Many of you will be descending en masse to DC this weekend, and after about 24 hours, you will probably become a terrible burden for the host whom you’re definitely imposing upon. But there are exciting things here besides Obama; things that will keep you interested and informed and out of the house. So, here is Wonkette’s Official Top 10 DC Attractions To See While in DC Anyway.

The Attraction: The Lincoln Memorial
What Do You Do Once You Get There?: See Lincoln, our 44th President!
You Are Not Quite Yet Convinced, Well…: You must see this thing before the big Tribute to Mediocrity concert on Sunday because by then it will have probably been destroyed to make way for, god even knows, some Jonas Brothers-related something. Plus, it’s open 24 hours, so you have NO EXCUSE not to go
(Famous) DC Person You’re Likely to See: Abraham Lincoln, for sure
[Lincoln Memorial]

The Attraction: Comet Ping Pong Pizza
What Do You Do Once You Get There?: Eat pizza, there are only a few kinds, but they’re pretty diverse, for such is America. There’s a pie with merguez, and one called the “Yalie,” with comes with clams and smugness.
You Are Not Quite Yet Convinced, Well…: There are a couple ping pong tables in the back, plus it’s two storefronts down from Politics & Prose, another recommended destination on this very guide.
(Famous) DC Person You’re Likely to See: Local punk bands sometimes play in the back
[Comet Ping Pong]

The Attraction: Georgetown Cupcake
What Do You Do Once You Get There?: Eat, but make sure you also get coffee to lessen the effects of your inevitable sugar crash
You Are Not Quite Yet Convinced, Well…: It was voted best cupcake by the Washington Post, for whatever that’s worth. There’s also a special sweet-cream Inaugural cupcake.
(Famous) DC Person You’re Likely to See: Visiting New Yorkers who have (justifiably!) disavowed Magnolia
[Georgetown Cupcake]

The Attraction: The Tombs
What Do You Do Once You Get There?: Drink, make friends (or enemies!) with Georgetown students
You Are Not Quite Yet Convinced, Well…: It’s right across the street from the Exorcist Stairs, which really are kind of creepy in person.
(Famous) DC Person You’re Likely to See: College students in various levels of sobriety, drunk rich people who have wandered in from fancy numerical restaurant 1789, which is directly upstairs.
[The Tombs]

The Attraction: The National Gallery
What Do You Do Once You Get There?: See art, all kinds of art, and then buy a poster from the gift shop because it is a “conversation piece.”
You Are Not Quite Yet Convinced, Well…: Alexander Calder’s mobiles are awesome, and there’s currently an Ansel Adams exhibit, if that’s your thing.
(Famous) DC Person You’re Likely to See: Visiting Russian oligarchs, asking for the prices of things
[National Gallery]

The Attraction: Ben’s Chili Bowl
What Do You Do Once You Get There?: Order a “half-smoke” with some chili
You Are Not Quite Yet Convinced, Well: Obama was just there!
(Famous) DC Person You’re Likely to See: Local terrible hipsters who’ve wandered in after the invariable My Morning Jacket show at the 9:30 Club
[Ben’s Chili Bowl]

The Attraction: Spy Museum
What Do You Do Once You Get There?: There are “discussions” about “world affairs” for adults, but there are also gadget rooms, exhibits about codebreaking secrets, and short movies about espinoage throughout the ages
You Are Not Quite Yet Convinced, Well…: Discussions are workshops are a lot the time actually led by ex-spies, so that’s nice
(Famous) DC Person You’re Likely to See: The ghost of Ethel Rosenberg, maybe Roy Cohn too.
[Spy Museum]

The Attraction: Politics & Prose
What Do You Do Once You Get There?: Drink coffee/eat lunch downstairs at the Modern Times coffee shop, upstairs there’s the bookstore, which includes a very good magazine collection
You Are Not Quite Yet Convinced, Well…: There are big armchairs scattered throughout the store for reading, or napping. Plus, the store is really not as obnoxious as that ampersand is leading you to believe.
(Famous) DC Person You’re Likely to See: Some intern-y types, older white men who look like they probably work at the Atlantic.
[Politics & Prose]

The Attraction: The Smithsonian
What Do You Do Once You Get There?: The Smithsonian contains every possible thing you might have ever been interested in: the Hope Diamond, the Wright Brothers’ plane, the Emancipation Proclamation, and America’s top pandas. It is the internet of museums.
You Are Not Quite Yet Convinced, Well…: There are dinosaurs.
(Famous) DC Person You’re Likely to See: There’s a yearlong celebration of Lincoln on his 200th birthday, so probably some of “We Are One” performers who think it’s the Lincoln Memorial

