Having a general idea of how to get to the White House and National Mall based on my observations during my SuperShuttle ride to the hotel just outside of China Town, I slowly picked my way through the streets of Washington DC until I stumbled into Lafayette Square, the seven-acre public park that forms part of President’s Park and which stands directly north of the White House.
Named after Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat and hero of the American Revolutionary War, the public green space features big ornate bronze statues of revolutionary heroes from Europe in each of its four corners, and is centered by a well known statue of early 19th century U.S. President and general Andrew Jackson on horseback surrounded by cannons.
Of course, at the edge of the park is the White House, but clearly something of importance was happening on the day as there was a very visible police presence, there was a second barrier keeping you away from the famous fence, not to mention that a lot of the primary fence was boarded up, meaning that you couldn’t really get that famous view of the presidential residence. (At least I got to see Trump fly in to the White House on the Marine One helicopter while I was standing among the crowd comprised of fans, protestors and of course we the tourists!)
From there I sauntered around President’s Park, taking in all the grandiose architecture of the many stately and imposing office buildings that make up such a large part of Washington D.C.’s identity, as well as the myriad of home bases that the many varied associations take up to be close to the Capitol. As you might imagine its just columns, statues, memorials and that beautiful stone wherever you look.
Major General John A Rawlins, Simon Bolivar, Jose Gervasio Artigas, Jose Cecilio del Valle, the Daughters of the American Revolution, American Red Cross, the Organization of American States, the United States Institute of Peace – so much things to be seen and noted for further research back at the hotel I tell you!
(Another fine catch from my impromptu stroll down Constitution Avenue was that of the National Academy of Sciences and its brilliant bronze sculpture in tribute of famed scientist Albert Einstein.)
And then of course I crossed the road onto the National Mall as the magnificent Lincoln Memorial rose up before me…