Author Archives: Rick

Lincoln’s hands – Urban legend or truth?

Tourists love stories. I could tell them the date, cost and weight/height of statues and they’d forget it as soon as I said it. But the stories, that’s different. Sometimes I’ll tell a PG tale if there is no one … Continue reading

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Demons on Embassy Row

As regular readers know, I’m an average photographer. And sometimes it’s hard to get a good shot, especially when the gates are locked. Hence this photo. But here’s one of two Balinese Demons who guard the front doors of the … Continue reading

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Remembering the soul of a poet

There are plenty of memorials to foreigners that I really don’t understand, and this might be the most perplexing of all. I read two short biographies of the man and still not sure why a $1 million memorial across the … Continue reading

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DAR Memorial remembers its founding mothers?

I used to think the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) were a bunch of old bluebloods caught in the past. And then my wife whacked me. No, Lisa just set me straight since she’s a member. Turns out it’s … Continue reading

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The Beckoning symbolizes rising National Harbor

The first thing you’ll see entering National Harbor, a growing waterfront Oxon Hill, Md. tourist and residential development near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, and I mean the very first thing is Albert Paley’s “The Beckoning.” The 85-foot corten steel sculpture … Continue reading

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Check out our sister blog – Capital Photo History Tours

Yes, this is my company. I’ve been working with budding photographers for four seasons. Mostly, it’s Washingtonians rather than out-of-towners, though anyone is welcome. I offer theme tours — the Lincoln assassination, Georgetown homes of the Kennedys, Mount Vernon, Arlington … Continue reading

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Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

  I wish my flowers grew this big. The Federal Triangle Flower is 10 feet tall and 13 feet wide. Created in 1997 as part of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Center, the courtyard art was sculpted by Stephen … Continue reading

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Police and fire boxes gain new life

I’ll admit not knowing the following story until becoming a tour guide. Like a lot of statues, I’d walk by these call boxes never knowing they were once the lifeline of police and firemen. It’s not often I find superb … Continue reading

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A little statue in the corner has a story to tell

I love the Organization of American States building. It is absolutely fascinating and filled with overwhelming art projects both inside and out. One is tucked away from the front view, but you shouldn’t miss this one. Just to the right … Continue reading

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Full Count reminds fans there are sports statues in town

With more than 3,100 statues, memorials and monuments, you’d think Washington would be filled with sports figures cast in bronze. Think again. Nationals Park has Josh Gibson, Frank Howard and Walter Johnson as gigantic, odd-looking statues beyond the left field … Continue reading

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Here’s a bar bet you can win

Washington, D.C. is named after two people. Name them. I ask this of every group I take out and maybe 10 percent has someone who can answer it. OK, we all should know that George Washington is the Washington part. … Continue reading

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The lady was a princess

Statues are normally not what I would call sexy. But, I stand corrected before Crown Princess Martha of Norway. Martha was born a Swedish princess who married Prince Olav of Norway in 1929 at age 28. The princess along with … Continue reading

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Churchill – man of two worlds

Winston Churchill does an international game of hokey pokey outside the British embassy on Massachusetts Ave. Embassies are technically foreign soil so the 181 in town form quite an international landmass. But the late British prime minister, who led England … Continue reading

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Happy 4th birthday to Monumental Thoughts

Monumental Thoughts celebrates its fourth birthday. Wow, and they said we wouldn’t last a week. Well, I don’t know who said that but if someone did that they would be wrong. Year four saw 13,334 visitors. Over four years, 82,628 … Continue reading

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American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial brings peace

It’s peaceful when entering the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. It’s just a block off the National Mall near congressional offices at 150 Washington Ave. SW, sandwiched into a one-time medium area that was a short cut exiting town. … Continue reading

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Where the gossip grew along Embassy Row

Welcome to the home of the other “Washington Monument” as Alice Roosevelt Longfellow was called. The oldest daughter of president Teddy Roosevelt, she lived 96 years and they were very colorful years. Alice once said, “If you can’t say something … Continue reading

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The Embassy Row Lady and the Curse

The Indonesian Embassy was once the home of Evalyn Walsh McLean, whose Irish immigrant father hit it rich as a gold miner. This 3 1/2-story brick mansion trimmed with three bands of limestone and a red tile roof was the … Continue reading

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Remembering a car bomb on Embassy Row

The first impression is it’s some sort of fire plug. Instead, it remembers a terrorist act along Embassy Row. Chilean exile Orlando Letelier and co-worker Ronni Moffitt were killed by a car bomb on Sept. 21, 1976 where the monument … Continue reading

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The history of flags by the FBI

Sometimes the government website says it better than we can. Here is the FBI’s website explanation of the flags along its building on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington.The Grand Union, or Continental Colors, serving from 1775-1777, was first raised on January … Continue reading

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The Hammer? Well, not exactly

It looks like a 40-foot hammer in the courtyard of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Well, you’re close. Bearing Witness is a hammered bronze plate created by Martin Puryear, an American sculptor who was a minimalist. Well, … Continue reading

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