RallyPigeon t1_jd5rf62 wrote

I have no details but I thought it was very strange we had a pink bus driving around the northeast under the guise of advertising to tourists. I figured it was just an ineffective harebrained scheme doubling as a way to legally hand out kickbacks. Maybe something more nefarious happened too.


RallyPigeon t1_j4ckfrv wrote

There is a bit of a misconception about General Joseph Hooker's involvement in that neighborhood based on his name, his reputation, and to a much lesser extent the thread title. Hooker, who was not the origin of that word being used to describe prostitutes, was frustrated that the Army of the Potomac was causing trouble all over town while camped in the area. So he used his authority to force all the brothels to be consolidated into one district.

Hooker was a fascinating guy. He loved to party and stories of "camp followers" (ie prostitutes aka "Hookers" - which furthers the misconception about the name) in his presence were over-exaggerated but not completely false. He was very brash and rubbed a lot of people the wrong way as he rose up the ranks of the US Army during the Civil War due to battlefield success at lower levels of command.

My favorite tidbit is that after being given command of the Army of the Potomac (the biggest US army that fought in Virginia/Maryland/Pennsylvania) in early 1863, he told anyone who would listen at a dinner party that the United States needed a dictator to lead it through the crisis. News of his remarks travelled back to Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln then wrote his general a letter with a pretty good putdown: " I have heard, in such way as to believe it, of your recently saying that both the Army and the Government needed a Dictator. Of course it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. Only those generals who gain successes, can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship."

Hooker would go on to lose the Battle of Chancellorsville a few months later and be relieved of command. He then got demoted, served a bit longer, then resigned before the war ended. We'll never know what his dictatorship would've been like!


RallyPigeon t1_j1em6l3 wrote

If you have a day off go to the Botanical Gardens before 5 pm for the holiday train setup. It's festive and mostly indoors.

For indoor night time stuff the Willard Hotel's lobby is always festive. The Kennedy Center has a Handel's Messiah Sing-Along at 6 pm. That's all I know of.


RallyPigeon t1_ixypwrn wrote

Check your ticket for the train number/name. Amtrak will announce the gate on the many screens showing departure times as well as a (sometimes delayed) audio announcement. Just head to the correct letter gate (which are all labeled) and follow the herd of fellow riders to the train. Usually there will be an Amtrak employee on the platform by the train who will tell you if you're in the right place.


RallyPigeon t1_itwb2oe wrote


RallyPigeon t1_itwal29 wrote

The core area of a Union charge is still preserved at Ox Hill Battlefield Park. The rest of the battlefield has been lost to development unfortunately and the park only exists as a result of a deal between developers with local government. But I still recommend checking it out at least once. There are no shortage of places to visit in our area that are related to the Civil War. Start with the sites the National Park Service administers like Manassas, Fort Stevens, Fords Theater, Clara Barton's house, Harper's Ferry, etc then work your way out to county/state parks like Bristoe Station, Ball's Bluff, Cedar Mountain and look into non-profits or museums. The Civil War Interpretive Center in Fairfax is a hidden gem; be sure to go on a Saturday for a 1 pm tour so you can see all the graffiti drawn by Union soldiers. This weekend in Leesburg there is going to be tours + a reenactment at the 1861 Ball's Bluff battlefield park. I think the Civil War Medicine Museum in Frederick is one of the best museums on any topic in the area and you can tag on a visit to the Monocacy or Antietam battlefields with it too. The re-opening of the renovated African American Civil War Museum on U St is supposed to happen this winter too so keep an eye out for that.


RallyPigeon t1_itw3lni wrote

Interesting! I had never heard of that movie before. But the story of the battle is particularly interesting. Two Union generals died, the Confederates lost a chance to cut off at least a portion of the Union army from Washington and it was fought in a thunderstorm which led to some short bursts of hand to hand fighting. There is no shortage of drama in the way events played out!


RallyPigeon t1_itvt5wm wrote

Here is where things get confusing: the 1862 Battle of Fair Oaks (also known as Seven Pines) was actually fought on the outskirts of Richmond near the modern day Richmond airport. But Fair Oaks Mall actually is on the proximity border of another 1862 Civil War battlefield - the Battle of Chantilly (also known as Ox Hill).


RallyPigeon t1_itv8ves wrote

Fun morbid tidbit: Howard's friend Phil Kearny, also a Union general who had lost his left arm in the Mexican-American War, visited Howard shortly after Fair Oaks and said "General, we will have to buy gloves together!" as their missing hands made such a thing practical.

Unfortunately, Kearny died a few months later at the Battle of Chantilly (which is a small but easily accessible battlefield park in NoVa today) and was buried at Arlington. No record of the two going glove shopping together exists.


RallyPigeon OP t1_itr783f wrote

It's funny you laundry listed good ideas because The Wharf already has a bus lane, designated ride share loading zones + taxi pick up spot, improved pedestrian infrastructure and plenty of mass transit including a fare free shuttle bus that goes to L'Enfant Plaza and the National Mall.

The new proposal for this to take millions from the city in order to be a subsidized service to alleviate parking issues is laughable. The reality is with an upscale shopping/dining development you're going to have wealthy people who will gladly pay whatever the cost is to park in the deck (or have a valet park for them) with 0 desire to use mass transit. Those people would simply not go if they couldn't park directly. The day trippers an income bracket under from the far reaches like Woodbridge or Frederick, maybe coming for a special dinner or a concert, who it might appeal to will need to know it exists and plan for it. Seems doomed to fail unless the city continues to throw money at it.


RallyPigeon t1_it3o3tb wrote

Reply to RIP Rusty by IvyGold

We'll meet again

Don't know where

Don't know when

But I know we'll meet again some sunny day

Keep eating leaves and bamboo

Just like you always do

Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away


Rusty my beloved. Your spirit is free to roam now!