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Found 48 results

  1. I'm intrigued. I would like to organize a small group dinner here in the near future (6-8 people). Let me know if you're interested.
  2. "How Japan's Skyscrapers Are Built To Withstand Earthquakes" by Martha Henriques on bbc.com This is an interesting, ten-part slideshow that explains energy-dampening features in Japanese skyscrapers, including the world's second-tallest structure, the Tokyo Skytree.
  3. Last week, I went to the Rye Street Tavern, NoHo Hospitality Group's latest foray into Baltimore. It was on a Sunday evening, so we naturally gravitated towards their "Southern Fried Sundays" - a fried chicken dinner, served family style. Keep reading, because I'm going to tell you a little secret about ordering this meal that wouldn't be at all obvious to a first-time diner. and it will make the difference between you "liking it," and "loving it." The cocktails were somewhat expensive, but were well-made and delicious: And a little loaf of cornbread comes out just before everything else arrives: Then, the family-style dinner: Everything about this meal screamed "Repeat!" - everything, that is, except the price: We paid $70 for those two little assemblages of food that you see just above (plus the cornbread). "Geez," I said, "$70, and we got *four* pieces of chicken!" I mean, it was great and everything, but as you can see, there are three starch-heavy items: the cornbread, the biscuits, and the potatoes, and we both paced our dinners so that we finished everything at the same time. We were mildly full, and yes, the richness of the cooking made everything satisfying, but come on! I wanted more chicken, darn it! So, just as we were winding down, our server came up to us, and said, "Would you all care for some more chicken, or side dishes?" "Wat?" Okay, so ... spending my money so you don't have to ... we asked for some more chicken, potatoes, and collards (made with delicious bacon, btw), and got a healthy second portion; the rub is that we had *no idea* it was coming, so we filled up on starch, when we would have really preferred a better balance with another piece of chicken. Remember: Those second portions are coming your way, but not a word was said about them until we had almost finished the meal - if you take *that* into consideration, and use it to your advantage, then $35 is a very fair price for this meal. Also, the restaurant gave us two spice muffins "to have with breakfast the next morning," which is always a nice touch. To Rye Street's full credit, they offered to box up the second helping which we couldn't finish - we felt sheepish about this, since boxing up all-you-can-eat meals is something of a shady practice, but they would hear nothing of it. Keep in mind: I don't know if this is all-you-can-eat; I suspect you get two helpings, and *maybe* a third helping if you really do a number on everything, but I wouldn't count on that. Still, in no way did they seem like they were trying to skimp on things, so this was merely a lack of knowledge on our part - learn from our mistake! Go here on a Sunday night, get this exact same thing, and *remember* that it's essentially all-you-can-eat - I can't guarantee we'd have gotten a third helping, but who knows? There's no need to stuff yourself with carbs, merely so you don't leave hungry. Furthermore, the restaurant, and the grounds it's on (it shares acreage with a distillery) is beautiful - there's even a battleship in the background! And that is damned good fried chicken!
  4. Spark is a restaurant located on the border of NE and NW DC. I don't know what neighborhood it's in, but it's in a gentrifying neighborhood. You have to hunt for street parking, which was plentiful at least in the morning, before the restaurant opened at 11 a.m. I ordered some jerk brisket ($17) and some smoked bone marrow ($16). I'm not sure how the brisket was "jerked," but it was moist and well seasoned (but definitely not spicy-hot). It's a change of pace from Texas BBQ brisket (but not a superior product to Hill Country/Texas Jack). I don't know why I keep ordering bone marrow. I've never been a fan of bone marrow, and I don't need the fat (it is 84% fat). In this case, an order consists of 3 halves of bones and 3 pieces of grilled bread. Something to cut through the fat probably would've helped. I should've ordered some fried bread instead. And I wish they have salt fish.
