Tag Archives: DC

Published!

First, a mea culpa. I have been AWOL, but this time it’s not just good ol’ laziness to blame. Election time is busy season for me, and I have been swamped with work. You know how accountants can’t breath or sleep during the first half of April? That’s me in September and October — just guzzling Diet Cokes faster than I can buy them. So that’s my excuse. Now the fun stuff.

M and I had our first collaborative effort published. Really, M gets most of the credit. He’s written a couple of articles about an amazing art exhibit called Washed Ashore. His latest is published in Sierra Magazine, and I contributed the photographs! Go us.

Washed Ashore is the brainchild of artist Angela Hazeltine Pozzi. The Oregon-based artist noticed the tons of plastic and debris littered across our beaches, and decided to turn the garbage into art. Her staff is made up of volunteers, and they spend hours collects, sifting, and organizing piles of beach garbage. Toothbrushes, bottle caps, beach toys, shoes, flip-flops — everything you can think of — become a piece of a sculpture.

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Chompers the Shark

The Smithsonian Zoo in Washington D.C. hosted an exhibit of Angela’s sculptures this summer, and M and I had a great time exploring and taking pictures. Here’s the most amazing part: Angela and her group don’t paint any of the items they collect. They use all the debris exactly as they found them.

When you walked into the zoo, you were immediately met with a giant, colorful parrot fish named Priscilla.

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The exhibit has since left the Smithsonian Zoo, but it is moving across the country and will even make a stop at the State Department here in D.C. Check out the website for details on where the Washed Ashore animals are going next. Here are some of my favorites.

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SeeMore the Sea Lion Pup

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SeeMore the Sea Lion Pup

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Sebastian James the Puffin

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Flash the Marlin

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Lidia the Seal

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Close-up of Lidia the Seal

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Octavia the Octupus

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Whale Bone Rib Cage

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Smith’s Jelly

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A Local Explores D.C. Like a Tourist

M and I took a break from our insane work schedules to enjoy the pleasant spring weather and explore D.C. I’ve lived in the nation’s capital for seven years, but sometimes I forget what a great city D.C. is. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day slog of getting work done, going to the gym, collapsing in bed, etc. It was nice to set aside one day to push that all aside and just explore.

Our walk started with a visit to the Phillips Collection, a private art collection in Dupont Circle. I’ve dragged M to more than a handful of furniture stores, but I had not yet stepped foot inside an art museum — which is M’s version of happiness. It was time to change that.

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Stunning flowers growing on the bark of a tree in Dupont Circle

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A cool shot of the Indonesian embassy

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A statue of Ghandi outside the Indian embassy, kitty-corner from the Phillips Collection

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An eerie tree outside the Phillips Collection

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m not exactly an art expert. I can handle an hour or two in a museum, but I’m not one of those people who gets lost in meditation in front of a painting for 20 minutes, pondering the deeper meaning of whatever it is people ponder. It’s not that I don’t appreciate beautiful things. I am just too impatient, too distracted – in museums and in life. M tells me to slow down. I tell him to hurry up. We are a good team.

M, however, is an art critic by profession. So this trip was kind of like walking into his temple. He was a bit dismayed when I got too close to paintings with my camera and spoke too loudly – especially in the Rothko room. Museums are really meant for proper, quiet adults – and I am none of those things. For some reason, M is still dating me.

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A new exhibit at the Phillips. Gotta be honest: I don’t get it.

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I like this series

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A moving sculpture

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A Van Goh

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Pretty stained glass window in the Phillips

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M taking a picture

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Yours truly

We left the Phillips and headed to my temple – Room and Board – one of my favorite furniture stores on 14th Street. I’m in the market for a new table and wanted to check out the wood options in person. On the way, we walked through pretty, residential neighborhoods.

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A beautiful lamp post on Swann Street. I love the fire. I love the reflection in the glass. Basically, I love everything about it.

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Memorial bricks at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History

After Room and Board, we headed down T Street to the Shaw neighborhood, a gritty area that is in the process of modernizing. Dilapidated storefronts mix with brand new condos and hip restaurants. There is a palpable tension between old and new.

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Right next to the historic Howard Theater, I found a sprawling mural on the side of an ethnic restaurant. I can’t resist good street art.

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A new, modern restaurant with a very interesting logo (and name)

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Here’s lookin’ at you… A door on a ramshackle storefront on 7th Street

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A Liz Taylor mural overlooking Dacha Beer Garden at 7th and Q Streets

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As we headed through Chinatown, I stopped to photograph this church. I love the way the street lights cast a glow on the brick facade.

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The Greater New Hope Baptist Church

Our last stop of the day was CityCenterDC, a new development in downtown DC. A mix of apartments, retail shops, restaurants and a public park, CityCenterDC is a great place for this camera-crazed girl.

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An up-close shot of water jumping out of the ground

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These colorful lanterns line the narrow alleyways of CityCenter and reflect on the windows of high-end stores and office buildings

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Pretty

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One day, I will bring a tripod. Then, I can really have some fun.

I love traveling the world, but days like this remind me that I’m lucky to live in a beautiful, historic, and thriving city, filled with old and new surprises. I’m a local getting to know D.C. like a tourist, and I’m okay with that. 









