Sunday, July 08, 2007

Back from Virginia

I've just returned from Fairfax, Virginia, about 30 minutes from D.C. During the past week, besides celebrating 4th of July, I also visited the National Air and Space Museum, at the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center. Never a military nor an aircraft enthusiast, I still enjoyed seeing the actual Flying Fortress that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima (though I could not stomach the story of scientific and military triumph the guide was telling about it), the British Hurricane fighter that fought against the Luftwaffte, and the Enterprise space shuttle. A Concorde took pride of place in the civil aviation section. It had tiny windows.

On Saturday, I was in Williamsburg. Its historic downtown was a colonial pageant. Shops and taverns sold triangular hats and women's white caps, fruit preserves, blue and white porcelain, and "colonial lunches." Costumed colonials gave directions at the building entrances, re-enacted historical scenes, and marched from the Capitol to the Governor's Palace, playing fifes and drums. It's all cosy, defanged history, but complaining about that is like accusing Disneyland of not teaching us anything about mice. From Williamsburg, I went to Yorktown, which has a strip of beach.

Talking about the beach, I'm looking forward to spending the next five days on Fire Island, a barrier of sand dunes, just off Long Island. Should be fun, and, who knows, I may be able to get some writing done.

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