The sky was completely clouded over, and I managed to get turned around somehow, so I was walking east on Independence. At first, the neighborhood was pretty nice...and then it started getting a bit sketchy. I wasn't particular worried, although I was glad that I was carrying an umbrella, which can be used in a defensive manner. I got lost in this neighborhood some years back at night in a car; I am very glad that I was not there at night on foot.
Once I realized my mistake--when I reached 14th Street SE (not SW), and it was running into Massachusetts Avenue--I walked a couple of blocks down and caught the Metro Blue line. This took me to a station that was a few blocks from the Jefferson Memorial.
I stopped at one National Park Service information booth, and the ranger distinctly told me to walk south and turn right at the Washington Memorial. I took his advice, but it soon became apparent that I needed to turn left.
You can see it across the Tidal Basin, and in a relatively understated way, it is beautiful and elegant. Up close, it follows in the classical tradition of Revolutionary and Republican America:
Inside is a heroic statute of Jefferson, really quite akin to something that you might have seen in a pagan temple in Rome or Greece:
I was slightly surprised and yet pleased to see an African-American man taking pictures, with what seemed like appropriate awe. For all the negative press about Jefferson's relationship with Sallie Hemings, and his holding of slaves, his writings about the subject of slavery on the wall are sobering and powerful:
Of course, some of his other powerful writings are elsewhere inside: