I’ve been in D.C. now for almost twelve years this summer. It’s really weird typing that. If I had been told that I would spend that much time of my life in the Capital City of the “Free” World when I was in middle school, I would have laughed at you for dreaming big. As it happens, I was 16 when I first visited D.C. and I knew then that this was where I would end up. I just didn’t see myself sticking around this long.
Twelve years later and I’m still surprised by this city some days. D.C. is almost always changing. Restaurants and storefronts closing or moving on to other locations, the food trucks tooling around the city, taxis and ride sharing companies moving people around the city, old places I used to go when I first got here giving way to new places to meet the times…
Here’s my D.C. Bucket:
- Busboys and Poets—The first time I went to Busboys and Poets on 14th and V Street NW, I was in shock at how low-key, laid back, and chill the atmosphere was. They offer poetry nights, events, and just awesomeness. The food is good and if you are up for an adventure, try the DC Tap Water.
- The National Mall—I’m not as much an outside person as I would like to be. The National Mall though offers a lot of interesting things though. If you stand by the Washington Monument, you can see the Capital Building, the Smithsonian Museums, and the Lincoln Memorial. I’ve played softball and dodgeball there, watched outdoor movies with friends, celebrated different cultures, watched the fireworks and walked two 5k’s there. There’s always something interesting to do and it’s never the same things.
- The Tidal Basin—From the Washington Monument, you can also see the Jefferson Memorial and the White House. To get to the Jefferson Memorial, you’ll have to walk around the Tidal Basin. In the spring, you can see the Cherry Blossoms in bloom. Continuing past the Jefferson Memorial, you’ll pass the FDR Memorial, another one of the great presidents. Keep going and you’ll end up at the MLK Jr. Memorial, one of our more modern leaders.
- Eastern Market—I’ve been here twice but Eastern Market started my love for open markets. There are so many vendors selling foods and crafts that it is easy to spend time looking through everything.
- Dupont Circle—Dupont Circle is one of the many circles in D.C. I used to spend a lot of time here, either sitting in the Circle people watching or at Books-A-Million (closed) reading a book. In June, be on the lookout for the Pride Festivals and join into the fun. Stop by on Sundays to enjoy the Farmer’s market.
- MLK Jr. Library—I was surprised to find a library with Sunday hours and so many books. There are different groups who meet here along with other events going on throughout the month. Whether you need a break from walking around touring the city or just looking for a new book to read, this is definitely a place to stop along the way.
- The Awakening—While not currently located in D.C., this statue was at one point. At over 70 feet across, this giant waking up is a really neat piece to look at.
- Robert E. Lee’s home— You can see this building from the back of the Lincoln Memorial. It’s located upon a hilltop overlooking Arlington Cemetery and you’ll have to pass by JFK’s memorial to get up the hill. It’s a great walk though.
- Folklife Festival— Every summer for two weeks, the National Mall hosts three or four different cultures, showcasing the life, the times, the food, and people. I say I go for food every year but it’s really good food. One year, Hawaii was featured so while we were eating lunch, we were able to hear the guy who re-did “Over the Rainbow” perform. It can be very eclectic but it’s a nice way to “see” the world without really leaving D.C.
- The Yards Waterfront—This one is newer but it looks awesome. I’ve dropped people off here and their Harris Teeter always has parking. The Yards has plenty of walking space, outdoor movies and lots of food places near-by.
Happy Friday and best of luck on your own adventures!
Listening to: Thirty Seconds to Mars Station on Amazon
Quote of the Day: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”― Aristotle