Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Folger Theatre and Shakespeare Library

We pass by it all the time. Last year we actually went inside to take a look around while on an afternoon walk. The Folger Theatre and Shakespeare Library is just a few blocks from where we live, right across from the Library of Congress Jefferson Building and next to the Adams Building. We have not been to a play in a really long time. We used to have season tickets for the Milwaukee Rep for many years running. It was a nice diversion during the brutal winter months. Since we will be having visitors from Milwaukee next month we thought it might be interesting to give it a go. It felt weird ordering tickets on line and then receiving the hard copies in the mail a week later. I can't say that I am much of a Shakespeare, although I do like most everything else English - especially all the PBS Masterpiece classic and mystery shows. So I am hoping this will work out okay and our guests won't be too bored. I'm going to have to read up on Julius Caesar before we go, or I know I will be terribly lost. I have a feeling I would much prefer watching Christopher Walken play a tap dancing Captain Hook in Peter Pan. But that's on TV and in the comfort of my couch - but that doesn't count. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

The National Mall Turf Restoration Project

A few years ago, the east end of the mall was blocked off for turf restoration. The grass does look a lot better, and it supposedly is a more functional and efficient water drainage system. I remember having to walk around the enclosed area, because it was fenced off. This lasted for at least two years. Now the west end of the mall is having the same thing done - and this morning there was evidence that the project has already begun. It will stretch from seventh to fourteenth street...all the way to the Washington Monument, including the area with the iconic merry go round and Smithsonian Castle. Luckily we don't walk that far very often, and when we do we'll just have to take an alternate route. Now if anyone wants to hold an event on the mall, they need to also protect the already completed space with special mats so as not to mess up what had to have been a very expensive project. It seems wherever you turn there is some construction or repair work going on around us. As long as it doesn't interfere with our daily living it's not so bad. But sometimes it can get a bit noisy. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Banana Experiment

It doesn't matter where you live to comment about bananas. The only difference is that when we lived in Milwaukee, Facebook didn't exist yet. Since we moved to DC, Facebook is another way to stay in touch, so we check it out routinely for all the goings on. Every once in a while someone will put a tip about food items, recipes, or otherwise. We tried the recipe for unstuffed cabbage and really liked it. The idea about keeping bananas fresh intrigued us, so we thought we would give it a try. We haven't had a lot of luck with bananas after a couple days. It doesn't seem to matter about the brand, or the place we get them - they just start getting soft and mushy. So, according to the instructions, we got some Saran Wrap and wrapped the stem to keep it air tight. We have had two different bunches from two different places. And even though we might be hoping for a good result, it seems like there actually is a good result. Since using this technique for the last two weeks, the bananas have kept fresh longer. Even though there are brown spots on the peel, there are less brown spots on the inside and the bananas stayed firm. Facebook can be very annoying some times. But for this I'll make an exception. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Bride and Groom on Independence Avenue

I usually keep a look out for weddings along Independence Avenue. Infrequently they are common at the WWI Memorial, and I have even caught a couple standing on the bridge railing along the Tidal Basin. Earlier this summer there was huge wedding party on the north side of the Capitol Building. Just before we turned on to Washington Avenue by the US Botanical Garden on our way home, we saw a couple hurrying down the street with their photographer. He had a red cummerbund and red socks; she had a strapless gown with a very fluffy skirt. Where they were heading I do no know, but folks dressed like this always provoke a lot of interest. When we got home we decided to take a short afternoon walk. As we made our way alongside the Capitol Building we saw the same couple having photos taken with the Capitol in the background. Let's hope the ceremony was over because she was sitting on the maybe not so clean short stone barrier surrounding the gardens. Regardless, the spectacle always makes the visitors and locals happy...and the ladies seem to enjoy it more than the guys. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Teddy Roosevelt Island

Just off the George Washington Memorial Parkway near Arlington/Clarendon is the exit for Teddy Roosevelt Island. We missed our exit coming home from lunch this afternoon so we decided to make a stop there on this simply beautiful day - plus it is a lot less busy during the week than on the weekend. We have been here a few times before. It's such a great unexpected hideaway right outside the busy city and freeway. There is a long history about this place, and it includes a 1.3 mile "swamp" hiking trail around the island. Since we just watched the Ken Burns special about the Roosevelt's, I wanted to see the "memorial" to Teddy again anyway. Views from the bridge offer Georgetown, turtles, kyakers, and the city of Clarendon/Arlington. The path to the main event located in the center is quiet and peaceful...very serene. Then you come upon his huge personality represented as a giant surrounded by pools of water, huge trees, and key elements about the man, including nature. My husband prefers the city scene to the country. Once in a while it feels good to get away from that. We had Grant Park in Milwaukee, but we have Teddy Roosevelt Island here. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Drive at Your Own Risk, Odd Signs, and No Service

Ever since a trailer got loose from it's vehicle and almost smashed in to our car on a freeway in Milwaukee, we avoid possible repeats at all cost. In front of us the other day was truck filled with junk riding alongside a red Cadillac with a small dog almost coming out of the driver side window. They deserved to be next to each other and I was glad they or we finally pulled off on an exit ramp. I love people who follow rules - that goes for the door that was ajar with a sign next to it that said it needed to remain locked at all times. A more comical twist on the rules at Splash carwash probably isn't even noticed by most people who pass by them. The last bit of wit was sent from DC services saying that a job was completed when it hadn't even started. Since we moved to DC these types of occurrences seem more pronounced. Or maybe I am just on the lookout for them more. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Never Ending Request for DC Services

What used to be a well manicured garden at the corner where our building resides is now a heap of weeds and twelve inch grass that has turned to hay. Because that garden and the adjoining lawn and shrubs belong to the city, it is their responsibility to keep it in check - a most unfortunate circumstance. About six weeks ago I went to the on line request for DC service site and initiated a request to clean this place up. Because I have done it so many times before, it was clearly stated that the area was next to our building and not across the street from it. When I finally received an email today notifying me that the job was completed, I didn't believe it. When I went home for lunch it was clear that the island across the street was done and the area next to the house looked even worse than usual. I know I shouldn't get frustrated about it, but it's just plain annoying that even the simplest things can't get done around here. So what else is new? This request usually takes about three tries to finally get right. I think that's thought of as efficient and productive in this town.