Old Favorites and New Adventures: National Museum of American History

Like many of the Smithsonian museums, I view the National Museum of American History as a stop-in museum. I may have talked about this before in me National Portrait Gallery post. One of the best parts of living in DC is the ability to visit excellent museums on a whim because they have no admission fees. Given the free admission to these museums, I tend to think about them as stop-in museums. Even if I do have plans to visit them, I typically go to see a particular exhibit or two.

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Last Saturday, I left my apartment to go for a walk to the Capitol Building and ended up going a full 1.5 miles further to the museum. How did that happen? I realized during the initial part of my walk that I had never seen Julia Child’s kitchen. Since I already was feeling accomplished for packing a box, I decided I could take the time to go to a museum.

The American History museum may have my favorite entrance of the Smithsonian museums (as long as you enter from the Mall side). I think most of the Smithsonians are good at having the “wow factor” when you enter such as Air and Space and Natural History, but I love the architecture of the American History’s atrium.

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The museum was completed in 1964 and renovated in 2008. Until 1980 it was the Museum of History and Technology (National Museum of American History). They are currently updating the West Wing with lowest floor opening in the summer of 2015, the middle floor opening on June 28 this year, and the final floor opening next summer (renovation website). The museum contains several famous exhibits, such as the First Ladies (with the dresses), the Star-Spangled Banner, and American Stories (famous artifacts like the Ruby Red slippers); however, I was on a mission. I did visit those exhibits on my way out though. I made a beeline to the first floor to see FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000. Basically, I spent a good 20 minutes marveling at Julia Child and her kitchen. As someone with a love of food, I was in heaven for a few minutes looking at the kitchen and watching a video of her making an omelet.

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After the food exhibit, I found myself wandering through America on the Move, another exhibit that I had never been in and aligns with my interest in urban planning. I love how the exhibit has vehicles from boats to trains to cars, and it shows how those vehicles changed our infrastructure and how our lifestyles adapted with different forms of transportation. I also really liked how immersive parts of the exhibit were with built environments like an L station in Chicago and inside a ship.

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Hands down my favorite part of the exhibit was the streetcar part, which was actually about how DC changed with streetcars in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In particular, I found a video of street life in the District from the streetcar era to be hypnotic and a map from 1892 to be fascinating. The streets just look so big and empty, people crossing wherever with streetcars, horses, bicycles, and a few early automobiles. The map is very interesting because most of DC is not developed, but suburbs like Cleveland Park, Petworth, and Chevy Chase are beginning to appear along streetcar lines.

The National Museum of American History is one of those public spaces in DC I am always able to see something new when I visit. The current renovation is making the exhibits in the West Wing more interactive, and each section that opens is better than the last. It definitely has items and exhibits that will interest a wide variety of people and keeps people coming back.

Signs of Moving Season

As a 20-something in the District, the early summer marks moving season. Of course, as in any city, people move at all times of the year. However, this time of the years seems to be one of the peak times to move. I personally know seven people who are moving within a month of each other. That is not even including my roommate and me!

A fully packed car

A fully packed car

Yes, you read that correctly. I am moving. Not only that, but I am leaving the city I love to pursue graduate school. Which city, you ask. Atlanta, Georgia. It is both very exciting and bittersweet. One thing for certain though, expect changes to the blog over the next few months and more posts in the fall once I am settled.

My friend's new apartment

My friend’s new apartment

And now, back to the main subject of this post: moving season. I think the greatest cost of moving season is that due to the transiency of D.C., you always know someone who is going to move during the summer. It also almost always tends to be one of your good friends who asks you to come help them move. I live by the code of if someone asks you to help, you say yes. These are your good friends and moving to a new place, whether it is still in the D.C. area or across the country, is very exciting for them. It is also very stressful. Your job as a helper is to do what they say, be calm and positive, and offer suggestions when there are complications. In return you typically receive a free meal and/or drink for your service.

The ubiquitous moving truck

The ubiquitous moving truck

Even if you are the rare person who does not know anyone moving, it is hard not to notice the increase of U-Hauls on our streets and free furniture on our sidewalks. (I put out a small bookshelf last weekend and it was gone within 5 hours.) The physical representations on the street bring forth contemplations on and images of change. I tend to view change as exciting and new; however, that is not always the case. As much as we try to forecast the future of our cities, change is unpredictable. Some neighborhoods revitalize while other drop in status. One thing is for sure, moving trucks signal new people sharing the streets and others leaving. Cities and their neighborhoods are always evolving.

The Hidden Memorial: Theodore Roosevelt Island

Do you like roads less traveled or hidden in plain sight locations? If so, you should definitely check out the Theodore Roosevelt Island. Located in the middle of the Potomac River between Georgetown and and Arlington, this island often goes unnoticed when you drive over it. Part of this is because there are no buildings on the island, so it is mainly trails and the Roosevelt Memorial Plaza.

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View of the wetlands on the Swamp Trail

The island itself is composed of forest and wetlands. Yes, there is an actual swamp within the DC city limits, but don’t tell anyone that. The centerpiece of the island is the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Plaza, but the entire 88.5-acre island is also a part of the presidential memorial, which makes it the largest presidential memorial within the District’s limits. While I knew that the island was named Roosevelt Island, I had no idea that Teddy Roosevelt had a presidential memorial. The memorial plaza itself is definitely an area that seems to have been designed for reflection. The entire plaza is encircled by trees, so it feels a little like a stone meadow in the middle of the forest. Even the entrance to the area is partially blocked by trees. There are plenty of benches and fountains that must be beautiful when they are turned on. And just like the great memorials on the National Mall, there is a huge bronze statue and an assortment of stone slabs that have some of his most famous quotes. I particularly like one of the quotes on the nature slab, which says “Conservation means development as much as it does protection.” I think this is a good quote to remember both in regards to nature and to urban environments.  

The rest of the island seems undeveloped to highlight Teddy’s efforts as a conservationist and  as the signer of the 1906 Antiquities Act; however, the island has not always been the heavily forested area it is now. In 1932, when the island was bought from the Washington Gas Light Company, Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. and the Civilian Conservation Corps were tasked with the job of returning the island to what it may have looked like before humans stepped foot on it. The result is a forest and wetlands with about 3 miles of walking paths. 

There is something interesting when cities decide to make islands into parks. I have been to several island parks and have loved each one, but it does take planning or at least some forethought to go to one. It is not quite the same as finding a green space close to home or work and sitting down for a few minutes to appreciate nature. These parks are made for planned excursions and they serve a purpose. They often bring wilderness into the city. The island feels like a silent escape from the city. Surrounded by water, it is separate from the rest of the city and there is a hard edge between it and city life. While big parks like New York’s Central Park or Rock Creek Park have a slight grey area between when the city ends and the park begins, island parks can be dense with vegetation immediately because their borders are water and not man made structures and buildings. In fact they are inviting because of their dense vegetation. 

One of my favorite parts of the Roosevelt Island is actually the entrance with the long footbridge across the river. As you cross from Arlington onto the bridge, the island looms in front of you and grows bigger and more inviting the closer you get. Now this is just the natural process of what happens when you walk closer to anything, but the effect on Roosevelt Island is almost magical. Partly because it is an island, partly because of the forest, partly because the path splits to either side at the end of the bridge, all these aspects help solidify the feeling of leaving the city and entering nature. The irony lies in the fact that the act of crossing the bridge results in entering Washington, DC rather than leaving it.

Reflections on Puglia

I am very sorry for the sporadic updates. Spring is definitely a busy season for both work and social lives, but I promise I had a good reason…like traveling to Italy for a week!

I spent last week on a family vacation in the Puglia region of Italy, and I spent a great deal of time observing and reflecting on urban life there. For those of you who do not already know (or me 5 months ago), the region of Puglia makes up the heel of the Italy’s boot and is located on the Adriatic Sea. It [produces] fantastic wine and most of the produce that feeds the rest of Italy.

As per usual, my parents are gung ho for almost any athletic activity during vacations (our last family vacation involved running the Disney Princess Half Marathon). So for this trip, we spent 3 days biking through the countryside and small towns of the region. Biking is not my best activity. In fact, I fall into the barely able to keep balance category of cyclers, which meant that as the rest of my family was looking at the scenery, my eyes were set firmly on the road. I did enjoy the biking section, but I do not think my experience was at the same level as the rest of my family’s’ enjoyment.

Hands down, the best part of the trip was the food. The second best part was experiencing the cities and villages that we stayed in and rode through. And since this is not a food blog, I thought I would talk about the cities.

