LA Phil Blog

On to DC!

On to DC!

I resisted my natural proclivity for thriftiness and decided to spend a little more money to travel “in front” of the rest of the group to Washington, DC. Most of the orchestra stayed in Nashville and are arriving in DC this morning for rehearsal at The Kennedy Center. The good news is we have the next day off, which is actually more like excellent news.

There are so many things to do in this city. Yesterday, a group of us checked out the Spy Museum, which was very cool. My kids are sneaky teenagers, but they’ve got nothing on the characters celebrated by this unique museum. From there, we walked over to the White House, the Washington Monument and its reflecting pool, which is actually more like a reflecting mud pit - it was recently drained to combat an outbreak of bird botulism among the local ducks. We also visited the Lincoln Monument, and the new WWII Memorial - beautiful, but 60 years late, in my humble opinion. My dad fought in the Pacific as a marine, and it was good to see a fitting tribute to the tremendous sacrifice that that generation made.

We also stopped by the Vietnam Memorial - this was an unexpectedly moving experience. It is just a simple wall, with the names of the confirmed dead and missing engraved upon it. It is one thing to read a number like 58,178, but to see a visual representation of that number really drove home the waste of American lives. One of my colleagues made an etching of a name on the Wall - it was his mother’s first husband, who had been killed about six months after their marriage. The irony didn’t escape me that had that name not been on the Wall, my friend would not have been standing there in front of me. We capped the night off with a nice Thai meal and something quite rare on this tour - getting to bed before midnight!