On Tour: Furlough in Our Nation’s Capital

30 Apr


I had a couple days off between my screening in Vineland NJ and the next one in Norfolk, VA. I elected to spend the bulk of it in our nation’s capital. I’d been to DC on half a dozen documentary shoots over the years but had NEVER been a tourist; so the main item on my agenda was to visit museums on the mall. The fact of a couple dozen museums lined up over a couple square miles, all FREE to the public (compliments of your tax dollars and mine plus the largess of the Smithsonian Institution) is a glorious thing! Unfortunately it rained the entire time I was there….which would seem to be fine and dandy for museum-going; but I also love to see a city by walking. The 3 mile round trip between my Inn and the mall, and the treks between museums, got a little soggy, but couldn’t dampen my enjoyment.

Highlights for me were portions of the Hirshhorn Museum of Art, the Natural history Museum, and the U.S. Holocaust Museum. I also caught a classical music concert at the National Gallery of Art that featured works by three Japanese composers, including the world premiere of a stunning piece by a young Japanese-American born in Montana, named Korine Fujiwara. The concert was performed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Japan giving 3000 cherry blossom trees to Washington DC. Yes, that’s where they came from.  In theory, my visit should have coincided with the blossoms hitting their peak. But thanks to a bizarrely mild winter and spring (courtesy of climate change?) they had burst and fallen weeks ago.

The morning I left DC was crystal clear, of course. The ride to Norfolk got better when I abandoned the freeway for two-laners. I had to fight my GPS a bit, but I’ve figured out how to re-program it so that it doesn’t keep trying to steer me back to the interstate. And when all else fails, go back to that ancient art of map reading.

In Norfolk I stayed in a grand old B&B that was all of 100 yards from the Chrysler Museum of Art, which held the screening. The stay and the screening were pleasant but fairly non-descript. So I’m going to cut this blog short and leave you with some pics from this part of the tour.  Next stop: Lynchburg!

The Smithsonian milks the rhino

More wildlife in our nation’s capital

Word spreading on the street that RHINO is the hottest ticket in town.

A bummed guy who didn’t have a ticket.

Virginia is peanut country!

Where the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation put me up. Can you believe it !?

Post by David E. Simpson, OSIP touring filmmaker

To read more posts by this filmmaker, please click here.



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