Thursday, September 08, 2016

July 30 -- a last few hours on the National Mall

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Washington makes a big fuss over its cherry blossoms.  There was a special part in a few of the Mall gift shops for cherry blossom items.  In the National Gallery, that area is decorated this way.  What a good way to make a big (temporary) splash -- lots of color, but not much expense and probably not too much time?  (I don't know how tall the ceiling is in this room -- 10', maybe more?  This panel of wall was at least 4' wide, if I recall properly.



Here's a closeup -- lots of pinks and white, and red, and ... lots of other not-plain paper, too, which is not so visible from a distance.  I like this.



Look what I spotted in the shop!  A tile from Motawi Tileworks.  Motawi is an Ann Arbor company.  I've seen and enjoyed their tiles many times.  I recognized this rabbit immediately.  I also saw many other Motawi tiles in the gift shop at the NGA.  I was glad to see them -- they surely deserve to be there.  I hope it is a good source of income for Motawi!



I had another salad-by-the-pound lunch between the wings of the NGA, near this excellent fountain (which will be mentioned thrice more in this post, so when I say "the fountain," you'll recall I mean this one).  As much as I prefer my pics with no people, this woman is doing a good job of indicating scale.



I went back through the light show in the underground passageway between the wings of the NGA, but the light show wasn't as interesting as last time.  I really lucked out last time!

Love the sign for the East Wing.  This is the only Calder currently on view here, as far as I know.



I always try to get this enormous mobile all in my pic, sometimes more successfully than others.

We are looking toward the West Wing here.  See all the people standing in the lower right?  If they look out that window to the west of them, they'll see the above-ground part of our fountain.



A wedding party and a team of special-event recorders were in the East Wing.  The photographer had very specific ideas about the pictures he wanted to take.  They were there for a long time.  This image of the video recorder recording the taking of the pictures summed it all up for me.



Now we're standing where all those people were, a couple of images above, looking west.  Here's our fountain!  The ground-level pyramids are skylights over the tables where I ate my salads, and the fountains are pouring water down that rippled surface......



I like the patterns.  Wondering if this propeller thing will still be in a museum's collection in 100 years.



Hah!  Got the whole mobile in one shot!



One last look at the fountain, from below ground again.  Note people touching the glass between them and the fountain (upper left corner).  You can't hear the fountain from here, but many people feel a need to touch the glass to prove to themselves that the fountain is outside and they are inside..........
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A quick sweep through the west wing.   I think I wish they only had one light on this piece.  The shadow would make more sense.



Heading back toward the Smithsonian Metro stop.  Washington Monument.



There's a sculpture garden between the West Wing of the National Gallery and the Museum of Natural History (with the bronze? dome).

I've never really understood the point of these shiny silver tree-size trees.  (There's one at the Nelson Gallery in Kansas City, too.)  But the birds seem to find them acceptable perches.



Now here is something that surprised me.  A Paris Metro stop?  In Washington?  How I wish I could walk down steps, board the Paris Metro, and get to the Louvre in 15 minutes or so.....

It is not the case that all Paris Metro stops take this excellent art nouveau style, but I bet this is a real Paris Metro stop, brought here for our enjoyment.



How fitting that it should be by outside tables where one could sit and enjoy an espresso while writing postcards!  (Aside from it being too darned hot here for anyone to want to do that!)



There is a garden for pollinators just east of the Museum of Natural History.  I think this is a swallowtail butterfly, and it is on bee balm.



Joined by two big fat bumblebees.




I think this is a zinnia, and I am pretty sure there's parsley in the lower right quadrant.  I know swallowtail butterfly caterpillars like parsley.



Lantana.  I like the curvy leaves.....




Museum of Natural History.



Two last fossils from the Museum of Natural History.  Stingray.



Sea urchin.



Remembering all the excellent minerals we enjoyed here a few days ago, it's not a surprise there are lots of things made from rock in the gift store.  I don't want one of these large heavy lamps, but I can admire the rock.....



I didn't look to see if they had slices of rock like this.  If I could get something small enough to prop on a windowsill, so I could see it with backlighting I wasn't burning fossil fuels to be able to see, I might be interested.



I bet that biggest globe was at least 2' in diameter.  They had signs that said "we ship".....



You can't go anywhere without seeing something(s) in scaffolding.  But this trip was ridiculous for that problem.  I'm glad they are taking care of everything, but wish they'd space it out better over time.  This is not exactly a national-pride-inspiring sort of view to remember.



It looks like it could rain again, doesn't it..........



One last look out the hotel window.

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