Sunday, October 28, 2012

but we still feel like tourists

Today we made a special trip to the National Mall to show NY guests around, but then they had to leave because there is an unusual storm coming. So we were already in DC, sans guests, and we went to 4 Smithsonians and the National Archives. 
When I picture a museum, it's this hall at the Natural History Museum. (I'm at the balcony)

I am sort of learning Korean after finding a rosetta stone cd at Goodwill, so I was excited to see this woodcut syllabary... except it's illegible. The hangul alphabet is printed on the wall above it, so it's not exactly that they're treating it like squiggly lines no one can read, and yet it was impossible for me to make a sketch of it. 

 This diamond alphabet was so sparkly and wonderful. The halls of gems and minerals are my favorite thing. The specimens are just amazing. Tektites and concretions and opals and gold, all the best in the world.
I've seen the smithsonian castle but never visited it until today. It doesn't seem to have any collections, just models of the capital. I was really excited to see that it has an antique, working letterbox that has a custom postmark. And the smashed penny machine had a change machine beside it, so useful.
 This is a mars rock. A lot of the rocks there are from space, but they got here naturally whereas this one was brought back in 1976 by our own efforts. And, I touched this rock in 2002.
I also touched this aluminum cap in 2002, a replica of the original Washington Monument cap.

I have been meaning to do this tour since we arrived, but we really live far from the center of the city. My sketches from today came out really badly, since I was standing up and rushing. But, it was a gorgeous fall day and I saw the Magna Carta and liked it.

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