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Entries in Washington DC (69)


The View From Here

This is the Great Hall inside the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, Washington DC. It's a pretty impressive space. Kathy and I visited it on a whim, walking over from the US Capitol Building after taking the tour there. As you can see it was packed with tourists. Next time I want to be there when they open. No tripods allowed so this was taken by balancing the camera on the marble railing that surrounds the perimeter of the hall. Built in 1890, this building is one of the most beautiful places I've seen in DC.


Woodly Park Zoo Station

This is the Woodly Park Zoo metro station in Washington DC. I have always found the architecture of DC's metro stations to be interesting and very worthy of a photo or two. While the stations are nice,it can be a little disconcerting when an express train blasts through the station without stopping or seeming to slow down. You can kind of see one on the right side of the photo. Just look for the semi-transparent blur.


Just prior to Kathy and I traveling to Washington DC, I had been reading a very interesting book about Hugh Everett's "Many-Worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics. One of the concepts the reader has to wrap his or her head around is that of the existence of a multiverse, where there isn't a single universe but instead an infinite number of them which are constantly splitting. One where you ate breakfast in the morning and one where you didn't, one where you posted a photo of an interesting art installation and one where you didn't and on and on. Anyway, there are many Smithsonian art museums but on the National Mall there are two that have a walkway between them which is located below ground level. At some point a very interesting art exhibit called "multiverse" was installed. It consists of thousands of LED lights that race around making patterns that are really compelling. You can walk the length of this tunnel or ride on one of two moving sidewalk conveyor belt thingies like the two guys in the photo are doing.

Self Evident Truths

Thomas Jefferson was only 33 years old when he became the principal author of the declaration of independence. That along with being the third president of the United States makes for a pretty impressive resume. Pictured here is the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. Beautifully situated at the edge the tidal basin and surrounded by cherry blossom trees which bloom to life each April, this memorial which is housed in a pantheon like domed structure is not a sight to be missed. The walls contain excerpts of Jefferson's most notable writings including an one from the declaration of independence.


Our flag's unfurled to every breeze from dawn to setting sun

Marine Corps Memorial - Washington DC



Silverplate, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

I have read that even with the accute raw material shortages and rationing that went on during WWII, anything needed for the Manhattan project was was delivered on a silver platter. It was understood that if the United States failed to create a working atomic bomb before the Germans or the Japanese we would likely lose the war. Within the Manhattan project, nothing was given a higher priority than the special modifications that were needed to be made to standard B-29 bombers which would enable them to drop atomic weapons. For that reason these modifications were code named "Silverplate". Pictured here and preserved for history is the Enola Gay which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima Japan, the effects of which probably killed between 90,000 and 166,000 people while helping to end WWII and probably saving 1 million American lives.


Space Race

Space Race, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

In the 1960's and 70's the United States and the Soviet Union were trying their best to outdo one another with feats in outer space. This hall at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, features many artifacts from this time period.


In the Name of Love

In the Name of Love, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

When Kathy and I visited Washington D.C. in October of last year, one of the things we wanted to see was the Dr. Martin Luther King National Memorial which at the time, had been built but not yet dedicated. The sculpture of Dr. King faces the Tidal Basin. He seems to be gazing directly at the Jefferson Memorial which is quite fitting. The black stone wall that surrounds the memorial has been etched with famous writings of the slain civil rights leader. Kathy asked one of the visitor guides if we could use our tripods - fully expecting them to say no but the answer we got was "sure, go ahead". Wow! This must be the only memorial in Washington that allows tripods.


Smithsonian Castle, West Wing

This is the West wing of the Smithsonian Castle which is located on the national mall in Washington DC. Designed by architect James Renwick Jr. this impressive space was originally envisioned as a lecture hall. With its abundant natural light it was also considered to be ideal for use as an art gallery. Today it holds a wide variety of exhibits from the Smithsonian's vast collection.

This is a 10 shot HDR shot with my new fisheye lens. I used my gorillapod to stabilize the camera and was hoping the guard wouldn't come in and stop me. The smithonian generally does not allow tripods in their museums.


Ambience of Silence

Ambience of Silence, originally uploaded by big_pixel_pusher.

This is the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. On the day Kathy and I visited there were very few other guests walking the galleries. It was nearly silent and the sound of our footsteps reverberated across the vast open spaces. I could almost hear the hushed voices of visitors past, diminished but not forgotten.