Saturday, February 6, 2016

two last details

from my walk between my hotel and CAA: first, a house on 21st street, with some Tiffany-style glass; and then - just over the Lion bridge - Marilyn, looming over the rooftops.  Even if it was chilly, I could have walked around and around looking at details.

That being said, I had a terrific CAA, and have returned completely intellectually recharged ... and it was so great to see my colleagues again: missing them is the real downside of being away on a residential fellowship (actually, so is the dog that's been yapping in the next door apartment for an hour or so).

Friday, February 5, 2016


I love walking from my hotel to the CAA conference - it's about a mile and a quarter, and, even if it was snowing in a desultory way this morning, it was beautiful and golden coming back.  I so associate those Woodley Park hotels in DC with less than happy MLAs - including one of the worst migraines I've ever had - so nothing would enduce me to stay in them again unless I absolutely had to.  And there's so much to look at when walking: here's one end of the Lions' Bridge - that is, the William Howard Taft Bridge (built 1897-1907).  I was a little surprised when Alice told me via Skype it's vertigo inducing - it's only 136 feet or so high - but I think that the take-away from that is that I'm super-lucky not to notice vertigo.

And here's another shot of the stenciled walkway ...

Thursday, February 4, 2016

DC walls

Ah, I do love public wall art ... these first two bits of pasting and stenciling are on a walkway past a big apartment block that's being renovated on Connecticut Ave, just before the bridge ...

and this ridiculous cat is part of a mural behind the Phillips Collection.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Washington, at last

The first thing I'd like to say about these pictures is that you see them as shot - in color.  Second - the color here today is grey and black.  But I'm very glad to be here ... We were warned (flying from Raleigh Durham) that it would be a bumpy flight - but the most heart-in-mouth moment was aborting the landing at Reagan National, accelerating up and sideways and up again, and then wobbling around in the clouds with the pilot telling us we were going to go to Richmond, Virginia, because we'd need some more fuel ... Fuel was put on board.  DC, we were told, was still impassable, so we deplaned, meandered around Richmond Airport, until they found a bus, and loaded us up, and drove us to DC - which was very damp, and had a strange narrow but thick layer of fog over the Potomac.   One could see why Foggy Bottom is called Foggy Bottom.  I felt very sorry for the colleague from UNC who had a grad student meeting her here, and had been told at the airport that the plane had been diverted because of "a dangerous situation on board" - you'd think that they could manage to find a more soothing way of telling someone that we couldn't land?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

on their way out

These flowers are more faded that they seem - yellowing around the gills.  I've tried to keep them going - cut them down from their long stems, changed their water - but I don't think they're going to survive for a few days of my absence, sitting in a warm room.  And I have no other home for them, and no compost.  Maybe they wouldn't even have made it through until tomorrow morning - but I'm sad to be saying farewell.  It makes the hugest difference, having fresh flowers (and flowering bulbs - hyacinths, tulips) in my little apartment ...

Monday, February 1, 2016

another corner on the way to work

Another fortuitous traffic light stop!  Mind you, this mural is only about a hundred yards from my apartment, so I could very easily have walked there rather than grabbing my camera on the fly.  It's wrapped around the half-moon window of a Mexican restaurant - Torero, the oldest Mexican restaurant in Durham - and has some other fine moments (for a future occasion ...) just up the street. It celebrates the Latino community here; it was painted in 2013 by Duke students, high school students, some visiting artists from the Dominican Republic, and under the overall guidance of Mexican-American, California based, guest artist Inocente Izucar - and it's part of Duke's TWO-WAY BRIDGES | PUENTES DE DOBLE VIA project, connecting "Duke, Durham and the Americas".

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Last week it was snowing; today the temperature was 73 ... So I consulted my copy of Hiking North Carolina - an optimistically purchased, woefully under-used volume, given how wet most weekends have been - and set off to walk round Shelley Lake, near Raleigh.  This turned out to be an over-modest walk, even with the addition of two extra little loops, and most of Raleigh was there too: walking, running, walking dogs, pushing strollers, pushing dogs in strollers, etc.  And fishing.  But it was good to be warm and outdoors ...