Thick Curtain of Tree Bark at Cleveland Park


Cleveland Park is a Metro station I used once in Weekly Museum Visits: to visit Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park. To get to Peirce Mill, I walked along Melvin Hazen Trail, which is one of 114 sites detailed in the book Peaceful Places Washington D.C. by Judy Colbert and Denis Collins.

The book includes a couple of restaurants I love (Busboys and Poets, Lost Dog Café), some interesting landmarks (the Temperance Fountain, the Albert Einstein Monument), and a number of museums and parks, including many from Weekly Museum Visits. Fourteen of my Weekly Museum Visit locations are designated as Peaceful Places in the guidebook.

What makes a place peaceful? Melvin Hazen Trail is described as a path through “a thick curtain of trees” and “occasional cascades of water,” with animals flying and scampering, and picnic tables for resting and eating.

Other places in the book are peaceful because of “the aroma of a thousand rosebushes” (Dumbarton Oaks), or because “miniature trees reflect the patience and skill of the gardeners who cultivated them” (United States National Arboretum). The United States Navy Memorial and Naval Heritage Center “is understandably quiet as visitors contemplate the bravery shown by our former and current military personnel and their families.” Lost Dog Café is peaceful for many reasons, including “the funky painting on the wall, of dogs in bowler hats playing pool[.]”

I bought the book last year because I was fascinated by the premise: the attempt to make a definitive list of places that have that elusive quality of peacefulness. Does peacefulness refer to quiet and tranquility? To spiritual recharging? To an uplifting atmosphere of harmony and joviality? To a dedication to promoting world peace and social justice?

Here are some places in DC, Maryland, and Virginia I would add to the book’s list:

  1. Acorn Park
  2. American Visionary Art Museum
  3. Art Museum of the Americas
  4. Bladensburg Waterfront Park
  5. Brookside Gardens
  6. Clarendon Common (gardens, fountains, gazebos)
  7. Ellipse
  8. FDR Memorial
  9. Frederick Douglass House
  10. Freer/Sackler and Moongate Garden
  11. Georgetown Waterfront Park
  12. Hillwood
  13. Ladybird Johnson Park and Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove
  14. Lake Artemesia
  15. Man Helping Man sculpture
  16. Meridian Hill Park
  17. Petworth Citizen
  18. Red Emma’s
  19. SiTea in Takoma DC
  20. Spanish Steps
  21. Sticky Fingers
  22. Teaism near the National Archives
  23. United States Institute of Peace
  24. University of Maryland – College Park Labyrinth and Peace Garden
  25. Washington Ethical Society

What sites would you add to the list?

As for Cleveland Park, there are a few other Peaceful Places from the book that are listed in the book nearby: Ardeo and Bardeo, Transcendence-Perfection-Bliss of the Beyond, and Tregaron Estate.

Cleveland Park is on the Red Line.

Melvin Hazen Trail

Melvin Hazen Trail

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About Laura

Paralegal with Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education, frequent museum visitor, based in Washington, DC. I care about what museums can do, both in terms of public offerings and internal practices, to make the world a better place. I blog about museum education ("informed"), the social work of museums ("humane"), and visitor experience ("citizenry").
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2 Responses to Thick Curtain of Tree Bark at Cleveland Park

  1. robertlfs says:

    I am curious if you have ever considered editing your blogs into a book form. I am AMAZED at the resource you provide on DC cultural heritage venues. Best wishes,

    • Laura says:

      Thank you, I am honored by your comment! That sounds like a pretty big and daunting undertaking, but for now, I do hope to keep blogging with a focus on the DC area. It is full of both famous sites and lesser-known surprises!

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