across the river
The other day I decided to visit the Anacostia Community Museum which must be the smallest and most remote Smithsonian museum in Washington DC. I ended up taking two buses to get there due to my lack of internal GPS and as a result got quite a tour of Anacostia. It's a surprisingly green area, with lots of new housing and commercial developments. This may be one part of the District we could afford to buy in. The museum itself was very small and I spent some time looking at the one exhibit on baseball. I wonder what will happen once the National African-American Museum will open, which surely will swallow the Anacostia museum in content and access.
the money factory
One of the few concepts I remember from grad school (despite having half an MA in international economics) is the money supply, M1 and M2. So I went to visit the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, to see the paper money. (Coins are produced at the National Mint in Philly and Denver.) It was actually pretty cool, though waiting in line was longer than the tour itself. As always, I'm amazed that such secure facilities are open to the general public - even foreigners! No photos permitted though. We watched a short video explaining what the BEP does, including general printing orders like official invitations and passports. Then we walked around an overhead, glass-enclosed gallery, to see all the machines whirring and blinking, and spitting out sheets and sheets of dollars shepherded by beefy men in service uniforms. I realized that for most people, like myself, there are few opportunities to actually see a manufacturing process. The BEP made and an effort to inject humor and color in the work areas; one of the signs said, "The buck starts here." Plus you can buy bags of shredded money in the gift shop.
Hordes and hordes of people descended on the Mall for the National Book Festival. I caught the tail end of the talk by Jodi Picoult (even though I've never read any of her books) and stayed for the author I wanted to see, Katherine Neville. Then I couldn't stomach sticking around, though I hoped to see a number of other speakers, including Julia Alvarez, Judy Blume (!!!), Michael Connelly (I don't think I've read any of his novels outside of a plane), Walter Mosley, George Pelecanos, and Simon Schama. You can imagine the lines for John Grisham and John Irving. Katherine Neville was pretty funny - she kept referring to "some guy named Dan" - obviously in reference to Dan Brown. I think her books are better written than Dan Brown's, anyway. I was happy enough to leave after her presentation to return home with the fancy Target totes. I'd thought of visiting the Kreeger Museum to take advantage of free admission on Museum Day but then the long wait in the rain for the one bus dissuaded me.
Probably, plus I have a better support network in DC since most of my friends still live in the area. But LA is my home, and anytime I've moved I miss it terribly.
So I'm not sure what to do.
But you did remind me that I need to work on some KSAs, just in case.