How Atlas Obscura Is Building the “Nice Vice”

One day in 2014, soon after David Plotz left his job as editor of the online magazine Slate, he took his then 13-year-old daughter, Noa, on a bike ride through Anacostia. Noticing how many places he saw named for forts, and how few actual forts he saw, Plotz returned home to Woodley Park.

There, he looked at a map of DC that showed the city ringed with current and former redoubts, many of them Civil War defenses. A few days later, he dragged his family through Rock Creek Park to Fort DeRussy, a garrison that the forest had all but taken back. It was a reminder, Plotz says, that “Washington has surprises—but it takes an act of will to allow yourself to see them.”

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