Sunday, June 17, 2018

Greek Brunch

My dear friends from Salt Lake City are in town and we enjoyed brunch together at Eleni's this morning. It is always a joy to see and spend time with old friends. It doesn't happen often enough!

 Chris and Jill


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Inspiring Museum Outing

What an interesting museum outing John O and I experienced today! John suggested that we go to the Smithsonian American Portrait Gallery-American Art Museum to see two specific exhibits.

"Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now"

We were informed that "silhouettes—cut paper profiles—were a hugely popular and democratic form of portraiture in the 19th century, offering virtually instantaneous likenesses of everyone from presidents to those who were enslaved."

The purpose of this exhibition is to explore "this relatively unstudied art form by examining its rich historical roots and considering its forceful contemporary presence. The show features works from the Portrait Gallery’s extensive collection of silhouettes, such as those by Auguste Edouart, who captured the likenesses of such notable figures as John Quincy Adams and Lydia Maria Child, and at the same time, the exhibition reveals how contemporary artists are reimagining silhouettes in bold and unforgettable ways."

My favorite work was the children dancing around a maypole. This installation occupied the entire room. The figures did not look like one-dimensional silhouette figures but were full of life and having lots of fun.

  • a detail of the maypole installation

    Here are two other examples of silhouettes.

  • There were also several amazing adaptations of the silhouette technique.  (Explanations soon)

  • "Diane Arbus: A Box of Ten Photographs"  
  • (More later)
    • We also quickly walked through "The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers," an exhibit that displayed a variety of types of American workers in various media including sculpture and painting. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Huge Sports Celebration in DC!

The Washington Capitals Hockey Team brought home the Stanley Cup. The city went wild with joy!

Marcello and Christian went to see the Caps Victory Parade march down Constitution Avenue and to the Rally on the National Mall afterwards.

            Christian in a front-row position on the parade route

The bagpipers marching by

They watch as the Stanley Cup goes by on the last bus. The White House is in the background. Fortunately, its resident was out of town (and out of the country).

Christian stands on the Mall with the Speakers Platform visible in the background to the right of the dome of the Capitol.

Marcello returns from the Parade with signs, towels, necklaces, red beads, etc. Arthur joins the excitement.

Thank you, Marcello and Christian, for sharing the excitement of the Caps Victory with the Stay-at-Homes!

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Birthday Bunch

We met again for the Virginia Richards Birthday Celebration.

Those present were Pam, Indra, Virginia's daughter Eleanor, and Christine. This tradition started many years ago when Christine and Virginia discovered that they had the same birthdays, June 28, and so they decided to celebrate together every year by going out to lunch.

For a few years they were joined by Susan F whose birthday was close to theirs. Then Indra joined Christine and Virginia. After Virginia died, Eleanor took her mother's place and Pam joined our group after we discovered that she was also a June baby.

It is a wonderful tradition. We remember our dear friend Virginia and are very happy that Eleanor joins us. The four of us are a great group!

Friday, June 08, 2018

Japanese lunch

My Italian friend Antonella and I met for lunch at Ichiban Sushi & Ramen in Shirlington Village. We enjoyed our food and especially our conversation, in Italian, of course!

I forgot to take photos. This is unfortunately becoming a bad habit. I did bring home a doggie bag for dinner and photographed it. My lunch and dinner consisted of delicious avocado sushi and a seaweed salad.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Everyone should really read less!

The 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction, Andrew Sean Greer, drew a huge and very enthusiastic crowd at Washington's premier bookstore, Politics and Prose, last night. (It was standing room only and a lot of people were standing!) He was interviewed by Ron Charles, Editor of the Washington Post's Book World. Andy's responses to Charles and the many members of the audience were brilliant and usually hilarious. It was an extremely joyous event  The place rocked.

Ron Charles (left) and Andrew Sean Greer (right)

Andy's proud father snapped a photo of me greeting his illustrious son. 

He very kindly gave me a copy of the Italian translation of Less, which I am extremely eager to read. I hope it does justice to the original. Then I will read the French translation. The French, however, have dropped the ball. They haven't even translated Less yet! I will leave it up to Bill to read the German and the Norwegian versions and report back to me.  

I am very interested in the art of translation. One of the very best books I have ever read is Umberto Eco's fascinating book on the subject, Dire quasi la stessa cosa. Esperienze di traduzione.

I enjoyed meeting up with Norbert, Richard, and Yuki at the event. Unfortunately, I missed my dear friend Ginny.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Proving Lunch

Marie, Barbara, and I met for lunch at Proof, one of my favorite restaurants in DC. We had a lovely time. The highlight was Marie's account of her wonderful trip to Scotland with Henry. I came away with two memorable images - droves of baby lambs and the wall of the great Roman emperor Hadrian (Adriano in italiano). And their adventure driving on the wrong side of the road - bing, ding!

I ordered the grilled gnocchi with vegetables (corn, peas, and asparagus) and parmesan frico (in the photo on the right). Very nice! Marie was not happy with her initial order (in the photo on the left) and was given the opportunity for a second chance.

Much to our surprise, Marie noted a traditional Scottish dessert on the menu, Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake, so we ordered one and shared it. It was delicious!!

After lunch we went our separate ways. I went across the street to the Portrait Gallery to see the portraits of my two heroes, Barack and Michelle. I also saw the portraits of more of my heroes, Toni Morrison and Bill and Melinda Gates.

       Toni Morrison, author of Beloved, one of the greatest books ever written.

