One of the simple joys of life is just walking around w/o a rush. You just have to put your feet on the ground. I had the chance to do a lot of walking and some running in the old places around Washington. Washington is one of the world’s great cities and great for running and walking. One of the things I like is that you can be by yourself but not alone. There are enough people around but you can get away from them.
They have the Mall all dug up. The signs say that they are replacing the dirt with dirt that doesn’t compact easily, so that it can handle the crowds. They are also laying some kind of drainage and water holding pipes so that it can stay green w/o lots of watering. A lot of science, technology and engineering will go into this lawn and if they do a good job nobody will notice when it is done.
IMO they did a good job on the Mall in general. You would not know to look at it, but the Mall is largely hollow, i.e. there are roads and buildings under it. They didn’t want to build up when they built new museums a couple decades ago, so they dug down.
The Mall is getting a little crowded. They built the Museum of the American Indian about ten years ago. It is a superb building and the grounds are interesting. I don’t think the museum itself is very good. IMO, it lacks a focus. They tried to accommodate too many groups. The picture above shows construction of the Museum of African Americans. I think that museums on the Mall should commemorate our common American heritage. Our motto is still “e pluribus unum,” which means “from many, one.” There is lot of room for pluralism in our country; it is what makes our country great, but there are only about 300 acres on the National Mall.
Above is the work on Gallows Road. Notice the change in grade. I wanted to take a picture before they were done. I think it will be very different later.