A Travellerspoint blog

Hermann Park is a Houston treasure with tons to see and do

In celebration of Hermann Park’s 100th birthday in 2014, a 15-acre site adjacent to the Museum of Natural Science was transformed into the beautiful McGovern Centennial Gardens

In celebration of Hermann Park’s 100th birthday in 2014, a 15-acre site adjacent to the Museum of Natural Science was transformed into the beautiful McGovern Centennial Gardens

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is one of the most popular museums in the US with 2  million guests each year visiting the IMAX theater, planetarium, butterfly center and 4 floors of exhibit space

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is one of the most popular museums in the US with 2+ million guests each year visiting the IMAX theater, planetarium, butterfly center and 4 floors of exhibit space

Sam Houston Monument (1925) greets visitors to 445-acre Hermann Park; the Park is bounded by the TX Medical Center, Rice University, Museum District and Hermann Park Golf Course (in 1954, one of the first public golf courses in the US to desegregate)

Sam Houston Monument (1925) greets visitors to 445-acre Hermann Park; the Park is bounded by the TX Medical Center, Rice University, Museum District and Hermann Park Golf Course (in 1954, one of the first public golf courses in the US to desegregate)

The peaceful Japanese Garden, designed by world-renowned Japanese landscape architect Ken Nakajima, was added in 1992 to Hermann Park; entry is free and, in the spring, be sure to see the gorgeous cherry trees

The peaceful Japanese Garden, designed by world-renowned Japanese landscape architect Ken Nakajima, was added in 1992 to Hermann Park; entry is free and, in the spring, be sure to see the gorgeous cherry trees

In 1943, a large chunk of the southern part of Hermann Park was used to found the Texas Medical Center (TMC), the largest medical complex in the world; TMC employs 100,000  people and sees 10  million patients annually

In 1943, a large chunk of the southern part of Hermann Park was used to found the Texas Medical Center (TMC), the largest medical complex in the world; TMC employs 100,000+ people and sees 10+ million patients annually

One of Houston's oldest public parks, Hermann Park was created on acreage donated to the City of Houston by oilman and philanthropist George H. Hermann; the land was formerly the site of his sawmill

One of Houston's oldest public parks, Hermann Park was created on acreage donated to the City of Houston by oilman and philanthropist George H. Hermann; the land was formerly the site of his sawmill

The Houston Zoo was the second most visited paid-admission zoo in the country in 2016 (behind San Diego Zoo), with 2.5  million visitors; long-time Houstonians remember when it was free

The Houston Zoo was the second most visited paid-admission zoo in the country in 2016 (behind San Diego Zoo), with 2.5+ million visitors; long-time Houstonians remember when it was free

The Marvin Taylor Trail, a former carriage trail, offers runners and walkers a picturesque two-mile path, much of it under the shade of historic live oaks around Hermann Park

The Marvin Taylor Trail, a former carriage trail, offers runners and walkers a picturesque two-mile path, much of it under the shade of historic live oaks around Hermann Park

The Hermann Park Railroad has been a favorite with children for 50  years; it has an MD Anderson stop near the Medical Center as well as a stop near the Hermann Park light rail station (cost is $3.50)

The Hermann Park Railroad has been a favorite with children for 50+ years; it has an MD Anderson stop near the Medical Center as well as a stop near the Hermann Park light rail station (cost is $3.50)

Japanese Garden; in the 1980's, due to insufficient public resources, Hermann Park became rundown; the non-profit Hermann Park Conservancy was founded which has since leveraged $120  million of public and private funds to make the park world-class

Japanese Garden; in the 1980's, due to insufficient public resources, Hermann Park became rundown; the non-profit Hermann Park Conservancy was founded which has since leveraged $120+ million of public and private funds to make the park world-class

Opened in 1994, the Cockrell Butterfly Center is housed in a three-story glass building at the Houston Museum of Natural Science filled with tropical plants and butterflies (including the migratory Monarch)

