Smithsonian Stories

Smithsonian Castle

This was my view as I sat on a park bench in the middle of the Mall and spoke with Anne. I hadn’t talked to her for a day and it was good to hear her voice. It was a brilliant, brisk morning and I was waiting for the museums to open. A bicycle cop interrupted our conversation, when he asked if I was someone else. By the time that this post sees daylight, she will have started her new teacher gig. It would have been nice if she could have come on this trip too. 

I couldn’t do even two museums today. I ran out of camera battery and steam at about the same time. I did the American History and most of the Natural History museum. I’ll have to go back tomorrow and finish up, which will put a dent in what I had planned for the next day.

As I lined up for first entry, one of the many showboating security guards that I’ve met, gave us in line to get in his spiel. In his seemingly endless list of things you shouldn’t try to bring into the museum, he jokingly ended with guns. If you had any of these things, he invited you to come up and speak with him. As it turned out, the guy ahead of me had a gun. The guard told him to see him inside. What with our county’s current, bullshit interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, I can imagine, him being a white guy, giving him and asking him not do it again.

After the Nat’s parade, I skirted by an NRA rally that was being held in front of the Capitol. To parrot our illustrious leader, it looked small and weak. It’s hard to compete with the Nats in this town. It is a bit of police state here though. Isn’t that what the NRA is supposedly fighting? There is the pervasive DC police, who were showing off their SWAT team’s new four wheeled toy on the Mall, after the Nats parade. By the Capitol, it’s the Capitol police. By the Whitehouse, it’s the Secret Service. I think that they too were overhelmed by the Nats fans.

Pardon this Football Interruption

Washington politics as usual was pushed aside today, in favor of baseball, as DC celebrated its Nat’s victory in the World Series. Today in DC, it was Nats Day. People were lining up at ten for a two o’clock parade, as I headed towards my first museum. I was a bit of a piker today, compared to yesterday’s six, with only three museums. They were Air and Space, the National Art Gallery and its east wing, the I.M. Pei modern art building. My going in plan was that I would work my way up to the roof of the Pei building, which would afford me an excellent view of the parade. Unfortunately for me, ESPN had had the same idea first. I headed back down to the second floor, where I caught a view still above the street level throng. The crowd was bigger than last year in Boston and way bigger than back home, in 2011 Saint Louis. I guess 95 years will do that.

Oh Yeah, Halloween

Pumpkin, Yayoi Kusama, 2016

It was a marathon day for me. I toured six museums today: the Smithsonian Castle, the Freer, Sackler, Museum of African Art, Hrishhorn and the newest Smithsonian of them all, the Museum of African American History and Culture. In between this multiple museum crawl, I also hit several gardens, the Whitehouse and the Washington Monument. By days end, I was beat.

Last night was a dark and stormy night that thoroughly disrupted the whole trick-or-treat process in our nation’s capitol. Plans were placed for makeup Halloweens tonight. The storms long passing made for a late night.