Showing posts from September, 2017

This city makes me insatiable for education, exercise, and culture!

I LOVE this city and I never want to leave!  This afternoon I entered the auditorium in the bowels of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art for a piano concert. I sat beside a lady who was a delight with whom to chat before the concert began. She’s from Sweden, lived in the Virgin Islands for 30 years, and recently moved to D.C. She doesn’t have a car; doesn’t want a car; and loves to walk or cycle everywhere she goes with an occasional Metro thrown in. She pays $85/year for the BikeShare program and just raved about it, it’s easy, availability, and convenience.

As I rode my bike home tonight, I became amused and kinda chuckled all alone and by myself! For blocks, a bus drove right beside me. It'd stop to pick up or let passengers off and I'd pass. Soon, it'd pass me again and at the next corner, I'd pass it. We leap-frogged all the way down to my point to turn so even though it was "even Stephen", I think I won. I didn't pollute, use fuel, and got a t…

10 September 2017 - Touring the Vietnam Memorial - Washington, DC

The country of Vietnam and its war has always been a great curiosity to me because our children’s father served there the second year of our marriage and the first year of our oldest son’s life. Despite the entrance to the memorial reading “Vietnam War”, it’s now called the “American War”. 

     I joined a tour group led by a docent who was very well versed on the war and the people of that country.  Our group was small but there were 5 who’d been to Vietnam as tourists.
     This sculpture, depicting three female nurses caring for a fallen soldier, calling to mind the courage and sacrifice of all the women who served. Around the memorial are 8 trees—a living tribute to the 8 servicewomen killed in action while in Vietnam and whose names appear on The Wall. 265,000 women served during the war and since they were prevented from being in combat, they served in health care, communications, intelligence, and administrative positions. This memorial honors not only those women who served…

9 September 2017 Renwick Gallery Washington, DC

 Renwick Gallery
     This gallery fancies itself being America’s Louvre and it is quite interesting.

      The most fascinating display is the Parallax Gap, made of separate layers, suspended from the ceiling, and occupying the entire length of the Renwick Gallery. It transforms the upstairs into a visual puzzle with its multiple vanishing points. The 9 layers depict different ceilings in iconic American buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries.

     Installed near or on top of one another, they create layers that, depending on my position, appear totally different and change as I walk about beneath this suspension, looking up. 
     It plays with the ideas of depth and perspective offering many vantage points to appreciate the work. Parallax is defined as how the distance or depth of objects appear to vary when viewed from different lines of sight and this is most certainly THAT!!!  

     Without a doubt, this is the focal point of the entire gallery but there are also other works of int…

8 September 2017 - A DC Day Out on the Town

This morning, at the Washington Post, I had the good fortune of attending a breakfast and interview with Wilber Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce. James Hohmann, interviewer for the Post, (of which I’ve become quite fond), is a national political correspondent who interviews decision-makers on the most relevant news having to do with their jobs. So this morning, it was 79 year old Mr. Ross on the stage with Mr. Hohhmann.

     The two discussed the Trump administration’s efforts to reshape the playing field for international trade, the tax reform push, and other pressing economic issues, including hurricane recovery. Mr. Ross commented on the relationship between the White House and business leaders; the disbandment of the president’s manufacturing and economic councils. “What’s sad is for business leaders to give up an opportunity to influence policy over some singular issue with which they disagree. I don’t think that’s very considered.”
     This was to begin at 9 AM and it did—on…

Labor Day 2017 Washington, DC

Sunday, the day before Labor Day, Bill and I cycled to Silver Spring, MD, by way of Georgetown and Bethesda where we stopped for lunch at a delightful sidewalk cafe. Sadly, the Georgetown Branch Trail connecting Bethesda and Silver Spring closed the day after we rode it in preparation for the Purple Line of the Metro to be built. It will be closed for 5 years and re-routed but not through the shady woods but alone city streets and that's far less than ideal.

     We got home just in time to grab a bite before heading to the Capitol for the final concert of the season by the National Symphony Orchestra. What a treat and with very patriotic overtures. That was definitely not an event to be missed.     

Labor Day provided a great day of cycling orchestrated and led for Bill and me by our Bike Friday friend, Charmaine.  I thought I’d cycled the entire Anacostia Trail but she took us to the obscured part that I didn’t see as well as a portion of the trail that she takes on her commu…

Washington, DC. 1 September 2017

Nancy, a friend who lived in this area for years, suggested a trip to the historic Frederick Douglass home so that’s what we did. I made reservations, we rode our bikes down teeth-jarring streets and side walks but found a smoother and shorter route home via the Anacostia Trail.
     Maybe years ago in school's history classes, we were taught about Frederick Douglass, but if so, it's long faded from my memory. This was a very sobering lesson in the tenacity and perseverence of this man who was born into slavery as Frederick Alugustus Washington Bailey.
     His mother, a slave, was forced to leave him as an infant. He never knew the identity of his white father who was possibly his mother's owner. He lived in poverty, crowded into two rooms with grandparents and cousins. He was a slave--listed on an inventory along with mules and bushels of wheat. All this adversity didn't break his spirit for he had an intellectual curiosity underterred by his circumstances. 

August 2017 Washington, DC and area - Upstate NY - Washington, DC

The first August morning and first day in Washington, DC, we got a late start on our morning walk meaning we finished when it was pretty dad gum hot. We walked from Gangplank over to Potomac Park, walked its perimeter, and back home totaling 6.6 miles. Pretty sweat-drenched when we got home but our walk felt good and we are so happy to be back in this city.

View of Washington Monument as we walked across the bridge to Haines Point.
Looking north up the Potomac

              A northward view up the Potomac River from our fly bridge
Condos and apartments by the hundreds are being built on DC's Waterfront

Washington's well-known seafood market

     Soon after arriving in Washington, we drove to upstate NY, Bill’s home, to celebrate, Doris, his sister’s, 88th birthday, and also the marriage of our great niece, Rachelle.
Along the way we relaxed along the Susquehanna River, PA, for a lunch stop.

     The wedding venue was an elegant old home with perfectly landscaped and manicured gro…