Trip to Washington, D.C.: not too usual things

Recently I went to Washington, D.C. as part of the Mendeley team for the New Horizons flyover. If you are interested in the Mendeley activities there you might want to read New Horizons: from Research Papers to Pluto.

I extended the Mendeley trip with some extra days for a bit of tourism. I did some things that were not known by some of my colleagues and some are not mentioned in the guided book so I’m trying to summarize them here.

Washington monument
It’s possible to go to the top of Washington monument (the white monument). There are two options:

  • Get a free same day ticket: they open the box office at 8:30. I arrived there around 6am and I was the fifth on the queue. Each person could get 6 tickets and when getting the ticket the person can choose the time (if available).
  • I didn’t know that was possible to book in advance! See the National Service Park webpage. It cost $1.50 and then it’s not needed to get up so early.

It’s possible to visit the Pentagon inside. It’s needed to request it between 2 weeks and 6 weeks in advance. The tour shows the Pentagon building inside: corridors and a 2001 memorial. It’s free.

Crystal City Restaurant – Double Tree Hilton
The restaurant Crystal City: it’s about 15 min. walk from Pentagon City underground station and I think that there are shuttle buses. The restaurant is a revolving restaurant with views to the Pentagon building, Washington memorial, etc.

Baseball match
I went to a baseball match. Washington Nationals team played against L.A. Dogers (it was the best team from the East Coast Vs. best of from the West Coast). I bought my ticket just 1h30min before the match, paid $42 and I liked the experience. Even though they canceled the match because a bank of lights got broken… three times!

It seems that it’s usually easy to get tickets for the same day. Ah! and they have a very good WiFi connection everywhere, which was helpful to read the baseball rules as I didn’t know them and never watched any baseball match before that one.

Kennedy Centre: J Dilla
This is quite popular: the Kennedy Centre has a free performance everyday at 6pm. I went from the airport to the hotel and I thought to go there: free performance, cafeteria, views, etc.

I queued, got my ticket and then I realized that it wasn’t a normal performance (dance, music) but a panel of 10 experts of J Dilla: a DJ that passed away 9 years ago. I’m not into hip hop but I listened for a while… but usually the performances are different. See the webpage.

Air and space museum: Udvar Hazy Center
I enjoyed (3 times!) the Smithsonian air and space museum in Washington DC (I recommend to do the guided tour and then visit some of the exhibitions in more detail). But near the airport there is the Udvar Hazy Center: it’s an extension of the Air and Space museum near the Dulles airport. It can be reached by a regular bus and it takes about 10 minutes.

My plane departing time was 6pm so I went there in the morning. In that museum they have things that don’t fit in the Washington DC museum. It specially got my attention the Discovery (it has been in the space many times), a Concorde, some satellites and capsules. And many, many planes.

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