The Natural History museum was fun, and Jenn liked that they at least mentioned the bilby in the Australia section (she likes bilbies). Too bad they didn't have a stuffed bilby. I liked the dinosaur bones and the various monkeys.
We got a bite at the Fossil Cafe, which was actually quite good for a simple museum cafe. Two yummy roast beef wraps, one huge Rice Crispies Treat, and one fountain Coca-Cola cost $26.40. (Sight unseen, I can tell you that's cheaper than a corresponding meal at New York's American Museum of Natural History.) We found a good table and ate a very satisfying snack.
We sailed through the rest of the museum (another benefit to free admission: you don't feel obligated to study every piece in depth). The Ocean Hall was closed (the one with the big whale) but is supposed to reopen this month (September, 2008) after a major renovation. It was fenced off but I could see that the whale's head was missing.
We left the Museum of Natural History and walked across the Mall to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, which we loved. Again, we breezed through the circular gallery on the top floor (roller skates would have been helpful, as in LA Story) digging the work of John Chamberlain, Michael Lucero, and Alexander Calder (pictured).
On the second floor was a collection of video and film work that was excellent, beginning with this dynamic, seizure-inducing rendering of Old Glory.
We especially enjoyed a four-screen video by Isaac Julian that connected Burkino Faso with Northern Scandinavia . The basement gallery had more unusual treasures, like a mobile of dry-cleaning hangers, a large floor mat made of synthetic rubber intestine, and a thicket of mirrored sticks leaning against a wall.
We had intended to visit another museum but instead spent the rest of the afternoon wandering through the lovely sculpture garden and gazing at the bronze rabbits and Rodin's Burghers of Calais. Jenn wrote a note and tied it to Yoko Ono's wishing tree. Worn out from the heat and culture, we walked back to the hotel. Jenn's feet hurt because she wore the wrong shoes. In hindsight, we should have taken a cab.
[Photos: Victor Ozols]
· 48 Hours in Washington D.C. - Part 1: Kayaking and Go Go Music [Jaunted]
· 48 Hours in Washington D.C. - Part 2: Loving Those Free Museums [Jaunted]
· 48 Hours in Washington D.C. - Part 3: Popped Collars and Lacklustre Cuisine [Jaunted]