Greetings from Washington, DC!

I had two trips to Washington in January and February.  The first one was the day after ‘snowpocalype,’ so I was stuck at the hotel most of the time.  The weather was much improved for my second trip in February.

White House

The White House – February 2016

Lincoln Memorial - February 2016

Lincoln Memorial – February 2016

Mall Silver Sculpture

Sculpture on the National Mall

Bronze Coat

A Bronze Coat – the National Mall – February 2016

National Gallery

Jan de Bray – Portrait of the Artist’s Parents Salomon de Bray and Anna Westerbaen, 1664 – The National Gallery

 

Greetings from Washington, D.C. and Virginia!

So I had two back-to-back trips to D.C. and decided to extend the second one, so I’m in Virginia for the weekend.  I’ve been to D.C. many times, but this is my first time to Virginia.  I spent some time in Great Falls Park – the ‘Great Falls’ being the Potomac – then on to Monticello, and then to the ‘historical triangle’ of Yorktown, Jamestown, and Colonial Williamsburg.

Near Monticello, I stayed at Keswick Hall and in Williamsburg, at the Williamsburg Inn.  Last night, I ate at Shields Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg – probably the best pot roast I have ever had in my entire life.

Tomorrow I’m at Mount Vernon and then back to Austin.  It’s been a great couple of days.  I love colonial American history and architecture, so this was like nirvana for me.

National Archives Prologue - August 2015

The National Archives – ‘What is Past is Prologue’ – August 2015

National Archives Study - August 2015

The National Archives – ‘Study the Past’ – August 2015

Great Falls of the Potomac - August 2015

Great Falls of the Potomac – August 2015

Great Falls Park - August 2015

Great Falls National Park, Virginia – August 2015

Monticello Observatory - August 2015

Monticello Garden Observatory – Monticello, Virginia – August 2015

Monticello Observatory Inside - August 2015

Inside the Monticello Garden Observatory – Monticello, Virginia – August 2015

Jamestown Fort - August 2015

First Jamestown Settlement Fort (1607) – Jamestown, Virginia – August 2015

Jamestown Original Settlement - August 2015

Jamestown Old Settlement – Jamestown, Virginia – August 2015

Williamsburg - August 2015

Colonial Williamsburg Garden – Williamsburg, Virginia – August 2015

Williamsburg House1 - August 2015

House in Colonial Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia – August 2015

Williamsburg Governor's Palace - August 2015

Governor’s Palace – Colonial Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia – August 2015

Williamsburg Governor's Palace Gardens - August 2015

Formal Gardens – Governor’s Palace – Williamsburg, Virginia – August 2015

Williamsburg Governor's Palace Gardens1 - August 2015

Formal Gardens – Governor’s Palace – Williamsburg, Virginia – August 2015

Williamsburg Governor's Palace Finial - August 2015

Finial – Formal Gardens of the Governor’s Palace – Williamsburg, Virginia – August 2015

Williamsburg Field - August 2015

Meadow – Colonial Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia – August 2015

Williamsburg House3 - August 2015

House in Colonial Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia – August 2015

Williamsburg House2 - August 2015

House in Colonial Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia – August 2015

Williamsburg - Shields Tavern - August 2015

Shields Tavern – Colonial Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia – August 2015 (Get the Ale-Potted Beef; you won’t regret it!)

Greetings from Washington D.C.!

So another Department of Labor conference in Washington.  This year, there was snow.  And cold.  When I walked around the Mall taking these photos, it was 24 degrees.  When I left on Friday, it was 7.

Art Deco Griffin - February 2015

Art Deco Griffin – February 2015

Capitol1 - February 2015

Capitol Under Renovation – February 2015

Frozen Potomac - February 2015

Potomac River Frozen Over – February 2015

Pentagon - February 2015

Pentagon – February 2015

US Grant Memorial - February 2015

U. S. Grant Memorial – February 2015

US Grant Memorial2 - February 2015

U. S. Grant Memorial – February 2015

National Gallery - February 2015

National Gallery – February 2015

Smithsonian - February 2015

The Castle – Smithsonian Institution – February 2015

Greetings from Washington D.C.!

So I’ve been at a Department of Labor conference in DC for the past few days.  The conference was interesting, but I always love coming here.  January weather is iffy; bitterly cold when I got here (23 F/ -5C) and has warmed up slightly (37F/2C).  One day was brilliant blue skies; today was gray and rainy.  That didn’t stop me from walking the Mall and spending the afternoon in the National Museum of Natural History (love the triceratops skeleton) and then the  National Gallery of Art.  I managed to get through the 18th and 19th century English and American gallery; the Impressionists; and the Dutch and Flemish school.  I’m coming back for another conference in February; I’ll finish the Italian Renaissance galleries then.  The Dutch and Flemish galleries just blow me away – the still lifes are amazing!  It’s humbling when you’re looking at a masterpiece that’s close to six hundred years old, like Rogier van der Weyden’s ‘Portrait of a Lady.’

Weyden_Portrait_of_a_Lady

Rogier van der Weyden – Portrait of a Lady – ca. 1460

This evening, walking back to my hotel from the restaurant, the cold chill rain reminded me of those movies set in the cold war where they do a meet-up at the Jefferson Memorial in dreary weather.  I expected to see Jack Ryan when I turned around the corner.

Speaking of dinner, this evening I ate at Graffiato, a neat Italian bistro.  I started with the smoked beet salad and had the Hobbit pizza.  The salad was beets which had been smoked, mixed with pickled grapefruit, and then laid on a bed of some sort of citrus ricotta.  It was great.  The pizza, though, was phenomenal – a super-thin crust with castelrosso cheese, wild mushrooms, lardo, and crispy rosemary.  I was embarrassed that I didn’t need to ask for a box for the non-existent leftovers.  I started with a Delas Freres Côtes du Rhône, that really wasn’t much to write home about; it had a rather off taste with the citrus in the beet salad.  Then I switched to the Recchia ‘Le Muraie’ Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore.  Much more depth – a great pairing with that fantasy pizza.

Here’s the documentary evidence.  Hope everybody has a great 2014!

Capitol - trees

US Capitol on a bitterly cold winter day.

capitol - grey

US Capitol on a more dreary day

metal tree

A really neat metal tree in the National Sculpture Garden

smithsonian

The Castle – Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC