Tag Archives: street art

A Local Explores D.C. Like a Tourist

M and I took a break from our insane work schedules to enjoy the pleasant spring weather and explore D.C. I’ve lived in the nation’s capital for seven years, but sometimes I forget what a great city D.C. is. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day slog of getting work done, going to the gym, collapsing in bed, etc. It was nice to set aside one day to push that all aside and just explore.

Our walk started with a visit to the Phillips Collection, a private art collection in Dupont Circle. I’ve dragged M to more than a handful of furniture stores, but I had not yet stepped foot inside an art museum — which is M’s version of happiness. It was time to change that.

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Stunning flowers growing on the bark of a tree in Dupont Circle

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A cool shot of the Indonesian embassy

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A statue of Ghandi outside the Indian embassy, kitty-corner from the Phillips Collection

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An eerie tree outside the Phillips Collection

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m not exactly an art expert. I can handle an hour or two in a museum, but I’m not one of those people who gets lost in meditation in front of a painting for 20 minutes, pondering the deeper meaning of whatever it is people ponder. It’s not that I don’t appreciate beautiful things. I am just too impatient, too distracted – in museums and in life. M tells me to slow down. I tell him to hurry up. We are a good team.

M, however, is an art critic by profession. So this trip was kind of like walking into his temple. He was a bit dismayed when I got too close to paintings with my camera and spoke too loudly – especially in the Rothko room. Museums are really meant for proper, quiet adults – and I am none of those things. For some reason, M is still dating me.

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A new exhibit at the Phillips. Gotta be honest: I don’t get it.

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I like this series

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A moving sculpture

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A Van Goh

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Pretty stained glass window in the Phillips

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M taking a picture

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Yours truly

We left the Phillips and headed to my temple – Room and Board – one of my favorite furniture stores on 14th Street. I’m in the market for a new table and wanted to check out the wood options in person. On the way, we walked through pretty, residential neighborhoods.

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A beautiful lamp post on Swann Street. I love the fire. I love the reflection in the glass. Basically, I love everything about it.

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Memorial bricks at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History

After Room and Board, we headed down T Street to the Shaw neighborhood, a gritty area that is in the process of modernizing. Dilapidated storefronts mix with brand new condos and hip restaurants. There is a palpable tension between old and new.

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Right next to the historic Howard Theater, I found a sprawling mural on the side of an ethnic restaurant. I can’t resist good street art.

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A new, modern restaurant with a very interesting logo (and name)

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Here’s lookin’ at you… A door on a ramshackle storefront on 7th Street

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A Liz Taylor mural overlooking Dacha Beer Garden at 7th and Q Streets

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As we headed through Chinatown, I stopped to photograph this church. I love the way the street lights cast a glow on the brick facade.

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The Greater New Hope Baptist Church

Our last stop of the day was CityCenterDC, a new development in downtown DC. A mix of apartments, retail shops, restaurants and a public park, CityCenterDC is a great place for this camera-crazed girl.

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An up-close shot of water jumping out of the ground

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These colorful lanterns line the narrow alleyways of CityCenter and reflect on the windows of high-end stores and office buildings

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Pretty

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One day, I will bring a tripod. Then, I can really have some fun.

I love traveling the world, but days like this remind me that I’m lucky to live in a beautiful, historic, and thriving city, filled with old and new surprises. I’m a local getting to know D.C. like a tourist, and I’m okay with that. 









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Scotland #17: Street Art Scavenger Hunt in Glasgow

Scotland #1: Welcome to Edinburgh!
Scotland #2: The View from Arthur’s Seat
Scotland #3: The View from Scott Monument
Scotland #4: Going Forth to Forth
Scotland #5: The Beauty of Fife
Scotland #6: Whisky Fail
Scotland #7: Defeat at Culloden
Scotland #8: Cawdor’s Not-So-Secret Garden
Scotland #9: The Loch Ness Loop
Scotland #10: The Road to Skye
Scotland #11: Old Man of Storr
Scotland #12: Pieces of Skye
Scotland #13: Rubha Hunish AKA The Hike from Hell
Scotland #14: Losing my Phone in Scotland and Other Adventures
Scotland #15: The Road to Glasgow
Scotland #16: Welcome to Glasgow!

