Tag Archives: Goldstar

The whole ball of wax … and then some

12 Jul

Presidents! Lots of them!

How many boyfriends would spend a Saturday night taking pictures of their girlfriend standing next to life-size wax figures of all 44 presidents? At least one! God bless him.

I geek out on presidents and so when I found out about the new exhibit at Madame Tussauds featuring a figure of every single one, I knew I had to go. I got a Groupon, got busy, and it eventually expired. I called and asked if it could be extended to which the cheery sounding English chap replied, “Absolutely not!” But lucky for me I buy a large cheese pizza for $5.99 every Monday evening for dinner from Jerry’s Subs & Pizza, because it was there that I saw a buy-one-get-one free coupon, and my mission was back on.

Madame Tussauds is at the corner of 10th and F Street in Northwest—just a pleasant skip from Metro Center. It’s open 365 days a year from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays.

Previous to hearing about the presidents exhibit, I had been a little weirded out by the wax museum, but it turns out there’s nothing to be afraid of. Madame Tussauds is, in fact, a very well done museum. I will say that some of the figures are better than others. Several of the female figures in particular seemed to be not quite right. But overall, they looked pretty darn accurate to me.

A wax version of Britney Spears doing her thang.

If you’re going to go, you really need to cheese it up, or else you shouldn’t have bothered because that’s the whole point. If you don’t have at least five silly photos of yourself interacting with the wax people by the time you leave, then I’d deem your visit a failure. And make sure you watch the short video about how they make the figures—it’s interesting.

I was pleasantly surprised by the reasonable crowd. I can get overwhelmed, but I found the number of people manageable. What was weird though was that it always seemed like there were more people in the room than there actually were. That sounds dumb, but it really is a strange feeling when you’re there.

Tickets cost TWENTY-ONE DOLLARS. I know, pricey. But you really don’t need to ever pay full price. Besides the Jerry’s deal, you can get 15% off by booking online and Goldstar.com currently has tickets for $10 if you buy them at least one day in advance.

There were plenty of other figures besides the presidents but, to be honest, they didn’t interest me much. Though I have to admit, seeing George Clooney did put my heart a bit aflutter.

Six great DC events enewsletters

15 Nov

Sixth & I Historic Synagogue is a fantastic venue to see events. © David Monack

People are always asking me how I found out about such and such event, book reading, presentation, etc., and the answer is: enewsletters! Here are some of my favorites.

1. National Geographic has an auditorium where they host a series of events called NG Live featuring primarily photographers and explorers. I’ve been to about five and always really enjoy them. Nat Geo is walking distance from the Farragut West (Orange Line) and Farragut North (Red Line) Metro stations, and there’s free parking underneath the building (and usually parking on the street). A lot of the events are offered on Goldstar.com for about half off.

2. Politics and Prose hosts a number of book readings, including some pretty big names. The space isn’t huge, so sometimes they’ll co-sponsor an event at a larger venue. If you do go to an event at the store, plan on getting there early otherwise it’ll be standing room only.

3. The Smithsonian Resident Associate Program offers a wide-variety of lectures. I’ve seen events about polar bears, memory and creativity here. They also offer courses, art classes and special tours. The events I’ve gone to have taken place at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, which is right on the Mall.

4. . There’s no shortage of music venues in DC, but I don’t think there’s any argument that the 9:30 Club is the absolute best. It’s the perfect size and often attracts bands that typically play much larger venues. Getting on their enews is a must!

5. . Sixth & I is a synagogue with a long and interesting history. Loads of events are held here, many to do with Judaism but lots of others too. I’ve seen author Elizabeth Gilbert speak here as well as Toni Morrison and photographer Annie Leibovitz. Seating is first come, first served, which means that for some events you need to get there a couple hours early to ensure a good seat. (Believe it or not: One time I was meeting a friend here, and he asked me where it was.)

6. Cultural Tourism in DC is a great resource when you’re looking for events or places to visit. I highly recommend perusing their site and signing up for the enewsletter.