  5. Congratulations to Brothers and Sisters (but everyone knows lists like these are a load of baloney, right?)
  6. We met friends at 71Above for drinks and some appetizers. We had to leave for a show so we did not stay for dinner (although our friends did). We sat at the bar and one among us took charge and ordered the appetizers and while they were uniformly good, I spent way to much time talking rather than focusing on the food so I cannot offer much more in the way of a commentary. But what I can report is.... Man, what a view!
  7. Location and Rates for Tonight - Website with Best-Rate Guarantee Just had drinks in the Library Bar in Los Angeles. Playing some nice 60’s soul. Did not eat. Bestia later.
  8. Location and Rates for Tonight - Website with Best-Rate Guarantee The NoMad Hotel - culinarily known for its affiliation with Daniel Humm's Make It Nice Group (the hotel contains The NoMad Restaurant, and is near Eleven Madison Park) - has opened a second location in Los Angeles.
  9. A couple of weeks ago a friend and I walked up on a Friday in the hopes that we could snag a seat at Brother's and Sister's. As we walked up the front steps, we were "greeted" by two large bouncers, who when we told them we didn't have a reservation, boxed us out, and wouldn't let us even move further up the steps of the property and told us to leave. I guess a 40 year old lawyer is very scary looking and not the demographic they were going for. It was very off putting, I don't really know what the purpose was of the treatment, perhaps, they could have just told us they were fully booked and we should try for another night. I know it was Friday, soon after opening, but it was a pretty rude treatment.
  10. What is the story behind reservations at this restaurant? Phenomenal popularity? A secret? For the next month, they show availability for only a handful of weekdays, for seatings near closing time. I have encountered a similar roadblock at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, though at the opening bell it is not that difficult to find something in the bar area. It's discouraging, though. (And making the journey to Spike Gjerde's award-winning kitchen is expensive and not always quite as transporting as it used to be.)
  11. With its nice long bar and large sunny windows, The Vanderbilt is the kind of place you want to go to for an afternoon drink. We enjoyed a glass of the Forstreiter Gruner Veltliner 2013 ($9) and the Aizipurua Getariako Txakolina 2015 ($12). They were serving a limited prix fixe menu because of Mother's Day but we did enjoy our plate of cottage fries ($6). The vibe of The Vanderbilt is more upscale neighborhood restaurant with prices to match. But not a bad place to spend an hour or so on a late Sunday afternoon after wandering around the Brooklyn Museum.
  12. Anyone been yet? I know they are only open for lunch so far, but the initial buzz seems quite good. I was never in doubt of course, but I think this could be something really special. We have ressies for the middle of next month for dinner, so I will be sure to report back but just curious to see if anyone has been there yet. Also....thoughts on parking? Mirabelle
  13. Because of a career transition, I have found myself at the Cosmos Club many times in 2017 and yet, am not a member. I don't know if that makes my review more or less biased because I actually cannot pick up the bill at Cosmos. I am a fan. First off, the service is absolutely perfect. Second, the building is amazing, beautiful, old, and historic. Third, the walls are full of history. Forth, I feel incredibly young and extraordinarily beautiful when I dine at Cosmos. If you exclude grandchildren, I am usually the youngest in the room by about 20 years. It's amazing. But really, I'm here to tell you about the food. When I first went to dine, I assumed that I would get a big baked potato with sour cream, cheddar cheese and bacon bits. I had, however, a very lovely lobster salad that was lightly, and yet perfectly dressed. ALso, I'm a huge soup and crab fan. Even though their crab soup has square carrots in it, I love it. It's very good and the crab is, I think, added at the end so it keeps its crabby, sweetness. My theory is that the average age of the members is quite advanced and their chef is personally invested in keeping them all alive as long as possible so created a wonderful, light, tasty, healthy menu. He should be commended.
