Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Washington D.C.

The weekend before we left for Cartagena Scott and I made a whirlwind visit down to Washington D.C. We left right from Okemo after a long day teaching my last Women's Alpine Adventure group. Around 9 PM we picked up son James in Brooklyn and continued down to Maryland.

My sister lives just north of the city and after spending the night with her, we all drove down to our youngest son's apartment in Washington. The weather cooperated with us - lovely spring like conditions prevailed. Sean and four friends share a three story small townhouse in the NE quadrant. It has five bedrooms - one is a guest room - with a living/dining/kitchen/back porch on the second floor. They have fixed it up very nicely. Sean's graduation gift kitchen equipment has come in really handy. Scott, James and I stayed there and Paula nearby in a lovely huge Marriott.
As usual we were busy. It was Japan Cultural Exchange Week so Saturday night we attended the Japanese Ballet at the Kennedy Center and Sunday afternoon saw a anime feature film called "The Piano in the Woods" (a US premiere). Vladamir Ashkenazy was one of the producers and played the music. It was charming. Shimmering movable room dividers of quilted patches of antique kimonas were displayed through the halls of the Kennedy Center. They changed colors and patterns as you moved past them.
We visited the National Portait Gallery and after a fascinating look at their normal exhibits (lovely special show on Katherine Hepburn) we visited Steven Colbert's picture between the bathrooms. The guides rolled their eyes every time it was mentioned, but it's bringing record crowds into the museum. And hey, it's funny!
We had a fun visit to the National Geographic Building to see the frog exhibit.
Who knew that frogs could be so interesting - and weirdly beautiful (and poisonous). That's a prehistoric looking specimum below. With brilliant sun and 70 degree weather a walk around the mall was a treat. Paula hadn't seen the WWII, Korean and Vietnam memorials so walked all around there. The WWII memorial makes a splendid frame for the Lincoln memorial and it documents the many facets of the war in both theatres.
It's grandure contrasts interestingly with the simplicity of the Vietnam memorial. The first time I walked by that wall, I sobbed uncontrolably for a long time. It is a very moving experience. Perhaps though it's the war of your generation that moves you most. The Korean memorial strikes it's own mood. The realistic patrol of inclusive architypes fits nicely with the actual photos etched into the wall with the names.

1 comment:

Wanda said...

Good post.