(james benedict brown) on the road

Washington DC: water everywhere

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 28 August, 2006

My earlier discovery of the cool, calm little nook near the Capitol was a hint of what was to come. Not only are there dozens of pools and fountains outdoors here, there are also dozens more inside the museums and cultural institutions of this city.

As if it were not enough to escape the stifling humidity by diving into an air conditioned gallery, you are treated to frequent indoor fountains and pools that cool the air with bubbling and trickling flows of water…

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… in the National Art Gallery…

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(which even has two rather nice interior courtyards for taking a pause in)

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… to the blissfully deserted lowest level of the Smithsonian’s African Art Museum. This simple fountain can be heard from the ground level lobby of the museum. As you descend below ground to the gallery levels, you catch its sound from time to time as you turn corners or descend another staircase. When you finally discover it, the electric blue tiles beneath the water re-invigorate your eyes to sharp colour. This complex of galleries is a remarkable institution.

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