Washington D.C. 3/24-3/6/12

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Jack is doing his first co-op in Washington D.C. so I drove him down and spent a few days in D.C.  We woke up at 6:00 AM on Saturday and were on the road by 6:30.  It rained the WHOLE way to D.C. but we still made it there in around 6 hours.  Jack’s friend Andrew came to Cleveland the night before from Chicago. He is also doing a co-op in D.C. and hitched a ride with us. We dropped Andrew in Silver Spring, MD and then drove to downtown DC where we were staying in the always lovely Hotel Harrington.  Our room was ready and we had a room on the top floor in the corner with a nice view.  We dropped our stuff off and went to the National Building Museum just a few blocks away.

 Lo and behold there was some sort of kid festival going on and there were a million kids running around.  The building was built around the Civil War and has a huge open atrium with humongous columns filling it.  This is where all the kids were but we were still able to check it out.  We decided to buy admission and check out some of the exhibits.  The exhibit on plans for building monuments and museums that never got built was very interesting as well as the original plans for the famous ones and the competing drawings that didn’t make it  There was also a cool exhibition of lego buildings and the gift shop had lots of cool stuff.  We then trucked down a few blocks to the mall in pretty steady rain and went to the modern wing of the National Gallery.  I don’t think I have been in there since I was a kid so it was fun to explore.

Oh Well, Mel Bochner, 2010

We didn’t check out too many of the galleries, just walked around the galleries and admiring the I.M. Pei
architecture.  One exhibit that we did enjoy was an exhibition by Mel Bochner that were all large paintings of synonyms. They were really interesting.  We walked through the underground tunnel that connects the modern to the traditional National Gallery and then went out through the mall side and walked towards the Washington monument.  It was pouring rain out and pretty lousy out so we walked back to the hotel to take a rest before going out for dinner.  There was a large demonstration going on on the mall but we couldn’t for the life of use figure out what they were demonstrating for or against.  (Not a very effective demonstration) We looked it up later on and it was something about atheists / secularists etc…lots of crazies.  After resting our weary feet for a few and watching NCAA we metroed it up to U street to have dinner with Stephanie Maxwell.  Details here.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

in front of new workplace

We left the hotel around 9:15 and headed to Capital Hill neighborhood to check out where Jack will be working and then meeting my Aunt Ellen and Uncle Wally for brunch. Jack’s firm is an easy two blocks from the Metro and is in a nice neighborhood.

eastern market interior

We met Ellen and Walt just around the block at Matchbox.  After brunch we walked around with Ellen and Walt around the Eastern Market.  Not as nice as the West Side Market but nice, and they had a lot of stuff outside which was nice.

flower market at eastern market

Said goodbye to Ellen and Wally and then decided to go to the tidal basin as the cherry blossoms were still out.  We took a weird way there which ended up being the scenic route as well but eventually made it there.  It had been raining for the past 24 hours so most of the blossoms had just fallen off.  It was pretty cool as there was pink confetti blossoms over everything.

confetti cherry blossoms
jack 1/2 way around the basin

We walked around the whole basin: Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial and the new MLK memorial which was cool to see.  It was nicer than I thought it would be and quite moving.

artsy jefferson memorial columns
jefferson memorial interior
jack contemplating the dome
jack at fdr monument
mlk memorial

We walked back to downtown and did a bit of shopping at the Macy’s and got back to the hotel around 2:30 to rest for awhile and watch NCAA basketball.  We got motivated again around 4:00 and metroed to Dupont Circle to go to the Phillips Collection and have dinner.  The Phillips collection is an art museum in the family’s old mansion.  It was really great and reminded me of the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston and the Frick Collection in NYC, two favorites.

George Breitner
Henri Evenepoel

The exhibition that was going on looked at when photography first started in the later 19th century and how some of the post impressionists used photography in their paintings.  It was very interesting.  We haven’t heard of most of the artists and especially enjoyed the works by George Breitner and Henri Evenepoel.  We were in the museum for probably about 1 1/2 hours and bought some things in their giftshop as well.  It was FINALLY turning into a nice day outside so we walked around the Dupont circle neighborhood for awhile looking at the nice row houses and their gardens.  We went to dinner at Hank’s oyster bar that I read about and had good reviews.  See food blog for details.  It was funny watching people as we were eating dinner outside on their patio as it was a very gay neighborhood and there seemed to be  a kickball tournament somewhere close bye as all these young guys in short shorts and striped socks kept walking by.  After dinner we were tired and Jack’s first day at work was tomorrow so we metroed back to home sweet hotel harrington.

going down into dupont circle metro station

Monday, March 26, 2012

Up early, packed and checked out by 7:00.  Had breakfast at Au Bon Pain and walked with Jack to Metro and said goodbye for two and half months as he was off to his first day of work.  I spent a few hours walking around as it was a beautiful morning with a bright blue sky.  I walked down to the mall and walked to the ww2 memorial, walked down to the Lincoln Memorial passing the Korea monument.  Then went to the Viet Nam memorial and then took the long route back to the hotel past the White House.  The most amazing thing was I was the only one at all the memorials.  They are usually thronged with tourists and and as it was early in the morning I was all by myself.  It was really great and so much nicer.  The Viet Nam memorial was especially moving walking by it with no one around, no noise and the thousands of names with the sun reflecting off off them.  I also have failed to mention that  I just got a new iphone and all of these pictures are from that phone.  I have been getting better at figuring it out and I think the pictures from this morning are especially good.

ww2 memorial
korean war memorial
lincoln memorial columns
lincoln memorial column base
lincoln memorial
lincoln memorial looking at capital
viet nam memorial statue
viet nam memorial statue
viet nam memorial
washington monument from viet nam memorial

You have to admit that it is pretty amazing that there aren’t ANY people, let alone asian tourists, in any of these pictures!  And I am quite impressed with the camera on my new iphone.   I made it out of downtown DC without any wrong turns all by myself which is so impressive I must say.  The ride home was easy, blue sky and loud music the whole way.  I decided to make a pit stop at the Pittsburg IKEA on the way home and was happy to discover that it is not out of the way at all for future reference.

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