escaping home: the downtown holiday market & the national portrait gallery

Sunday, December 13:  Today, we go downtown to check out the Downtown Holiday Market in Washington, to try to get into the Christmas spirit and to escape from our house.

the market
the market

Our youngest son (23) is crashing in our basement after his latest disaster.  At the beginning of the month, his housemates in Maryland asked him to move out of their house because of a disagreement. I imagine he is mostly to blame.  After a couple of his business ideas crashed and burned, he sank into a depression where he was basically sleeping every minute of the day.  It has been a very tough time for us, seeing him suffer and knowing that he is self-sabotaging his own life and squandering the gifts of his intelligence and all the things we’ve given him.  He really needs psychological help but refuses to get it.  We’re coming to the end of our rope with him.  Today, we just need to get out of the house and have an enjoyable outing on our own.

At the holiday market, we look in on all the booths and stop to listen to some Christmas music.

more plaques
more plaques

After exploring the market, we walk over to the National Portrait Gallery, entering through the lovely atrium.

Inside the atrium at the National Portrait Gallery
Inside the atrium at the National Portrait Gallery
Eye Pop
Eye Pop

We come first to “Eye Pop:  The Celebrity Gaze,” featuring Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Peter Dinklage, Eminem, Michelle Obama, Sonia Sotomayor, Eva Longoria, Serena Williams, and Kobe Bryant, to name a few. This exhibition features 53 portraits of luminaries who have been at the top of their fields.

Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt

In the ongoing collection “American Origins,” a “conversation about America” is on view in a series of 17 galleries and alcoves chronologically arranged to take the visitor from the days of contact between Native Americans and European explorers through the struggles of independence to the Gilded Age.

We are enjoying our lazy afternoon, so I don’t do my usual identification of paintings. I present them here simply for your enjoyment, without any identifying tags.

We then walk back out through the atrium where the poinsettia and the twinkling white lights evoke the holiday spirit.

me in the atrium
me in the atrium
glittering trees in the atrium
glittering trees in the atrium
atrium of the National Portrait Gallery
atrium of the National Portrait Gallery
the atrium
the atrium

Though we are trying hard to enjoy the outing, it’s tough because we’re constantly worried about our son and trying to figure out what to do with him.  We know we have to take the tough love approach, but we’re not really sure how to go about it at this point.  He’s become a huge black cloud hanging over us.  We love him and want him to succeed and be happy, but we know that unless he gets professional help, it’s doubtful that will happen.

On the steps of the Portrait Gallery looking toward Verizon Center
On the steps of the Portrait Gallery looking toward Verizon Center
Streets of Washington, D.C.
Streets of Washington, D.C.
Chinatown
Chinatown
The Chinatown gate
The Chinatown gate
bustling streets of downtown
bustling streets of downtown
a drive-by of the Washington Monument
a drive-by of the Washington Monument

The outing is a short escape from what we’re dealing with at home, and it does feel like a slight relief.  Sometimes life is a struggle.  I guess I can’t complain too much; after all, we are lucky in so many ways.  I just hope we can figure out what to do with him before he’s irrevocably lost to us. 😦

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