Opened in 1994, the Cockrell Butterfly Center is housed in a three-story glass building at the Houston Museum of Natural Science filled with tropical plants and butterflies (including the migratory Monarch)

Prairie dogs are so cool!; the Houston Zoo has a flexible ticket pricing model (about $25 base) with tickets cheaper if you buy them in advance and more expensive during peak times

Prairie dogs are so cool!; the Houston Zoo has a flexible ticket pricing model (about $25 base) with tickets cheaper if you buy them in advance and more expensive during peak times

The 1936 Pioneer Memorial Obelisk (honoring Houston's founding men and women and the city's centennial) lies at the far end of the gorgeous Jones Reflecting Pool which is lined by mature live oaks

The 1936 Pioneer Memorial Obelisk (honoring Houston's founding men and women and the city's centennial) lies at the far end of the gorgeous Jones Reflecting Pool which is lined by mature live oaks

Miller Outdoor Theatre offers a wide range of free performances including classical music, jazz, ballet, Shakespeare, musical theater, and classic films, running March through November

Miller Outdoor Theatre offers a wide range of free performances including classical music, jazz, ballet, Shakespeare, musical theater, and classic films, running March through November

The McGovern Centennial Gardens has a traditional rose garden, along with new areas to explore such as a family garden, an arid garden, a 30-foot garden mount, and a sculpture promenade featuring public art donated by countries around the world

The McGovern Centennial Gardens has a traditional rose garden, along with new areas to explore such as a family garden, an arid garden, a 30-foot garden mount, and a sculpture promenade featuring public art donated by countries around the world

The Zoo's reflecting pool, built in 1926, was meant to emulate the Jones Reflecting Pool in Hermann Park; for the Zoo's Centennial in 2022 a huge exhibit dedicated to the Galapagos Islands will be opening

The Zoo's reflecting pool, built in 1926, was meant to emulate the Jones Reflecting Pool in Hermann Park; for the Zoo's Centennial in 2022 a huge exhibit dedicated to the Galapagos Islands will be opening

Posted by VagabondCowboy 10:55 Comments (1)

Jamestown & Williamsburg were more interesting than Yorktown

George Washington greets visitors to the American Revolution Museum which is a private museum run by the state and not part of the National Park Service; admission is $14.45

George Washington greets visitors to the American Revolution Museum which is a private museum run by the state and not part of the National Park Service; admission is $14.45

Just 10 days after the victory at Yorktown, the Continental Congress directed a monument be built to commemorate the siege and the American-French alliance; alas, funds were not appropriated for the monument until 100 years later in 1881

Just 10 days after the victory at Yorktown, the Continental Congress directed a monument be built to commemorate the siege and the American-French alliance; alas, funds were not appropriated for the monument until 100 years later in 1881

The movie Liberty Fever is shown as an introduction but had too many uncomfortable parallels to supposed patriots fighting for liberty today (when they are actually just supporting a narcissistic demagogue)

The movie Liberty Fever is shown as an introduction but had too many uncomfortable parallels to supposed patriots fighting for liberty today (when they are actually just supporting a narcissistic demagogue)

The museum focused heavily on military themes (like the 4-pounder cannon here) and vague cries for liberty rather than the specifics of what colonists objected to from the British crown

The museum focused heavily on military themes (like the 4-pounder cannon here) and vague cries for liberty rather than the specifics of what colonists objected to from the British crown

Poems on Various Subjects by Phyllis Wheatley (1773) was the first publication of a substantial literary work by an enslaved individual in America; opened in 2017, the museum replaced the Yorktown Victory Center

Poems on Various Subjects by Phyllis Wheatley (1773) was the first publication of a substantial literary work by an enslaved individual in America; opened in 2017, the museum replaced the Yorktown Victory Center

Consignments of Virginia tobacco which came to the Netherlands were sold in Delftware jars like this one (1765-1785); after the Revolution, American farmers could export directly to European markets with middlemen taking part of the profits

Consignments of Virginia tobacco which came to the Netherlands were sold in Delftware jars like this one (1765-1785); after the Revolution, American farmers could export directly to European markets with middlemen taking part of the profits

This is one of two surviving plaster statues which is a direct copy of the Houdon statue at the Virginia State Capital; Thomas Jefferson noted that the York River at Yorktown affords the best harbor in the state for vessels of the largest size

This is one of two surviving plaster statues which is a direct copy of the Houdon statue at the Virginia State Capital; Thomas Jefferson noted that the York River at Yorktown affords the best harbor in the state for vessels of the largest size

Yorktown is most famous as the site of the surrender of General Charles Cornwallis to General George Washington and the French Fleet during the American Revolutionary War on October 19, 1781; the British defeat at Yorktown followed large losses at Guilford Court House (Greensboro)

Yorktown is most famous as the site of the surrender of General Charles Cornwallis to General George Washington and the French Fleet during the American Revolutionary War on October 19, 1781; the British defeat at Yorktown followed large losses at Guilford Court House (Greensboro)

The 22,000 sq ft museum says it has comprehensive, immersive exhibits which to me says there's a lot to read; the static content indoors was boring for kids who preferred the outdoor experiences

The 22,000 sq ft museum says it has comprehensive, immersive exhibits which to me says there's a lot to read; the static content indoors was boring for kids who preferred the outdoor experiences

Historical interpreters described daily routines of American soldiers, with demonstrations of military drills, musket and artillery firing, 18th-century surgical and medical practices, and the role of the quartermaster in managing troop supplies

Historical interpreters described daily routines of American soldiers, with demonstrations of military drills, musket and artillery firing, 18th-century surgical and medical practices, and the role of the quartermaster in managing troop supplies

Representing two companies of American soldiers (1/4 of a regiment), the Continental Army encampment features rows of soldiers’ tents (they slept 6 to a tent somehow), an office for an adjutant or secretary, two captains’ quarters and an earthen kitchen

Representing two companies of American soldiers (1/4 of a regiment), the Continental Army encampment features rows of soldiers’ tents (they slept 6 to a tent somehow), an office for an adjutant or secretary, two captains’ quarters and an earthen kitchen

The Revolution-era farm evokes the world of the 18th-century family of Edward Moss (c.1757-1786), whose life is well-documented in York County; historical interpreters explained life and work on the farm

The Revolution-era farm evokes the world of the 18th-century family of Edward Moss (c.1757-1786), whose life is well-documented in York County; historical interpreters explained life and work on the farm

A middling plantation typically covered 200-800 acres and required a workforce of about 9 adults (including slaves); despite their relatively small size, these farms offered their owners a bright economic future and status in local society

A middling plantation typically covered 200-800 acres and required a workforce of about 9 adults (including slaves); despite their relatively small size, these farms offered their owners a bright economic future and status in local society

Posted by VagabondCowboy 14:09 Comments (0)

Fleischer Glass Collection at Morris Museum of Art, Augusta

Basket Set, Dale Chihuly, 1993; my favorite American glass artist is probably also the most prolific and best marketer; his was the only work here by anyone with major name recognition

Basket Set, Dale Chihuly, 1993; my favorite American glass artist is probably also the most prolific and best marketer; his was the only work here by anyone with major name recognition

Mechanical Jazz, Concetta Mason, 1989; the studio art glass collection at the museum was donated by Eugene Fleischer who especially admired work from the Penland School of Craft in NW NC

Mechanical Jazz, Concetta Mason, 1989; the studio art glass collection at the museum was donated by Eugene Fleischer who especially admired work from the Penland School of Craft in NW NC

Bags in a Bag, John Littleton and Kate Vogel, 1982; this pair graduated from the University of Wisconsin and taught at the Penland School in NC; it would be interesting to see the production process

Bags in a Bag, John Littleton and Kate Vogel, 1982; this pair graduated from the University of Wisconsin and taught at the Penland School in NC; it would be interesting to see the production process

Passion Okra Johnson, Stephen Rolfe Powell, 1990; I loved the colors in this piece but wonder where the name came from; admission to the Morris Museum of Art is only $5 with the studio art glass collection being just one large gallery

