I visited DC last week, to attend a business meeting near the White House. As usual, I arrived very early so I could get some quality photo time in before the meeting began, so I wandered around The Mall and checked out how things were progressing for the upcoming inauguration.
Very nice. The Capitol dome is finally ready after several years of being hidden behind scaffolding while being repaired, restored, and repainted (view some amazing photos taken during the process here). The Grant Memorial has had a dramatic makeover (read about the restoration here and more history about it here). The Capitol Reflecting Pool water looks clean and clear of trash. If you look carefully at the image (click on it to embiggen), you can even see the scaffolding going up for the new President to be sworn in later next month.
I even saw a work crew slowly making their way to each vertical pole along Pennsylvania Avenue and using razor blades and other hand tools to scrape posters, stickers, gum, and the like off of them prior to the big day in January — which was a first for me.