It is a given that when you visit DC, you get yourself to at least 1 of the Smithsonian museums. At the outset I had decided to go to the American History Museum (AHM). AHM surveys US history via art, technology and popular culture; jackpot I thought. I’d get a multifaceted museum experience at one place; cultural Dim Sum.
The AHM was delicious. You can’t see it all in a day but the highlights for me were: Within These Walls – it was a look at the “life” of a 200 year old house (construction, furnishings, etc.) and the lives within that old house (a family of abolitionists, a solder, a slave and more.
The First Ladies at the Smithsonian/A First Ladies Debut – The gowns and personal items of these women; including the gown worn by first lady Michelle Obama to the inaugural balls.
Julia Childs Kitchen – The actual kitchen; walls, floor, pots and pans from her home reconstructed; a foodie Mecca.
It wasn’t enough. Soon after visiting AHM; I was hungry for more. I toured the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. I left a tip…I became a member.
Although it can feel as if the Smithsonian is the only game in town; there are many other outlets of art and culture to be found in DC. The Newseum came to my attention through a story about its grand opening presented on CBS Sunday Morning. I was intrigued at the concept of institution commenting and presenting information on the news reporting business while examining the biggest news events in modern history.
The place is huge and the information is presented with the aid of creatively designed and highly interactive exhibits. The ticket is “pricey”; at $21.00 but, it is good for admission on 2 consecutive days. I went on Saturday and Sunday because the subject matter, hands on exhibits and multi-media presentations were informative imaginative and engaging. Strolling through the Newseum reminded me of just how old I am. There were many times the exhibits prompted me to reflect on my small and private personal history. What was going on in my little world as these noteworthy public events played out before public scrutiny.
Think about it. Where were you and, more importantly, who were you when you learned of the Patty Hearst kidnapping, the Watergate break-in or the OJ Simpson verdict. Inquiring minds want to know all the news that’s fit to print.