Life and Times

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If These Streets Could Talk

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Part 2

Another thing that surprised me was the amount of rooftop terraces and gardens on the buildings in downtown Washington.  On so many buildings downtown, it seems that if it was feasible to make it accessible, it was done.  And it's not just a little open space.  There are tables, chairs, benches, planters, fancy paving stones, gardens, and even trees!  And from street level, these spaces are not visible at all.  Another thing that surprised me was the amount of rooftop terraces and gardens on the buildings in downtown Washington.  On so many buildings downtown, it seems that if it was feasible to make it accessible, it was done.  And it's not just a little open space.  There are tables, chairs, benches, planters, fancy paving stones, gardens, and even trees!  And from street level, these spaces are not visible at all.

Another thing that surprised me was the amount of rooftop terraces and gardens on the buildings in downtown Washington.  On so many buildings downtown, it seems that if it was feasible to make it accessible, it was done.  And it’s not just a little open space.  There are tables, chairs, benches, planters, fancy paving stones, gardens, and even trees!  And from street level, these spaces are not visible at all.

Another thing that surprised me was the amount of rooftop terraces and gardens on the buildings in downtown Washington.  On so many buildings downtown, it seems that if it was feasible to make it accessible, it was done.  And it's not just a little open space.  There are tables, chairs, benches, planters, fancy paving stones, gardens, and even trees!  And from street level, these spaces are not visible at all.  Another thing that surprised me was the amount of rooftop terraces and gardens on the buildings in downtown Washington.  On so many buildings downtown, it seems that if it was feasible to make it accessible, it was done.  And it's not just a little open space.  There are tables, chairs, benches, planters, fancy paving stones, gardens, and even trees!  And from street level, these spaces are not visible at all.


The National Mall's also not far from here, as evidenced by the Natural History Museum's dome poking up amongst a sea of rooftops.

The National Mall’s also not far from here, as evidenced by the Natural History Museum‘s dome poking up amongst a sea of rooftops.


Looking past Freedom Plaza, one can get a glimpse of the Treasury Department, the White House, and the Old Executive Office Building.  What struck me most about this picture was the massive size of the Old Executive Office Building, which is not easily noticed from the street.

Looking past Freedom Plaza, one can get a glimpse of the Treasury Department, the White House, and the Old Executive Office Building.  What struck me most about this picture was the massive size of the Old Executive Office Building, which is not easily noticed from the street.


Looking the other way, one can follow Pennsylvania Avenue all the way to the Capitol.

Looking the other way, one can follow Pennsylvania Avenue all the way to the Capitol.


Off in the distance, the high rises of Rosslyn can be seen.

Off in the distance, the high rises of Rosslyn can be seen.


The Lincoln Memorial can be seen in the distance as well.

The Lincoln Memorial can be seen in the distance as well.


One of the things that the Lincoln Memorial is best known for is being the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech on August 28, 1963.  I first visited the Lincoln Memorial on July 7, 2001 when I was doing “The Schumin Web Salutes America”.  However, my most memorable moment at the Lincoln Memorial was definitely the Million Worker March on October 17, 2004, where I spent most of the day out there listening to speeches, interacting with other demonstrators, and taking lots of pictures.

The Lincoln Memorial and the area around it were full of people.  While not a million workers by any means (it was estimated that about 10,000 people attended), it was still a good amount there.  However, it was definitely not like the stock photo that the organizers used showing the National Mall full all the way up to the Capitol.

The Lincoln Memorial and the area around it were full of people. While not a million workers by any means (it was estimated that about 10,000 people attended), it was still a good amount there. However, it was definitely not like the stock photo that the organizers used showing the National Mall full all the way up to the Capitol.

The Lincoln Memorial and the area around it were full of people.  While not a million workers by any means (it was estimated that about 10,000 people attended), it was still a good amount there.  However, it was definitely not like the stock photo that the organizers used showing the National Mall full all the way up to the Capitol.


DROOL: Determined to Remember the Opportunities, the Obstacles, and the Lessons is the title of the speech we are hearing. Meanwhile, I pan a full 360º to show what’s going on.


Near the reflecting pool, a woman conducts an interview.

