Tuesday, March 17, 2009

...everybody's got one.

While I was volunteering at the Library of Congress over the weekend there was a family of five (ma, pa, three kids between 5-11, or so) who stopped by the desk and inquired about directions to the Spy Museum in D.C. I immediately called upon my very helpful Todd and told them that walking north to Union Station and taking the Red Line to Gallery Place/Chinatown was the best option. Being that the Museum is just around the corner from the Metro stop – and there’s a nice selection of food in the area – I felt I’d fulfilled a very important tourist need. What I realized after spitting out this brilliant information, as if some autotron, was that the Spy Museum stinks. I took L. there during one of her visits and neither of us was impressed in the least. She’s perfectly happy to be a bit more restrained when reviewing places we visit but she didn’t think much of it and it was pretty high on her list of things to do. I passed along to mom that I thought the place was a waste of money (at $18 or so, per person) and that most kids probably wouldn’t find it terribly fun – there are some interview videos that talk about the usual FBI and CIA moles that were caught but it’s not something most kids would enjoy. The museum tries to make it fun – they certainly have external ads that make it seem like it would be fun – but the place is definitely not worth nearly $100 for a family of five. For the same price they’d be much better off doing the NewSeum in D.C. I haven’t been, but there’s an eleven-year-old in the house who raved about it for three days after his school took a field trip there. For about the same price, that’s a much better review. Of course, I told them that for free they could take the kids to the Air and Space Museum and would probably have a much more enjoyable time. As I was finishing my little ‘summary’ of the place I realized that maybe I was being a bit too judgmental (just like I am with movies, music, Celine Dion, and my friend Buzz’s movie ratings.) It was then that the patent attorney who always works the desk with me – and who’s lived in D.C. for thirty years – pipes up with “I’ve never heard anyone say anything good about the place.”

You want to know what brought this up? How about this. Someone at CNN is writing stories based on tour books.

Just put my good deeds on a Tiffany gift certificate.

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