The Host City
Washington, D.C., is the host-city for Society of Toxicology’s 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting & ToxExpo™. Scientific Sessions will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center during the week of March 6–10, 2011.
In Washington, D.C., you’ll enjoy access to fascinating, FREE attractions and historic sights. Touch a moon rock, marvel at the Hope Diamond, view Dorothy’s Ruby Red slippers or explore Native American culture at the Smithsonian Institution’s fifteen Washington, D.C. area facilities. Discover treasures like the Gutenberg Bible at the Library of Congress, the only da Vinci painting in North America at the National Gallery of Art and historic documents like the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives.
Away from these celebrated federal sites, Washington, D.C. unwinds into a fascinating network of neighborhoods where visitors discover trendy boutiques, hip bars and restaurants, plus art galleries, historic homes and lush parks and gardens. Shoppers love the store-lined streets of Georgetown, while jazz music fans won’t want to miss a trip to U Street, where Duke Ellington played his first notes. The city’s international character shines through in its Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle neighborhoods, two prime destinations for eclectic dining and nightlife and the historic center of the city’s embassy community.
The arrival of several new eateries has made the nation’s capital a prime destination for dining out, with many of the city’s top tables located in the downtown Penn Quarter neighborhood. D.C. is also earning new recognition as a thriving performing arts town, with 65 professional theatre companies based in the metropolitan area presenting edgy world premieres and celebrated Broadway musicals throughout the year.
For more information, visit www.washington.org.
Green in Washington, D.C.
Seventy percent of land in Washington, D.C., is controlled by the National Park Service. There are 250,000 acres of parkland in the Greater Washington Metropolitan area. In 2007, D.C. was named the most walkable city in the U.S. in a study by the Brookings Institute. In late 2006, the D.C. City Council passed an initiative making the nationís capital the first major city to require devel-opers to adhere to guidelines established by the U.S. Green Building Council.The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is a green meeting facility, with earth-friendly features like low emission glass that controls heat gain and loss and maximizes natural lighting; energy-conserving heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems that operate in zones; high-efficiency lighting; automatic controls on restroom fixtures; plus recycling programs and easy public transportation access.
The following lists some of the ways the Center is going green:
- The Center’s infrastructure supports storm water management. The extensive roof system feeds rain water into nine (9) large underground collection tanks around the property. The tanks collect, filter, then release rainwater into the District of Columbia’s storm system at a slower rate.
- The Center recycles cardboard/mixed paper, glass, aluminum, plastic bottles and cans, fluorescent bulbs, toner cartridges, and batteries.
- In addition to a food composting program, Centerplate (caterer for the Convention Center) offers organic and locally grown food and donates excess to the D.C. Central Kitchen, a nationally recognized, nonprofit organization.
- Lighting in restrooms is controlled by a light sensor system. The restrooms also have infrared flush commodes, low flow urinals, and faucet sensors.
- The lighting system in over a mile of the service corridors is sensored.
- There are carbon dioxide sensors throughout the Center to ensure that appropriate levels of fresh air are being circulated.
- Bike racks are available for guests and staff.
- “Metrochecks” are provided as a transit benefit to all employees for daily commute on Metrorail and Metrobus.
Guest/Spouse Hospitality Room
The SOT Guest/Spouse Hospitality Room provides guest participants (non-scientists) with a place to meet and socialize with other guests. To visit the Hospitality Room, guests must register for the Annual Meeting with the person they are accompanying. Guests will not have access to the scientific sessions or the Exhibit Hall. Please remember to wear your badge to all SOT events. The Guest Hospitality Room will be located in the Renaissance Hotel.
Washington, D.C. Area Activities
Capital Segway Tours
1350 I Street NW, Washington, D.C. | 202.682.1980 | www.capitalsegway.com/tours
Take a Segway Tour of D.C. and cover an entire day’s worth of sightseeing in under three hours. You’ll glide through the United States capital on a simple-to-use, fun-to-ride, technological breakthrough, Segway PT, exploring historical sites like the White House, Washington Monument, National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, and the Capitol Building. And when it’s over you’ll still have plenty of time to tour even more of Washington, D.C.
