Ever since The West Wing stopped airing, there has been a notable and gaping hole in the television schedule for a smart, snappy political drama that takes viewers into the corridors of power in Washington and spits them back out again at the end of the hour. The Shonda Rhimes Network, also known as ABC, decided to go big or go home with Scandal, a midseason pickup for 2012 that revolves around Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), ‘the most powerful woman you’ve never heard of.’
Having spent our glorious university years in Washington D.C., my friends and I recently decided to reconvene in the U.S. capital for a walk down memory lane.
We met at the newest Kimpton Hotel: the thirty-two million dollar, recently renovated Hotel Palomar which is modeled after the original in San Francisco.
This place is a home-away-from-home to visiting celebrities such as Mötley Crüe and blast-from-our-past diva Chaka Khan – who, we’re told, had gotten an elevator locked down just for her and her huge entourage.
The hotel is unique in many ways; the waiters here undergo rigorous training with a ballet company, a terrific concept to ensure both regular guests and celebrities are served with grace. What’s more, the boutique property’s décor, inspired by the modern elegance of 1930’s French Moderne designers, provides its visitors with a sophisticated, artful sanctuary. The place is conveniently located just off D.C.’s colorful Dupont Circle and is therefore a mere hop, skip and a jump from Georgetown’s quaint shops, restaurants, and million dollar mansions, and only a short cab drive away from the seats of power on Capitol Hill. We were set to have a good time.
We visited one of the newest and most expensive memorials in the nation, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial, unveiled in May 1997. In our collective opinion, it’s the most beautiful as well. Commemorating the 32nd President, the memorial sits alongside the Potomac River, with statues, waterfalls, shade trees, quiet alcoves and reflection pools, each one symbolizing one of his four terms as President. As we walked along the stretch of grass called the mall, I reminisced about my first visit to the site during my “Explorers, Warriors, and Statesmen” class at university.
Off we went to the nearby Lincoln Memorial, located on the far bank of the Tidal Basin where many spend their late-March and April days walking on the promenade, admiring the momentous cherry blossoms. My friend Dana, incidentally, insists that a late night visit is the ideal time to walk under the enormous stone President. We also visited the Titanic Memorial, built in 1931 and located on Maine Avenue waterfront in Southwest Washington. Despite its tragic aura, this place always educes a bit of a giggle nowadays; Continue reading