The Attraction: The graves of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
What Do You Do Once You Get There?: It seems to be customary to leave a glass of liquor or beer on the tombstone (because he was an alcoholic?)
You Are Not Quite Yet Convinced, Well…: Who knew these two were buried in Rockville, MD? You did.
(Famous) DC Person You’re Likely to See: Probably no one, as this is still a relatively below-the-radar thing
[F. Scott Fitzgerald Gravesite]

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  1. RE: #5 It’s too bad Kwame Kilpatrick isn’t out of the clink yet because otherwise you’d probably see Detroit’s ex-mayor at “Benz” furiously typing on his text message machine while eating like 15 half smokes. Kwame is fat.

  2. The Common Share on 18th St. is still alive and kicking, right? Or have hobos dismantled it piece by piece for kindling?

    That was seriously amazing because it seemed to defy the laws of economics by being completely impervious to inflation. Every drink other than the LI Iced Tea was $2. Mixed drinks, draught Guinness, everything. This lasted at least for at least three or four years.

  3. Fitzgerald was named after distant cousin “Francis Scott Key” who famously pirated a British drinking song. His wife was named after a distant cousin “Princess Zelda”, whose torrid affair with a Midwestern elf (Nick Link) was the inspiration behind The Great Gatsby.

  4. Would F. Scott Fitzgerald really want people to waste good booze on his grave? No — so if I see any there, I’ll drink it.
    My favorite image of good ol’ F. was Hemingway’s description of him at a bar when they were drinking champagne. Hemingway looked away for a second and the next moment Fitzgerald had turned yellow and his head blew up like a balloon.

  5. The United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals aim to cut world hunger in half by 2015 and eliminating it completely by 2025. An estimated $19 billion would eliminate malnutrition and starvation around the world. Our current defense budget is $522 billion, in comparison.

    The Borgen Project ( provides lots of information about this issue.

  6. Attention Vistors:

    Please be advised Washington DC imposes a “VISITORS TAX” on all visitors to the City. Due to overwhelming demand, this tax is CURRRENTLY DOUBLED and at $20 per person (families $50; gayz couples $25, straight couples $30)

    YOU MUST see “DOOBIE” at the “VIZITORS TAX COLLECTION BOOTH” set up in Stanton Square. Failure to comply could result in the REVOKATION OF NATUREALS BOURNE STATUS and a FINE OF $10,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 years in jail.

  7. [re=219807]Alenka[/re]: Please tell me if this is a Swedish project. If there are not a lot of flaxen haired gay hotties involved, I have no interest. I await your confirmation.


    Hey “Alenka”, usually there’s at least a half-assed attempt to tie it in with the main post. Here, let me show you: “Did you know that airfare to Washington can cost hundreds of dollars? Why not donate the money instead to help meet the United Nations Millenium Development Goals? The Borgen Project…” blah blah.

  9. Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Annex at Dulles airport. If you’re in to that kind of thing then wow… just wow. It’s even better than the one downtown. They’ve got a whole entire Space shuttle. They’ve got a whole entire SR71. They’ve got all sorts of crazy shit. It’s awesome.

  10. I hate to be all Like do you know this because Wonkette is the place for smart people- but of course, the Smithsonian has many museums and the zoo- and they are not all on the Mall. Sorry, former employee here.

  11. The Tombs, it’s an ok place but for a minute I thought you were going to give props to the REAL “tombs” up by Catholic University, where you can stroll with your date among depictions of what will happen to you if you sin.

  12. [re=219807]Alenka[/re]: I like your name. Do you like me? Can you send me a link with some pixxx of yourself. I love the way you think, so post the good pixxx :-) LUV U :-)

  13. [re=219807]Alenka[/re]: Alenka, I think I’ve seen you before? Did you live on the second floor? If you hear trouble or some kinda fight, just don’t ask me what it’s for. Hokay?

  14. What about all the ghey clubs on Dupont Circle? I miss seeing all the the bookbag-wearing, thumb-ringed twinks from my days in DeeCee.

