- The Pentagon
- Pentagon City
- National Gallery of Art
- Union Station
- Dopunt Cirlce
- Adams Morgan
I took off because my academic programing scheduled a tour of The Pentagon. While the ceremonial guard that escorted us through the building were quite impressive looking, the tour didn't actually reveal much of the building. We mainly saw hallways and corridors. We did get to see the inner courtyard, which they claim could fit the entire Capitol Building without touching on either end. Many of these comparisons to other buildings were made: more floor space than the Empire State, longer than the Empire State, more impressive design (apparently it was built without using any steel).
Then, not to waste my extra day off, I decided to tackle the National Gallery of Art, which while being right on the National Mall by the Capitol, is not part of the Smithsonian.
I wandered a few galleries by myself and eventually joined a tour.Particularly in gigantic art galleries (and this one was huge!) I really appreciate the tour guide. Having never taken art history, I wrestle with chronology and terms in art museums all the time. The tour was fantastic, taking the group through Pre-Renaissance, Renaissance, Humanist, Baroque, Impressionist, to Post-Impressionist and the beginning of the 20th century. Most impressive was the only Da Vinci on permanent display in America.
It's important to note, however, that in three hours, I didn't even get through the first floor. I have yet to reach the second floor and an entire second building devoted to 20th-century art and beyond to modern. But all musuems in the area close a 5pm — the reason I never go after work. So I wandered the city a bit, eventually ending up at Union Station.
Later that night, I followed a group of interns to Dupont Circle and into the Adams Morgan district, which holds all the nightlife a college fraternity could ever dream of.