  14. Location and Rates for Tonight - Website Hotel Royal is a pretty central location in French Quarter. It is a boutique hotel, multiple floors, with no elevator, but there's a small courtyard with a fountain. My bathroom only had a shower, there was no minibar, and no coffee/tea maker. The room is clean, but definitely on the small side. There was one chair but no writing desk. The area is usually quiet, unless drunks are walking by and screaming at the top of their lungs. The hotel has no bar. I had 2 small bottles of water in my room, but that was not replenished (even though I tipped the cleaning staff). It was 10 days before Fat Tuesday, also the NBA All-Star game was in town, and I booked late, thus ending up here. I think it was around $300/nt. The hotel is rated 3 stars by Trivago, the site I used to book this hotel.
  15. Not sure if there is a separate thread for Vintage, so here's a small review: We had a nice meal here a few weeks ago. The hotel dining interior is decorated in architectural antique-store distressed shutters and wall coverings - not cluttered but...you'd better like distressed things The colors are 50 shades of white. Our waiter was excellent, on point. Appetizers: the pretzel bites were kind of bland, the deviled eggs were fine...the standouts were the hush puppies and the buffalo blue chips - housemade chips with mild buffalo sauce and blue cheese crumbles, very nice and light. Main: I had catfish which was nicely breaded and cooked nicely though mildly spiced. It was served on a bed of really delicious corn, almost in chowder form (kind of creamed corn I suppose) and topped with "southern chow-chow" made of beans and its REALLY sweet. I suppose the mild catfish was nice relative to the tangy sweetness of the chow-chow. The main portions were all quite large - the chicken and waffles included a mountain of chicken piled on! Chef Stephanie Wilson was recently nominated for the MD restaurant association's 'chef of the year award.' I had not been to the Mealy's incarnations (despite my posts about Mealy's) but I'd go back to Vintage. They seem to be pretty popular.
  16. If you've driven north-south on 16th Street you've seen them, and if you've driven east-west on Columbia Road you've seen them (at mid-day on Sundays, perhaps for longer than you'd care to). These are the three formidable churches in the Mount Pleasant - Columbia Heights - Adams Morgan neighborhoods - at least the ones prominently visible from 16th Street - and along with numerous other items of architectural interest in the immediate area (e.g., The Temple of the Scottish Rite (also known as "The House of the Temple") on 16th and S Street, the Ecuadorian Embassy on 15th and Euclid Street, the Headquarters of the Inter-American Defense Board (also known as "The Pink Palace") on 16th and Euclid Street, the Lutheran Church Center (also called the Warder-Totten House, which has had more lives than a cat, and could have been tagged in the thread title, but it's not a place of worship), the Meridian House on 16th Street and Crescent Place, and of course, Meridian Hill Park which is 12 acres in size, stretching from Florida Avenue to Euclid Street along the east side of 16th Street, and I'm sure I've omitted several other buildings of merit and interest), anyway, along with this rather amazing concentration of historic architecture (we're talking about architects such as John Russell Pope (arguably the most important architect in Post-1800 Washington, DC, having designed the National Archives Building, the Jefferson Memorial, and the National Gallery of Art (West Building) - those three buildings alone are enough make you say, "Huh?") and George Oakley Totten, Jr. (who designed numerous mansions along 16th Street and in the Kalorama Circle area), we have three churches large enough to stand out and make drivers turn their heads. Sitting up by itself on 16th Street and Columbia Road is the National Baptist Memorial Church: I don't know much about the architecture behind this church (when it was completed, or who designed it), and would love to have someone knowledgeable in architecture comment on the style and the architect. However, I did find an interesting web page devoted to its groundbreaking in 1921, with President Warren G. Harding actually breaking the ground: Apr 23, 2014 - "Historic Photos of the 1921 Groundbreaking for the Columbia Heights National Baptist Memorial Church" on parkviewdc.com And also the 1922 Cornerstone Ceremony attended by Secretary of State Charles E. Hughes. I've read that the building was constructed over a couple of decades (which might make it the youngest of the three churches, despite being designed first - I'm not sure when construction was completed on any of the three): Sep 11, 2014 - "Historic 1922 Photo of National Baptist Memorial Church's Corner Stone Ceremony" on parkviewdc.com As impressive as this church is, it takes a back seat (in visual prominence) to other the two Meridian Hill churches sitting face-to-face on the south side of 16th and Harvard