By Jim McCloskey
I’ve spent a lot of time in Washington, D.C., through the years.
I was born there in the 1950s, my favorite aunt lived there in the ’60s, one of my brothers lived there through part of the ’70s, business took me to the area frequently in the ’80s and ’90s, and one of my sisters lives there now. I therefore have claim not only to being a native son, but have also enjoyed the benefits that flow from having had friendly, convenient places to stay.
Without fail, every time I visit the city with even an hour or two to spare, I make a point of spending some time on the National Mall – the huge public space that stretches from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial. I’m a museum junkie, and there are so many of them there (including the Smithsonian’s endlessly amazing National Air & Space Museum) that I always find something interesting to see or do.
One thing I have never been fond of, however, is the grand reflecting pool that eats up much of the space between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It’s not that it isn’t impressive, because it is, or that it doesn’t serve its purpose, because the reflections can be spectacular. My problem is that, when you get up close, it has for too long been an extremely nasty body of water – typically green, generally odiferous and mostly none too appealing.
But all that is changing: For the past 18 months or so, the reflecting pool has been the subject of a $30 million renovation project that's getting rid of the cracks and will keep the water where it belongs for the first time in a long time. It will also include the addition of an all-new circulation system that will make the water look and smell oh-so-much better.
They say the work is to be completed sometime this spring, which is great news. If you find yourself anywhere in the vicinity, stop by and have a look. I know I will, and soon!