Friday, August 11, 2006

A Friday night tour of DC

For the first time in weeks I didn't have a plan in place for Friday night. This is most likely due to the fact that I have been sequestered in a basement for the past four days working 12 hours at a time. It's been crazy busy but the company catered all our meals and today our efforts paid off. Everybody was pretty tired though afterwards and left for home which left me wondering what to do tonight.

Rather than go through my phone list to see what people were up to, I instead decided to take the night off from partying and do that nighttime walk that I'd promised myself. I was not to be disappointed. I started in Dupont Circle and headed south on 18th until I hit Constitution Avenue, essentially the north side of the National Mall. Along the way I snapped a picture of the Octagon House, one of the stranger architectural icons of DC. I then headed west until I found a path leading into the park and followed that.

Unknowingly, this path led straight to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. It was truly awesome to come around the corner and see that stone structure etched with the names of so many fallen soldiers. From there I headed up to the Lincoln Memorial all the while looking over my shoulder at the beautiful panorama displayed with the Washington Monument juxtapositioned in front of the Capitol building.

The Lincoln Memorial was a very impressive site. Its white exterior, made from Indiana limestone and Colorado Yule marble, shines spectacularly under the blazing lights. Inside, the mood is decidedly somber. There were a large number of tourists there tonight but they spoke mostly in hushed tones, reading the inscriptions on the wall or simply looking at the gargantuan-sized image of Lincoln.

My walk from the far end of the mall to L'Enfant Plaza to catch the Yellow Line was no less impressive. I had the opportunity to stop by the Korean War Memorial which is haunting in its imagery. After making my way to Independence on the south side of the mall, I headed east until I hit 7th street about 12 blocks distant. A short Metro ride later I was back home in Arlington.

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