church, I saw this trompe l’oeil wall mural.

I made my way to Thomas Circle where the National City Christian Church is located. This church is affiliated with the Disciples of Christ and it is definitely very welcoming to LGBTQ people.

I loved the interior of this church. You could tell that this is a historic church who has been in the same location for generations.

Each pew had an embroidered cushion at each end representing one of the 50 states. I shot this photo of the state that I currently live in (Maryland) but I ended up sitting in a pew that had a California cushion (but I ended up not taking a photo of that one).

The next photo shows the order of service and a flyer promoting the Poor People’s Campaign upcoming rally that was held later that month (on June 23).

The high point was hearing William Barber speak. He gave a very moving sermon on how he overcame his own homophobia to embrace LGBTQ rights while also promoting the goals of the Poor People’s Campaign in general.

I don’t regret making the effort to attend this Sunday service. A two-part video of this service has been archived on the Poor People’s Campaign’s Facebook page: Part 1 and Part 2.

After the service ended, we were invited to join the congregation for coffee and conversation in what looks like a newer, modern part of the church building. I didn’t see too many people at the coffee hour and I think it’s because there was the DC Pride Festival that was held on the Mall and many church members didn’t stay long because they wanted to go to that festival. I didn’t get a chance to meet Rev. Dr. Barber after the service because he went straight from delivering that sermon to a Spanish-language service that was meeting in a different room of the building in order to meet with the Latinos then he had to go on to a couple of other events that were scheduled that day. (I heard that he spoke at River Road Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda later on that same day.) The next photo shows the modern part of the church building.

I thought about making a brief appearance at the DC Pride Festival on the Mall but I didn’t get out of church until it was nearly 1 p.m. and it would’ve been cutting it close with Dr. Sketchy’s (where the doors opened at 2:30 p.m. and the event began at 3 p.m.). Instead I walked along P Street, NW from Thomas Circle to Dupont Circle while I took a variety of rainbow-themed decorations.

There were the occasional sign in Dupont Circle reminding people about a few facts about LGBTQ-related issues, such as remembering the late drag queen Marsha P. Johnson, who was one of the leaders of the Stonewall riot.

I took the occasional non-rainbow shot, such as this wheat pasted poster promoting the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie.

I saw a tent with a bicycle set up in the front yard of someone’s townhouse.

I saw some colorful graffiti in an alleyway.

I also saw some anti-Trump graffiti spray painted in various places throughout Dupont Circle.

There was a protest rally in Dupont Circle by an organization that called itself the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. All I can say is that I have never heard of this group before and they shouldn’t be confused with the Poor People’s Campaign (despite the similarities in the names). It drew a small crowd with some curious passer-bys briefly stopping by before moving on elsewhere.

I made a brief stop at Fantom Comics., which was decked out with both a rainbow flag and a Black Lives Matter flag.

Fantom Comics had a special display dedicated to Queer Comics, which featured comic books with LGBTQ characters.

They had a mannequin with a transgender flag and a pennant celebrating the Washington Capitals’ recent win of the Stanley Cup for the first time ever in the history of the team.

I didn’t buy anything in the store due to tight finances and the fact that I had planned on going to the DC Dr. Sketchy’s event at the nearby Bier Baron, which I’ll write about in a future post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Ramadan

One day in early May I happened to be off from my day job. (The biggest downside of my current day job is that not only am I still stuck with part-time hours after working for over two months but there are times when I have off because the boss has to be off somewhere else.) A friend of mine invited me to head to his workplace in Takoma Park, Maryland where I helped him with a side project.

On my way to visit my friend’s workplace, I happened to walk by a set of steps that are located near the Takoma Park Community Center. Not only have they been freshly painted in a multitude of colors but they are also written in a variety of different languages, reflecting on the fact that there are a large number of immigrants from all over the world who live and/or work in Takoma Park.

These steps were being painted when I was there that day. I took a quick shot of the artist who literally had to lie down in order to paint these steps.

I also took this nearby photo of a tree with new spring leaves and azalea bushes in full bloom.

UPDATE (August 8, 2018): I explored the steps a bit more on a later visit and I actually climbed them to the very top.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Ramadan

I had a pretty busy day. In the morning I went to one of the trainings and town hall meeting for the Poor People’s Campaign in the morning. In the afternoon I decided to go to Third Eye Comics in Annapolis, since that day was also Free Comic Book Day nationwide. (If all that weren’t enough, it was also Cinco de Mayo. I ended up eating tacos at home that I made myself using ingredients that I purchased from Aldi. I learned a long time ago that it’s total folly to attempt to eat in any kind of Mexican/Hispanic/Latino restaurant on Cinco de Mayo.)

