By Jorge Valens
In true intern spirit we conquered our physical and mental limits and set foot in every Smithsonian Mueseum in D.C. on Monday to prove that it can be done and to provide a rubrik for those who want to follow in our footsteps. But just because we did it doesn’t mean you and your family should.
As I rushed between museums I couldn’t help but think that I was doing myself a disservice. I was touring some of the most world-renowned mueseums, but I only had 15 minutes to explore each of them. The Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is a perfect example of this.
This place is basically a hangar holding some of the most important aircraft in aerospace history, but I only had enough time to see a few of the main attractions. Because I used my precious 15 minutes to see the Space Shuttle Enterprise, the SR-71 Blackbird and a few of the more modern aircraft, I completely missed the Enola Gay and the Concorde, the famous supersonic airliner.
Rushing from museum to museum to gulp up whatever you can in 15 minutes is no way to enjoy the Smithsonian Museums. While I struke up a conversation about our project with one of the security guards at the American Art Museum, he kindly pointed this out to me and asked if I had seen Marylin Monroe.
As my exhausted brain tried to make the connection while still processing the countless exhibits I rushed by he motioned to follow him over to a room just off the main hallway on the third floor and there it was: Andy Warhol’s portrait of Marilyn Monroe. I would have left the museum without seeing an Andy Warhol painting.
The experience was a blast, and it is quite something to be able to say that I visited every Smithsonian museum in one day.
But this experience was more of a way to discover which museums I would enjoy the most, rather than a quick way to see them all. I plan to return to the Udvar-Hazy Center, the main Air and Space and the American Art Museum becuase those are the ones that jumped out to me the most.
My advice? Slow down and savor all 17 museums. Set aside a few days and plan to stay at each one for much more than 15 minutes. You conscience and feet will thank you.