Washington weekend in review
Although my primary mission during my brief visit to Washington, D.C. last weekend was to see baseball games (the first games I had seen there this year, actually), I accomplished several other tasks in the short time I had available. So, here's a quick review of what I saw in Our Nation's Capital.
After saying goodbye to my friend Dave Givens up in Bethesda on Saturday morning, I drove into the city along Wisconsin Avenue hoping to see the National Cathedral. It happened to be cloudy at that particular time, and indeed the sky kept changing throughout the day as strong winds swirled about. I noticed the scaffolding in place for the extensive repair work made necessary by the 2011 earthquake in Virginia. It seems odd that it is taking so long. Given the mediocre conditions for taking photos, I decided to leave.
I then descended into Rock Creek Park, that exquisite natural sanctuary where I used to go for long bicycle rides. I thought I might find an easy place to park and do a quick bird-watching walk, but with all the traffic and crazy one-way signs, that proved to be too much, so I resumed an easterly course. I passed through the funky Adams Morgan neighborhood, pausing just long enough to get a nice church photo, and then continued on to Howard University Hospital. Why there? It is where Griffith Stadium (former home of both the Senators and the Redskins) once stood, and I learned that there is a historical marker there. (I apparently missed seeing it during my last visit, or else it had not yet been installed.) The Shaw neighborhood near the hospital includes a lot of African-American history, such as the Howard Theater.
From there I headed toward the southeast along Florida Avenue, and I stopped at the Uline Arena, which was known as the Washington Coliseum when the Beatles performed their very first concert in the U.S. there, in February 1964. I stopped there once about ten or fifteen years ago, when it was rundown and abandoned. Last year they completed a major renovation project, evidently part of a community arts promotion. The original coliseum was basically just a big brick Quonset hut. That structure has been restored and now serves as an REI testing facility of some sort. On the east side there is a new parking garage and office building bearing big posters of the Beatles and other historical events that took place there.
Just down the street from the Uline Arena is a large graffitti mural on the side of a row house. I was intrigued by the message "Love is still the answer" and (in reverse letters): "Epatitude" (??), so I Googled that first phrase and came up with a site by a photographer named Frank Cevarich that provides some background on that.
As mentioned in my recent blog post on baseball, my visit to RFK Stadium was entirely unplanned, the result of learning that there was a Georgetown football game there that afternoon. But aside from the stadium itself, I also took time to see the nearby D.C. National Guard Armory, which now features an F-16 "Fighting Falcon" jet on display. That was very impressive! I also took photos of the U.S. Capitol and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, located about two miles to the north. Finally, I stopped to take a closeup look at the Robert F. Kennedy memorial -- the namesake for the stadium. He is someone who should be remembered for all he did and all he could have done for this country, were it not for an assassin's bullet.
Finally, I took a quick look at the Buzzards Point area where Audi Field is being built. There are big plans to turn the entire area (which was an industrial eye sore for many years) into a trendy residential / commercial center to complement the development around Nationals Park and Navy Yard.
A complete set of photos can be seen on the Chronological photo gallery page.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I have begun posting larger-size photos than before. My old standard (since 2008 or so, roughly) was 600 x 400 pixels for scenic photos and 480 x 360 pixels for birds, butterflies, etc. From now on, my default standard size for scenic photos will be 1200 x 800 pixels, and the standard size for panoramic photos will be 1200 x 480 pixels. I have set up that photo gallery page in such a way that the photos will be squeezed proportionally, depending on the size of one's computer monitor and web browser window. In some cases, you can click on a specified link to see a "jumbo-sized" photo, or else you can either right-click (Windows) or control-click (Mac) to open the photo in question in a new window.