  15. Places to avoid:
    1. The Metro – the bus is less wait, walking, money, though more crazy.
    2. The Mall – just avoid it after the Inauguration.
    3. The National Geographic Museum – You’d be better off buying the latest issue.
    4. Driving down 14th street – anywhere in DC.
    5. Dream, the Club. YOU WILL BE SHOT WHILE TRYING TO SEE T.I. Count on it.

  16. Ughh, please stop endorsing Ben’s Chilli Bowl…I’m the only white dude who doesn’t have to wait in line when it’s crowded, and when it’s REALLY crowded, I swear people whisper about stabbing me for my bag-o-grease.

  17. [re=219818]Josh Fruhlinger[/re]: Has the Borgen Project been hibernating? They must still be groggy and can’t form those leaps of logic that end up promoting world debt relief.

  18. You left out the Einstein memorial! Easily the coolest in DC, you can sit on his lap, and he doesn’t even make crude comments about it!

  19. Ok, things to see in DC, jumping past the places you cited above:

    Old Post Office Pavillion: crummy shops and what not, but go down to the bottom level in the corner and the Park Service runs an elevator up to the top of the tower. Great photos of DC if it’s a clear day.

    The Peacock Room at the Freer: this is what happens when you piss off an artist then leave him alone in your house. No guides, but the guards in the room are very enthusiastic and will give you an impromptu talk/tour.

    Frederick Douglas’ house in Anacostia: No you will NOT get killed going there, the tour is great, and the view of the city is lovely. Especially appropriate for this weekend.

    Murasaki Restaurant: On Wisconsin, north of Tenley Circle and south of Friendship Heights. GREAT restaurant, one of the few Japanese restaurants that is genuinely warm and friendly, awesome food, supposedly caters events at the Japanese Embassy.

    Cake Love: Locations on U Street (the original), downtown Silver Spring, and a new one in National Harbor. OMG, yes the stuff is expensive but it’s worth every cent.

    The rare and elusive half smoke: Maybe you have to grow up here, but damn do I love a good half smoke. Not a hot dog, not a kielbassy, but a darn good lunch on a bun. Various locations.

    Crabcake: You’re in the mid-Atlantic. Eat a crabcake. It’s what we do, along with the half smokes. In town, you can find some hoity toity ones that are delicious at places like the various Clyde’s locations. For a really really really good crab cake, venture outside the Beltway to one of these places: Edgewater Restaurant (Edgewater MD, near Annapolis), Timbuktu (Hanover MD right by BWI), Stoney’s (this time of year the original on Broome Island is closed, so go to the one in the strip mall in Prince Frederick, MD.).

    The Archives: Yes, it’s on the tourist route but stand in line and go to the Rotunda and see the Declaration, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. It’s who and what we are and what was forgotten these past eight years.

    Library of Congress: The reading room is spectacular.

    Great Falls: Cold as the dickens this time of year, but visitors to the city will not believe how something like this could be right outside of town. Visit both the MD and VA sides and walk down along Mather Gorge, too.

    I do love this city. I was born here and when I lived away I missed it a LOT. Particularly when a museum in another town asked me for admission.

  20. If you really want to see Hopey close-up like, consider driving up to Baltimore to see his whistle-stop-dinger there. Sure, Tuesday they’ll have X millions of people creeping around the Mall trying to spot him getting all inaugurated (basically he will look like a nappy dot) but practically noone knows that he’s even going to be in Baltimore – Charm City – so if you want to have the real experience, and get so close to him that you could get hit by his expectorations even, come to Bawlmer.

  21. [re=219865]snideinplainsight[/re]: Yeah, well on WTOP today they were talking about people parking at the two stadiums to come and see his train stop.

  22. [re=219808]hrhkingfriday[/re]: Ah, I did that. And then I proceeded to drink until I fell under the table, which is another fine Tombs tradition.

  23. [re=219865]snideinplainsight[/re]: Hopey is also having a humdinger with Joe Biden at 1pm outside the Wilmington, DE train station, where Joe, God love ‘im, picked up teh Amtraks every day. Gates open at 9:30 am if you feel like standing in 18 degree weather for five hours to see a glimpse of unicorns.

  24. [re=219801]StephanieInCA[/re]: My GF remarked to me on New Year’s eve that it was strange to not hear the usual celebratory gunshots near our NE home. I said it was because everyone was saving their ammo for the inauguration.

  25. [re=219856]TGY[/re]: So, where are we most likely to see Juli?
    Well, based on the post, I think we can definitely rule out the National Copy Editing Museum.


