Saturday, 2 June 2018

On the road again...

We have the rental car. We have the US roadmap. We have almost 3 weeks and are on the road again. This is our first proper holiday since June 2013. We can hardly believe it. I can also hardly believe I'm blogging about it but what the hell. Blogging about the 2 month trip from NYC to San Francisco back in 2009 was one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done.

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.

I enjoyed Barbara Kruger's, Belief + Doubt room but The Message: New Media Works featuring  film and video by Camille Henrot, C.T. Jasper, Joanna Malinowska, Frances Stark, Hito Steyerl, and Arthur Jafa was brilliant. Diverse, engaging and at times profoundly moving. Can't remember the last time I came out of an art museum so totally buzzing. Mind you... I don't get out much these days.

Next stop the Great Dismal Swamp. Hope it lives up to its name.


  1. Captures the alt DC v gentrification feel nicely. Phenomenal street art around some of these areas. Nice use of pix too. All your own photography?

  2. Yes. Apart from the Marvin Gaye mural pic. The knob head I'm travelling with took that.

  3. Looks really good,Val. Just watch out for those banjo pluckers. P

  4. Thanks for your speedy reply.
    Love Knob head