Innocent Bystander

A little tech, a little current affairs, and my view on whatever has my attention at the moment...

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Monday, September 05, 2005

The Best Gift Shop in Washington?

I think that it's the Gift Shop at the National Museum of American History. This isn't one of the two shops located near The Mall entrance to the museum, but rather the large store located in the basement of the museum. I don't believe that the shop is the largest in all the museums, the one at the National Air & Space Museum is definately larger. But the selection of items at the shop in American History is definately the best of the bunch.

I've only been to this gift shop 3 or 4 times, and every time ended up spending more money than I expected. What do they have there that makes this Gift Shop better than any other gift shop? There's a wide variety of items there from trinkets and shirts with the Presidential Seal, magnets declaring your political affiliation, metal Andy Rooney signs, even kids toys. Everything in the store has some connection with the exhibits in the museum. They even have a great book selection which because of the somewhat ecclectic nature of some of the collections in the museums means that there are books on sale about the Presidents and Presidential history just a few feet away from books about military history which are just a few feet away from The Coca-Cola Cookbook and books about 1940's advertising campaigns...

You can find some of the items they carry in the Smithsonian Museum stores, but for some reason the store in the Museum of American History has a better selection and is just a better atmosphere...

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