30 April 1971 /Washington Peace March
April 30, 1971
Last -Saturday, there was a rally in Washington, D.C. A lot of people came. We all missed you.
The atmosphere was something like a cross between a political campaign when it's just getting started and a circus when it is just wrapping up. Yet somehow, they managed to draw a crowd which some say may be the largest ever to attend a peace rally in Washington.
The police estimated the crowd at 200,000; my personal estimate was 400,000. But how do you estimate a crowd that, according to one of the many D.C. police along the march route, "just never stopped coming. They just kept coming and coming." They filled Pennsylvania Avenue from the Hill back to the House; and if you've never been to Washington, let me tell you that's a loonnnnggg ways. (That -comes from someone who is no real pro: I've only been there once.) The cherry blossoms, which have been the subject of 10,000 trite mood pieces on the Capitol, will be mercifully mentioned, only once in this piece.
Instead, I will talk about something almost as prevalent at peace rallies: the police.
There are enough police departments in the nation’s Capital to boggle your mind, but the nicest ones are the ones who guard the Capitol itself. As one of them explained to me, "we just naturally get along with people better. People who come to the Capitol have a reason for being there. They're usually good solid citizens on vacation. The DC metropolitan police, and the park police. are out making arrests, and seeing the bad side of people all the time. Besides, we're the best disciplined force in town."
I found out all of this as I stood by the fence which was put up to keep a lot of fine American citizens from getting any ideas about ripping up our fine American Capitol.
There were all sorts of incongruous sights; long hair anti-war vets who still managed to fall into step as they walked down the streets; the dearth of short hairs in the crowd, even among people in suits and ties; and the 50-50 split between "kids"' and "adults" at the march gathering grounds.
That's' probably the most important thing about the whole action: the fact that people who clearly and obviously have not been to college in years were in Washington to join the protest against the war.
The carnival atmosphere surrounding the march was really something to behold. Marchers were clothed in all the colors of the rainbow and festooned with a quantity of buttons which seemed to multiply beyond all understanding (especially 'noteworthy in light of the fact that they were not being given away, but rather sold at 10-25 cents each).
In addition, there was the usual vast quantity of panhandlers with buckets for money - all for a good cause of course. At 10 cents a throw you could spend a thousand dollars at one of these things.
But we all missed you.
I'm told Dick [Nixon] even noticed you weren't there: "As long as MIT is dormant, it doesn't matter."
Simeone’s is the lucky recipient of the Schindler tongue this week, as we launch into the 3rd in an unendable series of reviews which should make it easier for you to locate a restaurant of your choice.
Simeone’s is easy to-get to. Located just off Central Square at 21 Brookline Street, it is an easy walk from MIT and a quick subway ride from the fraternities on Bay State Road. The restaurant serves American and Italian food both, and clearly caters to the college crowd.
The prices ranged from a low of 50 cents to an isolated high of $4.25. (I say isolated because no other menu item comes close).
The quality of the dishes sampled (baked lasagna and steak, with the steak being the high item on the menu) by my cohort and I ranged from adequate to good.
Clearly the cuisine is not spectacular here; neither is the atmosphere (I for one like jukebox order panels in each booth with individual speakers; maybe you don't. Be forewarned.) This is no place to take a heavy date if you are in white tie and tails. And don't expect to be wiped off your feet by the food.
But the prices are reasonable; and as a matter of fact, they pass the most basic tests for any restaurant: their Cokes were sufficiently supplied with syrup. The mark of excellence, to be sure.
By the way, the service was fast, the wine list vast, the desert came last, and the 13th of every month, any college student can get a 10%o discount by showing his ID card. This is their 25th anniversary year, you see.
A quick closing note; WTBS is re-playing the Sexuality Lectures at 7 pm each night this week, Monday through Friday. And "WTBS Presents Private Nick Danger, Third Eye" tomorrow night at 9:30 pro.