Constitution Avenue NW between 3rd and 9th Streets
202.737.4215 | www.nga.gov
The National Gallery of Art, one of the world’s preeminent museums, was created for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution of Congress accepting the gift of financier, public servant, and art collector Andrew W. Mellon in 1937, the year of his death. The Gallery’s collection of some 116,000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, and decorative arts traces the development of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA | 703.780.2000 | www.mountvernon.org
The estate, gardens and farm of Mount Vernon totaled some 8,000 acres in the 18th century. Today, roughly 500 acres of this historic estate have been preserved 16 miles south of Washington, D.C., on the banks of the Potomac River. Visitors can see 20 structures and 50 acres of gardens as they existed in 1799. The estate also includes a museum, the tombs of George and Martha Washington, Washington’s greenhouse, an outdoor exhibit devoted to American agriculture as practiced by Washington, the nation’s most important memorial to the accomplishments of 18th century slaves, and a collection which features numerous decorative and domestic artifacts. Mount Vernon welcomes an average of 1,000,000 visitors each year.
International Spy Museum
800 F Street NW | 202.EYE SPY U (393.7798) | www.spymuseum.org
The International Spy Museum is the first and only public museum in the United States solely dedicated to espionage and the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on this all-but-invisible profession. It features the largest collection of international spy-related artifacts ever placed on public display. The stories of individual spies, told through film, interactives, and state-of-the-art exhibits, provide a dynamic context to foster an understanding of espionage and its impact on current and historic events. In addition to the Museum, the Complex includes a Museum Store, private dining and event facilities, and two restaurants: Zola and Spy City Cafe.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F Street NW | 202.467.4600 | www.kennedy-center.org
The Kennedy Center, located on 17 acres overlooking the Potomac River is America’s living memorial to President Kennedy as well as the nation’s busiest arts facility. Touring Kennedy Center productions and its television, radio, and Internet broadcasts reach millions around the world. As part of the Kennedy Center’s Performing Arts for Everyone program, more than 400 free performances are offered each year featuring international, national and local artists. These include daily 6:00 PM concerts on the Millennium Stage—which will celebrate its 13th anniversary this season—performances during the annual Open House Arts Festival, and concerts of seasonal music in December as part of the Kennedy Center Holiday Celebration. The Millennium Stage performances are broadcast live over the Internet and digitally archived on the Kennedy Center Web site.
Library of Congress
1st Street SE between Independence Avenue and East Capitol Street | 202.707.8000 | www.loc.gov
The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.
National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall
6th Street and Independence Avenue SW | 202.633.1000 | nasm.si.edu/museum/flagship.cfm
The National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. has hundreds of original, historic artifacts on display, including the Wright 1903 Flyer; the Spirit of St. Louis; the Apollo 11 command module Columbia; and a Lunar rock sample that visitors can touch.
The Museum offers 22 exhibition galleries, the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, flight simulators, a three-level Museum shop, and a food-court-style restaurant. Docent tours, daily free educational programs, and school group tours and activities are also available.
National Mall and Memorial Parks
202.426-6841 | www.nps.gov/nama
The National Mall stretches west from the foot of Capitol Hill at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial to encompass the original Mall area, the Washington Monument Grounds, the Tidal Basin area, and West Potomac Park before terminating at the Watergate Steps behind the Lincoln Memorial.
National Mall and Memorial Parks includes the following icons:
- National Mall
- Washington Monument
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial
- Lincoln Memorial
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
- World War II Memorial
- Korean War Veterans Memorial
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW | 202.633.1000 | americanhistory.si.edu
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History dedicates its collections and scholarship to inspiring a broader understanding of our nation and its many peoples. We create opportunities for learning, stimulate imaginations, and present challenging ideas about our country’s past.
The Museum collects and preserves more than 3 million artifacts—all true national treasures. We take care of everything from the original Star-Spangled Banner and Abraham Lincoln’s top hat to Dizzy Gillespie’s angled trumpet and Dorothy’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.” Our collections form a fascinating mosaic of American life and comprise the greatest single collection of American history.
National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW | www.mnh.si.edu
The National Museum of Natural History is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s preeminent museum and research complex. The Museum is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collections, exhibitions, and education outreach programs. Opened in 1910, the green-domed museum on the National Mall was among the first Smithsonian building constructed exclusively to house the national collections and research facilities.
