Museums, Bookstores and Restaurants, Oh My!

Smithsonian American Art Museum

You’re probably starting to wonder whether I decided to join the Peace Corps and am off in some remote jungle with no internet access.  Alas, I have no good excuse for my lack of posting except for insane busyness and laziness.
I can’t believe I’ve been here for almost a month already!  The time has gone by so fast and I’ve only explored a small part of DC so far.  My first weekend here I tried to see as much as possible which included The Natural History Museum, The American History Museum and the memorial day parade and concert.  Since then I’ve visited The American Art museum and the Newseum.  Did you know that there are nineteen Smithsonian museums?!?! I’d like to try to see all of them before I leave, but we’ll see if that happens.  And that doesn’t even cover the other museums like The Holocaust Museum, The Spy Museum and countless others.

Berlin Wall

The Newseum, which isn’t part of the Smithsonian, is probably one of the most interesting museums I’ve been to yet. It’s supposed to be all about news and media but I think they took all the really cool stuff that didn’t fit into any other category and just stuck it here, creating one incredible museum.  One exhibit included pieces of the Berlin Wall and a guard tower from the wall.  Another chronicled major newspapers from the 1500’s to the present.  There was also an antennae from the World Trade Center.  Needless to say, that was extremely powerful.  One of the best exhibits was about gangsters and mobsters and the news coverage that they received.  The museum somehow obtained the actual shack that a gangster was shot and captured in!

Map of Freedom of the Press Around the World - Red=Not Free, Yellow=Somewhat Free, Green=Free

The list goes on, but I think my favorite part of the Newseum was a map portraying freedom of the press around the world.  Almost the entire continents of Asia and Africa do not have a

Guard Tower from Berlin Wall

free press, which is very disheartening.  As someone who’s interested in writing and journalism, this museum was definitely on my must see list and I’m glad I checked it out.
Another part of DC I’ve been exploring is its used bookstores.  So far I’ve found two and my wallet is definitely showing it(but not too much).  I have a weakness for books and have spent hours in both of these cheap caves of knowledge.
Very soon after arriving here I realized how expensive everything is and accepted that fact that I won’t be eating out very much.  However, the few restaurants I have eaten at have been worth it.  One day a friend and I checked out a West African restaurant down in the Adams Morgan area.  I was in heaven of course, and the food was delicious.  My friend had goat meat but I wasn’t feeling as brave and stuck with chicken.  A band came in while we were there and added even more West African flavor to our meal.
I’ve also experienced Chipotle for the first, which is like the subway of burrito restaurants.  The other day I checked out Potbelly Sandwich Shop, which everyone raves about.  It certainly lived up to its reputation.  Now that my wallet is a little thinner though, my dinners tend to consist of tuna and cheerios…

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