Today I toured the Capitol and the Air & Space Museum and took pictures of the LOC and Supreme Court buildings. I’ll upload all my trip photos to a gallery and post a link when I get a chance.
The Capitol was interesting; it was a weird combination of palace and rabbit warren. I took several pictures, but the best is the one everyone takes: the Apotheosis of Washington in the ceiling of the Rotunda. Man, I gotta get a rotunda.
Then I visited the White House Visitor Center, which was a real disappointment. I knew there wasn’t much there, but really… I was shocked to find that it was barely more than a rather poor gift shop (altho it’s in a beautiful space in the side of the Commerce building). There were a few pieces of White House furniture, a few pieces of old plaster moldings, one nice 1801 model of the WH, and lots of big photographs. In the corner, they had a couple of TVs playing one of the WH documentaries. Not bad, mind you; just disappointing.
It’s unseasonably hot and humid this weekend and things are a little more spread out than I thought, so getting around is tiring. I haven’t seen too many of the trolleys or tourmobiles, so I didn’t get a pass for those. I’ve taken a few taxis, which are plentiful.
I’m too dumb to have brought a backpack to carry stuff, so I haven’t bought much. What else? Umm, sodas are cheap on the street. It’s a good-looking city, which frankly surprised me. There are a lot of German tourists. Cops are everywhere, and they seem to be attached to different departments. They all have their own metal barricades that say “Property of the Supreme Court Police” or whatever. Apparently, they’re afraid that other cops are going to steal their barricades.
UPDATE: Went out after dark again and snapped the WH (tripods not allowed on the WH side of the PA Ave, by the way), the inside of the Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, and Vietnam memorial. Somehow I missed the Korean Memorial in the dark, but I did see the signpost from MASH in the American History temporary exhibit in the Air & Space Museum, so that’s something.
I can’t believe how dark it is around the memorials. Half the street lamps are out and the others are so dim you have to use the light from your cellphone to find them. Even at nearly midnight there was a crowd at the Vietnam Memorial; it was so dark that it took several tries before I got a nice pic, and the crowd had emptied out.
Eeeeewwww… The White House Visitor’s Center is NOT looking good these days. It had just opened when I saw it and there were all sorts of examples of White House furniture around and some interactive displays and cool stuff like that. Is this the best we can do for the White House?
Don’t forget the National Trust for Historic Preservation bookstore at the Decatur House, at the end of the same block on Lafayette Square (park, whatever) from the WHHA townhouse. The bookstore’s around the corner, in the basement.
I found the WHHA and Decatur house after dark. The WHHA sign says that the gift store is no longer open and says to go to the WHVC. I’m going in the morning after I get a ticket to tour the Washington Memorial, specifically to photograph the WH in full sun, so I’ll stop in the Decatur House then.
Welcome to DC Derek. A town of Northern charm and Southern efficiency. And where I live.