Washington

Washington DC Still Tops My List

Over the weekend, I made a road trip down to Washington D.C. in order to attend an event and to visit some friends who live in the area. After breakfast with friends, I was dropped off at the metro station for a ride in to downtown. If you've never ridden the Washington Metro, it really is one of the best looking metro's in the world, at least in my eyes. Not to say that the trains are good looking, they aren't, the trains are old and show their age. Stations are a whole other story though.



Metro stations in downtown Washington D.C. are something you never see in underground stations anywhere else in the world... they're big and open. WMATA, the operators of the DC Metro, seem to have nailed an aesthetic that makes the system inviting from the get go. Washington D.C. is the first public transit I was ever introduced to, and I wonder if I would have received it so well if that start had been someplace else like New York City.

After getting off the subway at the Federal Triangle, I made my way through the city. A helpful hint to those riding the Orange, Blue and Silver line as tourists. Smithsonian Station is one of the most popular for any tourists, getting off at Federal Triangle puts you close to where you want to be, but is much less crowded. This tip is similar for the Yellow and Green lines, L'Enfant Station or the Federal Archives are better choices if you want to avoid crowds.

As I made my way to the Lincoln Memorial, I was quickly reminded of why Washington D.C. still managed to rank as my all time favorite city, even amidst all of the places I've been in the world. What is it that so captivates me with D.C.? There are a number of things that I find very appealing about Washington, and it isn't just one thing that continues to draw me back, it's the combination, that seems to be unique.

First off is the architecture of downtown D.C. with large stone buildings that not only give a fairly uniform feel to the city, but also has an interesting mix of modern and old styles. Buildings seem to meld the beauty of ancient Greece but somehow bring it into modern times, and rarely are any buildings in bad shape. Granted, much of the city center is government buildings, which explains the upkeep and uniform nature of buildings, but it really creates a warm feel the moment you step off the train. That stone architecture even makes its way into those beautiful metro stations and all flows so well into one another.

The other major factor for me is the mall. Those who haven't been to Washington must realize how amazing the parks of D.C. are. The mall flows into the Capitol and Washington Monument. Washington Monument flows to the Lincoln Memorial into the war memorials into Jefferson's Monument, into so much more. Still the mall is what draws my attention.

Snug in between the Capitol building and the Washington Monument, is the Smithsonian Museums. This area, referred to as the mall, houses a mecca of sorts for me. I love museums, and D.C. has everything from Art, to Science and Botanical Gardens to American History... this is a place I adore and continues to draw me back time after time. No place else in the world have I ever been able to see so many museums and walk past them all in a very short period of time.

When you combine all of the aspects of Washington D.C. there is no way that this incredible city would be ousted by any other in the world. For me, there is no other place I'd like to spend an entire week just walking around, more than D.C. If you haven't ever visited, put it on your list and make sure you get there sooner rather than later.

The Last Few Weeks

   

The New Website

 

  First off, welcome to the newly revamped website. I switched hosting platforms back to Squarespace. Whenever anyone comes to me for advice on where to make a website, Squarespace is always my go to answer… and no this is not a paid endorsement.



 

     Last year I chose to do my own website, out of some interest in learning how to program HTML5 and CSS3. If any of you have been to my website in the past, you may have seen the fruits of that labor. Blogs become a difficult thing to manage however and I am not a huge fan of the WordPress engine that I was forced to use, as a result it laid dormant and I eventually removed it.

 

     Now that I am back on Squarespace, hopefully this will allow everything to run a little bit smoother and keep everyone up to date. It will also allow the gallery pages to stay up to date with new photos with far more ease than I had before.

 

 

     So on to the topic at hand. After life took me in a different direction for the beginning of this year, I had fallen away from photography to focus on other things. Now I am back at it, quickly reminded of why I love photography and how important it is to keep this in my life. With major changes in my life over the past few months, I knew I had to get back into photography, since it is such a big part of who I am.

 

     Starting a few weeks ago I made some last minute decisions to travel extensively for a few months. Having a new job, this limits me to weekend trips, but weekend trips can be just as exciting.

 

San Francisco

      My first choice for a trip was to fly to San Francisco for a weekend. Never having been to California, this was one of those places I've always wanted to visit. Let’s just say, the Golden Gate Bridge does not disappoint. Driving across the bridge in my newly acquired Zipcar and stopping at a number of overlooks around the bridge afforded me the opportunity to get some amazing photos up close and personal with this icon. The photo above, and also my opening photo on the website, was even pushed to the popular page on 500px, a very flattering experience. The city has so much to do, I couldn't pack enough into one day, but it was an great trip.

 

Washington D.C.

 

      This past weekend I was facing another boring weekend at home. Instead of letting that happen, on Thursday, I pulled out my phone and made reservations on a late Amtrak train for the next day. The train took me to Union Station in Washington D.C. where I stayed for the weekend. All day Saturday was a nice day out and gave me the chance to wander around some of the streets I hadn't yet been down on my previous trips to the nation’s capital. Mid-morning saw some clouds roll in and gave some great backdrop to some photos of the capitol building. The one above I edited to give a more ominous feel to because it just seemed to fit with the photo I was working with. It did also mirror what most people feel right now with the government shutdown, but it was never planned that way during editing.

     Once again welcome to the new Nate Allen Photography website. Stay tuned, I will be updating this regularly as I take new photos. Keep an eye out on the website in two weeks. My latest trip is planned for Columbus Day weekend, when I get an extra day off from work. Taking advantage of that time, I will be visiting New York City for the first time in my life and I have some pretty awesome photos planned for that weekend.

     Until next time…