By George Kevin Jordan, AFRO Staff Writer
In Season Two of Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Miriam “Midge” Maisel, played by Rachel Brosnahan, and her family the Weissmans, take a two month sojourn to the Catskills, a heady retreat for those privileged enough to rent summer homes, and be away from work for almost an entire season.
The Catskills, depicted in the late 1950s, is an escape from the crunching mania of New York. There are planned activities for everyone. And those same activities are not only separated by color, (Black folks only find themselves as employees during this time and not guests), they are separated by gender and age as well. But in one scene a man is at center stage directing a game of “Simon Says” for a group of giddy adults. The joy on their faces as they hop on one leg, or place a finger on their nose, only to hear “I didn’t say “Simon says.’ Is palpable on the screen. Then a little boy wanders in the room eyeing all the fun. His father quickly scoops him up and scolds him saying, “What are you doing here, this is area is for adults.”
The Washington Auto Show has several thrills for adults and children to enjoy, such as ART in Motion, where prominent artists paint on cars live for the audience, at the Washington Convention Center. (Photo by George Kevin Jordan)
That is what The Washington Auto Show felt like. It’s not that kids aren’t welcomed, or that there aren’t activities for them. But going through the three floors of vehicles, list prices and driving courses, it was clear to this reporter that this was adult fun time.
The Washington Auto Show runs through April 14 at the Walter E. Wilson Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Pl, NW., The event is takes up three floors and a sprawling 150,000 square feet- so bring sensible shoes. There are over 600 vehicles on display from all the major automobile brands.
According to Statista.com about 5.3 million cars were sold to customers in the U.S. When you look at global sales, the number of cars sold rises to about 79 million. Even though U.S. car sales have dipped 6.3 million from the previous years, it doesn’t mean people aren’t buying vehicles. U.S. light truck sales bumped up from about 8.7 million units in 2014 to almost 11.1 million units in 2017.
So it’s safe to assume that many people will be perusing the cars, with the intention of purchase. They will slam truck doors, sniff the intoxicating mix of leather, plastic and chemicals that compose that new car smell, and automakers are ready with interactive displays, unlocked doors and friendly staff to answer any question.
The stand out activity for me was the Jaguar Land Rover Test Drive Experience, which is a returning exhibit. This area was split into two sections. On one side you can be a passenger as a trained driver whirls you through an obstacle course in the new electric offering. You muscle through hair pin curves and tackle a roller coaster like hill. On the other side, you can either be a passenger or a driver in one of the newest Land Rover vehicles taking to a stunt course that turns your vehicles almost on its side at one point. And going up a sanded incline and coming back down. The experience is amazing just to see how the vehicles handle a simulated off-road experience.
A stand out section for the kids is the Family Fun Zone, located in Ballroom C on the third floor. Some of the most popular PBS characters will be back this year, along with daily dance parties for kids and plenty of space for parents to rest and relax.
Another stand out event is ART in Motion, where prominent artists paint on cars live for the audience.
There are sports celebrities and special guests throughout the week. Tickets are $12 per adult (ages 12+); $5 for children ages 6-12. Children under six are admitted free. Tuesday is Military Tribute Day and admission is free for active-duty and retired military personnel with valid I.D. For more information on the event and to purchase tickets please go to www.washingtonautoshow.com.