March 15th, 2010


Poem for Monday and Dupont Circle

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We went downtown again on Pi Day after picking up Daniel from a robotics session at school, trying to get the robot ready for a competition in North Carolina in a few weeks. Again it was a rainy day -- my parents called from the Caribbean after seeing footage of the Potomac River flooding in Virginia to make sure their house was all right -- so we didn't want to plan to be outdoors for long periods. We went to the Phillips Collection, which currently has an exhibit of Georgia O'Keeffe abstractions, including some gorgeous watercolors and a few with vague titles that are clearly cousins to her flower paintings -- in some cases abstract paintings are hung beside paintings of flowers or shells with an identical palette and similar forms. There are also nudes of her by Stieglitz, which I always find annoyingly distracting; can't we have a retrospective on O'Keeffe as artist that doesn't also obsess over O'Keeffe as model/muse?

Adam, who has declared himself officially bored and annoyed by all contemporary art without any willingness to learn about it, was mildly unimpressed by the O'Keeffe exhibit, and he was reasonably engaged by Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series, but he was downright disgusted with the Rothko Room (and I must agree with him that Rothko's claims that his paintings distill the human emotion as a whole just make me roll my eyes -- if his colors evoke something for you, great, but don't try to convince me he has great insight into anything other than his own brain). To make the trip worthwhile, we went from the gallery to the Melting Pot, where we had Adam's Bar Mitzvah last year, at which time they gave us a certificate for $75 off a dinner plus free chocolate fondue for Adam in perpetuity, so it was a bargain of a very awesome meal (he and I had the fiesta cheese, California salad, vegetarian entree, and s'mores chocolate fondue, while Paul and Daniel had Swiss cheese, Caesar salad, chicken/seafood, and white/dark chocolate fondue).

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Driving home, we saw four deer eating the ornamental plants right across from our home in the central circle -- with snow on the ground for so long, they are very hungry and becoming increasingly more daring about where they will eat. We were happy to learn that the Terrapins received a #4 seed in the NCAA tournament, though why Maryland is being sent to Spokane for its first-round game is a mystery. In the evening we watched When the Moors Ruled In Europe, which is an excellent historical documentary about Muslim contributions to European culture and has gorgeous footage of the Alhambra and the cities of Granada and Cordoba.