Monday, January 19, 2009

DC Harmony for Obama

So, I'm shopping for apples at the Whole Foods in the DuPont Circle neighborhood in Washington DC. Now if you've ever been to the District you know the DuPont Circle is one of the most well-heeled and whitest neighborhoods in town (right behind Georgetown). This young guy starts to stare at me and I'm starting to feel a little uncomfortable. He approaches me, opens up this flannel shirt to reveal his blue and white Obama t-shirt and yell "Obama rules, man!"
This kinds of stuff is happening regularly here in the District now. There seems to be a kind of euphoria now that Obama is about to be sworn in as president. What is also weird is that the usually looks of disdain towards African-Americans from white people here has turned to looks of pure excitement. Never thought I'd see the day. White folks all over DC have been coming up to me just to chat me up. People, this is odd stuff. It's mostly due to the influx of tourists who either voted for the man, support the man or just people who are glad to be relieved of some white guilt.
Whatever the reason, I'm very happy to see this. Don't get me wrong, black folks are happy too. But I think most black people won't truly be able to exhale until the man (Obama) puts his hand on that Lincoln bible and takes the oath. We're mostly in a state of high alert. As Whoopi Goldberg elegantly stated after election night, “I always thought of myself as an American, but suddenly last night, I felt like I could put my suitcase down finally..."
I might just go down to the National Mall tomorrow to see watch the man on the big jumbo screen, depending on how big the crowd is.
Is racism dead yet? No.
But this is progress.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Back on the bus

Right now I'm somewhere northeast of Baltimore on Interstate 95 on my way home to DC. Starting to get a bit depressed now. Not I don't like DC, but I had such a good time in NYC. As soon as the bus stops in the District I have to make a beeline to my job. Not much turnaround time there.
It was good to recharge my batteries a bit in the big city. Now I have to concentrate on getting 8 cartoons done in two days. It might take some sacrifices but it'll happen. Hopefully I'll be able to get some rest this week. Or not.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Today was a good day!

After a pretty bad week of work l must say that I'm having very good Saturday. I took the bus up to New York to get away from all the craziness in DC and it sure has helped. Nothing like the city to get me back on focus. It was a cold day, but a good one. I started the day at 7 a.m. with a 7-mile run around the perimeter of Central Park. A good long run usually clears my head. After that I took the A train down to Chelsea and had brunch at Pastis. If you've never been there, I totally recommend the joint. Great brunch selection. Order the Eggs Norwegian (trust me, you'll like it).
After that I went down to SoHo to Blick's Art Store to pick up some supplies after having my stuff stolen at my job. Told you it was a bad week. The snow started falling after that, which set up a very picturesque scene. Now all I have to do is draw, which is the easy part. If I would've stayed in DC I might have gone nuts. It's a great town and all, but there's something about New York that puts me in the right state of mind.
I don't make it a regular habit of quoting the great thespian Ice Cube, but here goes:

Today was a good day.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Getting ghetto on folks

It's Friday morning and I'm on the Bolt Bus on my way to New York City for the weekend. There are two young dudes (maybe college age) sitting in the seats directly behind talking a loud as humanly possible. I'm doing everything in my power not to smack one of these little snots in the head. It's probably 7:30 in the morning and I haven't had my coffee yet.
I just fired off a warning shot to them. I told them politely to please keep the noise down. I hope that works, otherwise I'll have to resort to Plan B: Sraight ghetto. I've noticed that people here in Washington don't really respond to you in kind if you're polite to them. I've also noticed that getting ghetto works. Maybe its an intimidation factor or something. I had hoped not to resort to that level of communication because I thought I had left that behind me when I left the inner-city years ago.
Take another example. The guys across the hall from me, also college-aged white men, tend to have very loud parties every weekend when I'm trying to sleep or draw cartoons. A few weeks ago they were exceptionally loud (music, screaming etc). I went over and knocked on the door and asked them politely to please keep the noise down because people are trying to sleep. They laughed in my face and slammed the door on me (seriously). Minutes later they turned up the noise even louder and screamed even louder. I knew that I had to take drastic measures.
I went over there a second time, this time I banged on the door. I started talking in the best ebonics that I could remember. This time I warned them if they kept it up that things could get hot. I channeled my inner Raheem spoke in a way that would have made Biggie Smalls proud. Straight gangsta, baby.
Well, that had the desired effect. The young fellows were suddenly extremely apologetic and even promised to be quiet in the future (which they did). Strange how nice just doesn't work in DC.
Sometimes you just gotta get ghetto.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pseudo-Celebrities in my building

Good morning, all:

Each morning I get up and get a cup of coffee which is made fresh each morning in the lobby of my apartment building at the corner of 5th St. and Massachusetts Ave. in downtown Washington DC. I like to chat up the doormen in the building. I recently discovered that among there are a few neo-celebrities living in this mid-rise building. A few months ago I tried to step into the elevator and was greeting by an enormous young fellow stepping out of it. I thought to myself, either that guy has to be a basketball player. After further investigation, I discovered that it was Andray Blatche, a 7-foot reserve center/forward for the Washington Wizards. That makes sense. Their arena is just 2 blocks from here.
Then today I noticed this tall, striking blonde young woman walking out of the building. One of the doormen told me 'hey, that woman once appeared on the show "Americas' Next Top Model."' He was right. After checking up on it I discovered that it was the tall, lanky 'Sara' from Cycle 6.
This is all great news for my nephew Sean (who wants to be a basketball star) and my niece Brandi (who wants to be a model). Not that I'll ever approach these people, but at least I'll have some good stories to tell the kiddies.
I find it strange that a semi-starving artist like myself lives in the same building as a millionaire basketball player. As I've said a thousand times: DC is a strange place.

Muy feliz ano nuevo