So after checking out the Poor People’s Campaign, I drove to Annapolis. I arrived at Third Eye Comics only to find that parking was harder to find than usual. I ended up parking a few blocks away in an office park, which had some nice wall murals.

The next photo shows how crowded that store was. The next photo shows the line to the checkout counter.

I saw these vintage Atari video game cartridges on sale. I remember when Atari originally came out but I never owned one mainly because I was in college at the time and money was a bit tight at the time. It never bothered me that I never owed an Atari because my college (the University of Maryland) had plenty of arcade games on campus and some of the local off-campus fast food places also had arcade games.

I saw a few other interesting things on sale at Third Eye Comics.

I came across a whole aisle full of the ever-popular Funko Pop! statues. I found one new trend: Funko Pops based on real dead rock stars like Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead and Joey Ramone of The Ramones.

There were plenty of Funko Pops based on comic book and video game characters such as Rocket Raccoon, Mega Man, Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent, Wonder Woman, Batman, Batwoman, and Batgirl.

I also found an actual WTF t-shirt and a special edition of the Monopoly game board based on the latest Jurassic Park movie called Jurassic World.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Ramadan

For the third year in a row I went to Light City in Baltimore (which is also the festival’s third year). (You can read about my previous visits in 2016 and 2017.) The first year I went I basically just took the Charm City Circulator bus as far as the Shake Shack (which is located across from Harborplace) and I underestimated how big this festival was. The second year I had an animation that was showing at Light City so I took the Charm City Circulator until I got to a stop that was as close to the On Demand area (where my animation was being shown along with other film shorts) and I still have memories of sitting outside for two hours waiting for my animation to show up on screen as the temperature kept on getting colder and colder as time went on.

This year I decided not to submit anything to Light City so I could begin my tour anywhere. I also ended up going on the last night of Light City. I couldn’t get there earlier in the month due to scheduling conflicts so the final night was my first and last time that I visited Light City 2018.

I drove my car to Linthicum and stopped at a Royal Farms store so I could pick up a chicken dinner and a diet soda for only $7. (I know from previous years that many of the restaurants, fast food outlets, and food tents tend to draw very long lines during Light City. It was easier to just bring my own food to Light City.) I parked my car at the North Linthicum light rail station and took the train to the Camden Yards station.

I had the idea of taking the Charm City Circulator bus all the way over to the other side of the Inner Harbor near where Little Italy is located. When I arrived I found that this area has been heavily built up. There’s a new complex called Harbor East and I took some photos there along with some photos of Little Italy. I took so many photos that day that I decided to break up this year’s Light City entry into two. Yesterday I wrote about Little Italy and Harbor East. Today’s blog post is about Light City itself.

This year I shot video footage of some of the Light City exhibits. Here is the resulting video showing the highlights of that festival.

Here are the still photos I shot at Light City. When I arrived at the Inner Harbor the first thing I did was to eat the Royal Farms chicken while viewing the Harbor East marina at the beginning of a sunset.

Harbor East, April 28, 2018

I walked along the Inner Harbor where I saw the beginnings of Light City.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

There were Fireflies Pedicabs that provided a service to give people a ride along the eastern end of the Inner Harbor. They were very colorful to look at.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

I arrived at the first Light City structure called Pulse Portal by Davis McCarty. Even though it was still light outside when I was there, I managed to have fun shooting the Inner Harbor at sunset through the colored glass of the structure.

Light City, Baltimore, Maryland, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, Maryland, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, Maryland, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, Maryland, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, Maryland, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, Maryland, April 21, 2018

When I was there a couple were preparing to get married by that structure.

