D.C. Culture and Museums that Put My Child To Sleep October 13 2010

We are fortunate to live in a city that is a cultural mecca and has fantastic museums that are also **FREE**. Or at least putting our hard-earned tax dollars to work. I mean cultural in the meaning of what is considered excellent art, letters, manners, etc. Which is different from nuestra cultura -- or the behaviors and beliefs that define us as different groups of people. That sounds so anthropologic, huh? Nuestra cultura is not much of a presence in the nation's capitol, if you want to get down to it. I mean, the best reasonably priced Mexican food around is Chipotle. Sad, sad, sad. But we make do.
But as far as great world-class art, beautiful architecture and the opportunity to listen to scholars giving mind-screwing lectures goes, DC definitely has got it going on. We get a lot of visitors -- friends, family or former co-workers in town for a convention or work-- so by now we've got the what tourists-want-to-see circuit down. That always includes a few museums, and Good Stuff Burgers or Ben's Chili Bowl -- where heads of state have been known to eat their weight in chili dogs.

By now, I've been to almost all of the museums on the national mall (not counting the monuments and Capitol) at least a half dozen times or more. And while some, like the Smithsonian Museum of American History -- otherwise known as America's basement -- are super noisy and packed year-round with tourists wearing white sneakers and just-purchased DC t-shirts (wow, can you hear the bitchiness?? Sounds so New York!), others like the National Gallery of Art tend to give you more breathing room. Maybe its because paintings of pilgrims and still life silver and glass bore people to tears and looking at Dorothy's ruby slippers, Julia Child's Kitchen and Abe Lincoln's top hat wows people. The art museum definitely seems to bore the toddler K. She ALWAYS passes out in her stroller the second we walk in.
She's too small to know the difference, right? Too bad she was asleep this past weekend because I saw for the first time Edgar Degas'Little Dancer Aged Fourteen sculpture. I never go into the sculpture rooms because that usually makes me drowsy, but my brother was with us and he made his way in there so we followed.
The toddler K would have liked this sculpture, I'm sure. Que bonita la muchachita!
I'm bracing myself for our trip to Madrid and visits to those museums. A friend of mine said she took her 1 1/2 year old daughter there recently and the child kept pointing out the chi-chis on the sculptures. Nice. It's what we're all thinking anyway, right?