If you have ever been to campus, you probably have seen the Infinity Sculpture sitting in the middle of the academic side of campus. As a tour guide, I tell people that the Infinity Sculpture starts and ends the Quarter Mile, which is the path connecting the academic and residential sides of campus. The sculpture looks like the infinity sign at certain angels, and it is constantly rotating. It is a 3-sided Mobius strip, with a cross section of an equilateral triangle.
José de Rivera's sculpture at RIT is not his only Infinity Sculpture. His other one stands guard over the entrance of the National Museum of American History, on the National Mall overlooking Congress and the Washington Monument. Since I am co-oping just south of Baltimore, MD, and am about 40 minutes away from DC, I thought this unseasonably warm weekend would be a
great time to visit with my girlfriend, who was visiting after her co-op ended.
I have wanted to see the DC Infinity Sculpture ever since I got this co-op, but its existance slipped my mind as we wandered past the White House and the National Treasury. We saw the Washington Monument (sort of hard to miss) and walked toward the Reflecting Pool. We passed through a World War II memorial, and I couldn't pass up the chance to take a picture with the pillar paying tribute to my home state's contribution to the war.
Past the monument, we walked along what we expected to be the Reflecting Pool, but unfortunately turned out to be a dry span of dirt, with a few palets and a dumpster replacing the usual presence of water. What a disappointment! No one told us they drain all the water in the winter (what we assumed to be the cause). The image above is a view of the Pool through a crack in the fence.
We walked up to the Lincoln Memorial. Despite the sign which said "No Sliding Down Banister", it was very enjoyable. The statue of President Lincoln is much more impressive in person compared to pictures of it. The size and detail of both the statue and the building was amazing. From the top of the steps I snapped another picture of the empty Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument before moving on to the Smithsonian.
We passed the Washington Monument again and approached the Museum of American History. I was looking at the Congress building when my girlfriend tapped me on the arm and said, "Does that look familiar to you?"
I was so excited to see the Infinity Sculpture, sitting there waiting for me to find it. I took out my phone and snapped a shot of it from far away, a shot of José de Rivera's name on the base, and prodded my girlfriend to take a picture of me with it. I had always thought that this Infinity Sculpture was the exact same as the one at RIT, but the one in Washington is much bigger and . . . swirlier!
We went on inside to see the Star Spangled Banner (the flag that inspired our national anthem) and Julia Child's kitchen, then on to the Air and Space Museum. There we saw exhibits on satellites and the Big Bang, and a 3D IMAX documentary about the universe narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. It was awesome!
After a cold walk to a fancy Italian restaurant and a slightly creepy walk back to the subway and subway ride back (I recommend visiting DC during the day), we crashed from a day of so much walking. I had a great time, but that was more tiring than giving 2 tours in one day (twice around campus walking backwards)! Despite that, I would definitely do it again.
If you are in the Washington DC area and have the chance, visit the American History museum, and be sure to look out for the sibling of a very cool structure that marks the beginning and end of the Quarter Mile at RIT.