2018 Light City, Baltimore, Maryland, April 21, 2018

2018 Light City, Baltimore, Maryland, April 21, 2018

2018 Light City, Baltimore, Maryland, April 21, 2018

2018 Light City, Baltimore, Maryland, April 21, 2018

Mr. Trash Wheel was docked along the Inner Harbor.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

The Herd by Kelley Bell consists of a flock of inflatable blue creatures floating in the Inner Harbor.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Octopus by Tim Scofield, Kyle Miller, and Steve Dalnekoff is a giant animatronic octopus whose tentacles were slowly moving while it was changing colors and playing very calming electronic music. I found it pretty mesmerizing to watch in person.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

This Coffee Bar tent was one of many tents that served refreshments to the general public at Light City.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

I came upon the On Demand area, which brought back memories for me. Last year I had my animation, The March of Liberty, shown in that area. I still have memories of sitting outside freezing in one of those adirondack chairs for over two hours waiting for my animation to be shown. I was so thrilled when it was finally shown that I shot this quick reaction video.

This year I didn’t submit anything to this festival. It was partially due to laziness and partially because I still have less-than-thrilling memories of sitting outside in the cold for a very long time. Even though I was ultimately happy when my animation was shown, it didn’t really lead to any further opportunities for me. (I had hoped that the showing of my animation at Light City would lead to some kind of a job or career breakthrough for me but it didn’t work out that way.) In contrast to last year, I didn’t spend much time in the On Demand area. I hung around just long enough to shoot these two pictures.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

There were a few giant screens that were placed throughout the Inner Harbor that showed random video clips.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Something in the Water by Post Typography + PI.KL + Figure 53 featured some underwater lights that flashed just below the surface of the harbor.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

I came upon the Institute of Marine & Environmental Technology (IMET) where a few of the Labs @ Light City were held. I arrived on the last night of Light City so the building was closed when I was there, which is why I was only able to get a few external shots.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Here’s the installation As of a Now by Elissa Blount.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

There was another underwater installation called What Lies Beneath by Formstone Castle.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

A drummer and a dance troupe performed outside of the Power Plant.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Many people walked through the bridge-like Synesthesia by Surcreative.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

There was this line standing outside of the igloo-like The Eighth Art that was so long that I decided to skip it.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

There were a few street performers playing for the Light City crowd.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Sun Stomp by the Sun Stomp Collective was this animation that required people to stomp on these nearby metal bleachers. The effect was pretty neat but it provided noise that was so loud that I had to leave quickly before I developed a headache.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

This year Light City had something called Mini Light City, which was geared towards families. This elephant balloon graced the entrance to Mini Light City.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

There was a tent sponsored by Future Makers where parents and children could make simple projects that involved light. That area was very crowded.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

The Mini Light City area had another tent that was easier to get inside. It was sponsored by The PURGG Project and it included hands-on demonstrations using robots and drones.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

A WJZ-TV (Channel 13) van parks at Light City.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City in Baltimore drew such huge crowds that Harborplace was packed with people. This photo shows why I decided not to buy anything from It’s Sugar that night.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

There were some psychedelic-like effects at the installation Colour Moves by Rombout Frieling Lab.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

There was a small carnival consisting of a ferris wheel ride (known as The Big Wheel) surrounded by concessions stands.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Many people have fun with rotating the giant prisms that made up the installation Prismatica by Raw Design, Atomic3, Jean-François Piché, and Dix au carré/Production: Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Here’s the bird-like installation On the Wings of Freedom by Aether and Hemera.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

The big HMO giant Kaiser Permanente sponsored something called a Thrive Garden, which, as far as I could tell, was a place where people sat down on benches.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Here is Elantica by Tom Dekyvere.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Some vector animations were shown on the outside of the Maryland Science Center.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Club Light City was an outdoor bar and dance area that was very crowded.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

And last, but not least, here is the installation Drone Prix.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

This year, for the first time ever, I managed to visit the entire Light City area in the Inner Harbor. The key to my success was that I took the light rail to Camden Yards then I walked to the nearest Charm Circulator bus stop where I took the Orange bus to the Little Italy stop then walked through Harbor East in order to get to the very far eastern end of the Inner Harbor then walked west back towards the Maryland Science Center. While I managed to see most of the Inner Harbor attractions, I didn’t see all of Light City. This year the festival expanded to a few outlying neighborhoods such as Fells Point and Federal Hill. I wasn’t able to attend any of these other Light City events due to tight finances and scheduling conflicts. Maybe next year I’ll make an effort to visit at least one of these neighborhoods hosting their own portion of Light City.

As I left the Inner Harbor to go back to the Camden Yards light rail stop I saw this sign announcing a special Lyft pick-up spot for those who went to Light City and decided to use Lyft’s services.

Light City, Baltimore, April 21, 2018

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Previous Entries

Categories

Advertisements