National Museum of the American Indian
4th Street and Independence Avenue SW | 202.633.1000 | www.nmai.si.edu
The National Museum of the American Indian is the sixteenth museum of the Smithsonian Institution. It is the first national museum dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of Native Americans. Established by an act of Congress in 1989 (amendment in 1996), the museum works in collaboration with the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere to protect and foster their cultures by reaffirming traditions and beliefs, encouraging contemporary artistic expression, and empowering the Indian voice.
National Zoological Park
3001 Connecticut Avenue NW | 202.633.4800 | nationalzoo.si.edu
The National Zoo is a 163 acre zoological park set amid Rock Creek Park in the heart of Washington, D.C. Open to the public 364 days a year, it is home to 2,000 individual animals of nearly 400 different species. Their best known residents are their giant pandas, Tian Tian, and Mei Xiang.
100 Constitution Ave NE | 202.226.8000 | www.visitthecapitol.gov
The U.S. Capitol is open to the public for tours Monday through Saturday. Tickets are to tour the U.S. Capitol. To guarantee availability, you should reserve your tour in advance on-line at www.visitthecapitol.gov or through your congressional representative or senator. A limited number of same-day tour tickets may also be available at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Tickets are not required to tour the Capitol Visitor Center, which is open 8:30 AM–4:30 PM, Monday through Saturday. Visit www.aoc.gov for more information.
The U.S. Capitol is among the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world. The Senate and the House of Representatives have met here for more than two centuries. Begun in 1793, the U.S. Capitol has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored; today, it stands as a monument not only to its builders but also to the American people and their government.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW | 202.456.7041 | www.whitehouse.gov
Tours of the White House are available by advance arrangement through your member of congress or senator. Tours are arranged for groups of ten or more, but smaller groups and families should not be discouraged from requesting to join a tour. You should submit a request through your congressperson’s office at least one month and up to six months in advance. Visitors who are not U.S. citizens should contact their embassy in D.C. about tours for international visitors, which are arranged through the Protocol Desk at the State Department. The tours are self-guided and will run from 7:30 AM until 12:30 PM Tuesday through Saturday. You can locate your congressperson’s office by visiting www.house.gov. For your senator’s office, visit www.senate.gov.
Washington, D.C. 100 Free (and Almost Free) Things—Take a look at some of the fun, free, and almost free experiences that await you in Washington D.C.
Sports and Recreation
Washington, D.C. is home to six professional sports teams. The Washington Nationals (MLB Baseball), The Washington Redskins (NFL Football), The Washington Capitals (NHL Hockey), The Washington Wizards (NBA Basketball), The Washington Mystics (WNBA Basketball), and the D.C. United (MLS Soccer) offer fans a professional sports experience any time of year.
You can combine your exercise regimen with your sightseeing adventures in D.C. by taking part in a walking or bicycle tour, designed with active travelers in mind. D.C.’s wide sidewalks and flat roads make it perfect for exploring on foot or on bicycle; in fact, the District was recently named the most pedestrian-friendly city in the U.S. in a study by the Brookings Institute.
With more than 230,000 acres of parkland within the metro area, D.C. is a nature-lover’s paradise. If you’re looking for a place to picnic or an urban retreat, escape to a beautiful park or garden.
Visitors and locals converge on the capital’s excellent jogging trails and beautiful biking routes—more than 800 miles of them in the region. Put on your sneakers and check out D.C.’s best paths.
Capitol Hill/Barracks Row
Metro: Union Station, Capitol South, Eastern Market
Circulator: East-West route
The historic neighborhood that sits in the shadows of the Capitol dome offers shoppers a mix of nationally-known retail outlets and neighborhood specialty boutiques. Take Metro to the Eastern Market station and join locals at one of the city’s liveliest open-air weekend arts and crafts markets. On 8th Street SE, also known as Barracks Row, you’ll discover pet shops, antique shops and more. Union Station, D.C.’s glorious Beaux-Arts train station, houses dozens of familiar shops like Victoria’s Secret, The Body Shop, Ann Taylor, and Nine West.
Chevy Chase & Friendship Heights
Metro: Friendship Heights
One of the most elite addresses in metropolitan Washington, Chevy Chase straddles the border of D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland. Take Metro’s Red Line to the Friendship Heights station to shop for high-end designer fashions at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales. A new shopping development, the Collection at Chevy Chase, attracts discerning shoppers to exclusive boutiques like Jimmy Choo, Max Mara, Gucci, and Tiffany. Near the Friendship Heights Metro, you’ll also find budget-friendly favorites like TJ Maxx and Loehmann’s, along with shopping mainstays like J Crew, Pottery Barn, and World Market.
