December 6, 2011

December 6, 2011

Tourism in Your Own Town

It was mild (upper 50s) and overcast (with light occasional drizzle) in DC today. Perfect tourism weather, in my opinion. Though plenty of things irritate me about DC, I still love it, and am often tempted to skive off work and take in a museum. It’s one of the best times of year for it, you see. No field trips. Few tourists. It’s the between-holiday lull. Yet all the museums are open as usual, and Union Station is even all decked to impress you as you walk through it to get to the National Postal Museum.

Sure, it’s not ideal conditions to walk the National Mall and look at the monuments, but (reason alert) I’ve always found them a teeny bit overrated, anyway. I much prefer the Smithsonians (NOTE: THERE IS MORE THAN ONE) and their kickass collections, with the additional benefit of bathrooms and soft drink vendors.

But let me not forget those attractions north of Constitution and south of Independence (the streets, not the concepts). The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where you can literally see money being made. Then buy a bag of shredded bills (great packing material, or GREATEST packing material?). Ford’s Theatre and the Peterson House. The International Spy Museum and the (not as good) National Museum of Crime and Punishment. (Why we spy internationally but apply justice only domestically, I cannot say.)

All of which isn’t to say that some things are better left to summer. The zoo. Arlington Cemetery. Anything on bicycles or segways. (Please don’t take a tour on a bicycle or a segway. It’s even more inconvenient for the rest of us than the people with strollers.)

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. Your own hometown probably has equally interesting stuff (not quite, but I’m trying to be nice). You just have to find it. If you’re lucky it might even be free and uncrowded this time of year.

Hint hint.

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