Day Four of Self Guided Tour
Estimated amount of walking on this tour - 4 miles
another day? Repeat after me, "the Metro is the only way to go...".
Exit at the Rosslyn station on the blue line and follow the signs
to the Newseum. The 10 minute walk takes you through an area
filled with cafeterias and eateries so finding java, juice and
sustenance is not a concern.
Newseum is a recent addition
to the museum scene and, as the name suggests, dedicated to the
free press and speech. It is a must see.
|| The tour is a self guided one
but I recommend watching the video preview before you start.
Audio tapes are available for a small fee but not needed.
A wonderful exhibit chronicling the evolution of the news
from prehistoric days to modern times is followed by
several brief videos and famous headlines, but what may ultimately
capture your attention is the gigantic video wall made of
36 monitors broadcasting live headlines from around the world.
|| Downstairs the opportunity to
participate in an actual broadcast and view the results is
quite popular with the kids. Are you getting the picture
yet? This place is interactive and easily gets everyone involved.
There are computer terminals allowing you to play journalist
and develop an entire news story.
|| It doesn't end there. You'll
get to go "behind the scenes" in a functioning studio where
the host will guide an audience through the entire process
of how stories are selected for broadcast.
|| There is more outside in Freedom
Park. A memorial erected of glass panels with the names of
all those who died while "serving the news" stands brilliantly
in the sunshine.
|| Another section of the park
contains relics from recent historical events related to
the pursuit of freedom. Among the objects is a chunk of "the
Berlin Wall" and the cell door to the jail of Nelson Mandela.
|| Expect to spend an hour and
a half at the Newseum. A parking garage is available but
the fee is not worth it considering the Metro is nearby.
Because so many eateries are in the neighborhood, lunch is
the next order of business.
Theodore Roosevelt Island:
I recommend getting something to go and heading to
Island. From the Newseum, turn right on Lynn Street like
you are heading to the Metro. Proceed past the station and follow
the signs to Roosevelt Island. The turn off is at the foot of
the Key Bridge. It will take about 20-25 minutes to get there.
At the center of this small island is an amphitheater with a
statue of Teddy Roosevelt surrounded by panels containing his
views on life. It's an excellent place to relax.
In case you are wondering, the Key Bridge connects
Virginia to the District and if you had pressed on, the neighborhood
of Georgetown is there to explore. If you opt for Georgetown,
keep in mind that M street and Wisconsin Avenue is the heart
of the area and that any numbered street leads to the waterfront.
The Old Post Office Tower:
the brief excursion on T.R. island, retrace your steps to the Rosslyn
station and head back to the city. Get out at the Federal Triangle
station and follow the signs to the Old Post Office Pavilion for
a tour of the Old Post Office Tower. By default, the view from
300 feet or so is the best in the downtown area. The Washington Monument
is currently sheathed in plastic due to renovations. A free guided
tour of the structure is provided by National Park Service rangers.
The FBI Building:
The FBI building is across the street from the Pavilion on the
other side of Pennsylvania Avenue. Usually, it's difficult to
get the tour in the afternoon because it's a popular one. Once
in, the guided tour takes about 45 minutes and includes a history
of the FBI from it's humble beginnings to where they are today
as well as a view of the forensics labs. Have you ever wanted
to know who's currently on the most wanted list? Let's just say
it is long and distinguished. The best part of the tour is the
firearms display at the end.
Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center:
The final leg of the day takes you to the Millennium
Stage at the Kennedy Center. Live musical performances are held every evening
at 6 PM. It's free to the public and almost exclusively jazz. The Kennedy Center
is on the Potomac River about 8 blocks from the Corcoran and a metro ride from
the FBI building. From the Corcoran, take E street west to Virginia Avenue and
make a right. At New Hampshire Avenue, turn left. From the FBI building, take
the metro from Federal Triangle to the Foggy Bottom station. A free shuttle departs
from the station to the Kennedy Center every 15 minutes on the quarter hour.
After the concert, you can stroll up the Potomac into Georgetown
for an evening excursion. If you decide to call it a day and want
to put the dogs in bed, that's fine too. Good night!