Wednesday, January 10, 2007

circles and squares

Did you know that Thomas Jefferson wrote the letter to Pierre L'Enfant informing him his services of designing the city were no longer needed? It's true. I read the letter; part of the Washington: Symbol and City exhibition at the National Building Museum. "Dear Sir," wrote TJ, "You're Fired!" No wonder Donald Trump couldn't get that trademarked.

Brian, a fellow foodie and aspiring librarian, and I were at the museum yesterday to listen to a lecture given by Michael Bednar, Architecture Professor at the University of Virginia, on his new book, L'Enfant's Legacy: Open Public Spaces in Washington D.C. A lecture much like the ones I sat and/or slept through during my short stint as an architecture student at the aforementioned university. If this lecture was given in the Campbell Hall auditorium, I probably would have had a nice $12 nap.

Not the most riveting lecture, but I did learn an interesting thing or two. I particularly enjoyed the photos of the late 19th and early 20th centuries from his slideshow. Imagining what it would be like to be a resident of Washington D.C. during those times. It made me want to live somewhere I wouldn't need a car and my pair of legs were the only mode of transportation I needed. Brian suggested Paris. Not a bad idea, I thought. Maybe...maybe.

But before I get to Paris, I will walk the streets of D.C. I have neglected this city far too long and it has taken me 15 years to realize what I have been missing. For that, I would like to thank the white-haired, monotoned lecturer for reminding me of the magnificence the capital of our country has to offer. (But I oh so hate riding the metro.)

No comments: