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.
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.
During 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.