Monday, July 25, 2011

We Built this City: National Building Museum Part Deux

So we know there is a lot of griping going on about the National Building Museum starting to charge admission to the galleries and, most importantly, the Building Zone.  There are several reasons that news didn't cause much anxiety at our house, including (1) the fact that we are already members and get in for FREE, yo; (2) most everything else in D.C. is free; and (3) partially because of (2), D.C.'ers are spoiled and this city is generally just filled with complainers (present company included) and we figure you just can't possibly get wound around the axle about every little thing.  Plus mom currently chooses to focus her complaining efforts on the rampant pedestrian mid-street crossing that we encounter daily.

One morning after dropping Kane at summer camp, mom and I hit up the NBM for our first post-admission trip.  It did generally appear much slower than usual, but we picked up our VIP wristbands from the Info desk (that's right, I said our VIP wristbands. what what!) and headed to the Building Zone.  We literally had the entire thing to ourselves for as long as we wanted.  It was AWESOME.  And I may be romanticizing things a bit here, but there actually appeared to be less filth and disorder, too.  One of mom's favorite, and completely unrelated, things about this particular trip to the NBM was the new "pay by phone or mobile app" parking that's been put in around the museum, which has notoriously bad parking (its tucked in between all kinds of law enforcement, all of the courts, and the Verizon Center).  She downloaded the app while we parked and we will never have to bring quarters again!

NB -- we have since been back for another post-admission trip and had a not quite as awesome time.  Although we were still able to get our VIP wristbands, the entry to the BZ was timed -- we had a specific time to go in and were told we could only stay 45 minutes.  Hmm.  Lesson learned - even if you're a VIP, get your bands when you get there so you can visit the galleries, check out a toolbox kit (also free if you are a member and Kane's favorite thing to do), or rush the fountain.

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