Thursday, February 24, 2011

The National Mall and Smithsonian Institute

Being a Filipino, I am used to the Mall that we have in the Philippines: restaurants, department stores, boutiques, gift shops, cinemas. Here in DC, the Mall is none of what we know about malls. It is a long stretch of land surrounded by Smithsonian Museums. It is in the East wing of the 4-sided sights of the DC area. On the leftmost portion of the Mall is the Washington Monument, while in the right, you will see the towering beauty of the Capitol.

View from the Mall

The Smithsonian Institution's 19 museums are the major sights to see in the mall. Whether you're fascinated in American History, art, archaeology or space, Smithsonian offers a museum that best fits your taste. So far, I have seen 4 out of its 19, and I shall try to visit all these museums in my stay here in DC.

According to the Smithsonian, before anything else, a visitor should plan his visit to the museums by visiting the Smithsonian Castle first to get the necessary maps and tourist guides.

The Smithsonian Castle

So far I have visited The American History Museum, Freer and Sackler Galleries, and Air and Space Museums. As to why I decided to tour these museums first, I have absolutely have no idea. :)

Some pictures:

The National Mall's left end: Washington Monument

The Other Side: The U.S. Capitol Building

Can Mosley survive the Pacman?

No he can't. Six year ago, maybe... Now, he won't last the entire match. Unless of course our dear Manny Pacquiao the merciful will take it easier than usual because he knows that his opponent is not worth the beating. Everybody knows this, even their promoter Bob Arum.

This fight is not worth it. A lot of people know that. They don't even trash talk! The impact? Lower ticket sales, lower pay-per-view sales, but still, more money for the boxers and the promoters. Overall, a boring fight. But of course Manny will still give it his all for show and for millions of his fans in the Philippines and around the world. He will take this to heart and will once again prove that he is the greatest fighter of this generation. And of course, Floyd will keep on hiding, dodging, and will use all alibis necessary to keep away from a "1" in his loss record. I think I heard a chicken cock. :)

On to retirement, Manny. Please please please... Just train new boxers. Boxers that will give us an olympic gold.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wedding at a Glance

I just can't get over my wedding day. And so does my lovely wife. That is why I decided to edit my wedding video into a 4-minute featurette. :) I used Owl City's Fireflies as background music because somehow, this song reminds Bubbles of the beautiful 6 weeks stay in the Philippines to prepare for our wedding. Here's the video:

"I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems." --Fireflies

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Superbowl XLV - 6 February 2010

One must-see event here is the much-awaited Super Bowl event. Now on its 45th season, the Super Bowl has been the most watched sport and TV event in the US. The sport makes Americans stay home, makes advertisers spend millions more to have a slot, makes all shows get a least a word "Super Bowl" into their scripts.

For someone who has come from a country that appreciates only one team sport, basketball, I get fascinated with Americans' love for all sports, and the great American sport, their favorite. The Super Bowl's effect on roads, media and groceries, is very much similar to our craziness over Manny Pacquiao's titles fights.

Amidst the Super Bowl mania, I am proud to say that one Filipino stood in the middle of the capacity crowd, entertaining hundreds of thousands in the field, and hundreds of millions watching from around the world. The Black Eyed Peas performed during the Super Bowl half time show, which gave the crowd the needed boost of energy and excitement! Apl de Ap, we Filipinos are so proud of you! :) Mabuhay ka!

Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers fans for an entertaining Super Bowl XLV! Congrats also to the Pittsburgh Steelers for making it this far. Too bad, they came a bit short in getting the Lombardi trophy.

Now, I have to explain a bit further to my wife how American Football works...


Thursday, February 03, 2011

Ben's Chili Bowl

Another famous eatery here in Metro DC is Ben's Chili Bowl. This is just a few stations away by Metro train from where I live, located at 1213 U St, NW Washington DC. I was fortunate to have been introduced to its world-famous half-smoked chili dog.

The Half-smoked chili dog gives you the needed juiciness of the hotdog, and the spicy kick of the chili sauce! Coupled with chili cheese fries and you're up for a delicious spicy treat! You really can't eat just one hotdog! Of course, I resisted and ate just one to avoid extra calories and pounds... Whew!

Chili Cheese Fries

Half-Smoked Chili Dog

Ben's Chili has been Washington's premiere chili dog place since 1958. According to its cashier signs, Bill Cosby and the Obama family eat there for free! I wish I could be in that list. :)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Ray's Hell Burger - January 29, 2010

One good thing about being in DC is that you get to eat in places where President Obama eats or has eaten!

Bubbles and I, along with our friends Jun and Kathy, were able to visit Ray's Hell Burger, a small burger joint just around the Arlington area. Ray's Hell Burger is always packed with people who want to grab a bite of this juicy, succulent, great-tasting burger. Coupled with its reasonable price, I can see the reason for the long lines.

On June 2010, President Obama treated Russian President Dimitri Medvedev to a traditional American lunch in this small burger joint during the latter's visit to the United States.
From the pictures it seemed that they both had fun eating at Ray's. :)

I ordered the usual burger, add on Mozzarella and free add ons mushroom, tomatoes and lettuce. My patty was done medium well so we needed to wait for 15-20 minutes. This "have it your way" style makes every burger individually interesting, depending on what you put on it. Unlike traditional "to go" orders, Ray's hell burger gives you the freedom to pack your own burgers to take out after they serve it to you. According to them, this is to ensure that you got the burger you wanted. They have lots of condiments, from ketchup to mayo to several kinds of mustard, to cajun.

I'll soon try other historical sites, eateries and landmarks here in Metro DC. I got plenty of time to do so. :)