Thursday, December 01, 2011

A city of contrasts

Compared to flying, train travel is a joy. Jess and I took Amtrak to and from D.C. and had four hours of pleasantness - a place to plug in our laptops and work - food available in the café car, pleasant restrooms large enough to be civilized, and no security hassles. Ahhhhh... And of course, icing on the cake: on the ride home, my brief, pleasant conversation with Paul Giamatti, who sat in front of us in coach. His grandfather was my Italian professor in college and was a complete charmer whom we all adored.

We stayed at the Willard Hotel, two blocks from the White House. It was lovely and all decked out for Christmas.
 The awards luncheon was a really nice event and although the publicist for Jeopardy won the award Jess was nominated for, she and George Clooney's publicist both received honorable mention. That was pretty cool, as was the fact that Jessica had been nominated at all.

I had the morning free while Jessica attended a seminar, and went for a walk. In the park by the White House, I saw this statue, which looked very much like a WPA-era piece of art.

and then I turned around.  Here is what was directly across the little pond from this sculpture...
Continuing on my way, I walked toward the museums and the monuments.
I didn't have time to go in all directions, so I headed toward the National Gallery, past all the other museums. 

I stopped at the Sculpture Garden before I ran out of time and had to turn around, go back up Pennsylvania Ave to the National Press Club.  This tree sculputre - concrete and steel - was my favorite.

This Roy LIchtenstein house made me smile.
I was less entranced with David Smith and Sol Lewitt, but here are their pieces, anyway. There was a lot more, but I had to get back.

 I never got close to the capitol - no time.  But here is a distant picture for your viewing pleasure.I think It is probably the most beautiful building in Washington.
Some of the quirkier architecture on Pennsylvania Avenue caught my fancy.  This is the old Post Office.
As I got a couple of blocks from our elegant hotel, I came upon Occupy D.C. They were in a small park on Pennsylvania Ave: mostly vets.Quiet. Dignified.  I saw a tent serving hot food, port-o-sans standing like soldiers at the end of the park, and an information booth.  They were looking for donations of tents, warm clothing, and the like. 

One of the occupiers handed me a copy of this newspaper.  I found the whole scene even more moving, for some reason, than the one in Zuccoti Park -- maybe because they were mostly vets or perhaps because of their location.  It broke my heart.



Gerrie said...

I am so happy that there has not been an attempt to take down the DC Occupy. Very moving photos.

Rayna said...

I try not to be policitcal on this blog but I'm sure that the wish for peace and an end to hunger is everyone's desire, irrespective of politics.

Marilyn League said...

Train travel IS the best. I went to Montana from Memphis several years ago and the train trip was a vacation in itself. Food was great-- the company of the other travelers was fun. Good to know they are up on the modern conveniences.
Your photos from D.C. are thought provoking, thank you.

Vivien Zepf said...

Congrats to Jess and thanks for the pictures of DC; I'm always moved by one thing or another when I'm there.

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