Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
Pity the poor out-of-towners hoping to see the pandas at the National Zoo. First, there’s the Metro problem (the Woodley Park-Zoo station on the Red Line is actually farther—and uphill!—than the Cleveland Park Metro). Worse, if tourists’ kids are tired from the hike, renting a stroller for them costs $9. For members of Friends of the National Zoo, it’s $3—but since a household membership is $70, that’s only a good deal for locals (free parking and the chance to host birthday parties in the park are the big draws). Chances are most tourist families are already toting strollers, the better to block Metro escalators with, but still: It’s an impressive attempt by zoo officials to jack up the prices on visitors from afar, free of worry that they might not return.