Monday, May 29, 2006

Pure fun

Columbia road next to "La casa del pueblo". About 6:30 PM. I'm walking coming back from a friend's house. An apartment building with a large garden iron door. A little girl is hanging on the door. She is going back and forth as her older sister (her mother?) pushes and pulls to open and close the door.
The little girl is shrieking with pleasure. Back and forth on a door. Pure and simple fun.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


On my way to National airport to pick up a friend. It is about 8:30 PM and it's not completely dark yet. Just right before the exit to the airport, I catch a glimpse of a man fishing in what seems like a pond, on the other side of the road from the Potomac. He is in the water to his waist, a silhouette with a hat and a long pole. He looks lost, far away from civilization, within a stone's throw of the shore.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Parallel parking

Friday, a beautiful day in DC and I am out for a short walk before going back to work. On Columbia Road I notice a van trying to park between a car and a motorcycle. From the angle of the car, I know that the driver is having troubles.
As I walk past it I can't help but looking to the driver. She too turns her head and looks at me with a pleading air. I stop and start to direct her: "You can go back some more, some more, some more. STOP. Now go forward"' I say going back to the front to check the distance to the motorcycle.
After a couple of back and forth, she is parked but about 2 meters away from the sidewalk. I shake my head. "You should try again" I suggest. I can see that she is afraid of the traffic zooming past her while she is parking. She is hesitating and this trial is also for naught.
I ask her "Do you want me to park the car for you?". She shakes her head and asks me if I would not mind helping her for the third time. I don't mind. I tell her that learning to drive in Paris is a marvellous recipe to learn to parallel park anywhere.
I give her all the tricks and start shouting "back, back, turn, turn, turn, back again, turn the other way, the other way, now forward, forward...".
She is parked in less than 5 mn, 10 cm away from the sidewalk, so happy of her prowess. I am happy too. I think she got it completely now. Another 2 or 3 times like this and she'll park like a Parisian in the streets of DC.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Dada fan

The Dada exhibit currently at the National Gallery. The last room has a large screen that shows a rotating wheel painted in back and white. The effect is mesmerizing, spirals going away from us and small circles disappearing.
A man is walking by with an infant in his arms. She must be 9 or 10 month old. A baby with a cut dress and rosy cheeks.
Her eyes are drawn to the screen. She stops moving and watches. After 10 seconds, the father moves to the next display. The baby twists her head completely, and turns to keep watching the wheels and the geometrical patterns that are shown on the screen. Her dad does not notice and I can see them both, him looking straight ahead at a picture and the baby in his arms, her head twisted and tilted to watch some more of that fantastic spectacle.