I've been in my lovely new town of Washington DC for a month now. So what have I done in that amount of time. Well, I've been in the Nation's Capitol for the Fourth of July celebration, visited the National Wall, started work, learned the extensive and amazing subway system, and learned why so many people on the east coast are walkers. Not only that but I've gone grocery shopping (which is an adventure when you don't have a car), done lots of "touristy" things, and become used to working a compressed work schedule. It's been an interesting time, not in the least of which involves me getting lost several times, getting caught in the rain last week, and trying to figure out if certains restaurants are good.
So far during this short tenure I've found three notable places that I thoroughly enjoy. The first is my general work area. I work about two blocks from the White House and about twelve from the Capitol. It's such a great area. When you walk out my building (which is the Ronald Reagan International Building-located directly across from the EPA, my current employer) you notice the Capitol on the right and White House on the left. It's really cool actually. This area, called the Federal Triangle area by resident Metroers- those people riding Metro (the subway) is the pinnacle downtown area. It is bustling with people, shops, restaurants, and has that whole big city metropolitian east coast feel. I love just walking around this area. I've found myself walking to the National Mall (which is home to the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian Museums, and others as well) which is just a few short blocks from work. I've walked past the White House on my way to other places and am just amazed by the wonder of this area.
A second favorite place is the Archives area. I will usually walk from here down to work in mornings (it's only 5 blocks) because it's just a favorite spot of mine. The National Archives is home to the Declaration of Independence and other famous articles. The architecture is phenomenal (reminiscent of Roman buildings). In front of the museum is a beautiful memorial called the Navy War Memorial and is filled with stone and bronze depictions of various naval engagements. Along each depiction is a description of what happened and why it's commorative. Also right in the center is an amazing fountain (I love fountains) that just adds to the mystic of this area. However, another reason I enjoy this area is its proximity to Chinatown. This is an amazing sight to see. I walked around it just the other day and was amazed by the many Asian shops, restaurants and feel that was emulating from this area. I was surprised by how in a few short blocks you feel like you're transported to another world. I chuckled when I saw a Ruby Tuesdays stuck right in the middle of Chineses restaurants and was surprised upon seeing a Buddist temple on the outskirts. It is an amazing area and one that I've come to treasure.
The final area the I've taken a fancy to during this month of exploration is the Eastern Market area. This area is located in the Capitol Hills area of Washington DC and is very close to the Capitol building. Sadly the day I visited was extremely hot so I wasn't able to stay as long as I'd liked. But I got enough to know I'll be a frequent visitor. The Eastern market is an open air farmer's market that also has a flea market, and an art fair every Saturday and Sunday. It was soo amazing. I felt like I was transported to another place and time. I walked around the market testing free samples of fruits, vegetables, and ice cream. I looked at all the wonderfully home grown products and couldn't decide what to get. Then I strolled through the vendor area and was blown away by the various products being sold: jewelry, pictures, paintings, handbags, books, etc. You name it. Then I was off to the flea market and couldn't believe my eyes. I was walking through different cultures, times, and places. I found myself thinking, "this would look amazing in my new place," or "wow... that's amazing," or "wonder what that is supposed to represent..." I can't wait to go back. This time I'll have to bring cash and a bag for goodiess.
As you can see DC and I seem to be getting on well. Sure there's ups and downs, nothing is perfect. But for now, the novelty hasn't worn off and for now that's all that matters. Stay tuned more to come...