The great thing about traveling to Europe from the United States is the ability to see towns that have structures from the 18th, 15th, and even 12th centuries all in one place. Unlike in the USA, the city centers of Puglia tend to be medieval and the style of architecture, roads, and city planning tends to change the further away you are from the historic center. In fact, buildings grow taller the further away you are versus in the major cities of the US, where buildings are taller, and possibly newer, the closer you are to the center of the city. It is such an interesting aspect because it tells the story of the city and its development, long before zoning was concrete thing and cities grew semi-organically.

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The streets in these old town centers are shared by cars, bikes, mopeds, and pedestrians. Their layout is confusing with twists and turns and plazas scattered throughout. There are rarely sidewalks and very few signs and markings on the streets to let you know where cars are going. During the biking portion of our trip, it often felt like we were going in circles within the town in an effort to reach the next country road due to all the one-way streets. This feeling was made even more acute when we would bike up and down the same hill multiple times on different roads. Then there were the historic centers with streets that turned into steps at hills instead of ramps, which has rendered large portions of the area/neighborhood as strictly pedestrian.

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I was impressed by the variety of towns and cities that we went to. These locales show the great ingenuity of humans to create shelters and functioning communities in a great variety of ways. There is adaptability and change in urban planning and no one outlook, theory, or procedure is correct or the best. We saw a city that started its life as an island, a walled city, a city of caves, a city of “temporary” stone huts, and a of course, a picturesque city. In order, these cities are Gallipoli, Otranto, Matera, Alberobello, and Locorotondo. These cities have different reasons for why they developed how they did–often for protection. I hope to delve into several of them in the near future and provide more in-depth descriptions of their stories. This post serves as a jumping off point and a space of initial observations.

5 Reasons to Take Advantage of DC in the Spring

As with any village, town, or city that experiences a significant winter season, spring is the time when the city seems to come alive again as people come out of their burrows and spend time outside. However, spring in the District has 5 aspects that I think set it apart from other metropolitan areas.

Snap1Snap3 The city is known for spring. The Cherry Blossom Festival and it’s tag-along outdoor events are some of DC’s most well-known festivities. They also mark the time when spending time outdoors becomes and urgent need among us office-dwellers. While the cherry blossoms had a bit of a tough year, I was able to experience the Peak Bloom of 2016 and it was worth braving the crowds. Yes, I spent the day feeling claustrophobic while walking around the tidal basin, but it was so beautiful! In addition to the cherry blossoms, other flowers bloom in DC, which make walks a pleasure and the city more photogenic than normal. I think that is saying something because I live in a beautiful city.Flowers in front of the Capitol Building.

Snap1Snap4 Spring is the locals season. Does tourist season ever end in DC? I am sure the case could be made for both sides of that argument. One thing for certain is that aside from peak bloom, the spring tourists seem to be primarily of large school group type that can be easily avoided. Spring is the season when those of who live in DC (or maybe just my friends and me) don’t mind going to the Mall, Georgetown, or other hot spots. We enjoy strolling and exploring the city for ourselves.IMG_5429

Snap1Snap5Spring has the most beautiful (and bearable) weather…for the most part. My favorite season is fall, but spring means packing away the winter clothes after a season that looked like it was never going to end. This year’s winter was especially topsy-turvy, which means I welcomed spring with open arms. Unfortunately, I worry this season will be short and inevitable turn into the hot humid days of summer when I will take cover in the blessed air conditioning. Until then, I plan on spending every possible spare minute outside. This leads to my final two reasons why everyone should take advantage of spring in DC.IMG_5431

Snap1Snap6 Outdoor activities abound and museum season dies down. I try not to visit museums during the nice weather months for a few reasons: they are more crowded than the cold months, and why would you spend time indoors when there is so much to do outside? From street festivals to hiking to spending time in parks to baseball to outdoor movies, there is plenty to do in DC. And while these activities happen in the summer, they kick-off in the spring.IMG_5432

Snap1Snap7 My final reason to take advantage of spring in DC is food related. You can either try out the plethora of cherry blossom related food items – I’m talking wine, beer, cupcakes, doughnuts, etc. – or you can enjoy spring by eating outside. Whether it’s enjoying happy hour on a sidewalk, eating food truck food on Farragut Fridays, having a picnic, or hosting a cookout with friends in your own yard, the good weather and long evenings make all of these enjoyable activities.

It has been a long, confusing winter, so get outside and envoy everything spring has to offer in the District before the sweltering summer starts!

