Logan Circle

Logan Circle (adjacent to my hotel) was once a posh suburb of Washington DC, but then the place fell on hard times, and the authorities decided the best thing to do was a put a bloody great road through the circle. Fail! They decided a few years later to restore the circle to its former glory and now the location is among Washington’s finest.

General Logan (and friend) after whom the circle is named, former resident.

Roosevelt

Roosevelt served three terms. His memorial is a sprawling, moving  “documentary,” rather than a “temple” as designed for Lincoln or Jefferson. It’s acknowledged that his first term was a failure, with policies put in place to respond to the great depression not having any effect. The memorial is therefore split into three sections, starting with “prologue.” His third term was a first by a US president who decided simply to ignore what had, until then, been an unwritten preferance that Presidents would serve no more than two terms. The laws were changed subsequently. 

His wife, is included with a statue of her own, reflecting on her work with the United Nations. Many of the statemehts he made 70 years ago would provide good food for thought for our present politicians.  

“Liberty alone does not provide for the peasant and his family.”

Washington DC, October 2012

The dedication on a statue at Lafeyette Park near the White House is “And freedom Shrieked as Kosciusko fell.”

 “Kosciusko” will stop most Australians for a moment! That’s out biggest mountain. 

Elevation: 2,228 m, Snowy Mountain Range in the Great Dividing Range.
First ascent by non indigenous person: 1840 by Paweł Edmund Strzelecki who named it aftrer his Polish hero.
 

Turns out Thaddeus is a national hero of Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and the United States of America. He is credited with making the statement at top. (The rest of this is from Wikipedia but there is a really interesting post with much more detail about his fascinating life here: http://www.lituanus.org/1986/86_1_03.htm)

“He led the 1794 “Kościuszko Uprising” against Imperial Russia and the Kingdom of Prussia as Supreme Commander of the Polish National Armed Force.

Before commanding the “Uprising,” he fought in the American War of Independence as a colonel in the Continental Army. In 1783, in recognition of his dedicated service, he was promoted by the Continental Congress to the rank of brigadier general, made a naturalized citizen of the United States,and given a land grant.

On a visit to America in 1798, Kościuszko collected his back pay and entrusted it to his friend Thomas Jefferson in his will, directing him to spend the American money on freeing and educating black slaves, including Jefferson’s. Kościuszko died in 1817, but Jefferson never carried out the terms of his will, nor did a friend to whom he transferred the executorship. In 1852 Chief Justice Roger Taney of the U.S. Supreme Court transferred the money, by then worth more than $50,000, to Kościuszko’s heirs in Poland, ruling that his American will had been invalid. The money went to his heirs in Europe, who were eventually swindled out of it!

Thaddeus Kosciusko

The lighter side

It is now one week into the trip, and I’m in Kansas City, Missouri. Across the south side of the Missouri River, is Kansas City, Kansas. Dorothy comes from Kansas.

Let me recap. In Los Angeles I went to a bar at Manhattan Beach. Ate crab burgers, wondered at the size of the bottle collection at the bar, so big they need a ladder to reach.

Manhattan Beach Bar

Next day I travelled to Sacramento, the inland California capital. And immediately drove to San Francisco. 2 hours away. The guidebooks and all the people I spoke too, said dont park at Fisherman’s wharf, stay well away. So I did, and managed to park in the middle of the World’s biggest leather festival. I was too embarrassed to take a pic of my own but here’s a poster to help you understand.

leather festival

I fell in love with San Francisco. I loved the encouragement to ride bikes (in the worlds hilliest city?)

 Many people have said to me regularly that the US is overgoverned. I am not sure I agree, but the consumer laws have gone mad. Look at these regular street signs.

The wine bottles pretty much say if you drink this product you and your grandchildren will turn into aliens. It’s all a bit too much.

But there is always someone smiling. This bloke is a busker on Fishermans wharf. He holds a tree branch in front of his body, and frightens the bejaysus out of people walking past. Simple, but effective.

and finally this is just for Hayley – who prefers a world full of segues. Hows this for San Francisco tourist attraction?

These posts take awhile, using free hotel wifi. More later.