Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

My Adventures in Our Nation's Capital (Pics, Poll, Long)

Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics
View Poll Results: What was the highlight of my trip?
Lunch with Buzz Aldrin
8
18.60%
Seeing the Enterprise
4
9.30%
Walking to Georgetown like an idiot
1
2.33%
Mocking the hippies
8
18.60%
Getting stalked by Diane Keaton
5
11.63%
Having our tour bus pulled over by the cops
2
4.65%
Planting a tree
0
0%
Seeing the Shopping Cart Orchestra
0
0%
Spitting on the FCC Building
11
25.58%
Wasting time writing this thread
4
9.30%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

My Adventures in Our Nation's Capital (Pics, Poll, Long)

Old 06-25-04, 07:22 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My Adventures in Our Nation's Capital (Pics, Poll, Long)



First off, let me express thanks to the folks who posted in this thread. Much of your advice was terrible, and I'm glad I ignored some of it, but I thank you nonetheless. Perhaps something in this thread may help future travellers (or perhaps more likely, it will sink like a rock). I tried to make the pics small, so there's a lot of quality loss.

My plan was simple: fly into Dulles, fly out of Reagan, see everything, multiply recommendations of what you can do in a day by a factor of 3, and when in doubt, be stubborn. For only having 2 full days to myself in DC -- and one in Dulles -- I'm pretty impressed with all I was able to accomplish.

The Dulles area was actually pretty nice. I stayed in a Days Inn that had a great restaurant and was within walking distance of many shops, restaurants, and a movie theater. I didn't have time for any of this, but it was still nice, and I think it was only about $70 for the night. I was shocked with how calm the airport was. It took me 3 hours to get through security to fly out of Atlanta, but Dulles seemed like a deserted wasteland.

I flew into town around noonish and headed off to the Udvar-Hazy Annex by 1pm. Many thanks to RoyalTea for suggesting it and darkflounder for convincing me to go over icondude's insistence against it. Amazing. I remained there until closing, and it still wasn't enough time. I also checked out their I-Max theater after the main museum closed. First realization this trip was going to be special: I'm standing in line at their Subway to get some lunch before checking out the attractions, and a gentleman dressed up like a docent joins me in line. I ask him if they give any tours or anything, and he says there will be a docent-guided tour starting at 2pm that I should check out. Sounds good to me. Oh yeah ... the guy ... it's Buzz Aldrin. The docent-guided tour was fantastic, and some of the stories nearly brought me to tears. I was not expecting that. This brings me to DC Tip #1: Take the damn tours. Almost all of them are free, and almost all of them kick ass.

Some pics:






I had business the next couple of days, but I made my way over to Rosslyn, or as I fondly remember it, that dump near Iwo Jima. When I arrived at my hotel, it was so sketchy that I spent the next few hours checking out other places in the area, but none of them were much better, so I just stayed there. At the time, I wished I had chosen Crystal City, but I changed my mind in a few days (more on that later). Fortunately, they screwed up and charged me $30/night for my stay. I'll take it. The good news is that it was close to the Rosslyn Metro station; the bad news is that I feared for my life getting to and from it. Speaking of the Metro, it was as advertized: very easy to use with frequent trains and far superior to our crappy setup here in Atlanta. And speaking of far superior to our crappy setup here in Atlanta, I must give you guys credit for a high concentration of hot, single women. Anyway, my last day of business led me to the Folger Shakespeare Library, so I checked it out before it closed. Very cool.

Now, at this point in my story, I want to give everyone a very solid piece of advice. DC Tip #2: Do not walk from the Folger Shakespeare Library (East of the Capital) to Georgetown, let alone taking the "scenic route" the way I did. If you know the city, you know just how bad an idea this was. Still, it was fun, I guess, and I saw most of the city at a glance while doing so. Along my journey, I saw many wonderful things ... such as these drum-beating hippies:



They had amassed to "wash" the flag of our American shame. Here's a crowd shot:



Only in America. Anyway, working my way across the city, I spent some time at the World War II Memorial, a mighty impressive addition to the city that's far more beautiful than these pictures:






A few hours later, after checking out all the neighboring memorials, the White House, my fraternity at GWU, a bridge, and some dirt, I stumbled into Georgetown for a late dinner, and then stumbled back to Rosslyn to pass out before another long day.