A Place Everyone Should Visit: National Museum of African American History and Culture

A note: I am sorry for not posting in the past two weeks or so. The first week, my family came to town, which is what this post is about, and then I went to Atlanta to go on a graduate school visit.

What do you do on weekends with gorgeous 70 degree weather in Washington, DC? If you are like a lot of people two Saturdays ago, you took to the National Mall to see the peak bloom of the cherry blossoms that managed to survive the snow. My family and I also made the trip to the Mall, but spent the the day indoors at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).

Inside the museum, looking up at the windows.

Inside the museum, looking up at the windows.

I first wrote about trying to get same-day tickets for the museum with my sister back in October. Right before my sister arrived, my mother and I managed to get 6 tickets to the NMAAHC on a Saturday in March. The weekend in March happened to coincide with my birthday, so my family made the trek from North Carolina to the District in order to celebrate and go to the new museum.

The grand staircase.

The grand staircase.

First off please, please, please go to this museum if you are able. It is incredibly well done and powerful. My family and I spent the entire day at the museum and still were not able to to devote enough time to everything. The highlights for us were the underground levels (the chronological history of the African American experience), the sports exhibit, and the music exhibit. You can find more information about getting timed passes at the NMAAHC website. Also, if you want a more in-depth description of the exhibits, I suggest you read this article in the New York Times written by Holland Cotter.

The Year of 1968 exhibit.

The Year of 1968 exhibit.

In regards to the museum as a public space, I think this museum may top the National Portrait Gallery as my favorite in terms of using their public non-exhibit spaces well. In addition, every part of the layout of the museum is beautiful and exceptional at drawing people in. For example, the bottom three floors are actually set into one giant underground room with levels. This means you see yourself winding up through history, but can also look down and see where you have come from. It is a very cool effect. I also think the above-ground floors juxtapose the underground portion by being much lighter in design, with the cutouts in the exterior iron work aligned with particular vistas on the National Mall. The atrium and concourse levels have plenty of open space that can and probably will be used for multiple uses once the museum becomes open to walk-ins like all of the other Smithsonian museums. Currently, the majority of the open space on the concourse level is set up as queues for the main exhibit and the cafeteria.

When we visited, the museum was overflowing with visitors. Everyone seemed excited to be there and stood patiently to see the exhibits. In particular, we stood in line for the main exhibit for about 45 minutes before entering, but the line moved quickly. We also waited in line for the cafeteria; we were so hungry when we finally managed to get food, we gobbled it up. The upstairs exhibits were much less crowded and we could peruse the exhibits without feeling like we were blocking other people from seeing them if we stayed in one place for a long time.

The NMAAHC was designed as a museum for today and the future. I can definitely see it growing into itself as the timed pass system is slowly faded away, but that does not mean you should wait to see this museum. IMG_5261

A Hidden Gem: The National Postal Museum

It finally snowed! I love snow, but it definitely is not conducive for cherry blossoms or a blog about public spaces. Since the weather has turned cold again, I ventured into another museum for this week’s post. Did you know the Smithsonian has an entire museum dedicated to the Postal Service?

I only really found out when my roommate and a friend visited the museum and came home raving about it. I knew I had to visit.

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Source: Smash the Iron Cage on Wikimedia Commons

A brief history of the museum: the National Philatelic Collection was established in 1886 when a sheet of 10-cent Confederate postage stamps was donated. The collection has now grown to more than 5.9 million items and the museum was opened in 1993.

The National Postal Museum is located off the beaten path for museums in DC…aka it is not located on the National Mall. However, it is next to Union Station, which I believe is a decent location. The museum is housed in the former Washington, DC City Post Office Building was designed by Daniel Burnham just a few years after Union Station. As expected the building is gorgeous. It is public building built during the early 1910s in the Beaux-Arts style. As a fun bit of urban planning trivia, I learned that cities were encouraged to build their main post offices as close to the railroad station as possible in order to facilitate the speedy and efficient sorting and delivering of the mail. Perhaps, this is part of the reason why when the railroad was moved from the National Mall to Union Station, the main post office moved from the Old Post Office, which was too small, to the museum’s current building after just 15 years of use.

The Main Lobby of the National Postal Museum

The Main Lobby of the National Postal Museum

The exhibits are super fun and interactive. I loved the largest stamp exhibit in the world, which houses some extremely rare stamps. In addition, there are so many mail-related artifacts from important events in history like a mailbox that survived 9/11 with all the mail inside intact, a letter on Titanic stationery and postmarked on board, and Amelia Earhart’s flight suit. One interesting artifact is the package that Harry Winston used to mail the Hope diamond to the Smithsonian. It is really hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that they decided to mail the diamond instead of hand-deliver it. Why?

