Art, meanderings, and briefly on reading

With the new year, we have been plunged into a semblance of winter, with winds and 32 degree-weather. Nevertheless, I braved the outdoors and not only went and saw the Wonder exhibit at the renovated Renwick Gallery, but also meandered down to the Mall, specifically to the Lincoln Memorial and environs.

I have a soft spot for Renwick because the first exhibit I saw there when I just got to DC was an incredibly well-done and heartbreaking exhibition of arts and crafts from the Japanese-American internment camps. So I’m glad it got renovated and is open for business once again.

The Wonder exhibit is worth seeing if you are in DC. Nearly everyone I know in this town seems to have gone and seen it. Of course, seeing is never enough, and everyone also took photos of it and posted them on Instagram. Despite being an old cranky man, I am actually not against this particular practice, but this hive mind behavior was quite amusing. Or at least it was amusing until I stepped into the museum and was immediately assimilated into the art spam Borg. It’s really hard not to succumb to the photo/social media pressure since you are encouraged to do this in every room. It is a striking exhibit that lives up to its name.


Art spam, condensed into one image

For some inexplicable reason, I was then drawn farther south, to various memorials via a lovely pond filled with Canadian geese. The same weather that brought icy winds also brought us ridiculously gorgeous sky.


I then paid a brief visit to Lincoln (overrun with brave frozen tourists) and even walked around the Tidal Basin to Jefferson (not overrun because it’s kind of out of the way and it’s not enclosed like Lincoln and therefore drafty).

I grew up in a country full of war memorials, and yet only few of them were as affecting as the Korean War Memorial on the Mall. I think it’s something about the steel figures. They are quite eerie and make one uneasy.  Or it might be that I am simply older and thus more affected by war memorials.

None of this has anything to do with reading, apart from the fact that I had books in my bag while running around the Mall. Aiming to break down gender stereotypes wherever I go, one of them was a romance novel (Say Yes To The Marquess by Tessa Dare) and another a Star Wars novel (Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn). Incidentally, if you are a dude and you are wary of romance novels, read this delightful article by Sunil Patel. And then go read some romance novels.

I promise that next post will have more to do with reading. I’ll tell you about some short fiction I’ve been reading for the past week.


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