Last Friday Night

From volunteering to a museum visit to trying a veg friendly restaurant I had quite the Friday last week!

Kicking Off Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

In honor of the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month last Saturday, the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence had an amazing volunteer opportunity on Friday.  To spread the word volunteers at various DC area metro stations handed out information and candy.  I spend a couple hours on Friday greeting commuters at the U Street Metro.  While there were plenty of people ignoring us, there were plenty more who were happy to take information, and a few who had someone in mind to give it to.  While I expected the high school boys to only want the candy several happily took information before they even knew there was candy with it.  This surprised me since the second largest age group to experience rape and sexual assault is 16 to 19 year old women.  I also felt it the information wasn’t necessary for kids younger than high school but have since read that tweens (ages 11-14) average one in five being victims of dating violence, and nearly half in relationships know friends who are verbally abused!

It is in response to these facts and the rates of college women in abusive relationships, raped or stalked that the White House, led by Vice President Joe Biden, started 1 is 2 Many.  The statistics on the site are a little shocking, but the suggestions from young women to reduce violence against women at school is impressive.  After reading this site, and from everything I did to gear up for Domestic Violence Awareness Month at Fem2.0, I was pumped by the time I reached the Metro station Friday afternoon.  I may be done volunteering, but I’m not done promoting Domestic Violence Awareness and sharing information.  Talking to people about it on Friday, and even hearing stories from a couple people and hearing them thank us for being there was enough to spur me on!  It’s going to be a busy and exciting October, but I know it will all be worth it.  I left U Street with the high of knowing I’d spent the last of my personal leave doing something great.  And to think – I could have just gone home and napped on my couch!

Degas Dancers at The Phillips Collection

Friday was one of those days I love being a member of The Phillips Collection!  As a member we get invited to preview days of new exhibits.  Food, wine, a packed museum, and some of the best art in the world awaitsat these events.  I love Impressionism, for as long as I can remember, and then in high school French class we were assigned Impressionists artists to do reports on.  I did not get any of my favorites – and this will not be about Paul Gauguin or Paul Cezanne.  Part of the reason I wanted to join the Phillips was so I could go see Luncheon of the Boating Party whenever I wanted.  Apparently everyone else at the museum has the same plan.  So several Degas paintings there at once was enough to get me to RSVP.

The exhibThe Dance Classit wound up being a showcase of a perfectionist, or an obsessive compulsive, depending on how you see it.  Degas would draw and redraw, paint and repaint the same scenes over and over.  Some of his pastel drawings were so well done I had a hard time believing they weren’t paintings.  An early attempt at his Little Dancer was impressive, and the details he chose to change seem almost random.  (It also seemed odd to not have the final product on display with, as it’s home is at the National Gallery of Art, just a couple miles across town.)  It is always a wonderful feeling to see paintings you love in person (Dancers at the Bar and The Rehearsal), but the best part was seeing paintings of his I’d never seen before, like The Dance Class.

I freely admit that I’ve been to some of the most amazing museums in the world.  The British Museum and the Rijksmuseum immediately jump to mind, along with the Musee D’Orsay.  There is something wonderful about being able see something you can marvel in your own neighborhood, a short walk from home.  I know there are cities I’ve lived in where I have not taken advantage of the museums and history around me, have not been able to make the time or effort.  I’m glad I chose DC to finally make the time to enjoy what is outside my door!

Degas’s Dancers at the Barre: Point and Counter Point runs through January 8th.  I recommend checking it out before the holidays arrive, otherwise, if you’re like me – you’ll never make it!

Branching Out: Finding Vegetarian Eats in DC

After seeing everything there was to see in the Phillips Collection, we headed down the street for dinner.  We’ve been walking past Zorba’s Cafe for months now, each saying we need to try it.  So we went.  Their vegetarian options are limited, but what we both got was delicious!  Fasolia Plakeé, which is white beans, onion, tomato, parsley and herbs all baked together, was warm, comforting and filling.  It also came with a Greek Salad.  Pulling the cheese off the salad wound up being more work that was worth it, so I didn’t each much of it.  And I really didn’t need to.  The food was ready fast and we got it just in time to grab a table on the quickly filling patio.

The day was a great way to enjoy the start of fall weather and cooler temperatures, and great way to kick of what ended up being a cold and rainy weekend.

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