Friday, August 22, 2008

Capital Idea

Had a few extra days of vacation so I took a long weekend and headed here:

I took the train -- more so I could have some uninterupted reading time than anything else. The book I read on this trip is "The Daughter of Time" by Josephine Tey. Highly, highly recommended and not just for mystery fans or British history fans. It's a very well-crafted story which points out the many follies of hearsay.

I stayed at the Grand Hyatt which easily met all my expectations.

On Thursday night, my cousin and I ate dinner at The Bombay Club. I had the Manglorean Chicken -- most supurb and the staff were all very nice. My cousin had one of the lamb dishes, I'm not entirely sure which one but it was also very good.

My first day out, I went to the US Botanical Garden. I got there early and had a good wander around the outdoor gardens. Saw loads of butterflies.

After I left the Botanical Garden, I strolled over to the The National Gallery of Art where I saw this exhibit of artworks from Afghanistan. I was very intrigued by the decorations used on the clothing found in a tomb -- loads of little gold hearts and teardrops and some wonderful little geometric designs. The next day, I hiked up the hill from Dupont Circle to The Textile Museum where I saw this exhibit called Blue. It's inspired me to want to get back to some hand-dying of cloth. I have an idea for some banners -- this exhibit showed me some interesting ways to put them together. Then I went to the NMWA where I saw this exhibit of quilts by Rosie Lee Tompkins. That woman had the most wonderful sense of color and balance. And the fabrics she worked with -- everything from double-knit polyester to velvet -- went together like clock-work.

On Sunday I had a fab breakfast at the hotel (definitely worth the wait if you get a chance) and a very good visit with an old friend I hadn't seen in a while and a new one I hope to see again. I topped the day off with a visit to the Holocaust Museum with yet another friend I don't see enough of, where I saw this exhibit about the 1936 Olympics. It was originally put together in 1996 and brought out again in a timely manner to coincide with the games in Beijing. It was heartbreaking to hear the stories of the athletes who were forbidden to compete, who boycotted the games or worse, who were sidelined at the games -- most of all because a large number of them never got a chance to compete again as there were no Olympics in 1940.

All in all, a very inspiring weekend and now that I've dutifully updated my blog, I shall get on with being a busy little "Crazy Spider".