Blissful boating on blue-green algae

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We stepped into a teetering rowboat on Central Park Lake on Saturday afternoon, the pistachio-hued water complementing the verdant landscape. As we navigated the curving waterway, a linen-clad couple declared their affection in the shade of a willow tree. An elderly gentleman skipped his oars across the water with expert precision, the rapid movement of his arms seeming to match the intensity of his thoughts. We bumped into a few rock walls and low-lying branches as we stopped to observe a family of sunbathing turtles, but let’s chalk that bit of awkwardness up to environmental curiosity. Continue reading

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Water on the Mall

I’ve been living in Washington, D.C., this summer, and if there’s one thing that’s amazed me about the National Mall, it’s this: There are fountains everywhere.

Don’t get me wrong—pretty much everything about the National Mall is amazing, which is kind of the point. If you haven’t been there before, the Mall is a seemingly endless collection of museums and monuments, stretching from Congress at one end to the Lincoln Memorial at the other. Highlights include the Jefferson Memorial, the National Museum of Natural History, and the gorgeous United States Botanic Garden (which, incidentally, has a pretty neat sustainability initiative.)

I’ve spent several weekends walking up and down the Mall, and even with all of the great museums and historic sights, the thing that’s really caught my attention is all the water. There’s hardly a memorial that doesn’t use water as a means of paying homage, and I’ve started to joke that no government building could possibly be important if it doesn’t have at least three fountains. (I know, I’m hilarious.)

At this point you probably want examples. Some of the best fountains I’ve seen:

ImageYes, that’s the White House! Specifically, it’s the North Lawn. And there’s a second fountain on the other side. Continue reading