I spent last week in Washington, DC and one of my primary non-business goals was to get a bunch of pictures of doors. Washington is full of iconic buildings with even more iconic doors.
Washington didn’t cooperate.
As you may have read, I got sick. Being sick was bad, but not so bad for door photos because I was much more comfortable walking on the surface of Washington than I was riding in the Metro (with no bathroom handy and no way to open the door until they decide to stop). However, it also rained all week. When it wasn’t raining, the backdrop for my photos was a sky that was almost the same color as many of the buildings I had hoped to photograph.
OK, I’ll stop whining.
I arrived in Washington on Sunday. I discovered that my hotel was literally next door to the International Spy Museum. My daughter had been to this museum years ago and recommended it as a place I would enjoy. Once inside, I discovered some of the largest and most interesting doors I’ve ever seen. The door I chose to feature was guarding the entrance to some of the smaller exhibits in the museum. People must have thought I was nuts taking a picture of the door, but they don’t know Norm. Flash photography was prohibited, so the images are a little dark, but I think you get the idea. That’s a big door!
The museum experience was worth the time and the cost. Yes, unlike many of the heavy-hitter museums in Washington, the Spy Museum is not free. I opted for the general admission package, but you can pay extra if you want to participate in a spy adventure during your visit. Since other people are doing that, they ask everyone to memorize a spy identity. I was Antonio Silva, 58, a carpenter from Brazil. I was heading to Lisbon to visit family and I would be there for six days. Got it. I was comfortable being a 58 year old carpenter, I could fake that.
When I was taking a picture of one of the doors displayed in the gallery, someone asked me where I was heading:
“That’s interesting. Why Lisbon, if I might ask?”
“I have family there.”
“What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a carpenter.”
“Oh, I was wondering why you seemed so interested in the doors.”
The last bit struck me as odd. They were either working hard to provide their own cover story, or they were very much caught up in the role of being a spy.
The fact of the matter is, I have worked as a carpenter and as a cabinet maker and I was fascinated by these large wooden doors. It’s not easy to make large doors. The joints at the top and bottom of the hinge side are under enormous pressure and are prone to sagging, but the door must remain square in order to close.
I know, you didn’t come here for a lesson in door making. Fair enough. Enjoy the doors in the gallery and if you’re ever in Washington, DC, I’d recommend the International Spy Museum
This post is part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors series. If you like photography and doors, consider joining the fun. Follow the link. Norm has made it very easy to play.