Thursday, July 31, 2014

Another Museum in DC

We hopped the bus to the Metro and back into DC. Love this way of exploring a big city!! Another museum we missed on our last trip to DC that we hear was a great Smithsonian museum to see was the National Museum of the American Indian and so that was our destination for the day. It features the history, art, and life sstyles  of the indigenous peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere. The art collection is one of the largest and most diverse of its kind in the world. There are a number of films in various theaters and guided tours. We just did a self tour as we have been doing this week.
First off, the building itself is very interesting. It is built to be as close to nature as possible with curved walls and the entrance facing east and a dome that is open to the sky.

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) has one of the most extensive collections of Native American arts and artifacts in the world—approximately 266,000 catalog records (825,000 items) representing over 12,000 years of history and more than 1,200 indigenous cultures throughout the Americas. Ranging from ancient Paleo-Indian points to contemporary fine arts, the collections include works of aesthetic, religious, and historical significance as well as articles produced for everyday use

We ate lunch at their restaurant, the Zagat rated Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe. It is a cafeteria style restaurant that serves foods based on the indigenous foods of the Americas. It was hard to choose, but I got Salmon with a tapenade sauce with a wiild rice salad and Joe got Buffalo Loin with potatoes. Both were very good. We sat at a nice spot by a waterfall treatment,

More curvature inside as you can see below.

 The bottom floor has a large area where Native American people sell their art, jewelry, etc. I bought a silver ring. There was also music which we listened to from the floor above.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Days at the Newseum in DC

Cherry Hill is a typical commercial campground which isn't our cup of time. It is nicely landscaped and has a laundry which we used and swimming pools which we didn't. However, the selling point for us is that there is a bus stop right at the entrance to the park which takes you to the metro which goes right into DC.  We purchased smart cards at the small office which is at the bus stop. Once we got to the Metro we added money to the cards and then just used the card for both the metro and the bus. So easy. Plus we got a senior rate and an additional dollar off per use for using the smart card. We went to a lot of museums when we were here before but one we missed and really wanted to see was the Newseum and so that is where we went. Being political news junkies and history fans as well, this was a great museum for us to see.
In the front of the building are the front pages of newspapers from around the world including the LA Times which we sub scripted to for years. Iniide were more newspapers from different times in history telling of the importance of the news.

The Newseum is not a free museum but you get a second day free. We actually did go two days as there was so much to see.
We watched a few films, one about some of the major news events in our history and the role the news plays in those events and another film on sports history.
There was an exhibition on the Berlin Wall including an actual section of the wall. Interesting was the colorful West Berlin side compared to the plain gray wall of the East side which seems to reflect the life the people on those two sides.

We then went up the glass elevator to the top level which plans to work out way down through the different levels.
The top level has some of the best views of the city.

As you walk around the terrace you can view pictures and information on the history of "America's Main Street" from inaugural parades to demonstrations.

There were many exhibitions from newspapers in evolutionary times .to television, covering wars, women's rights history, civil rights and other major events.

Below is a map of the world showing the countries where there is full or almost full freedom of the press to those countries with little or no frredom. Green being the freest to red where they are no rights. Also a collage of the First Amendment rights of our country.

On one of the lower floors there was an exhibition on 911, including a mangled antenna from the north tower. Cell phones, credit cards and other artifacts. There was also a tribute to William Biggart, a photojournalist who lost his life in the Towers. Newspapers from September 12th line one wall. We also watched a short film taken on the day of the attack which was also very moving.

 There was a memorial to the 2,000 or so journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty, an internet, tv and radion gallery, an interactive newsroom and so many other interesting exhibitions. There was a gallery of Pulitzer prize winning photographs and another light hearted one with picutres of the First Dogs.

I took the one below of a woman who looked like she was explaining to a young girl what the pictures were about.

Love Reagan's sweet looking King Charles and of course, BO and Sunny.

We also saw a cool 4D film, I-Witness, which explores journalism history following some of the pioneering reporters on the trail of big news.

We ate in the cafeteria the first day we were there and then we read about the other restaurant that is right next to the Museum, the Source, created by Wolfgang Puck.However it was closed due to a private party. Well we did end up eating there another day but that is a story for a new post. We did walk around looking for somewhere interesting and decided on Oyamel,  Cocina Mexicana. It really showcased the diversity of Mexico cuisine that was combined with a modern urban feel . Other than some specialties, they mostly had antojitos, which are like tapas or small plates. We first had guacamole that was made at the table.

We then shared three delicious dishes. One was ceviche with sunfish and avocado,marinated in  tomatoes, onion, cilandto, and lime, Another smoked fish in small corn tortillas with a salsa. The third was fried crispy pork belly in hand made tortillas with cheese and five chilies. This was a great fine and we really enjoyed our food as well as some fine margaritas. Plus we had a vanilla coconut panna cotta with a granite of raspberries for dessert. Glad we had a way to walk to the Metro to walk some of those calories off.