The best books of the summer are best read in a hammock--which is why I carted these to DC to share with my sister. Both are brilliantly written, have dystopian twists, and overlap in searing assessments of pop culture. I can't recommend them enough!

This is where said swinging bed resides.

And this is what it looks like at night during a wine and steak-starring grill out.

There was also salad, great mtebble (what baba ghanouj is called when made with yogurt), salmon and a ton of other wonderful stuff.

When he was still a teenager, the great prankster artist named Yves Klein looked up, made a frame with his fingers and "signed the sky." Klein called it his first work of art. He would later trademark the "infinite blue" he saw that day as International Klein Blue (IKB) and hold happenings (this was in the '50s) in which on camera naked ladies would douse their flesh in IKB and then imprint their deeply pigmented skin on canvases.

In other provocations, he held an opening in an empty gallery (Camus showed up and signed Klein's guest book: "With the void, full powers") and he sold "original artworks," called "Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility," which amounted to a bill of sale that would be translated into gold ingots that'd be tossed into the Seine followed by a ceremonial burning of the bill of sale contract...thereby creating a wholly ephemeral, monetarily worthless art--it was all about the experience of living in that moment.

Anyway, I went to DC largely to see that show (above is an IKB-saturated peek) and it was really great, the best of the summer.

Outside the always free National Gallery and the also always free Hirshhorn Gallery (where the Klein show was) there's neat fountains...

...and terrific sculpture garden grounds...

...these are lovely spots to picnic...

...or just have fun walking around.

Close to these free Smithsonian museums is this area where I inevitably stop off for sips and nibbles.

This place has cheap, fresh and very healthy Pan-Asian food.

Like spicy kebabs and "Asian gazpacho"

Love this place which even has happy hour on Sundays!

And that's when their phenomenal tacos are sold for $2 each! (Hey, I dig a taco truck as much as the next muncher, but these are in a whole different class--except pricewise)

I also love the nearby Zaytinya -- which, like Oyamel, is owned by Jose Andres.

During HH (also on Sundays), snacks like this Greek flatbread are only 4 bucks.

This $4 shrimp dish was fantastic!

My sis actually lives in a Northern Va. 'burb where this funky ol' family joint has been serving locals for a half century.

Check out the menu

Kids love this place, and why not, it's like a gallery for their artworks.

Some of this little kid art is quite amusing.

And if the food at the super quaint Vienna Inn is considerably less ambitious than the stuff in the rest of this blog entry...

...just think of Yves Klein and try to live in and enjoy the all-too-quickly dissipating moment.

Besides, these coneydogs are really pretty good.