Labor Day: A Day of Rest

In honor of Labor Day, I am wearing something that can’t be worn to work.

The Photographer and I are back on location. Let’s see how many photos you need to pinpoint our backdrop.
We’ve got some Gothic elements. Clearly, reproduction Gothic in the United States . . . so that doesn’t help with year of construction but it should help you think about the kinds of institutions that use Gothic architecture.
There are arches
Who digs Gothic?

And stained glass
Who digs stained glass?
Here’s a little more information: stained glass.

Unfortunately, The Photographer did not pack his 24mm lens, and so we couldn’t get a photo in which you can see the whole building and discern me. As you can see, I am quite tiny just standing in front of the entrance to the building.
The Photographer said, "The building is so much bigger than you are." I should hope so!
The Photographer said, “The building is so much bigger than you are.” I should hope so!

Although this is not a full body shot, it captures the essence of The National Cathedral.
Since we couldn’t do much with the full facade of the building, we wandered around the grounds looking for architectural details that would provide a nice background. There are many.
This photo, however, was taken in front of the outdoor elevator bank that leads down the Cathedral’s underground parking garage. I don’t think it’s a point of interest on the tour, but it’s a good backdrop.
People probably thought we were an exceptionally stupid pair of tourists
Others visiting the Cathedral probably thought we were an exceptionally clueless pair of tourists given how much time we spent photographing the elevator bank

The National Cathedral — which is not “national” in the sense of “sponsored by the government” — was significantly damaged in 2011, when D.C. experienced an earthquake registering 5.8 on the Richter scale.
Damaged spires; seeking $22 million
Five point eight! That’s not pocket change
The Episcopalians don't have to make things right with Galileo
The Space Window is the Photographer’s favorite

I was at my office when the earthquake occurred. My first thought was that a really big person had fallen in the office directly above mine. My second thought was that there had been an explosion at the (then) construction site next door. My third thought, which occurred while the building was still shaking was, “Earthquake? Surely not here.” But it was.
Perhaps you are wondering why I can’t wear this outfit to work, at least on Casual Friday.
The top is off-the-shoulder! Never for work. In fact, I wouldn’t wear an off-the-shoulder blouse inside a church.
I almost forgot!
The proprieties at all times! Sleeves up inside the Cathedral

This top began life as a dress. If you can imagine, the skirt included two more tiers.
Taken altogether, it was much too much for me. So I cut off the skirt and now it only looks somewhat like a layered cake.
And yes, why not an off-the-shoulder blouse for me?
A bit of wedding cake

I like this top equally with the sleeves up and with them off the shoulder. The grommets and ties are the key.
Why not?
And yes, why not an off-the-shoulder top for me? Even if I have no place to wear it

The Photographer made me laugh
The Photographer made me laugh

Directrice: World of Fire
Looks like the movie poster for an action film starring the Directrice
The Photographer likes to experiment with lighting. As we were leaving the Cathedral grounds, the sun was very low in the sky and appeared like a ball of fire behind us, which he wanted to capture. So I look like I am walking away from a minor nuclear explosion . . . which I guess I sort of am.
Enjoy your Labor Day!

One other thing: After offering a Directrice mug to the winner of our big summer contest (Where’s Directrice?), I received several inquiries from readers (OK, family members and colleagues) about these putative mugs (ThERe ArE MUgS??). It never occurred to me that anyone might desire a Directrice mug, but I am now getting ready to order another dozen or so. I will periodically put one up as a prize, but if you don’t want to take your chances on fortune and would like to buy one now, send me an email (or post a comment) and I’ll order one for you. Cost is $12 and we can sort out payment down the road.
Top: Rebecca Taylor; Jeans: JCrew; Sandals: Aquatalia; Tote: Les Toiles du Soleil

12 thoughts on “Labor Day: A Day of Rest”

  1. I laughed at your “tourists and elevator” caption — but, the fact that you wouldn’t consider wearing an off-the-shoulder top inside the cathedral distinguishes you from the hordes.

    Love the top! What a great idea to cut off the dress and make it a shirt.

  2. The whole idea of making the top from a dress makes me want to go to my sewing room. Your ideas are unique and a gift. The picture of you laughing is really pretty and perfect for a day on tour. The shoes are worthy of dreaming up tours just for them. Thanks for tours from a reluctant traveler. Kate

  3. Sigh … what a dreamy blouse! I love the creative alteration.
    Thank you once again for sharing the notion that modesty is always appropriate.

  4. Have you read Kim Stanley Robinson’s book about global warming in Washington DC, Forty Signs of Rain? It’s a somehow light-hearted book about apocalypse, or anyway what we may be living with in the next few years. It has no nuclear explosion but that backlit photo made me think of it. Highly recommended.

  5. Erika – I’m so delighted you mentioned this book. FORTY SIGNS OF RAIN is the first of a trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, one of my favorite science fiction writers (and whom I’ve known on and off for 25 years, by the way.) A few years ago Stan decided to rewrite the trilogy into a single large novel titled GREEN EARTH, and it’s marvelous — it’s a wise, funny, humane novel about global climate catastrophe. Stan lives in California, but he set the novel in Washington DC, and one of the most wonderful things about it is that he set it literally in our neighborhood. The streets we walk, the restaurants we go to. Our metro stop. At one point the protagonist runs right past the apartment building where The Directrice and I live. (Stan didn’t do this for me. He picked the neighborhood because it’s close to Rock Creek Park, in which a great deal of the action is set.) Anyway, I can’t speak highly enough of GREEN EARTH. Stan knew that if he made it dark and depressing, nobody’d read it. So it’s witty and hilarious, and filled with a robust Thoreauvian hope that Americans can, when really pushed to it, recover their can-do spirit and set about saving the planet. The first part of the book is wonderful because it describes the flooding of Washington DC, and if you’re a local, you’ll be able to visualize exactly where the water goes. It floods the National Zoo and they let all the animals out, so Rock Creek Park becomes an urban jungle filled with antelopes, elephants, monkeys, and all the other animals. One other thing: Scientists are totally the heroes of GREEN EARTH. Who saves the world? The National Science Foundation, of course.

    • Seriously. As a government scientist, this was the book for me! Also the warmness was so nice. And it felt so much closer to how it might really be than what the news hands us. My husband and I talk all the time about how it’s time to stop apocalypse-ising and plan for what’s really going to happen – we will, complicatedly, learn how to live with global warming.

      Also, as a person living with kids in the SouthEast, the parts about how you still go outside with your kids even when it’s SO HOT really resonated. And were so sweet.

      That’s amazing to find your neighborhood in the novel. What fun.

  6. Beautiful photos and a beautiful model. Love the sandals and bag – made for each other! The “shirt” is a charmer.
    Do post a picture of the mug!


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