July 26, 2011

A Walk on Potomac Avenue: DC's Prettiest Street. Come Along!

I've written before about my favorite neighborhood walk -- through the woods at Battery Kemble Park. The walk today ranks a very close second.

My neighborhood in DC is called "The Palisades." Google that word and you'll find this:  "A precipice of trap-rock on the western bank of the Hudson river" and a notation that it also describes similar formations elsewhere. Like right here. We're perched atop a precipice along the Potomac River between Georgetown and the DC/Maryland border.

And the only street that runs along that river precipice -- Potomac Avenue -- is where we're headed today. Let's go!

Here' our first look down Potomac Avenue heading toward Maryland: houses on the right, views over the Potomac palisades on the left.

With the river at our backs, we'll look at the houses first. I love the architectural diversity:


Lovely as these houses are, the vistas from this street out over the river are even more stunning.

At the bottom of this picture, you can see the C&O canal and the towpath that runs beside it. At the top of the shot, in the distance, is a glimpse of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, a major (and leafy) commuter route through the Virginia bluffs connecting downtown with the Capital Beltway:

In the past, I sometimes biked along towpath to work. Many still do:

And where there are bikers, there are usually joggers:

The Virginia palisades present a solid green background, except for this big white house: the only spoiler:

Here's a glimpse of  Chain Bridge, one of several spans across the Potomac between DC and Virginia. Naturally, all the auto traffic must funnel across those bridges, giving the DC metropolitan area the "distinction" of having one of the worst commutes.

As we approach the end of Potomoc Avenue, we see an opening in the trees that leads down to the Capital Crescent Trail: a marvelous rails-to-trails project that transformed an abandoned railroad track into a path for walkers, joggers, and bikers. The Capital Crescent runs from Georgetown in DC, through the Palisades, and on to Bethesda, Maryland.

I hate to end this lovely walk on a disturbing note, but on the morning I took this walk, two cars parked on Potomac Avenue had been torched the night before. Here's one of them -- an alarming, unusual development in zipcode 20016:


Anne Goodwin said...

The variety of housing is fascinating, true neighborhood style. But the really spectacular part is the view across the "woodlands"! I can imagine the fall colors and winter snow serenity of the view. It really is a great area to live in. Thanks for sharing. 

Joan Barnett said...

Thanks John for a beautiful and poignant journey.  I live on Potomac Avenue and so appreciate your comments, as well as the photos.  Look forward to bumping into you on one of my walks along this lovely path.

John Schappi said...

Hi Joan -- If you see an old guy with a camera, say hello!

John Schappi said...

God willing, I'll probably be back with photos of the fall foliage.