Author Archives: Rick

Thoughts on visiting Europe

Eight countries, 170,000-plus steps, planes, trains, boats, subways and cars. We pretty much conquered Europe over 16 days. I’m just going to take it one thought at a time. At the risk of sounding like an ugly American, my wife … Continue reading

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A champion in the ring – Joe Louis

You’re busy trying to make the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns so you see an interesting grave but don’t stop. Well, stop on the way down the hill at Arlington National Cemetery because if nothing … Continue reading

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Happy 4th of July

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The memorial FDR really wanted

Name the five greatest U.S. presidents and Franklin Delano Roosevelt should make the list. Ironically, he received the least striking memorial until a second was built in 1997. But that’s the way Roosevelt wanted it. Shortly before his 1945 death … Continue reading

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‘Heros of the Independance’ at DAR

This bronze bas relief hangs at the Daughters of the Revolution in Washington. The ‘Heros of the Independance” is by David D’Angers in 1905. It was donated by his daughter Helene.

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National Cathedral Bishop’s Garden

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The ‘Price of Freedom’ is never cheap

It doesn’t take long to encounter the first example of Arlington National Cemetery’s reason for being. Steps from the visitors center’s west doors most people use to see the cemetery lies “The Price of Freedom” sculpture. The 12-foot, 1,800-pound bronze … Continue reading

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The Watergate Steps to nowhere along the Potomac

It was supposed to be a staircase to heaven, but turned into a  helluva waste. The Watergate Steps between the Potomac River and the Lincoln Memorial was built in 1932 as part of the Arlington Memorial Bridge complex. According to … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: National Cathedral

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The Warren Court

Sculptor Phillip Ratner once taught school in Washington for 23 years. Now he’s one of the nation’s more respected multimedia artists. Ratner has five sculptures at the Statue of Liberty, 40 at Ellis Island and others at the Smithsonian, Library … Continue reading

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Volta Bureau remembers Alexander Graham Bell

It has been known as the Bell Carriage House, Bell Laboratory, Volta Bureau and Alexander Graham Bell Laboratory. No matter. The Volta Laboratory is a National Historic Landmark for helping the hearing impaired. Built in 1893 by Charles Summer Tainter … Continue reading

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Buffalo Dancer II offers prayers

George Rivera described his bronze statue of a Buffalo Dancer as showing Native Americans showing respect to the buffalo that provide their sustenance through dance. It’s the first statue of an American Indian on the National Mall. The Pueblo of … Continue reading

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Strike up the band for John Philip Sousa

You may not know the man, but you know his music. John Philip Sousa was known as “The March King” for his snappy marching music like “The Stars and Stripes Forever (official march of the U.S.) and “The Semper Fidelis” … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: Zigzagging downtown

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Allies in War at American Indian museum

War makes strange bedfellows. Allies in War, Partners in Peace is a bronze statue by Edward E. Hlavka that is in the American Indian museum. Gen. George Washington is joined by Oneida diplomat Oskanondonha and Polly Cooper, an Oneida Indian … Continue reading

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First U.S. president rests high on the hill

(Reprinting one of our favorite columns.) Leaving the Gaylord National Hotel in Oxon Hill, I point to a lonely tree above the rising MGM Grand casino and parallel to the beltway and say, “That’s where the first president of the … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: DuPont Circle

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Washington 101 – Filomena is the best Italian restaurant

(Reprinting one of our favorites.) OK, let’s start a fight over the best Italian restaurant in town. Maggiano’s on Wisconsin Ave. is a contender. Carmine’s on 7th St. N.W. is a fan favorite. But I’m going with Filomena in Georgetown. … Continue reading

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My 10 tips for Washington visitors (and locals, too)

I’ve seen tourists from dozens of countries visit Washington over the years. Now that I lead groups, I really have some advice for those coming in the summer. Since my blog is read nearly equally by out-of-towners as locals and … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: Mount Vernon

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