The Washington Monument, which reopens on Monday, has some major drawbacks. You can only get a decent selfie with it from a mile away. It’s vulnerable to earthquakes. And you can’t hug it. Find better, smaller four-sided pointy things at the sites below.
A 14-ton, 30-foot-tall miniature Washington Monument is the least-weird thing about this trippy sculpture garden in an Alexandria office park. To reach Monument Jr., walk to the Potomac’s edge; you’ll pass a giant arrow, some faux Classical ruins, several statues of disembodied mouths that spew or drool water, and lunch-eating drones.
11 Canal Center Plaza (off North Fairfax Street), Alexandria.
The obelisk was a hugely popular gravestone style in the early and mid-1800s, and not just for VIPs. Obelisks of all kinds — skinny and fat, ornate and plain, decrepit and not — adorn graves of babies, ladies and ordinary guys. Alexander Macomb, an Army general who died in 1841, got an unusual model: His obelisk has a Spartan helmet and a bird on top.
Congressional Cemetery, 1801 E St. SE; 202-543-0539.
The slothful obelisk enthusiast can enjoy Glenwood by car via the cemetery’s paved roads. As at Congressional, obelisks abound. The most depressing is the Benjamin Grenup monument, raised by his volunteer firefighter colleagues after he was crushed under the wheels of a fire engine in 1856. A cheery sculpted panel depicts this event.
Glenwood Cemetery, 2219 Lincoln Road NE; 202-667-1020.