A marvelous weekend in DC.

A couple of weekends ago, my roommate and I proved that it’s easy to have loads of high-culture fun in DC on the cheap.

It began Friday afternoon, when I made my way over to meet Betsy at Dumbarton Oaks, where we took a turn around the gardens just before closing, the birds singing and the frogs in the lily pond poised to catch bugs. It was a hot day, so the shade of the gardens was a welcome respite from my traipsing all over the city (Georgetown, it turns out, is extremely inconvenient to get to, especially when you miss your bus transfer). We were able to have a drink and some food at a reception in the Orangery there, and headed home walking a goodly portion of the way (those pesky buses!).

Saturday was mostly quiet, but we had big plans for Sunday. Bets and I both had friends in town, and we had been planning to see the Pre-Raphaelites exhibit at the National Gallery, so we made a day of it. We had a brunch of omelets at home before heading to meet up with everyone at the NGA. We saw the Pre-Raphaelites first, then took a turn along the Mall, stopping for the first soft-serve of the season. It was such a lovely day that we were able to enjoy it on the grass as people flew kites and played frisbee around us.

A soft-serve twist on the mall.
A soft-serve twist on the mall. Photo by Dan Liu.

We then headed over to the east building of the NGA and wandered through the Dürer exhibit, before stumbling across an unexpected delight: the new exhibition on the Ballets Russes, which proved to be so rich that we’re planning to go back to let it all sink in with fresh eyes. There’s only so much you can do in one day!

As the museum was closing, we headed back over to the west building to stand in line for the free Dvorak concert being given by the Vlach Quartet Prague as a part of the NGA’s concert series and the European Month of Culture, sponsored by the EU Delegation and the Czech embassy. It was a marvelous program in a beautiful space, and when it was over we took the Metro up to Shaw to top off our day with a delicious dinner of Czech food and pilsner at Bistro Bohem.

Thanks to Dan, Sebastian, and Richard for joining us on our DC fine arts adventure.

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