"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Another insanely beautiful day, and I spent it well. Didn't do anything I hadn't done before, but that was the fun of it.

I walked from Scott Circle down 16th Street to the White House, quite beautiful in the sunshine. I walked along the side where the networks position their stand-up reporters, but the President was in New York today at the United Nations and the press corps was with him.

The Corcoran Gallery, which I'd intended to re-visit, is closed on Tuesdays. I sat beside the Elipse to eat my lunchtime banana, gazing upon the Washington Monument and watching a soccer game. I then continued along Constitution Avenue. Popped in at the Natural History Museum for a peek at the Hope Diamond and the National Gem Collection. Never can resist bling on the grand scale.

My destination was the National Gallery of Art. It wasn't at all crowded...standing nose to nose with a Rembrandt or a Renoir is such a thrill. I crossed over to the East Building (I.M. Pei designed) via the Concourse, and in the Bookshop found the most useful and wonderful research book, complete with a reproduction of the Duchess's portrait.

After dazzling my eyes with art (Luini madonnas, Fragonard frolics, Raphael, Titian, Cezanne, Calder) I strolled up towards Judiciary Square--the view of the Capitol while stuck on a traffic island in the center of Pennsylvania Avenue was simply breathtaking--and boarded the Metro, which brought me back to Dupont Circle.

The Chap completed the business conference that has taken up his time yesterday and today. Tonight we dine at The Grill from Ipanema, a Brazilian restaurant we've been haunting for years.

I predict I'll have alligator for a starter, because I always do. Not sure about my main course.

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