Those of us who live in DC are used to the ebb and flow of tourists coming to our fair city. I, for one, welcome it, and not just because of the dozens of dollars I earn from showing folks around. It's easy for us to get jaded at the grandeur of the buildings and the hustle and bustle of government going on around us as we go about our daily lives. I truly enjoy the enthusiasm and fresh perspective of visitors, and not just to chuckle at when they gaze upon the Capitol and ask "do you think the President is home?" My visitors often teach me as much as I show them.
But that being said, if you live around here, get your Mall time in now. With the cherry blossoms coming at us like a freight train, we're in for six months of tourist season. Maybe the economy will keep some of them at home, but I've got to warn you: I'm not seeing a drop off in my bookings for the spring. So after we hunker down for half the year, fall is a great time for us locals to get reacquainted with our home town. The humidity has lifted and we can actually stop and look at an exhibit or two without being crushed. Except for one day...
As my good friend Susan L asks:
I feel your pain, Susan. We've done our part and welcomed the hordes. Now we just want to show our relatives the freaking Hope diamond. So I'm going to throw out a few ideas but this is really a topic where I could use some audience participation. Please post some ideas in the comments or send them to me. Please! If I don't get a good answer Susan might hurt me. She scares me.
1. Obviously, you've got no business being at the Natural History, Air and Space, or American History museums on this day. But this can be a good day to check out the Freer, the Sackler, the National Museum of African Art, or some of the less loved museums. And someone out there should show some love for the Hirshhorn, but even I have my limits.
2. Avoid the Mall entirely and head to the White House. Beyond showing the folks the obligatory White House, there are three excellent museums right there: the Renwick Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Decatur House. And not a terribly far walk away is the White House Visitors Center and the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum. So, while there might not be something for everyone, you can at least take the crowd to Lafeyette Square and let them see whatever interests them.
So folks, I need your help on this one. Enough freeloading, send me your suggestions. Because if Susan shows up on my doorstep with 15 relatives on Black Friday, I'm blaming you.