Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Grand Opening of the Newseum; Plus, the Weekend Update

On Friday I finally broke down and did the tourist thing in DC. Camera in tow (photos are online and at the end of the post since I wanted to try out the slideshow feature of Picasa), I headed into our nation's capital and, with a little effort, found a place to park for free on the Mall.

From there, the spree was on. In a little over three hours, I visited:

- Roosevelt Island: Kind of peaceful, minus the commercial aircraft flying overhead every few minutes.

- The Museum of Natural History. The photo exhibit they have there now is really extraordinary - great photos from all over the world, from animals to landscapes. The live butterfly exhibit did not look as promising, and I did not pay the $6 to confirm that suspicion.

- The Newseum. After I saw that the grand opening just happened to be the day that I was in DC, I had to go. It got even better when I found out that the normal $18 admission fee had been waived for the opening; it got slightly worse when we were informed right before entering that the building was being evacuated. Well when life gives you lemons, you go to...

- ...the National Portrait Gallery. My favorite stop of the day. The building is beautiful, inside and out, and the collection is vast. And it's not all just portraits, either. The third floor has a great modern art collection. Admittedly, Stephen Colbert is no longer there - but I'm sure he'll be back in there some day.

- After a pit stop at the International Spy Museum and a lovely chat with the attendant there who used to live in NYC, it was back to the Newseum, as they were letting people back into the building at this point. I really liked the Newseum. There are six floors (and a great view of the Capitol on the rooftop), all of them chock full of interesting exhibits. For the opening they had the front pages of all the major national newspapers on display; this idea was also used in the 9/11 exhibit, which had the front pages from around the world on 9/12/01, as well as part of the antenna from the north tower and the cameras and camera bag of the only journalist to die in the attacks (he was taking pictures right up until the time he died when the second tower collapsed). There's also an exhibit where you can be a reporter in front of a green screen as well as news-related films. It's worth another visit, even at $18.

- After spending so much time there, it was almost time to go, but not without a quick stop at the National Air and Space Museum, which, I must admit, was cooler when I was 10.

From there it was Reagan National and then home to Ohio to visit the family. Did the Sap Run on Sunday and was first in the 19-24 age group. Figured it would be good training for the upcoming SAVAGE adventure race.

The highlight of the weekend should have been an Indians victory over the Red Sox at Jacobs Field - unfortunately Joe "Blow" Borowski prevented that and is now on the "DL" for it.

Slideshow! Includes some cherry blossom-ing from earlier in the week.


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