I love DC. That seems like a strange comment coming from one so disappointed in the events of the past few months. But when one divorces the politics from DC, it is an amazing city. It is not big like Chicago, my hometown, but when it comes to things to do, it can compete with a New York or Chicago any day of the week.
Since I spend at least one week day in DC, I often do not choose to spend time playing there on the weekends, but during the holiday season, it is fun to explore the city again.
On one recent trip to check out the indoor butterfly pavilion at the Museum of Natural History, KI and I walked the streets of DC. While I took photos of the butterflies, none were exceptional. Found the buildings in DC much more fascinating.
The buildings along Pennsylvania Ave are mostly WPA buildings erected during Roosevelt’s administration to employ more people during the Depression. The National Archives(DC Rendering II and III) was one such building. Many of our nation’s most important buildings were erected during this time, less than 100 years ago.
The Old Post Office Pavilion(DC Rendering) was actually completed in 1899 and holds the Congressional Bells in its tower. Many of you know this building as it is now leased as a very expensive hotel by Trump. It is a beautiful building with so much history despite who owns it.
It took KI and me several tries many years ago to see the bells and its history as the National Park Service does not always have the site open. It was worth the persistence. I know the site is still maintained by the NPS. I don’t know how easy it is now to see the bells, but they are a must-see for anyone visiting DC. Most locals have never even seen them.
The Castle is familiar to anyone who has visited DC. It was the first Smithsonian building built in 1855. It is one of many that surrounds what we call the National Mall. The Smithsonian has 19 museums and the National Zoo. All are free and open every day except Christmas. This sounds like an ad, but this is what singularly distinguishes DC from any other American city. You can spend a week here and not spend a dime exploring all of the sites.
Every time we have visitors we take them to museums, monuments, tours of Congress or the Supreme Court, zoos, botanical gardens, and the list goes on. They are all free. Sure, we have a museum or two that costs money. Our favorite, the Newseum. But most do not.
Enjoy DC through my lens today. There is more here than meets the eye!