I went to DC for the weekend to see the Mrs., who began her job the Tuesday after President’s Day Weekend and moved into the apartment last week. The new job and commute has been going well, but is nevertheless difficult and challenging on many levels as you might imagine. This was my first trip to Washington since February. Saturday we took advantage of the warmish late winter weather to visit the Mall. The cherry blossoms are not yet in bloom but it was nonetheless a gorgeous day.
I was glad to see that the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is proceeding apace. The sign above is from the construction site. I couldn’t resist sticking my camera above the chain link fence and take the picture of the footprint.
2015 is not far away.
We next walked down the Mall to the Martin Luther King jr. Memorial. No one deserves to be recognized on the Mall more that Dr. King, but I am afraid I must concur with the monument’s detractors. I understand what they were trying to accomplish but the Soviet Realist statue just doesn’t work. Still, it was good to see people congregating around the monument to one America’s great citizens. Maybe that’s enough.
I hope the powers-that-be think the Eisenhower Memorial through all the way before they build something that will remain on some of our nation’s most precious space for decades to come.
The Hayfoot noticed that a ranger tour was in progress and so naturally we joined. The ranger really knew his stuff. We were on the tour for a good hour. Later I asked him where he began and he said the Lincoln Memorial. I was surprised because if you know the National Mall you know this is a pretty fair distance. The entire talk must have been more than two hours and he was picking up people as he went. We were in awe. I cannot overstate how much he brought to the experience.
I had never seen the FDR Memorial before and did not know it was so large. The memorial is divided into different “rooms,” each covering different parts of Roosevelt’s presidency. There is a lot going on but it all ties together seamlessly and there is a nice mix of realism and avant-gardism. Above is the less controversial FDR statue; less so because his wheelchair is somewhat obscured by the cape. There is a smaller likeness of the 32nd president sitting in a chair in the memorial’s “prologue.” I thought both showed his humanity and vulnerability.
Note the right index finger. The shininess is the wear caused by people touching the statue. The damage is a reminder of why one should not do that.
. . . Listening attentively to a fireside chat. The sculptor captured the earnestness of the listener.
This couple serve as a reminder that in much of the country the Depression began in the early 1920s, not with the Great Crash of ’29 and Dust Bowl as we believe in our collective memory.
. . . and last but not least the Jefferson Memorial. I had never realized quite how it all fits together until visit until this most recent visit. We are looking forward to more excursions when this spring and summer in one of the cities we now call home.