Whew, that was fun! So fun, in fact, that I had reached up to the Lincoln Memorial before I realized that it was getting dark — and cold. And me in just my rollerblades, jeans, and a t-shirt. Thankfully, my exertions going back up 16th Street generated enough body heat to warm me till I got home.
The White House area is a great place to skate, since the roads in front are currently closed to cars. Lots of skaters in the area, all having a good time. (But also a few, um, fringe elements: today it was anti-nuclear demonstrators on vigil and a guy in a wheelchair screaming at the White House to “stop aiding Israeli terrorism.”) Behind it, The Ellipse is also a nice skate, and the sidewalks aren’t too bumpy around there. The Washington Monument is also encircled by a smooth pavement, but only one or two paths leading up to it are negotiable; otherwise you need to change to shoes (or sandals, in my case) and walk up to it. You can’t skate The Mall or the paths along the Reflecting Pool; they’re surfaced with bumpy stone and/or sand rather than concrete pavement. Nice for romantic promenading, though. And you can feed the ducks and pigeons.
Elsewhere in the city, the sidewalks and streets are so-so. Sometimes they’re nice and smooth expanses of concrete and asphalt, other times they’re bumpy and uneven cobble or brick. Oogh.
So, any aspiring or experienced DC skaters out there? Myself, I’m a rather conservative (read: wussy) skater, so I don’t do anything fancy, and I most certainly do not skate major thoroughfares or go skitching.