The National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition and study of portraits of history and culture and to the study of the artists who created such portraiture. ..

It resides in the National Historic Landmarked Old Patent Office Building … The third oldest federal building in the city, constructed between 1836 and 1867, the marble andgranite museum has porticoes modeled after the Parthenon in AthensGreece.

The building was used as a hospital during the American Civil War]

It was spared from demolition by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958, and given to the Smithsonian, which renovated the structure and opened the National Museum of American Art (later renamed the Smithsonian American Art Museum) and National Portrait Gallery there in 1968.

Hallmarks of the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection include the famous “Lansdowne” portrait of George Washington; the Hall of Presidents; and its extensive selection of portraits of remarkable Americans from all walks of life.

From Wikipedia

“I have been known to call the Portrait Gallery a ‘dinner party with history’.  What I mean is that visiting here is like going to a place filled with the most extraordinary people one would ever hope to meet.  They are women and men who come from everywhere in the country and the world , whose cultural origins and fields of achievements are as varied as the society in which we live and who have had the good fortune to be captured on canvas, on film, on paper or in marble or bronze by artists who have responded to their spirit,  and given them the chance to be introduced to generations to come.  Welcome to our world and yours.”  Marc Pachter, Director National Portrait Gallery

Woman Eating, 1971 – Duane Hanson

A Little More About Julia Child’s House in Georgetown

On Julia Child’s 100th Birthday, We Stop By Her Georgetown House

The culinary legend spent some formative years in Washington.By Carol Ross Joynt

Julia and Paul Child’s former home in Georgetown. Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.

Comments (2) | Published August 13, 2012

Were it not for its bright yellow color, it might be easy to miss the frame house at 2706 Olive Street, where Julia Child lived not once, but twice, and gave cooking lessons in the kitchen. In the Child history, the Georgetown home is a notable place, and worth a look and a mention as foodies worldwide celebrate her 100th birthday. She was born on August 15, 1912, in Pasadena, California, and died August 4, 2004, just before her 92nd birthday, in Montecito, California. Washington was a formative stop along the way.

Child and her new husband, Paul, first moved to Olive Street in 1948, after they’d met in Ceylon, where both were posted for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the modern CIA. He introduced her to his love of food, particularly French cuisine, and later that year, when they left Olive Street to move to France, she took cooking lessons at Le Cordon Bleu, the first steps along her path to becoming a culinary legend. Director Nora Ephron depicted this phase of their lives in Julie and Julia, with Meryl Streep as Julia and Stanley Tucci as Paul.

Over the next eight years the house on Olive Street was rented out to various tenants, but in 1956 the Childs returned. According to numerous writeups, they expanded the kitchen to include some new appliances, and Julia began to give cooking lessons to some of her Georgetown neighbors. She also began research for her landmark tome, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Who’s the owner of the house today? According to its property manager, Dan Walsh of the real estate company Thomas D. Walsh, the owner is Chelo Echeverria, who lives in Washington state. It is leased to tenants who pay approximately $4,400 a month, according to Walsh. Do the tenants know its history? “I don’t know,” he said, but did say he felt confident Echeverria was aware. As for the famous kitchen, Walsh believes it’s no longer, and that the old version got modernized “somewhere along the way.”



Moscow City Streets

Russian long supported trade routes between the Orient and Europe.  Moscow was founded as a trade post in the 12th century.

Moscow is the capital city and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural and scientific center in Russia and in Europe. According to Forbes 2011, Moscow has the largest community of billionaires in the world.[14] Moscow is the northernmost megacity on Earth, the most populous city in Europe,[15][16][17] and the 5th largest city proper in the world. It’s also the largest city in Russia with a population of 13 million.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




Russian Academy of Sciences; Moscow, Russia

The Russian Academy of Sciences has a tower with a rooftop restaurant with the most beautiful views of Moscow….

The Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IE RAS) is the authoritative and influential think tank in Russia. Founded in 1987 with the aim of providing scientific understanding and explanation of the dramatic changes in Europe and their prospects, the Institute works on economic, political, social and security issues, established or emerging across Europe.

Institute of Europe RAS

Red Square

The Red Square (Russian: Красная площадь, tr. Krásnaja PlóščaďIPA: [ˈkrasnəjə ˈploɕːətʲ]) is a city square in MoscowRussia. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod. The Red Square is often considered the central square of Moscow and all of Russia, because Moscow’s major streets—which connect to Russia’s major highways—originate from the square.

The name Red Square comes neither from the colour of the bricks around it (which, in fact, were whitewashed at certain times in history) nor from the link between the colour red and communism. Rather, the name came about because the Russian word красная (krasnaya) can mean either “red” or “beautiful” (the latter being rather archaic; cf. прекраснаяprekrasnaya).

