2011-06-17_011

The eastern font of the U.S. Capitol Building

The United States Capitol Building is a visually stunning building and almost uniformly recognized as a symbolic representation of the legislative branch of our Federal government. When people see its image, they think of our nation’s seat of government – Washington, D.C. So I thought it would be a good place to start off this blog.

The Capitol Building is located atop Capitol Hill facing the eastern end of the National Mall, and serves as a non-geographic center of the city and the origin by which the four quadrants of the District are divided. But what most people don’t know is that the Capitol is part of a complex which comprised of much more than the just the building itself. It includes a group of about a dozen buildings and facilities that are used by the Federal government. The grounds on which the Capitol Complex is located cover approximately 274 acres, with the grounds proper consisting mostly of lawns, walkways, streets, drives, statues, fountains, and planting areas. People from all over the country and all over the world visit the Capitol when they come to Washington, but few see all that it has to offer beyond the building’s facade.

Much like the Capitol Building, the city is also comprised of more than what is apparent at first glance. It is a vastly complex city which offers much more than just the capital district where many Federal government facilities are located.

D.C. is a vibrant city where people work, live and play.  It has a wide diversity of colorful neighborhoods – from urban communities bustling with activity to family-friendly suburban communities to quiet rural areas with lots of green space and natural areas. The city is full of parks, monuments, museums, national landmarks, cultural events, musical and theatrical entertainment, sporting events, and other attractions.  And the D.C. metro area is a very bike-friendly place, with a number of bike lanes and trails throughout the city and surrounding suburbs that make it easy to explore all that the area has to offer.

One of the things I will attempt to do in this blog is help readers see more than what is apparent at first glance.  I will look beyond the well-known tourist destinations and address all aspects of the city, including the small and often overlooked things.  Because it is as true about D.C. as it is with most things, including life – it’s important to look for the little things.  As Robert Brault said, “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

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