Strange encampment near FDR Memorial in Washington D.C.

The entrance of the Roosevelt Memorial, tonight adjacent to a strange cluster of unidentified tents.
The entrance of the Roosevelt Memorial, tonight adjacent to a strange cluster of unidentified tents.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is in left field of a well-worn baseball field, wedged between the icy Potamac River and the city’s Tidal Basin.

Tonight, so is a strange encampment of brown tents, bright lights and vehicles with federal government license plates.

In warmer seasons, the Roosevelt Memorial hugs the capital’s famed Cherry Tree Walk, home to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. In winter the long walk from the better trafficked monuments makes it fairly desolate, as it was on this frigid January night. When I got there, I couldn’t ignore the stadium lighting of hum of portable generators of the memorial’s neighbor – an unidentified shanty town of blank-faced brown tents.

At least 10 12-feet by 10-feet tents, connected with covered walkways and set back with a hastily constructed wooden fence, seem mostly unmanned tonight, aside from two men unpacking a white Ford SUV with federal government tags.

“I am really not allowed to say,” what the collection of tents are, said one with a thick southern accent.

If it’s simply a security enclave set away from Pennsylvania Avenue, which will be consumed with throngs to see the newly anointed Barack Obama make his parade from tomorrow’s U.S. Capitol inauguration to his new home at the White House, or not I don’t know. Any thoughts?

15 p.m.
The tent encampment next to the FDR Memorial in D.C. on Jan. 19, 2009 at 8:15 p.m.