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Let There Be Light

I’ve lived in Washington, D.C. for many years, but don’t do Washington, D.C. things enough. Sometimes, I’m so focused on traveling to countries far away, I forget to take advantage of the awesome city I live in. But not tonight.

Two of my sisters came down from New York City to visit me, and we wanted to do something other than watch Gilmore Girls for the upteenth time. Not that there is anything wrong with that life choice. Definitely not. That is a very, very respectable life choice.

So we drove to Brookside Gardens in Montgomery County to see the Garden of Lights. It was very beautiful and creative. I’m a sucker for colorful lights, especially when I have my camera in tow. I took a bagillion pictures and Gabby kindly held the umbrella over my head (it’s good to have sisters). It was a good night.

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I Have Become a SUPer

If you are completely befuddled by the title of this blog post, take comfort in knowing that I was in that very same position only two weeks ago. SUP stands for stand up paddling, which is pretty much what it sounds like. You use a board that looks  like a surf board and a single paddle to power yourself on a body of water.

I decided on a whim that this was something I should try. I like kayaking and like the idea of having really strong arms and abs, which is, apparently, what happens if take up SUPing. After a quick google search, I found a SUP lesson on the Potomac at the Key Bridge Boathouse, just over a mile from my house. The lesson was only $35 and lasted about an hour and a half.

Getting on the paddle for the first time (on your knees) and then standing up was a little daunting. But once you’re up, it’s actually pretty easy to move and get the hang of it. I found it incredibly freeing and empowering. I cam to the conclusion that I really, really, really like stand up paddling.

And when I finally stood up and looked out at the horizon, I remembered what an awesome city I live in. Sure, our nation’s capital can be particularly sweltering in the summer months, but it is a beautiful city with so many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

I obviously couldn’t take any pictures of us out on the water for fear of never seeing my iPhone again, but here are some shots after the fact.

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I’M SENSING A THEME

At Versailles in France, I stopped in front of a statue and begged my friends to take a photo of me imitating it. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

Me at Versailles

Me at Versailles acting super classy.

It has now become something of an obsession. Here’s me walking around Washington D.C. yesterday. Statues beware! I will find you and mimic you.

Me in DC acting super classy.

Me in D.C. acting super classy. (I need to teach The Boyfriend how to use the zoom function.)

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A Lazy Sunday Photo Shoot

This past Sunday, I finally had some time to take a walk on the National Mall, camera in hand. Here are some results:

Washington Monument

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WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: DELICATE

This week’s photo challenge is “delicate.”

In Washington D.C., all the flags are at half-mast in honor of the Sandy Hook victims, a reminder of the delicacy of life. Life is delicate.

American Flag

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PHOTO CHALLENGE: RENEWAL

This week’s photo challenge is renewal. This was a tough one, but as I was going through my pictures, it hit me: Cherry blossoms are Washington D.C.’s version of renewal.

Every year, at the end of March or beginning of April, the cherry blossoms bloom in Washington D.C. for two weeks. In D.C., these flowers are a sign that winter is coming to an end and spring is on the way. It is a sign of good things to come.

Tourists from all around the world come to photograph the beautiful pink and white flowers in the shadow of the monuments. Last year, I grabbed my camera on a blustery Sunday morning and spent a couple of hours trying to do these flowers justice.

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

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WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS… TAKE PICTURES

It’s been a crappy day. There really is no other word for it. Just crappy. And not the kind of crappy where I stubbed my toe and can’t find my iPod. But the kind where all I wanted to do was sit on the couch watching Friends reruns while I made my way through half a container of fat-free Pringles (which I did and which will probably end badly for my digestive system). The kind of crappy where even watching TV didn’t sufficiently distract me, and that’s when I know it’s a genuinely bad day, because TV is almost always a magical elixir that makes everything okay. Except today.

So what’s a girl to do? All the things I should have been doing — running, writing, cleaning up my messy apartment — required too much energy, both physical and mental. So I grabbed my camera and my second lens, threw on my favorite baggy sweatshirt and ventured out to the Mall despite the chill in the air and the grey in the sky.

Taking pictures is therapeutic. At least for me. It is also a mental reprieve. Instead of thinking about all the things I really didn’t want to be thinking about, my brain was consumed with apertures and shutter speeds and framing a photo just right. Of course, I will have to go back to dealing with life eventually, but for an hour today, I escaped. Here are the results:

Jefferson Memorial

In the spring, these trees come alive with cherry blossoms for about two weeks. It is a photographer’s dream.

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

Flower Garden

Flower Garden

Flower Garden

Flower Garden

Flower Garden

World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial

I love the World War II Memorial, but I find it one of the hardest memorials to capture well on camera. These are mediocre shots, but they were the best of the bunch.

World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial

I love this shot. The wreath is so simple, yet so evocative.

Lincoln Memorial

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I WENT RUNNING AND DIDN’T WANT TO JUMP INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC

I went running. And I didn’t want to kill myself. Sure, that may seem like a low bar for some folks, but in my short running career that’s like running a marathon. Go me.

Maybe it was the nighttime breeze. Maybe it was the multiple photo stops I made. Or maybe it was the Running Gods finally smiling upon me. Or maybe… maybe I’m actually getting better; maybe I’ve moved beyond complete and utter suckiness and reached the mediocrity that I’ve aspired to all my life. Nah… That’s just too crazy.

Some photos from my non-sucky, almost-good run:

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Kennedy Center

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