This image was taken in 2010 (but not posted), right before we moved to Budapest. We had a prime viewing spot, on one side of the US Capitol building.
Unfortunately, the public isn’t allowed anywhere near there nowadays.
We drove around this afternoon trying to find a spot from which to at least see some of the higher fireworks. The National Mall is under extremely heavy security, and with half a million people expected there this evening, simply wasn’t worth the hassle. The Capitol and all streets even remotely near to it are closed to public access. The lawn in front of the Capitol is reserved for congressional staff and guests (so nobody else can get near that, either). We did find some distant streets where we could see the very top of the Washington Monument over buildings and through trees, but that really isn’t ideal.
We also noticed during our search that the public can’t get close to the White House because Lafayette Park, immediately across the street from it, is also closed, as is that entire block of Pennsylvania Avenue NW (which has been for some time now). The public can’t get near the rear of the White House, either, with at least three fences blocking their way. I remember when one could walk right up to the only fence there and get a clear shot of the back portico.
I understand why security is the way it is now, but it was just sad to see how people are now prevented from any kind of access to so many buildings in Washington – their buildings, the seat of their government, and the White House, supposedly “the people’s house.”
So sadly we’ll just watch the fireworks on TV and remember how things used to be here.
Tapestry in the French drawing room, posted earlier: