Museum Shops, Washington D.C.
This story is located on the second floor of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. I usually stay away from museum stores because of their high, touristy prices. But I always look what they offer.
Well, in this store they sell a lot of kitchy staff mostly for kids and youths at very high prices. Additionally the lady behind the counter didn't have the best day. When Nat (b1bob) bought a pen and asked for a larger bag he needed for his belongings she refused and replied him unfriendly that small bags went with small items. Hmm... nothing to add.
What to buy: Nothing or maybe a mug or T-shirt with logo of the museum.
What to pay: Over-priced store. Almost $20 per T-shirt, $3 per plastic mug.
This store, run by the Supreme Court Historical Society is located on the ground floor of the Supreme Court and open Monday - Friday 9.00 am - 4.25 (wow!) pm. it offers a lot of various items related to history, justice and works of the US Supreme Court. I paid attention to books (some were great but very expensive, one cost over $300!) and CDs. There was a CD titled the Supreme Court, the Greatest Hits. No music there but 50 of the Supreme Court's most important cases with hours of oral arguments. Boring?
There are elegant greeting cards (with a building of the Supreme Court or the Capitol) and other stationery. Add gifts (coins, mugs etc.) and surely statues of the Lady of Justice.
What to buy: The wonderful large (very large!!!) postcards cost $3 per one (with an envelope).
What to pay: Over-priced like most (all?) museum stores. The 34'' bronze Lady of Justice Statue cost over $700.
There will be larger and better (I am sure) gift shops of the United Stated Capitol when the underground Capitol Visitor Center completes in the Fall 2006. In October 2004, there was a small gift shop run by the United States Capitol Historical Society (USCHS; founded 1962). It's located in a bit strange place... in the Crypt of the Capitol, just below the Rotunda. Well, no worries, in the Federal City there are no tombs in the Crypt.
There was neither shop assistant in the store nor information why (lack of staff/volunteers or nature called her/him?). Well, it was not a large loss. I went trough a few books displayed there and noone disturbed me :-).
What to buy: What you want: DVDs, CDs and books on the Capitol buiding, its architercture and history and on US history and heroes; marble or stone models of the Capitol building or dome etc.
I liked some books, very long postcards (warning: they measure them in US post offices to charge you more for sending them :-) and DVD titled "The U.S. Capitol: A Vision in Stone" for almost $20.
What to pay: Expensive typically for museum gift stores but with a few exceptions. I saw interesting books for less than $10.
Most people know The Virginia Shop by their signature "Virginia Pineapple" sign out front. Here you can get all the Virginia/DC metro souvenirs you ever dreamed of minus the kitsch. The Virginia Shop sells T-shirts, blankets, books, pottery, porcelain, and candles, as well as local wines, peanuts, and other food stuffs.
What to buy: "Virginia is for Lovers" T-shirts are quite popular.
What to pay: $10-$100
Normally, I like to stay away from museum stores because they inflate their prices something awful. However, I was more in need of a bag because the sharp edges of a picture frame Matt and Urszula gave me were making hamburger out of the small paper bag I had. Things were falling out of my bag including used rolls of film, which, thank goodness, I retrieved. I figured I would buy something small and get a bag. I asked the lady behind the counter for a bigger bag if she didn't mind and she gruffly said even after I explained why I needed a big bag that small bags go with small items. I gave Matt the pen I bought in order to get the bag which barely fit everything in. I don't know what it is about shopkeepers in the Washington, DC area. First it was this and a month later a shopkeeper at Fair Oaks Mall gave Matt a hard time about taking a storefront picture for which he was ready to make a glowing tip about the shop.
What to buy: They offer all kinds of space and aviation related whatnots here, but I'll be dipped if I'll ever shop here again, not from the inferiority of the merchandise, but from the attitude of the shopkeepers.
The Roanoke Museum Store is a pretty set up and quite large store which sells books on Native Americans (not only from the territory of the USA), various Indian-like souvenirs, CDs with Indian music, children?s books and toys (Indian dolls). It's located on the second floor of the National Museum of the American Indian.
What to buy: I've bought CD with Indian music titled 500 Nations, A Musical Jorney. It contains quite mysterious music with great drums but... I bought CD which is damaged from 6th track. I checked it first in my car and laptop CD-players, then at home and on computer and... it doesn't play! I wish you more luck :-)
T-shirts and some books looked interesting.
What to pay: The damaged CD cost $9.95 as I remember well. Hmm... 70 min. CD of folk Indian music costs $3 - $10 in my hometown and it plays!
This fancy store in the National Museum of the American Indian displays and sells authentic Native American craft. I liked some items there but the prices... Hmm... it's a store for a dedicated collector of Indian art with good bank card, I think. Are there any in VT?
What to buy: Old and new, authentic Indian art.
What to pay: Very expensive. Over $1,000 per one item. A picture? OK, $4,000 or $2,300. Have a great fan :-)
This story displayed and tried to sell a collection of beautiful old Indian jewelry called proudly Native American Estate Jewelry. That selection of jewelry dated from the early 1900s and included many pieces from the 1950s. Those pieces of hand-tooled jewelry were primarily from tribes from the Southwest such as the Navajo and Zuni. It was stated that all income from their sales supported the charactered educational purposes and activities of the Smithsonian Institution.
What to buy: Old Indian jewelry.
What to pay: Very expensive ($325 - $6,500 per one piece).
This is a large museum store located on the ground floor of the building of the National Archive. They offer great variety of books, mainly on history of the USA and the archives you have just visited. There is a gidt shope there as well.They sell handmade jewelry, pottery, leather-bound journals, stationery, and pen and ink sets; photo albums, films etc.
What to buy: I as always in museum shops vote for books. At least their prices are average or a bit above those sold in Barnes & Nobles vhain bookstores.
What to pay: Book at average (= unfortunately high) or a bit above price. Gifts are sold at above average price.
The shops in the museums have plenty of official merchandise for those back home to enjoy... the Smithsonian ones have some very entertaining and interesting gadgets and artifacts for sale, so don't just walk them by.. check it out!
Any and All, i.e. Mount Vernon Gift Shop
What to buy: I Buy christmas ornaments, I started this at Disneyworld the first time.
I buy an ornament, so when we decorate the tree, we remember our adventures.
The children now buy them instinctively, and they will have them for their trees when they grow older.
What to pay: 10$
Besides being a splendid tribute to air and space travel, there are lots of things to buy here. Obviously many kinds of books relating to air/space travel, toys, model aircraft kits and even dried food that astronauts have to eat on their space travel. Never actually tasted any but a friend of mine bought some dried ice cream and was'nt too impressed. Dont suppose there are many burger outlets up in space!!!!!
This photo is of the Wright Brothers bi-plane which flew December 17th, 1903.