Last edited by das Monkey; 06-25-04 at 08:30 AM.
Old 06-25-04, 07:29 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My "plan" was to eat a big early breakfast and hit the White House visitor's center before everything else opened. In the night, I slightly altered that plan by removing the breakfast and White House segments and replacing them with sleep. This plan was a huge success. Still, I made it in to town before the museums opened. I had planned to check out American History first, but these people changed my mind:




I forget what they were talking about, but I'm pretty sure one of them knew why the caged bird sings. It was the 100th anniversary of the groundbreaking of the something of the blah-blah-blah for the Natural History Museum. I hung out with them for half an hour, helped them plant a tree, talked with some hot reporter lady, and then checked out the museum. It was pretty cool, I guess. I wandered through the whole thing, piggybacking on some private tour. I then made my way to the American History Museum where the following items brought me to tears:





What a beautiful country. Oh yeah, seeing the Star Spangled Banner was pretty cool too. I then took a few minutes to pray at the Temple of the Washington God.



People looked at me like I was crazy when I offered it a human sacrifice, but we'll see who's laughing when their crops don't grow. Overall, this museum was pretty nice, but like Natural History, it had a bit too much kid-friendly stuff. I then decided to sit down for a nice meal and take in some musical theater:



Because I'm so good at this planning stuff, I now decided that the hottest part of the afternoon (wearing a dark shirt, no less) was a perfect time to check out the Sculpture Garden, especially since I had to backtrack past Natural History because of my morning activities.



The Donnie Darko exhibit was pretty nice. Frank's instructions were a little unsettling, and I couldn't help but wonder if a jet engine was currently crashing into my hotel. As I explained earlier, however, this would have been an improvement in the hotel's appearance.



Tihs was pretty cool too. After sweating like a pig, I moved indoors to the actual Gallery of Art. Now, I have a pretty good appreciation for art, but there was a lot of booooo-ring shit in here. It took forever to get through this thing, but there were enough unique pieces of art to make it worthwhile. It's nowhere near as good as more famous galleries, though, and I wasn't too thrilled that they had buried their one Dali painting on the bottom floor by the elevators.



It was then time to make my way over to the East Building of the Art Gallery for some modern art, but first, I thought I'd hang out with Diane Keaton for a while. She really wanted a picture with me, so I indulged her.



I toured the East Building, then wandered over to Botanic Garden, then back to the Archives where the estimated 10 minute wait took over an hour. It was worth it, though.



By now, it was getting dark, so I took the Metro to Union Station and hopped on a Monuments By Moonlight tour. I use the term "moonlight" loosely, since it was overcast and raining, but it was still fun. The highlight of the evening was when our tour bus got pulled over by 5-0 for getting too close to the Pentagon:



Another late night as I arrived at Dump Sweet Dump around midnight and once more passed out from exhaustion with designs of Air & Space in the morning. As planned, I got there when they opened and took the first tour of the day. It was a nice tour, and some of the pieces were truly remarkable to see, but to be honest, it was a bit of a letdown. The museum itself was packed with kids, and after seeing all the cool shit at the Udvar-Hazy center, it just didn't have the same "wow" factor. I was there during some big science competition, so there were presentations going on throughout the day. I use the plural, but honestly, this one lady talked for so damn long, I can only guess that there were others to follow:



I also happened to be there during one of their Curator's Choice presentations, so I checked out an hour-long talk on cruise missles that was pretty fascinating. After that, it was off to the underground Smithsonians, which kicked all kinds of ass. I loved the Asian exhibits. It was actually a pretty cool setup, with a maze of connected underground museums, and I popped up somewhere around this landmark.



