tourism


BBC NEWS | Europe | Paris readies for Velib frenzy

Saw this spot on the BBC World news last night. What a great idea – hope it makes it across the pond.

“We’ve set things up so that the same card can be used for public transport and for Velib. You can set up a subscription for just one day or for a whole week and the subscription fee is minimal – one euro ($1.38; £0.68) to anyone who wants a one-off go or 29 euros ($40; £20) for a year’s subscription.”

The Velib scheme is aimed at people who are making short journeys.

The first half hour of pedalling time is absolutely free but, if you fail to return the bike after 30 minutes, you get charged an extra euro and the penalties go up the later you are.

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Portraiture That Paints Engaging Images – washingtonpost.com

Here is the third exhibition to open at the National Portrait Gallery in recent months.

This one is the second installment of the Portraiture Now exhibition space that focuses on contemporary portraiture and loaned art. To quote from the article:

Known primarily as a history museum — where the selection of pictures on the wall is based more on the sitter’s accomplishments than on the artist’s message or merits — the National Portrait Gallery has, since its reopening last summer, devoted a small corner of the building to just the opposite. “Framing Memory,” the second installment in its long-overdue “Portraiture Now” series, presents five contemporary artists, each given a small room (and in one case, a hallway) devoted to work whose engagement with portraiture is less didactic and more lively than we have come to expect from the museum.

It’s an interesting show. I had my doubts while prepping for it but you really have to see the pieces in person to truly appreciate them. I really love the quilts of Faith Ringgold but I’ve been familiar with her work for years. I think what initially put me off was the color of the rooms – very intense, almost fluorescent, greens and oranges. It’s hard to work in rooms painted entirely in these colors, especially on the eyes. However, once the artwork was hung, I understood the choice. The color does draw in the visitors, too.

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An Ocean City Icon Faces Turn in Economic Tide – washingtonpost.com

Although I haven’t been there in years, our family used to go to Ocean City every summer when we visited my grandmother in Laurel, Delaware. I wasn’t up for the rides but I loved the arcade, skee ball especially. I didn’t realize that Ocean City has the oldest continuously owned amusement park in the United States. I’d hate to see yet another park be turned over to developers for more condos and hotels. What’s next – legalized gambling like Atlantic City?

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The Reynolds Center – Calendar

This is a great retrospective exhibition of the work of Saul Steinberg who is probably best remembered for his cartoons for The New Yorker magazine. It’s on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) which is in the same building as my museum, the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition closes June 25 so go see it soon if you are in the DC area. And while you are there, go see the National Portrait Gallery, too.

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DCist: Harry Benson @ The National Portrait Gallery

This is second new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and it’s appropriately adjacent to the Great Britons exhibition. The selection of nearly 100 photos spans time, cultures and continents. Scottish born photographer Harry Benson had the knack for “being there” and he managed to capture on film some of the defining moments in recent history – the arrival of the Beatles in the US (see above with Cassius Clay aka Muhammed Ali), the death of RFK, the resignation of Nixon, the attacks on the World Trade Center. Don’t miss this exhibition of truly memorable photographs.

The link provided is for a review of the exhibition from the dcist.com site.

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Vermont Maple Festival – Exhibit Hall

It’s Maple Festival weekend in Saint Albans, Vermont. Why do I care? I moved to Saint Albans while in high school and my parents lived there until their deaths (1999 & 2004), and my brother & sister-in-law live there, too. It’s a great town to visit (but I’m glad I dont’ live there anymore) especially during festival and other holidays.

The festival itself is very small town but fun. Lots of sweets (of the maple kind) to eat, a parade, cooking contests and the exhibitors hall for the professional maple manufacturers. In recent years they’ve added a carvnival and antique market. The festival used to held during the sugaring season (March) but it was moved to late April for better weather (no snow) and a better turn-out.


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