Metro: Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown
Circulator: North-South and East-West routes
D.C.’s downtown has welcomed a wave of development in recent years, including the arrival of new shopping destinations. Chinatown’s Gallery Place development includes popular shops like Urban Outfitters, Aveda and City Sports. Take a walk down F Street to sample gourmet cheeses at Cowgirl Creamery or shop for hip fashions at H&M or Zara. Stock up on stylish home furnishings at West Elm or browse 7th Street’s galleries for showpieces by emerging artists. Downtown is also home to Macy’s, Filene’s Basement and dozens of nationally-known retail outlets.
Metro: Dupont Circle
This eclectic, cosmopolitan neighborhood is home to trendy galleries, used bookshops and national retail outlets. Pick up funky accessories at the Proper Topper, one-of-a-kind gift items at the Tiny Jewel Box or browse gay and lesbian literature at Lambda Rising. Get a taste of D.C. after dark at Kramerbooks, a late-night bookstore and bar. Travel along Connecticut Avenue towards the White House and you’ll pass Brooks Brothers, Thomas Pink and other leading names in retail. On Sundays, the neighborhood’s farmers market turns the Circle into a veritable feast for the senses.
Circulator: East-West route
Serious shoppers won’t want to miss a trip to Georgetown, one of D.C.’s most celebrated shopping destinations. At once hip and historic, the neighborhood’s cobblestone streets are lined with locally-owned boutiques, antique shops and national retail outlets. Well-known chains like Banana Republic, Coach, and Restoration Hardware are located in the heart of the neighborhood, near the intersection of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue. Stroll up Wisconsin Avenue to shop independently-owned boutiques like Sassanova, Urban Chic, and Piccolo Piggies. On M Street, you’ll find a mix of retailers like Intermix and Anthropologie, along with D.C. exclusives like Hu’s Shoes and Dawn Price Baby.
Logan Circle/U Street/Shaw
Metro: U Street/Afr-Am Civil War Mem’l/Cardozo
Locally-owned retail rules the shopping scene on 14th and U Streets, near Logan Circle. Fun and funky home furnishing shops like Go Mama Go! and Home Rule stock playful kitchen accessories, tableware and wearable art. Locals gather at the bohemian bookstore and restaurant, Busboys & Poets, to surf the Internet, chat about politics or participate in open mic nights. For apparel, check out Pink November, Nana, Destination U, Lettie Gooch, and other uniquely D.C. shopping destinations.
Dining and Nightlife
There’s a reason that D.C. is considered one of the most exciting restaurant towns in the country. Just footsteps from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the Penn Quarter section of downtown draws lively crowds to some of the city’s hottest restaurants, including Oyamel and Brasserie Beck, voted two of 2007’s best new restaurants in the country by Esquire food critic John Mariani.
As local chefs and home-grown talent make names for themselves, some of the world’s leading chefs have also set up shop in the District. Celebrity chefs like Eric Ripert, Wolfgang Puck, and Laurent Tourondel have joined local culinary talents like Jose Andres, Michel Richard, and Robert Wiedmaier, opening new restaurants in the nation’s capital.
While sleek and stylish hotspots add a new twist to the D.C. dining scene, you can’t go wrong by feasting on a steak and martini at a classic power dining spot. Rub elbows with a Representative or spot a Senator at award-winning restaurants like The Palm, Sam & Harry’s, or Capital Grille. When celebrities come to town, their destination is often Georgetown’s Café Milano.
If you’re in the mood for more than just a great meal, you’re in luck. When the sun goes down, D.C. sizzles with great options for nightlife and entertainment. The D.C. music scene is best experienced live, and there are plenty of top-notch venues to check out. The 9:30 Club packs in crowds nightly and earns its reputation as the best live-music venue in the country, according to Esquire. In Georgetown, Blues Alley has hosted its share of musical greats as the nation’s oldest jazz supper club. For a distinctly D.C. live music experience, look for go-go, a fusion of African percussion with hints of Latin, jazz, funk, hip-hop and soul that got its start in the District.
North of the Convention Center, the U Street/ Shaw neighborhood was once known as “Black Broadway,” a popular touring stop for jazz legends like Miles Davis, Cab Calloway and D.C. native Duke Ellington, who was born on V Street. Today the neighborhood is a must-see for music history buffs and jazz fans who gather for live sets and jam sessions at Polly’s, HR-57, Bohemian Caverns and other venues.
