Capital Views: Museum lunch breaks

gavel3-300x300When the clock hits 12:30pm, I get up from my swivel chair, turn the corner and grab my lunch out of the fridge. I proceed to scarf it down in about 15 minutes and then slip out for the remainder of my lunch break. Where do I go? To Chinatown a block away? To the Urban Outfitters another block away? To the Starbucks on the corner? Or the Red Velvet Cupcakery just down the street? Proximity at its finest, right?

Just wait… My proximity comes close to artistic perfection because today, however, I am not going to any of these places. I am going to a museum. And I am taking a museum lunch break.

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John Updike in nature.

AARP’s National Office, where I intern and learn about the concerns of people decades older than me, is a block away from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum. D.C. is a hub for wonderful free museums, and I am fortunate to have two just a short hop, skip and a jump away.

My man F. Scott Fitzgerald.

My man F. Scott Fitzgerald.

An art lover at heart, these small excursions are quite the treat. I wander the air-conditioned halls of these beautiful establishments, a pleasant respite from sitting at my desk and staring at a computer screen. I walk around in my nice going-to-work clothes in the airy space filled with world treasures, the epitome of class and elegance. I can visit old friends in portrait form and say hello to Benny Goodman, John Updike, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I walk through the massively captivating sky lit Kogod courtyard where a fountain trickles water and time actually seems to stop. No wonder it was named one of the seven modern architectural wonders.

I stop by my modern art faves, especially the life-size-old-woman-reading-the-enquirer-but-completely-not-breathing-even-though-she-totally-looks-like-she-is.

There she is!

There she is!

Ahh, contemporary art.

Or, an "Electronic Superhighway" map of the United States.

I sware it's as majestic as that video. And it really never gets old. A place brimming with life and stories to tell, just a few steps away from the office. And it’s free. (Did I mention that already?) I tell myself it's probably better than stuffing my face with cupcakes. Dang proximity.

Photos by Katie Levingston/Gavel Media

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