An Oasis in the Nation’s Capital

An Oasis in the Nation’s Capital, by Gemal Woods.

As Producer and Director of The Angle, I try to explore new places, even those right around the corner. I’ve lived in DC for 13 years and I had never before made it to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens until a couple of months ago. The artist Maria Fenton (who lives right around the corner) had suggested we shoot there.  I was floored by the raw beauty of these preserved wetlands. From the flora to the fauna, you suddenly forget you’re still in a major US city.

After taping a few poems with Maria, I knew I had to return—not only to get some more background footage, but to see more of this place. During the creative taping, I only had time to find a “comfortable” spot—the summer sun and humidity that day—to set up, shoot and depart because of a tight schedule.

When the kids returned to DC from their regular summer visit to Pittsburgh with their Grandparents, we ventured to the Aquatic Gardens. The kids were frightened by all the bugs but delighted to see the vast expanses of the wetlands—they were fortunate to catch a glimpse of a few turtles.  The Aquatic Gardens are truly a gem in this beautiful and complex city. It’s an escape from the hustle-and-bustle of Washington and a way to connect with what this city probably looked more like let’s say a little over 200 years ago before folks started to develop it as the Nation’s Capital.

If you ever get a chance to visit Washington DC—as millions do every year—please take a few hours out of your trip to visit the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, located at 1550 Anacostia Avenue, NE Washington DC. It’s far different from the monuments on the mall and all the great museums that abound, but equally important.



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