Passion Okra Johnson, Stephen Rolfe Powell, 1990; I loved the colors in this piece but wonder where the name came from; admission to the Morris Museum of Art is only $5 with the studio art glass collection being just one large gallery

Bowl (Migration series), Chuck Boux, 2015; we saw some of his work across the street from the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg, FL; his work is on display at the Imagine Museum there as well

Bowl (Migration series), Chuck Boux, 2015; we saw some of his work across the street from the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg, FL; his work is on display at the Imagine Museum there as well

Intoxication Lurid Sipper, Stephen Rolfe Powell and John Miller, 2010; the Fleischer collection opened at the museum in 2019; Fleischer donated 200  pieces with about 50 being on display at any one time

Intoxication Lurid Sipper, Stephen Rolfe Powell and John Miller, 2010; the Fleischer collection opened at the museum in 2019; Fleischer donated 200+ pieces with about 50 being on display at any one time

Tulip Vase, Tommie Rush, 2015; a Southerner, like most of the artists featured here, Rush graduated from the University of Tennessee; her vases retail for $2000-$4000

Tulip Vase, Tommie Rush, 2015; a Southerner, like most of the artists featured here, Rush graduated from the University of Tennessee; her vases retail for $2000-$4000

Vase, Duncan McClellan, undated; this artist has a gallery in St. Petersburg FL; due to the expensive infrastructure required, glass artists tend to be based in just a handful of US locations

Vase, Duncan McClellan, undated; this artist has a gallery in St. Petersburg FL; due to the expensive infrastructure required, glass artists tend to be based in just a handful of US locations

Snake River Shelter, Brent Kee Young, 2014; this beautifully, intricate piece with clear glass didn't lend itself well to a photo; it looked incredibly fragile which is ironic since it's a shelter

Snake River Shelter, Brent Kee Young, 2014; this beautifully, intricate piece with clear glass didn't lend itself well to a photo; it looked incredibly fragile which is ironic since it's a shelter

Neptune Whirlwind, David Goldhagen, 2007; Eugene Fleischer was born in 1921, just one month after his parents arrived in the US from Hungary; he and his wife were married for 72 years, the last 40 in Augusta

Neptune Whirlwind, David Goldhagen, 2007; Eugene Fleischer was born in 1921, just one month after his parents arrived in the US from Hungary; he and his wife were married for 72 years, the last 40 in Augusta

Vase, Jonathan Poirier, 2014; Eugene Fleischer became wealthy as a developer in South Florida in the 1950s and 60s; he semi-retired to Augusta in 1974 where he lived until his death at 97 in 2018

Vase, Jonathan Poirier, 2014; Eugene Fleischer became wealthy as a developer in South Florida in the 1950s and 60s; he semi-retired to Augusta in 1974 where he lived until his death at 97 in 2018

Deep Sea Glass, Catherine Rahn, 1998; some of her pieces sell for just a few hundred dollars which makes it seem like thriving as a studio glass artist would be quite challenging

Deep Sea Glass, Catherine Rahn, 1998; some of her pieces sell for just a few hundred dollars which makes it seem like thriving as a studio glass artist would be quite challenging

Vase, Kent Forrest Ipsen, 1973; the artist studied with Harvey Littleton before going on to found the glass program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond

Vase, Kent Forrest Ipsen, 1973; the artist studied with Harvey Littleton before going on to found the glass program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond

Girl with Golden Hair, Stan Floate, undated; Fleischer preferred to collect unique studio art glass pieces and often got to know the individual artists

Girl with Golden Hair, Stan Floate, undated; Fleischer preferred to collect unique studio art glass pieces and often got to know the individual artists

Untitled, Marvin Lipofsky, 1977; the artist received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin where he studied under the father of American studio art glass Harvey Littleton

Untitled, Marvin Lipofsky, 1977; the artist received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin where he studied under the father of American studio art glass Harvey Littleton