Glasgow is well-known for its street art. So much so, that you can find a walking map of a kind-0f mural scavenger hunt. Lisa and I had a great time hunting them down and inserting ourselves into the art.

street art map

This map is a little dated, but it’s what we used.

Let’s the hunt begin!

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Artistic interpretations on Argyle Street

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Artistic interpretations on Argyle Street

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Artistic interpretations on Argyle Street

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Artistic interpretations on Argyle Street (I love this one)

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Life imitates art!

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Aren’t we silly?

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The giant panda on Gordon Lane (another favorite of mine)

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“The World’s Most Economical Taxi” on Mitchell Street

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“Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” on Mitchell Street

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Interesting clientele at the Argyle Street Cafe

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Lisa ponders like an elephant

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The mural wraps around the corner!

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The badminton mural on Wilson Street was created in anticipation of the 2014 Commonwealth Games

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“Space Man” by Recoat and Ali Wyllie

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A fascinating mural at Howard and Dunlop Streets that wraps around three sides of a building!

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Impossible to photograph, but really fun to see

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This amazing mural was created by Rogue-One and Art Pistol

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That cat looks mighty hungry…

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“A View of the Clyde” gives passersby a view of what really lives in the River Clyde

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This is a redo of the original tiger displayed along the Clyde Walkway

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“The Five Faces” can be found along the underpass under Central Station

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I desperately wanted to capture the moving traffic, but I left the travel tripod in our hotel room

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That would be me – trying (dismally) to take night photography without a tripod

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Scotland #16: Welcome to Glasgow!

Scotland #1: Welcome to Edinburgh!
Scotland #2: The View from Arthur’s Seat
Scotland #3: The View from Scott Monument
Scotland #4: Going Forth to Forth
Scotland #5: The Beauty of Fife
Scotland #6: Whisky Fail
Scotland #7: Defeat at Culloden
Scotland #8: Cawdor’s Not-So-Secret Garden
Scotland #9: The Loch Ness Loop
Scotland #10: The Road to Skye
Scotland #11: Old Man of Storr
Scotland #12: Pieces of Skye
Scotland #13: Rubha Hunish AKA The Hike from Hell
Scotland #14: Losing my Phone in Scotland and Other Adventures
Scotland #15: The Road to Glasgow

Most people skip Glasgow. I’m so glad we didn’t.

We spent one long day walking all around Scotland’s largest city. And I mean walking. Our nearly seven-mile walk gave us a great overview of the creative, industrial energy that Glasgow is famous for.

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An approximate map of our Glasgow walk.

The city rose to its heights during the Industrial Revolution, serving as a major trade hub for Great Britain. Its gritty, industrial roots permeate the city today. Known for its entrepreneurial music and arts scene, we didn’t have to walk far to find a plucky street performer or an impressive street mural. In fact, Glasgow is well known for its street art, and we tried to visit as many murals as we could (coming up in the next post).

It is also a city that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Like this restaurant. Sometimes, you just gotta call it like you see it.

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After walking for a mile or so, we made our way through Kelingrove Park…

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…And then through the University of Glasgow campus.

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**IMG_6766We wandered through Glasgow’s hip west end (west and north of the city center).

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*IMG_6804Then, we made our way back to the heart of central Glasgow. We strolled the Style Mile – a pedestrian-only strip, filled with stores, restaurants, museums, and street performers.

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And my first video – a Scottish band performing on the Style Mile. Clearly, I need to work on my video taking skills, but you’ll get the idea.

Remember what I said about Glasgow’s sense of humor? This iconic statue of the Duke of Ellington is located outside the Gallery of Modern Art. The statue (and the cone) is so beloved, a 2013 effort by the Glasgow City Council to refurbish the monument and remove the cone was met with protests and social media backlash. The online petition stated: “The cone on Wellington’s head is an iconic part of Glasgow’s heritage, and means far more to the people of Glasgow and visitors than Wellington himself ever was.”

Hahahahahahaha. I. Love. This.

**IMG_6855Posing in front of funky mirrors at the Gallery of Modern Art…

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Glasgow signs

We headed south to the River Clyde to check out the last street murals on our list, and stumbled upon this beautiful reflection of St. Andrews Cathedral.

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The River Clyde at night:

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We passed by this school on the way back to our hotel. I’m keeping my options open in case my day job doesn’t pan out…

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