D.C. is filled with architecturally interesting public spaces. To get an idea of how people are using these spaces, Curbed writers are spending twenty minutes in a given location and taking note. Want to nominate a place for this series? Hit up our tipline. Here's what happened last night between 6:30-6:50 p.m. last night at Dupont Circle. Hey, this series was going to make it there, eventually, so why not during an organized snowball fight?
6:30 p.m. — Four additional people exit the train at Dupont Circle with black war paint under their eyes. That wasn't necessary, right?
6:32 p.m. — It wasn't snowing that hard back at the other end of the Red Line!
6:33 p.m. — A roar goes up from the middle of Dupont Circle. There are probably between fifty and seventy people on the circle, but it just looks like a teeming mass. People walking by uninformed must be terrified.
6:35 p.m. — The Suntrust building on the circle says that it's 21 degrees. The yells get louder.
6:36 p.m. — Sure enough two sets of people walking around the sidewalk around the inner part of the circle start to move hurriedly. As some people just run into the melee concentrated in the center. One woman stands back unsure. She turns to me incredulously and says, "So, it's a snowball fight."
6:37 p.m. — One woman standing with a group of friends on what's normally the grassy area is having some trouble getting her snowball to stay together. "It doesn't stay!" she laughs. One man by a tree takes another approach. He just starts shoveling snow with his hands onto his friends. Two other people just start wrestling each other down to the ground.
6:39 p.m. — Three guys out by the edge of the circle comment on how the last big snowball fight happened around the advent of Twitter.
6:40 p.m. — Now, it's clear that although there are wrestling and little skirmishes all over the circle, the main snowball fight is happening in the center. Several people have gathered inside the fountain and are throwing snowballs at the people standing ten feet away at the surrounding bushes. Well, that's one way to use the fountain.
6:41 p.m. — A snowball beans me in the back. If it had hit me in the head, perhaps the guy wearing a top hat would have been dismissed as a mirage. But no, there is a person wearing a top hat. This seems like a silly idea. There's another person coming through with an umbrella. This seems somewhat smarter.
6:42 p.m. — One group of people at the southern edge of the circle arrive. One says, "If we get lost, let's meet up here." Another points out that they all have phones. Another couple leaves and says, "Well, that was fun." There seem to be more people coming than going.
6:43 p.m. — A snow plow makes its way around the circle. It's unclear that the plow is pushing any snow but there is a vaguely awful crunching noise of plow against pavement.
6:44 p.m. — Back in the middle of the circle, the snowball tossing has become more organized. A group of people let up a shout and then run towards the fountain to pelt the people inside before running back out. There's a large video camera in the thick of it.
6:47 p.m. — There's a pair of earbuds that someone has dropped in the snow. RIP.
6:48 p.m. — In addition to the video camera, people have brought their DSLR cameras. One has a plastic bag over the body and long lens. Two people run around me and start wrestling each other to the ground.
6:49 p.m. — Now, more people are running in during the shouts that go up from the middle. One stands on the fountain instead of crouching inside daring people to hit him.
6:50 p.m. — Three people have brought their dogs which hang out on the outer reaches of the circle. Closer to the center, the next roar goes up and a few people actually rush out from the fountain. Holy cow, there are actually three children at this thing!