                                   Two great philanthropists making this world a better place

I also saw this Japanese take on George Washington crossing the Delaware. Quite lovely!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Matching Lunch

Nancy, Kim, and I met for lunch at Matchbox in Pentagon City. We discussed many interesting topics but the most interesting was the Seventeenth Street Band, the group Kim and her husband organized for the children in their neighborhood.

Kim                                                                  Nancy

Nancy and I plan to go to their summer concert on July 15 in Potomac Overlook Park! We can't wait!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Chinese Farewell

May and I went to lunch at our favorite local Chinese restaurant, House of Dynasty. It was hard saying good-bye because I am certainly going to miss her. However, we plan to meet again in her new locale in the not too-distant future. And there is always texting to keep au courant!

May and Christine

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Conversation with a Cappuccino

I met my Italian friend Marisa at the Swiss Bakery in Annandale (or is it Springfield?).

We enjoyed a wonderful chat while we sipped our cappuccini and munched on delicious pastries (apple strudel for her and a cornetto for me). I hope we can do this often since we are now close neighbors!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Museum Hopping with Mary

I met my friend Mary at the Hirshhorn this morning. We wanted to check out the remodeled first floor of the museum. We were impressed with the new cafe and the comfortable places to sit. A very warm, inviting environment has been created.

The cafe is called Dolcezza at the Hirshhorn. You can find coffee and the popular Dolcezza gelato here.

You can listen to a video in which Hiroshi Sugimoto, the designer of the new environment, explains his plan. His tables and chairs are circular and therefore fit in nicely with the building's cylindrical shape.

I forgot to take a photo of Mary, unfortunately.

After the Hirshhorn, we walked down to the National Museum of the American Indian and had lunch. I had my usual Wild Rice Salad. Yes, I am a Minnesotan at times and long for wild rice!

On the way home I stopped at GW - a visit to the library and a stop at Starbuck's.

My view of the Academic Center, site of my former office, from Starbuck's

My table at the Gelman Library's Starbuck's 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Discussing Less

Janet, Liz, Chas, Rosemary, Indra, Bill, Ginnie, Judy, Christine 
(not included in the photo two friends of Christine, Marie and the photographer Linda)

Our May selection was Andrew Sean Greer's Less, winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. We met at Judy's home, our usual summer location, with many bringing delicious goodies to eat. 

Andrew's father, Bill, was our special guest. We had a very enthusiastic discussion, interspersed throughout with questions directed at Bill about his son. The opinion of the book was favorable with high praise in particular for Andrew's impressive use of language. Many clever descriptions were noted as well as clever allusions to works of literature and of art. His attention to detail was considered masterful. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Marvelous Son

A very special Mother's Day

Marcello, Christian, and Colin took me to the House of Dynasty, a very nice Chinese restaurant in Springfield, for a special Mother's Day lunch celebration.

The day before a lovely surprise arrived at my house - a gorgeous gardenia plant with a special pin.

 One flower bloomed the next day and three more have bloomed since. And what a heavenly fragrance!

A very special pin came with the plant. 

Here was the accompanying message:

Bloom. Grow. Blossom.
is a line of thoughtfully designed gifts that celebrate those who have made a difference in someone's life. Whether you're a mom, mentor, teacher, sister, or friend, you have helped to make someone who they are today.. and they thank YOU. Wear this pin as a reminder that you've made an impact.

Thank you, Marcello!

A Parade and A Picnic

The Norwegian organizations in the nation's capital came together to celebrate Norway's Constitution Day (Syttende Mai) in Carderock Park in Maryland.

Bill and I marching in the parade

Kathy and I as Lakselaget Hospitality greeters

Andrea always enjoyed this special occasion. Here he is proudly marching with the Norwegian flag in 2014. One of his buttons reads, "Norwegian by Marriage."

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Trip to Philly

Marcello drove me and his sons to Philly to visit my sister Kate.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

More Farewells

Indra, Judy, and I took May to lunch at her favorite place, Eleni's. Everyone had the BLT Salad (with meat) except me and I had a Feta cheese, spinach, black olive omelette).

 Judy, Indra, Chris, and May

We shared a delicious Greek dessert! It was definitely enough for four people!!

Sunday, May 13, 2018


May invited me to join her at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church for a concert of the Navy Sea Chanters. They were amazing! Chas, Rosemary, and Diane O were there as well.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

May Farewell

Our dear friend May will be leaving soon to begin a new and exciting chapter in her life in Tennessee. We had a party for her tonight.

The charming host was John O and we enjoyed his gracious hospitality in his lovely home. He served tasty Dubliner cheddar cheese and pretzel crackers and various drinks. Janet provided the main dish, delicious manicotti. May supplied a wide variety of Mideastern delicacies including birds' nests. Christine made a party jello salad (lime jello with cottage cheese, cool whip, and pineapple juice). Rosemarie made a scrumptious flan for dessert.

 John Q,  May, Rosemarie

John, Chas


                                                                                                                                                             Christine and Janet


After dinner we repaired into the living room for "speeches," music, and scintillating and amusing conversation.

Rosemarie and Chas


John and May

John presented May with a going-away card signed by those present. He included a photo that served as the prelude for the Shutterfly photo book that she will receive in the near future.
Christine expressed her appreciation to our host with a set of six coasters, each with a reproduction of a Van Gogh painting (including "Starry Night"). John Q performed on his guitar an original song he had written for May, using the tune from the hit Broadway musical  "Auntie Mame."

Guitarist John Q