Streets. As you're driving south down 16th Street, you can see all three churches at once, with the one just described in the foreground: Notice also that as you're approaching the southernmost two, there's a Capital Bikeshare rack on the right: In the Architecture Thread in the Art Forum, the book, "The AIA Guide to the Architecture of Washington, DC" is mentioned, and that book refers to both of these next two churches, possibly taking a not-so-subtle swipe at the first, the All Souls Unitarian Church, which was "inspired" (rather blatantly, I will add) by London's Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields, on the southwest corner of the intersection: . The similarities between this and London's famous church are unmistakable. From the book: "1924, Coolidge & Shattuck - St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, by James Gibbs, provided the architectural inspiration for this building as it did for so many other churches throughout America, Britain, and Canada." Across 16th Street rests, mano-a-mano with the All Souls Unitarian Church, the impressive and beautiful Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, now unfortunately masked by scaffolding: Up above, I said the book "possibly" takes a not-so-subtle swipe at All Souls, but the way they worded it, they could just as easily be talking about the row of rat-infested (I've seen them with my own eyes) storefronts on Mount Pleasant Street, so decide for yourselves (bold emphasis is my own): "1933, Young & Hansen - Designed to suggest the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City and capped by the Angel Moroni, the building, with its delicate, linear detailing, stratified stone skin, and consistent verticality, creates one of the most elegant small churches in town. Or perhaps the sense of success is relative and results from comparing it to its distinctly unsubtle neighbors across the street." Who they're slamming all depends on which "street" they're referring to - it's ambiguous, and could go either way. Regardless, this is a beautiful area for a stroll or a bike ride, and all of the buildings mentioned here are worth seeing.
  17. Everyone knows that the height of Washington, DC buildings is restricted, and many people mistakenly think the law says that buildings can be no higher than the Capitol Dome, which is a myth. In 1910, the Federal Government passed the Height of Buildings Act of 1910 which amended the Height of Buildings Act of 1899. See? You just learned something - there were two of them! After you read this post, you'll get the greatest benefit if you read the Wikipedia article about 1899 first (which includes a section about the Capitol Dome myth), and then the one about 1910 next. The 1899 law limited height to between 60 and 130 feet, and if you read the fascinating article (and the Act itself), it seems to make reasonable sense. Architecture aside, I can see a legitimate fear about fires breaking out many stories above the ground (don't forget - we had no motor-powered firetrucks, and certainly no high-tech hook-and-ladder vehicles, in 1899). Interestingly, an impetus for the 1899 Act was The Cairo apartment building in North Dupont. Built in 1894, it was the tallest building in the entire city at 14 stories (164 feet), and to this very day, it remains DC's tallest residential building. Most of the material was covered by the 1899 Act (which is why you should read it first), and the 1910 Act served largely to "make minor modifications and tighten it up," and that 1910 Act is still the law today. Here is the current law, as of Mar 11, 2016, in my everyday, "roadside prose," as Vladimir Nabokov would say: * No building can be taller than the width of the street in front of it plus twenty feet. For example, if the street directly in front of a building is 40 feet from-curb-to-curb, the building can only be 60-feet tall. * No building can be taller than 130 feet, with one exception: on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue between 1st and 15th Streets NW (the parade route), a building can be 160-feet tall. * On a residential street, no building can be taller than 90 feet. * On a corner lot, the wider of the two streets is used as the basis for calculation. * On blocks adjacent to public buildings (e.g., schools), the maximum height is to be determined by a schedule written by the DC Council. * Next to the front of Union Station (the plaza), all buildings must be fireproof and cannot be taller than 80 feet. * Section 5, Paragraph h, is extremely long, but basically says that things like spires, towers, steeples, chimneys, smokestacks, etc. are exempt (this is an extreme simplification). If you're familiar with these seven bullet-points, you know the law better than 99.9% of the DC population. If anyone cares to discuss this further so that we can hit 99.999%, that's okay by me. The Tallest Buildings in Washington, DC 1. The Hughes Memorial Tower (1989, 761 feet) in Brightwood is the tallest structure in the Baltimore-DC metropolitan area (note the last bullet point above - it's exempt). 