Possibly the cheesiest song ever, it nonetheless captures how I felt after going to the awesome Smithsonian American History Museum. I only saw a quarter of the museum in 3 1/2 hours (I only noticed an entire floor that I had missed during my visit as I was heading out) but I really enjoyed myself and felt significantly more intelligent/ patriotic afterwards (Not that those two things are always related as exemplified by many members in government around the globe).
First off, the exhibits are awesome. There are a ton of interactive displays and you can touch a lot of stuff. While I’m pretty sure those “touchy” exhibits were supposed to be for kids 5 and under, given my mental age I went ahead and participated in patting down gross, worn-down bison fur and random rocks. There was also a hilarious statue of George Washington in a Zeus-like pose, half-naked with a 8-pack a la Ryan Reynolds. Apparently the sculptor was shot down because the American public thought Washington looked, “inappropriately dressed.” Which honestly, for all of my appreciation of great abs…I have to agree. Greco-Roman inspiration or not, Washington looked like a P.I.M.P on botox. Not good for my third favorite president (Old Abe and Thomas Jefferson take 1 and 2).
The American flag that flew above Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen, “The Star Spangled Banner” has its own section. It’s surprisingly huge and is displayed in a black/ blue light area, encased in a ton of glass. It seems like the lighting was to protect the banner from further deteriorating but honestly it turned a patriotic, teary moment into a sudden desire to participate in a European rave full of men named Jacques with deep v-neck shirts. Which was unfortunate.
I also saw some cool stuff–the Philadelphia, the first US gunboat that was dredged up and put into the museum in its entirety–as well as some puzzling crap–The Kennedys board game (Seriously?). Sadly, Dorthy’s shoes from The Wizard of Oz were not on display and there were a zillion people (Plus I was sick = super sniffly) packed into the museum for spring break so the experience did give me flashbacks to crowded street markets in China. Overall though, I know I’ll visit again to finish the rest of the exhibits so I’m none to worried.
The picture above is some statue in front of the museum. It looked artsy and made me feel intellectual so I posted it with this article. Yay me!