Apparently Woodsy Owl had the day off. I prompty wandered over to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing where I knew there was a tour about to start. I didn't have any tickets for the tour, so they told me to leave. I told them that I appreciated their invitation to leave, but I was going to take the tour anyway. DC Tip #3: Show up for stuff even if you don't have tickets. If you're polite and aren't carrying 3 screaming kids, chances are you can walk right in. The tour was interesting. Seeing the money printed was cool, but I was more interested in the engravings. Then it was time for the Holocaust Museum.



Once again, I didn't have tickets, but see Tip #3. I was nice to the lady at the front desk, and voila, tickets to the permanent exhibition that started in 2 minutes. I really cannot speak highly enough of this place. I had plans to see some other stuff that day, but I ended up spending about 4 hours in here, until they closed the doors and told me to leave. It was a remarkable experience, and those of you who said it was the best thing to see were right. I couldn't leave well enough alone, though, so I headed down 12th street to the FCC Building ... and spit on it.

I had a few hours before my flight, so I asked a bunch of locals where was a good place to get some dinner, and to a man, they all insisted that there was this kickass place on the wharf. It was a little expensive, but I'd get the best food I ever tasted. Woo hoo! So, I walked down 12th, and walked, and walked ... until I finally arrived at this place. DC Tip #4: locals don't know shit about good tasting food. I paid $30 for a meal the equivalent of the seafood bar at the Golden Corral. I thought it was a disappointing way to finish the trip, but I was wrong. My flight got cancelled, they wouldn't let me sleep in the airport and didn't have latenight flights, so I had to spend the night in Crystal City ... which made my Rosslyn hotel look like a paradise. The only place that had rooms was some dump called the Americana. Now, check this place out. $100 a night. Room keys. That's right ... they had actual keys, and you had to physically lock the door when leaving. The air conditioning exhausts were directed into the hallway, so it was a freaking sauna in there. Oh, and they didn't have clocks in the rooms. A hotel without clocks ... now I've seen everything. I left the next morning. Again security was a breeze compared to Atlanta. 5 minutes max.

Anyway, if you've read this far, you need help. I know I saw a bunch of other stuff, but it's probably slipped my mind. I took the Spy Museum tour and it wasn't too bad, and I'm pretty sure I saw all the major monuments and memorials. I would have liked to have seen more, but for 2 days, I think I did as much as one could possibly do. I had a nice three-tiered blister to prove it. Thanks again to those who offered suggestions, and I'm sure you're as surprised as I am that the city survived my presence. I felt sure I'd accidentally burn the place down.

das

Last edited by das Monkey; 06-25-04 at 08:49 AM.
Old 06-25-04, 07:40 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Chew's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: South of Titletown
Posts: 18,628
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Very cool Thanks for sharing.

Did you slip that phaser into your pocket?
Old 06-25-04, 07:43 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Is that a phaser in your pocket or ..."

das
Old 06-25-04, 07:57 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: College Station, TX
Posts: 6,223
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts


Sounds like you enjoyed your trip.

One day my wife and I plan on taking a trip to DC. Lots of good photo ops there too.
Old 06-25-04, 07:59 AM
  #6  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 70,931
Received 14 Likes on 9 Posts
Very cool writeup as usual, but the photos lined up like that are making it very hard to read (I had to scroll back and forth as I read).

D.C. is one of my favorite places to visit.
Old 06-25-04, 08:25 AM
  #7  
Enormous Genitals
 
Bandoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: a small cottage on a cul de sac in the lower pits of hell.
Posts: 33,328
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Greats pics, das. I was at the Udvar-Hazy Annex recently, and I really felt a sense of awe looking at the Enola Gay. What a great collection of historical planes, etc.

