These asparagus sculptures sprouted on Q St (between 17th and 18th) awhile ago and I’d been meaning to go snap a photo for awhile. Turns out, they’re the work of Jan Kirsch Studio on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. A survey of the work on her site shows a wide variety of fruit and vegetable related garden installations. I think the Ichiban Eggplant is my favorite.
I haven’t heard any comments from the Juxtaexposed peanut gallery in awhile, due to all my slow, apparently boring August-style posts of bike racks and gates, so I thought I’d do a little ruminating on this Tuesday and see if the commentariat is just away on vacation?
What is it about ideas that, sometimes, all it takes is an overnight waiting period for them to incubate into something brilliant? This has happened to me many times lately, it seems. I rack (or is it wrack?) my brain late at night and hit so many mental blocks that I feel like screaming. I’m not even necessarily talking about ideas of great importance. Sometimes it’s grad school work, other times it’s just the letters in my many ongoing Scrabble games that just won’t arrange themselves into something intelligent and, more importantly, high-scoring. But then the following morning brings me simple ideas and solutions and I drop an 80-point word bomb on my opponent. Is it the physical act of sleep itself that clears our minds and allows us to begin thinking clearly again? Is it the prospect of the morning and a fresh new day that makes us feel inspired again? Why can’t I just take a little cat nap and wake up 20 minutes later and have the same brainstorming sessions that a new day usually brings? Maybe there is something in our dreams that subconsciously allows us to look at our problems from a different perspective. I think sometimes we come up with better ideas just by shuffling around the letter tiles until we see something we never thought of before. In this case, brainstorming isn’t necessarily about coming up with the single greatest new idea in the world, it’s really just rearranging information we already have and seeing what different combinations of ideas and answers are possible.
Every now and then I like to post a picture from Silver Spring, friendly neighbor to the north of DC. This particular one is a real oldie, taken in, whoa!, 2006. It’s the sculpture in front of NOAA’s building on East-West Highway. “The Hand of Noah” was sculpted by Raymond Kaskey in 1991, and is supposed to represent NOAA’s stewardship of the environment.
Last night we checked out the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at the National Geographic Museum. Though Matt already saw them in situ when he was in Xi’an last year, I decided that we should still go, since I probably wouldn’t get another chance. There was no photography allowed in the exhibit, so you’re stuck with a blurry iPhone shot of myself and a replica warrior. sweet!
There were many amazing parts to this exhibit, but I think the most mind-blowing would have to be the age and number of these warriors. They are over 2,000 years old! When most of the history we read about from the US only takes you back a few hundred years, it’s hard to correlate the two. As you stand right there next to them and look at them, it’s hard to imagine someone creating a work of art like that so long ago and that it was so well preserved in some cases. For the numbers, there were 15 soldiers for viewing last night, while there are about 1,000 that have been excavated since their discovery in 1974, they estimate that over 6,000 of them are still buried.
China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, thought of just about everything he would need for his afterlife. At age 13 (!!!!) he commissioned over 700,000 workers to begin creating the clay figures. There were different ranks of generals and soldiers (each with different weaponry), chariot drivers and archers, as well as “entertainment” soldiers like musicians, acrobats, and strongmen. The display takes you through the process by which they were created, as well as the varying details of their appearances and how no two were to be alike. They were buried to the east of his tomb to ward off any invasion in his afterlife. Can you imagine????
At the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in DC there is a replica of an art nouveau Paris Metro entrance, and here’s a close-up of the cast-iron detailing. I was searching for this photo this morning because I’ve been thinking a lot about Paris– ever since we decided to book our honeymoon flight there. For any of our readers who have been to Paris, leave us some suggestions or memories!
This shot is a closeup of “Lightswept,” a neon light sculpture by artist Craig Kraft , that sits outside HR-57 on 14th Street. I wasn’t a huge fan of this piece at first, but in reading more about his process through his website, I can at least appreciate his craftsmanship, as well as some of his other public installations, much more now. I never put it together that this would be the same artist who created a similar neon sculpture, Lightweb, in Downtown Silver Spring, a piece I see nearly every day. I guess I like the Silver Spring sculpture a great deal more because it is integrated with the elevator shaft and seems to sweep around the existing structure. The one in front of HR-57 seems much more arbitrary, like it is sitting out in the open as an afterthought. Nonetheless, public art is a great thing that we shouldn’t take for granted, and I’m sure I will come around to this piece more in the future — maybe it will require another visit to HR-57 for an evening of jazz very soon.
Happy Autumnal Equinox! At least, that’s what my calendar marks as today, September 22nd. The foggy, dreary weather outside today somewhat supports that, although I much prefer to think of fall as bright earthy colors and crisp breezes, Oktoberfest brews, tailgating, and, of course, candy corn. Either way, summer is technically over, and the sun will cross the equator today, from north to south, leaving us with exactly 12 hours of lightness and 12 hours of darkness. That means that by tomorrow, the nights will start becoming longer than the days. I’ve certainly noticed it happening already as I’ve been getting up around 6am, when Bowser first starts “barking” to go outside, and it’s still pitch black.
So today’s photo, we’ve posted about before , although I thought this version definitely says “goodbye summer” with the sun, and “hello fall” with the leaf. Time to start brainstorming Halloween costumes!