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19 October, 2010

Washington, DC, September 2010 Travelogue 4: National Sculpture Garden, National Archives, and Foggy Bottom

Posted in : Bars in Washington DC, Dining in Washington DC, Restaurants, Travel, Travel Guide for Washington, DC on by : The Gourmez

After lunch and the Museum of the American Indian, I made my way across the Mall to the National Sculpture Garden. Or rather, I made my way toward the National Archives, but you have to wander through the Sculpture Garden to get there from that direction. This is not a bad thing.

The Archives as seen through the Garden’s lovely water fountain.

Scary spider sculpture!

And then I arrived at the Archives.

The main draw of the National Archives is that it houses at least one copy of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights (and the Magna Carta!). No pictures can be taken of these documents, but there is a really nice display room for them. Now, I’ve heard rumors that what are on display are nowhere close to the originals, since it would be too easy to steal them from a public room, but I don’t know if that’s true or not. I do know that I enjoyed taking quick peeks at them, but the crowds were very light when I was there. If it’s a busy day, I’d  pass it by, as it was hard to take a nice look even with only small numbers of other visitors. There are a couple of exhibits as well, and I’d definitely recommend looking at those to get a better idea of just how much stuff they archive, and the amazing footage and records on display, like Samuel Clemens’s signature on ship logs and a recording of Teddy Roosevelt giving a speech.

From there, I made my way downtown and toward the west, to head out to Foggy Bottom and see the campus of George Washington University. On the way, I passed Ford’s Theater, where Lincoln was shot.

I was about 30 minutes too late to get in for a tour, which still bums me out. Lincoln died right across the street in the Peterson House, which is undergoing renovations.

I also thought some bright, colorful, mosaic sculptures were a welcome change from the many standard statues of patriots and early American heroes on every corner.

I think they were on Pennsylvania Avenue, but I can’t vouch for that. Here are some street scenes on the way to Foggy Bottom, and a few of the  campus dorms and buildings, which are the ones made of brick.

From Foggy Bottom, I decided to head up New Jersey Avenue to the Metro station in Dupont Circle and grab dinner before heading back to Gaithersburg for the evening. I loved how the red lights of the cars complimented the sunset in this view on the way.

I chose the Front Page restaurant, because they had a very inviting patio and weren’t too busy. The inside has many old newspaper front pages hung on the walls, as you might guess. I ordered a delicious cocktail called the Amor Prohibido, which had tequila, passionfruit juice, ginger, and jalapeno.

If you like some kick in your cocktail, I highly recommend it. For my meal, I had their fennel sausage and pepper sub, which was just that—nothing fancy going on, and sometimes, that’s just fine.

The next and last day in DC starts back at Dupont Circle for explorations of Embassy Row, then lunch with a friend, and journeys to a few of DC’s destination neighborhoods: U Street and Adams Morgan.

More photos at our photo website!

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