Washington DC

I spent half a day wandering around Washington Dc with my with camera, not taking one single photograph. I just didn’t get this city. I couldn’t work out what its story, its identity, its atmosphere really was. To me it just seemed empty. Yes it was late December but it wasn’t particularly cold, and yet the streets were quiet and empty. It felt like all I saw were people wearing black coats, always in the distance. Being few days before Christmas I was hoping for that electric buzz big cities have at that time of year.
Eventually I found myself at the Lincoln Memorial and suddenly I understood this place. Washington DC is about history, it is a quiet city that stands as the national memory. Filled with museums and monuments that allow you to bear witness to the story of the United States, to see what the nation considers important. You can see the Declaration of Independence, the flag which inspired The Star Spangled Banner, the Greensboro lunch counter. It’s only when you see the size and magnificence of something like the Lincoln Memorial in person that you can really comprehend what that one man meant to the people. That’s what Washington DC is all about. Once I realised this, I could see a beautiful historic city, calm and assured. And really the subtle touches of red and green for Christmas were everywhere.

Looking down the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting pool, one of the most famous sites in the National Mall, towards the iconic Washington Memorial with grey stormy clouds reflected in the shallow water and three people strolling along side it, Washington, DC

Looking down the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting pool, one of the most famous sites in the National Mall, towards the iconic Washington Memorial with grey stormy clouds reflected in the shallow water and three people strolling along side it.

On the steps at the base of the massive marble columns of the Lincoln Memorial people sit, take photos, and reflect on the view of the National Mall in front of them, Washington, DCThe steps of the Lincoln Memorial, site of many historic events including Martin Luther King's

On the steps at the base of the massive marble columns of the Lincoln Memorial people sit, take photos, and reflect on the view of the National Mall in front of them; The steps of the Lincoln Memorial, site of many historic events including Martin Luther King’s “I had a dream” speech.

Three people in black winter coats walk towards the impressive Lincoln Memorial, with a grey sky above, Washington, DC

Three people in black winter coats walk towards the impressive Lincoln Memorial, with a grey sky above.

Two teenage boys sit in front of the wreathed state pillars which form part of the World War Two Memorial in the National Mall, with an ominous grey sky and the bare winter branches of elm trees; Looking along the front of the Lincoln Memorial, with it's massive columns, Washington, DCLooking along the front of the Lincoln Memorial, with it's massive marble columns, Washington, DC

Two teenage boys sit in front of the wreathed state pillars which form part of the World War Two Memorial in the National Mall, with an ominous grey sky and the bare winter branches of elm trees; Looking along the front of the Lincoln Memorial, with it’s massive marble columns.

A woman leans against one of the giant columns at the front of the Lincoln Memorial and sends text messages on her phone, behind her the view down the National Mall of the Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument with wintery grey skies, Washington, DC

A woman leans against one of the giant columns at the front of the Lincoln Memorial and sends text messages on her phone, behind her the view down the National Mall of the Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument with wintery grey skies.

Clouds and a late afternoon winter sky reflected in a the shallow rippled water of the Reflecting Pool, with the District of Columbia World War One Memorial amongst bare elm trees, Washington, DCLooking up at the National World War Two Monument to three large bronze eagles holding a wreath, with ominous grey winter skies and bare elm trees, Washington DC

Clouds and a late afternoon winter sky reflected in a the shallow rippled water of the Reflecting Pool, with the District of Columbia World War One Memorial amongst bare elm trees; Looking up at the National World War Two Monument to three large bronze eagles holding a wreath, with ominous grey winter skies and bare elm trees.

A man runs in the National Mall, following the path the length of the Lincoln Reflecting Pool with the Washington Memorial and the Capitol in front of him catching the sunlight despite the cloudy grey skies, Washington, DC

A man runs in the National Mall, following the path the length of the Lincoln Reflecting Pool with the Washington Memorial and the Capitol in front of him catching the sunlight despite the cloudy grey skies.

The Atlantic side of the commanding National World War Two Memorial with stormy grey skies and bare elm trees, Washington, DC

The Atlantic side of the commanding National World War Two Memorial with stormy grey skies and bare elm trees.

Christmas wreaths laid at the base of each state pillar that the National World War Two Memorial, Washington, DCStormy grey sky and warm sunset light over the White House, the high fence on it's perimeter casting shadows across the grass, Washington, DC

Christmas wreaths laid at the base of each state pillar that the National World Ware Two Memorial; Stormy grey sky and warm sunset light over the White House, the high fence on it’s perimeter casting shadows across the grass.

A water feature on the grandiose World War Two Memorial with a quote from General Sherman about America's desire to be synonymous with overwhelming force as well as freedom, in the background the Washington Monument stands out against a grey stormy sky and the flag flys at half mast as the nation mourns the Sandy Hook massacre, Washington, DC

A water feature on the grandiose World War Two Memorial with a quote from General Sherman about America’s desire to be synonymous with overwhelming force as well as freedom, in the background the Washington Monument stands out against a grey stormy sky and the flag flys at half mast as the nation mourns the Sandy Hook massacre.

Beneath a grey stormy sky people walk across as expanse of grass towards the Washington Monument, now fenced off due to damage from the 2011 Virginia earthquake, Washington, DC

Beneath a grey stormy sky people walk across as expanse of grass towards the Washington Monument, now fenced off due to damage from the 2011 Virginia earthquake.

Tourists walk past the White House between layers of fences and barricades, with a grey sky and the flag at half mast, Washington, DC

Tourists walk past the White House between layers of fences and barricades, with a grey sky and the flag at half mast.