Display of America's First Stamps

1847: America’s First Stamps

As far as public spaces go, the museum is excellent at being a museum. In terms of my own personal preferences I was happy that the museum was pleasantly populated, but did not have the mass crowds often found in the museums on the Mall. There are two large spaces: the main lobby, which has been restored to it’s original grandeur, and the atrium with actual vehicles that have been used to transport the mail throughout U.S. history. Unfortunately, neither of these rooms provide the gathering space for multiple uses like the Kogod Courtyard or even a quiet space or cafe to read a book and relax.

Atrium of the National Postal Museum

Atrium of the National Postal Museum

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and recommend that people spend a few hours or a day looking through all of the different exhibits. However, the museum does not have the malleability of other public spaces to accommodate additional uses.

Favorite Things I Read This Week: International Women’s Day

As International Women’s Day and A Day Without A Woman draws to a close, I wanted to reflect on a few of the best things I’ve read on the internet this week. I’ll start out with woman-centric post about my favorite neighborhood and move on from there. However, I hope many of you celebrated the day by wearing red or attending a talk about gender equality.

  1. If you want to be proactive on supporting women-owned business the Washingtonian put out a map and The Hill is Home added some additional businesses.
  2. Someday I will go to the National Zoo. Until then I will just look at the adorable photos people post like this one on PoPville.
  3. A wonderful and stirring article about why museums and libraries (particularly the Smithsonian ones) are crucial for American democracy (via Smithsonian Insider).
  4. I spend a lot of time looking at DC neighborhood maps to figure out how to categorize the locations that I write about. In fact, I tell people that I live in Eastern Market, but that’s actually part of the Capitol Hill neighborhood. For more confusing ideas about neighborhood borders see this post by Greater Greater Washington.
  5. This book on observing cities by Charles R. Wolfe is definitely going on my reading list (via CityLab)!
  6. I just might start following several of these Instagram accounts (via DCist).
  7. I guess my eight months in Europe really impacted my views on public transit! This sounds like a very interesting study and the article has open access until April 8, 2017 (via Planetizen).
  8. And finally, Peak Bloom is coming (via DCist)!

 

The featured image is courtesy of ThisBigCity.

Love Letter to the Capitol Hill Neighborhood

This week, specifically March 1, marks my two year anniversary of moving to Capitol Hill from Petworth. It was a major move for me because it meant signing a year-long lease and fully cementing that I was staying in DC for a while. Truthfully, it’s hard to believe that I’ve lived in the same apartment for two years, and have been in the District for almost three! I recently filled out the Global Entry Application and you have to list everywhere you have lived in the past five years. I had six homes on that list, and I did not include college or study abroad addresses! So it’s kind of crazy that two of those years have been spent in one place. Anyway, I wanted to write a post that truly proclaimed my love for Capitol Hill.

Southeast Library

Southeast Library

 

Walkability

I know that the District is pretty walkable, but I think the streets, sidewalks, houses, shops and parks make Capitol Hill especially walkable because they’re pretty and picturesque. Proximity also plays a part. I love that I am about a mile away from the Capitol Building and the Nats Stadium. I love that on a nice day, you can walk to the National Mall or the 2-or-so miles to Gallery Place to see a movie. Finally, I love that I can walk to the grocery store, but also have Eastern Market nearby for when I want to splurge or buy produce based on what looks or tastes good.

Eastern Market Metro Station

Eastern Market Metro Station

Small Town-ish

Ever since I moved to the neighborhood, I have always said that it reminds me of a small town within a big city. I’ve come to realize that might not be exactly true or the right description. Capitol Hill is definitely not a small town. It is made up of row houses, not stand-alones. Also, not everyone has a yard, so small parks and streets are filled with people on the weekends. However, I do get an excellent community vibe. I love that I see the same people around the neighborhood even if I’ve never met them. I love that the business owners of shops I frequent remember that I visit regularly even if we don’t know always know each other’s names. I grab beignets for my roommate at Bayou Bakery or she brings me a Brown Butter from District Doughnut.