Steel Aqua Point, Alex Gabriel Bernstein, 2015; a NC native, this Asheville artist illustrates the diversity of the pieces in the collection; it was nice to see a variety of forms instead of the usual vases

Steel Aqua Point, Alex Gabriel Bernstein, 2015; a NC native, this Asheville artist illustrates the diversity of the pieces in the collection; it was nice to see a variety of forms instead of the usual vases

Cosmo, Lino Tagliapietra, 1992; as a teacher and mentor, Tagliapietra has played a key role in the international exchange of glassblowing processes and techniques between the principal American centers and his native Murano, Italy

Cosmo, Lino Tagliapietra, 1992; as a teacher and mentor, Tagliapietra has played a key role in the international exchange of glassblowing processes and techniques between the principal American centers and his native Murano, Italy

Calare, Toots Zynsky, 2014; this artist (what a name!) studied with Dale Chihuly at the Rhode Island School of Design as well as at the famous Pilchuck Glass School outside of Seattle

Calare, Toots Zynsky, 2014; this artist (what a name!) studied with Dale Chihuly at the Rhode Island School of Design as well as at the famous Pilchuck Glass School outside of Seattle

Spectral Wonder, Jon Kuhn, 1992; I'd love to know how this piece was made; the collection has no pieces of factory art (ie pieces made by Tiffany, Lalique or Steuben)

Spectral Wonder, Jon Kuhn, 1992; I'd love to know how this piece was made; the collection has no pieces of factory art (ie pieces made by Tiffany, Lalique or Steuben)

Exhausted Tawdry Buns, Stephen Rolfe Powell, 2000; the artist is primarily known for his elaborately colored three-foot glass vessels incorporating murrine; the museum is on Augusta's Riverwalk (basically a nice levee on the Savannah River)

Exhausted Tawdry Buns, Stephen Rolfe Powell, 2000; the artist is primarily known for his elaborately colored three-foot glass vessels incorporating murrine; the museum is on Augusta's Riverwalk (basically a nice levee on the Savannah River)

Whopper Vase, Dante Marioni, 1990; visiting the Morris Museum of Art was one of the primary reasons for the visit to Augusta; the city is just an hour SW of much nicer Columbia SC

Whopper Vase, Dante Marioni, 1990; visiting the Morris Museum of Art was one of the primary reasons for the visit to Augusta; the city is just an hour SW of much nicer Columbia SC

Posted by VagabondCowboy 10:03 Comments (0)

Great watching the 2021 US Open with friends

It was wonderful spending time with these great friends; I hadn't seen David Romero in many years and we also visited with Jason Coronado who was working at the US Open (he's taking time away from teaching at the moment)

It was wonderful spending time with these great friends; I hadn't seen David Romero in many years and we also visited with Jason Coronado who was working at the US Open (he's taking time away from teaching at the moment)

The most exciting tennis I saw was from Spanish teen Carlos Alcaraz who defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in a thriller; Alcaraz displayed a fierce baseline game similar to Nadal's but at times his youth and inexperience crept in, but a great tournament for him

The most exciting tennis I saw was from Spanish teen Carlos Alcaraz who defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in a thriller; Alcaraz displayed a fierce baseline game similar to Nadal's but at times his youth and inexperience crept in, but a great tournament for him

Coco Gauff had already lost in singles so I caught her first doubles match with partner Caty McNally (17 and 19 years old respectively); they defeated a veteran pair and ultimately made it the finals before falling in a three set match

Coco Gauff had already lost in singles so I caught her first doubles match with partner Caty McNally (17 and 19 years old respectively); they defeated a veteran pair and ultimately made it the finals before falling in a three set match

Our group arrived Wednesday before remnants of Hurricane Ida flooded NYC (and 100s of cars at the US Open) that night; play had to be stopped on Armstrong Stadium (which had the roof closed) due to rain blowing in through the sides of the structure

Our group arrived Wednesday before remnants of Hurricane Ida flooded NYC (and 100s of cars at the US Open) that night; play had to be stopped on Armstrong Stadium (which had the roof closed) due to rain blowing in through the sides of the structure

