Monday, July 4, 2011

Never a Dull Moment

Whether it is a monument, local food joint, fun museum, or historic landmark no one should ever utter, “I am bored, there is nothing to do,” in Washington D.C. Now, maybe if someone has lived here their entire lives that statement might be applicable, but for someone visiting or staying in D.C. for less than six months those words should never pass your lips. I have seen and experienced some of the most amazing sites and attractions DC has to offer.

This week’s journey began with Ben’s Chili Bowl, and yes the rumors are true. It is a life-altering experience. I have very particular requirements for chili; it must be thick and spicy, and cannot contain noodles of any variety or have a bell pepper taste. Score for Ben’s Chili Bowl – four out of four! Have the original half-smoke Ben’s is FAMOUS for and you will not be disappointed, seriously. Important caveat, if you do not like spicy foods this may not be the option for you.

Next stop, National Archives. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights - need I say more? The National Archives Rotunda is a dimly lit room and barren of any overt ornamental distractions, providing a very intimate atmosphere for viewing such dramatic documents. Beyond the Rotunda is a vast collection of historical materials, too numerous to detail in a blog. One noteworthy exception is the exhibit “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” a complete historical analysis of government intervention in the American diet. It’s really exceptional.

Couple of pointers: try to go on a weekday, aim for mid-morning or mid-afternoon, don’t drag along a camera (photographs are not allowed), and most importantly check out “What’s Cooking Uncle Sam?” Here is the website for more information:

My week ended at a hearing in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, an area very near and dear to my heart, on S. 1262, Native CLASS (Culture, Language, and Access for Success in Schools) Act. It was remarkable to sit in this hearing. I definitely recommend attending an open hearing if you happen to find yourself in DC and love to see the inner workings of politics. It is an experience you will never forget.


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