Barracks Row

Barracks Row

 

You Never Have to Leave

I love that there is enough to do on the weekends without ever leaving the neighborhood. The trick is to convince your friends to travel to the SE to visit. Capitol Hill has a wealth of spaces and to duck into no matter what the weather decides to do. In particular, small parks, bookshops, and coffee shops are plentiful. I love that I love that Barrack’s Row, Eastern Market/7th St., and the that small stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue north of the Eastern Market metro station are not filled with lots of chain stores and restaurants.There are obviously some chains and I will be the first to admit that I have a huge guilty pleasure when District Taco calls my name! But, for the most part, there are small shops and restaurants that routinely campaign to shop local and host free events. Some of my favorites include pop-ups at Summit to Soul, boozy board game nights at Labyrinth/Mr. Henry’s, KnitLit at East City Book Shop, and events at the Hill Center. I love lazy summer days spent in the parks, wandering the market sipping a fresh-squeezed lemonade or an iced latte.

Eastern Market

Eastern Market

Minor Flaws

No, there aren’t clubs or lots of bars that are open past midnight, but I’ve never been that kind of person. The dogs and families with small children may dominate the views as you walk around and you may think that you have to be married to live in the neighborhood, but people of all ages and in all stages of life make Capitol Hill their home. My tip is to go out to dinner after 7:00pm if you are trying to avoid the bedtime crowd.

I know that Capitol Hill is not for everyone. Some people love to be close to nightlife or have a real yard or want to live in a luxury apartment building with tons of amenities. I think that is what is great about DC because those places exist. Cities have to accommodate a wide variety of people that value different living priorities and interests. Capitol Hill is for the dog lovers and meanderers. My neighborhood is definitely not a small town, but it is a community that I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of for the past two years.

Lazy Weekends at Lincoln Park

I’m sorry for not posting earlier this week, but the weather in DC has been absurdly beautiful this entire week. With 70 degree weather almost every day in the middle of February, I along with what seemed like everyone else in the city tried to spend every possible moment I could outside. You can see how that might cut into my blogging schedule because computers and the outdoors do not mix well. One of the locations where I have spent a lot of time in the past week is Lincoln park. I walked around it twice last weekend and spent two and a half hours there this morning reading a book and drinking an iced latte.

If you are looking for a great community park, look no further than Lincoln Park in the larger Capitol Hill neighborhood. Situated on East Capitol Street, Lincoln Park is bordered by several well-kept residential streets with a few small neighborhood shops. The park even lends its name to these streets as a commonly called micro neighborhood within Capitol Hill. When there is a warm day, such as the unseasonable weather we have been experiencing since last Friday, the park is filled with families, picnickers, readers, sun-soakers, and dog-walkers.

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The park was named by Congress in 1867 as a memorial to Abraham Lincoln and was the first public site to bear his name. Within the park itself, there are two memorials, the Freedman’s Memorial Monument to Abraham Lincoln, which was built using funds collected solely from freed slaves, and the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial, which was the first statue of an African American or a woman of any race installed in Washington, not including the African American portrayed in the Freedman’s Memorial. The presence of the Lincoln statue and its proximity to the US Capitol Building caused the park to become a major tourist destination until the Lincoln Memorial was completed in 1922 (National Park Service).

I love the layout of Lincoln Park! It is distinctly separated into several different areas. In the middle of the park, between the two statues is a recessed area, which should be grassy, but is actually packed earth that people use for frisbee, soccer, and to let dogs run about and play fetch. This area is also surrounded by several benches, which were almost completely occupied this past Sunday as everyone enjoyed the day. On the far side of the recessed area if you are coming from Eastern Market, there are two playgrounds for children. Finally, the large outer perimeter of the park is a grassy area with scattered trees, which provide a nice amount of shade. Maybe it was because I visited in the middle of winter, but the park could definitely use some new grass. Hopefully, later in the spring, seed will be laid to make the park perfect for the sunny summer days to come.

img_5170During my times visiting the park, there have always been a wide variety of people and activities happening. I have seen children’s birthday parties, Pokemon Go groups, and picnics. I have read books, relaxed, taken walks, and played board games in the park. I do have to say, if you have a dog, or maybe more so if you don’t have a dog but wish you did, Lincoln Park should be a place you visit. As always when I visit on nice days, there were so many dogs to look at on Sunday. I was even able to pet three of them (with their owners’ permission of course)!

Alas, as thunderstorms start this afternoon, the nice weather we have been having will give way to the usual dreariness of February. I encourage you to keep Lincoln Park in mind for the next we have nice weather.