Showing posts from September, 2017

28 September 2017 The Watergate Break-in Docent-led Walking Tour

Just a bit of trivia to begin the day--did you know that the Smithsonian consists of 19 museums, 9 research centers, 4 cultural centers and the National Zoo? Wish I could say I've checked them all off my list but alas...!

     The Watergate scandal was a major political scandal that occurred in the 1970s as a result of the June 17, 1972, break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement. 
     When the conspiracy was discovered and investigated by Congress, the Nixon administration's resistance to its probes led to a constitutional crisis. The term Watergate has come to encompass an array of clandestine and illegal activities undertaken by members of the Nixon administration. Those activities included such "dirty tricks" as bugging the offices of political opponents and people of whom Nixon or his officials were suspicious. N…

September 27, 2017 There's SO much more to see

A D.C. paragon is the Old Ebbitt Grill. It has been on our to-do list every time we’ve been here and we finally made it. This is an iconic dining establishment and historic landmark since 1856. Its Victorian interior represents Washington saloons at the turn of the century. The antique clock over the revolving door at the entrance is an heirloom and the marble staircase with an iron-spindled rail was salvaged from the old National Metropolitan Bank next door.

     The Main Bar is constructed of magnificent mahogany. There are 3 carved glass panels depicting the Treasury, Capitol, and White House that separate the Main Bar from the main dining room. Old Ebbitt's is located 2 blocks from the White House and has been a gathering place for presidents and generals, lobbyists and theatergoers for over 161 years. 
     Around the corner from the Main Bar is the famous Oyster Bar, featuring paintings by marine artist, Peter Egeli and Chesapeake Bay watercolorist, J. Robert Burnell.

25 September 2017 - The Equinox has passed

Atrium of National Building Museum

     The National Building Museum is a private institution devoted to building and design. It tells stories of architecture, engineering, and construction. One of the exhibits features a kaleidoscopic array of photographs, objects, models, and firms that resurrected memories both familiar and surprising as displays revealed American home life and residential architecture.

An architecture student's intricate and detailed project on display

                                     Smithsonian Castle

     The Smithsonian Castle was built in 1855 and designed by a 28 year old architect, James Renwick, Jr., for whom an art gallery is named in the city. It functions as the Visitor’s Center so for tourists who’ve never visited our capital before, this is an excellent place to begin their visit.
Adjacent to the Castle and flowing into its own building is the National Museum of African Art where spectacular pieces are on exhibit.

This is a huge piece and intricatel…

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…