ABT can’t seem to sit still. Ever since I got back to the city from my stint in
a correctional facility Montana, my friends have been dancing themselves silly…everywhere but here. It’s been over a month since I returned from the mountains, and I have yet to catch up with a majority of the people who used to populate my days. So when David suggested that I head to DC to spend some time with him a few weekends ago, I jumped at the chance.
Usually four days away from the city equals at least one, if not two, suitcases for me. I’m the king of over-packing, and with the size of my typical suitcases, you’d think I was toting my couch with me. So it was with a fair amount of struggling that I pared my luggage down to the essentials before I boarded the Chinatown bus for the nation’s capital.
Carrying a technological village with me can be daunting on long trips. I tend to guard my bag (housing both of my cameras, computer, and other electronic essentials) as if it was high on the endangered species list and the rest of the passengers were hunters.
Fortunately, my half-empty bus checked most of the crazy at the door. Save for a man in front of me who kept glancing back at the man across the aisle. I hoped that his anxious glances were for working up the courage to break into a musical number but, alas, I made it all the way to DC without a selection from A Chorus Line.
Instead I got bumper-to-bumper traffic and rain. I crossed my fingers that it would pass and my weekend would be blessed with
dancing reindeer sunshine. Ultimately, we got a mixed bag of weather but that didn’t stop us from reading porn to the blind exploring.
Since David was in town performing The Four Temperaments with Washington Ballet, I spent a few nights at the theater, which elicited the expected emotion from me. Dance continues to be a struggle for me to be around, and my newfound passion for Balanchine’s masterpiece (which I’d never seen before) tested my emotional strength more than ever.
Even though watching my best friend performing was a pleasure (as always), I decided early on to keep my theater time to a minimum. Therefore I was left with hours to explore DC in a way that hadn’t been possible during my previous visits.
People always state how wonderful it must be to dance and tour the world, but the truth of the matter is that so many times we don’t get to see the places we stop in. DC was always a place where I ended up being consumed by ABT duties, so I would stumble back and forth between the Kennedy Center and our nearby hotel. All of this added up to an image of DC that was far but complete.
After my time there last weekend, I still don’t feel like I’ve seen it all, but I’ve gathered more pieces of the puzzle. Here are some highlights:
(Apparently we hit DC at just the right time: cherry blossoms had exploded all over the city.)
(I wanted to make a wig out of them to wear to the ballet, but David wouldn't let me. Bitch.)
(He also wouldn't let me eat them. Bitch squared.)
(You see, he was busy contemplating life...)
(While I worked on upcoming articles. And by "worked" I mean strangled myself with hotel pillows. Same dif.)
(I took a break from my pillow pas de deux long enough to explore my first DC museum, and my future home, The Phillips Collection.)
(My old friend de Kooning even stopped by long enough for me to give David a lecture about why he should accept the abstract expressionist into his life. This painting, Asheville, is one of de Kooning's earlier masterpieces and one that I'd never seen in person before. Viewing his brushwork up close is unlike any other experience I've had with a painting.)
(I spent a lot of time sitting in Dupont Circle reading non-fiction essays in the incredible new book "The Kings of Non-Fiction." I even managed to read so long that I got a sunburn that was so uneven and scattered that it resembled a de Kooning painting!)
(It wasn't long until we had to head back to NYC. We took the Amtrack for this leg and the gorgeous train station sure beat the people barking at me in Chinatown.)
(Contrary to popular opinion, I was not reaching up to pick his nose. Eww. I can't believe I just typed that. DC took away my power for captioning pictures.)