Saturday, May 31, 2014

D.C. Dreams

What could be better than spending a week in the nation's capital brimming with lady power, both professional and collegiate? 
Not much, I think. Right after graduation, frenzied packing ensued and then my parents drove me to the airport in Syracuse to fly to D.C. I was selected to participate in a conference concerning Women & Policy in the Global Community through PLEN, the Public Leadership Education Network. 

The amazing staff at PLEN filled the week with panelists, site visits, and events with networking possibilities throughout the city. It was amusing to re-orient myself to public transportation, but D.C. seems to have one of the cleanest metro systems, though not the most efficient. Certain days it was quicker and more pleasant to walk to our locations. We listened to women who are humanitarians, lobbyists, lawyers, politicians, diplomats, senior advisers, economists, think tank researchers, and the mind-blowing resume continues. More than anything, it was such a pleasure to meet women who are interested in amplifying the role and influence that women have in policy. We also visited the Capitol building, the State Department, the Embassy of India, the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, and the German Marshall Fund. Every day was finished around 5 PM, which left plenty of time to digest the impressive advice and explore the city.

I visited D.C. for the first time my freshman year for a climate change rally, but the weekend was too busy to enjoy D.C.'s free cultural sites. We made it to the National Mall at sunset, and what do I find but a game of pick-up ultimate frisbee! So of course I hustle over, befriend the players on the sideline, and wholeheartedly accept their suggestion to take off my sandals and play. That's why I love the ultimate community: their open friendliness to share the game with anyone. Did you know that Lonely Planet even ranked playing ultimate frisbee on the National Mall one of the top 10 things to do in the United States?! Thank you, Asana and Elizabeth, for accepting my crazed enthusiasm for this sport and snapping some photos. 

Scoring an ultimate frisbee point on the National Mall at sunset. Is there anything more patriotic (haha)?

The World War II and Lincoln Memorials at dusk.

Our room at the Carlyle Suites Hotel had a kitchen, a lovely budoir and bathroom, two queen-sized beds, and was only a few blocks from DuPont Circle, one of the liveliest districts of the city. Check out my Tripadvisor review!

We spent too much money at Whole Foods and hustled back frequently during the lunch breaks to cook.

Many commuters use the public bike sharing system, so we decided to as well. It was such a great ride from DuPont to Georgetown and along the Potomac.

View of Arlington.

Lafayette Square, near the White House.

The Eisenhower Executive castle Office Building. I was strolling around trying to get a good picture, was yelled at when I stepped on the lawn (just trying to gain a better photo angle!), and then it dawned on me that security was pretty heavy. I think I saw the President land via helicopter, and then definitely witness his motorcade gunning down New Hampshire Avenue! Quite the spectacle, but I bet it's old after the first time when you live there.

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History was such a spectacle, even with the crazed groups of students.

Views of the Regan International Airport.

D.C. was a much-needed limbo from the shock of finishing college. I'm home now, attempting to convey my ever-evolving career ambitions on paper as I apply for jobs. Cheers to St. Lawrence for sponsoring me and my two classmates to participate in this incredible program. One day, I want to will be one of the panelists advising and inspiring the rising generation of women!

Listening: "Hard Time" by Seinabo Sey

1 comment:

Allison said...

My cousin goes to Georgetown and I absolutely need to go visit - this city is gorgeous and your pictures are equally gorgeous. It looks like the opportunity of a lifetime for you - seriously girl, you do so much and are going to accomplish so much! I'm so glad you're taking advantage of every opportunity available to you.