LOVING IT BECAUSE:
1) Every dark blue helicopter lettered, “United States of America”, flying to and from the direction of the White House could be my favorite prez…Shalom, Mensch. Welcome back from Israel. Peace out! (and Hag Sameah to everybody else re: Pesach and Easter);
2) The fantastic FREE museums and zoo. Each of which has tons of FREE performances, events, lectures and gorgeous architecture (even this stairway at the Smithsonian Natural History museum seems inspired by Escher).
The National Portrait Gallery is stunning. We loved this painted portrait of Special Olympics Founder: Eunice Kennedy-Shriver . We hope someday to see the works of our portraitist friend, Paul Feinberg, hanging here too. ” We also appreciated, “Wisdom”, the sculpture of Gertrude Stein as a Buddha used as our feature image.
The Renwick (American Craft Museum) had weird and great stuff, especially sculptures made of improbable substances…we are guessing that the marble pillow wouldn’t be so comfortable. The Indian Art Museum had the most amazing cafeteria (‘Mitsitam’) …choosing between different tribal foods with upscale treatments, we settled for bison loin, wild rice and watercress salad, roasted sunchokes with a wild cherry/pine nut chutney. We saw the executive chef in the kitchen with Chef Rock, the 2009 winner of the Hell’s Kitchen competition. Our sous chef said he got “ink” last week when he was photographed in the kitchen with Martha Stewart, eg. not your usual food court;
3) The First Ladies Gown Exhibit: Poor Lady Bird Johnson…to be featured for the duration in a bright yellow, floor length 3/4 sleeved heavy brocaded gown with thick mink cuffs and a high Nehru collar, looking like Big Bird with a bouffant ‘do. Further insult, to be posed between the tres chic Grace Coolidge in her sleeveless flapper’s drop waist black silk and velvet dress, and Jackie Kennedy in her elegant ivory flowing silk sheath. I hope Lady Bird just didn’t give a fig what the public thought because she was preoccupied with tree planting …or else got that shmata off the rack at a deep discount! We got a private, docent-led, guided tour in our friend Ed’s specialty areas in the Smithsonian American History Museum: ‘The American Presidency’, and ‘American Wars’ providing us with the best presidential quote of all time (Harry Truman): “I fired him because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the President. That’s the answer to that. I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail.” Plain speaking, indeed;
4) The Peacock Room at the Freer…crepuscular, like his ‘Nocturnes’, James McNeill Whistler’s sumptuously designed dining room, later filled with Freer’s Asian ceramics, is somber and moody until the third Thursday of each month, when the shutters are opened and the bright rich glazes are visible for a day;
5) The Supreme Court was a happenin’ spot this week as the oral arguments progressed on two gay marriage cases. Other than a few ignorant and mean-spirited messages alleging that ‘AIDS is caused by the sin of homosexuality’, most of the sitters represented the country…about 80 percent supporting gay marriage. We of course enjoyed chatting with the camera crew who had the latest dirt, fresh from the mouths of the sketch artists who had been in the courtroom. Of course, the Court will take it under submission so we won’t have a ruling for months….fingers crossed until then!;
6) People from all over the world, especially kids on school trips, are running all over the Metro, the museums, the monuments, the food courts, and near the Embassies in Georgetown. I wonder if I was ever that twitchy and screechy in Middle School? They do know how to have a good time…and shop! We especially loved the kid who climbed into FDR’s lap and wouldn’t leave even with his parents yelling at him. An older woman in a wheel chair, a victim of Polio herself, advocated for him to enjoy the best seat in the City;
7) We got no Monarchy, but we gotta’ cool crenelated castle;
8) Monkey Puzzle Trees and 141 varieties of roses, make the National Botanic Garden the oldest in the Nation;
9) We will miss the Cherry Blossom Festival originally scheduled for March 20th, now delayed to April 7th, and probably just beginning to bud even then, as it remains freezing at night and with 2 inches of snow on the ground two days ago. Fortunately, retailer Macy’s opened their Cherry Tree and Japanese Garden display yesterday so we can have a taste (live trees, fake backdrop) of what will occur around the Tidal Basin in several weeks: 3,750 trees in bloom; and
10) Walkability score is very high as Washington is small, flat, dense, well served with transportation, public trails, canals and creeks, ethnic food and interesting neighborhoods. Yep, we could live here surrounded by neighbors obsessed with politics and awakening to the Washington Post on our stoop daily! Now that is a newspaper!