13 June 2011


This weekend was extremely busy. I was meeting up with friends I hadn't seen in over a year and trying to pack so many activities into the two and a half days that I really didn't have much of a weekend. I was at the museums a little bit on Saturday (NatHist) and a lot bit on Sunday (NMAI and NGA and, briefly, Air and Space). The museums have to be one of the greatest things about the District, especially in the off-season when you aren't competing with busloads of school kids.

For some reason Natural History wasn't as crowded as I expected for a Saturday in June. I was very efficiently able to steer my daughter around the dinosaurs, the Hope Diamond, the Hall of Mammals, and the insect exhibit. She loves the bugs. She especially liked the honey bees and was fascinated by the fact that they could get outside the museum through a little access tube. She decided to tell everyone who came near about the guard bees and that the bees were going out to get nectar and pollen and that they'd come back to make honey.

On Sunday, we ate lunch at the NMAI. The food there is easily the best, but prices have always been high and they seem to be even higher than I remember. It's absolutely criminal to charge $3.15 for a fountain drink.

We had four adults and four kids dining and the bill came to $99. I think MoMA is cheaper.

I love the design of the NMAI, but I find the exhibition space really minimal. There's not much there -- a lot of empty space. That's a design choice, of course, and the immense central atrium is wonderful when there's a live demonstration occurring, but when you look at the first floor, there's very little on it beside the cafeteria and the atrium -- they've even taken out the little shop they had and consolidated everything in the second floor shop (which we didn't visit).

Between the NMAI and the NGA, we lingered a long while in the shade of the trees lining the mall and watched the young adults sweat away at their kickball games in the unshaded heat of Sunday afternoon. I don't know if the ball is really deflated or what, but it seemed to me that none of the players could kick it ten feet beyond the infield. And seriously, how the hell do you miss a huge blue ball with your foot?

And to top it all off, I missed the Gauguin show.

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