Freedom Plaza appears at first to be an open area paved with a strange selection of odd sized marble blocks. Some of them apear at first to have been vandalized by someone scratching words into them.
But if you take the time to walk around the plaza and pay attention to the pattern and the etching a picture begins to form. It is not random at all. It is, in fact, a map. Or rather a plan.
The plaza is a large scale rendering of the plan drawn by Major Charles L’Enfant for the design of the new federal city. It is oriented and positioned so that the spot where I took this photo is the “You Are Here” spot. The white strip pointing toward the Capital Building – down Pennsylvania Avenue – represents… well, Pennsylvania Avenue. You can even make out the faded street designation on the pavement.
The plaza is just one of the many details of the city that even its residents look at and pass by every day without even knowing it is there. These are the things that fascinate me.