A new perspective on visiting Washington, DC by subject matter expert, David Brunton. On a side note, I assume David is using the more modern, colloquial meaning for "dork", rather than the traditional meaning.
There were some responses to my previous post that intimated I am insufficiently local to comment on finer points of touring DC. Well, at 28 minutes away, I may be insufficiently local. I am not, however, insufficiently dorky to write a post titled "DC Like a Dork." I'm such a dork that other dorks don't even get what I'm talking about most the time.
But enough bragging. If you're interested in a dork's-eye view of Washington DC, look no further. Or, rather, look a little bit further, but don't keep looking elsewhere. I've got what you need.
To begin, if you are a dork, you should make sure your visit coincides with a Dorkbot, where other dorks like you have soldering parties. Haven't had enough? Wander over to the hackerspace at HacDC for a little programming and robotics on the side. Make some stuff, set it on fire, create some robot overlords, whatever.
So, that's how you time your visit: to coincide with some dorking. But seriously, who am I kidding? You're probably here for a W3C conference, and you didn't get to pick when you would come. Not that it matters. Here's what else you should do while you're here.
Visit Natural History. Visit Air and Space. Visit the Koshland. Visit the Botanic Gardens, and get the rest of your A-List dorking out of the way. Depending upon what kind of dork you are (e.g. you might be an art dork or a history dork like Tim), the Arboretum might be cool, or any of the nine thousand or so art museums. Once you've done all the A-List dorking, settle down to the real business of having something amazing to tell your dork children.
Block off a whole day. Go get your library card from the Library of Congress. Yes, they have library cards, and yes, you need one for any serious dorking. Once you've got that, pick something awesomely obscure, and go find the right reading room to ask for it. Ask for Box 6 of the collected papers of John von Neumann. Ask for something by Francis Bacon or Blaise Pascal or Gottfried Leibniz. See if you can find something that Kurt Gödel wrote. Go crazy with your dork self. Spend a whole day in the Science and Business reading room, just glorying in a room that has the word "usufruct" on the wall and actual encyclopedias lining the walls.
After that, check out the calendars at the various institutions run and populated by dorks like us:
Last, but not least, if you find you need to get a fix, and you are tired of walking around, go to Reiter's. There, you will dork to your dork heart's content.