Dream a little American dream: DC in Film I 36 EXPOSURES

January 11, 2018



I tried, so very hard, to find a quote that I could use to introduce Washington DC in film to you. You know what I was thinking—a nice, descriptive quote that brought forth some form of pleasantries about this city.


Pleasant was not found. Negative. Cynical. Downright depressing. Those were there.


[Insert snarky political comment here.]


This leaves me to my own devices, which says this: Washington DC, it is a swamp, full of creatures and critters—some are cute, make your skin crawl—all a necessary element of the American ecosystem.


And I am not just talking about all the squirrels (there were so many of them frolicking around the Capitol Building).


In this three-city trip of the summer of 2017 which brought me to NYC, Philly, and finally DC, the last leg was not my favorite (that title goes to the city of brotherly love, who also authentically and beautifully love history). It was hot. It was muggy. It was busy—not in a culturally relevant, flavorful way in the sense that New York City is busy. Washington DC is a sterile, white concrete garden that lives in a haze of humidity and cyclical activity as if everything is in a funnel towards the political center: The United States Capitol Building. This is something I appreciated about our nation’s capitol; the revered attraction is the dome on the hill, not the columned castle on Pennsylvania Avenue (which is good, because touring the Capitol Building was at least an option, as opposed to the newest Trump property. I was denied a tour, and I am still a teeny bit bitter about that. That and the fact the Old Post Office Pavilion is now a hotel, not a cutesy little shopping center…the other newest acquisition of our president. I am all for the preservation of historic buildings, however, so I can get behind this).  


But I was not denied amazing museums, courtesy of the Smithsonian, who also sponsored an inspiring celebration of cultures called the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (which is well worth the visit on a hot June day, and not just because of the actual mojito gelato). The walk along the National Mall is also a must; the two miles from the steps of the Capitol Building to the feet of Lincoln is the artery that flows right through the heart of DC, and will no doubt touch the soul of any American—be them born, naturalized, or temporary.


At the end of the time I spent in Washington DC, and the revisit I get every time I skim through these film scans, I think President Barack Obama said it best: “America isn’t Congress. America isn’t Washington. America is the striving immigrant who starts a business, or the mom who works two low-wage jobs to give her kid a better life. America is the union leader and the CEO who put aside their differences to make the economy stronger.”  America isn’t defined the capitol that created it; we as American make our captiol in how we exist on this soil, wherever we are. Our capitol is wherever our own American dream lives and breathes and allows us to wish for more as we awake to our truest potential in this land of the free. 


No DC required, but it is definitely worth a trip…



 The Judicial Branch is my favorite…so it was quite awesome to see it in real life!

 Benny Franklin still watches over that Old Post Office Pavilion. 

 Perhaps my favorite photo ever: All roads lead right to the Capitol.

 Grandpa Bob was in the Pacific area of World War II…this photo was a must.



Even two miles down the road, there’s that beautiful dome.


It was so warm, I seriously debating jumping into this water. 

 The ten dollar founding father without a father…he was everywhere.

 The US Holocaust Museum is no Bad Vashem, but is a must. 

 Franklin called squirrels skugs, and they were everywhere. 


 The Summerhouse, which was completed around 1880 or 1881 is a beautiful refuge in the middle of the hustle.

So many skugs.





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At home on the road. Forever-focused on authenticity and the thrilling art of creation; always found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

After fourteen years as a high school educator, I stepped back through a door I thought was closed. Journalism came back into my life. Armed with a Masters of Arts in Communication, I was again challenged and prepared to tell the stories that would become history, but with a twist: It is now your legacy of love that I document. The tension I seek is that from every tear, smile, laugh, and moment of love on your wedding day. 


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