The Washington National Cathedral is the 6th largest cathedral in the world, but size isn’t what you notice when you walk in. Ever since an earthquake damaged the Cathedral in 2011, the view of the vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows has been interrupted by a dark netting, put in place to catch any loose masonry that could fall from the ceiling. While most of the time the netting definitely detracts from the ambiance, at certain times of day it creates a magical effect – wonderful multicoloured rays of light suspended in the air, created when sunlight streams in through the stained glass windows and glances off the netting at just the right angle. For that, I will forgive the netting interfering with a more straightforward view of the cathedral.
I recently met up with a friend at Malcolm X Park, to see (and photograph) the regular drum circle held by locals every Sunday evening. Both the drum circle and the park more generally were full of interesting characters, not to mention a really fun atmosphere – highly recommended as a place to spend a Sunday afternoon.
I was out and about wandering around Old Town Alexandria when I came across Brian the Folksinger busking with his electric dulcimer. I stopped and chatted with him for a while (he played me ‘Waltzing Matilda’ on his dulcimer), and as we talked he was gracious enough to not mind me weaving around and taking pictures, trying to get the right light and moment. Thank you for your patience with the crazy photographer, Brian!
To escape the stifling heat of an apartment with a broken air conditioner, I headed over to the National Gallery of Art on the weekend. As I was admiring two of Monet’s Rouen Cathedral series, a family entered the room, listening to their audio commentary, and the kids immediately pulled out these tiny folding chairs and sat themselves down. This little girl lingered after the rest of the family moved on, and for a brief moment, was alone in the room with the art.
Arlington House (now the Robert E Lee Memorial) in Arlington Cemetery has some undisputedly beautiful, although sombre, views. For the most part, you can enjoy these views without consideration of the aged glass you are looking through, but there is one panel in a rear window which, either due to age or some fundamental flaw in the glass, creates the most fantastical distortions of the surrounding woods.