4.23.2007

Short and probably not sweet

Sorry this is short and lame but I've got buttloads of work to do. If you want to see the rest of my DC pictures you can click on the new Flickr badge in my sidebar. If you select the "Travel" set w/the white flower they'll be there. I was quite happy with some of them.

Report on the last day of the Computers in Libraries 2007 Conference:

Keynote speaker was John Van Oudenaren from the Library of Congress, talking about the World Digital Library project. The project is to create a free massive digital library of items contributed from all over the world--images, music, video, books, everything. There's a very cool video about it here. Just watch it if you like stylish, cool commercials. I'm a sucker for those things. (Note to England: I loved your commercials. They were better than ours.)

Favorite quote of the day came from LibraryThing creator Tim Spalding: "The library is the most fun you can have with your pants on." His point is that library catalogs need to be more fun to reflect the true, practically-without-pants nature of libraries.

For the techies out there, I went to a session entitled "Tech Freebies." The session was conducted by librarians who have started holding short classes to teach people how to use things like Blogger, Flickr, The Gimp, and other good freeware or Open Source programs. They keep up on what's newancool by following these sites:

Slashdot
PC Magazine or PC World
SEOMoz's Web 2.0 Awards
Time Magazine's 50 Coolest Websites (2006 issue)
Filehippo (freeware)

And then suddenly it was all over, and I was left feeling sad. I perked up, though, when I met up with the delightful Abby in DC. We went to dinner at Clyde's where my freaky long-fingernailed male server kept being weird and not taking my plate away even though I positioned my fork and knife in the unmistakable "I am finished" position. I would've taken it out of his tip but I was feeling generous. We both had the crabcake sandwich, and then for dessert I got the strawberry tart and Abby had the almond-lemon cake. Both were fabulous.

Then to the Washington DC Temple for a session. That was always "my" temple when we lived on the east coast but I was too young to go in. And then we moved away. So now I've been inside and it's beautiful. It's just too bad that I spent most of the session nodding off and/or hallucinating. Please don't shun me in the manner of Dwight K. Shrute. ("Shunned. Unshunned!")

Next morning I had a few hours to sightsee before my flight and that's where most of the Flickr pics are from.

I walked around the National Mall
Visited the World War II memorial
Skipped the National Archives because the entire student population of California was waiting in a line that encircled the building. Will have to just go watch National Treasure instead to see the Declaration of Independence. Also I've seen it once before so it's okay.
Saw the "Treasures of America" exhibit at the Air & Space Museum (and then I got the crap outta there because I think every 5th grader in the country and possibly some other countries' 5th-graders were in there, shrieking loudly)
Enjoyed the comparative quiet of the National Gallery of Art
Finally had the crack-filled PB&J at Potbelly's as recommended by Cicada
Marveled at how many people were out jogging at 11am. Do they not have jobs? Do they work funny hours? How is this possible???

Decided that DC is not like London. It's not this place of fashion or theatre or gastronomy. It's a bunch of government buildings and museums. New York is like London. And yet DC is this huge tourist destination for people from all over the world and I find myself wondering what it is that entices them. Is it because they're visiting New York already and might as well hit DC while they're at it? Cicada thinks it's because all the museums and memorials are cool and free. She might have a point there. Everything else there will bankrupt you, though.

So. My question to you non-Americans out there is this: Are you interested in visiting Washington DC? If so, why?

Here endeth my trip report. Which turned out to be not brief at all. Must get back to work now.

5 comments:

Jason and Hannah said... [reply]

I LOVE Washington DC. I think it is beautiful. I love the cherry blossoms in Arlington cemetery. I love how clean it is! Going there was probably my favorite vacation I have ever been on. I came back thinking I could live there for the rest of my life.

New York is dirty and the subways smell like pee.

Jenny said... [reply]

I love Ben and Jerrys. And the Georgetown mall. And the monuments. And your mom.

Jimmy said... [reply]

I really enjoyed your recounting of the trip, and I've made use (and bookmarks) of a lot of the links you provided.

I think everyone should see Washington DC at least once, if for nothing else than the historical value.

Thanks for some really good entries.

chosha said... [reply]

I'm not interested in visiting it, but mostly because there are other US cities I want to see more. I also heard it was relatively dangerous crimewise. Washington DC is definitely the most beautiful temple, though. I've always loved it.

abby said... [reply]

Chosha...DC's crimes tend to happen in areas of town that no tourist will go to. Tourists sometimes forget that DC is still a city and they are easy to spot. The key is to just be aware and use common sense. People have been mugged at the mall but chances are they were alone in the dark.

As for the joggers at eleven or noon...people at my work go for a run at the Mall at lunch time. DC was voted one of the most health conscience cities to live in which explains all the jogging and bike trails around here.

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