Near the reflecting pool, a woman conducts an interview.


People walked all along the edge of the reflecting pool as well, which at times, seemed like the only clear space to be found.

People walked all along the edge of the reflecting pool as well, which at times, seemed like the only clear space to be found.


You have to admit, though - the reflecting pool, and the Washington Monument beyond it are some beautiful sights, even with the ground around the Washington Monument still torn up due to construction.

You have to admit, though – the reflecting pool, and the Washington Monument beyond it are some beautiful sights, even with the ground around the Washington Monument still torn up due to construction.

After spending the better part of an hour up in the top of the Old Post Office tower, I headed back down by way of the Congress Bells, stopping to take a quick glance at them.  From there, I took a look at a small exhibit about the history of the Old Post Office building, from its construction to its abandonment as a place of postal business, to various demolition proposals to its eventual rescue and restoration to what it is today.  And then, it was time to head back down to street level.


The Old Post Office's atrium is amazing.  It's the centerpiece of the building, and the view from above is breathtaking.  Everything looks so small down below.  The glass elevator is visible in the upper right photo.  The Old Post Office's atrium is amazing.  It's the centerpiece of the building, and the view from above is breathtaking.  Everything looks so small down below.  The glass elevator is visible in the upper right photo.

The Old Post Office’s atrium is amazing.  It’s the centerpiece of the building, and the view from above is breathtaking.  Everything looks so small down below.  The glass elevator is visible in the upper right photo.

The Old Post Office's atrium is amazing.  It's the centerpiece of the building, and the view from above is breathtaking.  Everything looks so small down below.  The glass elevator is visible in the upper right photo.


The people and the shops get larger as we descend in the glass elevator from the ninth floor all the way to the bottom.


Down at the bottom of the atrium, with steel arches creating the illusion of a ceiling at the third floor level, it is definitely a busy place, with lots of places to sit, eat, and shop.  Down at the bottom of the atrium, with steel arches creating the illusion of a ceiling at the third floor level, it is definitely a busy place, with lots of places to sit, eat, and shop.

Down at the bottom of the atrium, with steel arches creating the illusion of a ceiling at the third floor level, it is definitely a busy place, with lots of places to sit, eat, and shop.

Down at the bottom of the atrium, with steel arches creating the illusion of a ceiling at the third floor level, it is definitely a busy place, with lots of places to sit, eat, and shop.  Down at the bottom of the atrium, with steel arches creating the illusion of a ceiling at the third floor level, it is definitely a busy place, with lots of places to sit, eat, and shop.


Meanwhile, the glass elevator carries another load of people up to the top of the tower.

Meanwhile, the glass elevator carries another load of people up to the top of the tower.


Looking up, we can see where we'd been, with the tower visible in large size through the glass roof.

Looking up, we can see where we’d been, with the tower visible in large size through the glass roof.

Looking up, we can see where we'd been, with the tower visible in large size through the glass roof.


Most of the shops in the Old Post Office are souvenir shops, selling stuff for the tourists, as the Old Post Office is geared primarily towards tourist traffic.  And so we have all the typical stuff, like FBI shirts, politically themed signs and other clothing, etc., there for purchase by tourists.  Most of the shops in the Old Post Office are souvenir shops, selling stuff for the tourists, as the Old Post Office is geared primarily towards tourist traffic.  And so we have all the typical stuff, like FBI shirts, politically themed signs and other clothing, etc., there for purchase by tourists.

Most of the shops in the Old Post Office are souvenir shops, selling stuff for the tourists, as the Old Post Office is geared primarily towards tourist traffic.  And so we have all the typical stuff, like FBI shirts, politically themed signs and other clothing, etc., there for purchase by tourists.

Most of the shops in the Old Post Office are souvenir shops, selling stuff for the tourists, as the Old Post Office is geared primarily towards tourist traffic.  And so we have all the typical stuff, like FBI shirts, politically themed signs and other clothing, etc., there for purchase by tourists.


Tourists, of course, can be identified by their awful fashion statements, such as all members of a group wearing identical clothing, often complemented by a sweatshirt or T-shirt saying “FBI” in big letters (no self-respecting DC local would be caught dead wearing one).  These people can also be found bumbling like idiots in front of the farecard machines at Metro stations, standing to the left on escalators, and hanging from the overhead grab bar on the trains.