  26. [re=219823]Terry[/re]:
    [re=219953]Chad Sexington[/re]:

    I’m an expert in 1998-2002 circa DC bars!

    – There was a really weird tiki type bar up near Catholic U., right in the middle of the concrete jungle, that looked like something out of friggin Bali, with palm trees and a courtyard. Can’t recall the name. Jungle Jim’s or something?

    – The Tombs was not even close to the best bar in Georgetown. Saloun was way better in every way.

  27. Perhaps a visit to the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, which is very interesting and cool and which serves buffalo and acorn-based cuisine in the staggeringly overpriced restaurant–who knew acorns could cost so much? It’s well worth a tour through and not too big so it doesn’t take more than a few hours.


    And the Holocaust Memorial Museum, which is beautifully done and completely amazing, and then afterward to the bars listed above to achieve the drunkenness that necessarily follows a visit to a Holocaust Memorial Museum.

  28. So what are these so-called “half-smoke” things? Half-smoked sausages? what didn’t they fully-smoke them? Or are they just half a smoked sausage? Actually, I think Yglesias had something on them, but cannot recall. Is this a fabled mid-atlantic treat? like bratwurst in the upper midwest?

  29. [re=219820]El Pinche[/re]: Time was you could get all the nice fresh STDs you could possibly want at Macpherson Square, next to the Convention Center.,-77.022958&spn=0.016164,0.030684&z=15

    Alert readers will have noticed that the streets here have not been closed for the Inauguration.

    Well, OK, there may be some forcible relocation of the more agressive sex-workers, but you have to start somewhere, right?

  30. [re=219865]snideinplainsight[/re]: HUSH! This Baltimoron COMMANDS you to cease and desist sharing this information with the others! NOW!

  31. [re=220022]blinky_twinkie[/re]: the food is fabulous there, and the architecture of the museum is great, but the exhibits themselves are pretty shallow IMHO. Not a lot there for all the hype. Sad.

  32. [re=220087]Doglessliberal[/re]: NOT smoked? My Dog! This is almost as bad as finding out sponge cake isn’t made from sponges. And, since it is a sausage, it should probably be described it as “half ‘beef’/half ‘pork’, slightly ‘spicy’ “. Yum. Well, after a day of seeing the sights, I’d probably want several.
    Oh, for those who go to the Smithsonian (Science & Industry) there is this.

  33. [re=220081]Doglessliberal[/re]: Yes, the food is very good. That’s how I know how expensive it is. I *do* regret not trying the acorn thingie, though. I liked the exhibits. But you’re right: there isn’t a whole lot there and they could have done so much more.

  34. Are you kidding? The only thing to do when you get to the Spy Museum is climb up into the ceiling vents to listen to the Castro recordings. This is possibly the most awesome museum installation I’ve ever encounterd…they want you to climb into the ceiling vents! It’s encouraged!

    You don’t get that kind of service at the Smithsonian, I’ll tell you that.

  35. What about the Newseum? Or is it Nauseum? Soon there will be a Blogosphere Museum (Blogoseum?) in which the noble and pioneer editors of this esteemed virtual community will be enshrined. Or work as ticket takers. Whatever.

  36. How can you forget about Tim Russert’s grave in section C of Rock Creek Cemetery? I walk my dog back there, and most of the time there are a steady stream of “offerings”: mostly Rolling Rock bottles.

  37. I have to come to DC this spring (for a few months, oy). The last thing I need to know is where the cupcakes and pizza are located. But I could probably pass for an “older” dude who works at the Atlantic, so maybe I’ll have a cup of coffee.

  38. [re=220233]chascates[/re]: Newseum is pretty awesome, and there’s a lot of cool shit there, as well as one hell of a 9/11 Memorial. Touching stuff. Also.

  39. Huge museum slut here. Most of my favorites have been mentioned because you all are amazing. There’s also Dumbarton Oaks, a private collection of Pre-Columbian, Byzantine, and other artifacts in a beautiful setting. A small wing of mostly Pre-Columbian artifacts is floor to ceiling glass and located in the middle of a garden. It’s free and open from 2-5 Tuesday through Sunday, although they will be closed in Inauguration day.

    For directions and more info on Dumbarton Oaks:

  40. [re=220012]Doglessliberal[/re]: Yes, but then continue to follow the Parkway till it ends at Mt. Vernon. The Parkway itself is beautiful, and then you can tour Washington’s house and estate, with its beautiful view of the Potomac. Oh, and you can see where the father of our country kept his slaves. And don’t forget to visit the tomb. You might even catch GW rolling over in his grave while we honor MLK on Monday and inaugurate BHO on Tuesday.