We watched Novak Djokovic practice but given the fact that he chose to conduct a tournament during the pandemic with no restrictions in place (resulting in many players getting sick) and his strong anti-vaccine opinions, I rooted against him

We watched Novak Djokovic practice but given the fact that he chose to conduct a tournament during the pandemic with no restrictions in place (resulting in many players getting sick) and his strong anti-vaccine opinions, I rooted against him

Jannik Sinner is only 20 years old with a ranking of 14 in the world; I watched him beat a relatively unknown American; Sinner grew up in northern Italy and played very few tennis events as a junior including none of the junior Grand Slam tournaments

Jannik Sinner is only 20 years old with a ranking of 14 in the world; I watched him beat a relatively unknown American; Sinner grew up in northern Italy and played very few tennis events as a junior including none of the junior Grand Slam tournaments

Arthur Ashe Stadium, with a capacity of 22771, is the largest tennis arena in the world (the 16,100 seat Indian Wells Stadium is second); our group visited for the Thursday and Friday day sessions the first week of the tournament

Arthur Ashe Stadium, with a capacity of 22771, is the largest tennis arena in the world (the 16,100 seat Indian Wells Stadium is second); our group visited for the Thursday and Friday day sessions the first week of the tournament

I hadn't realized that former world no. 1 Garbine Muguruza was born in Venezuela before moving to Spain when she was 6; despite success at other Grand Slam tournaments, she's never made it past the fourth round here

I hadn't realized that former world no. 1 Garbine Muguruza was born in Venezuela before moving to Spain when she was 6; despite success at other Grand Slam tournaments, she's never made it past the fourth round here

The Grandstand Court (seats 8125) is just about the perfect size with every seat giving you a good view of the action; this year all calls were made electronically with no actual linespeople

The Grandstand Court (seats 8125) is just about the perfect size with every seat giving you a good view of the action; this year all calls were made electronically with no actual linespeople

Taylor Fritz, who captured the US Open boy's title in 2015, has never gone beyond the third round of a Grand Slam tournament; his mother played pro tennis and her family founded May Department Stores which ultimately merged with Macy's

Taylor Fritz, who captured the US Open boy's title in 2015, has never gone beyond the third round of a Grand Slam tournament; his mother played pro tennis and her family founded May Department Stores which ultimately merged with Macy's

Denis Shapovalov rose to prominence by reaching the semifinals at the 2017 Canadian Open as an 18-year-old, beating Juan Martín del Potro and Rafael Nadal; he was ranked 10 in the world last year but has never done very well at the majors

Denis Shapovalov rose to prominence by reaching the semifinals at the 2017 Canadian Open as an 18-year-old, beating Juan Martín del Potro and Rafael Nadal; he was ranked 10 in the world last year but has never done very well at the majors

This year, spectators had to be vaccinated to attend but the glances given vaccine cards was cursory at best; since 1978, the tournament has been played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Park, Queens

This year, spectators had to be vaccinated to attend but the glances given vaccine cards was cursory at best; since 1978, the tournament has been played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Park, Queens

Former world number 3, Sloane Stephens had a couple of good wins (Keys and Gauff) before falling to Angelique Kerber in the third round; I never knew that she dated Jack Sock for more than a year earlier in their careers

Former world number 3, Sloane Stephens had a couple of good wins (Keys and Gauff) before falling to Angelique Kerber in the third round; I never knew that she dated Jack Sock for more than a year earlier in their careers

There are separate tickets to the night sessions which start at 7pm on the two largest stadium courts (with the biggest names playing); the day session matches often run long so you can stay and watch past 7pm on all courts except those two stadium courts

There are separate tickets to the night sessions which start at 7pm on the two largest stadium courts (with the biggest names playing); the day session matches often run long so you can stay and watch past 7pm on all courts except those two stadium courts

Victoria Azarenka is a three-time finalist at the US Open, finishing runner-up to Serena Williams in both 2012 and 2013 and to Naomi Osaka in 2020 (after defeating Serena in the semis); we watched her fall to Muguruza in the 3rd round

