The National Academy of Science has an interesting statue in the south west corner, that of the great Albert Einstein. He is depicted on a three step bench, his left hand holding a paper with mathematical equations, summarizing three of his most important contributions, the photoelectric effect, the theory of general relativity, and the equivalence of energy and matter. Ponder that while you look for the best food trucks in the DC area!!!
Over the years, some strange things have happened here. Though nothing too strange has ever happened to me here, let’s see if I can find something out of the ordinary.
Check out the DEA’s bong collection. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) operates a small museum off its lobby, where exhibits on psychedelics and undercover agent paraphernalia (including a 1970s pair of green snakeskin platforms used in Detroit) supplement a whopping display of bongs and clandestine pill presses. The museum plans to close in late 2019 for an extensive, year-long renovation. I might check this out!
Dogs at the Congressional Cemetery. Yes, that is a dachshund snuffling around J Edgar Hoover’s tombstone, while a black lab lopes over the final resting place of composer John Philip Sousa. That’s because the Congressional Cemetery – a burial ground of famous Washingtonians since 1807 – doubles as a members-only dog park.
The U. S. Botanic Garden is an often overlooked place. Seek out the Amorphophallus titanium, a flower whose name translates to “giant misshapen penis”, and whose erotic blooms smell like rotting flesh. Yuck! I think I will skip it.
The National Museum of Health and Medicine is sure to have some “hairy” displays. How about a hairball found inside of a twelve year old girl? Or even more strange, the bullet that killed Abraham Lincoln, encased in remnants of his skull. Again, I will skip it!
Senate bean stew: According to legend, either Senate Democrat Frank Dubois or Republican Knute Nelson loved the soup enough to request it be available every day at the Senate dining room, where it’s stayed on the menu for more than a hundred years.The soup’s ingredients include creamy navy beans, pig knuckle meat, butter, and chopped onion. On occasion, mashed potatoes make an appearance. The soup is homey and filling, if not glamorous. But this is the Senate, and lobbying may have solidified its presence. According to a longtime New York Times photographer, midcentury navy bean lobbyists bought the soup for the press and senators. The soup arrived “whether you asked for it or not.” Maybe?