Friday, February 7, 2014

The Newseum in a Tranquil DC

Sunday was Superbowl Day and having zero interest in watching the game, Jenn and I decided to visit the Newseum in DC. This used to be housed just outside DC and had moved to downtown DC in 2002. I had visited the old one many years ago and really enjoyed it so was looking forward to the new site especially since the place would not have its usual hoards, because folks would be at home preparing their pizza, wings and other munchies for their football viewing in front of the TV.
The ticket is valid for 2 days to allow people to see everything, a mean feat to accomplish in 1 day with the attraction usually being so busy. I was especially looking forward to seeing the Ron Burgundy display from the movie, Anchorman, and was nearly hopping from one foot to the other in anticipation.
It was a little disappointing, the characters; outfits were there with a few news items but it wasn't as interactive or as funny as I'd hoped. But the gift shop had a wonderful selection of goodies and I had a fun time walking around and giggling at the souvenirs.
The first ever digital camera from 1994, a Nikon that would amazingly download photos to your computer. Who'd have thought it?
Apparently this is the nerve center of the Newseum but I guess everyone had bailed out to watch the football...
A Chevy truck from the 1990's in Sarajevo, used by Time's correspondants, and punctured by bullets and shrapnel. It was dubbed the Metal Magnet as it was hit so many times, but it kept its passengers safe.
A beautiful glass wall engraved with the names of those news journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty.
I really liked this poster and may one day print it, if I ever get round to it.
A replica of Tim Russert's office. I didn't know of him but he was a highly respected TV journalist and a long running moderator on NBC's Meet The Press program. I loved his office because it was full of books, he was an avid reader.
The antenna that sat atop the North Tower was in a 9/11 exhibit with the wall behind lined with newspaper front pages from around the world after the attack.
This was a harrowing exhibit that Jenn was photographing. Showing the equipment found in the rubble of freelance news photographer,Bill Biggart, who rushed from his home in the city towards the disaster to photograph it. His body was found with his cameras and over 300 images were salvaged. A wall of those images was on display, photos taken minutes before he died.
There was also a 12 minute film on the reporters working during that tragedy, and struggling to overcome their own emotions to capture the event and effects on people there, an amazing perspective that showed how brave and dedicated these people were who covered the attack. The film was only 12 minutes long but seemed longer because it was so emotional from beginning to end. I was a mess as I walked out and obviously so had many others before me, because conveniently placed by the cinema exit was a box of tissues.
Don Bolles was a newspaper reporter who had received a tip about fraudulent land deals involving some of Arizona's top politicians. His car was blown apart by a 6 stick dynamite bomb, and he died shortly afterwards from his injuries. The vehicle was impounded for 28 years before being released and this is its first public display.
The News History Gallery was one of my favorite displays, newspapers through hundreds of years housed in cases that could be pulled out for closer observation.
A great view from the balcony looking up and down Pennsylvania Ave.
The building was almost empty in places, we often felt like we had it to ourselves.
There was a superb exhibit on The Berlin Wall. Photos lined the walls surrounding a watch tower and these slabs from the wall. This is the largest display of the wall outside of Germany.
There was also a huge JFK exhibit featuring many photographs from his personal photographer, Jacques Lowe.
The infamous bank robber, John Dillinger, has his death mask on display here too, which was nice...
Some of the debris found around Ground Zero, including plane engine parts and phones that wouldn't stop ringing...
A nice little ditty form the World Trade Center bomber, Ramzi Yousef...
...and very, very cool, Clarice Starling's business card from the Hannibal Lector movies.
This amazing mural was hung on a wall made up of old printing pieces. Exceedingly frustrating because we weren't allowed to touch it even though we could put our noses right next to it. And no, I actually didn't touch it.
We were finished within a few hours, a fabulous tour all the more enjoyable due to the lack of crowds and yelling kids. We didn't need to come back the following day and even had some of the afternoon left.
Walking along Pennsylvania Street, we came across this cute little squirrel who approached us for food, and I was delighted to remember that I had a small bag of raw almonds in my bag. He was ecstatic and must have been convinced that his Christmas had come early. He very daintily took one nut and cautiously nibbled it before realizing that more nuts were coming forth, and so started stuffing his cheeks. He even buried a few for later before we walked away, he definitely had a feast.
Outside the Federal Trade Building are 2 giant Art Deco sculptures, called Man Controlling Trade by Michael Lanz , and dedicated in 1942.
We came across some skateboarders so sat and watched them for a while, but soon started feeling tired. It had been a busy weekend and I was glad to get home before it got dark so I could hang out with Kota and Rosie Lee for a while. I had to recharge my internal batteries for work and a large glass of red was calling my name. It was nice to leave the city, albeit it a quiet one with the game on, and at home it was even more peaceful, with the evening passing without me having any idea of the Superbowl results, and no desire to find out. Zzzzz.

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