I can’t believe how remiss I’ve been in my journal! Nothing much exciting was going on and then I was sick for a week and did nothing but lay on the couch (and go to work, so stupid). But last week I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the “Science of Art” conference hosted by the National Museum of American History in D.C. The museum paid for my first night and then after the conference was over Patrick and I made a little holiday of it and stayed an extra day and a half.
The conference was actually really interesting and I always enjoy meeting colleagues from other museums. I liked brainstorming with the other attendees and thinking of ways we can better the leaders of tomorrow. I was also able to incorporate the enthusiasm for arts-based teaching I gained into a family workshop today at work– very cool! I did a reprise of my fresco painting class, condensed to 45 minutes. Everyone had a blast :)
Anyway, back to D.C. Pat wandered around on his lonesome while I soaked up all the art and science goodness. He took some fabulous photos and is now the house expert at the “shutter priority” setting on our camera. I was especially impressed with some of his museum shots.
After the conference ended we did a TON of sight-seeing. One of my co-workers used to live in D.C. so she had a ton of insider tips for us (like how to get the Zoo without walking up the huge hill from the Metro- yessss!). It was so good to be out of Philly for a few days, to explore a new city together and to just relax. I am also very excited that we stayed exactly on our pre-planned budget. My favorite splurge was definitely our yummy lunch at some Mexican place by the Zoo. Nothing like a pitcher of sangria to put you in “vacation” mode!
D.C. is a really interesting town. We were both surprised by the lack of tall buildings (is there some kind of building code?), but it certainly made it easier to orient yourself to the Capitol! They seem to have a pretty extensive bicycle lane infrastructure– here’s an example of a “bike boulevard”, so classy.
There are also racks of bikes all over the city that you can rent by the hour and then return to any other rack station in the city. Seems like a pretty nifty idea and a good way to encourage people to leave their cars in the suburbs. We did notice a lot of pedestrians using the bike lanes as their own personal extension of the sidewalk though, so I guess this system is still getting some kinks worked out.
We spotted an alarming number of bow ties, many potential undercover agents and the usual kinda crazy/kinda funny bums. It’s really true, no matter where you go… people are pretty much the same!
On Friday we trekked to the National Cathedral. Very beautiful art, amazing stained glass and just a wonderful feeling of immensity. But beyond that we agreed that it didn’t really feel like a hallowed space. I wonder if it was the hoards of tourists or the fact that this space really does serve a non-religious purpose at times? I’m interested to see how this experience compares to centuries-old churches we’ll visit in Europe.
We took over 800 pictures yowser! I can’t post them all here so I put a bunch on my flickr site click here. I’ll leave you with a few of my favorites: