I am 100-percent citified, and 100-percent sentimental about Washington DC. Robert Pinsky said (I’m paraphrasing) it’s hard two write about the town you live in until you move away. That’s certainly been true for me. It’s hard to gain perspective on a city I still feel connected to.
What can I say, the clichés are true: DC has always been a town of interns. When I lived there it was full of Gen-Xers—I called the city home in my early 20s. It was the first place I lived after moving away from my hometown of Norfolk, VA. At the time, the city boasted the highest salaries in the nation paid to women; although I was never a beneficiary. But it was great time to start an entry level position, and to learn how to work in the work force.
Late at night, my friends and I used to walk around Capitol Hill and the monuments on the Mall for exercise, because we wanted to, not because we had to. And the museums? They were (are) free, as it should be. Art by, for, and of the people. I loved going into the Smithsonian Museum on my lunch break just to change my perspective for a few minutes.
My friends and I would go to Eastern Market, an outdoor marketplace, for breakfast most Sundays. We would either eat there at restaurants who bought their produce directly from the farmers, or bought food and fresh-baked bread for the week. Unfortunately, the market experienced a fire recently and is in the process of rebuilding.
And then there’s Addams Morgan, U Street, and DuPont Circle—three great neighborhoods with a wide variety of restaurants, clubs, bookstores, and shops. Those havens also are ethnically diverse, so the international population gave the straight-laced city such a flavor. (Here’s my post of my favorite hangout, Kramerbooks and Afterwords.) Throw in an incredibly strong arts community and lots of history, and really—what’s not to like about our nation’s capital?
Ironically, DC still does not have statehood. I know it was created to be neutral government territory, but the city is so much more than it should be its own state, with all the rights and privileges granted to all states. I was there in DC when Bill Clinton took office, even went to one of the many inaugural galas. The hope that engulfed the country was magnified tenfold in the city. Even though the city has had its ups and downs, it is still one of the best places to live.
I'm curious about your perspective. If you've ever visited or lived in DC, what do you think about the city?
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