Did you go on any of the flight simulators?
Old 06-25-04, 08:34 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: is everything
Posts: 17,990
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
very nice, das

I'm planing on a DC trip either this fall or next spring. I can't wait to go see the Udvar-Hazy Annex.
Old 06-25-04, 08:34 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Groucho

Very cool writeup as usual, but the photos lined up like that are making it very hard to read (I had to scroll back and forth as I read).
My apologies. I often forget that people are so tolerant of terrible resolutions on their monitors. I figured at 600 wide, 2 per line would be OK, but I guess when you add in the vB overhead, it pushes it across the page. I edited the posts to one picture per line. Thanks for letting me know; I never would have noticed.

das
Old 06-25-04, 08:41 AM
  #10  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 70,931
Received 14 Likes on 9 Posts
Looks good now! I'm at 640x480 BTW.

Spoiler:
Just kidding...it's 1024x768


Some great pictures there. Glad you had a good time.
Old 06-25-04, 08:44 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 8,572
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm running 1024x768, also, and that was hard to scroll through.

Thanks for fixing !
Old 06-25-04, 08:49 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Duran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 8,177
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
1. Rosslyn is a dump? Where the hell did you stay? There's nothing wrong with Rosslyn, other than it's mainly a 9-5 area, with a serious lack of nightlife. It certainly isn't dangerous.

2. You went to Phillips, didn't you? 12th street by the FCC is not a fine dining area. While Phillips is probably the best you're going to get in that area, it still sucks. I work in L'Enfant Plaza, and we go to Federal Triangle or Chinatown if we want real food. Frankly, the people you asked probably started snickering after you left, "Dude, we just sent a guy to Phillips!"
Old 06-25-04, 09:02 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Duran

1. Rosslyn is a dump? Where the hell did you stay? There's nothing wrong with Rosslyn, other than it's mainly a 9-5 area, with a serious lack of nightlife. It certainly isn't dangerous.
I think it was called The Virginian. It was next to some rundown apartments, a crabshack that wouldn't sell me any food after 10pm, and a 7-11. There was also a little tunnel with a bum sleeping in it that I passed on the way to and from the Metro. Depending on the size of Rosslyn, it could be a very nice place elsewhere, but I didn't feel too comfortable where I was, especially at night. Even so, I still foolishly wandered over to the Iwo Jima Memorial at about midnight one evening. It was just too beautiful not to check out.

Duran

2. You went to Phillips, didn't you? 12th street by the FCC is not a fine dining area. While Phillips is probably the best you're going to get in that area, it still sucks. I work in L'Enfant Plaza, and we go to Federal Triangle or Chinatown if we want real food. Frankly, the people you asked probably started snickering after you left, "Dude, we just sent a guy to Phillips!"
Yep. I wondered if I it was a joke, but I asked three independent groups, and they all said it was the shit. It was packed too. There were businessmen and families alike. I even saw a female gang inside, with their names adorned with flowers tattooed across their necks. When I got there, I bumped into some people leaving and asked them if it was a good place to eat. "Best in the city!" WTF. These people need to get out more.

If there was one part of the trip that was disappointing it was trying to find good food. I try to sample the local cuisine when I travel, so I frequently asked hotel folk and museum folk and metro folk where I should go to eat in the evenings. I couldn't get straight answers from anyone. I think the best meal I ended up with was at some bar & grill at Union Station. I also ate at some steakhouse called Orleans in Rosslyn. The decor was laughably terrible, but the food was pretty darn tasty.

das
Old 06-25-04, 09:17 AM
  #14  
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 6,733
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've always considered mocking the hippies to be part of the provided entertainment.
Old 06-25-04, 10:30 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Duran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 8,177
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by das Monkey
I think it was called The Virginian. It was next to some rundown apartments, a crabshack that wouldn't sell me any food after 10pm, and a 7-11.


Yep. Rosslyn turns back into a pumpkin after 6.


Yep. I wondered if I it was a joke, but I asked three independent groups, and they all said it was the shit. It was packed too. There were businessmen and families alike. I even saw a female gang inside, with their names adorned with flowers tattooed across their necks. When I got there, I bumped into some people leaving and asked them if it was a good place to eat. "Best in the city!" WTF. These people need to get out more.

It used to be quite good, but it's gone downhill in the last few years.

