United States Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all United States activity »
  1. 1 Dog friendly beaches near Savannah?
  2. 2 Hiking 'the wave'
  3. 3 Pacific Northwest Food and Wine
  4. 4 Tksgiving trip Anacortes or Whidbey Island?
  5. 5 Any suggestions for the holidays 2016
  6. 6 Last Minute NYC tips??
  7. 7 LA to Carlsbad, 7 days, December
  8. 8 San Jose to Napa Valley
  9. 9 las vegas anyone
  10. 10 Restaurant Help Needed
  11. 11 Best Culinary Tour in Charleston?
  12. 12 5 Day Photography Road Trip from Vegas to Denver
  13. 13 Foliage in Vermont
  14. 14 las vegas anyone
  15. 15 Trip Report Hawaii: 3 islands
  16. 16 Finding Steve Perry
  17. 17 Grand Canyon
  18. 18 Washington DC
  19. 19 New England itinerary help
  20. 20 Big Sur evacuated due to Soberanes fire August 7, 2016
  21. 21 Trip Report Trip Report - NYC Girls Weekend
  22. 22 US history sites- D.C.-NYC-Boston-Philly
  23. 23 Columbia River Gorge
  24. 24 Late-October Colorado: Itinerary ?s and RMNP day hikes
  25. 25 Photography trip from Denver to Vegas in 2 Days
View next 25 » Back to the top

Trip Report Mini trip to DC and NGA

Jump to last reply

Took another jaunt to DC on a recent Saturday morning.

Goal was to go to National Gallery of Art (NGA) east wing to see the Gauguin and Canaletto exhibits. Believe they are leaving in early June so time is running out. Hub and I normally visited DC on Sundays and tried to get there as early as possible.

This is my second Saturday visit and the city has a different "vibe" from other days. Sunday is the most quiet-especially if you get there early. NGA doesn't open until 11 on Saturday so I took my time getting there.

The street behind the Gallery (Pennsylvania Ave.) was blocked off for a couple of streets for a street fair, so my circling around for parking places was slightly more difficult. It was compounded by the avoidance of flocks of tourists. On 6th St. NW I found a parking garage for a flat $10 rate and took it because it was one block north of the front door of the NGA's west wing rotunda. Much of the street parking I saw was for 2 hours only.

I slowly strolled along the street fair (does anyone know the occasion?) and took a shot of a young man band. They looked to be 12 year olds but were probably older and they played rock pretty well. Further along there were many food vendors of international stuff. Passed a group of kung fu students moving to rock music. A very odd group of 3 belly dancers gyrated in slo mo to, again, rock and roll. Also got a photo of a gentleman in a booth which held him and one of those big dragons one sees in the Chinese New Year parade.

There were no lines at the interesting food stalls but long one at the hog dog and hamburger stand. Hmmm. It was at this point that I reached NGA's east wing. Took myself to the elevator (wheezing continues) and first to Gauguin. In some ways, his story reminds me of Van Gogh's. A man who gets a call to do art so he does-and to the detriment and neglect of everything and everyone else in his life. In Gauguin's case, that included a wife and 4 or 5 kids.

But I digress. His works were numerous and interesting. I much preferred his still lifes to his people. As a photographer, I'm afraid I have the heart of an illustrator and not an expressionist so I wasn't hugely impressed. It is said that his approach opened the door to modern art after the Impressionist movement.

On to Canaletto and his competitors. These were huge and detailed "View Pictures" of a Venice in the 16-1700's. The painters ("Vedutisti") most likely used a camera obscura to capture the amazing detail of these works. The exhibit included a large camera obscura and also 3 more small ones capturing scenes from the NGA. It was very interesting. If you've ever used an overhead projector to project an image on a wall for tracing, you get the idea. The details in these works are amazing. What they lack in originality is more than made up for by the artists' "sticktoitiveness". I bought a $10 soft back book about Canaletto and a $20 1000-piece picture puzzle of the Doge's Palace.

NGA has about 3 places for shopping FYI! East Wing has a sit down resto (take elevator to it), then the underground passage to the West Wing passes a cafeteria styled area with a separate section for coffee and sweets. West Wing has a nice (albeit expensive) cafe under the dome. Am not certain about another place to eat in West Wing.

I needed to go the Annapolis so crossed my fingers and went to New York Avenue to get out of town. There is 2-year road construction on a bridge at around 1st St. It was fine leaving town as it was early afternoon, but there was a huge backup coming into DC. Avoid it at rush hour if you can. BTW, if you need to get to MD. Rte. 50, go to L Street. NW and it will turn into New York Ave. Don't get on New York Ave. at 11 St. It will become Massachusetts. DC can be tricky that way. For the duration of the bridge work, look at a map for the South Dakota Avenue way to MD Rte. 50 if you are going toward Annapolis.

The entire area where NGA, Capitol, Smithsonians, etc. are located is pretty huge. Make sure you wear good walking shoes. Whether you park in a garage, take metro or park on the street, you're going to walk!

Happy to answer any questions.

4 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.

Advertisement