It’s so weird to write this post from my home at Budapest, after eating all my mum’s and grandma’s amazing cooking for Christmas, but at least I finally found some time to tell you about my time spent in DC over the Thanksgiving break, and the busiest three weeks packed with final papers and exams that followed until I flew home for the winter break last week.
So, for the Thanksgiving break, I set off to visit Washington DC, and even with the holiday traffic and all, I had three full days to explore the capital, which basically meant checking out as many museums as I could. DC was clearly designed to be a capital city, which also means that for me, it lacked the vibe cities like Boston or New York have, but it was definetely an amazing experience to stand at the spot where Martin Luther King Jr told his famous ”I have a dream” speech, to see the box at Ford’s Theatre where Lincoln was assassinated, to check out the White House, the Washington Monument, and so on. I crossed out ”to see a real giant panda” from my bucket list after visiting the Smithonian Zoo, and I could even have a nice Thanksgiving meal with turkey and stuffing because a nice stranger in the hostel I stayed at offered me some. However, the very best thing in Washington is that it has some of the best museums I have ever visited: even though I couldn’t get into the African American History Museum that everyone recommended and I really wanted to see, I went to see spaceships, a replica of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Wright Brothers’ plane, and other unbelievably cool things to the National Air and Space Museum. I also saw the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in the National Archives, learned a great deal in the Museum of the American Indian, visited the modern arts wing of the National Gallery, and spent hours in the best gallery ever: the National Museum of Women in the Arts, a place where you can see works of artists who usally don’t get a place in mainstream art museums.
After the break, it was mostly studying, as final papers and exams were coming, but I didn’t mind, all the topics I worked on were really interesting: for example, for my educational studies course, we had to design a curriculum for elementary school students, and we worked on a unit to teach the value of different perspectives and stories through fairy tales, and I could even write about a feminist standpoint on last year’s burkini ban in France for my Feminist Political Theory class. Before the end of the semester, I even had a proper chance for goodbye with the wonderful kids I worked with at ELAMS, as they all prepared me gift cards, and we had a small party with cookies and lemonade.
Just before leaving Trinity, we finally saw the first (and second) snow of the season, which turned the campus into a winter wonderland that, mixed with all the christmas trees on campus, got me into holiday mood instantly.
Since I was flying out from Newark, we spent another weekend in New York, to see it before Christmas, and even though it was cool to see the famous and gigantic Christmas tree in front of the Rockefeller Center, and to see Central Park in snow – and wonder about where the ducks go in the winter, like Holden in the Catcher in the Rye –, the city was definetely too packed in the holiday season. We also finally went to the Natural History Museum, a place that looks exactly how it probably looked in 1920, and I had the chance to go back to the MET for a few hours before my flight home.
As I think Trixi is going to write all about Christmas time in New York, I will just leave a few pictures here to close my post with the holiday lights of Dyker Heights, that is – not necessarily in a good way – unlike anything I have seen before. With these, even if it’s belated, happy holidays, everyone!