Tribute to the twin towers

TRAVEL SMARTS

January 20, 2002

Washington's National Building Museum memorializes New York's twin towers through the photographs of Camilo Jose Vergara, who spent more than 30 years shooting the buildings from nearly every conceivable angle, height, distance, time of day and weather condition. Called Twin Towers Remembered, the exhibit features 60 pictures that show the buildings' character.

"As we worked with these images, we at the museum came to grasp more fully the Twin Towers' physical size, their symbolic resonance, and ultimately, the magnitude of their loss," writes Susan Henshaw Jones, National Building Museum president, in an introduction to the exhibit. "We believe that by presenting Vergara's photographs, we are participating in a collective process of healing."

The exhibit, which runs through March 10, is among the first in a new series, Building in the Aftermath, exploring the impact of the Sept. 11 attacks on architecture, engineering and urbanism. The museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. 401 F St. N.W., 202-272-2448; www.nbm.org. -- Tricia Bishop

FENG SHUI FLOWING AT BOSTON HOTEL

Feng shui may be popular on the Home and Garden Channel, but the holistic style of decorating is hardly mainstream. Or is it? At the new Doubletree Hotel in Boston's Chinatown, feng shui is visible in every room.

"In all our projects, we try to focus on the location and community and let that drive the design," says Marty Jones, president of Corcoran Jennison, the hotel's development company. "In this case, our challenge was to incorporate authentic aspects of Asian cultures."

Feng shui, the 5,000-year-old art of placement, revolves around the idea that free-flowing energy, called chi, can enhance physical and mental well-being. Designers direct chi by arranging things within a space and including items deemed positive, like fresh flowers.

Hotel guests will find fountains and plants, a tank with nine fish of different colors (the mixture of shades is supposed to balance the energy in the tank), carefully placed furniture and materials that represent a balance of natural elements (earth, water, fire, wood and metal).

The 267-room hotel is near Boston's theater district. Room rates start at $159. For more information, call 617-956-7900. -- T.B.

Ski trail maps right at hand

Having to stop on the ski slopes and dig for a trail map -- not to mention taking off your warm gloves -- can be more than a little annoying. So Jeff Jordan, who was almost wiped out by a passing skier in such a situation, invented TrailFinder, a wearable ski map. Printed on a 5-by-6-inch waterproof card, the map comes with a plastic coil (much like a telephone cord) that has clips on both ends. Attach one end to the card, wrap it around your arm and affix the other clip. Your map is now on your sleeve for easy access and viewing. You need good eyes, though, because the type is small.

Currently, Jordan has more than 80 ski areas mapped out, including New York's Hunter Mountain and Winter Place in West Virginia. To order the $10 maps, go to www.trailfind.com. -- T.B.

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