Smithsonian Afternoon

This week my office is in the midst of PC transitions and upgrades, total chaos. Yesterday afternoon the IT tech booted me out of my chair and sent me off with an optimistic “it’ll take an hour. tops. really.” So, 3pm and time for a walk. But where could I go for a late afternoon hour downtown without the temptation to spend $$$?

Hmm… how about the Smithsonian? Why not? Museums are great for killing time. They’re not just for tourists!

I ambled the five blocks over to the Natural History Museum. It was relatively free of crowds, beyond the isolated packs of roving teens. Plugged into my iPod to avoid the sounds of their screeching, I meandered through the gems and minerals display on the second floor. I was fascinated by this display as a kid, especially the crazy minerals hall. There’s also the obligatory ogling of weighty tiaras and sparkling necklaces once worn by queens and maharanis. And of course waiting your turn to eye the Hope Diamond, somehow not as impressive as when I was a little girl and still believed the diamond propaganda. Then it was off to the bare bones rooms to detox from sparkle overload, looking at bizarre alien-like skeletons such as the manta ray.

It’s a well-known Washingtonian fact that the best presents can be found in the Smithsonian gift shops. Natural History has one of the most eclectic selections, from Eco-spheres to mother-of-pearl handbags. I picked up a b’day present for a friend and made mental notes for that certain upcoming holiday. Great stuff for hard-to-please people…

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

As one of the founding editors of We Love DC, Jenn’s passions are theater and cocktails. After two decades in the city, she’s loved every quirky, mundane, elegant, rude minute of her DC life. A proud advocate for DC’s talented drinks scene, she’s judged the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s ARTINI contest, the DC Rickey Month contest, the Jefferson Hotel’s Quill Cocktail competition, and is a founding member of LUPEC DC. A graduate of Catholic University’s drama program, she toured the country as a member of National Players, and has been both an actor and a costume designer before jumping the aisle to theater criticism. Writing for We Love DC restored her happiness after a life-threatening illness, and she’s grateful to you, dear readers. Send your suggestions to jenn (at) welovedc (dot) com and follow her on Twitter.

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