Welge Travel Report – Washington D.C. & Alexandria, VA
Spurred on by an invitation to a garden party in rural Maryland located between Baltimore and Washington D.C. we decided to spend four nights at an Airbnb in Alexandria, VA. Our accommodations were nice – most importantly they were near the Metro and walkable to the King Street Trolley.
If you are a senior we suggest spending a few minutes to acquire the Senior Smartrip. It’s 50% off your ride and it’s a quick, simple process at a Metro Sales Office, 600 Fifth St., NW or call Customer Service at 1-888-762-7874 for additional locations. We had helpful service, timely trains and conveniently located stations.
Our first stop was the Newseum – Daily: 9-5, 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW. I confess to being a news Junkie.
In their words:
"The Newseum promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.
The Institute explores the challenges confronting freedom around the world with a variety of initiatives, including its First Amendment Center, which serves as a forum for the study and debate of free expression issues, and the Religious Center, which focuses on educating the American public about religious liberty and the First Amendment.
The Institute regularly hosts compelling programs at the Newseum and across the country that seek to generate solutions to some of the most pressing national and international challenges of the day.
By embracing its role as a neutral forum committed to fostering open, nuanced discussions, the Newseum and the Newseum Institute engage in the central debates of our time, including the future of investigative journalism, the tensions between national security and privacy, and the role of religious freedom.
Considered one of the most interactive museums in the world, the Newseum experience also traces the evolution of electronic communication from the birth of radio, to the technologies of the present and the future.”
Many of these values are under attack. One of the thrilling things that we saw were large groups of young people absorbing what free expression really means and that people all over the world are willing to give up their lives to preserve and protect it.
WTR urges you to visit this museum and also for you to insist that your congressman and other elected officials visit Newseum !
Lunch is at Oyamel Cocina Mexicana – L & D: Daily, 401 7th St. NW, 202-628-1005.
Oyamel has a lunch special of 3 choices for $20 – go for it! Here are most of our choices:
Ceviche estilo Culiacán - Marinated striped bass with serrano, lime, onion, cilantro, tomatillos, cabbage and housemade salsa pequín,
Camarones al mojo de ajo negro –Wild caught Gulf Coast white shrimp sautéed with shallots, árbol chile, poblano pepper, lime and sweet aged black garlic,
Tamal Verde - Tamal with green sauce of tomatillo, shredded chicken breast, chili, garlic and cilantro, Cochinita pibil con cebolla en escabeche
Yucatan-style pit barbecued pork with pickled red onion and Mexican sour orange
and Jericalla de chocolate con maracuya Oaxacan - chocolate custard with chocolate sorbet, passion fruit gelatin, chocolate and pumpkin seed crumble and fresh passion fruit seeds.
Our next museum was the National Museum of Women in the Arts: M-Sa: 10-5, Su: 12-5, 1250 New York Avenue NW, 202-783-5000
Founded in 1987, NMWA is the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to recognizing women’s creative contributions.
NMWA is housed in a beautiful building (of neo-Renaissance and Renaissance Revival styles) designed by Waddy Butler Wood in 1907 for use as a Masonic Temple. It was declared a Washington, D.C. Historic Landmark in 1984 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
The collection includes acclaimed works by exceptional historical artists such as Mary Cassatt, Lavinia Fontana, Clara Peeters, and Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun as well as modern and contemporary artists such as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Chakaia Booker, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Joana Vasconcelos.
Our favorites include Suzanne Valadon’s The Abandoned Doll
And Remedios Varo’s The Call.
After our grand lunch we decided on a light supper at Society Fair – L & D: M-Sa, Br: Su, 277 S. Washington St, Alexandria, Va, 703-683-3247
We shared the cheese and charcuterie mix-n-match with a couple of glasses of wine.
Our next museum was another block buster! We had a 10 AM timed ticket to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture – to enter you must have a timed ticket, NMAAHC – The Mall, 1400 Constitution Ave NW
This is a powerful experience. WTR urges you to visit this museum and also for you to insist that your congressman and other elected officials visit NMAAHC.
In their words:
“The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans.
To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
There are four pillars upon which the NMAAHC stands:
- It provides an opportunity for those who are interested in African American culture to explore and revel in this history through interactive exhibitions
- It helps all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences
- It explores what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture
- It serves as a place of collaboration that reaches beyond Washington, D.C. to engage new audiences and to work with the myriad of museums and educational institutions that have explored and preserved this important history well before this museum was created.
The NMAAHC is a public institution open to all, where anyone is welcome to participate, collaborate, and learn more about African American history and culture. In the words of Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the Museum, “there are few things as powerful and as important as a people, as a nation that is steeped in its history.”
We spent four hours here including lunch at the Sweet Home Café.
Our Cousin Christine introduced us to a section of Alexandria that we did not know – Del Ray. It’s hip! Dinner was at Taqueria Poblano – W-M: L & D, 2400 B Mt Vernono Ave.
Dorothy started with their famous Taqueria Margarita – fresh lime juice, triple sec and Silver tequila. Christine and I had beers. We shared an order of Poblano’s Queso Dip – cheese blend, tequila & spices topped with chorizo and broiled – served with flour tortillas. Next was some tacos: Baja fish, duck carnitas and L.A. style crispy taco.
Lots of fun, low key, interesting neighborhood.
Our final museum stop on this journey was the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden– Daily: 10-5:30, Independence Avenue a 7th St. NW
In their words:
“ARTISTS + ART + AUDIENCE
The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is a leading voice for contemporary art and culture and provides a national platform for the art and artists of our time.
We seek to share the transformative power of modern and contemporary art with audiences at all levels of awareness and understanding by creating meaningful, personal experiences in which art, artists, audiences and ideas converge.
We enhance public understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through acquisition, exhibitions, education and public programs, conservation, and research. “
You can follow the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden special exhibits on WTR’s lagniappe feature.
Next we enjoyed a light lunch at Zaytinya – L & D: Daily, 701 9th St. NW, 202-638-0800.
Jose has a Mediterranean menu featuring mezzes and small plates. Dorothy had the chicken Shawarna – garlic and lemon chicken, tomatoes, romaine lettuce on lavash bread with a garlic sauce. I had the Spit-Roasted Gyro – slow roasted lamb shoulder, house pickled vegetables, Greek fries and seasonal tzatziki.
Our wine was a ’16 Santo Assyritko, Santorini. If you can find it, buy it.
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Dick & Dorothy Welge
The Welge Travel Report™ - (http://www.welgetravelreport.com) for people who enjoy cultural activities and dining.