Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Washington DC Under Moonlight

Living so close to the nation's capital, there is a tendency to overlook what the little city has to offer. For years I ignored the "touristy" spots until friends rolled through, but recently, I have come to enjoy the unique aspects of DC on a more regular basis.

A highly symbolic city, the District of Columbia has been thoughtfully laid out, constructed, and dotted with memorials, monuments, museums, and government offices. Tax money keeps this place afloat, and I never thought that system was particularly fair to those Americans who live too far away to enjoy DC more than a couple times. That belief has helped temper my annoyance at the throngs of tourists who infest the city cyclically without fail. Especially during my years working downtown, I used to seethe at the sight of visitors clogging up the wrong side of the escalators at Metro stops and then subsequently packing the trains during rush hour. It is not fun to step out to lunch in the middle of a busy work day to find hoards of people who are out and about having fun. Never mind the pain of having to wear a suit during the ultra humid DC summers. Unplanned and unintended cruelty at its finest.

Washington DC has been photographed many times by tourists and professionals. I gave up some sleep in this attempt to put my own spin on a place that has been shot to death. I even waited for a clear night under a full moon (adds illumination). I don't believe in trying to be different for the sake of being different. That reminds me of the ironic expression of teenage angst as rebellion and in general counter cultural movements. A person wants to be a rebel, but if everyone else wants to be a rebel, where is the rebellion in that? I find the worst types of work to be produced by people who are trying too hard to be artsy which is sometimes synonymous with trying to be different.

There is no doubt that there is something different about artists. They are actually kind of weird and can even be a bit lazy. I don't believe there are many true artists in this world (even less great ones), and I have no illusions about myself. There are certainly lots of weird people masquerading as artists though. In the end, these strange cats churn out work that looks artificial and unoriginal and saddest of all, not genuine.

Just do you. I tell myself that many times a day. It took a while for me to figure out what "you" actually was. And every now and then, I'm still not certain, but I like that. It keeps me on my toes.

[Two-Headed Penny]

This last shot is my personal favorite. It is a soft reflection of the Washington Monument off one of the marble panels that make up the Vietnam Memorial.


  1. you're truly a renaissance man, mr. kitschenaid! your commentary about artists resonate with me. i'm going to share these pictures with my better half- maybe it'll inspire him to use that fancy pants camera we purchased not too long ago. keep doing what you're doing- just doing you- you've inspired me to be bold and not shrink back. hope you and your wifey are swell! give her a big hug for me!!

  2. mrspae! took me a bit to realize who you are. not used to seeing you as a pae. = )

    you might regret pushing mrpae into photography. if he gets hooked, this is an expensive hobby.

    you never struck me as the shrink back type. hope life is well.

    i look forward to our next meeting or at the very least seeing you randomly at the mall. = )

  3. the phallis that is the Washington Monument doesn't make shrink back at all...Nice pics.