D.C. Museum Checklist (Phase II)

D.C. Museum Checklist (Phase II)

My earlier post, D.C. Museum Checklist (Phase I), was more like the "official must-see list" that every tourist would have. In phase two, I am going to share my private list of the museums. Maybe we can call it a "run-away list" for citizens to hide from reality and embrace art and history.

 

National Gallery Portrait Gallery | Chinatown

 

 

Hidden in the busy central area of Chinatown, the National Portrait Gallery is easy for most people to access, but also most easily missed. It’s right across from the International Spy Museum and the Metro station. The exhibitions there are very diverse and well-organized in the elegant, huge space. The main feature of this museum is the floor full of portraits of celebrities and presidents of United States (including the one of Frank Underwood). The most famous portrait is no doubt the historical one of George Washington, standing tall with ambition. However, this museum is much more than that. With a beautiful two-story gallery hall, the Portrait Gallery attracts various activities and events, such as free live-bands, poetry readings and all kinds of private or public events. Whenever I passed through Chinatown or Metro Center, I always managed to walk in this museum and immerse myself in art and tranquility. In addition to the convenience, the Portrait Museum is open until 7 pm, which is perfect for those who are too busy to spare time on the weekends for museums. Why not give it a try after work!

 

National Gallery of Art | National Mall

 

Right across from the National Air and Space Museum is the National Gallery of Art; it may not be as famous as the Air and Space Museum, but it is definitely beyond your imagination. Every exhibition is well-organized and designed with comfortable sofas situated in the center for visitors to slow down and appreciate the artwork. Most museums are indoors, without natural light or scenery; however, this seemingly traditional art museum has fancy garden and fountain between each exhibition room, creating a relaxing and mixed atmosphere for art lovers. My friends from New York thought this was the BEST among all the museums in the national mall.

 

Library of Congress | Union Station

 

Isn’t it a library? Yes. You may wonder why I put the Library of Congress in the museum list, but it totally makes sense if you've ever stepped in the building. It is way too luxurious and fancy to be called a library or reading room; it is more like experiencing a scene in Harry Potter or an ancient palace. NO KIDDING! Does this fairytale-like palace allow ordinary people or foreign students to get in? Sure, but under certain restrictions. First, you have to register for a library card with your ID or passport. Even if you don’t have those with you, the library still accepts student IDs for a temporary library card (only valid for eight days). Second, you have to be smart and brave enough to walk all the way from the Madison Building where the registration work is held, to the main reading floor through the dark tunnel underground. Third, no bags or water bottles are allowed in the room, so you’ll need to deposit most of your belongings downstairs. Last but not least: it’s hard to resist the impulse of taking pictures inside the reading room since all the settings and decorations are really beautiful, but you'll have to control yourself! No photography in the main reading room. The tranquility and ancient atmosphere enables people to quickly immerse in their work and studying, making it a truly “useful” museum where you can go every day.

 

Since tax season is over, vacation is not far!!!

April 18th was the deadline of tax season, meaning that all the accountants can finally get a rest from their three-month, stressful, overworked lifestyle. If you wonder what tax accountants really do, check out the humorous explanation above. In fact, people pay accountants to do their taxes or manage their budget and expenses mostly because they are afraid to touch the complicated and unknown world of accounting! So, let's not talk about any tax return or extensions here. I first thought taxes would be boring, but I found myself incredibly interested and enjoying the process of solving the problem and figuring out the logic behind the numbers. WHO KNEW?!!! To celebrate successfully surviving tax season, I've booked tickets to Boston and Miami after the program ($53 each flight!! So cheap :P) If you're planning to go, my dear readers, maybe we'll meet somewhere there :)


Read Jill's previous blog posts here

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