Businessmen? Phillips is within walking distance of USPS HQ. They weren't businessmen - they were government/quasi-government employees. Big difference. Those families were just a suckered as you.


If there was one part of the trip that was disappointing it was trying to find good food. I try to sample the local cuisine when I travel, so I frequently asked hotel folk and museum folk and metro folk where I should go to eat in the evenings. I couldn't get straight answers from anyone. I think the best meal I ended up with was at some bar & grill at Union Station. I also ate at some steakhouse called Orleans in Rosslyn. The decor was laughably terrible, but the food was pretty darn tasty.
"Laughably terrible" is a bit of an understatement when talking about the decor of The Orleans House, but the food is usually pretty good. I'll grant you - food is not one of DC's strongest points, but I assure you there is much better than Phillips.
Old 06-25-04, 11:00 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 3,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nice post. I especially liked the Donnie Darko part.
Old 06-25-04, 11:09 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
bigsoos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Sachse, TX
Posts: 4,514
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
hahha, you said long poll
Old 06-25-04, 11:12 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 123,257
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
I think it was called The Virginian. It was next to some rundown apartments, a crabshack that wouldn't sell me any food after 10pm, and a 7-11.

Oh man. You should have asked first. I could have told you that area was a dump - drive by it everyday. That crabshack is a diamond in the rough though, or so I've heard.

You ate at Phillips? You really wanted to emulate the dumb tourist thing didn't you? I can't believe so many locals recommended it - morans.

I've never actually eaten at The Orleans. I love the building though - sticks out like a sore thumb.


for spitting on the FCC building.
Old 06-25-04, 11:14 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Duran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 8,177
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Red Dog
I've never actually eaten at The Orleans. I love the building though - sticks out like a sore thumb.
It sure does. Can you imagine how much that property is worth?
Old 06-25-04, 11:18 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 123,257
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Originally posted by Duran
It sure does. Can you imagine how much that property is worth?

It is just like that Chinese restaurant (that looks like Chinese architecture) on Quincy Street (btwn Wilson and Fairfax) and the IHOP in Ballston. They didn't sell out and they are now surrounded by high rises.
Old 06-25-04, 11:27 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Hero
 
B.A.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East County
Posts: 33,383
Received 5 Likes on 4 Posts
Great thread das. It's always fun to live vicariously through others.

The mods should sticky this to the top of the forum.
Old 06-25-04, 11:34 AM
  #22  
Moderator
 
Geofferson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: The Village Green
Posts: 39,220
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Great thread das - thanks for sharing!
Old 06-25-04, 12:07 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hero
 
B.A.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East County
Posts: 33,383
Received 5 Likes on 4 Posts
Oh, and I said the highlight of your trip was spitting on the FCC building, too.
Old 06-25-04, 12:50 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Red Dog

Oh man. You should have asked first. I could have told you that area was a dump - drive by it everyday.
Thankfully I can cling to $30 / day.

Red Dog

That crabshack is a diamond in the rough though, or so I've heard.
I went by there twice, and all they had left were coldcuts. The bartender was wearing a Notre Dame hat, though, so you'd love it.

Red Dog

You ate at Phillips? You really wanted to emulate the dumb tourist thing didn't you? I can't believe so many locals recommended it - morans.
Hey, I didn't know. My options were pretty limited in that part of town, and I foolishly assumed that I could get good seafood on the waterfront. Since it wasn't near any tourist attractions, I also foolishly assumed that if locals said it was good, then chances are it was. In retrospect, I should have just headed back to Union Station and tried another of their restaurants, but I was trying for something uniquely local. Instead I got something that was uniquely suck. I still cannot fathom why anyone who isn't a tourist would spend that kind of money for such mediocre food. And it sure seemed like the patrons were locals.

Red Dog

for spitting on the FCC building.
I figured you'd appreciate that.

das
Old 06-25-04, 12:54 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Ruler
 
General Zod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 21,558
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Originally posted by das Monkey
Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most..... human.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.