1. Danielle, Camille and I filled the Sube with excitement as we piled in and zipped down to Union Station, parked, and went our separate ways exploring Washington, D. C. I wandered across the U. S. Capitol grounds and as I strolled by the west lawn, I listened to Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinese's sound check for Sunday's PBS Memorial Day Eve concert. I trudged in the 90 degree heat down to the National Mall and slipped into the National Gallery for lunch at a salad bar, cooled off a bit, and then went upstairs and looked at pictures by two of my favorite landscape painters, Turner and Constable, admiring their studies of light and the fundamentally insubstantial nature of the fluid physical world.
Cooled off, deeply satisfied with the art I'd experienced, I staggered out of the National Gallery and trudged some more, up 7th street to G and loved the recent acquisitions at the National Portrait Gallery. I was especially intrigued, astonished, and moved by three oil paintings; an unnerving and intimidating portrait of Kevin Spacey's House of Cards charancter, Francis J. Underwood; an arresting portrait of nineteen year old Charlayne Hunter-Gault -- it caused me to gasp; and an extreme close up of the elderly, dignified Hank Aaron. A black and white photograph of Prince stopped me in my tracks as did a raw 1970s self-portrait by Patti Smith. I concluded my visit on a note of whimsy by watching a psychedelic animated video of John Lennon's "Oh Yoko!" that made me feel as if I had suddenly boarded a yellow submarine -- and for the next half an hour or so, I couldn't stop the words, "Oh Yoko/Oh Yoko/My love will turn you on" echoing in my mind. Sigh.
2. After a quick Metro ride back to Union Station, Danielle, Camille, and I reunited piled back into the Sube and buzzed into NE Washington, DC to the Brookland neighborhood to the handsome tasting room at the Right Proper Brewing Production House. This was, possibly, the best beer drinking experience I've ever had. No. Really. I'm not kidding. The three of us shared seventeen four oz pours of the greatest variety of beer styles I've ever drunk in one place. Of special pleasure to me were the (at least) five sour beers brewed at Right Proper, but the other styles were superb -- and NOT ONE IPA! I am eager to return. So much creativity, so much variety, such good service and so much fun.
3. We ended this jam packed day at the Diazes with a pile of Chinese food and Camille made us each a sundae consisting of an ice cream sandwich chunk submerged in Right Proper's Haxan, a most chocolate-y and sweet beer. This was my first experience combining ice cream with beer -- and I approved. Ha!