Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I Heart DC

This spring will mark my sixth year in the Washington, DC area. It’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere other than the little town I grew up in. And although I talk about moving all the time (my grandmother used to say I have “itchy feet”), the truth is I really love it here. Here are the top five things I love about this area.

1. It is beautiful. People don’t give this area the credit it’s due for being a pretty city. It is chock full of natural beauty and gorgeous architecture. Sure, everyone knows about the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin, but there are lots of different kinds of flowering trees all over the city that bloom throughout the spring. There are parks everywhere, which means you’re never far from a green space, even in the heart of the city center.

The architecture is truly amazing, too. The first place I lived in Washington was on Capitol Hill. I commuted to work on the metro and every day when I got out at Union Station and started walking home the north view of the Capitol would take my breath away. Every day, for two years, it never got old.

2. The diversity in this area is unrivaled by almost any other city in the US. I dare say it is more racially integrated than any other city. But I’m not talking about just racial diversity. There is socio-economic diversity, political diversity, diversity of sexual orientation and diversity of nationality.

I find all the protests and rallies fascinating. I love that within blocks of my apartment I can get Afghan food and Ethiopian food. I love seeing people speak ASL on the metro and in bars. I used to live a few blocks from Gallaudet University and I would think about all the deaf students who came from all over the world and were perhaps isolated because of their hearing impairment, but in Washington they made a thriving community. I think that’s the magic of this place: no matter who you are, you can find a community to support you here.

3. There is always something to do and it is probably free. The Kennedy Center has free performances every night of the week. All of the Smithsonian museums are free. Various embassies have free art shows frequently. Think tanks have lectures that are free and open to the public. If all else fails, you can go to one of the many parks (see above) and people watch or play bocce ball (my favorite) or volleyball or tennis or basketball or softball.

Last weekend, we went to the zoo. Cost = $0. It was awesome.

4. Lots of public transportation. It’s cheap and convenient.

5. It’s centrally located. DC is great, but if you do want to get away, there are lots of places to go within a day’s drive including: Philadelphia, New York City, Amish country, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and Shenandoah National Park. I even drove down to Charleston once. There are also lots of quick, cheap flights to Europe and the Caribbean.

So even though we have bad weather approximately 360 days a year (just kidding…sort of), I am so grateful to get to live in a place that millions of tourists pay to come see every year. Washington is full of history and culture. It really is a wonderful place to live.

Linked to Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers.


  1. I have never been to DC although I live close enough to visit in a day ~ maybe we will have to plan a trip soon!

    My brother lived in VA and worked in DC at a bike shop for a few years... then moved to Philly, another area that has a lot going on!
    He loves city life and is never bored!

    I for one love that you mentioned Amish Country... we go there every year and love it!
    I am not a big city kind of person ~ I kind of get lost in many ways.
    Of course where I live, everyone knows your name and your parents and your grandparents... in fact when I was thinking about buying my house... 5 people told my dad before I had the chance to!
    I just did not see him before they did.
    It has its good and bad qualities I guess!

    Anyway I would like to venture out more... someday!
    Great post!

  2. I love the different things you can do! I had no idea so much of it was free. The next time I'm there, I'm going to have to check out some of those things.

  3. I feel the same way about where we live, between San Francisco and San Jose. There is just so much to do, so much of it free, so much culture, and centrally located but not sprawlingly huge. But we get great weather!

  4. I love DC. My husband went to grad school at Catholic U and lived down the block from the zoo. It was a wonderful 3 years. I think you really nailed what I love about DC too - I totally agree. And my sis-in-law lives in Falls Church (VA) and commutes in to town and it's not nearly as cool as DC proper.

  5. We love DC!!! We just moved from the Fort Meade area in September, and LOVED going to DC. There is always so much to do, and so many free museums to visit. Blessings!

  6. Find out how to book international flights for $100 instead of $1,000 by Travel Hacking.


I know word verification is a pain, but I'm getting a lot of spam comments, more than I can keep up with. I hope you'll leave a comment anyway. I really appreciate you reading and love hearing back from you.