Let's Go To The Mall (Today)

Let's Go To The Mall (Today)

I have a friend from Toronto who, when in DC a few years ago, assumed that a trip to the National Mall meant the obligatory smell of Abercrombie and Fitch cologne and pretzel dogs. Shopping malls and commercially-minded Canadians (i.e. one Robin Scherbatsky) notwithstanding, the National Mall, in actuality, has way more to offer than Old Navy. Last weekend I took the hike up from the RAF to the Capitol and across the Mall, and even though I've been there quite a few times, it never fails to be one of the coolest sights in the country.

 

A particularly parking-lot-esque empty reflecting pool.

 

On the east end of the Mall, you have the Capitol building, the Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress -- all some of the most impressive buildings ever constructed. My friends and I decided to explore the Library of Congress for a bit, since it's somewhat less of a marquee destination (at least compared to the monuments and museums). But skipping the Library is definitely a mistake, since it's probably the nicest library I've ever seen -- you won't find a plastic folding table stacked with Twilight novels under a "Young Adult" banner anywhere in here. Instead there's some gorgeous architecture, a few domed ceiling frescos and a litany of really interesting quotes inscribed throughout the building's interior. As someone whose reading is predominantly that of the bandwidth variety, I was surprised to find the Library of Congress being a standout stop on the Mall.

 

Then, of course, there are the many monuments that dot the Mall's lawn, all of which seem to be more majestic than the last. The Washington Monument might have been adorned with scaffolding (construction to ameliorate the effects of 2011's earthquake) and the reflecting pool may have been drained amidst the winter chill, but it nonetheless contained all the usual pomp. My personal favorite, the Lincoln Memorial, looked as good as ever -- even in spite of a few (very) loud protestors on its steps. One last tip to any future Mall-goers: sightseeing can be laborious and you'll work up an appetite, so definitely scope out any all food trucks in the area. They usually situate themselves right in the middle of the Mall, and there is some killer falafel to be had.

 

The Lincoln Memorial

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