Wondering why I haven’t blogged in a while? Most likely not, but I will tell you anyways. I was in California for a week!
This was my first trip to the West Coast. Our trip began in San José, California–where my uncle lives–and ended in Los Angeles, California– where my girlfriend’s aunt lives. We flew out of Philadelphia International Airport and into San José International Airport, with a connection flight into Houston, Texas–George Bush Intercontinental Airport–first store I saw when I walked off the plane… a FOX News store, go figure. The flight out of Houston into San José was gorgeous–we flew over the Grand Canyon!
As you leave the San José Airport you see the “Hands” mural representing the diversity of San José, which is something the people of San José are very proud of–as they should be. This idea–diversity is good thing– was music to my ears. The concept of diversity, the bringing together of all people, and being accepting of all people is one of the aspects of California I love.
My uncle and his domestic partner took my girlfriend and I to a buffet in San José, which had food from all different parts of the world. And to continue the theme of diversity–each staff member was from a different part of the world, such as, the bar tender who was from Iran.
Our journey took us on a driving tour of San José–the safest city in the United States. If Californians want to know how their tax payer money is used , all they have to do is look at their city hall.
The San José City Hall although extravagant, seems unnecessary and over the top for a city hall–in my opinion. I don’t know about you, but if I had to drive by and see this building every day, I would definitely start to wonder what the priorities of my local government actually were.
Since my uncle is a professor of journalism and media at San José State University it was a priority to see the campus. San José State campus is amazing. The architecture of the buildings represents the influences of many cultures and centuries of architectural design.
Along with the architecture is the multicultural aspect of the campus–students and teachers from all walks of life.
San José State is historically routed as well, with a statute memorializing the civil rights movement.
If you don’t know what this picture is (on the right)representing, here is a little history.During the 1968 Olympic Games,Tommie Smith and John Carlos (both from the U.S.) won the gold and bronze medals, respectively, in the 200-meter race. When they stood (barefoot) upon the victory platform, during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner,” they each raised one hand, covered by a black glove, in a Black Power salute (picture). Their gesture was meant to bring attention to the conditions of blacks in the United States
The second day of our trip brought us to San Francisco, which, compared to my hometown city of Philadelphia, is a complete 180. Our tour of San Francisco brought us to Alcatraz, Castro ( the gay community), and Wicked.
Since I work in the criminal justice field Alcatraz was very interesting to me. I have been in local and state correctional facilities but never had I been to a federal correctional facility.
Castro was very awesome. Although I know people who are gay, I have never been in a gay community. What is surprising though is that Castro has become a mixture of straight and gay, which shows the openness and acceptance of Californians. California seems to be a step ahead of other states, when is comes to social issues–I expected it to be that way. My hope is other states follow behind California’s lead, not economically, but socially.
Wicked continued the theme of acceptance, showed the power of government when there is no watchdog, and the power of propaganda. Sitting in the theater you understood the underlying theme. Galinda, the good witch, represents George W. Bush–ditzy,wants to do good, but always decides to do what the Wizard wants for personal gain. Elphaba, the “wicked” witch, who does good, but gets labeled “wicked” by the Wizard because she refuses to do his dirty deeds–unlike Galinda.
The third day of our trip took us to Napa Valley and Chandon Winery. Instead of flying to Los Angeles, my girlfriend and I decided to rent a car and drive down route 1–the coast. What was suppose to be a 4 hour drive took us 10 hours–I was just amazed by the scenic views.
Our travels in LA took us to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, Malibu, and a Dodgers game. LA was all the Ritz and glamour, but that was about all it had to offer. However, if I wanted to go to California for the beach, Southern California is where I would go–the beaches are amazing.
It was wonderful to see the West Coast. There is a lot I still have not seen, so at least I have an excuse to go back.
A lot has gone on in the world since I went on vacation.
BP executives said they “care about the small people”. I would just like to thank BP for thinking of the “small people” as they continue to watch oil gush out and Gulf resident’s livelihoods disappear. If they truly cared, they would have prepared for a disaster of this magnitude instead of worrying about their profits. I kind of feel bad (not really) that people are being so hard on BP, since the government was negligent as well. Think about it. How can the government scold BP when they waived BP’s requirements to have plans in place to prevent or diminish an environmental disaster 750 times from 2004 to 2007? Yes, I know Obama was not in office then–I am not blaming Obama personally–I am blaming government in general. The key is to GET THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS.
Obama also gave a speech on the disaster in the Gulf region. It was a speech scolding government’s failure to regulate, as well as an update, a plan for fighting the oil spill, and a call to action. The call to action was very broad with no details laid out to move forward with energy reform. It was a speech made for the TV pundits. What happen to the days of reporting the news so people know the facts? Some people like to hear what the pundits are saying. Personally I like to hear what happen, why it happen, and how is it going to be fixed. I want investigative/watchdog journalism.
Found out Afghanistan has $1 trillion worth of minerals under it, which will give the US even more reason to stay and fight a pointless war. Same thing can be said about Iraq which is full of oil reserves. But we are in the Middle East to fight the terrorist–right?
Still nothing done on financial regulation.
US Department of Justice is filing a lawsuit against Arizona’s immigration law.
My hometown Flyers lost to the Chicago Blackhawks.