Consider a stopover to D.C. similar to stepping inside into one huge museum where you can grasp everything there is about America- the history, the great Presidents, the artworks, the museums, the monuments, the politics and of course, the White House which is smaller than I imagined it would be.
I arrived in D.C. during late autumn month, anticipating for a colder days than New York as the weather app predicted it will be, but to my surprise it was as warm as summer. Nothing to complain though, with clear blue skies it was indeed a perfect time to explore D.C . starting with the huge, picturesque and all important The National Mall or The Mall.
I underestimated the sheer size of the National Mall when in one afternoon I decided to walk around at least half of the whole 1.9-mile long lawn, starting from the White House, then to Washington Monument, all the way to the Lincoln Memorial, then towards Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, looping the Tidal Basin and finally reaching Jefferson Memorial then back to the Smithsonian Castle.
The great summer weather that I was so happy to have become somehow a nuisance as each monument might look so easy to reach in the map, but in reality requires quite a lot of walking and sweating to explore “America’s Front Yard”.
No matter how you plan your walking tour of the Mall, the commanding view of the Washington Monument, the obelisk commemorating the first American President George Washington rising sky high, surrounded by a huge lawn of green grass is the quintessential D.C. shot.
While the best place for some inspiration is to head to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, stand close to the marker where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech and see the Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool in one panoramic view- as if putting this into perspective view-wise and the sheer significance of the steps, Dr. King and of Abraham Lincoln.
I consider a stroll around the Tidal Basin on my way to Jefferson Memorial as one of the best things I did at D.C. There is just something calming about Tidal Basin, some sort of a perfect way to end the day of learning and exploring and to have some nice sunset at the Capital.
I have to confess, as I walked along the Mall, my mind was occupied with the vision of the House of Cards TV series opening credits and maybe at one point I was humming the opening music too.
The images of that opening sequence became an inspiration on how I wanted to capture D.C. The view of the wide open sky against a building marble backdrop, maybe the best and simplest way to describe what The National Mall looks like.