The National Mall in Washington, D.C. this morning didn't look all that different from any other day. The clues were subtle: road blocks around the park area, closed concession stands, and signs on printer paper taped to the inside of the Smithsonian museum doors. And despite the news of a shutdown gracing the front page of every major newspaper, tourists were still milling about and snapping posed group shots.
Paul Sobczyk, visiting from Nebraska, was waiting outside the Museum of Natural History for it to open. "Every one of these is closed today? I did not know that, I thought they opened at 10 o'clock," he said. "I didn't know it would impact me this much, I really wanted to see these museums."
Anna and Ed Hawkins from West Virginia were walking along the mall. "I just think our elected officials ought to be doing their job instead of fighting among themselves like kids," Ed said.
D.C. resident Adrian Vaagenes brought his two young daughters down to the mall. "I think it’s pretty ridiculous...I can't believe that the Republicans would be willing to shut down the government over this," he said. "I’m pretty upset about it, but we figured that no one was going to be down here so it might be fun to come down and wander around a little bit."