Saturday, March 9, 2013

Reflections on Washington, D.C.

On my last night in Washington, D.C. I returned to the Lincoln Memorial, not necessarily for photography, but to reflect on my journey.

When I was a political hack many years ago I would frequent the Lincoln Memorial steps at night to take in what I believe, in my humble opinion, is one of the most inspirational views in the United States of America. From the memorial steps you can take in the views of the entire National Mall: the Reflecting Pool, The National World War II Memorial, The Washington Monument and The U.S. Capitol.

The last two years I visited the memorial the view from the steps were to say the least very uninspiring since the Reflecting Pool was undergoing structural improvements, which meant it was drained of all its water and a big, hideous fence enclosed the entire area. Without any water in the pool the iconic shot of The Washington Monument reflected in the pool was not possible. It was here at the pool that one of the most famous scenes in American cinema was filmed. Remember when Forrest Gump and Jenny ran across the Reflecting Pool to embrace one another? Now that the water was gone so was the magic.

In the two weeks I was in Washington, D.C. I would always walk past the eyesore formerly known as the Reflecting Pool. One day I was doing research for photo locations around the city when I came across a news report that the construction on the pool was done and they would start refilling the pool with water on the day before I would depart D.C. The speed of the U.S. federal government moves slower than a handicapped snail, so likewise I was not expecting them to meet their deadline.

On my last evening in D.C., I took a stroll across The National Mall toward The Lincoln Memorial. To my surprise the fence was taken down and the pool was partially filled up with water.

I sat there just enjoying the views when suddenly a tour group of high school girls approached the memorial steps and were taking pictures. I overheard one of them say, “Why is there a swimming pool there?”

“Well, like, you know, it gets hot in D.C. during the summer,” replied one girl.

I had to take this photograph just to remember the huge laugh I had that evening.

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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