Right at the base of the U.S. Capitol is one of Washington’s best views. Looking due West, one can see rows of museums, tourists and their cameras, steady traffic on 7th St., the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the Rosslyn skyline. Whew.
It’s a lot to take in. And while I, as many residents do, have some beef with how the National Mall interacts with the city, the fact that this area was constructed with this amazing vista in mind is really incredible. Over 100 years ago, the McMillan Plan cleared slums and business from this area and created this expanse, which universities the world over have mimicked. And for better or worse, our nation is left with the Mall.
I don’t intend to debate what the Mall is or what it should be. That is above my pay grade (currently 0 dollars an eon). But whether you have lived here all your life, a few years or just arrived, I must recommend that you join the tourists for a sunset on the West side of the Capitol Building.
You won’t regret it. Within a few minutes, you will forget all about the shrieking children and camera flashes and attain, at least for an instant, a clear mind and a new perspective on the city you call home.