Once again I had the privilege and pleasure of attending Yanik Silver’s Underground Seminar in Washington, D.C. and how I wish MORE of our industry conferences were held here. What an awesome city!
This time the conference was based out of the Renaissance Washington located in Georgetown a scant mile north of the National Mall where only just over a month ago history was made. Except for the trampled greens and omnipresent cart vendors plying Obama t-shirts, little remains to indicate the magnitude of the event.
But on either side of the Mall there’s no shortage of sights to behold and getting there is half the fun.
On Saturday afternoon, I walked down 9th to F Street where I turned east and walked past the National Portrait Gallery, Verizon Center and then admired the friezes on the Building Museum before turning southbound to wind my way through Judiciary Square before ending up on Pennsylvania Avenue for a tour along the east side of the Capitol Buildings. From there I crossed the plaza to the Library of Congress and turned back westbound and walked past the Botanical Gardens (only because I spent happy hours in there the last time I was here – otherwise I could never have walked by without going in) and the beautifully designed Museum of the American Indian building.
What I couldn’t walk past however was the National Air and Space Museum which was absolutely teeming with visitors. After checking out all the main atrium exhibits (LOVE that Eastern Airlines DAK, um… that’s old-timer aviation-speak for DC-3), the Skylab display and the Wright Brothers exhibit; I watched Space Station 3D, the first IMAX movie filmed in space and a visually spectacular treat for anyone, space buff or not.
After buying the requisite souvenir t-shirt for Ed (a glow-in-the-dark portrait of Einstein which I figured would be useful for keeping track of him when we’re out camping in the deepest darkest woods), I headed across the Mall to spend an hour in the Art Gallery where I checked out the art of my heritage – the Dutch Masters and “Pride of Place: Dutch Cityscapes of the Golden Age”, a collection of maps, atlases and books from The Hague, Amsterdam, Haarlem and Delft during the 17th century. I also came to the conclusion that I’m not a big fan of the French impressionists. No accounting for taste, eh?
With only 2.5 hours to spend sightseeing on Sunday afternoon, I went to see the year-old 7-level quarter-million square-foot Newseum, where galleries and theaters cover over 5 centuries of journalism – from the printing press to today’s bloggers. Noteable for me was seeing a huge section of the Berlin Wall, a whole gallery of Pulitzer Prize winning pictures. The Journalist’s Memorial was a heart-rending reminder of the ultimate price paid by some with the courage to expose the truth.
Here are some not-so-Pulitzer Prize winning photos from my recent trip to Washington, D.C.