So just before I set on a bus to get back to NYC from DC, I spent some time at the National Postal Museum…
..for those who know me, this is not something I would do (and more like something that my friend rothinzil would), but I decided to go ahead with it since:
- I overbudgeted for time taken to reach Union Station (beautiful station) and reached very very early
- A native DC-er strongly recommended that I visit it
The second recommendation is extremely important, since I have realized that the best places to visit in a new city are often off the internet radar and known only to the people who actually stay there (kinda obvious) – this is also what led me to try ‘the tomb’, Saxby’s, the scenic walk on Independence ave. and Healey Hall in Georgetown Univ.
[digressing: I was pretty surprised to see how willing the people in the capital were to go out of the way to help me out!
Cases in point:
- The Old gentleman who approached me when he saw me staring cluelessly at a map for 10 mins
- The sweet exchange student from Argentina who spent half an hour (and probably got late for her class) drawing out a travel plan for me (after my original plan miserably conked)
- The Georgetown U student who have me a nice little campus tour – when all I asked was for some recommendations on what to see there]
So anyway, I was pretty glad I did visit the museum – it was amazing! Especially the exhibit ‘Alphabetilately’
It learned so much cool stuff about stamps – and how they are made!
for example, did you know know that if you needed a stamp of lower denomination, you could just cut a higher denom. stamp in half and use it?
Or about the ‘Inverted Jenny’ – a rare defective stamp, that got auctioned for ~3 million USD!
Then there was this really cool collection of stamps from every region in the world – I saw stamps from states and regions which do not even independently exist any more!
Finally, they also let me take home any 6 stamps from an assortment of thousands! [any philately enthusiasts, please contact me if you want those! More than willing to give them away if you show me your collection]
I also spent almost half an hour helping a major time enthusiast skim through those thousands of stamps to pick out stamps with US Presidents on them – collaboration, even with strangers, is fun!
I also designed a cinderella stamp 🙂