Post Date Dec 31

Bienvenidos to Our World

Capitalinas, Welcome to Our World (dccapitalinas.com)

My daughter, our dog, and I moved to Washington, D.C. from the Midwest, not too long ago. We love exploring our new home and hope that you’ll come along for the ride, discovering your DC as we discover ours. Our adventures are brought to you in both English and Spanish because, as American Latinas, that’s how we roll. There are so many amazing guides, blogs, and websites about this city. We happily and humbly add one more and thank you for reading Capitalinas!

Mi hija, nuestro perrito, y yo nos mudamos recientemente a Washington, D.C. Nos gusta mucho explorar nuestra nueva ciudad y esperamos que se nos unan y nos acompañen en nuestro paseo, descubriendo su DC así como descubrimos el nuestro. Les presentamos nuestras aventuras en Ingles y en Español porque somos Americanas Latinas y así es que pensamos. ¡Hay tantas guías, “blogs”, y páginas sobre la ciudad. Felizmente y humildemente agregarnos uno más y les agradecemos por leer Capitalinas!
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Post Date May 26

We Remember this Memorial Day

The red poppy symbolizes rememberance, thanks to American Moina Michael.

He gallantly gave his life for his country.

- US Army Center of Military History describing Pfc. Fernando Luis Garcia, who was born in Utuado, Puerto Rico and served as a US Marine in Korea. He died by throwing himself on top of a grenade that would have killed a fellow Marine.

Garcia is one of 61 Hispanic Americans that have earned the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military distinction, since the Civil War, when it was first created. 17 of these medals were recently awarded by President Obama to veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam who had initially been passed over because of racial and ethnic discrimination. You can learn more about all recipients and current nominees at the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society’s website.

US Latino patriotism dates back to the birth of our nation. Among others, Jorge Farragut, originally from the Spanish island of Minorca, fought in the Revolutionary War. (His son, by the way - Admiral David Farragut - became the first ever Admiral in the US Navy and coined the term “Damn the torpedoes!”)

Women have also played a part in this legacy, such as the courageous Loreta Joneta Velasquez, of Cuban descent. She  masqueraded as a Confederate soldier and spied for the Union (in both male and female disguise), in the Civil War. Learn more in a fascinating report about US Latino patriots by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

However you celebrate Memorial Day – visiting memorials honoring those who gave their lives for our freedom, enjoying a parade, joining a family get-together – don’t forget to remember all the men and women who have made it possible for you to celebrate, including over 1 million Hispanic American veterans and over 157,000 Hispanic American active duty servicemembers. We’re having fun – as I think they would want us to – because of them.

CAPITALINAS MOMENT: An American woman we should also remember – and the simple but beautiful tradition she began after World War I – is Moina Michael. A YWCA worker, she was inspired by the poem, In Flanders Fields by John McCrae. The poem  references the wild red poppies that bloomed upon soldiers’ graves. They inspired Moina Michael to wear and promote the red poppy as a way to remember the sacrifice of soldiers in the war. Her idea spread to France, Canada, and England (among other countries). In these countries, the red poppy’s status as a symbol of remembrance is alive and well today. Here, however, the tradition is all but lost – unless we bring it back. Women preserve and pass on traditions – and this is one Sopapilla and I hope to help revive here in the States.

“We cherish too, the Poppy red that grows on fields where valor led. It seems to signal to the skies that blood of heroes never dies.” -Moina Michael

Wear red poppies to remember the fallen, and as a simple but poignant reminder to others to remember too. Place red poppies on your table to celebrate the life we enjoy, thanks to them. Talk to your kids about what they mean, why it’s important not to forget.

Whatever you do, just remember – and give thanks, any way you can.

 

 

Post Date May 24

HOW TO DC METRO: A guide

We love exiting up into the vaulted arches of the Union Station Metro station :)

There’s a lot to metro – here’s a few quick tips. Be sure to also visit our Vámonos DC page and you’ll be roaming the city like a native in no time!

Metro’s website is very helpful, so be sure to check it out before-hand. You’ll find everything from maps to apps.

Keep a map to Metrorail handy, at least until you get comfortable with getting around – one isn’t always in sight on the trains or platforms.

Figuring out your fare and getting a farecard at a station can be tricky thanks to the incredibly confusing directions on the machines, so give yourself time.  Keep it simple – buy a SmarTrip card at specific stations and retailers, or online – the Metro website fares section provides all the info you need.