And after taking a good look at the Old Post Office, I departed, as I had other places to go on my itinerary for today.  I ended up taking a walk after leaving the Old Post Office, because of its location.  The Old Post Office is located right in between two Metro stations, and so it is quite accessible by train.  Federal Triangle station on the Blue and Orange Lines is located right next door, while Archives-Navy Memorial on the Green and Yellow Lines is a few blocks up Pennsylvania Avenue.


And on my way to Archives-Navy Memorial station, I just have to say one thing: Fashion Police, please arrest this woman!  I am of the belief that it is never acceptable to wear cowboy boots with shorts or any other article of clothing that allows a person's bare legs to stick out above the boots.

And on my way to Archives-Navy Memorial station, I just have to say one thing: Fashion Police, please arrest this woman!  I am of the belief that it is never acceptable to wear cowboy boots with shorts or any other article of clothing that allows a person’s bare legs to stick out above the boots.


And while crossing the street to reach the Metro, I went "In the face of danger" (which was the original name of this photo set during the early planning stages) to get you a photo of the Capitol from the center of Pennsylvania Avenue while crossing the street.

And while crossing the street to reach the Metro, I went “In the face of danger” (which was the original name of this photo set during the early planning stages) to get you a photo of the Capitol from the center of Pennsylvania Avenue while crossing the street.


At Archives-Navy Memorial station, there was a noticeable change from past encounters with the station.  The name on the station is now Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter.  While the new name has been official for the better part of a year, the related signage is very new.  From here, I was going to ride to Gallery Place-Chinatown via the Green Line, and then transfer to the Red Line to go to Union Station.  Waiting on the platform at the station, my Green Line train came soon enough, to take me to Gallery Pl-Chinatown.


A CAF train on the Green Line, headed towards Greenbelt, arrives at the Archives-Navy Memorial station.


Since they first arrived in Washington DC back in 2001, the Green Line has always been the home of those Metro trains manufactured by CAF of Spain.  The general rule is that if you want a CAF train, hit the Green Line.  That was the case back in 2002 when I first rode a CAF train on April 13, 2002, and noticed all these “newfangled” colors and features that the old Rohrs and Bredas didn’t have.  I even compared the old with the new, in my photo set entitled The Metro of Tomorrow.

On the old Breda trains, the carpet is orange, the walls are cream-colored, the handles on top of the seats are brown rubber, and the seats themselves are two different shades of orange.  On the new Series 5000 trains, the carpet is a burgundy color, the walls are white, the handles on top of the seats are brushed metal, and the seats themselves are burgundy and blue-gray.  On the old Breda trains, the carpet is orange, the walls are cream-colored, the handles on top of the seats are brown rubber, and the seats themselves are two different shades of orange.  On the new Series 5000 trains, the carpet is a burgundy color, the walls are white, the handles on top of the seats are brushed metal, and the seats themselves are burgundy and blue-gray.

On the old Breda trains, the carpet is orange, the walls are cream-colored, the handles on top of the seats are brown rubber, and the seats themselves are two different shades of orange.  On the new Series 5000 trains, the carpet is a burgundy color, the walls are white, the handles on top of the seats are brushed metal, and the seats themselves are burgundy and blue-gray.

On the old Breda trains, the carpet is orange, the walls are cream-colored, the handles on top of the seats are brown rubber, and the seats themselves are two different shades of orange.  On the new Series 5000 trains, the carpet is a burgundy color, the walls are white, the handles on top of the seats are brushed metal, and the seats themselves are burgundy and blue-gray.  On the old Breda trains, the carpet is orange, the walls are cream-colored, the handles on top of the seats are brown rubber, and the seats themselves are two different shades of orange.  On the new Series 5000 trains, the carpet is a burgundy color, the walls are white, the handles on top of the seats are brushed metal, and the seats themselves are burgundy and blue-gray.

I still enjoy the CAF cars, though now they’re no longer the novelty that they used to be.  Now, with all 192 CAF cars on the property, they’ve become commonplace in the Metro system, though, as mentioned before, most of them still live on the Green Line.

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