And before we go any further on this new journey together, I have to answer it. Partially out of obligation (Tom made me!) and partially out of the fact that how can you, our soon-to-be constant repeat visitor, continue coming here if you don’t know why we love DC?
Since I cannot answer for my fellow authors, I have to take the stab myself. And gladly.
I’ve lived in three other metropolitan cities outside the boundaries of the Beltway: Orlando, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. (We’ll save the “Is Pittsburgh really a major metro city?” debate for some other time and website.) And not just for a couple of years – I can count a decade for each. They’ve all got their attractions, their charms, their foibles and faults.
But I’ve never really felt “settled” anywhere until I moved down here three years ago.
It’s hard to explain, really. Yes, DC has its issues: traffic congestion, high property values, floods of tourists. And I’m sure each of us can add more to that little list. But let’s counter that, shall we?
Clean, bright, historic. A cultural smorgasbord of food, fashion, and ideology. A frenetic resonance of politics, personalities, and entertainment. Quiet parks, bustling crowds, and an open urban landscape.
We have photo opportunities galore. Don’t believe me? Check out our flickr page and the pages of the many resident authors on this site. We have a transit system that, despite its hiccups, is clean and (mostly) efficient. Sports? There’s something for everyone, even hockey freaks like me. Outdoors? Look no further than the great national and state parks that dot the inner Beltway in Maryland and Virginia.
And that’s just in the metro area.
DC is, by design or chance, the center of the East Coast. A seat of political power, economic stability and a blending of international culture that rivals New York and Los Angeles. There is, literally, something here for everyone. We are a microcosm of the vast melting pot that is America.
So why do I love DC?
Aside from all of the above, it’s really the people. We are passionate, polite, driven and spontaneous. Sure, there’s a lot of VA-DC-MD antagonism, but it’s more akin to sibling rivalry than deep-seated animosity. Don’t believe me? Take three bickering residents and watch them unite in explaining the unwritten rules of Metro etiquette to a tourist. Or give directions to an obviously lost family. Or helpfully correct misconceptions about our fair area, like the fact that the Capitol building is not where the President lives.
DC is really a big city with a small town attitude. And I think, when it comes down to it, that’s why I love DC.
Because I feel like I’m home.
All photos originally uploaded by Ghost_Bear