U.S.A. On Display, Washington D.C.
The Library of Congress is the nation's library located on the North East section of Capitol Hill. The Library of Congress is the world's largest library. It was founded in 1800. Its collections include over 98 million items, stretching over 575 miles of shelves. The library provides a vast variety of services not only to Congress but also to the public and other libraries of the world.
Through the Information Superhighway, (World Wide Web) the Library of Congress is becoming known as 'The Library Without Walls'. It is maintained largely by federal appropriations. Its original purpose was to provide research facilities for members of Congress. Today it serves the public as well. Most copyrighted publications are catalogued by the Library of Congress, whose classification system is used by major libraries around the country.
I've seen a group of people moving quite fast among numerous pedestrians of downtown Washington, DC using funny, two-wheel, motorized means of transportation. This amazing "vehicle", I watched once on TV, is called SEGWAY or shortly SEG (Americans love shorten names :-) or officially the Segway Human Transporter (HT). I have never seen them anywhere else but in the USA capital and once in... Warsaw, Poland.
I would love to try riding (or driving?) a segway (or segwaying?) a lot. Hmm... they will be more popular when they become less expensive, I am sure. In Poland a simple segway costs the same as the cheapest, small, new car. In Washington, as for now, you can try, rent or buy one at Capital Segway one block from the McPherson Square Metro station or in Segs in the City which runs a kiosk located between 10th and 12th Streets on Pennsylvania Avenue (closest metro station: Federal Triangle). Minumum rental is 1 hour and it costs hmm... $50 (fifty, not five!) per hour or $150 for the day (a helmet and lock included). Happy segging or segwaying! :-)
There is no other US city where there are so many US national flags everywhere. They are certainly put on tenths federal buildings, but on other buildings housing private offices, companies, banks, museums etc. as well. They are sold in various sizes in numerous gift shops. Apart from that each US department (ministry in Europe) has own flag displayed outside. The most characteristic and large flag is put on the top of huge crane working on the Capitol Hill. It remainded me that US national flag put on a crane working after the 11th September at the Ground Zero in New York City.
Some foreign visitors may be struck with the number of flags all over the city, and generally everywhere in the U.S... Sometimes they may think it is a bit over the top, but at least they are kept reminding all the time that they are in America! ;-) I personally like the design of that flag like the one of Canada, Brasil, UK, Australia, and Japan. And I think that it's nothing wrong about local patriotism and displaying, showing off national flags in each country.
Go to the Museum of American History. On the picture you see Archie Bunker's chair (from the TV-serie All in the family). The Fonz jacket is also on display.
Address: On the National Mall, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Daily: 10AM - 5.50PM
Every year a new theme is selected for the city. Last year were painted donkeys and elephants. This year they where pandas! The best artist in town get to make a panda and place them all around the city. It gives quiet an original scenery! Every panda is completely different!
The National Mall is usually the center of every visitors trip to Washington DC. This tree lined area of parkland stretches two and a half miles
The National Mall's origins are as old as the capital city itself. The open space and parklands envisioned by Pierre L'Enfant's plan, which was commissioned by George Washington, created an ideal stage for national expressions of remembrance, observance and protest.
From the Lincoln Memorial toward the reflecting pool and the Washingtion Monument that you see in this picture to beyond the other side across to the Capital Building .... check out the website below to get an even better idea of what the National Mall is and the events that are held here.
Like all the museums at the Mall, the National Air and Space Museum is state-funded and for free. It has huge collections of planes, rockets and great artifacts of the history of flying. You can see an original rock from moon and an original Apollo moon-landing capsule.
I went here to receive the Hughes Trophy as a Lieutenant. The Hughes Trophy is given annually to the #1 ROTC Graduate in the USA. Over 270 Universities in the US have officer commissioning programs called the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). The trophy is on display in the Pentagon Library. I haven't been back there yet to see if they put my name on one of the plates with all the other officer's names. If someone see's it please let me know, thanks.
Apparently there is no amount of time that is enough when trying to see everything in D.C. The Smithosian museums are constantly changing and FREE and extremely high quality. The National Geographic museum is smaller and north in the District a bit, also free. Dare to see Super Croc. The Newseum in Rosslyn is surprisingly interesting. There's way too much in the National Gallery to see in a day if you, like me, can sit in front of a Botticelli for twenty minutes of admiration.
When you go plan on going to The Mall every day for a week. You won't see it all but you can get a good taste.
Visit National Air and Space Museum. Washington's most popular museum has exhibits from aviation and space history, including the Wright Brothers' first airborne plane and the Apollo 14 space module.
Don't forget to look up when entering the Capitol Building. This is the painting in the dome at the entrance.
In DC there are lots of memorials and monuments. This picture is taken of one memorial, with the Washington monument reflected in the background.