We kicked off in Washington DC but that involved a bit of work so holiday really started yesterday. DC was interesting though. Instead of staying in a downtown hotel we had a great airbnb apartment in a district called Bloomingdale. You get such a different impression of a city when you stay in a residential area. A friend raised his eyebrows when we said where we were staying. His impression was that the neighbourhood wasn't exactly salubrious. If that was the case then things have changed. There are signs of gentrification which makes it really interesting because it means that the atmosphere can change massively in a few blocks. But a lot of the houses look like they were always mighty fine with beautiful gardens and porches and balconies.
As always the most interesting street art and street life are in the parts that have longstanding communities and there is a strong sense of things having developed with them rather than forcing the kind of displacement that has happened so much in London. The Shaw-Howard university area is buzzing with confidence and life. Have to say I winced at housing development slogan 'A Life Supreme' tho.
Downtown I spent a day at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The garden is wonderful - even the trees seemed sculptural - and the range of exhibitions as well as some of the permanent collections were excellent.
Next stop the Great Dismal Swamp. Hope it lives up to its name.