Reason 180

#180: National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery is part of the Smithsonian Institution which, contrary to what tourists think, is not one museum but a number of museums. As such this museum, like all other Smithsonian museums, is free. I, of course, love free things, so lots of points for the National Portrait Gallery.

My two other favorite things about this museum are very practical: it’s right in Chinatown/Penn Quarter and it’s open late. This is wonderful because it means that if you’re running early for something around there, you can go in to this museum to kill time instead of going to a less inspired place like, say, a CVS.

A few weeks ago I was in Chinatown for a haircut appointment. I ended up getting there about 30mins early. I went into Bed, Bath & Beyond to walk around and wait. While staring at rows and rows of mashmallow-shootermashmallow-shooter relatives, I realized what a mistake I was making. I live in Washington, DC. There is no need for me to spend any time in a store. I can buy anything I want online and, if I have to wait around for something, I can go to a museum and see this in person:



It’s on display now and pretty amazing. If you end up in Chinatown for any reason, go to the National Portrait Gallery.



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