Tourists take photos of the White House through the high fence late in the day with stormy sunset light, Washington, DC

Tourists take photos of the White House through the high fence late in the day with stormy sunset light.

People walk along the sidewalk in front of the White House, with the Washington Memorial and bare elm trees silhouetted against the cloudy sky and the low setting sun casting long shadows, Washington, DC

People walk along the sidewalk in front of the White House, with the Washington Memorial and bare elm trees silhouetted against the cloudy sky and the low setting sun casting long shadows.

Looking

Looking down through the branches of bare winter tree to traffic along a curved road amongst trees beside a creek with an old bridge in the distance.

Old multi storey terraced house in the Dupont Circle neighbourhood with winter trees and steps up to a bright red front door, Washington, DCFenced bare trees along a red brick sidewalk with an old stone wall in Georgetown, Washington, DC

Old multi storey terraced house in the Dupont Circle neighbourhood with winter trees and steps up to a bright red front door; Fenced bare trees along a red brick sidewalk with an old stone wall in Georgetown.

A nearly empty old stone bridge with decorative lamp posts and bare wintery trees near Dupont Circle, Washington, DC

A nearly empty old stone bridge with decorative lamp posts and bare wintery trees near Dupont Circle.

Looking down through bare winter branches to a woman jogging amongst the trees along a track covered in fallen leaves, Washington, DC

Looking down through bare winter branches to a woman jogging amongst the trees along a track covered in fallen leaves.

A woman in a black coat walks past an old brick house with typical black wooden shutters and Christmas decorations in Georgetown, a large ivy-covered tree growing from the sidewalk, Washington, DCThree colourful attached small wooden houses with bare winter trees and a red brick sidewalk in Georgetown, Washington, DC

A woman in a black coat walks past an old brick house with typical black wooden shutters and Christmas decorations in Georgetown, a large ivy-covered tree growing from the sidewalk; Three colourful attached small wooden houses with bare winter trees and a red brick sidewalk in Georgetown.

Georgetown neighbourhood with it's terraced old houses, adorned with Christmas decorations and American flags, Washington, DC

Georgetown neighbourhood with it’s terraced old houses, adorned with Christmas decorations and American flags.

A brick sidewalk with colourful fallen autumn leaves, a wrought iron gate and green ivy, Washington, DC

A brick sidewalk with colourful fallen autumn leaves, a wrought iron gate and green ivy.

Row of attach colourfully painted brick houses in Georgetown with black shutters, Christmas decorations, coloured lights and a yellow bike parked next to the steps, Washington, DCOrnate and grand decorative old front door to a red brick Georgetown house, with a large Christmas wreath and small Christmas trees in pots, Washington, DC

Row of attach colourfully painted brick houses in Georgetown with black shutters, Christmas decorations, coloured lights and a yellow bike parked next to the steps; Ornate and grand decorative old front door to a red brick Georgetown house, with a large Christmas wreath and small Christmas trees in pots.

A very Christmassy looking bush with red berries and green leaves growing in a front yard in Georgetown, Washington, DC

A very Christmassy looking bush with red berries and green leaves growing in a front yard in Georgetown.

Another typical large old brick Georgetown house with black shutters, ornate cast iron window bar, a decorative front door and a bare rose creeper growing up the wall, Washington, DC

Another typical large old brick Georgetown house with black shutters, ornate cast iron window bar, a decorative front door and a bare rose creeper growing up the wall.

Just off the main shopping street in Georgetown, people walk across a foot bridge over the 19th Century C&O Canal, with an old industrial brick building complete with smokestack and a airplane flying overhead, Washington, DC

Just off the main shopping street in Georgetown, people walk across a foot bridge over the 19th Century C&O Canal, with an old industrial brick building complete with smokestack and a airplane flying overhead.

A path along the waterfront, with an arched bridge over the Potomac River, bare trees, red winterberry holly and a solo figure in a black winter coat taking a strollTall yellow grasses on the bank of the Potomac River with an airplane in the sky above, Washington, DC

A path along the waterfront, with an arched bridge over the Potomac River, bare trees, red winterberry holly and a solo figure in a black winter coat taking a stroll; Tall yellow grasses on the bank of the Potomac River with an airplane in the sky above.

A couple walk along a path beside the 19th Century C&O Canal in Georgetown, where many of the old industrial red brick buildings are still standing behind the main shopping street, Washington, DCEmpty tables and chairs scattered on the brick sidewalk in Georgetown seem abandoned in the cool winter weather, Washington, DC

A couple walk along a path beside the 19th Century C&O Canal in Georgetown, where many of the old industrial red brick buildings are still standing behind the main shopping street; Empty tables and chairs scattered on the brick sidewalk in Georgetown seem abandoned in the cool winter weather.

A Christmas wreath on the corner door of a house in Georgetown, with trees growing out of the red brick sidewalk, Washington, DC

A Christmas wreath on the corner door of a house in Georgetown, with trees growing out of the red brick sidewalk.

Rough painted brick wall with Christmas-coloured red and green plants spilling out of a pot on the red brick sidewalk, Washington, DC

Rough painted brick wall with Christmas-coloured red and green plants spilling out of a pot on the red brick sidewalk.

A small brown bird sits on the bare branches of a winterberry holly amongst the bright red berries, Washington, DCRed berries in a bare winter tree over a street in Georgetown with rows of small wooden houses on a dark winter afternoon, Washington, DC

A small brown bird sits on the bare branches of a winterberry holly amongst the bright red berries; Red berries in a bare winter tree over a street in Georgetown with rows of small wooden houses on a dark winter afternoon.

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