By Lani Gering
There is always something cool going on here at National Harbor. No one could ever say that this is a boring place to live or visit! Some time in early May the sculptures that are pictured here popped up randomly on the corners at the intersection of American Way and Fleet Street. There appears to be quite a bit of mystery behind them since I was unable to get any official information about their final destinations. All I do know is that there is a total renovation of American Way in the block between Waterfront Street and Fleet Street going on right now and these fun pieces of art are part of the final plan that is supposed to be completed this September.
“Embracing Peace”, “Forever Marilyn” and “Holding Out” are products of J. Seward Johnson, well-known sculptor of our very own “Awakening” down on the Plaza. Johnson is a member of the successful Johnson & Johnson family of whom I am sure you all have a couple of their products in your households. In fact, he was working in the family business until he was fired by his uncle in 1962. It is obvious that his creative side was calling and this was probably a good thing that happened.
He is best known for his trompe l’oeil painted life-size bronze statues, which are actually castings of living people of all ages depicting them engaged in day-to-day activities. A good example is “Holding Out”. He also has his hand in creating statues of famous icons the likes of “Forever Marilyn” and “Embracing Peace”. I am happy to have them here and am hoping there are plans for many more to be placed around the Harbor.
Friday nights during the summer have taken on a life of their own. In years past, we were treated to live concerts by local musicians every Friday night but this season things have changed. Now referred to as Summer Friday’s, the activities begin at 4 pm on the astro turf on the plaza. There are all sorts of lawn games including bocce ball, corn hole, tic-tac-toe, and jenga. Bobby McKeys Dueling Piano Bar will have their mobile piano “Boom Box” providing entertainment between 6 and 7 pm and the evening rounds out with music provided by local DJs and dancers handing out give-aways until 8:30. Check out the calendar of events in this section for featured movies on the big screen and the schedule for the Saturday Military Concerts.
At the time of this writing, Brother Jimmy’s BBQ and the Irish Whisper – located in the former Harrington’s Irish Pub space on Fleet Street – were still in the throes of construction. We were hoping for a Memorial Day weekend opening but it is looking more like the middle of June before they will be up and running. These new dining and drinking spots will be a great addition to the line up along Fleet! Our friends at Bond 45 and Fiorella’s are all geared up for outdoor dining and both have stellar waterfront views!
Come to the Harbor and play for the day or spend an evening under the stars. There is always something new popping up!