2. The Washington Monument (1848-1888, 555 feet) was grandfathered in, as were several other buildings and structures. 3. * The Basilica of the Natural Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (1920-1959, 329 feet) is one of the ten largest churches in the world, and the tallest habitable building in DC - it was granted an exemption). 4. * The Old Post Office Building (1892-1899, 315 feet) is being leased to The Trump Organization - there is a great deal of complexity to this lease, so bone up before chiming in, please. 5. The National Cathedral (1907-1990, 301 feet) is the second-largest church in the U.S. after The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. 6. * The United States Capitol (1793-1863, 289 feet) is under a major, three-year, external restoration project, and will have scaffolding around the dome until early 2017. 7. One Franklin Square (1989, 210 feet) is the tallest commercial building in DC, and is now home to The Washington Post - I'm curious why (and how) this building got an exemption. * These three buildings have the distinction of being the only buildings to claim that they are (were) "the tallest buildings in Washington, DC." I don't understand how the Basilica is "one of the ten largest churches in the world," but the Cathedral is the "second-largest church in the U.S." Here's a list of the Largest Church Buildings in the World - it looks like the claim about the Basilica could be referring to the exterior, which would make everything consistent. Note also the incredible discrepancy between exterior and interior of The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Ivory Coast. It's extremely thought-provoking that a "times-have-changed" mentality can easily be envisioned (and justified) while reading about these two Acts; yet, they were both passed over 100 years *after* the 2nd Amendment became law. No, this post was not some grand, manipulative build-up to ram a private political agenda down your throats; this one, largely unrelated item is merely an interesting point to ponder in its own right. I am also going on-record, right here, right now, and predicting that the Height of Buildings Act of 1910 will be overturned within the next fifty years, and that height restrictions will be greatly lifted, if not essentially removed altogether. Washington, DC, circa 2300 - if it's not a pile of rubble - is going to look a lot like Manhattan. And I think it's *so cool* that someone is going to look back and examine this statement in 284 years. "What the hell does 'so cool' mean?" they'll ask.
  18. Being new to donrockwell.com I decided to look around and see what I could find about the places in my neighborhood. I was a little surprised that there were not any posts about Sixth Engine even though they've been open for over three years now. Perhaps that's because it wallows in mediocrity. Don't get me wrong, they've always had a consistently good brunch and well cooked burgers. The problem for me is that much of the rest of the menu has always been a little 'heavy handed' when it comes to ingredients and sauces. Thankfully, the chef who opened the place, Paul Madrid, has left and things are starting to get better. Additions like the arugula salad and roasted cauliflower with "Ling Sauce", which is very much a sweeter General Tso's sauce, have injected life back into the menu. Hopefully they will continue down this path. The bar program, on the other hand, came flying out of the gate and hasn't lost its momentum. Draft beers rotate regularly to highlight the best of the season and the bartenders take pride in not only making the drinks, but also the ingredients, creating custom shrubs and tonics to use in their creations. While I realize the latter can be found at craft cocktail bars all over the city, it's surprising to find in a place that has the vibe of a glorified TGI Fridays. The layout is more on par with the food than the bar program. Do not go there if you're looking for a quiet evening. The bar bleeds into the downstairs dining area and with TVs in both, it can quickly become a situation where you have to yell at the person across the table from you in order for them to hear you easily. The beautiful upstairs dining room has exposed brick walls and hardwood floors that echo all of the activity in the kitchen that adjoins it. Surprisingly the outdoor patio is the least noisy of the three even with the traffic on Mass Ave just a few feet away. There are a plethora of tables and the service is good. The sun us really the only enemy. During happy hour you're fine and in the shade while the sun scorches Philos' patio across the street. During brunch though you are in the sun's crosshairs and it will roast you at your table even with umbrellas in place to help prevent that. At the end of the day Sixth Engine is a nice place to get a drink and maybe have something to eat if it speaks to you. Otherwise, have a few drinks and walk around the corner to Wise Guy Pizza and score a slice of pie.
