Exploration and Exercise

DC Convention Center
DC Convention Center

When I jog, I try to make the event both exercise and an opportunity to explore.  I may not be an uber-geek like some of our friends – we all know who they are – but I must admit that I before I set out with my heart rate monitor and GPS, I went to Google Earth to plan my route.  I wanted to take a different route, about 5 miles.  After my map study (or “chart study” as we said in my Air Force days), I decided upon a route that would loop around the White House and take in a view of the National Mall.  Jogging through a community or any area at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning is probably the best time to transit due to the decrease in traffic and pedestrians.

So I started jogging on New York Avenue by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), past the Washington Convention Center, toward the Department of the Treasury and the White House, enjoying all the great architecture those buildings – and the city – have to offer.  For those that watched the TV series, “Lie to Me” – inspired by the scientific discoveries of a psychologist who can read clues in the human face, body and voice to expose the truth – the glass façade of the Washington Convention Center is used as the offices of the Lightman Group / Dr. Cal Lightman.

As I got close to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, I discovered their exhibit of Niki de Saint Phalle sculptures along the median of New York Avenue, N.W. between 12th and 13th streets. According to the museum, the New York Avenue Sculpture Project is “the first and only major outdoor sculpture corridor in our nation’s capital by women. Her colorful and joyous works of art will remain on view through the end of October 2011.”

NY Ave Sculptures
NY Ave Sculptures

At 15th St, New York Avenue turns west in front of Treasury and becomes Pennsylvania Avenue.  Any time you visit Pennsylvania Avenue (the north side of the White House) you typically see guys on roller blades playing street hockey.  They make good use of a street closed to vehicle traffic.  Noticeably absent in from the area was the cacophony of bull horns.  I guess protestors don’t get up early on Sunday morning.

Past the White House, then around the Executive Office Building, I headed south then east along E St to admire the White House vegetable garden; you can see part of it through the fence.  Now in its third year, the garden includes spinach, peas, lettuce, broccoli, blueberries, raspberries and other vegetables and herbs.  First Lady Michelle Obama uses the garden to highlight healthy eating for children as well as the Let’s Move! initiative to “raise a healthier generation of kids.”

As I jogged past the south side of Treasury, I remembered my behind the scenes tour of the building as IT Manager during the Turner Construction Company Treasury Building Renovation Project.  Like most buildings in DC, it was impressive from its architectural, political, and historical significance.

I planned to jog east on Pennsylvania Avenue toward the US Capitol, but they were setting up for a festival, so I detoured up 15th St, and east along H St so I could end my jog at Chinatown’s Friendship Arch and stop at a nearby sporting goods store.

Overall, the lower temperature and humidity made for an enjoyable morning run.  My 10,000 steps per day are now behind me.  I’m now off to find some more adventure to fill my day.

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