Sunday, August 31, 2014

The National Book Festival, City Tap House, and Metro

It was a dream day for my husband - a metro ride to downtown, a walk downtown to the Convention Center, dinner downtown, and a metro ride home. He is the "downtown" urban side of the family and I am more suburban with a touch of urban. If the Library of Congress National Book Festival did not change it's usual venue from the Mall to the Convention Center this year, I'm not sure when we would have taken this little trip. Since we moved here, we have attended the book festival every year. It was easy to just walk over from our house, amble around, and come home soon after. We really don't spend a lot of time listening to the authors or getting books signed - although we did the first couple of years. And we don't have kids to drag around to all those children events. We also have the advantage of hearing and seeing a lot of this type of thing on a small scale all year round by attending sessions at the Library. I just heard Doris Kearns Goodwin talk about her new book a few weeks ago. The Convention Center was an "okay" place, but it felt sterile to me. I liked the views from the third floor - you could see the Washington Monument and Capitol in the distance through the high rise structures. I prefer the flat Mall rather than three stories, but the air conditioning and acoustics were better suited here. Things started wrapping up around 5:30 even though there were events planned through 10 PM. I asked one of my colleagues there what the verdict was about the new location and he said it was fifty/fifty. We decided to stroll back towards the Mall and stopped at City Tap House for a burger. It seemed a lot of others had the same idea. We knew because they all were carrying their bright green totes from the event. For being a holiday weekend, it was very busy. When we reached the Smithsonian Metro station we descended down the squeaky elevator to return home. I'm glad we went, but it didn't do much for me.  I'm more in to all things digital, and I don't care for crowds. But I'll do just about anything for my husband. 

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