One might think a morning at the National Museum of American History would be enough. One would be wrong. There’s still so much to see here! Like this: Abraham Lincoln’s hat. (He would’ve been 200 this year, you know.) People looked up to ol’ Honest Abe. Literally. He was 6 foot 4. And when he added tall hats like this one, he must have seriously towered over people. I imagine that was all by design, don’t you? A President needs to have presence. This particular hat is the one he was wearing the night he died; I daresay it looked better at the time.
Check this out (it’s SO cool!): the Smithsonian has Lincoln’s watch. They’ve had it for, I dunno, a hundred years or more. But just this last spring, a man contacted the Museum and said, “There’s this legend in my family that my great-great-grandfather, who was a watchmaker, was repairing Lincoln’s watch when the Civil War broke out and he engraved a message behind the dial. What do you think?”
So on March 10, 2009, they looked—and sure enough, it says, “Jonathan Dillon April 13, 1861 Fort Sumpter was attacked by the rebels on the above date J Dillon April 13, 1861 Washington” and “thank God we have a government Jonth Dillon.” (There’s a video of them taking the watch apart here.) But here’s the thing: Lincoln never knew he was carrying around this message. And neither did anybody else (apart from family legend) until a few months ago. Kind of makes those National Treasure movies seem a little more realistic, doesn’t it?
How can you not love a place that has exhibits like this AND Kermit the Frog? I’m not sure one day is enough…but I can’t dally here forever, it’s Monday, which means it’s $10 mussels night at Granville Moore’s!
Described as “A Gastropub with a Healthy Belgian Fetish”, Granville Moore’s is one of those European-feeling restaurants with exposed brick walls and a teeny-tiny kitchen. I saw Executive Chef Teddy Folkman kick Bobby Flay’s butt on a Mussels Throwdown and this place immediately went on my ‘must eat there’ list. Their specialty is “moules & frites” which is “mussels & fries” to us Americans.
Here they don’t have just any mussels, they have a “fromage bleu” version with applewood smoked bacon, shallots, mild creamy bleu cheese, lemon juice & chardonnay. Drool. The crispy fries come topped with herbs & sea salt and are served with European mayo. It’s so good I may have to come back here again before I leave town.
Finally, I’m heading to the Freer Gallery tonight to hear author Joyce Carol Oates talk about her career. Her books are not exactly my favorite reads, but she’s an amazingly talented writer and I expect her story to be fascinating. Plus, it’s always interesting to hear how writers approach writing. So ta-ta for now…see you tomorrow!