A Travellerspoint blog

May 2011

Old Town Alexandria, VA

There is so much to see and do in Washington, D.C. that many visitors miss seeing Old Town Alexandria, Virginia just ten minutes away from Washington. Abundant with charm, Alexandria is a terrific place to stay for a long weekend. Along the scenic waterfront, there are restaurants, a path for walking or biking, and the Torpedo Factory. A converted factory, this is a huge space devoted to artisans of all kinds. There are painters, sculptors, jewelry makers, people who work with fabric and virtually any kind of creative talent imaginable.

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Posted by teethetrav 11:42 Archived in USA Tagged alexandria_va old_town_alexandria torpedo_factory Comments (0)

Springtime in Washington, D.C.

Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals

Spring is the perfect time to visit Washington D.C, the United States’ capital. The weather is lovely and the crowds are still sparse. Summer, when most people can take their vacation time, the city becomes hot, humid and horribly crowded.

DSC03099.jpg There is so much to do in the nation’s capital, but on my visit last week my mission was to see the Canaletto exhibit. I first saw this Venetian artist’s work years ago at a special exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I had gone to the Met to see something else, but decided to see the Canaletto exhibit as well. I was entranced. His scenes of the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge, the gondolas, and San Marco piazza stirred my heart. Many years later, I finally got to visit Venice. On my first vaporetto ride up the Grand Canal, all I could think of were those magnificent paintings. As we approached the Rialto Bridge, I got a lump in my throat. The magic of Venice that Canaletto captured all those years ago looks the same way today. DSC03100.jpg

The exhibit at the National Gallery is a large one and there are many of Canaletto’s paintings as well as many by his followers. The exhibit is called Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals and it, like all the exhibits in the gallery, is free. I love his work more now that I’ve been there a few times and can recognize the places he painted all those years ago.

The National Gallery has two wings. The East building houses contemporary art and was designed by I.M. Pei. The West contains European art from the thirteenth through the nineteenth century. The two buildings are divided by an ultra-cool Star Wars moving sidewalk. www.nga.gov for hours and directions.

Outside, you can stroll through the sculpture garden. The centerpiece is a magnificent fountain. There are whimsical sculptures like a giant aluminum tree and a house that looks like it’s three dimensional.
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Before leaving, we strolled the mall; the long stretch that leads to the Washington Monument. It was a gorgeous day and people were outside enjoying the spring weather.
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Posted by teethetrav 08:03 Archived in USA Tagged art caldor canaletto national_gallery washington_d_c Comments (0)

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