Saturday, March 01, 2008

D.C. Chronicles: Day 2


I was really looking forward to the White House today until we discovered I wasn't on "the list." Dad was on the list, but my name was no good. A guy with a mustache and coil coming out his ear walked up to me and asked for my name and social. We waited about 40 minutes while they did a background check.

You can't take anything in there: no cameras, bags, nothing. After all that screening I was expecting to see some pretty exciting and exclusive stuff, but once we went through another security check they abandoned you to roam free through the first floor. I didn't think it was all that extraordinary. It was very European and looked like a lot of early 19th century homes I've seen in England -- with little or no screening.

I guess most of my White House knowledge and interest stems from NBC's "The West Wing". It's not like I was expecting to see Martin Sheen and Rob Lowe walking around, taking care of business, but I would have liked to see something a little more exciting than unused libraries and china cabinets. The portrait of George Washington (by Gilbert Stuart) was pretty neat. If someone knows how I can get a guided tour of the West Wing, let me know.


We didn't spend too much time here, but I saw some Vermeers which I love, some Rembrandts and some other things I'm sure. I know that's a really lame recap coming from an art historian, but if you really care (and I can only think of one of you who might) ask me about it later.


Amy is my cousin who has been living here with her husband the past four years. They actually live in Maryland so they drove to our hotel, Dad and I got in the back of their car and they drove us around for about ten minutes while we caught up on old times and then they dropped us off at our restaurant for dinner. Dad's idea.


Wow. Loved it. So beautiful. Ballanchine's "Serenade" written by Tchaikovsky was impressive. Even Dad likes the ballet, but he likens it to home teaching: the thought of going brings about indifference, but once you're there you think "this is really great".

I love the Kennedy Center. I love the ballet. I love Washington. I could really do well here -- until I ran out of money.


Liz said...

I'm so jealious that you are in DC. Ever since we did an internship our first year of marriage, we have been trying to get back there. We took the kids last winter and stayed with Ryan and Amy, but it's hard to do everything you want to with two kids. I don't know how long you are staying, you might already be home, but if not and you need another fabulous place to eat, we LOVE Old Ebits Grill. It's right in down town DC, and like I said it's fabulous. Anyway, you have fun being patriotic, and I'll have a baby!

Ilene said...

How about next time you come and watch my kids so I can play Tom's favorite (i.e. single) daughter.

I'll even arrange for Dan to be out of town so you don't have to deal with that awkwardness.

Vermeers and Rembrants? Ballet?

I'm crying right now. Perhaps I will be able to visit DC when all my kids are out of the house in like 20 years. blech.