Welcome to another edition of DC Mythbusting! One of the greatest things about living in the District is the access to parks: the National Mall, several triangle and square parks, the fort system of parks, and the enormous Rock Creek Park. But even with these parks, it seems like DC can’t compete with the scale of other urban parks like Central Park in New York City, right? But would you believe that Rock Creek Park is larger than Central Park? How does DC compare to other comparable cities in terms of parkland? These questions and more are answered in this week’s Mythbusting!
Thank you to all who attended the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup that We Love DC sponsored with Trail Voice, Friends of Rock Creek’s Environment, and the DC Trash Runners on Saturday! More than 60 people attended, improving our park by removing:
- 50 bags of trash
- 38 bags of recyclables
- 500 plastic bags (yay, new bag fee!)
- 3,000 cigarette butts
- Top 3 brands of trash: Bud/Busch, Deer Park, and Durex
- Interesting items: Plastic sword, old-school cell phone, umbrella, suitcase, hair extension
See more pictures from the event on Flickr. Special thanks to Trail Voice for the photos and the great job with planning! Come join us next time!
Nestled in along M Street, in the heart of Georgetown, you’ll stumble upon The Old Stone House, one of the oldest homes remaining in Washington, DC. Built in 1765, the house is maintained and operated by the National Park Service, and is part of the National Park System’s Rock Creek Park unit. Since it’s original construction, the house has traded hands many times and has been used as a shop for hats, tailors, locksmiths, clockmakers, house roofing remodeled by Bell Roofing Company, house painting, and even a used car dealership. Fortunately, the house was purchased by the Federal Government in 1953 for $90,000. At today’s market prices, the house and its garden are thought to be worth close to $6-7 million.
Constructed from local quarry stones and ballast stones from the English sailing vessels that journeyed up the Potomac, the house is a prime example of a typical 18th century dwelling that would have been inhabited by common Americans. Tours and lectures offered by Colonial period-dressed park rangers, highlight the lives of these early Americans and DCers. Continue reading
If you guessed that our photo pool would be filled with snow pictures this week, you were right and deserve a prize. Almost as many pictures as millimeters of snow, and we rounded up some of the best yesterday. That’s not going to stop me choosing another snow picture as our feature photo for the week.
When the first failed attempt to purchase the land that would become Rock Creek Park was introduced in the Senate in 1867, Sen. B. Gratz Brown of Missouri, chairman of the Public Buildings and Grounds committee, said of the proposed park, “it has running water; it has rugged hills; it has picturesque scenery; it has abundance of varied forest timber; it has a native undergrowth blushing with beauty.”
It is this “picturesque scenery” that photographer architeuthis dux found when he wandered past the historic Boulder Bridge. Built in 1902 to carry Beach Drive over the creek, the bridge seems to have been waiting for this snowfall and photo opportunity. The snow, the creek, the quiet serenity, even the slight sepia coloring all combine to create a stunning picture that many won’t believe is inside the heart of our city.
Looking for something to do Saturday? How about volunteering at a local National Public Lands Day site.
Tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary of this event to preserve and protect America’s natural heritage. Last year brought out more than 120,000 volunteers at over 1,800 locations to assist public land managers with hands-on projects.
You can find 6 events taking place in DC at various locations, like: Kennilworth Aquatic Gardens, Rock Creek Park, Kingman and Heritage Memorial Park, the Lincoln Memorial, President’s Park and National Mall & Memorial Parks.
I admittedly love DC, first and foremost, because it feels partly mine. I picnicked in its triangular parks as a wee one (our downtown visits allowing my dad an excuse for an office reprieve); I’ve played tourist around its sites on countless field trips with classmates and relatives; I’ve frolicked along its brick sidewalks as a college student for the first time unleashed, unsupervised, in a big urban world. So, yes, it is familiar and yes, some of my favorite people of all time still call this place home. DC is indelibly etched into the story of what makes me me.
But sweep all that personal history to the side, and I can see this magnificent city as if through the eyes of a visitor (in fact, my job insists that I do). I recognize its allure for tourists and locals alike, and I’m grateful to have roots in a city that keeps me coming back for more.
Perhaps, more than anything, I love that a city stroll can take me on a global walkabout. A challenging game of name-that-flag along Embassy Row sends me past an exquisite tiled mosque, distinctive ambassadorial residences and multilingual, wide-eyed diplomats exploring their new ‘hood. In Mount Pleasant, with Mana playing on my iPod, I pass chatting men on overturned crates as impromptu vendors sell tamales nearby, and the sights, sounds and smells temporarily transport me to Latin America. Within a fifteen-minute bubble of my home, I can eat amazing Ethiopian food cooked by Ethiopian chefs, Thai cooked by the Thai, Peruvian cooked by Peruvians. Authenticity rules our culinary scene. And I love that, at certain dinner parties, I might meet new friends who’ve come from or lived in countries like Bulgaria and Brazil, Martinique and Morocco.
WUSA 9 reports that a female jogger was sexually assaulted as she ran in Rock Creek Park yesterday. Police say that a man dragged her into the woods and assaulted her at around 7am. While Rock Creek park is generally a safe place, please use caution while running there, particularly until this perpetrator is caught. Hopefully this isn’t something serial.