Hello! Welcome to Trip Hacks DC, my name is Rob. I’m a tour guide here in the nation’s capital. In 2017 I started posting videos on this channel to share my best tips, tricks, and travel hacks for exploring Washington DC. And now, I am extremely excited to announce the launch of the Trip Hacks DC Podcast. If you’re a fan of the YouTube content, don’t worry, these videos are not going anywhere, and I’m going to continue to produce new ones. The podcast is going to be a way for me to share even more information with you. YouTube videos are great. Don’t get me wrong. But realistically I can only make them about 5 to 8 minutes long and some topics definitely deserve a lot more than that small amount of time. The other thing is even though some people think this, I am NOT actually an expert on all things Washington DC. The podcast is going to be an opportunity for me to invite guests to share their own expertise in an interview format. Episode number one is already available, so you can head over to your favorite podcast app and search for Trip Hacks DC, or you can head on over to www.triphacksdc.com/podcast to listen there, and I created a second YouTube channel where I’m going to be posting clips and highlights from the podcast. So if you like these videos make sure to check out the video description for a link to that new channel where you can go and subscribe. The first episode features one of my fellow tour guides and we really dig in to some of the stories about the monuments and memorials on the National Mall. The full 30-minute episode will cover things like how we even decide when we’re going to build a monument or memorial, who decides where it’s gonna go, what its gonna look like, and how we wound up with a situation where there’s so many now that when you come on tour with me it takes three hours to see all of them. I hope that you’ll go check it out, and if you like it leave a rating or review in your favorite podcast app. To give you a little flavor of what to expect, Here’s a clip from our first episode. Enjoy! I don’t think there’s been a single monument or memorial on the National Mall that was built without some sort of controversy, without some sort of pushback, someone who didn’t like the location, didn’t like who it was for, didn’t like the design of it, and so do you have an example of another one, you know other than Vietnam or other than World War I that had some controversy around it? Maybe one that we think of as being completely uncontroversial like Lincoln or Jefferson? Yeah. Sure. So even the Washington Monument, there’s whole books written about the Washington Monument and how long it took. There was a 22-year gap of time where the Washington Monument just stood as this ugly stump that one took forever mostly because of funding. They had actually limited donations to the construction of the monument to $1 because they wanted everyone you know, to be able to participate, which is a nice idea but they kind of shot themselves in the foot, then the Civil War happened, a lot a lot a lot of controversy there. But the most sort of poignant story I think is when states were donating stones, so if you ever – the Washington Monument has been closed now since, well, more or less since 2011. Yeah, you can’t go up in an elevator and go to a beautiful observation deck when it’s open. That’s a big asterisk because it was closed for earthquake damage and now it’s closed again for an elevator replacement and repair. But they say it’s gonna reopen in 2020 which means 2030, so you never know, but when you have a chance to go you go up in the elevator and you see all these stones along the inside and they were all donated by different states, but there was actually one piece of stone that never made it because it was donated by the Pope, and at the time there was this political party in power that was really anti-Catholic and so they didn’t want this beautiful piece of Vatican marble installed and they didn’t handle it diplomatically. They waited months and months as this beautiful slab of stone is traveling all across the world and it’s finally sitting on the construction site and in the middle of the night these four men sneak onto the site, kidnap, the guard smash, the stone and dump it into the Potomac River. So it never makes it. So even though we think of the Washington Monument as being this obvious you know, pillar to our founding father and giant obelisk on the mall, it also had its long long history of controversy. And that long history of controversy is the reason why when you come and you look at and you say, how did they screw this up making it to different colors of stone? Yeah. It’s because they started the project and then because of that long long delay by the time they went back to finish the project they didn’t have stone from the quarry that matched the color anymore. So we wound up with a kind of an odd looking monument there. Yeah, I had to kid on my tour the other day. Tell me we should just paint it which is charming.