For Metrorail, you have to scan the farecard to enter and exit. I know! Right?!

Metrobuses only accept exact change or a SmarTrip Card.

Hold hands with your little ones because people move through pretty quickly and bottlenecks form during rush hours.

If you happen upon an escalator that is working, stay on the right side if you’re just standing (hold bags or luggage directly behind or in front of you).  Use the left side if you’re in a hurry and are walking up the escalator. Daily commuters will thank you!

Take note of the rectangular screens above the platforms – they’ll tell you the next train coming in to the station, the ETA in minutes, and the number of cars on the train. Sounds random, but this is important because for the shorter trains (6), you’ll want to be at least mid-way down the platform or you’ll have to run to jump in the last car. For longer trains (8), you have more room to work with.

Conductors mean it when they say “Step back, doors are closing!” The doors WILL close ON you so don’t try to jump on at the last second. I learned this the hard way.

Hay mas que aprender, pero para empezar, en esta pagina les damos unos consejos basicos. Tambien visiten nuestra pagina, Vámonos DC, y pronto parecerán como Capitalinas y Capitalinos!

Metrorail y Metrobus son los transportes urbanos en DC que son fácil al usuario y medio puntuales.  Ningún sistema de transporte público es perfecto, todos tienen sus peculiaridades, pero en general el de DC es bastante bueno comparado a otros que he usado.

La página web del Metro es muy útil, así que visítenla de ante mano.  Encontrarás todo desde mapas hasta aplicaciones para tu móvil y lo más fantástico es que también está en español, así que dale un vistazo.

Mantén contigo la Guía y mapa portátil del Metrorail, por lo menos hasta que te sientas confortable de cómo navegar por la ciudad – no siempre hay uno a la vista en los trenes o en sus plataformas. La Guía y mapa están en español junto con puntos de interés.

Calcular tu tarifa y obtener una tarjeta en la estación puede ser complicado, debido a las increíblemente confusas instrucciones en las máquinas, así que tómate tu tiempo.  Por eso mejor compras la tarjeta SmarTrip en estaciones designadas, con ciertos negocios, o en la red – la página del Metro provee toda la información que necesitarás y las instrucciones están en español – visita y verás varias opciones dependiendo de tus necesidades.

Para Metrorail tienes que “escanear” la tarjeta ¡al entrar y salir! ¡Ciertísimo!

Metrobuses sólo aceptan la cantidad exacta o la tarjeta SmarTrip.

Agarra bien las manos de los pequeños porque pueden separarse pues la gente se mueve rápidamente y se crean embotellamientos durante las horas pique.

Si encuentras una escalera mecánica funcionando, entonces mantente en el lado derecho (poniendo tu bolso o equipaje directamente adelante o detrás de ti).  Utiliza el lado izquierdo si tienes prisa y deseas subir las escaleras movientes. ¡Los viajeros con prisa te los agradecerán!

Conductores del Metro lo dicen en serio cuando comunican “¡Un paso atrás, las puertas se están cerrando!” Las puertas SE CERRARAN sobre ti, así que no trates de entrar al último segundo. Aprendí esta dura lección.

Post Date May 23

HOW TO DC: A guide

Sopapilla is very proud of her little plane by Reagan International Airport :)

Vámonos means ‘let’s go!’- and to be able to do that around D.C., it helps to understand how the city is laid out.Think of D.C. as a diamond, with the top corner pointing North, and a bite taken out of the lower left corner. The diamond is divided into quadrants - NW, NE, SW, and SE - and the Capitol is at the heart of it all (just about – as you can see in our lovely map, put together by Sopapilla and her Abuelo). Also, North/South streets generally have number names and a quadrant designation (“3rd Street SE”) and East/West streets use alphabetic letters or names and a quadrant designation (“D Street NW” or “Independence Avenue SW”.

There’s a lot more to it – visit our Vámonos DC page and you’ll be roaming the city like a native in no time!

Antes de desplegarse y moverse por los alrededores de Washington DC, hay que entender el diseño de la ciudad.Piensa en DC como si fuera un diamante, dónde la parte superior apunta hacia el norte y dónde le han sacado una mordida a la parte inferior.  Después, divide el diamante en cuadrantes o los cuatro puntos cardinales;  NW (NO noroeste), NE (NE noreste), SW (SO suroeste), y SE (SE sureste). El Capitolio es el corazón de todo (casi – como lo ven en este bello mapa hecho por Ia y su Abuelo).

