Exploring the Unnatural

826DC storefront

The Museum of Unnatural History - an open door into the creative genius of 826DC.

Rather than spend an overcast Sunday afternoon at one of the Smithsonian Museums, I ventured in a different direction toward the Museum of Unnatural History in Columbia Heights.  This museum, as it calls itself, is no bigger than my living room, but creatively arranged to showcase the imagination of author Dave Eggers and the 826DC branch.  The retail store fronts the writing center and sparks the interests of adults and children.

Among the curiosities are posters of the splendiforous and unimaginable and a species ID chart, as well as cleverly re-labeled household items, like Primordial Soup cans, Sabertooth Dental Floss the size of rope, and dry socks, literally.  For a few dollars, you can walk away with an artifact, including the missing link in a jar.  Amazingly, the chain links aren’t even rusty.  Everything is well designed, down to the t-shirts and onesies, as well as  the fictional creature skeleton in the middle of the room.

Though not located at 826, the Museum of Unnatural History opens to a friendly plaza, where children took a break from the summer heat in the interactive fountain.  Across the street are plenty of restaurants and larger retailers, including a Target, Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond.  However, if you are looking for something beyond the ordinary Columbia Heights stops, this unique space should not be missed.   If you aren’t in the area, you can visit the online store at http://826dc.org/?page_id=24

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