a labor day walk in cleveland park

Monday, September 4: The first Monday in September is Labor Day in the USA, and the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend marks the unofficial end of summer.  The federal holiday honors the American labor movement and contributions that workers have made to the well-being of the country.

Because Mike has the day off, we drive into D.C. to walk around Cleveland Park’s Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Northwest Washington neighborhood, a collection of over 1,000 structures, is “a visual textbook of the changing taste in domestic architectural styles between the years 1890 and 1940,” according to the Washington Post‘s “No hiking boots required: 6 great city strolls in Washington.”

As we walk around the neighborhood, we see art deco and modernist facades, as well as homes built in the Arts & Crafts style, brick rowhouses, mission-style homes, Colonial revivals, and neoclassical mansions.  We see fabulous porches, turrets, columns, screened-in porches, white picket fences, pergolas, as well as beautifully manicured lawns.

Cleveland Park

In the 1890s, when electric streetcars arrived on Wisconsin and Connecticut avenues, Cleveland Park became a popular upscale “streetcar suburb,” according to The Washington Post.  President Grover Cleveland (1837 – 1908), the USA’s 22nd and 24th president, also built a summer home on Macomb Street.  He was the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office.

Many of the homes here are extraordinary.  It’s fun to walk through this shady and hilly neighborhood.

Cleveland Park home
Cleveland Park home

Reflecting our divisive political climate, we find signs in yards such as: “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.” The signs are written in several languages.

“No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.”

Or: “Comb Overs don’t hide Racism * Arrogance * Cruelty * Prejudice & Willful Ignorance.  Words Matter.”

Comb Overs don’t hide…

As part of the resistance, I’m happy to find like-minded Americans who don’t want to be associated with our current president, his base, or their white supremacist notions.

Cleveland Park home

After a while, we reach Wisconsin Avenue, where we decide to stop for lunch.  We have several options, including Cactus Cantina and Cafe Deluxe.  We choose Cafe Deluxe.

Cactus Cantina

At Cafe Deluxe, we sit outside on the patio and eat Apple Brie Flatbread and assorted sides including mac & cheese, succotash and asparagus & corn.

Apple Brie Flatbread
Cafe Deluxe on Wisconsin

After lunch, we walk down Wisconsin to Washington National Cathedral.  We always come here to see the crèche collection every Christmas Eve; this is one rare time we see it during the summer.

Washington National Cathedral is an Episcopal Church cathedral of 20th century American Gothic style closely modeled on English Gothic style of the late fourteenth century. The foundation stone was laid on September 29, 1907 in the presence of President Theodore Roosevelt and a crowd of more than 20,000. The “final finial” was placed 83 years later in the presence of President George H.W. Bush in 1990, according to Wikipedia: Washington National Cathedral.

Washington National Cathedral

We even see the Bishop’s Garden in bloom, which we never see when we come at Christmas.

the garden at Washington National Cathedral

While walking in the garden, I overhear a frumpy old white man say, “I don’t know what the problem is with Melania wearing high heels down to Houston after the hurricane.  It shows she has some class.”  SMH.  Dream on, Mister.

The Cathedral is both the second-largest church building in the United States and the fourth tallest structure in Washington, D.C.  The scaffolding seen in the photo is for ongoing repairs since the 2011 earthquake.

the Cathedral
Washington National Cathedral

We walk back through different streets in Cleveland Park to return to our car.

back through Cleveland Park
Cleveland Park
me in Cleveland Park
Cleveland Park

My novel, still unpublished, is set mainly in this neighborhood, as well as in Egypt and France. 🙂

Steps today: 12,759 (5.41 miles).

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13 thoughts on “a labor day walk in cleveland park

  1. Thanks for showing me around that neighbourhood. It really looks great! That spple-brie-flatbread intrigues me.
    Oh, and those signs give hope, don’t they?
    Have a wonderful day,
    Pit

    1. Thanks, Pit. I’m glad you enjoyed the walk. That apple brie flatbread was delicious. I should try to make one myself. Yes, the signs give hope; thank goodness for every bit of that we can find. Take care and thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  2. Beautiful houses (and picket fences). I am guessing this is a very expensive area and you were probably caught on a few CCTV cameras! In my limited experience of walking in American city neighbourhoods there is never anyone else on foot. Everyone seems to drive to the park or the shops.

      1. Yes, cities are fine to walk around in, but I always felt very conspicuous walking in the suburbs as there never seemed to be anyone around.

      2. I know what you mean, Jude. You do feel conspicuous sometimes. I walk in the suburbs – my neighborhood – all the time just for exercise (my daily 3 mile walks), and I do run into people doing the same. However, I live in the true suburbs, while Cleveland Park isn’t really considered a suburb but is part of the city. We did pass some people walking around there, but most people drive if they’re actually heading out for errands. I do feel conspicuous, though, taking pictures of people’s houses, which many might not appreciate. Oh well, if they see me and don’t like it, they can always come out and say something. 🙂

  3. Fabulous! As Jude says it looks expensive – and well beyond my budget 😉 I have visited Washington a couple of times, but never this part. We weren’t there long enough to get much beyond the Mall.

    1. There’s so much to see at the Mall, Anabel, I don’t imagine most tourists get past that. As we live nearby, we have more options and always hope to find some previously undiscovered treasure. I’m sure the houses here are very expensive! Way over our budget. That’s why we live in the suburbs. 🙂

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