You can experience D.C.’s international side and travel through a global village of casual, affordable restaurants and lively bars in Adams Morgan, a neighborhood that’s synonymous with late-night entertainment. After dinner, show off your salsa moves or sing along to 80s hits at the bars and clubs that line 18th Street and Columbia Road.
Downtown pulses with its own nightlife scene, drawing fashionable crowds to restaurants and lounges like the Park at Fourteenth, Lima and k street lounge for chic cocktails, mellow music, dancing and conversation.
There’s more to D.C. after dark than dinner, drinks and dancing. Theatre lovers will discover that there’s almost always something playing at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts, Arena Stage and downtown venues like the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, the Warner Theatre and the National Theatre. If you’re a sports fan, check the calendar at the Verizon Center to see who’s playing. Or, watch the Washington Nationals take the field at the new Nationals Park in Southeast D.C. Group ticket rates are frequently available for theatre and sporting events.
Washington, D.C. Fun Facts
- Although D.C. residents pay taxes to the federal government, they do not have a voting representative in Congress. That’s why you may see license plates on cars that say “No Taxation without Representation.”
- D.C. averages 39 inches of rainfall a year—more than Seattle.
- The first official White House Christmas Tree was decorated by Benjamin Harrison and family.
- The word “lobbyist” became popular with President Ulysses S. Grant’s disdain for the interest groups who bothered him while he relaxed in the Willard Hotel’s lobby.
- Gallaudet University began the tradition of the football huddle in the 1890s, in order to conceal their signed plays from the opposing team.
- The U.S. government is based in D.C., but the city is run by a mayor and the city council. The mayor and the city council members are elected to four year terms.
- The District of Columbia was named after the great explorer Christopher Columbus.
- The White House was being built while George Washington was in office, so he never actually lived there.
- The White House was originally called the “President’s Palace” or the “President’s House.” A Baltimore reporter once called it the “white house” in a newspaper article and the name caught on. Theodore Roosevelt made this the official name in 1901.
- That famous red phone that’s depicted in many movies isn’t actually in the Oval Office. It’s in the Pentagon.
- Just as the Supreme Court didn’t get a permanent home until 1932, the government didn’t provide an official residence for the Vice President until 1974.
- The Library of Congress, the biggest library in the U.S., contains 535 miles of bookshelves. In the Reading Room alone there are 45,000 reference books.
- Woodrow Wilson is the only president to live in Washington, D.C. after his terms in office. You can tour his former home, the Woodrow Wilson House Museum, located near Dupont Circle.
- Nationals Park is on track to be the first “green-certified” baseball stadium in the country.
- D.C. is a very international city, home to more than 170 embassies and international cultural centers. The city’s colleges and universities host about 20,000 international students each year, and 15% of D.C. residents speak a language other than English at home.
- The National Gallery of Art is home to the Ginevra de Benci, the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in the Western Hemisphere.
- There are no skyscrapers in D.C. Many people believe that this is because of a law saying that the Capitol was to be the tallest in the city. In fact, the fire department put limits on building heights in 1894 because their firefighting equipment wouldn’t reach high enough to keep tall buildings safe. Congress later set limits on the heights of buildings in D.C., 90 feet for homes and apartments and 110 feet for office buildings. In 1989, the Height of Buildings Act was passed, ensuring that the city skyline wouldn’t be dominated by skyscrapers.
- There is one building that is taller than the Capitol, the Cairo apartment building, located at the corner of 16th and Q Streets, NW. It was built before the laws were passed limiting the height of buildings. It stands 165 feet tall.
- The Washington Monument is taller than all buildings, measuring 555 feet and 5 1/8 inches tall.
- While the famous people you associate in D.C. may be politicians, it’s also the hometown of famous musicians like Duke Ellington, John Phillips Sousa, Roberta Flack, and Chuck Brown.
- D.C. was voted the most walkable city in the U.S. in a study by the Brookings Institution in 2007.
- The Capitol Dome took 11 years to build. On top of the dome is the “Statue of Freedom,” which may look small, but it’s actually 19 feet 6 inches tall and weighs approximately 15,000 pounds.
© 2010–2011 Society of Toxicology. All right reserved.