I haven’t been home many Fridays over the past couple of months, so it was fitting on my first end-of-the-week in the area in awhile to go to a distinctly DC happy hour of sorts.
The National Sculpture Garden on the Mall hosts an outdoor jazz concert every Friday in the summer. I’ve meant to check it out, but never managed to until tonight.
My friend Christiane, who works in the French embassy and has been stressed out with her job lately, called me in the afternoon and suggested we meet there. She ended up running a bit late, so I went alone through security into the garden — is there anyplace besides DC where you have to have your bags rummaged through to enter a garden? — and walked around before finding a seat on some steps in front of the stage.
I had expected huge crowds, so it was much less overwhelming than I had feared. People were sitting around the pool, dipping their feet into the water; sitting at tables at the on-site cafe; and, of course, sitting on the grass among the sculptures. It was quite the sight seeing people picnicking in the shadow of a huge metal spider or a giant old-fashioned eraser wheel.
The band featured Susan Jones, a jazz violinist. I had never seen the string instrument used in that way, with the typical back-up jazz combo. But it was even more fun watching all the people dressed in such a variety of fashions, and enjoying the evening in a variety of ways. Some brought their own picnics; others purchased sandwiches from the outdoor grill; others just sipped from pitchers of beer or sangria.
Christiane arrived with snacks and a blanket to spread out on the grass. It was a great way to start the weekend.