|Jeff has discovered the exciting fish-eye view of the Mall|
I always wondered where the word mall came from, either as in shopping mall or in The National Mall. Thank heavens we now have the internet - whom did we ask all the questions in the years B.G.*? So here we go: it starts with the Italian game pallamaglia, from palla "ball" + maglia "mallet", something like croquet where you had to hit a ball with a mallet through a ring. The game made it into English as pall-mall, which was regularly played at an open alley in St. James Park in London. This alley was later turned into a broad, tree-lined promenade called The Mall, lending the meaning to the word of a "shaded walk serving as a promenade", as well as inspiring a well-known cigarette brand. I may be one of only a few that wonders about these things, but next to the origin of the Mall I also looked up why the heck this city is in the District of Columbia, but I'll save that for the second blog post about our D.C. trip - see below.
(* Before Google)
Anyway, if you could just continue walking straight down 16th Avenue through the White House, you come on the short axis of the National Mall and walk straight up to Washington Monument, the city's tallest structure by ordinance. It also serves as the central landmark of the city and National Mall, as it stands exactly on the intersection of the Mall's short and long axis. The long axis is pretty impressive, stretching 3.0 km (1.9 miles) from the steps of the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. It's all open space, so there's nothing to obstruct the view of the full 3 km. What our lovely host Richard mentioned rather late is that the day we were there was the autumn equinox, meaning that if the picture below would have been taken a few hours earlier, it would have shown the sun rise exactly behind the Capitol and Washington Monument. Pretty neat, but perhaps not worth getting up at 5AM for.
|Washington Monument and reflecting pool as seen from the Lincoln Memorial|
|Hotel W's rooftop lounge|
Thanks Son and Richard for opening up your D.C. home to us. We had a great weekend celebrating friendship, both old and newly found.
|Son and Richard|