Travel Dates: 27 March to 30 March 2016
Imagine the opening scene of Captain America 2, where the Cap is running around the Memorial Pool, lapping Falcon over and over again, calling out "on your left" to the chagrin of the latter. It is where the two heroes meet for the first time, conversing about their memories of their time in the army, establishing a solid foundation for their long-term friendship to come. The sun is rising over the the Mall, and the cutscenes feature both the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.
That feeling, that awe and happiness and to a certain extent, patriotism, is the epitome of DC.
First and foremost, DC is beautiful, there is no doubt about that. It would take a cold soul to not appreciate its aesthetics. With purple and pink cherry-blossom like trees flowering over its pristine streets, and wondrous architecture that promises Grecian origins, DC definitely displays itself as one of the more architecturally impressive cities in the United States.
But what impressed me the most about this Federal District was not simply its grandiosity or its buildings, but the way it made me feel. The city speaks of political development, of important decisions being made and the social changes to come. It is where, across the street in a famous white house, sits the first black president, arguably one of the most powerful humans in this world. The city tells the tales of those long gone; It is where veterans of the past and present are remembered and honored, where the sacrifices of so many are brought to the forefront of minds where they may have been forgotten. The city invites many; it is where all sorts of individuals from the corners of the country come to enact change, for the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves. And of course, there are still the Donald Trumps and the Martin Shrkrelis of the world, their version Najibs and Rosmahs, the ones who fight for the betterment of themselves at the cost of the wellbeing of others. But it is an undeniable fact that there are also many in arms for the right causes.
And perhaps it is a little naïve of me to feel so strongly about a location, in a country that I know almost nothing about. But I do regard DC with a childlike hope, that perhaps somewhere, Captain America is fighting for the exact right changes that I know he would, should he truly exist.