Greetings! This is my place for art and thinking. The images I find out in the world and close to home are sometimes put here. I like to smile and hence like to find images that are smileworthy. I'm also a bit melancholy sometimes and hence you might find images of solitude and loneliness.
I'm putting together a series of images looking inside and then through to the other side. I found this image in Carytown. However, the bright vertical window pane in the center of the image seemed to split the view in half...two images, and that's not what I wanted. The two "halves" had a great deal in common and I felt the story of a city diner was definitely there. But the vertical pane...distracting. I copied the image as a layer on top of the original photo, I distorted the new layer, rotated it, and zoomed in so that the geometry and colors enhanced the image. For me...it worked. What do you think? The original image is on the bottom.
I walked about Alexandria and stopped in the Torpedo Factory. Things are a little different there now and I'm sensing bigger changes are on the horizon. Walking out I found myself face-to-face with a restaurant and an outside-inside-outside view of the Potomac through the restaurant's windows. Oh...and a self portrait. Hint, I'm not half the man I used to be. Smile.
I was in Northern Virginia for a few days earlier this week. I took a short time off from my tasks and did a walkabout with a friend in the Lady Bird Johnson Park. The park is on Columbia Island which is on the Virginia side of the Potomac. However, because of the unusual demarcation rules, the border of the District (and Maryland) is the shoreline of the Potomac on the Virginia side. Consequently, all of the river and the islands are part of our neighbors territories, not Virginia's. The memorial is dedicated to sailors in the Navy, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps who died at sea during World War I and other times. The memorial was opened in 1934.
I enjoy this park. It's right next to everything, airport, interstates, pentagon, river, and more. But there's peace and beauty to the landscape enhanced by the occasional statue or marker. I'm pretty sure that Lady Bird would be pleased. Not easy to get to but worth the trip.
Crashing WavesMemorial to those in the Navy and the Merchant Marine in the Lyndon B. Johnson Park Monument OverlookMemorial to those in the Navy and the Merchant Marine in the Lyndon B. Johnson Park overlooking Washington Monument
Richmond's history is long (for America) and chock full of significant events. For instance, Richmond was where Patrick Henry said "Give me liberty or give me death!" I admit that when I was a kid, my South Dakota-based impression was that all the 1776 revolutionary activity had been in the New England states. I mean, Virginia? Who knew?
The James River and the railroad were significant in Richmond's history. Trade goods were brought up the James on small ships but could not go further inland because of the rapids. Consequently, a canal was built so that goods could be transferred to flat bottom canal boats and continue the journey. The railroad began to grow in Virginia and the canals were abandoned. I was on a walkabout on Friday on the canal and suddenly I was standing on a track. At first I thought the track was abandoned because I'd come on it so suddenly, but then I looked out toward the river and saw the bridge in the first image below; I looked the other direction and saw hints of the Main Street Station off in the distance. Not abandoned, not a place to stand for very long. I continued my walk along the canal and came to the art corridor, the second image. A quiet place to spend time with some cool views and unexpected discoveries. I'm still learning about RVA.
Several months ago I did a quick walkabout of President John Tyler's home called Sherwood Forest, not too far away from Richmond. He bought the plantation in 1842 and lived there until the Civil War started. The Tyler family still owns the place and kindly make the grounds available for walkabouts. If you call ahead you might be able to tour the inside of the house. I stayed on the outside but was able to look through the old fashioned windows into the very narrow house. The house was occupied by Union troops during the war which makes me believe that few of Tyler's original furnishings are there. Signs are available about features on the property but none mentions the enslaved people that worked on the plantation. One of the small structures was labeled "building for laborers" which I assume really meant a house for the enslaved. President Tyler left the plantation and moved to Richmond when the Union troops arrived. He died a short time later and was buried in Richmond. It's very peaceful but I think the summers would be miserably hot and humid, this is right next to the Great Swamp.