D.C. Culture: Beyond the Usual Suspects

The Sculpture Garden is a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon.

The Sculpture Garden is a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Washington, D.C. is well known for its impressive collection of monuments and memorials: Lincoln, Washington, FDR — they’re all staples of middle school trips to the nation’s capital.

Because of that, the Rover team isn’t going to go into any of that in this blog post, rather, it’s going to focus more on some other cultural destinations in D.C. you might have missed during your trip (but that we didn’t during our recent vaca).

Drama at The Kennedy Center.

Drama (the good kind) at The Kennedy Center.

First, let’s talk the Kennedy Center. With sweeping views of the Potomac and within close proximity to the infamous Watergate complex, the Kennedy Center has an impressive history of hosting top-quality shows just a short walk from Foggy Bottom. Upon entry, visitors, depending on which entrance they come in through, are greeted with impressive collections of various countries’ or states’ flags suspended from the rafters.

The theater is equally impressive, with lush red ceilings, seats and curtains. While there, we took in the Scottish National Ballet and it’s performance of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Thankfully we watched the film in advance, as it’s a ballet, so there were no words (minus the obligatory, “Stella!”) and the dancers put a creative spin on the Tennessee Williams’ classic.

The only Da Vinci this side of the Atlantic.

The only Da Vinci this side of the Atlantic.

Not a theatergoer? Check out the Sculpture Garden, sandwiched between the National Gallery of Art and National Museum of National History. From a metallic tree to a house that will make you question your dimensions and scratch your head, the garden is home to more than 20 works, as well as a fantastic café, located next to a faux Metro station in Paris. It doesn’t take a lot of time to go through the garden, but one can easily overlook it when he or she is busy getting from one museum to the next.

Unfortunately, the art gallery’s contemporary section was closed when we were there, but the classics were still available for viewing, including the only Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece west of the Atlantic. They also have Degas. LOTS of Degas. Seriously, they must have every sculpture of his there.

Get out and walk beyond the National Mall!

Get out and walk beyond the National Mall!

And let’s not forget that D.C. is home to some pretty impressive statues and buildings. Take a stroll, especially along the circles—Logan, Thomas, etc.—and see some of the beautiful, old churches and people who weren’t cool enough to get their sculptures on the National Mall. A good place to start would be near M and 14th Streets, near Massachusetts Avenue, and then head northwest.

Just make sure if you go during summer to wear sunscreen!

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