… were the only dystopian elements of the otherwise utopian Glenstone Museum and grounds in Potomac, Maryland – a short ride from Garrett Park. We reserved the visit months in advance cuz the place is madly popular and they keep the numbers low to make the visit meditative… Come to think of it, there was a third less than utopian aspect to the place, though Mr UD disagrees — an audio installation in the forest, which UD enjoyed but found a wee hokey (‘what a forest might “hear” over the course of hundreds of years.’). Twenty eight minutes of natural and unnatural sounds bouncing around your ears ended in Arvo Pärt’s Nunc Dimittis, which UD will admit was pretty cool, the high soprano at the end piercing the trees.

On the dead hummingbirds: The big windows surrounding this tranquil water garden in the main pavilion (which featured a whitewashed room full of Cy Twombly sculptures) are, one of the gray-outfitted art guides confided to me, fatal to them.

Mr UD gazes.

The Patio cafe, which does not take cash, had trouble today with its card reading machines; we gave up on it and went to the other cafe on the grounds. On the way, Mr UD gave me his lecture on why it’s appalling that some places refuse to take cash. “A lot of poor people can’t go to these places.”

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4 Responses to “Dead hummingbirds and broken card machines…”

  1. Anon Says:

    Nothing annoys me more than speakers in a forest or even a highly groomed naturalistic area. The sounds of the natural world are already rare, and will be unimaginable in 100 years.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Anon: And these were very “programmatic” speakers, sermonizing, if you will, on war, industrialization, and other non-nature ills. I was kind of giggling at a lot of it, but everyone else perched on a stump in the clearing where you gather to hear it seemed pretty serious.

  3. David Foster Says:

    One more thing to add to my ‘the politicization of absolutely everything’ file…

  4. Frances Says:

    You should have gone to Blackrock Mill instead.

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