Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Now, THIS is one of my favorite restaurants on Barrack's Row. It's got a solid menu with good variety, special meals for kids, and a great atmosphere. It takes its cue from 1930's newsrooms, or at least that's my take.
I could go on and on about the food---home-made Pop Tarts, "adult" milkshakes, grilled cheese sandwiches on home-made bread, and so on.
This is another one of my little paintings.....getting ready for the Barracks Row Fall Festival Saturday.
Monday, September 22, 2014
One of my neighbors is the Commandant of the US Marines. This is his home. I made an ink and watercolor drawing of it for the Barrack's Row Fall Festival. It is quite an impressive building, and dates back to 1806.
If I go by last year, the Marines are very supportive of the Fall Festival. They did a full color guard and a short band program last year, and I remember it. My booth will be pretty close to their bandstand, so I hope to hear it again. As part of the color guard, they have an American flag with banner ribbons from every campaign the US Marines have been involved in. That is something to see.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
This is kind of a new place. I've never been in it and am not sure why I chose it, other than I kind of like the umbrellas. Actually, the umbrellas are not green, but I like them green...I used my "artistic license." It is not only a cafe, but also a hookah bar....I'm guessing it attracts a young crowd.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Friday, September 19, 2014
I'm excited to be a vendor in my neighborhood Fall Festival. I'll have a booth with small paintings and prints and lots of cards...and it is just a block from my house.
Barrack's Row gets its name from the Marine Barracks that are right on 8th St. I looked up a little history and learned that in 1999 it was establish as a National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street. Of course, the neighborhood is much older than that. The Marine Barracks site was selected in 1801. According to Wikipedia, it was selected because it was within marching distance of the Capitol and also the Navy Yard. Marines are still marching today, and they do a "Parade" Friday nights. From my backyard, I hear them practicing on Friday mornings. I have never gone, though!
To get ready for the Fall Festival, I am making some small paintings around the neighborhood. The one above is Senart's Oyster and Chop House, which is one of my favorite places. It is very long and narrow inside, with 3 fireplaces along the wall. It has been remodeled but has a real historical feel. This painting was late afternoon.....just before opening for business at 4 p.m.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
It was all so excited and worldly! While I was in Japan, Louisa and her family went to Amsterdam. They stayed in a cousin's house and had a true "local" experience. What fun...Griffin and Sophia on their first trip "abroad."
Of course, the Van Gogh Museum was high on the list of "Things That Must Be Seen." I have never been there myself, but now I want to see it. Even though I haven't been there, I have gifts from Van Gogh. I am afraid I did not do justice to the cute lunch box, but it is charming. I will fill it with some art stuff. I need that inspiration. When I got it, it was filled with fruit jellies from Brugge....now, what an exquisite lunch that is! To the right (the unfortunate blue blob) is the premier gift of all---a silk scarf printed with a Van Gogh painting. It is absolutely beautiful, but it was too much for me to even attempt. My try to paint it folded does give the impression of fabric, but I fell way short on the colors. They are, needless to say, very complex.
The other gifts are a very delicate lace handkerchief from Brugges---handmade Belgian lace! It is so lovely and sophisticated. It is hard to think of putting it to use....maybe weddings, child dedications, and funerals..or maybe just in a spot where I can admire it.
And---tastiest treat of all.--Belgian chocolates. This is something you hear about, but I think the ones sold here are not the good stuff. These were creamy, chocolate-y, hard to stop eating and fun, too. The guy on the box is (I think) Dominique Persoone, who is a "Shock-O-Latier." There is a brochure, but I can't read it. I think he is a made-up person, but his motto is "Chocolate Is rock 'n' roll. You know I love that. Best chocolate I have EVER had!
A card with this little painting has been sent to the Smiths.....Thank you...and thanks for thinking of me on your adventure.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
During my recent trip to Japan, I stayed with a host family in Hiroshima. They were the Ito's---Yoshikazu and Fumie. Their daughter Megumi was visiting. She recently retired from a ballet company that was touring Europe, and is now married and expecting to start a family. Mr. and Mrs. Ito don't really speak English, though Mr. Ito can read and write it. Megumi was our translator.
It was a real treat to stay in their very comfortable home in the Saeki-ku section of Hiroshima. I had been told that Japanese homes are small, but theirs was very spacious and comfortable. Mr. Ito's mother also lives with them, but she has Alzheimer's and so I didn't have much interaction with her. They served me a very nice meal, with special dishes. It was a huge meal, more than could be eaten at one sitting. They also gave me breakfast the two days that I was there, but the breakfast was pretty conventional for me---cereal and yogurt. They also had very good coffee. It was somewhat of a surprise to me how good the coffee is in Japan--a little serendipity. I found you could order it either hot or cold.
As is customary in Japan, we exchanged gifts. They gave me a sweet hand-made doll dressed in a traditional kimono. As I understand it, it was a gift from the group that was hosting us, Rissho Kosei-kai Dharma Center, as well as from the Itos. So, as Mrs. Ito explained, she also wanted to give me a special gift. It was a beautiful leather purse from Inden-ya. I did a little internet research and learned that it the flowers are lacquer on deerskin and the process of making the leather dates back to 1582. It is also a beautifully-crafted purse and I find pleasure in just holding it.
The Itos were wonderful hosts, as were all of the people I met in Hiroshima. Really, they took hospitality to a whole new level. It was a real treasure to get to know them.