Capitol Hill is always an imposing sight. With the supporting office buildings to the right (looking at the Capitol) with historic names like the Rayburn building and the Cannon building, one is surrounded by the pomp and splendor of the world's richest democracy.
The steps up to the capitol are like steps leading up to a Greek temple. The area around the Capitol unfortunately is marred by the ubiquity of the security apparatus of the Government and the DC police. There are police cars everywhere. The streets around the capital are guarded by red-light cameras. South East DC is a difficult place to find parking. The parking meters near 3rd Street and D Street were hard to use as the credit card slots were jammed. The number of quarters you need to park are very very many for the small time you score on the meters. One is led to believe that the Capitol Hill area was designed for the Congress by the Congress and visitors come in at their own trouble and difficulty and stay for a few minutes.
Your best bet is to come in by Metro and walk everywhere. Parking is not for the faint of heart as we found out when we had to attend a event in the Cannon Building one evening though a lot of parking opens up for free after 6:30 PM.
The physical and emotional distance between the governed and the governing continues to expand, and Capitol Hill shows just how far this gap has become. You don't "bump" into your representatives any more. You may get lucky and see them with a telescope!
As the sun goes down, this area becomes exceptionally beautiful with the lighting. Along with the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson Monuments, and the White House, the Capitol Hill area IS Washington DC.
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