Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Does an empty museum dream of exhibits? - Reviewed by the Five Paragraph Bitter Museum Critic

I'm branching out, people. Why limit myself to reviewing movies when my bitterness is much, much deeper.

The National Building Museum is a wonderful piece of old brick architecture in the middle of concrete-and-marble Washington, D.C. Soaring ceilings, high marble columns in the grand hall, great sight lines...it's truly something to see.

However, there's next to nothing in the museum as far as displays and exhibits. Some fascinating pictures of the changing of Washington from a quiet government town to a major city, a couple of displays of the Jewish influence in DC...and that's about it. I don't get it - more than half the space is wide-open. I mean, nada. Nuthin'. Zippy. There is thousands of square feet of available display space. They closed a display so they could put another one in the same place...while an identically-sized space across the hall is wide-open.

This place is emptier than the Young Republicans' booth at Wellesley College. I've gotten more substance in a Jessica Simpson music video (on mute, of course), and, after touring the Museum, feel a new-found sympathy for Nick Lachey.

Needless to say, the NBM, while pretty, is now the weakest Smithsonian I've seen.

2 out of 7 Whammies! - and that's because the Museum looks cool and has a killer gift shop. Five Whammies! were deducted because they have five empty exhibit halls and can be thoroughly scanned in five minutes.


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