Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Capital 4th

Washington in July - who can say no to that? A clear blue sky, the sun sparkling on the Potomac, all those glorious museums on the Mall, and then in the evening, the redbrick delights of Georgetown.
Sarah rocks.

The first time I came here was for a strained November afternoon, and we took a tram  tour to all the sights. The second time was in the depths of a bitter December, and we saw Colbert's portrait and C3PO, and the chilling Holocaust museum. And Dan from the Amazing Race. YAY.
It's hot now, though. Begin with Lincoln, it's the only way.
The best bit of Washington is the Mall. The museums up and down it are all different, all wonderful in their own way. It's neat. They don't try to out-do the Met, they explore the past, and the arts from a different perspective. The Air and Space Museum is perhaps the busiest, the American Indian Museum the oddest, with some really funky food served in their waterside restaurant. I'm talking sauteed cucumber. This is the subway. Looks like Trump meets the Pantheon.
But away from the Mall there's other stuff to see, still part of the Smithsonian - like the Renwick, which is somebody's house converted into an art gallery, but stil retaining that rich party-just about to start atmosphere. Here and in New York in the past months, I've seen so many nudes reclining, resting and generally hanging out, which makes this piece by Karen Lamonte all the more exceptional.

I'm no patriot, but we watched the parade snake by for an hour or so in the oven of the mall, appropriately enough just outside the American History Museum

After a bit, we had enough, and went to the Freer. Cool, silent. Whistlers, and other masterpieces, with the promise of fireworks to come in the night.

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