Thinking Peripatetically

Below are griffins at the Federal Reserve building.

Washington is not very crowded the day before thanksgiving.   I had some appointments at the Main State Building.   I got there a little early so I went to visit Abe Lincoln.   It is nice before the crowds arrive. I still take inspiration places like the Lincoln Memorial and I still get a bit of a thrill looking out over the reflecting pool toward the Washington Monument and the Capitol. 

I make a point walking between Main State and SA 44 and I l get off/on the Metro a little ways away from work, so that I can walk across the Capital Mall.    I think of it as my “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” trip, after that old Jimmy Stewart movie, because in one run you can see the Capitol and the memorials: Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington, Vietnam, Korea and WWII.    

Below is Roslyn in Virginia across the Potomac.  In DC buildings cannot be taller than the Capitol. 

Some people ask me how I find the time.  They tell me that they are too busy for these sorts of luxuries.   It takes only around forty-five minutes to walk between the State annexes.    When you add the waiting time to the shuttle drive time, you save only around ten minutes.   If I get off the Metro a couple stops early, it just adds around fifteen minutes to the start or end of the day.   In return I get a calming walk through one of the world’s most pleasant areas.  It is also a great thinking opportunity.   I think better when I walk or run.  This is an old habit.   When I wrote papers in college I used to read all the sources and then go running.   During that time it would all come together and when I got back I could just produce the paper as fast as I could physically write it down.   If I just stayed in my seat and “worked hard”, nothing would come.   I still like the peripatetic decision making.  Being literally in motion helps me make sense out of confusing situations.   

Above is the front of the IRS building.  I like the classical styles.

Below ice skating at the National Gallery Garden.  It really isn’t that cold, but they have a refrigerated rink.

Besides, it is a real luxury to be able to walk around in Washington, something to be thankful for.