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Site Columns

By Michelle
June 30, 2004 - 11:55 PM

Hello World!

DC tends to be intolerable in summer -- sometime in April the temperature shoots way up and stays there, with far too brief a spring. But the weather this weekend was perfect for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, warm and breezy, and the National Mall was not too mobbed to get fresh limeade whenever we felt like it.

In addition to exhibits on Haiti and on Latino music (which could be heard all across the Mall), one of the themes of this year's festival is Water Ways: Mid-Atlantic Maritime Communities. There was a Chesapeake Bay skipjack - an oyster boat - on display along with boat-building tents where people were actually building rowboats and sailboats, exhibits on commercial fishing and crab traps, artists carving decoys, water safety and rescue information, and many models of ships. A local seafood restaurant was there frying crab cakes and making the entire Mall smell like seafood, which is all to the good as far as I'm concerned. We wandered through the tents, then briefly through the Haitian cooking exhibits.

Then we wandered through the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden into the museum to see a collection of landscape paintings by Sanford Gifford, one of the Hudson River School artists. We used to go to the Wadsworth Atheneum and the New Britain Museum of American Art when my in-laws lived in Hartford, where the influence of the better-known painters Church, Cole and Bierstadt is much in evidence as well as Gifford. Autumn was apparently his favorite season, and sunset his favorite time of day, and he loved mountains and shores, so the paintings are suffused with red and violet light and there's a great deal of greenery and waterside scenery - as with most of the Hudson River School artists, with the people and animals greatly diminished by the landscapes. He lost a brother in the Civil War, which is a big theme in his work, and you can see where Thomas Kinkade swiped some of his mountain lake imagery and use of light.

This week my children are in camp, coming home sunburned because they can't be bothered to reapply their sunblock. This weekend we are spending the Fourth of July in the hills in Pennsylvania. Happy Independence Day!

Trek BBS Today

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-Who should Janeway have dated?

-Which Trek cast had the worst chemistry?

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The rumour is that Star Trek XI may be a prequel film!
Bad bad bad! What are they thinking! 37.3% - (622 Votes)
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Good, maybe it will straighten out timeline inconsistencies with the original series! 20% - (334 Votes)
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