  41. I’m kinda partial to the Phillips Collection
    Never been there, even though I’m from DC, but saw some of it when went on the road. My mom was in town and told me she used to go there to study and keep the Boating Party company.

    It’s really awesome to see that painting in the flesh, after seeing reproductions all your life. I was ready to step through the frame and say, “Hey! Any more wine left? You gonna eat that?”

  42. [re=220332]Mr Blifil[/re]:

    Oooh, DC in the spring! Our best season. Make sure to go to the National Aboretum (on NY Ave in NE) when the azaleas are blooming. One of the directors of the Arboretum in partnership with a nursery man from Glendale MD (not all that far from the Arboretum, actually) developed the azalea most people grow today, called the Glendale azalea. The azalea hill is spectacular. Go around the back side of the hill though, that’s where the reject azaleas were planted. Not the perfect big flowers you see on the main plants, but neat colors, some multicolors, neat to see.

  43. Reader “Bob R.” sends in this extra special side trip:

    “I couldn’t notice that in your list of things to do in D.C. column you listed visiting F. Scott Fitzgerald’s grave which is NOT in D.C. If you want to send people to a dead writer’s grave, how about Upton Sinclair’s grave at Rock Creek Church Cemetery? He is buried across from the much nicer grave of the creator of Wonder Bread. How awesome is it that the author of the Jungle is buried next to a food industrialist? Also you can see the graves of Alice Roosevellt and Tim Russert.”

  44. [re=220710]cancer[/re]:

    When visiting White Flint, stroll through Bloomingdales, a store as worn and decrepit as the Reagan era “grandeur” and philosophy, the time period Bloomies was at it’s heyday.

  45. I miss my brown “Bloomies” bag as much as I do the Reagan era granduer and philosophy. After all, he was the first candidate I ever voted against!

  46. You call that an attractions list?
    1: New York ave and Second St. Ask for Rawbone, or his cousin Schoolboy. They’ll hook you up.
    2: Don’t bang the DC hookers, they’ve been snarfing Republicans for the last eight years, most of them are broke and half dead with cooties. Maryland is good if your shopping for something Ghettoliscious, Virginia is for trolling tailer trash.
    3: (For the Hobos) DC is blessed with many bridges, so here’s a tip to make your stay as comfortable as possible. The prevailing winds blow east to west, so stay away from north south expressways, don’t set up close to a river, these spots are nice in the summer but suck in the winter and a DC cop will let you sleep anywhere as long as you give him a hand job first (I don’t know why, I think it’s something their union got for them).

  47. [re=219821]Serolf Divad[/re]: And their new reality-based attraction: evacuate an A320 in freezing hudson river water! Remember, though–your pilot is also a hero.

  48. Obama’s gonna fix the economy, so get to the malls real fast while retail is dead and get your 70% discount on Winter fashion. I would also expect deep discounts on Anti-Bush memorabilia (like my “1/20/09 – End of an Error” T-shirt that I will wear proudly in the 20 degree weather.

    Here is a link to a great place to spend some time shopping

    and a general guide –,Places-to-Visit.aspx

    Enjoy. Everything in DC is free.

  49. As a native Washingtonian now living in Savannah GA I echo Terry’s feelings about DC.
    I would suggest a Capitol Hill pub crawl starting at the Tune Inn, and including the Hawk
    and Dove, Whatever Duddington’s is now called, and Bullfeathers.
    For some great live music, besides the 930, I’d suggest a few places in the VA and MD
    suburbs. The Surf Club in Bladensburg, Iota in Arlington, the State theatre in Falls Church,
    and the Sunset Grille in Annandale. And of course, the Birchmere in Alexandria.
    Lots of great restaurants of all kinds all over town and the ‘burbs. Enjoy!

  50. I recommend traveling to Washington DC in autumn when the crowds have left and it’s easier to get into museums. You can find cheaper hotels in Washington DC at this time and also Washington DC rentals such as apartments.

    Another reason to travel to Washington DC during the fall season, it’s that leaves are turning beautiful colors and the weather is warm enough to comfortably walk around all day.

    Here it is the link for other things to see in DC:

    Happy Travels

  51. [re=222111]nutcracker[/re]: Can you tell me what the address of Duddington’s used to be? I am trying to find it…I know the general area, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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