Ms. Beth Goes to Washington, part 3

Monday, April 11
  • Slept in. Ahhhh. Took the D2 bus, all by myself, from Melanie's house through Georgetown to DuPont Circle. Gerogetown is break-your-heart beautiful but also break-your-heart hetereogeneous and priveledged. I must admit I wouldn't mind living in a colonial townhouse with Pottery Barn interior, but I feel bad about admitting that. Perhaps I'd build an orangery onto the back of mine.
  • After an early lunch at the NGA Pavilion Cafe (no, I officially cannot get enough - but I did have a different sandwich each time), I made it an art day. Since the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery are closed for renovation, I headed to the Hirschorn. Enh. I did have several entertaining conversations with a guard about the art, which was fun once I got past my initial fear that his approaching meant I had done something wrong. The only exhibit of real interest to me was on the pyrotechnical works of Cai Guo-Qiang. You'd think burned paper couldn't be so alive, but it was a fascinating combination of creation/descruction, long planning/short performance.
  • Everyone asks, so here you go: my favorite museum was the Sackler Gallery. Perfect in every way. Just the right amount of stuff in just the right amount of space. Lush colors. Dazzling yet personally-scaled artifacts. Interesting, engaging text. Reference books and comfy sofas in the exhibit spaces so you could answer questions while in the room! And while I would be the first to say that the museum-going experience should not necessarily involve or be enhanced by shopping, the shop really was great.
  • After that, even I was museumed out, so I wandered across the mall and up 8th Street to meet Melanie and her friend Keith for dinner at Teaism. Another fun people-watching building-browsing bus trip home and an evening with that movie reenacting the last day of Pompei. One of the things I love about Melanie is her geekiness.

    Tuesday, April 12
  • Bus and Metro to Union Station for a decadent breakfast of two croissants with my coffee. I love old train stations. I wish we still traveled by train. There's absolutely nothing that planes have over trains except speed. Then across the street to the Postal Museum. From the professional angle, it's fun to see a museum that has such a tight, unique subject, and I'm always impressed by the range of ideas and topics people find to discuss. I'm still not sure what my final opinion on this place is. I did really like their reminder to us all that the postal service is really about spreading and sharing information, and that's the key to democracy. Won't argue with that. Pip pip.
  • Back to the National Building Museum to see the two exhibits I hadn't visited last week. I really do love that place but I want it to have more than four exhibits! I thought about going on to the Naitonal Museum of Women in the Arts but decided I was ready to stop and would just go back to Melanie's before rush hour got bad and tidy up my suitcase. She came home and cooked us a lovely dinner, then we watched a spoof of Dr. Who starring a clown car of British actors, The Curse of Fatal Death.

    Wednesday, April 13
  • Speaking of clown cars, I've really had a variety of DC experiences, haven't I? Friends and family; crowds and solitude; art high and low; revolting and inspiring examples of what humans are capable of; regret and hope for my fellow citizens.
  • Lugged my suitcase back on to the bus. By the way, what is the proper etiquette for having a large-ish suitcase on a small bus during rush hour? Do you go as far to the back of the bus as you can, so your suitcase is as far out of the aisle as possible? Or do you just sit down as quickly as you can in the closest seat so that you minimize the number of toes you run over or elbows you whack into? A final trip on the Metro whisked me to National airport. Of all coincidences, sitting in the next row of chairs in the waiting area and in the same row with me on the plane was a person who looked really familiar, except for her blue cat's-eye rhinestone-bedazzled glasses, which surely I would remember. I convinced myself that I didn't know her - I always think I recognize people and I'm almost always wrong. But as I sat down next ot her on the plane, she said "Aren't you friends with Wendy Mathewson?" and all of a sudden it clicked. She's friends with my friend Wendy, and during one of my visits to Chicago a few years ago she was staying with Wendy for awhile, so we had tea or something. It's so nice to travel with a friend!
  • In usual fashion, the Detroit airport disappointed me, this time because there was something wrong with our plane, so after more than half an hour of sitting on the runway with the door open we had to get off thatp lane, walk down the concourse, and board another one. The seat I had originally was marked "do not sit" on the new plane, so I plopped down next to a chatty woman from Danville. Even though I had my book out - international language for "I want to read, and I'm trying to indicate politely that I wish to be left alone" - she nattered away. She was frustrated at how bouncy the plane was as we taxied and leaned towards me, hand to the side of her mouth as though she was about to impart a great secret, and said "I don't like being vibrated." I'm sorry, that's just funny. Arriving at Willard only one hour later than scheduled, I was met by a very generous Melina. I dropped my bags, hopped in the car, got a few groceries, and picked up Leroy, who thanks to a bath at "camp" smelled like fake-o flowers. Fluffy but stinky. All is now back to normal except for the mostly unpacked suitcase still in my bedroom.
  • I rambled about other stuff too. Wanna see?

    April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 May 2006 June 2006 August 2006 October 2006 December 2006 February 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 September 2007 July 2008

    projects, friends, etc.

  • I love Bollywood so much that I made a separate blog for it.
  • remember when I went to Australia?
  • when you take grad school too much to heart re: literature
  • when you take grad school too much to heart re: travels
  • The Trophy Wife
  • rock and roll lifestyle
  • Why God Why
  • Technically not a friend, as not a human, but still a place I love very much, so it counts: Massey College
  • credits

  • Blog design is based largely on Not That Ugly with some ideas from Firdamatic with some additional tweaking
  • Flickr rocks! Really.
  • Hurrah for Blogger
  • And for folks trying to library-ize blogs: Blogwise and Blogarama
  • Sorry this looks like poo in Firefox. I've no idea why.