Thursday, July 31, 2014

Three Beautiful Things 07/30/14: My Love of Public Transportation, American Cool at the National Portrait Gallery, The Deke's Workout

1.  An ideal day for me is to board public transportation and go see something I really enjoy -- like a movie or a museum.  It might be what I enjoy most about living in a metropolitan area.  Much of the time, I can leave the car at home and leave the transporting to the bus and the train.  Today I boarded the Fairfax Connector, got off at the Huntington Metro Station, and took the train to Chinatown/Gallery in downtown Washington, D.C. so I could go to one of my favorite galleries, the National Portrait Gallery -- and the museum that it shares a building with, the American Art Museum.

2.  At the National Portrait Gallery, I focused my attention on an exhibit entitled "American Cool", a collection of photographs from the 19th century to the present, exploring the idea of "cool" in American theater, music, movies, and writing.  Are you wondering just what the National Portrait Gallery people mean by "cool"?  Go here and you can read all about it and see some pictures, too.  Who was I most drawn to?  Chrissie Hynde. Patti Smith.  Lou Reid.  Paul Newman -- I watched a great clip from Cool Hand Luke -- from the "cool hand" poker scene.  Here's the whole scene.  The gallery's clip started at about 1:50.  Man.  How cool is Paul Newman here?  And how cool is Chrissie Hynde singing "Brass in Pocket" with The Pretenders?  It was a cool couple of hours looking at these photos, reading about America and the idea of "cool" and thinking about what a great time I've lived in when it comes to "cool":  David Byrne, Susan Sarandon, Jon Stewart, Johnny Depp, Bonnie Raitt, and the many others featured from 1950 until now.

3.  For the Deke, today was the second day of a three-day workshop on French immersion instruction and it was fun listening to her talk about it when she got home.  She's experiencing French immersion herself, having listened to a French-Canadian guy give a presentation and how different his French was from the faculty from Cameroon and how different their French was from the Deke's and the French she heard spoken at school in Eugene.  It was a mental workout for the Deke and she told me how much she enjoyed every minute of it.  This is really good news!

No comments: