Monday, June 5, 2017

Long Weekend in D.C.

Xu Bing's Monkeys Grasp for the Moon

For the Memorial Day weekend, I visited my younger sister, W, in the Washington, D.C. area. W graduated with her master's degree last year, and now lives and works in the D.C. suburbs. We had a wonderful time! I'd been to D.C. before, so we didn't feel any pressure to go out and see too many things, just wandered through D.C., Georgetown, and the Old Town area of Alexandria. We also saw LP in concert, and she was fantastic. (I think people are most likely to know her from one of her songs having recently been in Orange is the New Black, but I hadn't watched that season and her music was new to me before I went to the concert.)

We splurged on one fancy meal, at 1789 in Georgetown. I really enjoyed the food, and the restaurant is located in a cool historical house. Pictured above is the foie gras dish (a dainty but satisfying portion - looks bigger in the photo than it actually was!) and the duck, both of which were delicious. The plates were all beautifully composed, and they make good use of seasonal vegetables. (I had a burrata dish, not pictured, where asparagus and peas were the highlight of the dish, and I don't usually especially like either vegetable.)

Follow the link for a few more photos, from some of the Smithsonian museums, and restaurant recommendations!

I'd been to quite a few of the Smithsonian museums before, and we went to two of them that were new to me: the National Portrait Gallery and the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Asian art museums. Pictured above are photos from a small exhibit containing images of cats from throughout the National Portrait Gallery's collection. Also pictured in this post are a sculpture from the Chinamania exhibit (arranged around the theme of the Victorian era craze for collecting Chinese porcelain) and Xu Bing's Monkeys Grasp for the Moon, which is an example of Xu's signature word art (I've seen Book from the Sky while it was at the Met, and that one is especially cool).

The gift shop at the Freer and Sackler Galleries is also pretty fun. I saw this cute Kokeshi doll there. Anything with a cat will draw my attention, without fail. (I adore cats, but sadly cannot have one as both K and I are quite allergic. I still go to cat cafes and to visit and play with friends' cats though.)

Outside of our meal at 1789, we didn't eat anything else too fancy. Her neighborhood has a lot of really good fast casual restaurants, which get a lot of business from the office-working set. I really enjoyed the food at Taco Bamba (they do both more traditional tacos in addition to their original creations, some of which are pictured) and Roll Play Grill, which does a take on Vietnamese food. The only thing I didn't like as much at Roll Play Grill was their Vietnamese Iced Coffee, which was a little too sweet and seemed like it had more sugar and maybe milk added in addition to the traditional strong coffee and condensed milk, but everything else was delicious. While in D.C., we also went to Busboys and Poets, which has a really fun, quirky vibe.

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