Red Square

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedi

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Monument to the Fall of Napoleon

GUM Department Store

Lenin’s Tomb

St. Basil’s



Moscow..The Kremlin

At the center of Moscow is The Kremlin, a village unto itself, with cathedrals, palaces, an enormous concert and congress hall, and of course the seat of presidential power — all surrounded by imposing red-brick walls that extend for 2.5km (1 1/2 miles). On its east side is Red Square, the epicenter of the city and the country. The square abuts a small neighborhood called Kitai-Gorod. This is almost like an annex to the Kremlin, with a dense collection of churches, old merchants’ courtyards, and administrative buildings clustered on quiet streets overlooking the Moscow River. Its name today translates as “Chinatown,” but more likely comes from an old Russian term for battlements because of its proximity to the Kremlin. The area boasts many restaurants but few hotels.



Tsar Bell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The history of Russian bell founding goes back to the 10th century, but in the medieval Russian Orthodox Church, bells were not typically rung to indicate church service, but to announce important ceremonies, celebrations, and as an alarm in case of fire or enemy attack. One of the largest of the early bells was the original Tsar Bell, cast in the 15th century. Completed in 1599, it weighed 18,000 kg and required 24 men to ring its clapper. Housed in the original wooden Ivan the Great Bell Tower in the Moscow Kremlin, it crashed to the ground in a fire in the mid-17th century and was broken to pieces.

The second Tsar Bell was cast in 1655, using the remnants of the former bell, but on a much larger scale. This bell weighed 100,000 kg, but was again destroyed by fire in 1701.

After becoming Empress, Anna ordered that the pieces be cast into a new bell with its weight increased by another hundred tons, and dispatched the son of Field Marshal Münnich to solicit technical help from the master craftsmen there. However, a bell of such size was unprecedented, and Münnich was not taken seriously. In 1733, the job was assigned to local foundry masters, Ivan Motorin and his son Mikhail, based on their experience in casting a bronzecannon.

A 10-meter deep pit was dug (near the location of the present bell), with a clay form, and walls reinforced with rammed earth to withstand the pressure of the molten metal. Obtaining the necessary metals proved a challenge, for in addition to the parts of the old bell, an additional 525 kilograms of silver and 72 kilograms of gold were added to the mixture. After months of preparation, casting work commenced at the end of November 1734. The first attempt was not successful, and the project was incomplete when Ivan Motorin died in August, 1735. His son Mikhail carried on the work, and the second attempt at casting succeeded on November 25, 1735. Ornaments were added as the bell was cooling while raised above the casting pit through 1737.

However, before the last ornamentation was completed, a major fire broke out at the Kremlin in May 1737. The fire spread to the temporary wooden support structure for the bell, and fearing damage, guards threw cold water on it, causing eleven cracks, and a huge (11.5 tons) slab to crack off. The fire burned through the wooden supports, and the damaged bell fell back into its casting pit. The Tsar Bell remained in its pit for over a century. Unsuccessful attempts to raise it were made in 1792 and 1819. Napoleon Bonaparte, during his occupation of Moscow in 1812, considered removing it as a trophy to France, but was unable to do so, due to its size and weight.

It was finally successfully raised in the summer of 1836 by the French architect Auguste de Montferrand and placed on a stone pedestal. The broken slab alone is nearly three times larger than the world’s largest bell hung for full circle ringing, the tenor bell at Liverpool Cathedral.

For a time, the bell served as a chapel, with the broken area forming the door




Moscow’s Neighborhoods


Moscow is the largest city in Russia and Europe.  The capital of Russia has a population of 13 million.  According to Forbes 2011, Moscow has the largest community of billionaires in the world.

Single family homes do not exist in Moscow or St. Petersburg.  Everyone lives in apartments.  The majority of the population live in mid level, yellow brick apartment buildings in complexes lined up as far as the eye can see.  Until Khrushchev’s massive construction project, known as Khruschev’s Thaw, 2 families would share one apartment.  Each family would have a bedroom or two and share a common kitchen and bathroom.  Kruschev’s Thaw provided enough space for individual families to have their own apartment.

Staying in Moscow is cost prohibitive.  Traveler’s stay in hotels embedded in these neighborhoods and take the metro to and from downtown.

The walk from the Metro



The Arbat; Moscow, Russia

A chaotic mass of kiosks, traffic and underpasses, Arbat Square is the link between the vividly contrasting areas of old and new.  Expect to come across an impromptu rock concert, kittens and puppies for sale and, in late summer, children selling bulbous hand picked mushrooms (though buying these may not be advisable).

Moscow – Eyewitness Travel