Day 4 of our vacation was my birthday, so I woke up to a bazillion birthday wishes via email, phone, Twitter, and Facebook. Plus some gifts from my family. And I got to pick my destination for the day! No surprise, I chose the Newseum. I think everyone was acting like they were being good sports about going, but we all ended up loving it.
Another private (read: not free but also not mobbed) museum, the Newseum is a 7-story exploration and celebration of journalism. The price of admission buys you a two-day pass (although we went for just the one day), and I'm not sure you could even do the whole thing in two full days. What an amazing place.
You start at the top, where there's an outdoor deck with a gorgeous view:
Each floor has several different exhibits, including these highlights:
- wall-size prints of every Pulitzer-winning photo ever
- newspapers (under glass) from the 1400s on, including all the famous headlines, like "Dewey Beats Truman"
- a wall of that day's front pages from the major newspaper of every US state plus several foreign countries (It was the day after the Boston Marathon, so most papers had the good news that it had been a wonderful and safe event, just as it always should be.)
- videos of TV news clips on everything imaginable—the Hindenburg, the Munich Olympics, Cronkite announcing JFK's death, etc.
- a very moving 9/11 exhibit from the point of view of the journalists and photographers who covered it; the centerpiece is the mangled remains of the broadcast antenna from atop the North Tower
- a memorial to all journalists who've been killed on the job
- a chance to pretend you're a news reporter and read from a teleprompter:
Even the bathroom was fun—there were tiles printed with funny (real) newspaper headlines:
The gift shop had lots of fun things to choose from. I considered buying this magnet:
but Julie pointed out that I don't do that silently...! I ended up with this one instead:
For dinner, we went to Founding Farmers, which was wonderful. There was a delay seating us despite our reservation, so they assuaged our annoyance with complementary Bacon Lollis (skewers of thick-cut bacon glazed with cinnamon and brown sugar)—OHMYGOD.
Not a bad way to usher in a new year, wouldn't you say?
(By the way, if you're getting bored of these travel journals, don't worry—tomorrow will be the last one!)