Tag Archives: Washington DC

Hidden in Plain Site: Downtown DC

Last Saturday, my best friend since fifth grade, Debi, and I went on a DC downtown adventure (a very late celebration of her birthday, which is in October).  We met at a very crowded Renwick Gallery to take in one of the last days of the Murder is Her Hobby exhibit.  Visitors huddled around the little murder rooms, created by Frances Glessner Lee, depicting sordid deaths of the working class.  We all speculated freely about what had happened to the hapless victims.  It was grisly fun.

We then pigged out on delicious cheese redundancy at the nearby GCDC Grilled Cheese Bar.  A shared ramekin of lobster mac and cheese and cheeseburger grilled cheese sandwich later, we rolled out and sought caffeine at Compass Coffee a few blocks away.

Time for a walk.  Consulting a map attached to the side of a bus stop, we set off to visit an obscure monument to The Nuns of the Battlefield.  But we got distracted by St. Matthew’s Cathedral and totally missed the monument.  Yes, there is a cathedral in the middle of downtown DC and it is gorgeous inside, with a majestic rotunda and interesting art in all the side chapels.  We spent some time reading about all the artwork and marveling at its intricacy.  (I’ve attempted my first ever Word Press Gallery here to showcase some highlights!)

After walking blocks out of our way, and finding another little known monument to German homeopath Samuel Hahnemann, we got some intelligence from a passerby that the Nuns were located, logically, right across the street from St. Matthew’s and we had walked right past their monument.  We circled back to pay homage.   There they were, the noble ladies, in bas relief flanked by female warriors in 3-D.  Elsewhere in the city, modern day female warriors were marching in their pink hats and chanting in support of other noble causes.  Here, hidden in plain site, was the quiet testimony to these Civil War era women who did what they could, when they were needed.  Visit them sometime if you can find them.


Cherry Blossom Chagrin

Well, here in DC it is cherry blossom time again, and yesterday evening my husband and a friend of ours and I went walking around the Ti20150412_130047dal Basin to see the blooms.   (Full disclosure, this photo is of last year’s blooms.)  We began to talk about all the things that make us grumpy while walking around the Tidal Basin during Cherry Blossom Madness.  These include:  Photographers who set their tripods up in the middle of the walkway.   Parents with double strollers hogging the sidewalk.   People jogging – really, you can’t find a better place to jog than a sidewalk clogged with tourists?  People walking multiple dogs.  Not just one little dog, but three medium to large sized dogs.   On long leashes that get tangled around people’s legs.  Oblivious people taking selfies with the trees.  Kids who pick blossoms off the trees for a souvenir.  Okay, so there are always too many people, not enough sidewalk, and things that are going to annoy you.  But, still, the cherry blossoms are gorgeous and despite it all, you have to enjoy them and share them with everyone, be they considerate or not.  The blossoms remind us of everything lovely and fleeting, soft and seasonal.