So today I decided to take another walk around my neighborhood as it turned out to be a sunny day, even though the wind would not let up. I made my way over to Eastern Market, a historic farmer’s market-esque area with a variety of shops, produce and food stands. While making my way through street stands, I noticed a large crowd of people huddled around a corner restaurant, with police barricading the cross street. As I got closer to peer through in raw curiosity I heard someone mention that the First Lady, Michelle Obama, was having brunch inside. Of course! Something that could only happen in D.C. I will admit that I did stand around for several minutes with the around one hundred other people waiting to see a glimpse of the First Family as they swiftly made their way ten feet from the restaurant door to their car, but after a while longer, I gave up.
As I headed back to my apartment, a carton of strawberries in hand, I started to strategically plan which free admittance museum I could sneak into to quickly use their restroom. After I entered through the door to the Folger Shakespeare Library and Museum, I was greeted with “Are you here for the 3:00pm tour?”
‘Why not?’ I thought. It’s not like I had much else to do today anyway. I then happily joined a tour of one of the most extensive Shakespeare libraries in the world. They hold over one third of all the “first folio” collections of Shakespeare’s plays and have an extensive exhibit , reading room, garden, and theater for patrons and scholars of the dramatic arts. If I had never urgently solicited their facilities, I would have never stumbled across this hidden gem of D.C. I certainly will try to be back. They are hosting the Reduced Shakespeare Company in a few weeks and also will be having a birthday celebration for the Bard including costumes and cake.
With a limited time in Washington D.C. I often have the desire to try to fit in as much as I can in the little free time I have (go to all of the museums, see all the sights), but one of the things I am enjoying the most to just letting the city happen to me. Go out wander around, and let your curiosity get the best of you. You can never go wrong with a little unprompted exploration.