Every day, thousands of automobile drivers cross the I-395/Rt. 1 bridge into the District, and few will even notice the non-descript and awkward exit for East Potomac Park. But knowledgeable locals and adventurous visitors know the short detour leads to one of the District’s best-kept secrets: Hains Point. What is today known as East Potomac Park is a long island in the Potomac River that flanks the Southwest D.C. waterfront. Its northern edge overlooks the paddle boats of the Tidal Basin, its eastern shore protects the yachts and fish mongers of the Washington marina. And the southern tip of that secluded island, where diesel exhaust gives way to the briny air of the estuary, where a fortunate few have spent an afternoon at Hains Point, is where a Titan waits. Hains Point is home to The Awakening, a 70-foot long sculpture depicting a bearded giant struggling to climb out of the earth. Decades after its installation, the eerie aluminum sculpture has become a cultural landmark – and a refreshing reminder that even in a city where strength is measured in kilotons and opinion polls, the power of art can still command the attention of the human soul. Sadly, the Awakening will soon be taken from its home, leaving you fewer chances to see it. Last semester, a private real estate developer purchased the statue and now plans to move it to a new location in Washington later this spring. any Georgetown students have trouble finding the time to explore and get to know those parts of their city that exist beyond Wisconsin Avenue and M Street. We become comfortable with our neighborhood, either afraid or unwilling to see what else D.C. has to offer. The Awakening can serve as a good and rewarding excuse to get out into an area of Washington that few Georgetown students visit. Before your semester’s workload intensifies to the point of preventing you leaving campus, take a break and make your way down to Hains Point. Pack a lunch, take a book and bring a friend. You’ll be glad you did.

Comments are closed.