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Too much for me!
April 13, 2009 - Jim Smith
Ouch! My ears hurt!
Such was my reaction over the Easter weekend when my wife and I went to Washington, D.C., to visit our daughter and her husband.
While they went to work on Friday, we went to the National Mall to see the recently reopened American history museum, which had been closed for more than a year for renovations. We also stopped in at the national art museum and roamed around the mall and the downtown district looking at various monuments we normally donát take time to see.
While the new American history museum is excellent and has several new displays, including a wonderful Abraham Lincoln area, and much more user-friendly cafeterias and restrooms, my poor ears took a beating when the Boeing 747s started up in the restrooms.
Apparently, the government has opted for the newer, more powerful electric hand dryers, which while they dry one's hands in seconds, nearly blow one over and sound like a wing of bombers on the runway preparing for takeoff.
We also went to an original musical, "The Civil War," Saturday evening at the recently renovated Ford's Theatre, which was superb, beautifully staged and well performed, but again, those hand dryers were enough to make one deaf to the music being performed.
One of the neatest parts of the musical, though, was when President Lincoln would supposedly be speaking off stage, actors would turn toward the flag-draped box in which the president was assassinated and a single light would be turned on in it. Very cool!
The theater itself has been made more comfortable for attendees with better seating, although still a little hard unless one has ample personal padding.
I can remember going in 1993 to the area of the theater, which is next door, oddly enough, to the Hard Rock Cafe, and feeling as if I were going into a very dangerous, undesirable and rundown part of the district. Now, the theater is in a very active, bright and heavily upscale part of the town, filled with both tourists and residents going to and from evening performances, dinner and after-work activities.
All in all, I love visiting Washington, but -- unlike our daughter and her husband -- I would never want to live there. The traffic and prices nearly give me indigestion!
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