dhornick wrote in post #18362168
Actually most was by word of mouth from those I consider not to really know for sure thus asking here for people that might live in the area. Also I have read in several publication that southeast DC might not be the best place to meander about late at night.
They are right. DC is broken into quadrants centered at the Capitol. While each quadrant has its issues, SE is one I wouldn't explore even in the day, except for places in the immediate vicinity of the Capitol. Fortunately street signs are typically marked with the quadrant. For instance, there is no 7th St. There is however a 7th St NW, 7th St NE, 7th St SW, and 7th St SE. Explore DC a bit with Google Maps if you haven't already, and you should have a good sense of the Mall and environs. Yes the Mall area is generally safe. It's also part of the city. Just pay attention to your surroundings and you should be fine.