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Monday, April 11, 2011

Random DC thoughts...

Is it politically correct to be looking for Jake Gyllenhaal on this train home? Maybe a bit too morbid thinking of "Source Code" at a time like this. But I have to admit I get a little skittish on planes and trains when I notice certain folk. And truth be told I get a little skittish when I see Gyllenhaal movies so let's not paint me out to be a raving, racist profiler. I hate and/or am scared of just about everyone. I look both ways in the Mall at Short Hills. I will say this though... Union Station in our Capital is FAR superior in every way to the dump that is Penn Station. The tragedy is NYC let Robert Moses tear down the original transit hub. Thankfully we have Grand Central Station. That marvel of architecture serves mostly Long Islanders and starched shirts from Connecticut. Once again us Jersey folk get short changed. The people watching is very similar though. And seems wherever you go that ain't pretty.

 The same cannot be said for Washington. And staying in Georgetown is most certainly the way to go. I will say it is a bit of a drag the Metro does not connect Georgetown to downtown/National Mall area. You can catch a 10 to 15 dollars cab and be fine. Leave the car behind and you still save money. Able to view the Lincoln, Washington, WW2, and Vietnam Memorials on day 1. Our President visited the Lincoln mere moments after we were there. It was decided our plan was to tell everyone we saw him and shook his hand. I am working on getting a cardboard cutout and staging some photos. Sounds like a good project for my daughter since she is off from school this week. And isn't DC a bastion of lies and corruption?

 We took in 2 attractions with mixed results Saturday. First, the National Aquarium, which, GASP, charged admission. I failed to do research and will not look it up further. 1 very poor floor of tiny fish and amphibians. Thankfully they were feeding their sharks when we arrived so that made it mildly interesting. But, when your daughter asks if those are the real sharks, you know you have problems. Great Whites they were not. In fact, they might have been Catfish. Whatever. Live and learn. But please do not go there. I have seen more diverse fish in Manhattan office reception areas. Big redemption when we walked in to The National Museum of Natural History. Fossils, Mammals, Ocean Life, etc... All good and every bit worth an hour or more. With that we called it a day and headed back to Georgetown. M Street, one block away from our quaint, although somewhat flawed hotel, is a great collection of shops, bars and boutiques. Every spot we dined in was good, to very good. We opted against fine dining with 8 year old in tow. The Starbucks had a Clover machine so we were all set.

 There were several long walks, including an impromptu one yesterday that took us through Georgetown's surprisingly large and very impressive campus. We managed to hit the bookstore and all of the sudden we have a future Hoya in our house. She has the oversized basketball shorts to prove it. Funny how you take a kid to ANY college and that is where they want to go. Helped the geeky kids on campus had a DC outreach program going on and she was able to jump in a bouncy and get her face painted. Oh, and they have turf fields, which is supercool. We destroyed the National Zoo yesterday morning. I cannot recommend this place more. Your tax dollars are clearly at work here. With is sprawling and clean collection of amazing animals I dare you to not enjoy it. The Pandas and Lion cubs alone make it a worthwhile trip. And since the grounds open at 6am get an early start. We arrived at 9am and saw just about everything before 11am. The inside exhibits open @ 10am. No worries really because you can save them for your departure walk. Watch in joy as you are leaving the grounds past droves of tourists. The mrs and I snuck back downtown to hit both National Gallery of Arts and the Sculpture Garden. The West Wing house the modern and contemporary world, and does it well. The Gaughin exhibit was well done and flowed nicely. We also enjoyed the Small French Paintings rooms. Ok, we also liked there were few people there. Same can be said of the East Wing. You will be floored by this expansive and amazing building (the atrium and floral fountain may be the most impressive item there).

As the day had gotten the best of us we did not spend nearly as much time there as we would have liked. Next time we say. And next time for the Air and Space, and Spy Museum, and this and that. So very much to do and incentive to come back. Glad I was able to share it with my family and in particular my mother. As this was her first time there it makes it a little more special. Now, if only I could work in some time to see what NYC has to offer. I will start tomorrow!!! Taking N and a friend into work and if I get done in time maybe I can work in some culture for them. Always a long week when the school is closed. Who am I kidding? Each week is long.

 Especially if you are on Source Code train... Boom!!!!

 Another 8 minutes starts..... NOW

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