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Jason and I take regular trips to Washington D.C. to see what’s at the Smithsonian and the other museums.   It’s a quick easy getaway from NYC.  We started the weekend as usual.  Both of us scrambling to get to the bus, tadalafil and making it with some time to spare.  When we arrive we either hit our favorite Chinese restaurant or head to the  hostel and call it a night.  This trip we called it a night so we could get a fresh start in the morning.  We always have some agenda when we get there but also leave things open.  This was to be a multi-media art trip. We started with an ipad in the lobby of the hostel and made funny pictures of ourselves, generic then it was to see the newly expanded Julia Child’s exhibit(a must see) that now includes Food: Transforming America’s Table, 1950-2000.  Although it was small they really packed in a lot of information.  We saw the Lichtenstein retrospective, where we accidentally took illegal pictures of his work.  The  Nam June Paik had  great pieces like  TV Buddah and the Electronic Superhighway.  Black Box continued our media weekend with the amazing film Democracia that revolves around a group of traceurs in revolutionary-styled garb performing parkour in the Almudena Cemetery in Madrid. The Ai WeiWei, so prolific and just awe inspiring, broke your heart while keeping you grounded.   The Butterflies + Plants: Partners in Evolution was the most fun.  We were kicked out of the America’s Presidents as it was closing time so we will have to see again.   Barbara Kruger: Belief + Doubt.  I was never much of a fan but this exhibit changed that.  She is one of those artists that must be seen in a large setting to understand what she is saying. It was brilliant.  Shock of the News, was this great exhibit where artists like Picasso, Jasper Johns, Laurie Anderson,  Man Ray, Sarah Charlesworth, among many others, transformed printed news into art by  co-opting, mimicking, defusing, memorializing, and rewriting newspapers.  I love going through and seeing the Neoclassical Decorative Arts of the Late 1700s in the classical wing of the National Gallery.  Where we snapped a picture of that yellow chase lounge and  got a rare viewing of Michelangelo’s David-Apollo.  The Price of Freedom: Americans at War was not my favorite but, the Rosy the riveter and what women could and could not wear(United Victory Colors) was interesting and fun.  If you look closely at the  pictures you can see  the bottle of liquid stockings.  I would argue that this is the first version of a tan in a bottle. Plus the button is hilarious. The Cuban Missile Crisis was fascinating, thankfully JFK was president or we would be screwed.  Changing America: the Emancipation Proclamation 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963, The price of Freedom:Americans at War. One word, Humbling.

We also ate at our favorite places.  The Garden Cafe Americana, always amazing.  It’s probably the best buffet you’ll ever have. Though it’s not part of the Smithsonian itself, it is in the National Gallery of Art .  It closes early like 3pm and can get very crowded so plan ahead and make sure you get a seat.  We didn’t make it this time but love the Bistro d’ OC, a great french bistro.  Sit in the front room or at the front bar or for a more quiet spot go upstairs into the back bar area.  On the recommendation of a friend we tried Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse.  Not technically a steakhouse, in my opinion, but don’t let that stop you.  Our waitress was amazing, it had an easy atmosphere and our Hanger Steak was cooked to perfection.  We will be back.  A more relaxed meal can be found on the Mall itself.  Hot dogs, french fries and beer will do the trick. I mentioned Chinese earlier and no trip would be complete without visiting Full Kee.  The Beef and Cilantro soup is my favorite.  I love reading the specials on the wall, knowing I will probably never eat them.  We have been known to bookend our trip with this late night gem. This time it was on our way out.  It may  not be  the fanciest but the food is always as good as we remembered.