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DC Day

Joe and I went down to the National Gallery of Art to take in the Edward Hopper exhibit today, but the trip was so much more than that. Even after living by this city all my life, I'm always surprised by the things I see. Some things are brand new; some have been there for years and years.

First, the Newseum is almost done; it opens in 2008. I like how the building facade has the First Amendment carved into it, just in case we forget.


As we approached the gallery, a fleet of Segway Tourists passed us. The company is called "Segs and the City." Heh.


The East Wing is one of my favorite galleries -- it's light and airy, and features this huge, graceful mobile by Alexander Calder. It moves and floats with the slightest puff of air.


The line for the Hopper exhibit was pretty long, but it moved quickly. The guards let good-sized groups of folks into the exhibit just to keep the rooms from getting too crowded.


No photography allowed in the exhibit, so boo - no picture of the art. But it was great, just great. Hopper's watercolors, done early in his career, are softer and brighter than his oils, but I still love his later paintings. They are evocative and still, poignant and lonesome; sometimes I felt a bit like I was invading someone's privacy.

Imagine that; invading a painting's privacy.

Anyway, after leaving the gallery, we passed by the Federal Trade Commission. I love this Art Deco scupture of a dude wrangling a horse. (Okay, it's actually called "Man Controlling Trade," and the sculptor was Michael Lantz.)


And the aluminum doors leading into the building are beautiful!


We stopped into the Old Post Office Pavilion, but it's gone downhill a little. What used to be a big atrium full of shops and restaurants is now largely empty - just a food court and a few souvenir joints.

But it's still a beautiful building on the outside.


That's what I love about DC. You really don't have to go into a museum to see art. It's all around. Even the mailboxes are a little whimsical.


After a delicious lunch of escargots, mussels, a delightful apple and bleu cheese salad, and a big bottle of ultra-smooth Chimay beer, I have to say it was a lovely Sunday afternoon.