Monday, January 30, 2012

MLK Memorial

 A busy weekend, beginning with my book group meeting here on Friday night to discuss The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman (mixed reviews, I didn't really like it). After a lot of discussion, we picked our next two books, Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively, and Nightwoods by Charles Frazier. On Saturday night we went to see Iron Lady with the Bensons and the Rubards,  and what an awesome performance by Meryl Streep. She's amazing. It was a great movie, definitely worth seeing, as we all liked it. 

Sunday was cold and chilly, but clear so we decided to go into DC and to the National Gallery. On the way we decided to stop at the new Martin Luther King Memorial, which was dedicated last year. I'm so glad we stopped because we really liked it-- the figure of MLK is carved into a gigantic piece of granite, which is emerging from 2 other gigantic pieces of granite. The inspiration for the design was his quote, "out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope," so in seeing it, I better understood his emerging from the mountain (of granite). It's very powerful. Seventeen of his other quotations from speeches throughout his life are engraved on granite walls surrounding the statue.

The controversial quote that is going to be redone

The MLK Memorial is right on the Tidal Basin and faces the water. We walked around the Tidal Basin for awhile--it was so nice to be there in non-cherry blooming time, because there was nobody there!  I loved how the cherry trees look in the winter. You can really see how old they are and the shapes are amazing,  bending gracefully towards the water.

The FDR Memorial is nearby so we walked over there too, because it's one of my favorites. I was happy to see Eleanor!

We did eventually make it to the National Gallery, and here's proof, one of my favorite paintings, White Roses by Van Gogh. There was even a concert of 18th century French music being held in one of the garden courts, which we sat and listened to for about a half hour. We had a nice day in DC.

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