Thursday, October 9, 2014

Capitol Walk

One of my favorite city routes is walking around the Capitol. So at lunchtime yesterday I did what I often do: strolled down New Jersey Avenue with its high-arching trees, skirted the Carillon (named for President Taft's son, Robert, who served in the Senate from 1938 to 1953), and crossed Constitution Avenue onto the Capitol grounds.

From there it's a clockwise sweep of the 58-acre park — dodging tourists, watching workers clamber on the scaffolding around the dome, keeping eyes and ears open to the kaleidoscopic scene.

There's the slow pedaling of the bicycle cops patrolling their beat; the brisk stride of the office worker hurrying to lunch; the lingering saunter of tourists, guidebooks in hand.

At the southwest corner I stop to smell the last roses of summer, still blooming in the Botanical Gardens. The trees there are already orange.

Heading north, I cross the Mall, weave through parked cars, then take a paved path back to Constitution. Only 40 minutes out of the office. An eternity.

(The Capitol from the east, before the scaffolding went up.)

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