Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘United States’ Category

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. 

Washington Monument and swirly cloud by Patrick

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.

Dancing with the planes @ Air and Space

 

Black and white composition

 

Air and Space

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!

Not as awesome when you're on the bus for 4 hours after...

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.

Bike commuter paradise

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.

Tidal basin Cherry Trees

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! 

Very wise!

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.

My photographic juxtaposition of church/state

My favorite sculpture

Central nave

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:

Panda butt

By Patrick

Botanic Garden

1600 Pennsylvania Ave

Fun trip!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Hello, real winter

Last week I spent 48 hours in Madison, WI for a work conference on how to create programs for teaching nanotechnology.  Needless to say, a very small amount of that time was spent doing anything non-conference related.  I did get a chance to stroll around one evening and got up early the next day to walk around a little.  I felt like I was in the Wisconsin version of Ann Arbor most of the time– college kids, funky little shops (saw my new favorite t-shirt slogan, “With Great Mustache Comes Great Responsibility”, ha!), friendly vibe and, of course, protesters! 

I kinda wanted to stand up there to take a picture...

On the first night I was there I saw about 200 people just milling about the Capitol, holding signs, chanting and occasionally blowing vuvuzelas at politicians inside the building:

The guy in the front was just chanting "shame!" the whole time

On the next night about 1,000 people marched around the building and had a rally at the entrance.  I guess later that night they found out that the Capitol has to be open during business hours.  Too bad it didn’t reopen until today, it looked really pretty inside!

The building is only 3 feet shorter than our nation's Capitol!

I left the rally early because the conference was buying us dinner at The Great Dane, a pretty yummy brew-pub.  I would definitely recommend the “cheese curds”, basically mini mozzerella sticks dipped in ranch.  Trust me when I say I ate more cheese in 48 hours than is probably recommended.  But what else am I to do in Madison in winter?  I brought home some delicious samples from FromagInation, my new, cheesy heaven on Earth.  Three words: onion-garlic-gouda. 

The diary in WI is definitely solid.

The conference was hosted by University of Wisconsin and we met in their new Engineering Centers building.  I did some poking around the campus before the day started, also reminded me of U of M.  I would love to see this city in springtime.

Old school...

... meet the new school.

Lots of interesting architecture

The Descendant's Fountain

I found this link for the fountain above.  When I saw it in person I just thought it had a really cool design and liked the name.  Now I want to go back when it’s running!  Here are a few more pictures from my trip:

Leaving the gov'na love notes (not)

Yeah dairy state!

Lots of peaceful protesters

Watching the action

..

Read Full Post »