I’d actually been once before, in 2004. I was working on a story for U.S. News & World Report about the Piccards, a family of Swiss explorers. One of their exploration vehicles is in the museum.
My visit last month was inspired by a press release—somewhere in the torrent that fills my inbox every day—about how the museum would be slightly easier to get to than usual in the month of August. Usually you have to find your way through one of the Washington Navy Yard’s gates (which gate depends on which day of the week you’re visiting). In August, they opened an entrance from the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail directly into the museum’s Cold War Gallery. So, it wasn’t earthshattering, but it was a good enough reason to drop by.
It was worth going just for the walk along the Anacostia from the baseball stadium to the Navy Yard. It is completely different from the last time I was in that area, a couple of years ago.