Won’t You Be Our Valentines?

Hand-knit hearts (and cupid) adorn a tree at the Phillips. Photo: Cecilia Wichmann

Surprise! If you’re walking through Dupont this morning, be sure to head north of the Metro along the west side of Connecticut Avenue up to Looped Yarn Works, then back down and over on R Street to 21st, and of course down 21st to the Phillips. You’ll discover hand-knit hearts weaving a cozy path. We’ll post more photos and stories here throughout the week about how this magic came to pass. A huge thank-you to each of you–knitters and non-knitters alike–who came out for last night’s knit-in and donated your handiwork for this loving cause.

 

Knit and crocheted valentines warm up sign posts and trees along three blocks in Dupont Circle. Photo: Cecilia Wichmann

Dupont in Detail: Woodrow Wilson House

Browsing through The Commons on Flickr, I came across these images of the Woodrow Wilson House, which I often pass by on S Street during a lunchtime walk. I didn’t know Wilson (who died on this day in 1924) was the only president to make Washington home after his time in office (I can’t image a president doing that now), making this the only presidential museum in town. Though not technically in the Dupont Circle neighborhood (rather in the adjacent neighborhood of Kalorama), the streets where the house is located are some of my favorite areas of the city, filled with embassies and home to the Spanish Steps–a great spot for a stroll after time in the galleries.

S Street Residence, front view

Front view of President Wilson's S Street residence in Washington, D.C. Date unknown.

Dupont in Detail: All Roads Lead to the Phillips

Washington, D.C., has always been a great city for walkers–rich with monuments, parks and circles, streets wending gracefully from one vibrant neighborhood to the next. It should come as no surprise that in 2011, Washington was ranked in the top ten most walkable cities in the United States, (seventh), with the Dupont Circle neighborhood coming in as its most walkable neighborhood. For countless people, both in and out of Washington, The Phillips Collection is one of Dupont Circle’s highlights, and for many of us who work at the Phillips, the walk to work through the manifold seasons of the year is a beautiful way to start the day. The walks are varied, both in topography and timbre, provenance and pace.

My days begin with the sun illuminating the tall chimney of Garnet-Patterson Middle School and glancing off the windows of Duffy’s Irish Tavern below. At this time of year, the new cold air paints the sky in morning’s amaranthine waves. I walk the first block down Vermont Avenue and turn right onto U Street, where art abounds in many forms.

Photos: Martín Paddack

Photos: Martín Paddack

The U Street neighborhood is nearly as alive in the morning as it is at night. Duke Ellington grew up here, and I often think of him along this walk and how everyone’s syncopated footfalls, strides, and toe-taps at the corners could play counterpoint to his music. There is a nice mural of Duke Ellington by Byron Peck on the west face of the True Reformer building on U Street, where Duke Ellington had his first paid performance. Across the street, I pass Ben’s Chili Bowl, already filling with customers at the early hour and sometimes snap a picture or two for a tourist. Then it’s past the famed Lincoln Theater to the corner of 13th and U. Here I always glance to the right to admire the peaked rooftops of the old Victorian homes that colorfully line 13th Street.

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