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Thursday on the mall

Thursday morning we got off the metro at L'Enfant Plaza and walked to the Botanic garden, which was featuring a set of models of DC landmarks (the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, etc.) made out of natural materials--bits of pine cones, bark, leaves, etc. Which sounds kind of cheezy, and maybe it was, I guess, but it was fun to look closely at them and pick out the clever ways they'd used different things. (Did you ever notice that the cross-section of a cinnamon stick has a scroll-like shape that might work well as, e.g., the top of a classical column?)

Next we went to the National Museum of the American Indian next door. Their cafeteria is maybe a little expensive and not entirely reliable (the indian fry bread Sara got was a little tough--maybe it wasn't fresh enough)--but it definitely raised the standard for museum food. There was a wide variety of native-american-themed food, and except maybe for the fry bread everything we got was really good.

Museum exhibits can be kind of frustrating--they try to cover so much material in so few words that it can feel very superficial despite the profusion of stuff to look at. Somehow the NMAI particularly feels this way, maybe because of the vast diversity of the communities they try to cover.

Our next stop was the Hirshorne. Of the stuff we saw there my favorite consisted of hanging columns of clothes hangers (the paper-covered type, in this case plain white paper), arranged in a sort of grid (actually staggered rows of colums, of lengths 5, 6, 7, 8, 8, 7, 6, 5), 18 to a column. Each hung by its hook from a corner of the one above, and each such hanging causing a slight (maybe pi/4? pi/8?) rotation. So hangers at the same z-coordinate all had the same orientation. It made a nice effect.

We walked by the Arts & Industries building, but it was closed for renovation, so we took a look around the castle--the new coin collection was the most interesting thing there--then skimmed through an exhibit of fancy costumes from the Ottaman empire.

Finally we stopped by Teaism on our way back to the Gallery Place metro, where we met my dad and sister to ride back home together.

Amid the packing we also found time to play another game of Bohnanza and watch a few "Creature Comforts" videos.