Generalmente, North/South streets (calles norte/sur) tienen nombres de números ordinales (“3rd street” o “3ª calle”) y la designación del cuadrante. East/West streets (calles este/oeste), son nombradas de las letras del alfabeto, o tienen otros nombres, con los cuadrantes correspondientes (“D St. NW” o “D calle NO”, o “Independence Avenue SW”).

Hay mas que aprender- visiten nuestra pagina, Vámonos DC, y pronto parecerán como Capitalinas y Capitalinos!

Post Date May 22

HISPANIC DC: Farragut

Admiral Farragut, Farragut Square

On the eve of Memorial Day, we share a little-known fact!

Did you know?

Admiral (James) David Glasgow Farragut (of “Damn the torpedoes!” and Farragut North and West metro station fame) traces his roots back to Spain, on his father’s side.

Farragut Square is a city square in Washington, D.C.'s Ward 2. It is bordered by K Street NW on the north, I Street NW to the south, and on the east and west by segments of 17th Street NW, and it interrupts Connecticut Avenue NW.

His father, Jorge (George) Farragut, was born on the island of Minorca, Spain, arrived in America in 1766, and joined the American cause in the Revolutionary War. Admiral Farragut himself lived from July 5, 1801 – August 14, 1870 and was a flag officer of the US Navy during the Civil War. He has the rare distinction of being the first rear admiral, vice admiral, and admiral in the US Navy.

While perhaps not familiar with the Admiral himself, many a local and tourist know Farragut Square well, where he is honored with a striking statue. The square is bordered by bustling Farragut North and West metro stations and ringed with many a food truck during lunch-time. Next time you’re there, say ‘hola’ to the Admiral for us.

Official address: 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20006 (bordered by K Street NW on the north and I Street NW to the south)

Post Date May 20

HOW TO DC: Smithsonian tokens – collect them all!

Smithsonian collectible tokens

The Smithsonian is all about collections and collecting – so it’s very apropos that their collectable tokens seem to be such a hit with the little ones. An old-school pastime, I was pleasantly surprised that it would hold such allure for a modern tyke. Each Smithsonian sells its own shiny token, stamped with the institution’s logo on one side, and an image symbolizing its museum on the other. So, for example, the Natural History Museum’s token features a drawing of their iconic Triceratops, Hatcher. The tokens are sold in bins at cash registers at the museums’ gift shops alongside hand-sized albums that have little clear sleeves to show off each token collected. Collect them all! for $1 per token, and about $6 for the album. They’re the perfect way to get kids excited about visiting museums! We stumbled upon them when Sopapilla spied the bin of tokens at the same time another little kid did – she tugged on my sleeve and the other kid accosted his mom in the same manner. In the end, they were both victorious, walking off happily with a token, their little album and daydreams about where and when to get the next one.

El Smithsonian es sobre colecciones y coleccionismo – así que es apropósito como las fichas son coleccionables y favoritas de los pequeños.  Es un pasatiempo escolar, me sorprendió agradablemente que tenga tanto atractivo para los modernos chiquillos.  Cada Smithsonian vende sus propias fichas, brillantes y sellados con el logotipo de la institución visitada en un lado, y con la imagen simbolizando el museo en la otra.  Por ejemplo, el Museo de Historia Natural, tiene su ficha que figura un dibujo de su icónico triceratops llamado, Hatcher. Las fichas se venden en las tiendas de regalo, por cajas, en cubos, al lado hay álbumes que modelan cada ficha en colección.  ¡Colecciónalas todas!  Se venden $1 dólar por ficha y alrededor de $6 dólares por el álbum.  ¡Son el instrumento perfecto para entusiasmar a los chicos para visitar los museos! Tropezamos con ellos cuando Sopapilla espiaba los cubos de fichas al mismo tiempo que otro pequeño niño miraba – tiró de mi manga, al mismo tiempo que el otro niño hizo lo mismo con su mamá.  Al fin, los dos fueron victoriosos, caminando alegremente con fichas, con álbum y con sueños de cuándo y dónde obtendrían su próxima ficha.