Victoria Azarenka is a three-time finalist at the US Open, finishing runner-up to Serena Williams in both 2012 and 2013 and to Naomi Osaka in 2020 (after defeating Serena in the semis); we watched her fall to Muguruza in the 3rd round

We watched an aggressive Jenson Brooksby, coming off an excellent summer hard court season, defeat Taylor Fritz; he became the youngest American (he's 20) to reach the US Open fourth round since a then 20-year-old Andy Roddick did so in 2002

We watched an aggressive Jenson Brooksby, coming off an excellent summer hard court season, defeat Taylor Fritz; he became the youngest American (he's 20) to reach the US Open fourth round since a then 20-year-old Andy Roddick did so in 2002

As much as I love his backhand, the strong anti-vaccine stance taken by Stefanos Tsitsipas had me cheering for Carlos Alcaraz when we saw them compete; I first watched Tsitsipas at Indian Wells a few years ago and recognized the great potential he had

As much as I love his backhand, the strong anti-vaccine stance taken by Stefanos Tsitsipas had me cheering for Carlos Alcaraz when we saw them compete; I first watched Tsitsipas at Indian Wells a few years ago and recognized the great potential he had

Posted by VagabondCowboy 05:48 Comments (0)

National Postal Museum in DC full of interesting exhibits

The National Postal Museum, located opposite Union Station in Washington, D.C., is a joint venture between the US Postal Service and the Smithsonian Institution and opened in 1993; it had just reopened when I visited after being closed due to Covid

The National Postal Museum, located opposite Union Station in Washington, D.C., is a joint venture between the US Postal Service and the Smithsonian Institution and opened in 1993; it had just reopened when I visited after being closed due to Covid

The Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system; first issued in the UK, on May 1, 1840, the stamp features a profile of Queen Victoria

The Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system; first issued in the UK, on May 1, 1840, the stamp features a profile of Queen Victoria

This letter was sent from the RMS Titanic (RMS stands for Royal Mail Steamer) shortly before it left Southampton, UK on its maiden voyage to New York City; as with all Smithsonian Museum locations, admission was free

This letter was sent from the RMS Titanic (RMS stands for Royal Mail Steamer) shortly before it left Southampton, UK on its maiden voyage to New York City; as with all Smithsonian Museum locations, admission was free

Famous stamp collectors have included Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, John Lennon, Queen Elizabeth II, Pope Francis, Ansel Adams and James Michener; my mom and I were both avid stamp collectors in our younger days

Famous stamp collectors have included Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, John Lennon, Queen Elizabeth II, Pope Francis, Ansel Adams and James Michener; my mom and I were both avid stamp collectors in our younger days

Jeweler Harry Winston mailed the world-famous Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in November, 1958; the postage was $2.44 but Winston did pay to insure the package for $1 million too

Jeweler Harry Winston mailed the world-famous Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in November, 1958; the postage was $2.44 but Winston did pay to insure the package for $1 million too

NC stamps; the National Postal Museum houses one of the largest and most significant philatelic and postal history collections in the world and one of the world’s most comprehensive library resources on philately and postal history

NC stamps; the National Postal Museum houses one of the largest and most significant philatelic and postal history collections in the world and one of the world’s most comprehensive library resources on philately and postal history

This is one of the 360 pieces of mail (out of 17,000) that was saved when the German passenger airship Hindenburg crashed in 1937 in NJ killing 35 of the 97 people on board; this letter reached its recipient in a glassine envelope

This is one of the 360 pieces of mail (out of 17,000) that was saved when the German passenger airship Hindenburg crashed in 1937 in NJ killing 35 of the 97 people on board; this letter reached its recipient in a glassine envelope

The USPS traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general; the National Postal Museum is located in the beautiful building that housed DC's post office from 1914 until 1986

The USPS traces its roots to 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first postmaster general; the National Postal Museum is located in the beautiful building that housed DC's post office from 1914 until 1986

Looking at this envelope, sent by Pony Express, it's amazing mail ever reached its intended recipient!; before postage stamps, rates would vary wildly and fees were paid by the recipient who sometimes refused to pay

Looking at this envelope, sent by Pony Express, it's amazing mail ever reached its intended recipient!; before postage stamps, rates would vary wildly and fees were paid by the recipient who sometimes refused to pay

Fred Wiseman flew the first government sanctioned airmail in world history on this plane on February 17, 1911; the 17 mile trip between Petaluma and Santa Rosa, CA took two days to complete (he could only get 100 ft off the ground!)

