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Take a vacation—it’s good for the soul. Mine ends here :)

Fin

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The White House

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On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, looking past the Reflecting Pool at the Washington Monument.

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Hirshhorn Museum

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The (Smithsonian) Castle

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The National Mall is undergoing renovations, so it’s not possible to zigzag straight across the long green lawn, hopping in and out of the bordering museums.

Standing midway to look at either the Washington Monument or the Capitol Building, I am interrupted by bulldozers and caution tape!

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The Library of Congress. 

Current exhibitions include Books that Shaped America (to add to my reading list) and Hope for America: Performers, Politics and Pop Culture.

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The U.S. Capitol Building

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11 o’clock view of Manhattan from the Top of the Rock Observatory.

Empire State Building is lit up in green, center.

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The Statue of Liberty is best viewed from a water taxi that has cruised the alongside the Manhattan coast at sunset.

Up until this point, I’d only seen mini-replicas of Lady Liberty and the flame (enlightening the world!) in Paris.

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One World Trade Center, under construction.

+10

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After submerging in Paris as an undercover tourist for so long, I felt estranged from American history and culture when I got back to California.

A stop in New York City and Washington DC should do the trick, I thought. I could be a tourist at home.

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The Empire State Building has a “stepped” base to allow sunlight to reach the sidewalk.

In the financial district, some buildings’ walls are at a straight vertical, resulting in streets downed in their perpetual shadows.

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The Flatiron Building was built to fit in the triangular island-block formed by Fifth Ave, Broadway and East 22nd St.

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Formerly Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed after the headquarters of The NY Times was moved there.

Also known as “The Crossroads of the World”…