  19. History seemed to be the best sub-category for this. Moderators feel free to move it as you see fit. Cemeteries are of interest to my wife and I. Full of history, art, landscaping, peace and solitude and more. We often visit cemeteries in our travels, to see what they look like, to see how the dead are honored, to find the oldest grave, looking for art, and getting away from where people are for some solitude and a connection to the space we are in - close to home or on our travels. Some cemeteries are hallow, like all of the military cemeteries filled with the dead of war and struggle. They are uniform (and honestly boring, visually) and give you pause to absorb the magnitude of loss due to war. Some are beautiful, like many in Germany - gardened and impeccably maintained. Some are above ground, like in New Orleans. Some are decrepit, like New Orleans. Some have amazing natural landscapes, like those in Savannah, GA. Others have rolling hills or small ponds. I love them all. We just got back from visiting Greenmount Cemetery and New Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore, MD. Green mount seems older, and more hodgepodge, the way I like it. All of the tombstones are above ground (again my preference). Many of the graves date back to the early 1800s when it opened. It is almost full, too. It is a rolling set of hills, and surrounded by a high wall, keeping the hum of the city at bay. John Wilkes Booth is buried there, as is Enoch Pratt, among many other notables (famous or infamous). We saw 3 raptors until the grounds as well as a fox checking us out from a distance. Lots of funeral art and sculpture too. Very well maintained and place of solitude and peace. New Cathedral seems younger, at least where most are buried. And I think it is run by the arch diocese of Baltimore. The older areas are mostly near the top of the rolling hills. It is a bit of a tragedy that it is not better maintained. It is not poorly maintained, but there are headstones that need to be set more vertically and some leftover underbrush that needs dealing with. But there are SO MANY angels atop markers, some seem like copies from the statues of the bridges near the castle by the Vatican I swear. Part of my interest in cemeteries is rooted in a desire to follow our genealogy - easier to do in the USA for my wife, as most of my ancestors are in Europe. So we've explored for graves of her ancestors in Pennsylvania. But we stumbled upon Find-A-Grave. It is a website, now with an app, that lets you make requests for graves to be found for you, and where you, as a graveyard nerd, help others out by trying to find graves for others. It's fascinating. Anyone else a cemetery nerd?
  20. And this thread could just as easily go in the Art forum, or the History forum - I'm actually thinking about moving it to the latter. I've decided to pick up my copy of the AIA Guide to the Architecture of Washington, DC (my copy is the 3rd Edition), and study it a bit. The link is to the 5th Edition, which came out in 2012 - if it's substantially different, and people want to attend this party, I'll spring for it, since a lot has changed in the past 21 years. After the introduction, Tour A starts off in Capitol Hill, with an 8-page description of the Capitol (and more detail later about certain aspects of the Capitol). Anyone interested in doing a pseudo-walking tour with me? I want to actually see these things, rather than simply reading about them - I had no idea, for example, that the Capitol had corn-cob and tobacco-leaf capitals (a capital is the top part of a column). Also, I always thought Robert Mills was responsible for the Capitol Dome; here, he doesn't even get a mention (although I'm sure he'll be mentioned in the Washington Monument (*) section) - Thomas Walter is credited with making the dome as high as it is today (it looked really "squat" in bygone eras), and I cannot imagine it like that after having seen the current version my entire life. Did you know they extended the east face by 32 1/2 feet in 1959-1960, and in the process, added *102 rooms*?! If anyone wants to do an on-your-own group tour of DC's architecture and discuss it here, I'm game. (*) Who knew that before the Washington Monument, the world's tallest building was the Cologne Cathedral? Boy, I certainly didn't.
