Sunday, July 20, 2008

D.C. stays the same, but it's still cool ... and hot

Colorful rowhouses in Columbia Heights.

THE DISTRICT -- Things don't change much in a city not meant to change much.

Trying to readjust to a normal daytime schedule while on vacation caused me to sleep in Saturday morning. That left me little time to wander around town and shoot some photos before going out with some friends at night.

But in the little time I had, I saw that the city was much the way I left it. There is a considerable amount of construction happening in Columbia Heights, the neighborhood where I'm staying. A huge condo/apartment complex is being built near the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro stop, which is only two blocks from my friends' place.

But much of this area isn't exactly Pleasantville. I've heard Columbia Heights described as the "new Penn Quarter," a reference to the ritzy part of downtown D.C.

But most of what I saw and heard of it Saturday wouldn't fit that description. Parts are still occupied by rundown rowhouses that serve as popular hangouts for bass-thumping wannabe rappers. It's not exactly the atmosphere for the wealthy and definitely not acceptable for Palm Bay, Fla., where they've banned that sort of loud music.

But it's a pleasure to be back in the District.

I took a short stroll on the National Mall, passing the Smithsonian, the Botanic Gardens, the Capitol, but not the street vendor, where I bought a bottle of water. It may be hotter here than it is in Florida, but the lower humidity makes it bearable. Tomorrow, however, could include the record high for D.C. But it's forecast to be only 96 degrees, and I've seen it well over 100 here.

I snapped some photos, but most of what I saw yesterday was old news. Been there. Done that. Got the photo already. But here are a few of the more interesting ones.

The cleanliness of the Metro system in D.C. makes it far better than New York's subway. This is inside the National Archives-Navy Memorial stop, where I got off for a jaunt along the mall.

I just thought this photo was cool because I caught the sign through the window of a moving train. It's a long exposure, so I meant to get the motion blur.

A skateboarder takes advantage of the statue of Gen. George G. Meade in front of the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse on Constitution Avenue.

It was nice when the sun went behind the clouds, such as the moment caught in this shot, complete with a bird.

It's so much hotter when I walk around downtown with my backpack, my SLR and my video camera strapped around me. This is reflection taken in front of one of many of the federal agencies on Constitution Avenue.

Now, I have to go to my next scheduled event: a cookout on top of an apartment building in Dupont. I hear there's a rooftop pool involved, too. That should hit the spot.


Wordnerdy said...

You look like you're starving. Put some meat on those bones!

Beth Colvin said...

I was on the Mall today too ... and spent parts of every morning and afternoon at the Archives Metro. If I weren't leaving tomorrow, we could have lunch.

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