Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Quick Visit to the Imperial Capital, Washington, DC

The protest sign man, Pennsylvania Avenue, directly in front of the White House
Business took me to Washington, DC, in September of 2018. I had not been to Washington for many years, and it was fun to walk around and see some sights that were new. I have always liked Washington, and as a visitor, it is exciting to be at the seat of imperial power. These centers of empire (present or past) are always interesting because you see the trappings of power, the grandiose buildings, the monuments to heroes, and the souvenirs of colonialism or the souvenirs purchased with vast wealth (think of Moscow, Vienna, Berlin, Rome, Athens, Paris, or London as other examples).

But in Washington, it is challenging to do much creative photography in a short trip. Historic neighborhoods have largely been torn down or gentrified, and the cell phone crowd takes a million snaps of the monuments every day.
Room with a view: 17th Street from the Mayflower Hotel
My hosts reserved rooms for us at the Mayflower Hotel. Nice place! I appreciated seeing photographs of Harry Truman and other notable guests. Even Nikita Khrushchev stayed there (no nasty budget people's hotel for those Soviets).
FBI building, Pennsylvania Avenue, yellow/green filter to lighten foliage
Salad greens, Rosa Mexicana restaurant, 7th Street NW
I saw an interesting idea: grow the salad greens in plant boxes where the customers sit. Certainly fresh and wholesome.
Checking in, National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art is always rewarding. To think, you can see Rembrants and daVincis for free.
Mirrored pyramids occupy the concourse between the east and west buildings of the National Gallery.  Selfies have been taken here since long before the cell phone era. In the two frames above, I used the same 1949 Leica IIIC. It is a pity the photographer did not age as gracefully.
7th Street at the Mall
7th Street food truck
Walk along the mall, and there are always tourists from around the world walking, eating, taking selfies, and hanging around. The food trucks are a decades-old institution, but I admit I have never tried their culinary specialties.
World War II Memorial
World War II Memorial with Lincoln Memorial in distance 
The World War II Memorial at sunset is a peaceful setting. The Lincoln Memorial is due west in the distance.
Tree trunks, 17th Street SW
Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, Washington, DC
The quote above is engraved in the granite panels at the FDR Memorial. It is a somber and meaningful place. Consider this quote when you observe the vile and self-serving man who occupies the White House today and the way we institutionalize abuse of the poor.

This is the end of our short tour around Washington. As with so many other places, I should return and explore in more detail.

The black and white photographs are from Fuji Acros film, taken with my Leica IIIC rangefinder camera and 5cm f/2.0 Leitz Summitar lens. I previously showed a comparison of my 70-year old IIIC with the new Leica Monochrom black and white digital camera when I stopped at the Leica Store Washington DC.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the vintage photograph and the juxtaposition with the current 'selfie.'