The hoof alone is twenty feet tall

I’m back, by the way. I’m catching up. There’s a lot of reading and scrolling to do. (That was only four days? Really? Two of which were mostly travel? Really? It feels like…I was going to say a week but actually it’s more like some unknown unit of time that’s open-ended, it’s just Way More Than The Literal Hour By Hour Time. Could be a year. Big. A big unit. A big non-specific unit.) (Wait, that sounds…oh never mind.)

I even managed to fit some high-speed touristing in there. Would you believe it? What I mean by “touristing” here is just walking as far as I can to look at the outside of as much as I can. Museums and the like have to be done with enough time or there’s no point…although now I’ve said that I remember that I did go to the Natural History Museum on last year’s high speed touristing adventure…but more just to go inside and get a quick look than to do a proper museum visit. I went to Georgetown and the canal and along the river a bit, then up between the Watergate (god damn that’s an ugly “complex”) and the Kennedy Center (which like so many buildings in DC looks as if it had been built for a species three times the size of our own) and past GWU on Friday morning. Saturday lunch break I went to the Capitol – past the National Archive which is emphatically one of those buildings designed for a much larger species of human, and the whaddyacallit, the Commerce department building, with the giant Stalinist guy fighting with a giant Stalinist horse outside it. Dang, DC is weird-looking in places. To the Capitol, I say, or rather to the edge of where the grounds begin and then up One Street, past the DC appeals court, which I found oddly exciting, and past the Museum of Buildings which is itself a glorious and weird building. I consider that a pretty heroic feat of touristing with only an hour to do it in.

Then later on Saturday with even less than an hour I went just up to Thomas Circle and along two sides of Franklin Square.

In a way I wanted to stay in the hotel and do more high-speed talking instead, but…balance, people, balance. I believe in being a balanced nerd. No, I don’t really. More like, I believe in being two kinds of nerd as opposed to just one.


  1. Claire Ramsey says

    DC, esp the Area of Monumental Structures, is truly odd. I should have recommended to you that you visit the fine conservatory. You can put that on your next heroic touristing agenda.

    Also welcome home.

  2. MyaR says

    Did you go in the Building Museum? It’s one of my favorite buildings in the city. [It also has the best bookstore/gift shop.] Because it was built as the War Pension office (post-Civil War), it has 19th-century style disability accommodations — the stair treads are very wide and shallow to accommodate all the amputees on crutches. It’s also huge, outscale, but at the same time more human than, say, the National Archives building [second-best bookstore/gift shop]. Probably because it was built for a utilitarian, non-myth-building purpose.

  3. MyaR says

    Oh, and you should plan extra days next time you come! The zoo really is worthwhile (and if you manage to hit the one weekend a year it’s open to the public, the Front Royal research station is pretty incredible), Claire’s right, the Conservatory is wonderful, I personally love the Postal Museum out of all proportion, Mt Vernon is interesting for things people don’t always notice (espaliered fruit trees! outhouses hidden in the woods! weird fake food on display!) and, and, and… there’s a lot to see besides the museums on the Mall.

  4. says

    Claire, it is, it is. I knew that of course, and enjoyed marveling at seeing it with my own eyes last year, and then was amused all over again by the Archive. Jesus god. BE IMPRESSED, EARTHLINGS.

    Yes I’ve spotted the conservatory on the map many times and thought gottagothere. On the list, on the list.

    Mya, nope – I was racing to get back without missing too much of Jacoby’s talk. (With success! I think I missed 2 minutes at most.) But boy do I want to.

  5. Georgia Sam says

    That’s some pretty impressive touristing. You went to a couple of places I’ve never been, & I’ve been living in the DC area for 30+ years. Re wi-fi at National Airport: Yeah, it’s pretty useless. BTW, don’t be surprised if some Republican jerk gets all up in your face about failing to call it REAGAN national.

  6. Donnie says

    I, personally, refuse to call it Reagan Airport. I always refer to it as Washington National and if someone does not know it by Washington National and quizically asks Regan National (like a ticket agent), I always then refer to Washington National by its call sign: DCA. That way, I am understod without referrencing it by that abomination of a name. Pretty soon, this whole city will be Reagan ‘X’ and no one will through a fit anyting until they try and rename Washington Momument after Reagan [insert obligatoire joke here about Clinton a la ‘Futurama’]

    Great hearing you speak! Sorry, I am a bit shy so I did not introduce myself to you and the rest of the FtB cohort there – not implying that there was any priviledge (gained or lost) in meeting me. I just wish that I wasn’t so shy in introducing myself to strangers 🙁

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