Few places in Washington, D.C. are more relaxing than the fountain area in the sculpture garden of the National Gallery of Art.
As with most parks and museums in this city, entrance to the sculpture garden is free and it’s open until 7 p.m. There is a patio restaurant and cafe to one side with indoor air-conditioned seating and ample outdoor seating.
It’s all truly an oasis in the middle of a busy, politically fraught city…and so, yesterday, taking a break from some other concerns, I sat there a while, near the fountain, and practiced sketching some of the people, many of them apparently visitors to this usually beautiful and dignified city. It’s restorative to see people of all backgrounds and walks of life enjoying the spray of water from the many jets of water criss-crossing the Sculpture Garden pool in huge arcs above. It’s hard to see how they could leave this city with a bad impression if this garden is representative of their experiences. And indeed many of the people I watched were in no hurry to leave, staying an hour or more.