Fred Wiseman flew the first government sanctioned airmail in world history on this plane on February 17, 1911; the 17 mile trip between Petaluma and Santa Rosa, CA took two days to complete (he could only get 100 ft off the ground!)

After the Continental Army's brutal winter at Valley Forge, Quartermaster General Nathanael Greene (namesake of Greensboro) sent this letter desperately seeking supplies; the museum was full of fascinating pieces such as this

After the Continental Army's brutal winter at Valley Forge, Quartermaster General Nathanael Greene (namesake of Greensboro) sent this letter desperately seeking supplies; the museum was full of fascinating pieces such as this

Half of the world’s mail volume is handled by the USPS (150  billion pieces annually); 155  million delivery points are served by roughly 500,000 employees (they also get 37 million changes of address each year)

Half of the world’s mail volume is handled by the USPS (150+ billion pieces annually); 155+ million delivery points are served by roughly 500,000 employees (they also get 37 million changes of address each year)

It is estimated that 10% of San Marino's revenue is generated by the sale of its postage stamps to international collectors; the government of San Marino has the world's only philatelic minister of state

It is estimated that 10% of San Marino's revenue is generated by the sale of its postage stamps to international collectors; the government of San Marino has the world's only philatelic minister of state

Concord-style mail coaches (this one was built in 1851) first appeared in the 1820s and remained in use into the early 1900s; today more than 90% of US mail is carried by long-haul trucks

Concord-style mail coaches (this one was built in 1851) first appeared in the 1820s and remained in use into the early 1900s; today more than 90% of US mail is carried by long-haul trucks

From June 2015 until December 2018, the museum displayed the 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, the world's most valuable stamp, which sold for nearly $10 million

From June 2015 until December 2018, the museum displayed the 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, the world's most valuable stamp, which sold for nearly $10 million

In 1931 the USPS acquired 1000 Ford Model A trucks to deliver parcel post (packages too large for letter carrier pouches); ZIP codes were introduced in 1963 followed by the ZIP 4 format which was added in 1983

In 1931 the USPS acquired 1000 Ford Model A trucks to deliver parcel post (packages too large for letter carrier pouches); ZIP codes were introduced in 1963 followed by the ZIP+4 format which was added in 1983

In 1848 Mauritius, then a British colony, issued stamps showing Queen Victoria at age 18; some of the world's most valuable stamps are ones that were mistakes such as the stamp on the right where 'pence' is misspelled

In 1848 Mauritius, then a British colony, issued stamps showing Queen Victoria at age 18; some of the world's most valuable stamps are ones that were mistakes such as the stamp on the right where 'pence' is misspelled

Named after its primary benefactor (he gave $8 million in 2009), the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery is the world’s largest gallery dedicated to philately; distributed throughout the thematic areas are hundreds of pullout frames containing 20,000  objects

Named after its primary benefactor (he gave $8 million in 2009), the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery is the world’s largest gallery dedicated to philately; distributed throughout the thematic areas are hundreds of pullout frames containing 20,000+ objects

This anthrax-laced envelope and letter were part of an interesting exhibit on postal inspectors; each year they arrest roughly 1500 people for mail fraud, investigate 200 robberies and arrest 2500 for money laundering or drug trafficking

This anthrax-laced envelope and letter were part of an interesting exhibit on postal inspectors; each year they arrest roughly 1500 people for mail fraud, investigate 200 robberies and arrest 2500 for money laundering or drug trafficking

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