Last Saturday I drove up to Columbia Hights in upper Northwest Washington, DC, to visit the pride of my buddies Oliver Uberti and Minh Le, co-Creative Directors and volunteers of 826 National‘s newest child: 826DC. What is 826?
826DC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around our understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.
And now there is on in DC. I remember a few years ago when Ollie and I registered 826dc.org because we both love Dave Eggers and Ollie had the idea that maybe if he set up a booby trap, someone would reach out to him asking for it back and he would know when it was time — and it worked!
Here’s my version of a walk-through based on the live tweeting I did last Saturday afternoon! Here’s the announcement from the 826DC website:
On Saturday, 826DC’s Museum of Unnatural History flung open its doors for our kick-off community event, where packs of visitors received docent- and self-guided tours of the museum’s exhibits–such as our Instant Scientific Theory Generator, Alternative Species Assembly Kiosk, and the museum’s long anticipated “boar wing.” But the tours also took visitors behind the velvet rope to our tutoring lab, where we held free poetry, ‘zine making, and cartooning workshops for eager young unnaturalists.
And here’s the walk through — enjoy!
Tweet: Here at 826DC’s open house! Come over! 3233 14th St, NW! Amazing! http://yfrog.com/5y3d5nj
I know for a fact that Ollie made that crazy unnatural skeleton in his apartment using pieces and parts he was able to source from friends of 826 and friends of Oliver’s
Tweet: Some of the amazing unnatural products awaiting you at 826 DC here at 3233 14th St, NW, in DC. Open! http://yfrog.com/j1hezgj
Tweet: I am unsure as to whether to feel threatened or delighted by the 826DC museum of unnatural history. http://yfrog.com/jdthmj
Tweet: Important unnatural proof of the history of the unnatural: a journal! #826dc http://yfrog.com/emnzwxj
Tweet: Our unnatural history awaits us at 826DC up here in Columbia Heights. http://yfrog.com/n9x4huj
Tweet: Always wanted to become an unnaturalist? Rush to 3233 14th, NW, and buy some cool gear! #826dc http://yfrog.com/5xglnvj
I love the field journals that are actually TP and the “Cambell’s” Primordial Soup!
Tweet: Stock up on Informaldehyde at the 826dc unnaturalist store! 3233 14th St, NW, Columbia Heights, DC http://yfrog.com/af8flmj
Tweet: Get outfitted for unnatural expeditions at 826dc’s Unnatural History store! Open house today! http://yfrog.com/777xfj
I might start taking an overdose of Gills because I really would love to stay underwater forever while I am freediving!
I am fascinated by this crazy thing that Ollie built. I am also pretty sure that Andrew Curry and Minh Le also took part in some pretty cool “monster mashing” parties.
Tweet: Hanging here with Oliver Uberti and Minh Lê at this most amazing and fantastical place you could imagine. For adults but especially for kids
Tweet: Beware of even the plants at the unnatural history museum at 826dc in DC’s Columbia Heights! http://yfrog.com/4jtagvj
I aspire to become part of the Unnaturalist Society!
I bought myself a $15 tote bag — and my money goes straight to help support the tutoring center.
See, this is actually a double-secret free tutoring center for kids — please don’t tell the landlord because the retail place is apparently only licensed for a retail space — the store out front — the whole Unnnatural History Museum is a complete distraction from Mr. Taxman!
I was a little afraid to use the loo, that’s for sure.
Nobody every actually told me who this fellow is.
I tried speaking to this little robot but he just spit at me!
I don’t trust this guy at all. He’s sort of a garish dresser. And awkward in heels.
The main tutoring center. What a generous, huge, and pleasant place!
Couches for very deep thinking! For very deep thoughts.
Some sightings of the unnatural world.
Tweet: 826DC is not only an unnaturalist’s paradise but a free tutoring center for city kids! 3233 14th NW http://yfrog.com/e6iticj
Tweet: Here at the open house of 826DC with Oliver Uberti and Mihn Lê. So much more amazing and fantastical than I could have ever imagined!
The pleasant and attractive money-grabbers, volunteers, and officiants of the material world at the front of the center. Doing a scarily good job at hiding and protecting the tutoring center in the back (shhhhh!)
The front of the store with the lovely and appealing things that are for sale to us all!
Aimee, Minh, and Effie just chilling and enjoying the day together at this amazing and beautiful tribute to learning and teaching.
Mr. and Mrs. Le!
More cool stuff to buy. Yes, admit it! All those scary dinosaurs were just very big ducks!
Oliver Uberti showing everyone around the 826DC Museum of Unnatural History on Open House Day!