  21. I used to joke around with brian about the Third Church of Christ, Scientist: and Brutalist architecture in general, saying how ugly it all was. He had sometimes written about this church, and I was giving him what was intended to be a good-natured ribbing. And yes, I *do* think it's ugly - in fact, it's an absolute eyesore; on the other hand, Brian is an expert at architecture, and I am nothing but a curious layman whose knowledge is barely above zero. When we first began talking about it, I remember that I was surprised to find out it was designed by I.M. Pei (who I suspect is taken seriously by real architects, but also becomes annoying since he's one of about five names (along with Frank Lloyd Wright) that people like me mention, because we don't know enough to mention any others). And then, I remember driving by it one day about a year ago, and seeing this: and, out of the blue, I became extremely sad - I wasn't even sure why. I've since looked into the building, and realize that it was considered by many respected architects to be - not an eyesore, but an important work. Yet, the businessmen and the bureaucrats apparently didn't listen to the architects and historians, and sacrificed this building forever in order to become another generic, glass-windowed office building. Shifting to something I have more expertise in (classical music), whether or not a piece is "pretty" or "beautiful" is of little importance to me in terms of assessing its value. I can't even begin to list the masterpieces which, to an untrained ear, might sound "ugly," "like noise," or "just plain boring," and yet, these pieces are not only appreciated, but positively cherished by me and most people with a music education. Example (*): I don't know the back story behind the church's demolition, but the thought of brain-dead government officials ignoring experts in order to pander to the masses makes me want to evolve towards Fascism. If this building was a masterpiece, even if I can't see it, then damn it, it's a masterpiece, and it's up to me to bring myself up to speed so that I can recognize it as such. What other works of importance are going to be sacrificed for the almighty dollar, and because the public wants something "inoffensive to the eye?" I may not be sophisticated enough to know that this was an important building, but I'm wise enough to recognize that experts, who know a whole lot more than I do, think that it was. If I were in a position of power, I would listen to what they had to say, public opinion be damned. (*) [Emphasis mine] "Early in 1943, I received the score of the Seventh Sonata, which I found fascinating and which I learned in just four days (**).... The work was a huge success. The audience clearly grasped the spirit of the work, which reflected their innermost feelings and concerns. (This was also felt to be the case with Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony, which dates from more or less the same period.)... With this work we are brutally plunged into the anxiously threatening atmosphere of a world that has lost its balance. Chaos and uncertainty reign. We see murderous forces ahead. But this does not mean that what we lived by before thereby ceases to exist. We continue to feel and love. Now the full range of human emotions bursts forth. Together with our fellow men and women, we raise a voice in protest and share the common grief. We sweep everything before us, borne along by the will for victory. In the tremendous struggle that this involves, we find the strength to affirm the irrepressible life-force." -- Sviatislov Richter (**)
  22. The Hersch


    You didn't ask me, but I'm a total bridge freak and will attempt a simple explanation (I'm further from being an engineer of any kind than from any other profession, and simple is all I can do). In a suspension bridge, the main cables are strung between two towers, and smaller cables (sometimes called "hangers") run vertically from the main cables to the bridge deck, holding it up. In a cable-stayed bridge, cables are run directly from the towers to the bridge deck. The Brooklyn Bridge employs both kind of cabling, as you can see here: Among the best-known pure suspension bridges is the main section of the Golden Gate Bridge, the form of which is shown here: Probably the most breath-taking cable-stayed bridge is the Millau Viaduct in France, which opened in 2004: It's the tallest bridge ever built, its tallest mast being approximately twice the height of the Washington Monument. I'm hoping to go an a bridge tour one day, and visit this and some other remarkable bridges I've never seen.
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